I decided to write about what cabin you should book from having a conversation with my parents. They received a brochure in the mail about a European river cruise and when I was visiting, they pointed out that the company was offering FREE AIRFARE for a few of their departures. They exclaimed enthusiastically to get them booked right away to take advantage of the deal !
I then showed them the fine print which was that it was only applicable on their “window” category cabins. To which they replied – “how bad could that be ?”
So I dug out my close up picture that I took of the outside of one of the ships when I was on the Danube (plus also showed them on the front of the brochure they received)
When I showed them the very small window cabin located on the bottom deck of the ship, they understood. I explained that these cabins are the hardest to sell because most people want either the French balcony or full balcony cabin to take full advantage of being able to open up the doors and experience the river going by. Whenever you see a river cruise company advertising sale pricing, it is usually on these type of cabins because they are the only ones available.
The other point that they were shocked to learn was that the suite cabins are actually the FIRST to sell out. This is because most ships may only have 2 suites and if anyone is crossing over from ocean cruising and used to a large suite, they also want one of those on the river. Due to this fact, many of the companies are changing the way they build their ships. Take a look at the new SS Antoinette that Uniworld built – they now have one huge Royal Suite at 391 sq feet, then 8 suites at 294 sq feet to tap into that market that is willing to pay for a larger cabin. For comparison, their cabin sizes in category 1 through 3 are 196 sq feet and 4/5 are 163 sq feet.
So to answer what cabin should you book for a river cruise ? Well, that all depends on you – get the suite if you have the funds and book far enough in advance, get the French balcony for wonderful river views and get the window category if you want a bargain! Whichever one you choose, you will love the experience of getting into the heart of your destination.