Picking The Right Cabin For Your Cruise Clients Can Make You a Hero

stateroom photo

Picking the right cabin for your cruise clients is sometimes not as easy as you might think.

I was reminded of this when I saw an article from Australia on this very topic. Its guidelines are pretty much common sense but worth reminding ourselves of anyway.

For me, and I think for many travel agents, the default cabin is a deluxe stateroom with a balcony or veranda. If a client has a strong cruise line preference, then a stateroom with balcony should fit their budget.

If cost is a concern, you can often offset any hesitancy with the amenities the cruise line provides with those cabins or ones you negotiate with the supplier. Perhaps a veranda stateroom is too rich for a client’s blood. Then you can propose an “outside” or “ocean-view” cabin, being sure that the client understands the tradeoffs. (Some ocean view cabins have partially obstructed view, for example.)

But there are always those “special cases.” Here are some thoughts:

Picking the right cabin for troubled sleepers

There is a demographic, to which I belong, of folks who don’t sleep all that well and who are liable to wake up at the least sign of dawn creeping around even the heaviest curtains. Add to this people who prefer to sleep in until nine or ten.

For folks like this an inside cabin, with the total darkness it offers, might be a good choice. And they are cheaper, too, which could mean putting that troubled sleeper on a ship they might otherwise avoid because of price.

Some cruise lines, such as Disney, have installed “virtual portholes” in inside cabins that offer a real-time view of the passing scenery. This might convince some clients on a tight budget to put up with the downside of an inside cabin.

The major problem with this approach is that most bookings are for couples and if one party doesn’t want an inside cabin … well, let’s put it this way, my wife always wins.

Picking the right cabin for scenic cruises

If one of the main attractions of a cruise is the chance to gape at some jaw-dropping scenery (Alaska’s Inner Passage comes to mind), then there’s no real choice in my opinion. A veranda is a must.

But which side of the ship? The answer depends on the itinerary, of course.

Here’s where your product knowledge comes into play. Yes, cruise line reservationists, your BDM, or fellow travel agents can provide guidance, but nothing beats personal experience. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to take one of those low-cost fams I discuss in the Home-Based Travel Agent Success Course, then this is a good one!

Picking the right cabin for the hyperactive traveler

Do you have clients who leap out of bed first thing in the morning, leave their cabin, and don’t return until they return exhausted to collapse into bed after dancing the night away?

Maybe, just maybe, a veranda stateroom isn’t the best choice for them. (Although there will probably be some moments on the cruise when a veranda will look awfully inviting to even the most active cruisers.)

If they are amenable to an ocean view cabin or even an inside cabin, the money freed up can be put to use elsewhere — for a more expensive cruise line, a longer voyage, a European departure port, additional onboard amenities, and so forth.

As with so much we are discussing here, this requires really getting to know you clients. It’s the process we call qualifying.

‘How To Sell Travel Like A Pro’ Module 3

Much of what I discuss in this article can be applied directly
to the process of qualifying, presenting to, and closing your cruise clients.
If you are rusty on any of those skills (or don’t recognize the terms),
then it’s time to review Module Three!

Click here to access your course.

Don’t have the course? Click here.

Picking the right cabin for transoceanic sailings

For this, there is really only one choice. A veranda! End of discussion.

The great joy of a transatlantic voyage is the four to six days at sea. That’s when you relax on your veranda with a good book and a glass of wine and watch the waves roll by. Heaven!

Picking the right cabin for the queasy

Many travel agents of a certain vintage (i.e. oldsters like me) remember when the specter of seasickness was a big deal. No more.

Not only are modern cruise ships remarkably stable, but there are innumerable precautions susceptible cruisers can take — Bonine, Dramamine, those behind the ear patches, and even acupressure bands on the wrist — that have proven remarkably effective.

But the fact is that stabilzers on the ships make people forget they are moving on the open seas. Only in extremely rough seas, which captains take pains to avoid, will motion sickness be an issue.

I also believe that the public is much better informed on this subject today.

Still, for that minority of cruisers (especially first timers) who have concerns the common wisdom is that cabins amidships (that is in the center of the ship) on a lower deck are the least affected by motion at sea.

Picking the right cabin to avoid the worst cabin

Not every cabin on every ship is perfect. In fact, there are some that should be avoided at all costs. Cabins below the disco or the kitchen can be noisy. The same is true of cabins to the front of the ship near the anchors. Cabins anywhere on the bottom-most deck can be subject to engine noise and vibrations. The list goes on.

On the flip side of this issue are cabins that meet specific requests or desires of the client. Do they want a short stroll to dining? Easy access to the pool or the casino? Choose a stateroom accordingly.

Once again, your superior product knowledge is key here.

I find the best source of information on this score is my fellow travel agents. So when you meet an agent who specializes in a certain cruise line you might want to quiz them on the best (and worst) cabins on specific ships.

Another source of intelligence are those cruising websites that seem to sprout like mushrooms these days.

Fortunately, if you are booking mostly veranda staterooms on higher decks, truly bad cabins are seldom an issue.

Picking the right cabin for families

Yes, there are triple and even quad cabins and they can work well for families with young children. But as kids grow older this solution is not always ideal, especially if Mom and Dad might enjoy a little privacy, if you catch my drift.

The solution is multiple cabins, ideally ones that are next to each other and have doors that allow moving between cabins without stepping into the passageway.

The problem is that there are a limited number of such cabins on most ships and they book up early. So you need to impress upon your clients who need this sort of accommodation the need for making a timely decision.

Teenagers can sometimes be trusted in a separate cabin, but that is a matter for discussion between you and your client.

Picking the right cabin can make you a hero

As you probably have gathered by now, picking the right cabin for each client can be something of an art form. After all, what’s “perfect” for one client might be less so for another.

It’s easy to grab some available group space from your host or let the cruise line reservationist or online booking portal pick a cabin for you. With a bit of luck nothing much will go wrong.

So take the time to properly qualify your client and identify the perfect cabin for this ship on this itinerary. It can mean the difference between a so-so customer experience and creating a client for life. Those are the people who will be intensely loyal and sing your praises to all their friends.

It’s worth thinking about.

Related Content

Shore Excursions and the Home-Based Travel Agent

I Don’t Want To Sell Cruises

Know Your Clients and Make More Sales

Picking The Right Cabin For Your Cruise Clients Can Make You a Hero was last modified: May 16th, 2018 by Kelly Monaghan