Great Lakes Cruise lines offer many different sizes and types of cabins and each cruise ship seems to offer different amenities, including some that even have private verandas for the cabins. Assuming you have already chosen a ship and itinerary, what else can you do to help your cruise be the best it can be? One thing is to think carefully about the layout of the ship and its cabins and which of those cabins will best fit your needs and personality. The cabin you select can make a lot of difference in how well you enjoy any cruise.
First, consider seasickness. Individuals who are prone to motion sickness might want to consider cabins as close to the center of the ship as possible. The farther the cabin is from the center of ship, the more it will be affected as the ship rolls or pitches. Modern Great Lakes cruise liners are designed to minimize this movement and provide smooth sailing experiences, and the Lakes generally have much smaller waves than those found on the ocean, but many people still experience at least some motion sickness.
Light sleepers and late risers might want to consider the location of their cabins based on a diagram of the ship they intend to travel on. Locate the main hallways, stairwells, elevators, galley and anything else that might be noisy, and try to book a cabin away from these irritations. High traffic areas and areas where the crew concentrate and work may be busy early in the morning and late into the night. When finding the locations of these places, try to think in 3D. Is there something above or below your cabin that might make a difference?
Those who are a little claustrophobic might want a veranda cabin. There are now cruise liners on the Great Lakes that offer private verandas for all or most of their cabins. A veranda gives you a chance to step out of your room quickly if it begins to feel a bit tight, and it also gives the feeling that the cabin is much larger that it actually is.
This brings up the matter of cabin size. As a rule of thumb, Great Lakes tall ships tend to have smaller cabins than Great Lakes cruise liners, but when you read in a brochure that a cabin is 120 or 300 square feet it is difficult to picture in your mind exactly how big that is. How can you decide which size is best? Try matching something of known size against the size noted in the brochure. Almost anything of the right size can be used to help visualize the size of a cabin. A 1 car garage may be about 300 square feet. Many backyard decks are about 120 square feet. Look around and find something to help visualize the size of the room, it will help keep expectations in line and that will make a significant impact on cruise vacation fun.