7 Cabins to AVOID (and 3 we LOVE!) – Cruise Cabin Location Tips You NEED NOW!
It’s been a few years since we have talked to you about good and bad cruise cabin locations and things have changed a little bit. So we’ve decided to come back today and share seven cruise cabin locations we think you might want to avoid, as well as three we absolutely love – and keep booking over and over again.
So, what cruise cabins (aka staterooms) should you AVOID?
Cruise Cabins Near Sports courts
Our number one location you might want to avoid on your cruise is cabins located below a sports court or a busy pool deck. Imagine trying to sleep in on your cruise only to wake up to the sound of someone playing basketball above your head. Not relaxing at all, right? You definitely want to avoid being under a sports court.
We’ll talk more about pools later, but for now let’s touch on being under a busy pool deck area. Generally speaking pool areas can be very, very noisy. One thing that often happens when you book a cabin underneath a pool deck is that the crew can create unwanted noise when they are cleaning up the pool area in the morning. To be clear, the crew are typically quiet and respectful, but one of their jobs is to put away and stack up all the pool chairs and pool loungers.
Moving and stacking pool loungers on a wood deck is a job that is difficult to do quietly. Guests who are up at the pool deck during the day might drag those chairs around as well, and that also can create noise for you in your cruise cabin. If your goal is a nice quiet cruise cabin, you’re going to want to steer entirely clear of staterooms below pool decks.
Cruise Cabins Near Pools
Our number two type of cabin that you might want to avoid is a cabin near a busy pool. We just talked about being beneath a pool. That’s one thing, but you could also be adjacent to a pool and have some noise issues. For example, we were on a cruise not too long ago on a pretty high deck, and we were the last cabin next to a pool and a water slide. As soon as those water slides opened, we would have noise from the water slides if we were out on our balcony.
When the DJ would come on during the day, we could hear the beats thumpin’! That may not bother you a whole lot. In fact, it actually didn’t bother us and we booked the cabin knowing what we were getting into – because we liked being near the pool and slides, but it’s something that you might want to consider when you’re booking a stateroom. If you really want peace and quiet, you wanna get away from those pools entirely. Look for staterooms that on a deck map, don’t look like they are adjacent to a pool.
Cruise Cabins Near Crew Areas
Cruise experts often share that you might want to avoid booking a cabin or stateroom near a crew area. This can be a little bit difficult when you’re booking, because on a deck plan, you may not be able to see where those crew areas are. So I’m going to try to give you a few examples to get you thinking about how booking your cruise cabin near a crew area could be a problem. One example of common crew areas would be cabins that are actually near the navigational bridge.
The officers may be coming and going throughout the day and the doors opening and closing can be somewhat bothersome. Generally speaking, they’re actually pretty quiet and considerate with opening and closing their doors. And you may not experience a lot of noise, but it would stand to reason that if you book a cabin near an area where people are going to be coming and going, that could be a little bit noisy. The bridge is just one example. Work with your travel agent to try to avoid these areas.
Cruise Cabins Near Laundry Rooms
You also might want to avoid booking near a laundromat. Self-serve laundromats, if they exist on the cruise ship you’re booking on, WILL be labeled on a deck plan. People tend to come and go from those laundromats throughout the day. Whether it’s washing, drying or even ironing, laundry rooms can get busy and consequently noisy. This is especially the case on formal nights. People might go put their laundry in the wash, leave, come back later to pop their clothes in the dryer, leave, and then come back yet again to pick them up when they are dry.
That’s a lot of opening and closing doors. What also tends to happen in those laundromats is people make new friends and have conversations. If you’re right next to the laundromat, all that socializing may present some unwelcome noise in your cruise cabin. Again, it might not bother you. All of this cabin selection stuff is very personal. We’re just trying to give you the tools to make informed decisions about selection your cabin.
Cruise Cabins Near Supply Closets
Another location that can be a little bit tricky is being near a supply closet where your stateroom steward might be restocking. Again, they’re generally very considerate, but if you’re in an area where they are pulling their cart in and out with all of the stuff that they cleaned in your room, your sheets, your linens, the glasses, that could be a little bit noisy.
It’s a little bit difficult to see these areas on a ship deck plan. However, if you see an open area on the deck plan that doesn’t look like it’s a stateroom, but rather it looks like a vacant room with no label, that could be a crew closet of some sort. It’s probably best to avoid cabins in those areas, but work with a travel agent or the cruise line directly to see if they can give you more information.
Cruise Cabins Near Elevators
Another category of cabin that you might want to avoid, with some exceptions, are cabins near elevators. There’s a number of different reasons to avoid these staterooms. Cruise cabins near elevators can be noisy just by virtue of the elevators themselves going up and down, and opening and closing. We’ve had experiences too, where there was a hardware problem, or something that broke equipment-wise in an elevator shaft and our cabin was near it. We could hear banging from behind the elevator, and they had a really hard time fixing that banging noise.
Now this may not happen, in fact, it’s likely NOT to happen. Similar to the laundromat issue we mentioned earlier, the bigger concern is that elevators tend to be gathering places. Most cruisers use the elevator to go somewhere. During busy periods like dinner time, or show times, you can get big chatty crowds congregated near elevators. If your stateroom is close to the elevators, some conversations may be a little louder than what you wanna hear. For this one, you have to weigh out the convenience vs. noise factor. Is it more important to be super close to an elevator for convenience, or is it more important to have less noise?
It’s true! Some people love being near elevators. They love the convenience of it. Perhaps they’re booking into an ADA or accessible cabin, and not having to go down a long hallway to reach public areas makes sense. Or maybe just you like being close to the action. That’s okay. We’re just telling you that if you book near an elevator, it is possible that you might experience some unwanted noise. I’ve been on cruise ships before where it was practically silent near the elevators too. So you never really know.
Connecting Cruise Cabins
The next type of cabin that we think you should very carefully consider is a connecting cabin. You might want to avoid connecting cabins because these cabins have doors that go between the two cabins. These doors seems to be a little bit thinner, and less sound resistant than normal cabin walls. This allows more noise to pass through, and it can be disruptive. For parties sailing together, booking connecting cabins can be a great idea. But if there’s a stranger next to you who decides to blare game shows, cartoons, or music videos at all hours of the night, that could be very disruptive.
There is very little you can do to eliminate the noise coming through a connecting door. We are not sure why sound tends to carry through those doors like that, but it happens, and you need to be aware. On the bright side, connecting cabins are VERY clearly marked on deck plans. Look for a little symbol that indicates “connecting staterooms” or just ask your travel agent to watch out for this for you!
Cruise Cabins Near Nightclubs
Ooh – this is a BIG one! Another type of cabin you may want to consider avoiding is a cabin adjacent to a nightclub, a disco, or bar. These are tricky cabins, because sometimes the cabins themselves are very nice. They might be suites, they might be mini suites, and they might look great on a deck map. But then when you look right below the cabin, you may see that you have a bar or a nightclub JUST under you. That venue may play loud music late into the night.
If you’ve already booked the cabin, don’t fret – it may not be too late to change. Talk to your travel agent and make sure that there is no type of bar disco, nightclub, or live music venue, right under, in front of, or above your cabin. You might hear that bass thump late into the night or early morning hours. If you’re trying to sleep, that constant thumping music can be extremely disruptive. That’s just no fun. And again, there’s nothing you can do about it. Guest services will not ask the band to stop playing!
Extreme Cruise Cabins
The last type of cabin that you might want to avoid is something we call “extreme cabins”.
What’s an extreme cabin? An extreme cabin is a cabin that is either very high or low on the ship or super far forward or aft. If you’re prone to seasickness, cabins located very far forward or aft can be bad places to be. If you suffer from seasickness, the best place to be on a ship is low and in the center. If you’re up high and at the very front of the ship, you’re gonna feel more motion than normal.
The same thing goes for the back (aft) area on a ship on a high deck. You might feel more vibration aft, as there are engines located there. But really, the MOST motion can be found “high and forward”. It’s a different kind of motion in the front of the ship, and if you’re sensitive to that type of motion, you’ll need to avoid those extreme cabins.
We actually like extreme cabins because we like being at the end of a hallway, and we typically don’t experience issues with the motion. So as I’ve mentioned, selecting a cruise cabin is a very personal thing.
So what’s the bottom line?
Book what works for you, but just be aware that sometimes those extremes are, well, extreme. If you tend to get a little motion sick, you might want to book on a somewhat lower deck of the ship, and towards the center.
One last thing to watch out for
Be aware though that another sometimes undesirable place to be on a cruise ship is on a very low deck. Why? Sometimes those are the least expensive cabins for a reason, you might experience early morning anchor noise when you’re pulling into a port. You might be near a medical center. You might be really far away from everything else. For instance, it might take you longer than you like to get to the dining room, pools etc. Then again, some people love those low cabins. For example, there are Carnival Cruise ships that have something called a Cove balcony typically around Deck 2.
Cove balconies are completely shaded, lower deck, balcony cabins that have a cult following. People love being down nearer the ocean with a completely shaded balcony. You’re a little more protected from the elements, and that can be very desirable.
Cruise Cabins We Love
I’m super excited to talk to you about our favorite types of cabins. And again, these are just our personal favorites, and we will explain why.
The number one type of cabin we’ve learned to love are spa cabins. Spa cabins are not available on every single cruise ship out there, but if the cruise line you’re booking with has a spa category, we think you should consider it for a number of reasons. Number one – location! Sometimes being in that area by the spa can be extra tranquil. There’s usually not a lot of other passenger cabins there, and quiet tends to be the culture in and around the spa area.
For us, it’s kind of an ideal place for a cabin. Also, you typically get perks when you book into a spa cabin. For example, on Carnival, you get spa discounts, upgraded bathroom amenities, bath robes, slippers, and discounts on spa treatments. Additionally Carnival Spa cabins come with some free fitness classes. Super, super cool. Another thing that many people like about spa cabins is that the area tends to have a bit more of an adult vibe. That’s not to say that spa cabins are all adult-only, because to be quite honest, they’re not all limited to adult cruisers, but if you want to be in a more adult area, it’s a cabin location to consider!
AFT Facing Cabins
If you’ve been following us for a while, you know how much we love Aft-facing cabins. These fall into the extreme cabin category we mentioned earlier, but again, for us the extra motion is not a problem. I’m talking about Aft-facing cabins, the type where the balcony faces the wake and behind you, and you see the horizon kind of shrinking down away from you during sailaway. You see that dramatic wake, and it is one of the most tranquil and relaxing (and fabulous) places to be on a cruise ship.
The trouble is those cabins book up quickly. If you want to try an Aft facing balcony, we encourage you to book early. It’s best to book with a travel agent so they can get you in the right place on the back of the ship.
There is one thing to watch out for though. If you’re on a ship with lots of activity, I would caution you against booking one right underneath the pool deck because sometimes people can look over the railing and right down into your Aft balcony. Also, be prepared for a little more vibration back there, especially on older ships.
Our final “fave” cabin location recommendation is more of a universal tip. We love to book a cabin between two decks of passenger staterooms. What do we mean?
Let’s say deck six is all passenger staterooms. There’s no public areas, bars, or restaurants. Deck number seven is the same, all state rooms. Deck number eight, same thing, all staterooms. I would book deck number seven because you’re sandwiched between two full decks of passenger staterooms. You know there’s no public areas, sports courts, or similar potential noise sources above or beneath you, so it’s perfect!
Ultimately, when you’re booking your stateroom, the most important thing to think about, aside from all of these tips that we just gave you, is what matters to you personally. Where do you want to be on the ship? What do you wanna be close to? We learned on Harmony of the Seas that we wanted to be close to the Vitality Spa cafe so we could go get fresh juice in the morning. I wanted to be close to Central Park so I could go get my morning coffee. In that particular case, deck six was great for me, even though maybe that wasn’t where I’d normally book.
Where do you want to be? Do you want to be near the theater? Do you want to be really close to the pool? How about being close to the dining rooms?
Talk to your travel agent about it, give it some thought. Post on cruise message boards. Talk to veteran cruisers, and really give some thought to your cabin selection. There are literally thousands of choices. The truth is you can’t go wrong. You’re going on a cruise! You’re gonna have so much fun. Once you’re on the ship, you don’t need to worry too much about these selections. Thank you so very much for being hanging out with us on CruiseTipsTV.com. Happy cruise planning, friends, and until next time, we’ll see you on the high seas!
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