When planning a cruise, it’s good to know how big the rooms are. But what about inside those huge staterooms? How large are they, and why do so many people want their suite onboard the ship?
The size of a standard inside cabin on most major cruise lines will fall between 150 and 185 square feet, with an outside range from 160 to 200. The balcony room is usually larger at 175 – 220 sq ft in dimension.
A lot can depend upon where you’re going! For example, if your destination falls into the smaller category, expect less space per person but more amenities, including veranda seats that provide excellent views while still allowing some outdoor airflow during hot summer days.
You spend most of your time at home, thinking about where you’ll sleep that night. If you have company for Thanksgiving dinner, you might even consider sharing a bed with someone else’s family. But otherwise, you usually plan by finding out who will be sleeping in your room before taking off on vacation.
But when you travel aboard a cruise ship, things change dramatically.
First, your accommodations aren’t really “your” accommodations anyway because chances are you won’t be using them very much outside of sleeping and bathing.
Second, there isn’t anybody around to share the space with you except maybe some fellow passengers.
Third, unlike a hotel suite (or any cabin aboard a train) that can comfortably fit four guests, single cruise cabins don’t come with multiple beds.
So unless you like lying next to strangers under blankets or sailcloth, you may find a room on a cruise ship with plenty of space and comfort for yourself and potentially a few others if the situation fits.
So why would anyone choose not to have their private suite on board a boat or train? Because these rooms offer something, no other accommodation does, comfort! There’s simply no comparison between the comfort of a cruise room over a plane or bus.
That extra luxury comes from knowing that nobody else shares your sleeping quarters. With this knowledge in mind, let’s explore what makes a great cruise guest suite.
The Largest Stateroom You’d Ever Want To Sleep In
There are two types of cruise ships: those that carry smaller numbers of passengers in larger spaces and those that take more people in smaller areas but with more lavish amenities per passenger. Generally speaking, the larger the number of people traveling together, the less each person enjoys their personal space. This trend becomes especially acute when a group includes children.
The largest stateroom on Carnival Cruise Lines’ newest line of cruise vessels holds 36 passengers. Even adults seem dwarfed as they shuffle along in their shorts or skirts. Imagine stretching out while you try to read a book or watch television simultaneously.
These cabins resemble slightly more extensive versions of classic railroad cars. On the other hand, the smallest cabin on Celebrity Cruises’ newest line carries 11 passengers. While it’s still quite spacious compared to older models, its size is hardly comparable to suites found aboard ocean liners built decades ago. Here, the travelers feel crowded, but they also get plenty of elbow room since the walls provide ample breathing space.
Since both scenarios involve different groups of people, you shouldn’t expect either type of cabin to meet everyone’s needs. However, opt for the largest stateroom possible if you can select your own. By doing so, you’ll avoid feeling overwhelmed by crowds and claustrophobia.
Inside The Smallest Cabins On A Boat Or Train And Why They Exist
Although we’ve already discussed the differences between the largest and smallest staterooms, there are other variations within the realm of sea transportation. Some trains, buses, and boats include particular areas for handicapped riders.
These areas provide wheelchair accessibility and sometimes additional seating for elderly or pregnant women. Other vehicles have sections for families with young children. Frequently, these areas are separated from regular seats by a barrier providing physical privacy for mothers-to-be.
In addition to offering specific locations for passengers, these specialty spots often feature unique entertainment systems, including video games, televisions, and DVD players. Although these areas typically cost more money to reserve, they tend to attract repeat customers looking for peace away from the chaos of the rest of the vehicle.
If you think you need a different place to relax, look forward to spending your vacations in hotels or inns instead of getting trapped in a moving box. Read on to learn what happens once you step onto a cruise ship.
What About Hotel Suites?
Hotels and motels have taken advantage of group lodging arrangements for years. As long as enough rooms were available, travelers could stay together to save money. However, many hotels charge a premium price for group reservations because supply exceeds demand. Unfortunately, the same thing doesn’t happen on cruises.
Instead, cruise lines prefer to fill every cabin with individual passengers. One reason for this preference is that cruise ships move slowly through the water. Therefore, the trip takes longer. Another factor relates to the limited food served in public dining venues.
Since fewer meals must be prepared per table, wait staff receive orders for fewer dishes. Meanwhile, a restaurant serving three dozen diners gets the same number of servings, whether half of them leave early or stay until closing.
Cruise ships also rely heavily on economy-class fares to keep costs low. Economy tickets require passengers to pay for everything themselves. Instead of paying $60 for a meal, you may shell out hundreds of dollars for drinks, tips, and souvenirs.
Plus, it may take several days to realize that the free drinks included with first-class service weren’t complimentary. This means that you paid twice for the same items. Luckily, if you’ve reserved a higher fare classification and show up on board, you should be able to enjoy top-quality accommodations at prices similar to what you’d pay ashore.
It pays to shop around online before making plans. Many companies sell discounted cruises based upon past purchases made via Web sites. Also, check out deals offered by cruise vendors and discount websites like Travelocity.com.
Another reason why cruise ships don’t use group rates involves safety concerns. According to federal law, a minimum distance exists between trains. Trains cannot approach closer than 500 feet. Likewise, airplanes can fly as close as 1 mile apart.
Yet cruise ships frequently dock alongside piers extending far beyond these distances. In cases where planes stray too closely, pilots must turn back before reaching their final destinations. Thus, the risk of accidents increases significantly whenever aircraft enter restricted airspace zones.
Most ports allow planes and helicopters to land within sight of buildings and bridges. Still, airports and airlines remain extremely sensitive to potential threats posed by flying overhead. This is not necessarily true concerning port cities. Any noise produced by planes landing nearby tends to annoy residents. As an alternative, many airport terminals employ skycaps and shuttle services to transport luggage directly to rental cars.
Finally, remember that you never have to worry about running late due to delays caused by traffic congestion. Unlike drivers stuck behind slowdowns lasting hours, you can always catch a quick flight. Just hop in a taxi or drive yourself wherever you wish to go.
One last concern involving hotel suites applies here as well: security. Hotel doors lock automatically to deter theft. However, on a cruise ship, thieves know there aren’t locks on bedroom windows. This is probably why so few thieves bother stealing anything worth selling.
Nevertheless, you may encounter problems related to petty theft. Thieves sometimes force open exterior doors leading to upper floors to steal electronics left unattended. Sometimes people fall victim to scams whereby thieves pose as maintenance workers sent to fix air conditioning equipment.
Don’t assume you’re safe because you recently stayed at a nice hotel. Always practice common-sense precautions when dealing with strange men outside.
As we mentioned earlier, cruise ship cabins vary widely depending on classification. Next, we discuss what keeps passengers happy inside their rooms.
Outside the cruise industry, numerous examples of big business entities creating small spaces dedicated exclusively to single clients exist. Consider the case of New York City taxi cabs. Taxis are specially equipped to accommodate disabled passengers.
Additionally, taxicab interiors feature high ceilings and wide doorways, allowing easy access for wheelchair users. Taxi medallion owners can purchase designated taxis featuring exclusive interior designs and colors.
Similarly, limousines operate on prearranged routes. Private chauffeurs pick up wealthy individuals and drop them off at their destination. Limos even have custom names and license plates.