Subject: Re: Advice needed on how "cruzin"

Cruise lines' websites and brochures contain plans of the ships showing decks, room categories and public areas. Your choice will depend on a number of things: inside or outside cabin, porthole, window or verandah, whether you want to be on a lower or higher deck - all priced accordingly. Check the locations of the public areas too. Though the cabins are usually soundproof, it's probably best to be away from public areas. Also, the lower decks can be noisy with the sounds of the ship in action and if you are a light sleeper this may be a factor in your choice.

If you choose a verandah cabin, check to see if it is directly below the Promenade deck. If it is, you may find yourself trying to relax while ship's passengers hang over the railing overlooking your verandah and disturbing your privacy.

When we have taken our cruises, we have generally chosen the cheapest category outside cabin because we don't spend much time in it and I insist on a window or at least a porthole, recogizing my tendency toward claustrophobia. Our one experience of a cabin with a verandah was fabulous but this was a "special" deal. These cabins are larger as well.

If you are going to be three in the room (you say you will be accompanied by your daughters) you'll have to consider the space issue. My suggestion would be to discuss this with a travel agent specializing in cruise travel. There are lots of deals around these days. I am going on a Baltic cruise in June and left all the planning details in the hands of an agent with the Flight Centre, which is an international agency so there's probably one in your area. Booking through this agency, I was able to get a verandah suite for 50% of the listed price.

Happy planning. Let us know what you decide. Lucy, Toronto