Archive for the ‘staterooms’ Category

Which Side is Better? Forward, Midship or Aft?

I get asked this question all the time.  Which side of the ship is the best side to book your cabin on?  The answer is not clear and is not necessarily the same for each person.  It all depends on what you want to see, where your cabin will be located and personal tastes.

I’ll start with personal tastes.  On some ships in suites generally, the decor may be different from one suite to another.  For instance, on the Disney ships, the Roy O. Disney Suites are decorated differently than the Walter E. Disney Suites.  The classic ships are the same and the new ships are the same, but on the ships themselves, the two rooms are different.  On the Celebrity Millennium, the Sky Suites have different color schemes.  If you have an aversion to Azure, you will want to make sure that your room is not decorated in that color!

Next you’ll need to take into account what is around the room you are interested in.  If there is a galley above my room on the starboard side, but a hallway on the port side, I’ll take the port side for my room (or switch decks!).

Finally, I think about the itinerary – what you might see while cruising but, more importantly, what you might see in port.  The important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t count on the ship berthing a certain way in the ports.  While most of the time the ship you are looking at may “back in” to a port, there is the chance that they could do things different based on the sea conditions, the dock they have to use, any number of factors.  You can look for which side most likely will be facing the way you want, but don’t set your heart on that happening.

Also keep in mind that on a roundtrip itinerary, you are covering the same area so one side is not going to be better than the other (you’ll face one way on the outbound and the other on the inbound).  Of course this is something to keep in mind with one way or repositioning cruises.  A Transatlantic Cruise may not matter because you have ocean on both sides of the ship for many days, but an Alaskan Cruise may make a difference.  When going through the Panama Canal, some people wanted to face the side where the webcams are or where the welcome center is located while others wanted it more quite and also to face the other ships going the opposite direction through the canal.

Also asked a lot is where is the best place on the ship to book, forward, midship or aft.  Again, this is a personal question, but it also depends on the ship.  I have had many clients over the years ask me for an oceanview stateroom midship on the Disney Magic at least deck 5 or above.  That simply doesn’t exist!  As with most ships, the higher decks only have balcony cabins midship.  Some will have ocean view rooms on the ends of the ships.  Likewise, you can’t get a balcony room too low on the ship.

Midship rooms, lower on the ship, are theoretically the best for minimizing motion.  After that, I would say aft is better than forward, but that is my personal opinion.  I do have a tendency to get a bit seasick at times and have found this to be the case.

I recommend deciding which is more important to you – location on the ship or type of cabin.  Let your travel agent know and tell them what your choices are.  Many times you can have both, but in case you can’t, at least your priority is known.

Disney Fantasy Staterooms

This is the final installment of our review of the Disney Fantasy.  We had an opportunity to check out some of the staterooms onboard, including each of the concierge categories, family oceanview, balcony and deluxe inside staterooms.  For those who have cruised on the Disney Dream, we did not see any changes to the staterooms so they will be familiar to you.

We started on deck 12.

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Re-Categorization on the Disney Dream & Disney Fantasy

Effective October 18, 2011, Disney Cruise Line will be re-categorizing 120 staterooms due to the unique features of each stateroom.  Reservations booked prior to October 20 will be price protected if the resulting change is a higher category, but will receive a rate adjustment if the resulting change is for a lower category.  The five new categories are:

  • 4E – Deluxe Family Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah – Oversized Verandah
  • 5E – Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Verandah – Oversized Verandah, some with solid white wall
  • 7A – Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom with Navigator Verandah, Undersized or Obstructed Verandah
  • 9C – Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom, One Porthole, Obstructed View
  • 9D – Deluxe Oceanview Stateroom, One Porthole, Obstructed View – limited view of ocean

Here is a list of the staterooms affected by the change:

Previously Category 9A

Now Category 9C:  7000 – 7004, 7500 – 7502, 8000 – 8004, 8500 – 8502

Now Category 9D:  6000 – 6006, 6500 – 6504, 7006 & 7504, 8006 & 8504

Previously Category 6B

Now Category 7A:  5180 & 5680, 5188 & 5688, 6178 & 6678, 7182 & 7680

Now Category 5E:  6190 & 6690, 6192, 7190 – 7194, 7688 – 7690

Previously Category 6A

Now Category 7A:  8176 & 8674, 9164 & 9664

Now Category 5E:  8184 – 8188, 8682 – 8684, 9170 – 9176, 9670 – 9674, 10158 – 10166, 10658 – 10664

Previously Category 5E

Now Category 7A:  5024 & 5524

Now Category 4E:  5026 – 5052, 5150 – 5164, 5526 – 5552, 5650 – 5664

Previously Category 5C

Now Category 7A:  7022 & 7520, 7170 & 7668

Previously Category 5B

Now Category 7A:  8022 & 8520, 8164 & 8662

Previously Category 5A

Now Category 7A:  9012 & 9512, 9152 & 9652

Oasis of the Seas Review – Part Two

Yesterday we began our review of Oasis of the Seas.  This ship is so big we just can’t keep it to one or two blogs.  Believe it or not, we didn’t even see the whole ship!  We were only onboard for three hours, including a sit down lunch.

In this blog we’ll focus on the staterooms and entertainment areas on the ship.

One of the greatest additions to the Oasis classes of ships is the Wayfinder.  These handy touchscreens were available throughout the ship.  If you can’t find your room, just type in the room number and the screen will show you the way.  Don’t know what’s going on right now?  You can pull up the daily Compass.  Ready for dinner, but not sure where you want to go?  You can check out the wait at locations onboard.

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Stateroom Tours on the Disney Dream

While on the Maiden voyage of the Disney Dream, we had the opportunity to see quite a few cabins. I wanted to share some photos with you of the rooms we toured with some notes about each of these. We definitely have some secret favorites for this ship!

We also took some time to map the room locations a bit better as we know the ship map isn’t exactly drawn to scale. Both of our rooms on the Christening and Maiden voyages ended up a little further from or closer to the elevators than we thought they would. Laundry rooms as well are not marked. Here is a photo of the laundry room on deck 10.

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General Stateroom Information for the Disney Dream

While onboard, we collected a number of documents that were given to us in the stateroom and prior to arrival to help with some of the new things on the ship. Some of these documents are also used on the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder.

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Disney Dream Stateroom Review

We were staying in a category 5A stateroom which is an oceanview stateroom with verandah. The room was very nicely appointed however, it was noticeably smaller than the category 5A on the Disney Magic & Wonder. The space reduction seems to be in the width of the rooms.

There are many changes to the rooms. Some good, some less desirable. The closets open out instead of sliding side to side. While this will be great in rougher seas, there were a couple drawbacks. There are no lights in the closet and when you have on the hall light, only one closet gets light.

The doors on the bathrooms open out, which is great! This gives so much more room in the bathrooms themselves, but both swing to the right, but the light switches are between the two. This means you have to remember to turn on the shower light before opening the door. You also have to make sure you don’t need to get anything from the other bathroom before you go in or you’ll have to close the door to do so. You cannot get around the doors when they are open, so between the bathrooms and the closet doors that all open into the hallway, you can end up with quite a maze!

There is a great conservation feature built into the rooms. To get the lights or TV on, you must put a key card in the slot inside your door. It does not matter which way your card goes, or even if you use a Key To The World card at all.

The bed is an incredible change! The mattresses were so comfortable as well as the pillows and sheets. I loved the sheets, they had hidden Mickeys all over them! The beds, however cannot separate into two twin beds. This is a big issue, especially with families of three who won’t want to sleep in the same bed. They will need to get a room that sleeps four (has a bunk) but will not be able to get guaranteed one. Because the bed is one unit now, the frame is much more sturdy. You can store your luggage under the bed which is wonderful. We did this before but it was so much easier now than lifting the bed to get it under there. Unfortunately, DCL chose not to go with bedskirts and you can see all your luggage under the bed, but that really wasn’t an issue for us. What was an issue was the bed frame. While it offers better support, it also becomes a weapon when you are walking from one side of the room to the other. The rooms as I mentioned are narrower and we each caught our knees or shins on the bed corner multiple times.

The sofa/desk area also has some good and bad aspects. The sofa was very comfortable. My sister took a nap on the sofa without turning down the bed and felt it was comfy. The table is really neat and can be used for storage, but due to the width of the room, this really gets in the way. The chair by the desk has a back on it so it doesn’t tuck completely under the desk like on the other ships. If you have this chair out at all, another person will have a difficult time getting to the balcony.

The desk area is wonderful however! There are better located outlets here. The room has a nightlight in this area as well, but I felt this was too bright for us. The wave phones are on a 220V outlet (which is also where you should plug in the hairdryer). The desk is not quite as deep as before, however the space is very useable. The desk drawers are no longer split between the two sides of the desk. Instead they are on one side and much larger, more useable. Instead of a chiller, all rooms now have a refrigerator. When this kicked in, it wasn’t nearly as loud as we had expected. The TVs are all flat screen and allow you to do more than watch TV. You could book shore excursions and review your bill without going to guest services. There were also cabinets above the desk to use.

We did have the Portable Wave Phones onboard. They were nice to use on the ship, but still are not working on Castaway Cay. I was disappointed that there were no phone instructions in the room. The ship has newer phones than the Magic and the Wonder, but there were no instructions on how to call someone. The way to do so is not the same as the Wave Phones. On the Wave Phone you dial 41+ the number you are calling. The number is the room number for calling a room and the room number plus 1 for the first wave phone or plus 2 for the second one in the room. You can call a room or another wave phone. Calling from the room, you dialed 7+ the room number. I did not try calling a wave phone from the room phone however.

The verandah door is much nicer than on the other ships. These were like what we had on the Celebrity Solstice. You had the handle pointed down and could easily open the door. If the handle was turned upward, the door was next to impossible to open.

I was impressed with the shower/tub bathroom. It seemed like the tub was wider, but I can’t be sure. The shower curtain however had a curve in the track so you didn’t have the shower curtain clinging to you while taking a shower. The faucet was a bit different. On the right side you had the temperature control and on the left side, you dialed toward you for the shower and away from you for the spigot. Also, there were two clotheslines in the shower. They are not your usual spring-back cord.

On our last of the Dream cruises next week we will be in a category V stateroom which are larger than the 4A staterooms on the Magic or Wonder so we’ll be interested to see the difference in space.

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