6 Cruise Ship Stateroom Booking Tips

So you’ve found the right cruise. You love the itinerary, the ship, and the ports look fantastic. Now, it’s time to choose a stateroom – perhaps the most important decision for your cruise. Not all staterooms are created equal, so its worth the time to research and carefully choose the perfect stateroom. Here are my 6 stateroom tips to consider when booking your next cruise.

Port Doesn’t Mean Port

Booking your stateroom on the port side (or left side for you landlubbers) doesn’t guarantee that your view will be of the dock or your port of call. Cruise ship docking positions are never guaranteed and shouldn’t guide your stateroom selection. Unfortunately, port only refers to the nautical term for left side.

Stern Is More

If you’re interested in a balcony, but would prefer a bit more room to stretch out, a stern balcony stateroom may just be right for you. These staterooms are located all the way aft, overlooking the ship’s wake and are typically larger than the standard balcony. Many are big enough to include full sized sun loungers you’d normally find up on deck. These staterooms, while providing ample room, however, may come with a slightly larger price tag.

Find Your Stability At The Center

Are you concerned about the motion of the ocean? While technology aboard cruise ships has made sailing much smoother, some people still find they can be sensitive to even mild ship movement. If you’re looking for stability, midship (or center) will provide for the smoothest ride. The most stable staterooms aboard a ship are typically located right in the center and low to the waterline. Not to say forward or aft is any rockier, but staying towards the center will usually provide a smooth sailing.

Family Connection

If you’re traveling with family or friends, you may be interested in spending all the time you can get together. Many cruise ships provide staterooms that either connect via a traditional door or connect via adjoining balconies. Consult the ship’s deck plans or your travel agent prior to selecting your stateroom to see if you can find the right connection.

Anchors Away

While the anchor keeps the ship from floating away in port, it can be quite a surprise for guests sailing in a particular area of the ship. Forward staterooms on the lowest decks may experience some unwanted noise from the operation of the anchor while in port during the early mornings and afternoons. If you believe the noise may be a bother, ensure you choose a stateroom away from the most forward, lowest decks.

Consult The Plans

Before choosing your stateroom, make sure to take a look at the ship’s deck plans. Check to see what may be around, beneath, or above your stateroom and whether or not any venues or amenities may bother your cruise experience. Newer cruise ships have done a great job of ensuring unwanted noise doesn’t creep into your stateroom, but it’s always wise to check and make sure you’re not above the club, especially if you’re an early or light sleeper.

deck plans



Mike Faust

Mike Faust is an avid world traveler, often found traversing city streets in Asia and Europe rather than his home city of Boca Raton. Mike has touched down in 39 countries, set sail on 35 cruises, and flown over 400,000 lifetime miles.