Cruise guest shares ‘tried-and-true’ top for choosing a quiet cabin

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Cruise ships are naturally noisy in places but when it comes to the cabins, the sound levels can vary depending on where you choose to stay. While many people book rooms based on the view or size of the space, experienced travellers have explained that there are other criteria to consider if you want to find the quietest spot on the ship.

There’s nothing worse than noisy neighbours when staying in a hotel but when it comes to cruises, there are other noises to contend with. 

From the unavoidable creaks and vibrations from the ship itself to the sounds of live entertainment, finding the best location for your cabin can be tricky if you’re new to cruising. 

However, according to one experienced passenger, there are a few ways to guarantee a more peaceful stay while sailing overseas. In a recent post on the Cruise Critic forum, they shared their “tried and true advice” for picking the perfect cabin.

The forum user who goes by the name crystalspin explained that they discovered the booking hack while travelling on the MS Nieuw Amsterdam which hosts a staggering 1053 staterooms.

They wrote: “I remembered one night on the forward main deck on the Nieuw Amsterdam – after the BBKing performance had finished – that I actually got up from bed to look out the window because it was so quiet I thought perhaps the ship had stopped moving!

“That may have just been quiet in comparison with the bass vibration of the Blues performance on the deck above us!

“The tried-and-true advice is to pick your cabin on a deck with rooms above and below it. Some say a room across from it as well – because the blank space on a deck plan could be anything.” 

While several other users also recommended steering clear of cabins located next to elevators, the seasoned cruiser noted that they don’t think they are an issue except from when the doors “ding” open.

Other self-proclaimed cruise critics agreed with the advice to avoid rooms located too low down on the ship.

One person who used the name Essiesmom explained that while you “aren’t close to the engines anywhere”, some aft-deck cabins can “suffer from vibrations from the thrusters when docking”.

They wrote: “Far forward and low can have thruster and anchor noise. If you have decks above and below you, you should have less noise.”

Having some idea of the mechanics of the ship can help make a more informed decision on your cabin location, and it’s as easy as studying the ship’s deck plan, according to another cruiser.

In response to Essiesmom, a forum member known as the cruiser shared that they discount cabins near ducts that lead to the lower machinery on the ship.

They said: “I also avoid those cabins that are potentially near the parts of the ship where the ducts leading to the funnels from the engine room are located. 

“Studying the ship’s deck plans will show blank spaces aft of the middle of the ship where these ducts usually are.”

The cruiser added that noise from other passengers can also be more prominent in these areas, so are best avoided by light sleepers.

While entertainment noise in the higher parts of the vessel may be an issue for some guests, the experienced cruiser, Essiesmom, pointed out that this is often time-restricted.

From her own experiences, shows and productions tend to end by 11pm or shortly after, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem unless you enjoy an early night.

She added that even if you book what appears to be a quieter spot on paper, “no cabin is absolutely silent”, so you should always expect some degree of “white noise” from the vents.

A travel expert at The Points Guy agreed that: “The ideal cabin for a light sleeper on a particular ship, for instance, might be a room tucked away in the quietest corner of the vessel. But another passenger on the same ship who cares more about the view might be happiest with a completely different spot.

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