Now that almost 10% of the adult population has taken a cruise, more and more “experts” seem to be popping up in online in chat rooms, in your local community, and on the telephone as part-time practitioners of the travel craft attempt to show off their knowledge of cruising. Some of these cruise urban legends get spread at cocktail parties where the “recently returned” are quizzed about their experiences. Here is what you need to know about the three most common cruise myths:
The best cabins are on the side of the side of the ship where you will see passing land.
Sorry, but this is just not true. The fact is that cruise ships operate in international waters in carefully proscribed “sea lanes”. It would be highly unusual for a ship to spend very much time on an itinerary that hugged the coast. in fact, in most situations, it would be illegal for a ship to get close enough to land to make sightseeing from your cabin possible. Added to that is the fact that ships do most of their traveling at night. Finally, port berths are rarely assigned more than a day or two prior to a ship’s arrival. So you will never know what you might be seeing from your balcony once in port. Savvy cruisers don’t pay much attention to Port or Starboard. Instead, they always request the best located cabin available.
Mid-ship is always where you want to be.
Often true but certainly not always. Mid-ship means more foot traffic outside your cabin which is one reason that most of the very top suites on new builds are forward or aft. A fair number of liners are constructed with the engines located below decks mid-ship. There can be engine vibration in the middle of the ship. Mid-ship cabins near a stairway or laundry room are not desirable unless you are taking your first trip beyond the trailer park and have never seen a laundry machine.
The best accommodations are on the highest deck.
Unlike hotels, cruise lines have found that they can charge more money for cabins on the top decks. The higher up you go, the more the cabin usually costs. One of the reasons for this is that Top Suite passengers like to have top deck views so that is where naval architects put the very best accommodations. But often these cabins have undesirable locations because they are immediately below the lido or swimming pool activities deck. The public outdoor deck above the top passenger deck is usually washed down late into the night when strollers have retired. Deck chairs are moved as high pressure hoses are used are cleaning. Sleeping just below this activity can be unpleasant. That is why savvy travelers try to select the deck just below the top deck.