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Best Room for US on a Cruise Ship?
Old 12-21-2019, 08:02 AM   #1
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Best Room for US on a Cruise Ship?

We are considering a Partial Panama Canal Cruise, 11-14 days. My biggest concern is being stuck in a noisy state room that never gets dark. I like it pitch black at night.

We have only been on 2 other cruises (Short 3 & 4 Days). On One all I heard (and felt) for 4 days was the drone of the engines and light was always coming in from the window or port hole.

Is there a preferred location to be located? Midships, High or low Level? I really have no experience, but I do not want to spend 10 - 13 nights sleepless on the ocean.

Is there such a thing as a quiet room on a Cruise Ship? (Noisy Kids, Families, 4am corridor dwellers etc.) Or am I simply asking too much?

Any sage advice, recommendations and help would be appreciated.
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Old 12-21-2019, 08:10 AM   #2
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One that will be out of the way when another ship collides with it?
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Old 12-21-2019, 08:24 AM   #3
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Avoid connecting rooms. Ensure your room is both above & below other cabins, not public spaces, especially pool decks or lounges. Probably want to be down the hall a bit from elevators, since on some ships those central areas can be a tunnel for loud noise from an atrium several decks below.

Deck plans will also show some blank, white spaces in hallways that can be across from passenger cabins. These can be crew service areas or access doorways. Might want to avoid cabins near them as you may hear more slamming doors or movement of cleaning equipment, carts, etc.

Rooms right on the back of the ship get less hallway traffic, but often have some vibration, especially when navigating into a port early in the morning. So if you think vibration will bother you similar to noise, avoid that.

If prone to sea-sickness, avoid rooms close to the front of the ship. Rooms closer to mid-ship and on lower decks are better in that case.

For darkness, some people love inside cabins-no windows at all. But if you want the window light during the day, or a balcony to enjoy, binder clips can work well to keep those drapes shut at night.
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Old 12-21-2019, 08:30 AM   #4
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Well, purchasing an inside cabin (lowest price too!) will ensure absolute darkness during the nights. The higher deck you are on will put you further from any engine noises that happen while docking or even some of the vibration felt during normal operation. Mid ship locations generally are considered the most "stable" where you won't feel as much rocking and rolling from the ship motion. But you'll still likely feel it if the seas are rough. All the cruise line websites allow you to view the deck floor plans. When I pick a cabin, I always look at the layout for the deck above and the deck below the cabin I am considering. The quietest cabins will be ones with other cabins above it and below it. Public areas above or below can, but not necessarily introduce noise into your cabin. Some people feel that "connecting cabins" (i.e. ones that have an internal door between them) allow noise bleeds through the internal door. You can find whether a cabin connects to another via the deck plans.

That's really about all you can do to minimize light and noise. There's always a chance that the next door cabin will be filled with noisy people. If people are loud talkers or fighters or play their portable music box loud, you're probably going to hear it. You're also likely to always hear some noise from the halls if the people are carrying on while walking past your cabin. With the amount of alcohol that flows on cruises, it's a common event.

Enjoy your cruise. I just got back from a partial Panama Canal cruise in November. Loved the Canal. It's amazing.
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Old 12-21-2019, 08:59 AM   #5
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After years of trying to use blackout drapes, I finally came up with the solution: sleep masks. They are readily available and do a great job.
I have attached the story of our cruise.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf PANAMA CANAL 2010.pdf (521.8 KB, 27 views)
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Old 12-21-2019, 09:06 AM   #6
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The higher up you are, the greater the arc of the pendulum - (Newton's second law for rotational systems........naah, I looked that up, I'm crap at equations).

The stores are closed at night, so being in an interior cabin below them might be quieter.
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Old 12-21-2019, 09:20 AM   #7
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You also do not want to to be one deck down from any pool area. The staff drag out the lounges early in the morning
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Old 12-21-2019, 09:24 AM   #8
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After years of trying to use blackout drapes, I finally came up with the solution: sleep masks. They are readily available and do a great job.
I have attached the story of our cruise.
Thanks for that, you folks did a lot of stuff that we probably would not do.

I am concerned that there does not seem to be an "All Included" option for cruises. 3 decent cocktails a night for 2 people for 11 nights could end up adding $1300 (Including Gratuities) to the trip alone. Some folk I have spoken to have paid their initial PP cost again in extras. I am one that hates uncertainty, but likes a few GOOD cocktails, proper whiskey and DW likes her GG Vodka. Then comes the "Better" food and Wifi access. We probably would not do many excursions, so that does not worry me much, we just like to walk the cities we visit for do the city tour.

But I cannot seem to find another way to see all the cities and sights available on the Partial Panama Cruises that initiate in Florida. Plus, if it is anything like the other cruises we have done, one is inundated with aggressive vendors at every stop, something we detest and have VERY little tolerance for.
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Old 12-21-2019, 09:26 AM   #9
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The higher up you are, the greater the arc of the pendulum - (Newton's second law for rotational systems........naah, I looked that up, I'm crap at equations).

The stores are closed at night, so being in an interior cabin below them might be quieter.
We spent the 2 years after we retired (The First Time) cruising the Caribbean on a 45' RC Cat, we do not get sea sick, so that does not worry us at all.
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Old 12-21-2019, 09:26 AM   #10
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We did the partial Panama Canal Cruise last year. If you see a cane floating around the entrance to the first lock, itís mine.
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Old 12-21-2019, 09:35 AM   #11
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Can someone please shed some light on the TOTAL cost of their trip? Say one spends ~$2k PP (~$4,000) for the initial package, how much extra can we expect to be "added" for our preferred meals, cocktails and Wifi?
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Old 12-21-2019, 09:38 AM   #12
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We spent the 2 years after we retired (The First Time) cruising the Caribbean on a 45' RC Cat, we do not get sea sick, so that does not worry us at all.
1965, on a small Greek liner going up the east coast of OZ, we ran into the tail end of a cyclone......I went up on deck to watch, (no access blocked off for safety in those days, or on that ship anyway).......very few of us at mealtimes for a couple days.
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Old 12-21-2019, 09:51 AM   #13
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It depends on the cruise line. Higher cost ships may be all inclusive, like Regent, Silverseas, Seabourn, but you pay more up front.
Most lines have drink packages that include cocktails, espresso, wine, beer, etc. that run $60 per day.
We are not big drinkers, so we never took that. We did buy the wine package, which saves some over the per bottle price.
On our last cruise, which was to Alaska, we only did one ship's excursion. It was in the VIP car of the White Pass and Yukon RR. It was definitely worth the price.
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Old 12-21-2019, 09:56 AM   #14
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Total Cost: It Depends. Depends on the cruise line and your habits.

Base ticket price. HOw do you get to the port. Port Parking? Flights and taxis? Buy transfers from the cruise line itself? Tips, generally higher in suites and above. Per person per day. Additional cash tips you may do ($40 upfront for your stateroom steward to make sure youg et 6 pillows and a perpetually refreshed ice bucket?) On the line I frequent theres an automatic gratutity included in the booze bill. If you choose to add more you can, but know theyre already going to crank the price. I think its an 18pct addon on top of the menu price. DO you want to buy a specialty dining PACKAGE at a slight discount or pay by the meal. Are you going to spa? Drink pepsi? Massage? Cappucino? All addons. And then the TRULY wildcard expense it excursions. can be up to a couple hundred per person per excursion. OR could be free as you get out and walk around. Or could be somewhere in the middle if you hire a cab driver to take you to see x Y and z. Cruising is one of those things it really hard to nail down a price for everyone. Some people paid nothing for their room bc they gamble hard and heavy. SOme people do nothing that's not included. I think the excursions and the booze are the biggest variance. Someone said once to figure 3 times the ticket price for total cruise cost, times 2 if 2 of you are going. Ive done it for far less than that, and far more than that.

Bar none the best room Ive had on a ship was an interior larger room that's handicap accessible read: big. Pitch black at night. Interior and quiet. I did not choose it and prob will not ever get it again. It was assigned by the line. Higher and on the extreme ends will give you the most motion bc science. Central and low will give you the least. Generally surround yourself with stateroom on every side and above below. Spa deck if there is one can be very quiet. Never get a connecting room or one right by an exterior door leading to the pool or sundeck. Bang Bang Bang goes the door.
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Old 12-21-2019, 10:02 AM   #15
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Can someone please shed some light on the TOTAL cost of their trip? Say one spends ~$2k PP (~$4,000) for the initial package, how much extra can we expect to be "added" for our preferred meals, cocktails and Wifi?


Specialty restaurants can range from $15-$45 per person. To me, the steaks and desserts are worth it.
Gratuities can be paid in advance or added to your bill each day. I think our last cruise was about $15/day for both of us.
Internet can also be paid for in advance and they have a variety of packages to choose from, but itís not cheap. Check their website. Unless you get an unlimited package, be sure to turn off the data for your phone or you may be in for a surprise.
Drinks are priced fairly, comparable to normal restaurants. The packages arenít really worth it.
Excursions can also be booked online in advance and can range from $29 all the way up to several hundred dollars per person.
Room service food is free but a tip is often expected.
The ships have onboard stores where you can buy a variety of souvenirs, clothing, alcohol or toiletries. Higher prices than bought locally.
The ships have casinos if you want to make a donation.
There is a spa with a variety of services that I would estimate to be about twice the price of prices around home.
Bottom line is there are plenty of ways for them to take your money, but cruises are cheaper than a Disney vacation. Have fun!
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Old 12-21-2019, 10:05 AM   #16
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Cabins.
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Old 12-21-2019, 10:12 AM   #17
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I want to add that we have the Tmbile old people plan which includes free data everywhere, and it worked great on the panama canal trip. I was able to use cell data and then use the hotspot on my phone to update the books on my kindle etc. So check what options are there for your cell provider. Maybe you buy a temporary international pass or something like that. And you can bring in X number bottles of wine in your carryon depending on cruise ship. People bring in hard alcohol, all kinds of stuff. Your mileage may vary. They can refuse to board you if you try to bring it aboard per the contract of carriage. Holland gives you a nod, they only observe what you show them. Norwegian I think are total jerks about it atleast where we boarded, Wanted me to pay exhorbitant fees per bottle to bring aboard my own wine.
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Old 12-21-2019, 10:18 AM   #18
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I want to add that we have the Tmbile old people plan which includes free data everywhere, and it worked great on the panama canal trip. I was able to use cell data and then use the hotspot on my phone to update the books on my kindle etc. So check what options are there for your cell provider. Maybe you buy a temporary international pass or something like that.
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Old 12-21-2019, 10:23 AM   #19
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The good news is, most of the add-ons are in your control. I generally just add internet. The cost of that varies greatly by cruise line. The one I sail has unlimited plans, priced "per device". So I've paid as low as $12 a day, to have internet all week. And yes--turn off that cellular data. The internet you're paying for in the package is for a wifi connection. Keep cellular data and roaming turned off, or your phone will try to connect to cell towers wherever you are and you'll get a huge phone bill when you get home. The wifi package gives you the ability to surf, stream, text and do wifi calls/facetime with home. So you don't need cellular data.

Anyway, back to other add-ons. Excursions are almost always less expensive if booked on your own with vendors, rather than through the cruise line. Read up on trip advisor to get the reputable ones and the ones that have good policies for getting you back to the ship and with good refund policies.

I don't drink, so I don't pay anything extra on board for that. Water, lemonade, coffee, tea and iced tea are included on the cruise line I use. But if you like your cocktails, you're definitely going to be paying extra there.

Specialty restaurants are up to you. Often they have packages for sale for say 2 or 3 nights, which can be a compromise, where you dine there for some nights, but the rest are in the main restaurants included in your cruise fare.

Shop around for travel agents. It's very common for them to provide you with some combination of free gratuities, on board credit money and sometimes even a specialty restaurant dinner. The on board credit money gets applied to anything you spend on board that you did not pre-purchase before the cruise. Comes in handy for one-off drinks, photos, etc. and if you didn't pre-pay for gratuities, restaurants, etc.

To sum up, potential add-on's would include drinks, gratuities, specialty restaurants, photos, internet, excursions, shopping on board, other transportation (flights, parking, taxis). Also, if you a flying in to the port a day ahead (highly recommended), you'd have hotel and meal expenses that day also.

Try taking these one at a time and deciding which ones you can eliminate or get paid for by a travel agent, leaving just the ones most important to you, to have to be paid for.
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Old 12-21-2019, 10:39 AM   #20
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Try taking these one at a time and deciding which ones you can eliminate or get paid for by a travel agent, leaving just the ones most important to you, to have to be paid for.
Any recommendations for Cruise Travel agents? Again sorry for the questions we have never booked a cruise before. All cruises were provided by Company as Bonus' so they were all booked for us. TIA
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