Tuesday, March 19, 2013
The big enough cabin
We recently stayed in a hotel room that is larger than the cabin we will be in on our cruise this summer. There were two queen beds, a sitting area with a pull out sofa, a mini-kitchenette, and the bathroom. There were several outlets for charging electronics, and there was free wifi. The tv was a 32-inch flat screen with DirectTV service.
Why does this matter? And how is this related to our Mediterranean cruise?
For people who have never cruised, they might think that a ship cabin is like a hotel room. In a lot of ways it is, but when it comes to square footage, the ship cabins are usually smaller. In fact, our deluxe family cabin is only 268 sq ft including the space of the verandah.
There is one bed which can be set up as two twins or made into a small king, and the sofa in the cabin flips over to make a bed the size of a twin only slightly narrower. There is an upper berth that folds into the ceiling during the day and is let down each evening by your stateroom host. This configuration lets four people sleep in a single cabin. Depending on your sleeping arrangement needs, it's important to check with the cruise line or your travel agent when booking a cabin to know just how the beds in different categories and on different ships can be configured to accommodate your needs.
Another difference is that while there might not seem to be a lot of storage space in the cabin, some creative double hanging and folding can actually get most of your things put into place. That's assuming you haven't over packed. Our experience with cruising has helped us figure where everything goes in the cabin and allows us to unpack rather than live out of suitcases like we do in hotel rooms.
One disadvantage on a ship is that there are not many outlets to plug things in. In fact, on our ship, there are two plugs available on the desk and if you're lucky, you can pull the tv out enough to access the outlet behind it. And while we aren't constantly using iPods, kindles, etc., we do like to keep our camera charged, too. So we work it out by taking turns and plugging each other's gadgets in when there is an available power supply.
The tv is small, but who has time for tv while cruising? Well, we do! They broadcast port information, shore excursions, special talks, and even some of the main theater shows over the onboard tv circuit. There is an information channel with weather, ship route, and other information. There is even a channel that shows the view from the front of the ship. They show movies, too.
The part about a Disney cruise ship cabin that is different than a hotel room is the Pixie Dust... It's the pixie dust that magically makes a 268 sq ft cabin be the right size for its occupants and all their belongings.