The Travel Professor
Join me on a journey across the broad spectrum of interesting travel topics. We’ll discuss destinations domestic and abroad, some familiar and some off the beaten path. We take a look at suppliers like cruise lines, air carriers and tour operators and find their bargains and special offerings. Got questions? Email

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More on vacations at sea

In my past few posts I’ve tried to share some knowledge about the cruise product and I’d like to continue talking about cabin location.

Many factors determine your cruise fare like when you are sailing -high or low season, cabin type, location, advanced or last minute bookings. These are just a few of the qualifiers that impact your rate. The variance in price can be substantial between an inside no view room, an outside stateroom or balcony cabin or it can just be as low as $10.00 per person per day to upgrade.

You’ve heard the term location-location-location and yes it definitely impacts the cost of a cruise vacation. In today’s cruise pricing matrix the least expensive cabins are on the lowest passenger decks. As you go higher and move up a deck and so on the rates increase. In other words the basement cabins are the cheapest (and in my opinion the best deal) and the top floor ones most expensive. Move up decks pay more, move down decks pay less.

Most of today’s mega liners are large, stabilized platforms but you can still experience the ocean currents. The ships rock up and down and roll side to side so most of the motion will be experienced on the higher decks and in the front and back of the vessel. Pay more and experience more.

Back to the location thing, frequently the cabins located towards the bow (front) and stern (back) of the ship are also more expensive. Forward and aft and up grading from the lowest passenger decks cost more. Got the concept?

With this concept in mind let’s talk about ride comfort (not feeling the motion of the ship) and cabin location. Physical science shows that if you’re located mid ship in one of the lower cabins chances are you’ll experience a smoother ride. After all that is where the bulk & mass of the ship is located. Forward and aft rooms can rock and roll while mid ships cabins tend to offer a more stable ride.

I will not deny that even in calm seas you will experience some motion of the ocean. But to minimize this motion and sleep peacefully I recommend the bargain basement cabins over the higher located more expensive staterooms. Give this guy that bargain priced inside cabin any day and I’m happy. I’ll go on deck for the spectacular vistas of cruising into a new port.

I know that this is not the mantra of the cruise lines and many of my travel agent partners but I’m sorry I want you to have a great time on your cruise vacation. By taking some simple precautions like cabin location will help minimize the possibility that you will experience any motion discomfort.

Motion discomfort is a whole different subject and I’ll address that later.

Happy travels!