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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Quiet Times

It seemed like such a great idea. We’d schedule a cruise over the holidays so we wouldn’t have to take as many days off from work. Then the Celebrity sales rep said, “You know, during Christmas week, we get about 600 kids.”

All of a sudden, our week of blissful heaven began to look the depths of you-know-where.
It was then that we realized finding quiet when you cruise is not a given—you’ve got to work at it. Here are some suggestions (no guarantees, mind you!) for getting that piece of peace on your next sea voyage:
Quiet times: avoid school vacations. Obvious, yes. But a bit harder to pull off. You’ve got elementary school vacations. College vacations. Florida’s vacations. Canada’s vacations. They can all be different. Is it worth avoiding these times? Just read a few of the reviews in by the unlucky travelers who found themselves sharing a ship with those 600 kids.
The tranquility of Central Park at night
on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas.
Quiet rooms: pick your stateroom very carefully. Check what’s above and below you, as well as side to side. You don’t want to be anywhere around the gym, jogging track, cafeteria, dining room, discos, bars, pools or laundromats. Or too close to the elevators, the crew’s linen room, the galleys, or where the luggage comes in and out.
If you’re going for a balcony room, it’s better not to be across from an inside room. And unless you’re traveling with family or friends, I would avoid adjoining rooms as well. 
Musing’s Top Tip: It’s nearly impossible to read room numbers on those deck plans in the cruise catalogs, so try enlarging them on a copier. Makes checking out the rooms much easier.
A hideaway on Celebrity's Solstice.
Quiet moments: stay when everyone else goes. Many will tell you the best time to be onboard is when the ship empties out in port. A lovely silence pervades the vessel. There are seats in the cafeteria. Even the crew looks more relaxed.
On each ship, there’s always little hideaway to discover. Your best bet is off times. The crow’s nest is usually empty during the day. Hardly anyone uses the library. And somewhere onboard, there’s a cozy armchair in a corner with your name written all over it.