Finding The Best Cruise Cabins. 5 Steps To Cabin Heaven Not Cabin Hell!

Finding The Best Cruise Cabins. 5 Steps To Cabin Heaven Not Cabin Hell!
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    What are the steps you need to take to make sure you get an amazing cabin on your next cruise? I'm Gary Bembridge and this is another of my tips for travellers. A lot of people tell me they're not that bothered about the cabin they get when they go on a cruise, because they just use it to sleep in or to get ready to go out. However, that all changes when people have a terrible cabin experience. So, I want to talk about the five steps you need to take to ensure that you get cabin heaven - not cabin hell. The first step is to book a fare which allows you to choose a specific cabin, rather than a guaranteed cabin fare. What's the difference between the two? If you've booked a guaranteed cabin that means you're simply buying a grade. You might book an inside cabin, ocean view, balcony or a suite. The cruise line then decides which specific cabin to allocate you, and they normally allocate that close to the cruise going once they know which cabins are available. You have no say over the specific cabin in that grade that you're going to get. If you book a fare that allows you to choose a cabin it will often be a slight premium to a guaranteed cabin, but the premium is not always that great. However, you then can choose a very specific cabin. If you want to make sure that you get a great cabin, choosing a fare where you choose the cabin is always going to give you a greater chance of getting a great cabin. Remember with a guaranteed cabin fare the cruise line will allocate you a cabin and you have no say over how good or bad, or where, that cabin is going to be. The second step, once you have control over choosing cabin, is to look at the deck plans of a ship (either online, in the brochure or by talking to your cruise agent) and focus on cabins that are midships. This is in the middle of the ship, and a couple of advantages to that: first of all, midships means that you're always going to be close to the various activities and the facilities. You are not at the front of the ship or the back of the ship so you don't have those long distances to go. You'll normally find that it's a great location to get to the various facilities wherever they are on the ship. Secondly, and probably more importantly, this is where you're going to have the least amount of motion. If you're worried about seasickness or motion sickness, being in the middle of the ship is the best part to be because when a ship moves it moves on the axis, with the midship being the midpoint. AS the ship moves up and down the middle stays pretty constant, and the front and the back of the ship move the most. So, you're going to have the least amount of motion there. If you are particularly concerned about seasickness, the lower down you go in the ship also the least amount of motion. Ironically, the highest grades of cabins, which are the Suites, tend to be very high up on the ship and that's also where you have more motion. Focus on midship and, if you're concerned about motion sickness, also think about the lower level as you start to look at cabins. The third step, and the third tip is probably the most important of all of these tips and it's a very simple tip. When you look at a cabin, look at the deck plans and look for cabins which are surrounded on all sides by other cabins. You want cabins above, you you want cabins below, you want cabins to either side of you and ideally also cabins opposite you. If you don't have cabins opposite you, make sure you know what is going to be opposite you. The reason for that is you're then buffered from noisy venues. This is probably one of the most critical things to do: being surrounded by cabins. The worst cabins I've ever had are when the cabin is above, below or next to a venue or a place that generates noise, vibration or other kinds of disturbance. Look at the deck plans and make sure if any of these kind of venues are opposite you, above you, below you or near you. Look out for things like the nightclub and bars which have live music. If you're directly under the pool deck, you'll find that you can get disturbed by deck parties but even more importantly by people scraping and moving around the deck chairs. I've been in amazing cabins below the pool deck and every morning have been woken up really early as the crew starts moving around the loungers to set up the pool deck - and again at the end of the day if they might be preparing it for a deck party. Other places to avoid are above, below or next to the theatre, because you'll find the production shows have loud music and that can go on at all hours of the day. When you look at the deck plans and there's nothing showing there, figure out if the kitchens are there. I have lots of stories of people who've been disturbed at all hours of the day and the night with the kitchens, as a lot of those kitchen operations can be 24 hours a day as they prepare food . It can be very noisy. Another thing to look for is those ships which have a big central promenade and cabins overlooking those. They can be quite noisy because they will have parties in the central atrium or parades and it can get quite noisy. A lot of people I know that have stayed in those cabins often use things like white noise devices to try and just muffle out some of the bass sound and the sound of some of the parties going on. Another area that I've been advised to avoid, by crew on a ship, is in the front of the ship close to the bow of the ship if it's quite a small cruise ship as you are near the anchor. I was on an expedition cruise on quite a small ship and they put some of the expedition team right at the front of ship because that was very noisy when the ship would be mooring letting down the anchor at early hours of the morning - and that noise was very disruptive for people trying to sleep in the early hours of the morning. Basically look out for anything on a cruise ship where there's likely to be lots of concentrations of people and noise. So very simply, when you book a cabin make sure you're surrounded on every single side by other cabins, and if there's not a cabin opposite you double check what is opposite you to make sure it's not one of those big noise areas. My fourth tip is one that I am a little bit obsessed about, and that's when you book a cabin and you've done all the things so far, don't ruin it by booking a cabin with an interconnecting door. Of course, if you're traveling with people and you do want an interconnecting door that's a very different story. However, an interconnecting door could be a source of a lot of disruption for you because they're not that soundproof and if you have neighbors next door that like to party or play the television really loud when you're trying to sleep, you'll find that can be very disruptive. If you are travelling by yourself and not with family or friends where you want to be interconnected, make sure when you look at those deck plans or with your agent, check that there's no inter connecting door, because you could have done all of these other tips and have a great cabin, great location, surrounded on all sides and disrupted by an interconnecting door. I have been on a couple of cruises where the people next door have been really disruptive and its put a dampener on the cruise because I've been woken up late at night within partying. It's a simple thing to do, but double check you don't have an interconnecting door unless you absolutely need one because your kids are next door or there's friends or family and you want to be able to do that. My next tip might sound a little bit crazy, but it's also a really important one. Once you've gone to all of the bother of going through these steps one of the things I really recommended you is refuse an auto upgrade. When you book you're often asked either to tick a box if you're booking online or your agent will ask you: "do you want to accept an auto upgrade?". The reason for saying no is you have no say over that upgrade. If you've said yes to an auto upgrade and the cruise line moves you from your inside cabin to an ocean view or an ocean view to balcony or whatever, they again decide which cabin you are moved to and it's extremely unusual (in fact I don't know any cruise line that does it although you may have had that experience) but normally the cruise line will just allocate your new cabin, and you cannot go back and you cannot refuse that upgrade. So, you might find yourself put into a theoretically "better cabin" but it's next to a noisy venue, it has an inter connecting door, it's a bad location, it's the front of ship or the back of the ship or whatever. One thing I always so is refuse an auto upgrade and focus on finding a cabin that I'm really happy with, and I don't accept an auto upgrade because I have no say over what cabin I'm going to get. You could go from what is your cabin heaven into your cabin hell, even though it's theoretically a better cabin. I have a whole separate video about the whole minefield of upgrades, and if you want to know more about upgrades and when it could help or not help take a look at that video and discover a lot more around how to navigate the whole area of upgrades. My main tip is don't take the auto upgrade. People keep telling me that the cabin is not that important. It's just a place to sleep and get ready to go out on excursions or whatever. That all changes when they have a terrible cabin experience and I have hundreds of people telling me that they've had terrible experiences on a cruise, and it's ruined the cruise, because they didn't spend time choosing the right cabin. You are going to spend more time in cabin than anywhere else on the cruise. Even if you're only sleeping four or five hours a night, because you're parting, if that four or five hours is a terrible night's sleep you're not gonna have the energy to then keep on partying and going out! Focus on these five steps to ensure that you get a great cabin and have a great cruise. I have loads more cruising tips, loads more cruising advice in other videos. Please watch more of those now.
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