By Hun Ohm
Not Your Father’s Stateroom
Over the years, staterooms have improved markedly as the cruise industry has expanded, and large ships such as the Voyager boast rooms that are quite efficiently designed and comfortable. Our room had a bed that seemed to be between a queen and king and was more than enough for two people; if traveling with children, some rooms have cots that pull down from the wall for a classic ship-bunk experience. The beds were turned down every evening by our stateroom attendant, who was also generous with the turn-down chocolates and must have been a sculptor at heart, given the numerous towel figures he created throughout the trip (children and overgrown children-now-husbands will love them).
There was a small vanity area in case you needed to doll up for the evening. The room also had a small sofa and table that can serve as a lounge area if you order room service or want to watch television from a place other than the bed. The television had numerous cable channels, information channels regarding shopping and excursions, channels with free movies that repeated throughout the day (and change daily), and pay-per-view channels showing more recent movies. You could also order your excursions and review your room charges via the television.
Other thoughtful touches were curtains that separated the bed from the sitting area, which created a remarkable feel of separation and allowed your travel companion to sleep in while you worked on journal entries. The bathroom was fine and made the most of its small space, and the pesky shower curtain that plagued some earlier ships was replaced by a sliding door that kept the floor dry. Overall, we liked our room very much, though in a few years the ship may be ready for a little refurbishing.
Innie vs. outie
We were in one of the inner cabins, which meant no windows. Some prefer this option because you will avoid listening to occasionally loud ocean roar as the ship travels from port to port through the night. I can’t say whether that would actually be an issue, and I heard tantalizing tales of leaving the window open to feel the sea breeze at night and lounging on your balcony instead of fighting others for a poolside chair on Deck 11; of course, a balcony room will be more expensive. There also appeared to be staterooms with windows facing the Royal Promenade, the ship’s main interior pedestrian thoroughfare on Deck 5, which I imagine must have created an interesting two-way fishbowl effect.