Cabin location for most cruise lines will affect the bottom line price you pay for the cruise. Cabin size, location on the ship, and date of sailing are the biggest factors in the price of the cabin. Of course where the ship is sailing, cruise line, and length of cruise come into play as well but those are likely pretty much understood by all.
When I see advertised pricing for cruises a few questions come to mind, among them are is this price for the base fare only where port charges and taxes need to be added on as additional costs to get the actual bottom line cruise fare? Then I look at what kind of cabin was used to generate the price. Most often pricing is for an inside cabin with the fare covering the base fare and port charges. Taxes are usually an add-on, but some agents like Brooks Cruise Services prefer to post prices as the total per person fare inclusive of taxes. This helps eliminate sticker shock. Further the price will clearly indicate the cabin class either in broad terms such as “inside” or “suite” or even more specifically the exact category.
Once you decide what cabin class you want, within the class cabins have different locations. Cabin classes are Inside, Outside/Ocean view, Balcony/Verandah, or Suite (this class includes mini-suites as well). On the larger cruise ships, like in the real estate market location is king. The cabins of equal size and amenities are then divided by location into different sub-classes of cabins. Each sub-class ends up with different prices based on the location. Sometimes the price difference is also based on if the cabin can accommodate more than two passengers and/or connects to other cabins, as these cabins are in higher demand for many families.
Cabins closer to elevators typically are in the higher rent district than those far forward or aft of the nearest elevator. Another area cabins tend to raise in price is closer to the outdoor action, hence high deck cabins are usually more expensive than lower deck cabin. Some ships have most of the suites in a specific section of the ship and often the surrounding cabins are among those which are higher rent. Some will argue about the benefit of being closer to elevators and certain activities but on average more people want to be closer than those who want to be further away.
There are some exceptions which usually occur on luxury ships and smaller ships where the cabins are all closer to the action and tend to vary less in size. They still have different categories of cabins so there will usually be price difference but usually fewer price points on the same ship as compared to larger ships.
Some of the newer ships have incorporated some really interesting cabin locations, often priced at quite a premium, but in some cases less expensive for other cabins of a similar category. Royal Caribbean’s Oasis and Allure are two ships where we definitely see a really wide variety of cabin types and locations. There are a number of balcony and suite cabins where you overlook interior courtyards. These locations are perfect for people watching. Of course if you can see the people, the people can see you so you do tend to lose some privacy with these cabins.
Ultimately many factors together determine what price you pay for your cabin. Yes the person in the cabin next to you could be paying more or less for a similar cabin. What is most important though is that you have a happy cruise in a cabin that you can be happy with for that cruise.
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