Q – (9.14.23)  Would like to see if you can address a preference I am sure many people share. We just can’t seem to pinpoint specifics and we are getting frustrated. We are frequent, and growing more frequent, cruisers. My wife and I  are not easy sleepers and we find that we sleep much better when we are facing the bow of the ship. In other words, we want a bed that allows our legs to face forward toward the front of the ship. 

We sail Oceania often and Regent sometimes. We have had our vacations severely disrupted more than once when the cabin layout was not as promised. Our Travel Agent was told that the staterooms were forward facing and , when we arrived, we discovered they weren’t. In one case, the ship was sold out so no changes were possible. Our agent knows what she is doing but I still called reservations directly and quickly realized that they don’t really have a clue as to how beds are aligned in each cabin. The company deck plan is worthless on this issue. All of this boils down to one simple question I am sure would interest many of your followers: How exactly do we ascertain the direction faced of the bed in our stateroom? 

A – You have put your toes on a real issue at most of the lines. When researching this for you, one of our editors was told “we will have to try to get in touch with the yard that built the ship to find out”. Deck plans are useless in terms of finding forward facing bedding in specific stateroom numbers. The information is not readily available because many ships make layout changes to ships when they are in their annual drydock. The real thing that is going on here is that, from a sellers point of view, the cruise lines do not want to offer still another choice in cabin selection that could eliminate 50% of the available staterooms.

The best tactic at this point is to have your agent speak to Special Services or a Reservations supervisor. Ask that the fact that yours is a forward-facing stateroom be put in writing by Oceania. That way, if you booked a forward facing stateroom and it turns out not to be on arrival, you would find onboard management sympathetic to a complimentary upgrade. 

Finally, a more extreme approach would  be to secure a note from your physician explaining that you require a forward-facing bed. That note can be presented to the cruise line’s Medical Officer at the timer of booking and that may help you achieve what you want. 

It is interesting that flyers raise hell when they find themselves in rear-facing  seats on an aircraft but cruisers who may be spending more than a week in their stateroom are expected to never question the direction of the bedding. British Airways, for one, has installed rotating front and rear facing seats in the Business Class sections on some of their long distance aircraft. The rear-facing seats are less popular than Mike Pence.