The Oceanview Obstructed Room

Ruby Princess cruise ship

Ruby Princess in Seattle

Oceanview obstructed rooms come in several varieties depending on what ship you find them on. The most common sort reside behind the lifeboats on ships that have passenger cabins on the deck where lifeboats are stored. Some ships also have rooms in the obstructed view category where the railing of a public deck blocks a portion of the view from windows of rooms behind that public walkway. Ruby Princess has obstructed view rooms in both those categories with the majority behind lifeboats. A few ships also have passenger cabins on the promenade deck where some have their view blocked partially or completely by the ship’s structure around the outside walkway. Ruby Princess has none of those. It has no cabins on the main promenade deck area and the few cabins it has on the upper area of the promenade deck are not classified as obstructed view.

cruise ship cabin

oceanview obstructed cabin E520 with a view of port buildings in Seattle

We booked the obstructed view room on the Ruby Princess because it cost significantly less than an oceanview room with a full view. Because we had 3 people our options for cabins were limited to those that sleep more than 2, which eliminated the majority of cabins from the selection. Hoping for a better view I picked one between lifeboats rather than directly behind it, the only available one being E520 so that’s the one we chose. We did have enough space between the boats to get a pretty good view of the scenery. We also got a view of several crew guys working on some tanks outside our window for several days during the cruise.

obstructed view

one of those little tanks had people working on it for several days

Cruise ships have two sorts of lifeboats, the ones used as tenders to ferry passengers back and forth to the dock when the ship anchors at a port that doesn’t have it’s own larger tenders, and the sort that are lifeboats only. From underneath walking around on the promenade deck you can tell which ones are the tenders because they have double hulls like a catamaran with propellers on each side. The regular lifeboats have single hulls and one propeller in the center. We were behind the tenders, which are also taller than the regular lifeboats. It looked as though our neighbors directly behind the tenders would have no view at all unless they could see through the windows of the tender.

obstructed view windows from the outside

windows above the smaller lifeboats

On the Ruby Princess the promenade deck’s outside walkway goes most of the way around the ship directly under the lifeboats. At the bow however, it has stairways and you complete the journey on the upper promenade at the bow of the emerald deck. From there we could see that the windows of the rooms behind the shorter lifeboats were actually mostly above rather than behind the lifeboats so the rooms behind boats other than tenders would get at least a partial view.

how to fit more people into a cruise ship cabin

at night the steward put a bunk down

Our cabin had 2 lower beds, 2 wall-mounted drop down bunks, a desk with a chair, and a small table. The area directly across from the bathroom had an open closet area rather than separate closets with doors, which probably made more hanging space. We brought extra hangers because even with two people in the room there are never enough. Sometimes I ask the steward for extra hangers, but this time we needed way more than we would want to ask them to provide.


big open closet and small closet with door and shelves

There was also a small closet with a door next to the bathroom, which had lots of shelves and the cabin safe. It’s always a good idea to keep passports in the safe because if you were ever to get left behind in port that’s where they would look for them. Other storage included a cupboard with two shelves under the desk, two nightstands with two drawers each, and 3 shelves at one end of the desk. It just so happened that the little closet had 6 shelves so everything divided by 3 perfectly and my sisters and I each had several places to put our things.

magnets come in handy on cruise ships

magnetic walls make organizing paperwork easy

The cabin had magnetic walls, which makes keeping paperwork organized easy if you bring magnets. The cabin also had 3 outlets, though I also had a power bar as I expected just one since that is what most cruise ship cabins have. It had two by the desk and one near the TV. The cabin also had a little refrigerator behind a cupboard type door under the TV stand.

not the best, but a view

view between the lifeboats

We had enough of a view through our window that we could see Sumdum glacier as we passed by early on the morning of our glacier cruising day. Of course saying you saw Sumdum glacier is a lot funnier than writing it because people think you said some dumb glacier and wonder why you bothered to go to Alaska if you don’t care to see glaciers. We spent most of the glacier cruising time on the upper promenade deck. It was very cold and made us wish we’d brought long johns, but it had a great view and hardly any other people.

cabin with window at public walkway

Cabin L104, one of 4 oceanview obstructed rooms at the bow on the Lido deck

While a full view is nicer, the obstructed view cabin is a great compromise between paying less and seeing the outside from the cabin – as long as you choose carefully and get a room with at least a partial view.

cruise ship cabin

from the window end of our room you see the desk and TV – and the window in the mirror

Copyright My Cruise Stories 2017


About LBcruiseshipblogger

MyCruiseStories blog tells stories about adventures in cruising on ships big and small. Things to do onboard and in port. Anything connected to cruising. Also food, travel, recipes, towel animals, and the occasional random blog.
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5 Responses to The Oceanview Obstructed Room

  1. ProsperityAndCalamities says:

    We did an obstructed view once (I don’t remember which cruise line) only to find out they’d be moving or working on the boats near our window at like 5am! It was loud. For us, out wasn’t such a good choice!

    • I guess we were lucky that they only worked on ours in regular daytime hours. They caught us by surprise the first time though. One of us had just stepped out of the shower and came out in the room to get dressed only to see a guy out a window nobody ever figured anyone would be where they could see in. We closed the curtains when changing clothes after that.

  2. Sister Barbara says:

    This cruise was lots of fun. It was cool to see Sum Dum Glacier out the window at 5 am when I happened to wake up. (We officially saw it on the way back out of the passage.) The obstructed view window worked nicely for this cruise. As always, nice write-up, Lois.

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