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1st time cruise, how do you choose a room with a GOOD view?

1st time cruise, how do you choose a room with a GOOD view?

Jul 27th, 2013, 10:21 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 29
1st time cruise, how do you choose a room with a GOOD view?

My husband and I are going on our first cruise, to Alaska. I am recovering from knee fracture and surgery fairly fast, but our usual anniversary week plans needed to change. We are very lucky to live in Seattle, and the Celebrity Solstice is departing to Alaska, the evening our vacation starts, so excitedly started to book our new vacation, but found out that choosing a window or balcony is not as easy as it looks.

We think a good view from our room is priority, as I may not be wanting to get out on excursions much. I would be eligible for a handicap room but would not need it, as I am using a cane now, just not able to walk for very long.

Do all balconies, (and I assume verandah = balcony) have a good view? Or are some obstructed?
How "obstructed" are partially obstructed view rooms?
Do you think it is important that we try to get a starboard room, as we will be going both north and south on the cruise ship? And if so, how do we ask for a starboard room?
Do deck levels matter much?
karrma is offline  
Jul 28th, 2013, 02:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 22,098
When I have booked cruises, they tell you if view is obstructed or partially obstructed on the website. Since from a balcony you can see about 180 degrees, it would be nice to not have a lifeboat or other obstruction on one side of the balcony - and I have been able to tell this by floor plans also available when booking. And you could solve that problem for certain by not booking on a level that had any lifeboats.

Since cruise is RT, I can't imagine it would matter which side you were on - unless time of day dictated that some areas would be in the dark at time of passage.

Enjoy your cruise - there was a thread a while back about first cruisers also going to Alaska that discussed basic Alaska cruise clothing, activities that might be useful.
gail is online now  
Jul 28th, 2013, 08:27 AM
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 159
I think most balconies are about the same. That is they are higher in the ship, so the view will be much the same. I would look for one mid ship and mid height. Try to avoid being above or below a public area- dining room,Lido deck, etc. If you have mobility issues try to be fairly close to the elevators. Deck plans for your ship are always available either online or in the brochures. If you are confused, a local travel agent can help.
Reme is offline  
Jul 28th, 2013, 09:11 AM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2,723
Higher deck mid sship is best, but don't be on the deck below the pool deck.

The side does not matter at the Glacier as the captain will turn the ship around.

For veiwing of the mountain ranges from a distance and the inside passage, my preference is: if you are going north, stay on starboard side; if you are south bound, stay on port side.
Eschew is offline  
Jul 29th, 2013, 12:23 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,466
"I would be eligible for a handicap room but would not need it, as I am using a cane now, just not able to walk for very long"

If you think you could use the extra floor space and shower size (which is in a handicapped room), there is no reason why you shouldn't try to request one. Also, since you are not able to walk for very long, you might want to request a wheelchair for use on the ship.
GBelle is offline  
Jul 31st, 2013, 04:04 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 4,077
From experience, we booked mid ship, mid level for our Alaska cruise on Princess. Our cruise prior to the Caribbean we booked guarantee and got forward. We felt the ship jerk obsessively. Mid-ship was better for comfort. I have read the lower the deck mid ship the less movement will be felt.

If you have mobility issues, I would book a balcony room. You don't want to have to go up and down to the top deck for views. It's inconvenient anyway mobility issues or not unless your are the type that can just sit out on the top deck all day long. We enjoyed going in and out of the room/balcony and leaving the door open at night for fresh air.

The location of cabins also denote their price. For example, our TA originally booked us a patio room, which is room on the Lido deck with a small patio that looked across a public walkway to see the view. Not a cabin we would enjoy. It cost us an extra $200 for a true balcony room. Cabins with obstructed views, partial obstructed views and small balconies will cost less. Also, the aft cabins with the larger balconies will cost more than mid ship. Forward cabins cost less than mid ship.

It takes some time and effort to figure out each specific cabin category and their pricing. I ordered the printed brochure directly off Princess' web-site as it gives the best information. Also, go to Cruisecritic.com and search for specific cabin numbers. Several people post exact descriptions and photos.
KVR is offline  
Aug 1st, 2013, 11:53 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 29
Thank you all for the good advice. We really had only one good option for a sailing cruise, as silly me forgot I had a week off at the end of August,(don't ask why, but we reaeaealy need a good vacation), and on this boat, it was very hard to figure out the labels for the rooms, but eventually I did.
The "guarantee" balcony was confusing, as there was no way to choose a room. But since I did not trust that the guarantee would get me a good view, this late date for a first timer, have splurged for Aqua class, to be near the exercise room. I plan on rehabbing my knee once or twice a day, at least sitting in the hot pool pretending to stretch my knee.
Will keep everyone posted on what a newbie with a cane can do, as I's sure I'll keep making mistakes and asking lots of questions.
Thank you for the info on Alaska what to wear. I'll try to look this up.
karrma is offline  
Aug 10th, 2013, 03:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,628
I loved Aqua class--the balcony had two lounge chairs with separate foot rests and a good-sized table--great for a room service breakfast if weather permits. We took a cruise to the eastern Med in late May, excellent views of the Dardenelles, Straits of Messina, Istanbul, etc. from the balcony.

Because the ship circled back from Istanbul, the side of the ship we were on didn't make much difference. We were on the Reflection, very similar to your ship. I think you'll like Blu, the Aqua class restaurant but you can also eat in the main dining room or any other restaurant, we tried several, all good.
Cathinjoetown is offline  

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