Cruise Experts Share Insider Secrets on Booking the Best Cabins


There are few things more irritating than booking an exciting cruise in a luxurious class of cabin, only to find that you’ve picked the wrong location and have to spend your entire trip wearing earplugs. Or worse, locked in the cabin bathroom with terrible seasickness. From the difference between a suite and a stateroom to which areas of the ship are quietest, there can be a lot to navigate when it comes to booking the best cabin for your cruise. That’s why we’ve asked members of our booking team to share their cabin booking advice, so you can get some insider tips on which are the best cabins and how to book them.

Which Cabins Are Most Likely to Be Upgraded?

Cabin upgrades tend to be completely random and aren’t influenced by how much you’re spending or how many times you’ve sailed with a company. A first timer is equally as likely to be upgraded as someone who has a top level of loyalty to a cruise line.

suite - Princess Cruises

Some cruise lines like P&O Cruises offer you the option to turn down an upgrade if it becomes available. Why would you turn down an upgrade? Well, if your cabin is in the perfect place for you maybe an upgrade would put you in a place that doesn’t suit you. Even though the new cabin is a higher grade, it may be right at the back of the ship, when you prefer a midship cabin to ensure you aren’t seasick. For this reason, cruise lines sometimes give the option for you to turn down an upgrade or even to only accept one if it is to the next category, such as upgrading an Outside cabin to a Balcony.

If you are hoping for a cabin upgrade, this shouldn’t affect which cabin you pick as it makes no difference to your likelihood of being upgraded.

How to Secure Accommodation in the Quietest Areas

Every ship has areas to avoid if you are looking for a quiet and peaceful cabin, which will often change depending on the location of various amenities. Look at the deck plans to determine what noise issues might be near the stateroom you are considering. For example, if it is located below the pool you might find that you struggle to sleep through the daily power washing and deck chair stacking required to maintain the area. It is usually best to avoid being located above a show lounge or nightclub, unless you are planning to be out all evening.

Disco - Princess Cruises

Most people prefer midship and high cabins as the cabin has less movement, but this is actually a bit of a redundant issue with most modern ships. The size and stability of ships now mean there is little movement anywhere on the ship except in very rough weather. Instead consider a cabin right at the front or the back, where fewer people would be walking past your cabin at night. Securing a quiet cabin is usually just a case of checking the deck plans and establishing which areas are most likely to be secluded.

Check out this website, if you’d like to discover your ship’s deck plan.

‘Preferred Areas’ and Being Close to Amenities

In terms of being close to amenities, most ships position the entertainment venues at the front and the restaurants often at the back. This means that wherever your cabin is on the ship, you will likely end up walking the same distance back to it on an evening. Rather than proximity to amenities, it is better to consider how mobile your party is and how easily you can get around.

If someone you’re travelling with struggles to walk long distances, consider booking a cabin that is close to an elevator. Be aware, however, that these areas usually experience increased people traffic and noise. Weigh up the importance of walking distances and noise concerns, you will probably find that there is a cabin that has the perfect balance between the two.

When Looking at ship plans, how do you identify good areas – as well as those to avoid?

Most ships have quite thorough deck plans that allow you to identify what is on each deck of the ship and where cabins are located. One important tip is to look at the deck plans for both above and below your cabin, as well as the floor it is on. Your cabin may look quiet and secluded, but when you look at the floor above, you may find that it is underneath a noisy area with huge amounts of people traffic or music.

Another thing to look out for is gaps between the cabins that do not have a description. They are often a small galley or storage areas for cleaners, meaning you may be woken at 5am every day by rattling mops. If you are a heavy sleeper this shouldn’t be a problem, but if you aren’t, have a look at those gaps and question what they might be.

‘Guaranteed’ cabins – are they worth the risk?

A guaranteed room is the least expensive way to book a cabin, as it guarantees you a certain class of cabin, but you don’t have any control over its location. This can mean that you end up in an area that is noisier than you would like or in a part of the ship that tends to make you seasick. If these aren’t major concerns, however, a guaranteed room can be a great option for getting a better price on a good cabin. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard what your cabin number is, even if it’s only a day until you sail. The longer it takes, the fewer cabins will be left, making you more likely to get a chance at an upgrade.

Now that you’re equipped with the insider knowledge on booking the perfect cabin, why not see if one of Cruise1st UK’s amazing deals on a cruise holiday takes your fancy? Browse the full collection online or call our sales team on 0808 2746 777.

Images sourced from Princess Cruises Image Library

Cruise Experts Share Insider Secrets on Booking the Best Cabins
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Cruise Experts Share Insider Secrets on Booking the Best Cabins
The expert bookings team at Cruise1st share their insider tips on how to secure the very best suites and staterooms when booking your next cruise.

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Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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