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Port versus Starboard cabin?


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Thank you for all the good tips for choosing a cabin, which I found very helpful. I have booked on two cruises in balcony cabins towards the aft of the ship, with cabins on the decks above and below.  One thing I can't see an answer to is whether a port or starboard cabin is better?  I guess it depends on where the ship is going to some extent, but are there other factors?  I would appreciate the thoughts of some experienced cruisers.

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8 hours ago, cruiser3775 said:

One thing I can't see an answer to is whether a port or starboard cabin is better?  I guess it depends on where the ship is going to some extent, but are there other factors? 

Unless you are going Trans-Atlantic (TA), or Trans-Pacific (TP) it really does not matter.

For TA & TP you just need to figure the ship direction, and decide if you want the sun side, or the shade side. If the ship is on some sort of circle route - you get 1/2 sun side & 1/2 shade side. 

If you want a particular view when you are in port/approaching port - there is no guarantee, or even a hint, which direction the ship will be docked. That decision is up to the port Master or the Captain. Some captains tell you the day/evening before in their standard announcements - some do not.

If you look at the map of the cruise, and there is a particular stretch of coastline you want to see - you might select a particular side but for the most part, the ship will stay well away from land - people get upset if the ship bumps into the land. If there is a "Cruising" shown in the itinerary, then the ship will be typically going slowly through an area with views on both sides (like many Alaskan cruises getting into see the Glaciers). On the 4 Alaskan cruises I have been on the captain has brought the ship as close as he feels comfortable to the glacier and then spins the ship so all the balcony gets a good look.

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Many ships have a promenade deck with smoking allowed on one side of it.  Usually there are decks of balconies above it.  If you are a non-smoker and smoke bothers you, you need to find out which side the smoking area is, and book the opposite side.  EM

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How do you find out where smoking is permitted?  

I also wondered if I should try to get on the shady afternoon side of the ship when travelling in tropical waters?   How much shade is there on the balcony cabins?

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To find out where the smoking areas are, you ask/ read on the boards here for that cruise line.  How much shade depends on ship design, cabin location, latitude, longitude, direction of travel…. EM

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On 6/2/2022 at 11:19 PM, cruiser3775 said:

One thing I can't see an answer to is whether a port or starboard cabin is better?  I guess it depends on where the ship is going to some extent, but are there other factors?  I would appreciate the thoughts of some experienced cruisers.

It totally depends on the cruise -- I found your map, and I would take a port side balcony, myself. You will get morning sun, afternoon shade circling OZ, sun on the crossing (which might be chilly in March?), and shore-side views all around NZ.

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Another consideration: 

 

When our kids were young and we cruised with 4 in a cabin, we always tried to book a port (left) side room ... and a room near a public rest room.  Note that all (well, maybe most) public men's bathrooms are on the port side, while public ladies' rooms are on the starboard side.  With four people sharing one cabin bathroom, my husband often went out to the public restroom.  

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To me, this really depends on the ship. I’d never book one side or the other hoping to be on the side of the pier or water when docked because it varies frequently how the ships dock. I used to think it mattered..

But, what I would pay attention to is what’s below you. Is there a smoking deck that would bother you close by? What about a restaurant that could have noise carry up to you?

This is why I like to spend time on cruise critic and read about those things. 
What ship are you specifically looking for? You can also go to YouTube and search your ship and cabins and look for video tours. Usually if there’s a tour of a cabin and a concern with noise in the area it will be mentioned. 

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Posted (edited)

I'm a first time cruiser, so picking a good cabin was a steep learning curve. I read all the hints, looked at cruisedeckplans and cruise mapper and videos on You Tube. I have two cruises booked now. On one I have an aft balcony cabin on the starboard side and the other I have a balcony cabin that is well back in the forward section of the ship, on the port side. Both are not above or below anything but other cabins.  So it will be interesting to see how they compare. Thanks for all your help.

Edited by cruiser3775
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I have always heard that "posh" means/can be interpreted as "port out starboard home" coming from Europe to US. That is, that is travelling west out and east home. The idea is to be on the sunny side in the "cold" North Atlantic.

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Actually, port out, starboard home was coined for those traveling from England to India, and back.  Not sure why, unless it was just to see the shore.  Or that the afternoon sun might heat up the cabin through the porthole.  But if you were doing a winter voyage, you might want the sun to heat your cabin…Back then there were no balconies for people to worry about shade…. It had nothing to do with an Atlantic crossing.  As far as a crossing is concerned, it would depend on where home is.  If home is in the US, it would be starboard out, port home.  EM

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