Friday, April 4, 2008

The "best" cabin on the ship!

"What cabin category should I choose?". The easy answer is the one that's in your budget and gets you on the ship. But let's elaborate a bit :)

Some say they choose an inside because they'll "never be in the cabin" and that's great if it works for them.

When cruising with younger children it gets a little more complicated. You have to think of things like "What do I do when the child goes to bed early?" No parent wants to spend their vacation tiptoeing around a cabin at 8pm every night. A balcony cabin is a great option. Nothing is better than putting the kids to bed and heading outside on your own balcony for some quiet time under the stars, overlooking the ocean. It's your very own little slice of heaven.

Now the next question is always, "But what if the kids fall overboard????" The balconies on cruise ships are really quite safe as long as you use some common sense guidelines. Many of the newer ships have plexi glass walls that are quite high as compared to a child's height. You can see how high the walls are in this photo. My oldest was 48" tall at the time.

But it's always best to have some rules in place...

1. No child is allowed on the balcony without an adult.

2. All chairs are moved from the edge. No standing on chairs.

3. Child must be sitting at all times while on balcony.

4. No horseplay on the balcony.

5. If any of the above rules are broken, the child will be instantly moved to the inside of the cabin and loses balcony privileges. ;)

With older children, those who may not be spending as much time in the cabin, your priorities start to change and now you want TWO bathrooms. Once again, your budget comes into play. Some families with older children like to get connecting/adjoining ocean view cabins (no balconies). The ocean view will allow some light in while the adjoining/connecting cabins will give you the prized extra bathroom. Often the prices of 2 ocean view cabins will be less than a suite.

Other families like to get a balcony for the parents with an inside cabin across the hall for the kids. It all depends on your comfort level and the age of the children. I would personally say that teens would do best in this situation and no younger.

Just be aware of a few things when booking 2 cabins for the family. First of all, make sure you choose your cabins and ask NOT to be upgraded. It's always great to get an upgrade, except when that upgrade moves you up a deck away from your kids! Stay away from a category "guarantee" where you can't pick your cabin number. On many cruise lines, at least one adult must be booked into each cabin.

As far as location of the cabin, look at the ship's deck plans and see what's around (above and below) your cabin. Would you want to be above the dance club?

Look for a cabin in a central location. Some like to have one deck of cabins above and below them to prevent any noise issues. Some worry about the motion of the ship, so staying low and center will have less movement than a higher deck. But just remember, the lower you go means more stairs to climb (elevators on ships are notoriously slow). You may love the idea of being on Deck 2 and working off your lunch on the way to dinner. But others may not be as happy to climb 8 flights of stairs.

There is no perfect cabin that makes everyone happy. Just look for the perfect cabin that makes your family happy.


Dorothy H. said...

I just wanted to let you know that I love your blog! (I linked here from your siggy on cruisecritic)

I totally agree - a cruise vacation is the BEST family vacation!

Dan Fisher said...

This is a great summary of cabin choices. I just wanted to mention that we just finished a cruise with a balcony room, but when the beds were made up it was impossible to get to the balcony without climbing over a sleeping child, so make sure you find out about layout!

Krystal said...

At the bottom of your page, you mentioned that you would answer any specific questions, and I have a you have an email where I could ask them privately?

Michele said...

Krystal - yes I can be reached at

tribrixz said...

Hi Michele!
I really think you should be crowned Cruise Diva!
You have such valuable information.
I would like to take my family of 6
(hubbie & 4 kids) on our 2nd cruise on Freedom of the Seas in April 2009. Can you tell me the best way to begin doing this?
We did Sovereign in April and they had a blast (even though we missed CoCo Cay because of bad weather). My kids had a great time!
Any information you can supply me with will be more than greatful!