Cabin Fever!

I find that as I get older, I am much more finicky about my cabin selection. I’m slightly claustrophobic and only once on the now defunct Delta Queen Steamboat, The American Queen, have I ever had to suffer through having an inside cabin. It was a last minute change and they sold my cabin…the only outside cabin left…to someone with cash in hand, as opposed to me, a lowly press person there on a freebee.

My Mom was with me and if there was ever a person more claustrophobic than I, it was my Mother. Forget the little fake window over the bed. It may have looked real to the designer, but we knew better. The cabin was so tiny one seriously had to go into the hall to have a private thought. We spent most of the seven days sitting in the rocking chairs on deck, somewhere I probably would have spent time anyhow. As it turned out, we spent an excessive amount of time there because we slept and showered in the cabin, then hightailed it out of the room. To say we couldn’t leave fast enough is an understatement.

Back then, I was always provided with an outside cabin with either a porthole or a window. A press perk! That was a perfectly fine option until I cruised the Greek Isles on the Radisson Diamond. (Also now defunct, which goes to show how many years I’ve been cruising!)

I believe it was the first ship to have verandahs and I got one. Keep in mind the only reason I got one was because no one else wanted them back then. I didn’t care…I was hooked. When we weren’t in port, we were on the verandah. We ordered breakfast every morning and sipped our coffee and tea as we pulled into another port. It was glorious!

Fast forward. I haven’t had a freebee in years. These days I pay for cruises. And now I have developed an expensive habit. No balcony…No Debbie! In the scheme of things, the balcony is what makes me happy, but also limits the number of cruises I take because the price is much higher.

Should you hold out for a verandah? It depends. If the only way you can take a cruise is in an inside cabin, but all means do it. Just plan to spend a lot of time out of your room. I find that as I get more wrinkles, I need that afternoon nap and it’s more enjoyable in a room I don’t want to run away from!

We just booked a 16 night, transatlantic cruise on Carnival from Barcelona to New Orleans leaving November 1. The least expensive inside cabin was less than $600 per person. The least expensive balcony was just under $1,100. Since it’s going to be such a long cruise, we decided to try something really different…an Aft balcony! That came out to around $1,300 each. We’ve never done that before, so you can bet I’ll be posting an update right after the cruise.

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5 Responses to Cabin Fever!

  1. Debbie says:

    I couldn’t agree more – my first cruise experience we were in the very front of the ship with a long cubbie hole leading to the “window”. The room was so small that we used the cubbie hole to store our bags, blocking any light it would have provided. The next cruise I take, I will definitely spend the extra money for a balcony. A cruise to Alaska is on our radar.

    • Deb - Moderator says:

      Alaska Cruises are fun, but if there was ever a place you could use a balcony, it’s Alaska. Most people will think that’s a crazy idea because it’s cold, but there’s a lot to see outside and you don’t always want to run to a higher deck to see wildlife and glaciers.

      • Elaine says:

        Yes, balcony rooms are the best and worth the extra money. On any cruise! To sit outside and watch the sun rise with a coffee and your favorite book, or watch a sunset with your big robe and fresh tan and a wine of course, is just the most relaxing part to me!

        • Elaine says:

          What is an Aft balcony?

          • Deb says:

            Great question! Until about a month ago, I never thought much about them. But I have a friend who did it and swore that once you try it, you’ll never go back. An Aft cabin is located in the rear of the ship. The balcony is a little larger than the side balconies. it’s very quiet and not as windy. On our upcoming transatlantic cruise on the Carnival Sunshine, we have a dead center, rear balcony. Because it’s such a long cruise, 16 nights, it seemed like the perfect time to try it. We spend lots of time on our balcony and I’m sure this will not be the exception.

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