Cruise Ship Cabins: How To Get The Best, And Avoid the Worst ?

How do you make sure you
cruise in the very best, and avoid the worst cabins
on your next cruise? Hi, I’m Gary Bembridge. This is another of my
“Tips For Travellers.” No matter what grade
of cabin you cruise in, whether it’s inside, ocean
view, balcony, or suite, there are good cabins and
there are terrible cabins. So I want to help you make sure that no matter what level you cruise in, you get the very best cabins
and avoid the worst cabins. So let’s start by taking a
look at how do you make sure you’ve got the best cabins
in any particular grade? Well my first tip, and the one that I absolutely live by, is when I choose a cabin I make sure that I’m surrounded on every single side by other cabins. So above me, either side of me, below me, and ideally opposite
me, I have other cabins. This means that I’m buffered on all sides from unwanted noise. So it means that I’m not
going to be near noisy venues. I’m not going to be below
something like the pool deck where there could be a lot of noise, the nightclub, whatever it is, so absolutely critical, to make sure you’ve got the best cabin in whatever grade you are, make sure you’re surrounded
on all sides by other cabins. The second thing linked to that, and that I always do to make
sure I’ve got a great cabin is I check that I’m not in a cabin with an interconnecting door, in other words, a door that
leads into the cabin next to me. Now of course, if I’m
cruising with somebody and I want to be connected to them, that’s a different story. But if you’ve got strangers next door, you could find you get a
lot of noise from them. So it could be televisions,
it could be music, it could be talking loud. So if they’re on a
different schedule to you, in terms of sleeping,
partying, whatever it is, you can get a lot of noise
coming from next door. So that’s the second critical thing. Again, no matter what grade you’re in, make sure you avoid those
interconnecting cabins. And particularly if you’re lucky enough to be going in a suite because you’ll find a lot of suites do actually have interconnecting
doors to other cabins, if families or whatever
are travelling together. My third critical thing is if you are concerned about motion and you don’t really like a lot of motion or you’re worried about getting seasick, make sure that you’ve
got a cabin midships. Now, the great advantage
of a midships cabin is not only are you going to have less motion because as a ship moves the
middle is where you’re going to get the least amount of movement. So that’s really, really important. But also it means if you’re
in the middle of the ship you’re going to be sort of equipment-distance from all of the key facilities. If you’re at the front of the ship or the back of the ship you might have a long way to walk to go to the restaurants or the theatre. If you’re in the middle of the ship, you’re kind of close to everything. So that’s a great advantage
of being midships, motion, as well as being
close to everything. One of the things that I
really recommend you look for if you’re travelling
particularly with friends or even with a partner, is try and find a cabin
that has a curtain divider. The great advantage with that is if you’re travelling somewhere where it’s very light
and you want to sleep in, perhaps you’ve been out partying, if you’ve got a curtain divider, partway through the cabin
it’ll make it really dark and cosy if you want to sleep in late. But also if you’ve got a partner who gets up early or sleeps differently or wants to go to bed at a different time, they can go in that separate
section, they can read, they can do whatever they want
to without disturbing you. So I really like cabins
with a curtain divider. If you’re going in an inside cabin, the other thing to look for
is increasingly cruise ships are having these virtual balconies. So instead of just being
kind of a enclosed box cabin, many of them, say for
example on Royal Caribbean, I’ve seen a lot, Disney
have it quite a lot, is there are big screens which replicate either
balcony doors or windows so you can actually see what’s going on and they project the actual
live outside onto those screens so you get less of a sense of being kind of enclosed in a space. So those are some of my tips on how you make sure you
get a really good cabin. But what are the things to watch out for to make sure that you
avoid the worst cabins in every single grade
of which there are them, trust me, no matter whether
you’re in a suite, a balcony, or you’re spending more money, you can still get a terrible cabin. So let’s take a look at
things to watch out for to avoid those worst cabins
at every single grade. The first critical thing
to avoid the worst cabins are check the deck plans and make sure that you’re nowhere near areas of potential big noise. These are the ones to
really watch out for. Look for late night venues, so nightclubs, theatres for example, places where there’s live bands, those sort of areas where you
can have late night partying and their big bass noise which really does travel
through the hull and the metal and can really reverberate
within the cabin. Also make sure that you’re
not above or below kitchens, because many of them
have 24-hour operations and can be pretty noisy. Also try and make sure
that you avoid places where crew come and go. So for example the last cruise I was on I was surrounded on all
sides I thought by cabins but just nearby was a crew door and there was lots of
banging, toing and froing, as they would come in and out, they’re doing various service,
room service, whatever. Also make sure that you’re
away from the pool deck. So ideally a couple of decks below but certainly not underneath it if you’ve done that tip that I did earlier about make sure you’re
surrounded by cabins. Because there can be things
like late night parties or scraping of deck chairs which again because the hull is metal
can reverberate through. So always choose a cabin that is as far away from
those big noise areas so that maximises your chance
of not being disturbed. Linked to that is try and avoid cabins that are on the very front of the ship or the very back of the ship
for a couple of reasons. First of all because of the
motion that I mentioned earlier. If you’re at the front of
the ship there’s also risk that you will get a lot of noise
from things like the anchor particularly if you’re in a lot of ports where you’re going to be mooring because you can get
lots and lots of noise. And so I know for example, on one of the cruises
that I was on recently, the expedition leader, the cruise director spoke
about how his cabin, and many of the other crew cabin, senior crew cabin were
in the front of the ship because it was very noisy where
the anchor was going down. If you’re at back of
the ship there is a risk that you get some
reverberation from the engines, depending on the type of ship you’re on. But also you can often find at the back, there’s often big pool deck areas, where they have big pool parties at night. So there can also be noise from that. So that’s one thing to avoid, try and avoid the very front
and the very back of the ship and get as close to midships as you can. My next tip is if you
really want to make sure that you’re going to avoid the worst cabins on a cruise ship, I would discourage you from going with a
guaranteed fare approach. For those of you that don’t know, there’s two ways you can book a cabin, one of which is where
you pay a slight premium and you’ll choose your
very specific cabin. So for example I always do that because I like to make sure
I’ve got the right cabin. The other way which is slightly cheaper is to go for what’s known
as a guaranteed cabin. So you basically pay to go in an inside, an ocean view, a balcony,
a suite, whatever it is, and the cruise line allocates the cabin. Now bear in mind, you’re probably going to
get the leftover cabins. So you’re probably going to get the cabins that people haven’t chosen because they know that
they’re really great cabins. So you might get a cabin
that’s in a noisy area, it’s a funny shape, it’s not ideal. So if you possibly can,
try and go for a fare where you actually choose your own cabin particularly if you are worried
about getting a great cabin, because you are a bit throwing
the dice and taking a gamble. So that’s why I always prefer to go with one where I choose my own cabin. So it’s a watch out of guaranteed fares. Linked to that is also most
people always get very excited if they get an upgrade,
because it does sound great. However, with an upgrade be very cautious. Again often when you’re booking a cruise you can choose to select an auto upgrade. I tend not to do that. The reason is, if you can auto upgrade you normally have no say
in the cabin you get. So whilst you might get moved from an ocean view to a balcony or a balcony to a suite or
whatever, again you have no say, and you’re probably going to be given whatever’s left and probably
not the best option. And heard from lots of people
who’ve been really excited because they’ve got an upgrade after having chosen their
cabin in a lower grade, they’ve got to the cabin
and they haven’t liked it, but there’s no turning back, because most cruise lines
won’t let you have any say if you accept the upgrade. So be very cautious about taking upgrades if you want to make sure that you’ve got the best possible cabin. Another tip that I’ve got
to avoid the worst cabins is really talking to people
who are going for suites. The interesting thing
about suites is we think they’re the best cabins onboard. However, suites tend to be either at the very front of the ship, the back of the ship or very high up. And it’s interesting, I once had a dinner with one of the designers of cruise ships and they said ironically, that’s not where they would put suites if they were recommending
the best point in a ship because clearly lower down in midships is the best place to be
in terms of movement. However, people in suites want
to have the big grand views, the big beautiful views from the top or the front
or the back of the ship. Those are not actually
the best places to be. So if you are going in a suite, look very carefully
about what’s around you, particularly for noise. So for example I was on a recent cruise where they’ve got these magnificent big new two-bedroom suites. However they’re right above the pool deck where there’s a “Movies Under the Stars” running every night, there’s music blaring all day. So actually inside the
cabin was pretty noisy both during the day and the night, even though these were
the big deluxe suites. No matter what level you cruise in, inside, ocean view, balcony,
suite, there are good cabins, and there are not-so-good cabins. These tips should help you make sure that you get a great cabin, not a terrible cabin on your next cruise. I have loads more videos packed full of cruising advice and tips. So why don’t you watch another
one of those right now?

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