What Is An Obstructed View Cabin? (What You Need to Know)

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A photo of Scarlet Lady docked in PortMiami Terminal V with red circles showing obstructed view cabins by the lifeboats

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When planning your next cruise, you might come across the term “obstructed view cabin.”

But what exactly is an obstructed view cabin, and is it a good option for your cruise vacation?

In this article, we will explore what it means to have an obstructed-view cabin and discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of choosing one.

What is an Obstructed View Cabin?

A photo of Scarlet Lady docked in PortMiami Terminal V with red circles showing obstructed view cabins by the lifeboatsPin

An obstructed view cabin is a cabin that has an object partially blocking the view from the window or balcony. Obstructed view cabins are often found in an ocean view or balcony cabin categories and can have different levels of obstruction.

These obstructions can vary from very slight inconveniences to completely blocked views.

Common obstructions include lifeboats, machinery, waterslides, crew walkways, and pieces of other decks.

Despite this, obstructed-view cabins still receive natural light and can offer great value for budget-conscious travelers.

Types of Obstructed View Staterooms

An obstructed view cabin on Anthem of the Seas because of a yellow lifeboatPin
An obstructed view cabin on Anthem of the Seas because of a yellow lifeboat (Photo Courtesy of TripAdvisor)

Fully Obstructed

When booking a cabin on a cruise ship, you might come across the term “fully obstructed.” A fully obstructed view cabin means that a large obstruction, such as a lifeboat or machinery, entirely blocks the view from your window or balcony.

While you won’t have a clear ocean view, natural light can still enter the cabin. Remember that fully obstructed cabins are lower priced than unobstructed ones, making them a more budget-friendly option if the view is not your priority.

Partially Obstructed

A partially obstructed balcony cabin on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the SeasPin
A partially obstructed balcony cabin on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas (Photo Courtesy of TripAdvisor)

In some cases, obstructed view cabins are only partially obstructed. A partially obstructed stateroom means that while there is an obstruction in front of the window or balcony, it doesn’t entirely block your view of the surroundings.

For example, you might have a lifeboat hanging partially in front of your window, but you can still see the ocean and the sky. Partially obstructed cabins might be priced slightly higher than fully obstructed ones but are still more affordable than cabins with no obstructions.

If you can find photos of the cabin online, you may find that the partial obstruction doesn’t impact your view.

Many cruise lines mark cabins as partially obstructed if there’s a slight chance that a customer will complain about a piece of equipment in view.

They don’t want to risk customer complaints or deal with the hassle of refunds. If you’re lucky to find one of these cabins, you can snag a significant discount on your cruise and enjoy a near-complete view.

When deciding whether to book an obstructed view cabin, consider your priorities and budget.

Remember that the level of obstruction can vary from one cabin to another. It’s worth checking the ship’s deck plans and consulting with a cruise specialist to find a stateroom that meets your preferences.

Common Obstructions

A photo of disney magic with the obstructed view cabin circled.Pin

When booking a cruise, you may come across cabins labeled as having an obstructed view. These cabins typically have a lower price point due to having a limited or partially blocked view. 

This section explores the common types of obstructions you might encounter.

Lifeboats and Tenders

A partially obstructed view from a balcony cabin on Celebrity ReflectionPin
A partially obstructed view from a balcony cabin on Celebrity Reflection (Photo Courtesy of TripAdvisor)

Lifeboats and tenders are among the most common obstructions to ocean views and balcony cabins. Lifeboats are positioned along the ship’s side and can sometimes block a portion of your view.

Depending on the position of your cabin, you might find a lifeboat:

  • Directly in front of your window or balcony
  • Above or below your cabin

Promenade Deck Structures

There are other types of obstructions on the promenade deck. Obrstuctions might include:

  • Machinery
  • Crew walkways
  • Whirlpools or waterslides

In some cases, these obstructions might not be directly in front of your cabin window or balcony but could still affect your view.

For example, a crew walkway below your balcony might be alright. But it will still be marked as an obstruction and sold at a discounted price.

Benefits of an Obstructed View Balcony

The sea terrace cabin on Scarlet lady with curtains bed and tvPin

If you want to enjoy the advantages of a balcony cabin without breaking the bank, an obstructed-view balcony can be a perfect choice.

You’ll still have access to fresh air and natural light, as obstructions are often things like lifeboats, machinery, or other decks rather than solid walls. An obstructed ocean view is not ideal, but it might be worth the upgrade from an inside cabin.

Fully obstructed or partially obstructed staterooms have lower prices than full-view cabins.

You can save hundreds or thousands of dollars by booking a cabin with an obstructed view.

You can savor the perks of a balcony and ocean-view cabins at a lower cost. Booking obstructed view cabins are a great way to save money on your cruise.

Another advantage is that obstructed-view cabins are often located in less crowded areas of the ship. While this may vary between ships and cruise lines, it can be a bonus if you prefer a more tranquil setting for your accommodation.

The areas near obstructed-view cabins have fewer neighbors or foot traffic, making overall a quieter stay.

Additionally, if the obstruction is a lifeboat, there’s a good chance the cabin is in the middle of the ship. The vessel’s center is one of the best cabin locations, especially if you want to avoid seasickness on your cruise.

Remember that even if your stateroom has an obstructed view, you can still access various amenities with your cabin, like a private balcony, sitting area, and other features.

How Do You Know if Your Stateroom Has an Obstructed View?

A screenshot of the deck plan of Independance of the Seas Deck 6 with the obstructed view cabins circledPin

To determine whether your stateroom has an obstructed view, you can start by checking the deck plans of your cruise ship.

Cruise ship deck plans typically indicate if a stateroom has an obstructed view, partial or full. You can find the deck plans on the cruise line’s website or by contacting their support team.

Obstructed view cabins are often cheaper than similar cabins with unobstructed views. So, if you notice your cabin is priced lower than neighboring cabins, it might be because of an obstructed view.

However, don’t rely solely on the price to determine this – always check the deck plans or consult with the cruise line for accurate information.

Remember, if having an unobstructed view is crucial for your cruise experience, it’s worth investing in a stateroom with a clear view.

But if you’re okay with taking a chance on a partially obstructed view, you may benefit from the savings on your booking. To make an informed decision, always consult the deck plans, and don’t hesitate to contact the cruise line for more details.

Article by

Marcello De Lio

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