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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tips for Selecting 'Your' Cruise Stateroom

“WE’RE NEVER IN OUR STATEROOM ANYWAY? WE ONLY USE IT FOR CHANGING OUR CLOTHES AND SLEEPING!"  We have heard this perspective many times, especially from those that have never experienced anything different.

Why would anyone want to spend their time on vacation in a small inside room with no natural light or view to the outside world? A good night’s sleep maybe? If it truly doesn't matter to you, you’ve probably never experienced the difference of cruising in a balcony stateroom.  Most cruise vacationers that have will never cruise in lower stateroom accommodations again. However, there are different staterooms for all kinds.

COMFORTABLE, CONVENIENT & PRACTICAL
Cruise staterooms are not created equal, but they are all designed for comfort, convenience, and practicality. Stateroom accommodations on modern cruise vessels “are not” similar to land based resort accommodations in terms of size, but cruise lines have recognized that small touches (and more spacious quarters) go a long way toward overall passenger satisfaction. 

Aside from the little luxuries that vary from cruise line to cruise line, you'll find that your stateroom is furnished in a pleasing decor. At the very least, staterooms include beds (often twin beds that can be combined to form a queen or king-size bed), a dressing table/writing desk, a chair, drawer or shelf storage, closet, and a bathroom with a shower. You'll also find a television set and telephone, and some staterooms even have sitting areas with a sofa or loveseat and coffee table.

“You get what you pay for” is so true, and experiencing the right stateroom accommodations will make all of the difference to your overall cruise vacation experience.

STATEROOM CATEGORY DIFFERENCES
What are the basic differences in stateroom accommodations, and what can you expect?

·   Inside: Located within the interior hallways including no window, no view or natural light and are very dark when the lights are off.  Nighty Night…
·   Oceanview: Similar in size to an inside room, but offers either a picture window or porthole with a view adding an illusion of being more spacious.  I can see…
·   Balcony or Verandah: Essentially, an outside stateroom with floor to ceiling sliding glass doors that open onto a private slice of deck often furnished with two chairs and a table for lounging.  Ahh…yes…
·   Suites: Nuff said . . .

THE PERFECT STATEROOM... THE BEST DEAL...
Although they exist independently, they don't go hand-in-hand 99.9% of the time. The lowest cruise fares are generally referred to as "guaranteed rate" categories. You pay a lower cruise fare and are in turn assigned a stateroom at least as good as the category you book or higher.  However, you do not get to select your location.

Cruise lines publish "guaranteed rate" fares to assist them in filling the ship’s available accommodations at their own discretion. However, in many cases, passengers may find themselves in less desirable locations (front of the ship, next to the laundry or washroom, obstructed views).

LOCATION IS EVERYTHING
Why is location so important? If you are prone to motion discomfort, stay clear of accommodations listed in a “forward” location. Your preferred stateroom should be in the middle of the ship on a lower deck. If you are a light sleeper or like to sleep late into the morning, avoid high traffic areas (near elevators and stairs), areas of the ship where noise could be a problem (over or beneath a show lounge or disco), and the bow of the ship (where the sound of early morning anchoring activity could disturb your slumber).

PROFESSIONAL RECOMMENDATION
Always select stateroom accommodations in a location that you will be most satisfied with for smooth sailing, and to enjoy your cruise vacation.

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