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The Best Staterooms to AVOID!

by | Feb 25, 2024

When a cruise ship is being designed and built, it is difficult to foresee all the potential design flaws.  Structural limitations, costs and safety requirements are just a few of the things that can affect guest comfort.  We once dined in a restaurant that was located under the sports deck.  We spent our entire meal listening to the thunder of basketball players running back and forth on the court.  On another cruise, we paid extra for a specialty dining experience in an elegant steakhouse only to find that our view included sweaty joggers as the jogging track circled the restaurant.  There are some staterooms that can cause frustration and potential loss of sleep if you aren’t aware of the potential pitfalls.  Here are several rooms we highly recommend staying away from.

Cruise ship pool deck

Locations under entertainment or pool decks

I just returned from a cruise on a beautiful ship and it was wonderful!  I had a nice large mini suite with a spacious balcony and ocean view.  However, being located just below the lido deck didn’t bode well.  Every morning at 6am, I woke to the sound of deck chairs being put into place.  For 30 minutes, crew members rolled out deck chairs and set them around the pool deck.  The squeaking and scraping noises were an unwelcome alarm clock.   

The entertainment on a cruise ship can be a highlight, but as the production becomes more elaborate it can impact the guests staying nearby.  On a recent cruise, we stayed in a forward stateroom right above the theater.  During practice and performances, the sound system reverberated throughout our stateroom.  At least there were no early morning performances!

Balcony staterooms overlooking Central Park

Staterooms with inside views

Some cruise ships are introducing interior view staterooms that look over common spaces within the ship.  We tried a view that overlooked a boardwalk and water show area.  While it was cool to be able to see the show from our balcony, sleep was definitely in short supply when the late show began, then again when they showed a late movie on the big screen.  The audio system blasted sound right into our room.  One night there was a silent disco – which wasn’t very silent as everyone was singing to their own music.  

In addition to the noises, interior view rooms lack the privacy of an ocean view room.  In most cases, you are facing another interior view room.  As the sun sets, the details of your room become visible to your neighbors forcing you to close the curtains for any privacy.  On a recent cruise, a couple commented about my roommates’ hat they had seen him wear while we were unpacking on embarkation day.

exterior view of cruise ship with life boat

Obstructed View Rooms

Choosing a partially obstructed view to save some money might sound like a good idea, but  it is difficult to find just the right partial view to enjoy.  More often than not, you will find very little to enjoy watching while hanging out on your obstructed view balcony.  Most obstructions are lifeboats, which can fully block your view.  Any lifeboat maintenance may impact your cruise with crew members needing access to your balcony or with the sounds of the cranes lowering the lifeboat which is just outside your stateroom.

cruise ship laundromat door in hallway

Staterooms near busy locations

Some areas of the ship can attract crowds, leading to considerable noise right outside your stateroom.  When you find yourself staying across from the elevator bank, groups of cruisers tend to step off the elevators talking and laughing right near the door to your stateroom.  Another busy location is the laundromat, both for the passengers or dedicated to crew use.  These locations attract traffic at all times of the day and impacting your stay on the cruise.

deck plan showing stateroom across hall from public restrooms

Guaranteed Rooms

A guaranteed room indicates that you will allow the cruise line to assign your room for you, rather than you picking a specific stateroom when booking your trip.  When these rooms were categorized as ‘guaranteed’, it was likely that you were assigned a room from the ‘leftovers’ and guaranteeing a room category.  These rooms were not hand picked by other guests and could potentially have obstructions or less than desirable locations.  As cruising has become more popular, guests who choose the guaranteed room are finding these staterooms are not much of a guarantee to be on the cruise.  Cruise lines have found themselves overbooked and guaranteed room guests are finding their cruise canceled or postponed.

Bon Voyage!

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