Hi my lovely readers!
During my days as a reservation agent working for two cruise lines, I often had people asking me for specific cruise cabins. More specifically they were asking to be booked on either starboard or portside, depending on the cruise itinerary.
You might think, it makes no difference if I’m staying on the right or left hand side of the ship, but you might want to think again.
Today, I want to talk about why and when it’s important to book a starboard or portside cabin.
Should I book a starboard or portside cabin on a cruise?
STARBOARD AND PORTSIDE
I guess first of all we need to understand which side is starboard and which is portside as these are the cruise terms for left and right.
I always get mixed up with the two, but one of my former colleagues taught me to remember which side is which.
Portside refers to the left side of the ship and starboard to the right. Starboard has two “Rs” in it, hence it stands for right.
WHICH ONE IS BETTER?
Now that that’s out of the way and we know which side is which, let’s talk about which of the two is better.
Technically speaking, there is no difference in terms of the cruise cabins themselves. The cabins will be the same layout, the service will be the same, the amenities will be the same no matter if they’re on starboard or portside. There’s literally no difference at all between a starboard and a portside cabin, except the view.
WHEN DOES IT MATTER IF I BOOK A STARBOARD OR PORTSIDE CABIN
The view can be very important to many cruisers as there are a few cruise itineraries that pass land, which is very scenic. However, you would only be able to admire the landscape and scenery from the comfort of your cruise cabin if you’re staying on the correct side of the ship.
Here is an example. Let’s say you’re doing a South America cruise. You would want to look at the cruise itinerary and look at he direction of travel to determine which side would be the land side and which would be the sea side.
From the picture you can see that the land side would be the starboard side, the right hand side. The ship comes from the north and travels south.
Therefore, if you want to enjoy the marvelous views that the South American coastline has to offer, you would want to book a starboard cabin. Otherwise you will only see the sea from your cabin for the entire duration of your cruise.
WHEN DOESN’T IT MATTER IF I BOOK A STARBOARD OR PORTSIDE CABIN
There will be some cruise itineraries when it’s advantages to book specifically a starboard or portside cabin as we’ve seen above. However, for most cruise itineraries it won’t matter or make too much of a difference which side of the ship you’re staying on.
Some examples are Mediterranean and Norwegian cruises as you will have good views from any side or transatlantic cruises when you will have water on either side. In my opinion it also doesn’t matter for Caribbean cruises.
Bottom line, as you can see there are plenty of cruise itineraries where it really makes no difference to your cruise experience which side of the ship your booked on. The really scenic cruise itineraries where you want to have a cruise cabin facing the land side are more rare.
Still, if a specific view is important to you, make sure to check the direction of travel and book early. Going back to my South America cruise example, I know from experience that one side of the ship always gets booked out before the other.
- What The Heck Is A Guarantee Cabin On A Cruise And Should You Book One?
- 10 Reasons Why You Should Book An Interior Cruise Cabin
- 6 Reasons Why You Should Not Book An Interior Cruise Cabin
What do you think? Would you want to pick the side of the ship to get a better view or not?
Let me know in the comments. I’m curious to know!
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