Why Checking Cruise Ship Deck Plans Prior to Choosing a Cabin is Essential: Top 5 Reasons

After embarking on over 50 cruises, I’ve unfortunately experienced some cabins that were less than comfortable. Often, these cabins were plagued with incredibly loud noise levels and oddly situated balconies.

Most of these issues would have been entirely avoidable if I had taken the time to check the ship’s deck plans prior to selecting my cabin.

Once I realized the benefit of examining deck plans, I made it a personal habit to always check them before finalizing my stateroom selection. This has given me invaluable insight into my temporary living conditions while on a cruise.

The act of choosing a cruise cabin location is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the booking process, significantly more enjoyable than figuring out how many taxes and fees you have to pay.

Some people will simply choose a forward, aft, or mid-ship cabin category without considering other factors.

However, before I finalize that cabin selection, I usually review the ship’s deck plans. There are several specifics I look for, which I will discuss in this post.

Ignoring few crucial details in the deck plans has led to quite frustrating situations in previous cruices.

It’s worth noting that if you opt for a guaranteed fare where the cruise line selects your stateroom for you in exchange for some savings, this information won’t be pertinent.

Some cruise cabins have a door between them. This is ideal for those travelling with their family as it allows access to another stateroom without having to navigate the hallway.

However, it’s worth noting that the space around these connecting doors can sometimes allow sound to permeate through. Cruise lines generally work hard to minimize this, but it’s been observed in multiple sailings just how much of a difference it can make.

During a specific cruise voyage, I ended up booking a stateroom that had an interconnecting door. This setup made it possible for me to overhear the slightest chats happening in the adjacent cabin during unholy hours.

The ship’s schematic layout, or deck plans, greatly simplifies the process of identifying rooms that have adjoining doors. There is typically a dot or an icon signaling their presence to facilitate coordination amongst group travelers.

Personally, I utilize them to uncover which rooms to evade.

Learn More: Understanding Cruise Travel when with a Third or Fourth Companion

Should you ever have had the experience of staying in a cabin which is located directly below a live music venue that operates until 1am, you would comprehend the significance of this issue.

This situation would maybe not bother those of you who sleep at 2am or even later. However, it could potentially become annoying if you’re trying to sleep in during the morning hours.

Furthermore, if your stateroom happens to be just beneath the pool deck, you might find yourself disturbed by the noise of deck chairs being moved and arranged. I’ve encountered this issue on multiple occasions.

When assessing deck plans, I typically scrutinize a deck above and another one beneath to identify if there are potential venues that may be overly noisy.

In most situations, I aim to reserve a cabin on a deck sandwiched between two passenger decks. This approach generally helps in reducing noise. Having said that, ultimately you simply wish for quiet neighbors.

I feel it’s important to highlight that certain contemporary cruise ships possess superior sound proofing compared to others. Noise has been a recurrent complaint from cruisers for a long time, but on a brighter note, the technology for sound dampening has greatly improved.

Choosing a cabin location on a cruise can often be a balance between convenience and tranquility. On certain cruises, being situated near the elevators can be beneficial. Yet, on other cruises that prioritize rest and relaxation, it might be desirable to stay away from the busy areas on board.

People with disabilities or those utilizing motorized scooters might find it beneficial to have easy, quick access to the elevators.

The number of main elevator areas on cruise ships can vary. Some have three, while others have just two – positioned at the front and back of the vessel. The mid-ship elevator tends to have the highest footfall, so one might choose to avoid this area if the prospect of constant activity outside the door is off-putting.

On cruises with a more relaxed atmosphere – the opposite of the bustling spring break scenario – having an elevator and staircase near your cabin door can definitely simplify moving around the ship.

For cruisers who want to be constantly active around the ship, choosing a cabin near the elevators on the deck plan could be beneficial.

Find out more: 16 rules you should follow when using the cruise elevator to avoid chaos

Clearly, on a cruise line’s website, cabins with obstructed views are labelled and classified as such. Thus, it’s not unexpected if you get one. However, it’s important to note that not all obstructed views are the same.

I’ve encountered instances where my ocean view was entirely blocked by lifeboats, while at other times the obstruction was barely noticeable. Sometimes, inspecting the cruise ship’s deck plans can provide insights into the kind of obstruction you might face in your cabin. This helps determine if the reduced price of an obstructed view cabin is worthwhile.

Viewing pictures of the ship’s exterior can also be beneficial, as they can illustrate potential obstructions in certain areas of the ship.

Read more: Oops, I booked a cabin right above a public pool

Each person has their unique cruising style. Maybe you want daily visits to the spa? Or perhaps being near the buffet or aft pool is your preference? Do you have a specific lounge or venue you plan on visiting often throughout your cruise?

The corridors on a cruise ship are long — exceedingly so. The location of your cabin in relation to areas you’ll frequently visit can make a significant difference.

I’ve reserved cabins in the past where I had to traverse the entire ship to reach the thermal suite on board — something far from ideal. After all, upon finishing, I had to cross the entire ship again to return to my cabin.

And with modern cruise ships being over 1,000 feet long, that’s a lot of steps.

The counterpoint is that it can help you keep the weight off during a cruise if you have to walk half a mile any time you leave the cabin.

Read more: 19 things you should do on embarkation day of your cruise

It might seem like a nerdy thing to do. But cruise ship deck plans are a must-view before I ever pick out a cabin. You don’t have to get too in depth. Just know what you’re getting into.

Read more: 8 steps to picking the perfect cruise cabin for you

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