Choosing the right cabin for you when you take a cruise is not that tough. Most people will leave it to cost and a travel agent. However, there are a few things to know if you haven’t cruised before or made your own arrangements that can help you decide.
There are basically four types of cabins. Inside cabins are the cheapest, but unless you are on certain ships that have rooms with windows overlooking shopping and public spaces, you won’t have a window. If you fight claustrophobia, you may not want an inside cabin. They tend to be slightly smaller and with no window, a little more close.
You can step up to an outside room with a porthole or window. Most of the time your cost will increase between $50 and $150 for an outside cabin. If your ship is really new and big, you might get a window that is nearly floor to ceiling and covers most of the width of the room. Normally, windows are about 24 inches high and about 36 inches long. If you’re lower on the ship and going through seas with a few waves, these windows can become spotted or coated and limit visibility. They still work well to let more light in during the day.
A notch above an outside cabin with a window is an outside cabin with a balcony. The room size is usually about the same, but the balcony adds about 35-50 square feet. Breakfast on the balcony is a nice way to start the day. Balcony rooms add another $75 to $250 per person to the room cost. If you plan to spend much time in the cabin, a window or balcony will enhance your experience beyond the price tag.
Suites are the top of the line. They vary from a larger room with a larger balcony to a multi-room suite with a hot tub. They can often comfortably sleep 6 or more people. The price per person usually declines by about 1/2 for the 3rd, 4th, etc. So, check if you need extra space. It might not be a terrible step to a suite. Suites can often add anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars to the ticket price.
Try to pick a room away from the stairs and elevators. You will find the noise level decreases with less traffic flow in front of your cabin. I recommend that you try to get a cabin on a floor that has some of the activities you want either one floor up or down or on the same floor as your cabin. This will save considerable wear and tear on your legs during a week on the ship. When you prepare to embark, you might want to ask about last minute upgrades. Sometimes you can get a much better room for very little more money.
Ask about the view from your cabin if it is outside. Make sure you aren’t surprised by a lifeboat blocking your view. These rooms are cheaper, but you lose a lot of why you want a window or balcony if you can’t see the views.