Cruise Travel Frequently Asked Questions

Cabin Questions


Is there any difference between cabins on the lower decks and cabins on the higher decks?

On today's newer ships, there are basically four types of cabins:

You find the Deluxe Cabins and Suites on the higher decks of a cruise ship, so, yes, there is a difference here.

How many people can I get into my cabin?

Most cruise ship cabins are built to accommodate two passengers. However, there are many on each ship that can accommodate three or four passengers. Many ships also offer interconnecting cabins, so families and groups can be together, but also have their own space.

Many of the newer cruise ships being built offer family cabins or family suites, which can sleep up to 6 or 8 passengers.

These cabins are very popular among families and go quickly during school holidays, so book them early if you need them.

Is an oceanview cabin worth the extra money?

Our clients tell us the biggest advantage of having an oceanview cabin is that it makes your cabin seem so much bigger. It's amazing what natural light will do for a room. It also gives you some perception of time. When you wake up at 7:00 am in an inside cabin, you can't tell if it's 2:00 am or 3:00 pm. For many, an oceanview cabin is worth it for this reason alone. Want to know what the weather's like? Open your curtain. With an inside cabin, you throw on some clothes, run outside and run back again.

On the other hand, our other valued clients say the opposite. "Who needs a window? I'm only going to be in there when I sleep anyway. I could use that extra money on shore excursions, my bar account, or my next cruise."

Who's right? They both are. It's really up to you. Oceanview cabins cost more, and our agents will be glad to discuss the features and benefits of both types of cabins.

The only itinerary where we highly suggest an oceanview cabin is Alaska. With daylight hours approaching 20 - 22 hours in the peak season, it's wonderful to be able to enjoy it from your cabin.

Where is the best location for my cabin if I'm concerned about the ship's motion?

While motion sickness shouldn't be a major concern on today's ships, you should still know the best way to avoid it if possible. If it's available, you should request a cabin that is relatively close to the middle of the ship. If you can imagine a see-saw, it's the ends that go up and down, not the middle. You should also look for a cabin that's closer to the bottom of the ship, not the top. The higher you are, the greater the potential to feel a left to right rolling motion. Example, the top of a tall palm tree will always sway more in the wind than the bottom of the tree.

Again, today's ships are fully stabilized making your cruise comfortable in virtually any location. If motion discomfort were such an issue, the suites on a ship wouldn't be at the top and near the front.

To make sure you get the best cabin for you, book early. If you wait, you'll have less to choose from.

Do the cruise lines ever give free upgrades?

Everyone either knows someone, met someone on a ship, or they themselves have been upgraded to a higher category than they paid for. Yes, it does happen and but not as frequently as people think. How do upgrades work? There is no set formula, but here is our theory.

Most upgrades go to passengers who book early and buy the lowest category on the ship in the form of a "Category Guarantee." A "Category Guarantee" means that when you book your cruise, you are not assigned a cabin number, you are simply guaranteed that category or better. Since most people who cruise simply want to get the best price, "Guarantees" are a great way to fill the ship with people looking for a good rate.

The cruise lines always sell more guarantees in a category than there are cabins in that category.

Most upgrades are often from low inside cabins to higher inside cabins, or low outside cabins to higher outside cabins. Rarely do passengers get upgraded from inside to outside but it does happen. But don't book an inside cabin expecting a free upgrade to an outside. It probably won't happen.

If you are assigned a cabin when you deposit on your cruise, your chances of an upgrade are very small. If you are travelling in a quad, your chances are very rare in that there are relatively few quad cabins on a sailing. Cabin assignments on guarantees are usually made between a few weeks and the day of sailing. If you don't like the cabin they give you, tough luck, you're stuck. So if you're afraid of being at the front, back, top, bottom, under the dining room, then don't take the chance. Choose your preferred cabin at time of booking.

I don't plan to spend much time in my cabin. What's the most affordable way for me to get on the ship?

If you can take advantage of a “guarantee” offer, this will give you the most affordable option.

The rate can be a little lower than the rate for the lowest category on the ship. You will not receive a cabin number when booking. Your cabin number will be assigned as late as the day of sailing and your cabin assignment could be in any category on the ship. You could receive the lowest category on the ship or the highest. You never know. However, expect an inside cabin. The drawback is that you don't know where you'll end up. It could be the front, back or middle, so if that's a concern, we recommend avoiding this pricing option.

Since most cabins on today's ships only differ by the fact they're on a different deck, many cruisers don't mind taking a chance of where they end up. Most of our clients who take advantage of this deal are quite satisfied with their accommodations. If you seriously plan to spend little time in your cabin, then consider this option when available.