IT is your bedroom and get-away-from-it-all sanctuary on a cruise ship so the choice of cabin – often called a stateroom – is really important as all cabins are not created equal.
Passengers up early to exercise and still up late at night to socialize will spend little time in their cabins and often opt for the least expensive – an interior cabin with no window to the outside world.
Though a recent breakthrough has Royal Caribbean introducing “virtual balcony” cabins – interior cabins with a floor-to-ceiling LED screen on one wall – that give a real-time virtual view to the outside world. A curtain can be drawn if the cabin’s occupants want to cocoon in the dark, royalcaribbean.com.au
Other guests may be on board to relax big-time and will spend hours in their cabins. For them, a more expensive veranda location offers a slice of privacy as well as fresh air. Some exterior cabins have no veranda, but a large window or porthole with an ocean view. Roomier suites, often aft of the ship, give occupants a sweeping view of the ship’s wake.
australiancruisingnews.com has stayed in many cabins, and was once lucky enough to occupy the large owner’s suite with separate bedroom and sitting room.
A more recently occupied cabin had an “obstructed view” that looked out to a lifeboat’s outer shell so the room was fairly dark with barely a glimpse of sky. On the upside it encouraged occupants to explore the ship, relax on open decks, and take part in activities in public areas.
So do look at a ship’s deck plan to assess cabin size and location before booking a cruise. Those worried about motion sickness should choose a mid-ship cabin on a lower deck for a smoother ride. Those who go to bed early should avoid cabins close to entertainment venues. In similar vein those who like to sleep late should avoid cabins under the pool deck where deck chairs will be set out early each morning.
All cabins have amenities such as personal safes, flat-screen TVs, bathrobes, hair dryers, and toiletries, but, do not expect the average cabin to be the size of a land-based hotel room.