Though it may seem like a small detail, a very important factor in making a cruise a great vacation is the stateroom you select. Many people will opt for an inside stateroom in order to save money, and with all of the things to do on a cruise, it is possible to only use your room for sleeping and getting ready and to spend the rest of the time in common areas. However, these rooms are tiny, have no natural light and are stuffy. Though we could have opted for an interior stateroom and saved quite a bit of money, we decided to go for a balcony stateroom, and a larger balcony at that.
This proved to be one of the best decisions of the cruise. After spending a day in port or lounging by the pools, it was nice to come back and leisurely get ready for the night while reading and chatting on the balcony. We discussed it and realized that unless we were sleeping or in the shower, if we were in the stateroom, we were on the balcony.
Thanks to some researching I did on Cruise Critic, I learned that two decks had larger balconies. It would be about $100 more each, but everyone noted that it was worth it, so we decided to spring for the upgrade. I can’t believe how large the balcony was– there was room for a table, two straight back chairs, two reclining chairs and space to spare. And there was a bit of an overhang from the smaller balcony above, so if we wanted shade we could pull the chairs back and be out of the sun.
Our balcony in Port Everglades. Definitely the least pretty view of the trip.
Afternoon fruit and flowers.
Perfect spot to relax.
– Research the best location for your stateroom. On the cruise line website you can sometimes find the line’s recommendation for which side of the ship is better for a certain voyage, and on Cruise Critic you can always find that information. On our voyage we were on the Starboard side, and we got to see 6 out of 7 sunsets and had great views of the port in 4 of the 5 stops.
– Speculate on how much time you’ll spend in your room and decide what kind of stateroom is best for you. If you plan to attend every single cruise activity and soak up as much sun as possible, an interior stateroom would save you some money, but if you enjoy taking your time to get ready and relax, opt for a balcony or at least an ocean view so you don’t feel claustrophobic or like you’re missing out on the scenery.