17 FEB 2017: There were once such simple rules for choosing a cabin on a ship: port out– starboard home, the higher the deck, the better the class of service. And the more you spent, the bigger the cabin.There’s still some truth to the old sayings about sailing the seven seas, but with ships towering to more than a dozen decks rather than four or five and with balconies covering the flanks and even the fronts and rears of ships, there are a lot more options than ever.

On Royal Caribbean’s new Harmony of the Seas, for instance there are more than 40 different room categories, many of which are virtually identical, other than location.

Some may end up in promotions that make a technically higher category less expensive than a lesser category.

It can be a daunting challenge to balance your cruise budget with the potential benefits of paying up for a higher category accommodation. Here’s a look at pros and cons to weigh as you scan the deck plans for your next cruise:

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Wallace Immen

Wallace Immen is executive editor of our cruise partner The Cruisington Times and a well-known and much respected writer. 

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