What cruiseline, ship and accommodation to choose?
Well, selecting the cruise line is a major decision. There are exclusive cruise lines that will offer a 5 star experience (Silver Seas, Crystal) and great destinations for no less than $1000 a day. You can have a luxurious cruise on Celebrity and Azamara for far less or if you book a suite on Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Costa or Disney. If you are on a budget you can find great offers on Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, Pulllman and many more smaller cruise lines. The key is to do your research and read reviews or ask your friends- fellow travelers may be able to advise you best.
As for the size of the ship= there is no right answer on this one. Myself, I love the small ships- they have a more quaint and intimate atmosphere, you get to know the crew and the other guests and you do make lots of friends. Small ships also sail to the most exotic itineraries, as they are usually faster and can cover greater distances, as well as burn less fuel, which is always a major concern and biggest cost for every cruise line.
Larger ships on the other hand are newer and offer bigger range of amenities, more lounges, optimized spaces, more guests (i.e. better deals), so if you are an active adult or a youngster you may want to be on a bigger vessel and go crazy with all the entertainment it has to offer.
Not to mention that everyone is different and some may not be interested in the ship or its amenities, but care for the itinerary, in which case you will simply choose whichever ship sails to your desired destination.
What about the room? What type should I book?
Well, the truth is that it only matters how much you are willing to spend. If you are on a budget, there is no point of spending all your money on a room you will hardly stay in, so choose the least expensive inside stateroom, to be able to have whatever spare cash you have left for fun things to do around the ship and in the ports of call.
If you are claustrophobic though, under no circumstances book am inside room- get one with a porthole at least.
If money is not an issue, then the minimum accommodation would be a balcony room and if you like to travel in style some gorgeous suites are available for you too. As you go up the different room categories, you will get more amenities and being able to see outside or feel what the weather is like is a definite plus. Not to mention, there is nothing more romantic than having a glass of champagne on a balcony with your significant other at sunset or full moon…:-)
The location of the room is very important. Remember the higher you go (in terms of decks), the more you will feel the motion. Also, if you are at the very front you will experience bigger movement if the weather is less than perfect and if you are at the very back- you may encounter some vibration or even noise from the propellers.
It is good to be closer to the elevators (avoid walking long hallways numerous times a day), without being on top or directly under any food outlets or entertainment halls- these tend to have a nonstop operation and this could cause noise disturbance at times.
Finally, if you are traveling in a group and you want to stay together, make sure you book rooms either adjoining or close together, as once onboard it will be hard for the staff to accommodate you if the ship is fully booked.