TRAVEL THERE: WHERE WILL YOU LAY YOUR HEAD?
How tight is your budget? How particular are you about your personal space? Are you claustrophobic, acrophobic or prone to sea-sickness? These are the kinds of questions you have to ask yourself as you consider what kind of accommodations will best suit your cruise experience.
Keeping It Affordable
Are you all about economy? Check out interior cabins on the lower decks. That’s the most economical part of the ship. Don’t plan on spending much time in your cabin though. It will have the basics, but it will be tight and you might find yourself wishing for a little sunshine. And here’s another tip. If you’re afraid of seasickness, try to get a cabin mid-ship.
For our first cruise, we had an interior cabin and yes it was tight, but we had a great time. Not only was it our first cruise, it was our honeymoon. Tight quarters added to the romance, but it was pretty spartan. The tiny pedestal sink had no counters and no drawers, but I managed to brush my teeth and apply eyeliner as needed.
But that’s me. I’m not the luxuriating in my cabin sort of person. If you are someone who needs to see the sun when you wake up or navigating tight quarters puts you in a bad mood, then don’t save so much money you are miserable every moment you are in your cabin. If you are really looking forward to some private time on the ship, then you should also look elsewhere. In an inside cabin you will barely have room to walk around your bed.
Taking It Outside
If you can’t stand the thought of a windowless week, but still want some economy, look for an exterior cabin. At the very least you will get a porthole. Some some lines have huge picture windows in the exterior cabins. We’ve had these accommodations, too.
A porthole graced our first outside room. To be honest with you, that small spot of sunshine was not the best part of the upgrade. Suddenly we had more space. That’s what made the extra dollars worth it. With a little more space the ship can start throwing in exciting extras like counters, storage and perhaps someplace to sit besides the bed.
Our next outside room was actually on a river cruise and instead of a porthole, one wall of the cabin was a huge picture window. That’s been one of my favorite cruise experiences. It was a treat to open the curtains and watch the banks of the Nile pass by. The space was light-filled, airy and even roomy. That cruise is what turned us on to river cruising and we have become solid fans.
But back to ocean-going ships. These outside rooms can come in a wide variety and what’s there makes all the difference. Usually there are pictures or drawing of the room online, but that’s still only going to give you a hint of what to expect. For instance, on a Carnival cruise, we were in the last room on a hallway and our huge window faced where we had been, rather than where we were going. None of my research told me how much we’d enjoy that window. We loved looking out at the wake of the ship and if my memory serves me right, we could actually open the window a bit for fresh sea air – something that big picture window did not allow.
Interior and exterior cabins are the easiest ways to watch your cruise dollars, but if economy is not your first concern, then have you ever got a world of opportunity to relax in. Come back next week and we’ll take it to the balcony.