My family loves to cruise! Every time we start to plan a vacation, it's "where should we cruise to?" Having been on a number of cruises throughout my single days, I introduced my family to cruising and now my husband has cruised equally as much as our boys. The one part of cruising that we all have in common is where we like to be on the ship. We have always loved mid-ship for its convenience, stability and location. So you can imagine the dismay of everyone when after all of these years, I decided to book our recent cruise in the aft. Where is THAT? How far will we have to walk? Do you hear the engines all night long?
I stuck to my plan and (hesitantly!) assured them they would love it. The aft is the back of the ship, also called the stern. No, you don't hear the engines all night long and the aft cabins have an amazing view as to where you have been. There are many myths about staying in the aft. Now it's time to check out the facts.
When choosing a location on the ship, it's typically divided up into Aft, Mid-Ship, and Forward. When I'm talking about a true aft, I'm describing the rooms that face out the back of the ship...all the way at the end of the ship. Below is a diagram, courtesy of Celebrity Cruises:
Myths and Facts on Booking an Aft Cabin
On the Celebrity Solstice-class ships, many of the aft cabins are Sky Suites and some have a corner, aft view along with a large porthole window looking out to the side. For more about these beautiful cabins, take a look at my Celebrity Cabins page. It also shows how our Sky Suite connected to either another Sky Suite or a Deluxe Stateroom with a wonderful private alcove. Perfect for families!
It's a loooong walk to your cabin at the aft of the ship.
This isn't nearly as intimidating as it looks on the deck plans. On our most recent ship, Celebrity Reflection, there are no aft stairways or elevators so you will have to walk mid-ship to go up or down. But there are railings all along the hallway. These are being cleaned constantly and the friendly staff or stateroom attendants may greet you for a quick chat. (We came across one who surprisingly knew my youngest son by name since she encountered him often while walking back to and from the cabin.) Before or after your walk to mid-ship, take a break and enjoy a rest in the Library or check your emails at the Internet Cafe.
Check out the ship's deck plan on their website to see where the closest set of stairs or elevators are to the aft. On Princess Cruises, you'll find stairs and elevator options near the aft-facing staterooms (as well as in the forward.)
Soot falls on the deck of your balcony.
Not on our Celebrity Cruises ship. Didn't see one speck. Maybe it was because they are rigorously cleaning the verandas, furniture and windows daily. The only time I noticed any smoke was at night against the dark sky but it was oddly relaxing and beautiful.
However, this isn't always the case. I have heard that some aft cabins are more prone to soot. If you want to research a specific stateroom or suite on a ship, I always head over to the Cruise Critic Message Board Forum. Sign-in (or sign-up) and then go to the cruise line you want to research. Many of them have cabin information pinned to the top or you can search the forums using your ship and cabin number as keywords.
I'll get seasick in an aft stateroom.
I've never found that I get more seasick in an aft cabin versus any other location on the ship. This was tested since we did hit a bit of rough seas one night in our aft suite, typical of the Caribbean. However, nothing. No extra bumps or swaying in the aft of the ship. This was actually the only cruise that I ended up taking my SeaBands off early. However, if you are concerned about seasickness, make sure to see my tips to prepare ahead of time.
Yep, we've been convinced. A cabin in the aft of the ship provides a secluded spot that is not heavily traveled or noisy. The view is unbelievable and when gazing at the wake, it feels like you are cruising on your own private yacht. It was especially beautiful in Alaska while looking at the glaciers and mountains from this view.
We have already booked our next cruise and quickly grabbed the perfect aft cabin. It's our home away from home on our own ship, in our quiet space and with our amazing, reserved view. You'll now find us always in the aft!
My Virtual Vacations Blog
About the Author
Thanks for cruising by! Along with creating this website and blog, I work in an office full-time and as a mom to two energetic young men. With our family's busy work and school schedule, we look forward to traveling during holidays. Although it seems that our family can never agree on anything, we do when it comes to vacations. We typically travel on cruises or stay at luxury hotels while enjoying upscale dining, beautiful decor, excellent service, and spacious accommodations. However, we still need family friendly and comfortable! When we are not traveling, I enjoy dining out locally, as well as cooking and baking in my own kitchen.
Virtually escape and start planning your next luxurious cruise vacation on land or sea with My Virtual Vacations. Contact me for any specific questions or recommendations. And don't forget to keep checking back for the latest blog posts and information. There are always more family vacations in our future!
You'll also find me on Cruise Critic boards as SunnyAJ. Let's connect!
About the Photos
Our beautiful photographs are creatively captured by my talented freelance husband/photographer located in Baltimore, MD. Click here to explore more of his work.
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