March 21, 2008, Newsletter Issue #35: (50) Choosing the Best Cruise Ship Cabin/Stateroom

Tip of the Week

Stateroom size and location have an impact on cruise price and enjoyment. Consider these factors when choosing a stateroom aboard ship:

Inside cabins are the least expensive. However, spending a little more for an oceanview or balcony cabin adds value to the over-all cruise experience for most cruisers. Some travelers say they spend very little time in the cabin, but viewing a spectacular sunrise, a magnificent rainbow or scenic shorelines clad in pajamas in the privacy of a suite or balcony cabin is worth the price. And, the price difference may be minimal on large ships with many balcony cabins. Choose the highest affordable cabin category and request an upgrade if available. Travel agents/cruise specialists who do a lot of business with a cruise line sometimes get preferential upgrades for their clients. Do not leave cabin/stateroom assignment to chance. Consult a deck plan in cruise brochures or online for exact stateroom locations and request a specific room. Avoid cabins located below or above nightclubs, theaters or the gym. Avoid cabins across from the laundry and housekeeping stations. Avoid cabins next to elevators or in a corridor near the dining room. Avoid outside cabins on promenade decks where walkers and runners pound past and the view may be obstructed. Avoid cabins in the bow (front) of the ship. Waves hitting the bow reverberate through bow cabins and there is more motion in this area. Choose a cabin mid-ship on a mid-level deck for the least motion at sea and a central location for all cruise activities.Understanding “ROS” or “Best Cabin Guarantees.” ROS (Run of Ship) guarantee means you pay for the lowest category cabin and possibly receiving an upgrade to a higher category cabin if it is available near sailing date. Best Cabin Guarantees means getting the “best cabin available in a certain category” rather than choosing a specific cabin. There is no true guarantee for ROS or Best Cabin Guarantees. There is only the possibility of an upgrade and no choice of cabin location if an upgrade does occur. You could wind up with a higher category cabin in an undesirable location such as in the bow of the ship or above the disco. Choose a specific cabin rather than risk disappointment in your cabin location.

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