When choosing a cruise ship cabin, you could face a whopping 20 categories. But despite the brochure hype, you only need to know four basic terms: inside (no view); outside (view through a closed window or porthole); balcony/veranda (with a door opening to your own outdoor space); and suite (larger cabin, possibly with more than one room). Here are some additional tips to help you sail through your selection.
Consider your travel companions
If you don't mind rubbing shoulders with family or friends — or don't plan to spend much time in your cabin — go small. These cabins generally accommodate up to four people, though someone may get the bunk or sofa bed. The first two in the cabin pay full fare, but fares for the third and fourth passengers are discounted. If your group includes kids or more than four people, consider connecting cabins (which might be cheaper than a suite). Bathtubs are a rarity, so make sure your cabin has one if you need it.
Mind the noise factor
If you're sensitive to noise, avoid cabins under the disco floor, the basketball court, and the fitness center and running track. If you’re below the Lido Deck, you might hear people moving their lounge chairs around and the poolside band. If you're too close to the ship's engine room you might feel vibration. Also, avoid cabins near stairwells.
Hedge your bets
If you're flexible, pick a "guarantee" cabin, which means you choose a category rather than a specific cabin on the ship. If the category sells out, you’ll automatically be upgraded. The downside is you can't choose your cabin by location. Keep in mind that the cheapest and most expensive cabins on the ship book up first.