She works/How to choose a cabin for a river cruise: the best cabins and what to avoid
By Jeannine Williamson
River cruise cabins are an important decision to consider when booking river cruises. How are they different from cruise ships and which cabin is best for you? Our guide will help.
The word chic is commonly believed to come from "harbour out, starboard to home". The 19th-century acronym stood for the most sought-after cabins – those that did not heat up in the sun – on voyages from Britain to India and back.
Since then, much has been written about how to choose a cabin on a cruise ship, but little can be found about how to choose the right cabin for a river cruise.
That's why we're here to dispel some myths, clarify terminology, and help you find the right home for you.
Small is beautiful
If you are accustomed to ocean cruising, when entering a river cruise cabin for the first time, you must be guided by your expectations.
Ships sailing in Europe have a maximum length of 135 meters and a width of 11 meters (to fit through narrow locks) and three passenger decks allowing passage under narrow bridges.
Everything is much smaller than seagoing ships, with cabins starting at around 150 square meters. That said, they've been cleverly designed to maximize space with plenty of cupboards, drawers and shelves for storage, as well as under-bed storage for suitcases so you can keep everything neat and tidy.
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Is there a right or wrong site to book a cabin on a river barge?
The answer is no. Firstly, there are no cabins without windows on river ships, and all rooms face the water. Since rivers, canals and waterways are relatively narrow, there is always something to see on both sides of the ship.
If there is a passing landmark such as Lorelei RockRhinenaThere is always an announcement about the approach of a ship and you can go to the lounge or sundeck to check it out.
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How do I decide which deck to book?
Unlike ocean liners, which can have a large number of cabin categories, most riverboat cabins are of the same size, and the most important decision is to choose one of the three decks based on personal preference and budget.
It should be taken into account that there are no "sea days" during which you can only sail. With daily ports of call (sometimes two a day), you probably won't spend much time in your cabin when you go on land trips, on the sundeck or in the lounges.
A balcony cabin is an attractive proposition, but think about how much time you plan to use it and whether it is worth incurring such an additional expense. OnA trip to the Christmas marketyou are unlikely to be sitting outside so you can save money and spend it on gifts instead.
The water cabins on the lower decks are the cheapest and have fixed windows that cannot be opened, yet let in plenty of light.
The ones at the rear of the ship are the cheapest but can also be the noisiest as they are closest to the engine and crew door.
The mid-deck cabins are closest to the reception, disembarkation and lounge, saving you time going up and down the stairs or using the lift.
- READ MORE:How to choose the best cabin on a cruise ship-
The most expensive cabins are on the upper deck and offer the best views; However, be aware that on a night cruise you may hear crew members walking overhead, which may include navigation locks. That's why it's wise to bring a pair of earplugs with you.
Finally, in ocean vessels, the most stable cabins are in the middle of the vessel, but for river vessels, this is not considered as the waterways are very smooth and there is no danger of seasickness.
Are there suites on the riverboats?
If you want to sail a legendary boat, many riverboats have larger suites; sometimes only two so if you want to secure them you have to order in advance. Some suites are larger cabins with more amenities such as larger bathrooms and larger living areas.
If you want a separate bedroom and living room you will find itVikingsThe Explorer Suites are 40 square meters in size and feature a surrounding balcony.
Sceneand sister brandEmerald cruisesit also has two-bedroom apartments. Some of the best riverside apartments availableCrystal River Cruisesa supersize Crystal Mozart with a width of 23 meters, where two two-room Crystal Suites occupy as much as 80 square meters.
All apartments at Uniworld offer butler service and lavish furnishings, including cabins with canopy beds.
- READ MORE:How to choose a river cruise line that's right for you-
Book a bed with a view
If you want to relax in your cabin and watch the world go by at a leisurely pace, book with Avalon Waterways or CroisiEurope, which offer beds overlooking the river instead of the traditional window layout.Tauckit also has river beds on some of its ships.
This is how you understand the different types of balconies
Not all balconies are created equal, so check what you're getting before booking. The French balcony consists of a floor-to-ceiling window that slides halfway up to the balustrade so you can look in but not out.
Avalon Waterwayshas innovative "open-air" balconies in which the windows vary in width. Emerald Waterways and Scenic have panoramic balconies where the windows drop down at the push of a button, creating "inner" balconies that can be separated from the rest of the room by glass doors.
Lines of balconies with table and chair space include Viking iCruises on the Amadeus River.Waterwaysit combines the best of both worlds with double cabins with balconies, french balconies and an exit porch.
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Do riverboats have cabins available?
Airlines offering disabled cabins, usually located near the reception desk, include AmaWaterways, CroisiEurope, Emerald Cruises and Scenic.
If you have mobility issues but don't need an accessible cabin, you can book a room near the center of the ship which is also close to the dining room and bar so you can enjoy a long walk every time. back, i need a trip. from the cabin.
What about family houses?
AmaWaterways offers ships with interconnecting cabins that can accommodate families, as well as apartments for up to four people. Tauck and Uniworld also offer cabins with sofa beds that can be used by families.
In 2022, family river cruises will be in the foregroundA-Rosa cruiseslaunches the first dedicated family ship with cabins for up to five people.
- READ MORE:Viking EVP cruise line on the best cruises of 2022-
Finally, what is included in the chalets and what do I need to bring with me?
River cruise cabins may be smaller than their offshore counterparts, but that doesn't mean they're in bad shape.
State-of-the-art riverboat cabins feature hotel-style amenities, including comfortable beds that can usually be configured as twins or twins, TV with on-demand movies and entertainment, WiFi, air conditioning, safe, telephone, toiletries, and hairdryer.
Higher quality cabins often come with tea/coffee making facilities, a minibar, bathrobes and slippers. Most ships offer laundry and ironing services. In short, your river cruise cabin will become a floating home away from home.
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