What Other Factors Should Influence Someone's Decision When Picking A Cabin?

What other factors should influence someone's decision when picking a cabin? There are four basic cabin categories: inside, outside, balcony, and suite. Picking the right cabin for your cruise can be a difficult,...

Picking the right cabin for your cruise can be a difficult, confusing decision, but it doesn't need to be! Use these tips for choosing the right cabin, offered by Emily Motycka, a travel agent with AAA Travel in Omaha, Nebraska, and you'll be happily sailing in no time!

According to Ms. Motycka, your first task is to decide which cabin category you prefer. There are four basic cabin categories: inside, outside, balcony, and suite. An inside cabin is located along an interior corridor and has no exterior windows. All light is provided by artificial sources, and you cannot see the outside from your cabin.

This can make the cabin feel claustrophobic, and also makes it difficult to tell what time of day it is, or what the weather is like, without leaving your cabin. An outside cabin provides you with an ocean view through a window - a large window in some rooms, a small porthole in others. This window gives you a view of the ever-changing scenery, as well as providing natural light and giving the cabin a more open feel. A balcony cabin is also located along an exterior corridor, and offers a small, private deck. Though usually rather small, this balcony can make a cabin seem much roomier. It also allows you to enjoy the outdoors - or simply sip some tea and read a book in the open air - without strangers around. A suite is usually much larger than any of the other cabin categories, and provides separate sleeping and sitting areas. On some ships, suites also have more than one bathroom, and sometimes even come with butler service and other amenities.

How to choose a cabin category? "I would say that cost and personal preference" are the two biggest factors to consider, said Ms. Motycka. More desirable cabin categories (such as balcony cabins) cost more, but many cruisers find the amenities offered by a balcony to be well worth the extra cost. On the other hand, some travelers prefer to book an inside room, since the cost savings they receive may allow them to travel more frequently.

"How much time you will be in the cabin is another big factor," said Ms. Motycka. Cruisers who plan to use their cabin only for sleeping might want to consider an inside cabin. They won't be in the room enough to gain much benefit from a balcony or window. But cruisers who prefer alone time, or who simply think they'll be in the cabin more frequently, may want to consider a balcony cabin. The private balcony allows cruisers who are more private to enjoy the view without the crowds.

Once you know what cabin category you prefer, said Ms. Motycka, you next need to decide whether to book a specific cabin, or to just book a "guarantee." A "guarantee" means that the cruise line guarantees you a cabin in the category you chose, but will assign your cabin to you at check-in. You could receive a complimentary upgrade to the next cabin category...or you could get stuck in a less-than-desirable cabin in your chosen category.

If you decide to choose a specific cabin, be sure to choose the cabin with care. Check to see what is in the areas around the cabin - not only what's next door, but what's above or below. Nightclubs, kitchens, elevators, and maid's closets can be sources of aggravating noise at all hours of the night and day. Cabins near the engines, anchor, or propulsion machinery may be subject to vibrations and machinery noise. Balconies on rooms facing forward usually offer cruisers fantastic views, but they are usually rather windy. Finally, if you opted for an outside cabin with a window, check with the cruise line to make sure that your cabin's window is not blocked by lifeboats, machinery, or other obstructions.

Choosing a cabin carefully can help ensure that your cruise is as wonderfully relaxing as you envision!

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