When we hear the term ‘obstructed view’, we immediately assume the worst. It has been a negative connotation ever since the cabin type emerged on the scene but when you consider all the factors, obstructed view cabins are both necessary and actually worth considering. Seasoned cruisers will flick through the pages of a cruise brochure, knowledgeable about what they’re looking at, but for many “new to cruise” passengers, the letters OV are just another complex code to decipher when deciding on your cabin. This is where we step in, explain things the way they should be explained and give you some advice on the subject of an obstructed view cabin.
Let’s start with the word itself – obstructed. We’ve been programmed over the years to accept ‘obstructed’ as a negative term, but when booking a cruise it takes on a whole new meaning. While your view may be interrupted, natural light will still stream into your cabin. Obstructed doesn’t mean a cabin reminiscent of a black out!
What Causes The Obstruction?
Obstructed view cabins are necessary because as far as we’re aware, a cruise ship sailing without lifeboats would be frowned upon. Lifeboats are not only an important factor for safety measures but they are also used frequently and effectively for tender processes whenever the ship is unable to dock directly into port, perhaps due to the size of the ship or weather conditions on the day. These lifeboats need to be stored somewhere and many cruise ships now accommodate them in a similar location. Obstructed view cabins therefore claim the title of ‘obstructed’ most often because of the life boat positions. They are found in this general area of the ship and therefore some amount of your view will be blocked because of it.
Cabins located in these positions on a ship will fall into one of two categories: fully obstructed or partially obstructed. The position of the cabin between the lifeboats will affect the percentage of the window that will be obstructed, but the most important thing to remember is that natural light will still flow fully into your stateroom.
Some cruise ships have obstructed view staterooms where the obstruction is not caused by safety equipment but by the design of the ship itself. There are balcony examples such as the aft section of P&O Cruises’ Ventura where a selection of balcony cabins are classed as obstructed view due to the structural design of the vessel. Again, this immediately implies negativity and a fear of “do I really want that? Should I change my cabin?” The answer is no. This position on the ship is a great location, offering amazing views all day long and a fantastic place to be for a sail away, so why would you give that up? This is where our explanation can help. Although they are required to be classed as obstructed view, these balconies are only fractionally affected by a beam running down through it. Trust us when we say your view will be nothing short of amazing, especially in ports such as Venice and under the sun-drenched islands of the Caribbean.
Why Book An Obstructed View Cabin?
For many, these cabin types are a perfect solution but it depends on numerous factors, including budget, the type of cruiser you are and your own personal preferences. If you’re on a budget but like the idea of cruising with a window in your stateroom then obstructed view cabins are the perfect choice. They offer excellent value at only slightly more than an inside cabin, yet benefit from the added bonus of a great view.
Think about the type of cruiser you might be. Are you someone who likes to relax in your room and enjoy your own personal space or are you one for using the room simply as a place for sleeping and getting changed, preferring to spend more time out and about on deck? If you’re the latter then these cabins, along with Inside Staterooms, present a great choice. They are cost effective, great value and often ideal for destinations such as the Caribbean.
If you’re new to cruising then you will inevitably have heard tales from relatives, friends, friends of friends, even the neighbour’s dog walker; they all have cruise stories and they are all willing to pass on their advice BUT weigh up your options, speak to our Cruise Consultant and find the right choice for you as everyone is different. What one person loves, another may hate so it’s all about finding the right cruise ship and the right accommodation for you. You may be looking at an inside cabin but prefer the thought of natural light coming through a window. A clear view or balcony may be over budget but this is where the obstructed view cabin fits the bill perfectly. They really are an excellent choice.
The Cabin Locations
Another negative belief of obstructed view staterooms is that they will be in the most un-desirable locations on board, probably stuffed somewhere in the darkest depths of the ship where no one wants to go – wrong! These cabins are located in some of the best positions on the ship. You’ll find them situated on a mid-deck, often in close proximity to the Promenade Deck and in easy walking distance to many of the on board attractions, including the dining rooms.
Spotting Obstructed View Cabins On A Deck Plan
We’ve all been there, scanning a deck plan completely bemused by its complex structure. The bigger the ships get, the more complex these deck plans become but this is where we step in to help. Not only do we know these deck plans like the back of our hands, we spend months ensuring that we know the ships back to front. This means that we have the answers to questions like “where are the obstructed view cabins?”
These cabins can be spotted on most brochures using the key, often located on the left hand side of the page. P&O Cruises for example use a square symbol to show partly obstructed view staterooms. This square symbol will be shown in all applicable cabins and will be matched with a colour code. We know, it sounds complicated, but once you’ve got the hang of it, it becomes easy, and we’re always on hand to help out with any questions you have.
Don’t write off obstructed view cabins based on first impressions or simply the sound of it. Obstructed view cabins are in extremely popular locations and are often one of the first cabin grades to book up due to their fantastic value for money. Natural light is aplenty so if the cruise is right, go for it, you won’t be disappointed!