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Thread: Pros and cons of aft cabins

  1. #1
    Cruise-a-Lot Smart Traveler's Avatar
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    Question Pros and cons of aft cabins

    Three questions about aft cabins on big ships:

    I read complaints about people feeling ships rocking with the waves in forward cabins. Can I feel this in the aft cabins if I book one there?

    I also read there is a loud docking noise from the stern. Do people in aft cabins hear it much and complain about that?

    Why do so many people want aft cabins besides the obvious bigger balconies at the stern?

    I want to know because I am considering a cabin near the aft elevators.
    Stay tuned for my review of the Sapphire Princess northbound repositioner

    Andrea

  2. #2
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    First of all, not all ships are created equal...even the big ships, therefore all are not the same in what you feel and hear in different parts of the ship. And all aft facing cabins don't have bigger balconies...depends on the ship.

    About the only constant is that the bow cabins hear the anchor when the ship lowers and raises it and you feel an up and down motion as the ship plows through the water.

    Also bear in mind that the term "aft cabin" designates the location of where the cabin is...you will see forward, mid ship and aft. Aft cabins are in the back 1/3 of the ship and aft facing balconies (or stern balconies...you don't hear that term very often) are the ones across the back of the ship.

    Aft facing cabins are our favorite place to be for a number of reasons. We do like the panoramic view and the mesmerizing view of the wake from the aft balcony. We like to be able to use our balcony even in inclement weather (side facing balconies often get wind and rain blown into them) Aft cabins are more sheltered and the wind is not usually an issue. There is less foot traffic in the hall and these cabins are quieter.

    There is a bit more motion in the back than mid ship, however this motion is not an up and down motion like at the front of the ship...it's more of a wallowing feel that is rather pleasant, and most of the time you are not even aware of it.

    The noise and vibration that you hear upon docking and leaving a port is caused by the side thrusters and only lasts a very short time. You can feel the vibration all over the ship, not just at the back or front. The higher the deck, the less you get the sound and vibration.

    Cabins situated near the aft elevators are more toward mid ship and will feel the motion of the ocean less. There will be more foot traffic in that area because folks with cabins towards the back of the ship will have to pass your cabin to get to the elevators. However, on most ships the elevator area has it's own "lobby" and you don't hear a lot of noise.
    Last edited by Char; 07-24-2011 at 12:09 PM.

  3. #3
    CLF Officer nealberk's Avatar
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    I have to agree with Char on this one. You do get a bit more motion at the front of the ship, but it really is not unpleasant. It is not like a speedboat that bounces along the water, the ships are really quite smooth unless the ship is in really rough water. The place I have felt the motion the most was in the front theater on the Veendam. We were chasing a hurricane and you could feel the ship rocking. Our cabin was in the front of the ship and we felt a lot less motion.

    Never have had a stern cabin, but if the motion in the dining room is any indication, you sometimes feel the thrusters for brief periods like Char said, but overall you do not get any real vibration or rocking motion.
    Neal (International Association of Troublemakers)

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  4. #4
    Cruiser flowers's Avatar
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    Think of a teter toter, if the front goes up the back has to go down a corresponding motion. Its a law of physics. Ships are build more rounded in the back and pointed in the front, so I do think that makes a little more motion in the front.

    the more you pay the more you sway... paying to upgrade to higher decks also means more motion.

    I had a aft facing JS and on RCL which only has two elevator banks on Freedom class ships .. its a very long walk to stop by the cabin to pee. I dont like using public restrooms, so wasnt thrilled with the location, though I know some like it.

    Aft elevator is fine .. its not far enough back to feel much. You get a lot of vibration all the way aft on the bottom couple of deck from the stablizers. All ships have aft vibration. (though you do not get the docking noise you hear in the front of the ship you asked about)
    Oasis 9/3/11, Triumph 11/7/11, Oasis, 11/26/11, Mariner, 1/29/12, Jewel 3/22/12, Jewel, 4/19/12, Magic 9/30/12, Conquest 11/25/12

  5. #5
    Cruiser flowers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealberk View Post
    Never have had a stern cabin, but if the motion in the dining room is any indication, you sometimes feel the thrusters for brief periods like Char said, but overall you do not get any real vibration or rocking motion.
    Iv had multiple cabins on bottom two decks. I think it might be worse at times.. but our floor constantly hummed .. non stop. One cabin actually had a knocking noise on our wall and ceiling (long story, I for sure did not pick the cabin, from a time share offer), where it was so often and loud, it would constantly wake you up and hard to hear the tv over it.

    My first RCL cruise .. inside gty .. so I cant complain, but it was like those vibrating beds you used to put a quarter in. Not as bad as the one above which was the last inside on the bottom deck.

    The vibration never stops, just worse at times.

    Of course I just choose a PT cabin for Nov .. which of course on Carnival is upfront. If the waves are rough, I know its like sonic booms when those big waves hit the hull. KA BOOM. Sounds like the ship hit something. Why would I choose a port hole cabin on purpose?? Its priced like a inside but I can see out PLUS its as big as a OV, so a lot bigger than a inside. So, its a trade off with the noise.
    Last edited by flowers; 07-24-2011 at 08:45 AM.
    Oasis 9/3/11, Triumph 11/7/11, Oasis, 11/26/11, Mariner, 1/29/12, Jewel 3/22/12, Jewel, 4/19/12, Magic 9/30/12, Conquest 11/25/12

  6. #6
    CruiseLineFans Officer/Administrator Cruise Planner's Avatar
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    I agree with Char, who has put it very well, especially her comment about 'not all ships are created equal'.

    A bigger ship is more stable than a smaller ship. A newer ship has better and more modern stabilizers. And the newest ship has computer controlled stabilizers, which are quite remarkable. Some ships have two stabilizers, while the newest ones may have four.

    Also, it depends on the cruise line - some are quicker to deploy the stabilizers than others. Stabilizers put drag on the ship and therefore it require more fuel to propel the ship through the water. The more fuel burned, the higher the cost it will encumber, which is why some lines are less likely to deploy stabilizers in seas that are just a bit rough.

    All of this impacts how well a ship handles any rough seas it may encounter.

    I spent 6 years in the Navy (their ships are not built for comfort, but are built for speed) along with 41 pleasure cruises, not to mention alot of time on small boats.

    Ships are affected by seas in different ways depending on alot of factors. But basically, I like to say that a ship will normally have two types of motion; rocking and rolling. The rolling motion is caused by the ship being hit by waves from the front or the back. The front of the ship is more affected by this type of motion than anywhere else. While most of the time, this is not a huge amount, in rough seas it can be quite dramatic. The back of the ship will feel a lesser amount of this type of motion because of the way it's propelled through the waves. Depending on the ship, you can often feel vibration from the engines - again, some more than others. It often depends on the balance of the propellers and the shafts, if it's not an azipod system. The rolling motion is felt the least in the middle of the ship, which is why this is the most desired location and because of this, it's also more costly since there's a higher demand (the old supply and demand always dictates pricing).

    As for the rocking motion, this is caused by waves hitting the ship from the side. Because of the mechanics of how a ship rides in the water, the higher up you are, the more chance you have of feeling this type of motion.

    So the absolute most stable place to be on a ship is as low as possible and as close to the middle as possible. Problem is, you can only get an inside or oceanview cabin in this area.

    However, as I said, modern cruise ships are built and design for comfort, so there are only a few situations where you'll feel alot of motion one way or the other.

    Personally, we love the aft cabins for the reasons already stated. They usually offer a bigger balcony that is covered and does not have the wind, plus it offers 180 degree view. We never mind the motion, so what little movement or vibration we get back there is never a problem for us.

    Bottom line is don't listen too much to reviews and don't over-think the whole thing. Just go with what you want and you'll be fine.

    Pete

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    CLF Officer nealberk's Avatar
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    The worst ship I have ever been in? The ferry from Cozumel to the mainland. Talk about a stomach wrenching ride.....
    Neal (International Association of Troublemakers)

    "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it."- Mark Twain

    My web sites www.cruisefromhell.com , www.celebrity-century.com, www.hollandamerica-noordam.comhttp://www.hollandamerica-noordam.com





  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nealberk View Post
    The worst ship I have ever been in? The ferry from Cozumel to the mainland. Talk about a stomach wrenching ride.....
    Been there done that! Were the vendors on the ferry trying to sell tablecloths and silver jewelry? All three times we made that trip they were trying to make "deals".

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    CruiseLineFans Officer/Administrator Cruise Planner's Avatar
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    I was with a crew on a WWII destroyer moving it to Norfolk and we hit a storm with 75' waves. Talk about fun! That was the only time I ever got seasick and I was sick for 3 days. I was throwing up so much and so hard, I would not have been surprised to see my shoes coming out! Needless to say, I never got seasick again.

    Awarded American Express Vacations 2013 GOLDEN GLOBE AWARD!! (Best of the best!)
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    Open 9:00am to 1:00am EST 7-days a week!! ---- 703-858-9898 ---- 866-786-7926
    www.storybookcruises.com ---- dreams@storybookcruises.com

  10. #10
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    It looks like there is no reason not to go with my original plan.
    Stay tuned for my review of the Sapphire Princess northbound repositioner

    Andrea

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