8 Cruise Ship Cabins to Avoid
Updated June 6, 2019
When it comes to booking a cruise, a major rookie mistake is not taking the time to pick the right cabin. Just like staying in a bad hotel room, a bad cabin on your cruise can put a damper on your entire vacation.
On an ideal cruise, you’re going to spend most of your time experiencing all of the activities, entertainment, and dining the ship has to offer, but after a long day of all the excitement, you'll want a relaxing environment to recharge your batteries.
Unfortunately, plenty of cruisers have found themselves in a bad cabin situation. When choosing a cabin, it’s essential to know which cabins to avoid. Here’s our list of cabins should never book if you value your sleep:
The crew works around the clock to keep the ship going and prepare for the next day. That means that there will be foot traffic, doors opening and closing, conversations going on and more during the day and throughout the night. The crew members on the late night shift are usually really good about keeping the noise down, but they’re human. This is mainly an area to avoid for the light sleepers or if you’re traveling with small children.
Cruise ships have some heavy machinery, and with that can come some heavy noise. Construction like noises can usually be heard from these areas. You will most likely hear them when entering a port, which can be very early in the morning. They’re not clearly marked (for obvious reasons), so look for large white (unmarked) areas of the deck plan when you’re choosing your cabin location. If you do see a space like that, call the cruise line for more information.
There are all types of crowds on a cruise ship, including early risers and late-night partiers. This means that throughout the night (and early in the morning), passengers will be gathered around the elevators and traveling the stairs. You might catch a few crowds that have indulged in a few spirts as well, and they can be, well, just a tad noisy. There’s nothing like the sound of a dinging elevator to help you go to sleep, right?
You can find these areas on your ship’s deck plan as they are usually labeled: ELEV., E or EL.
Have you had an upstairs neighbor that decided to rearrange their furniture at 6 AM on a Saturday?. You could find yourself in a similar situation if your cabin is below a public deck or busy areas such as a bar or club.
Check the deck plan to make sure you’re not directly underneath a Lido deck, sports court, night clubs, and 24-hour dining venues. And keep in mind that just because a venue closes doesn’t mean that there won’t be noise while the crew is cleaning up and preparing for the next day.
Even if it’s not the season for rough waters, seasickness can still be a problem. If you’re susceptible to motion sickness, (or if this your first cruise and you’re not sure) you should choose a cabin that is a little more stable.
The most stable cabins are those located more mid-ship, on a lower deck and closer to the interior. Being in a balcony cabin and higher on the ship means you are going to experience some rocking. You also can anticipate rough seas based on the timing of your cruise itinerary as well as the ocean you will be sailing.
Kids are loud and babies cry. We're not telling you anything you don’t know already, but if you want to avoid screaming kids on your vacation, you might want to consider staying away from the family suite areas. They are usually labeled on your ship’s deck plan. These style cabins are typically located near kid-friendly activities and areas on the ship.
Just because you booked a balcony cabins doesn’t mean you’re going to have an amazing view. We’ve read plenty of reviews from cruisers excited to watch the sunset from their balcony only to find a lifeboat right outside their window blocking the view.
Each cruise line may have their own definition of “obstructed view”, but in most cases, it means that your cabin faces machinery or a lifeboat. If you’re willing to compromise, you might be able to get a good deal on your cruise and save some money by booking one of these cabins. You can still get some fresh air, but you won't have the most desirable view.
Cabins with an obstructed view will be labeled on the deck plan for your ship. If you’re considering booking this type of cabin, call the cruise line and see if you can work out a deal.
“Spacious” is not a word you’ll hear often when talking about cruise ship cabins, but some are especially cramped. Some cabins might have a weird layout making for tight quarters, and be sure to check the details a balcony cabins’ square footage as the balcony can sometimes be included in the whole number that’s provided.
You might think that booking a smaller inside cabin is a great way to save some money, but you need to know what you’re getting yourself into. A cabin that seriously lacks space might be fine for a weekend cruise, but if your sailing is a full week (or more), the walls could start closing in fast.
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