My wife and I wanted a small ship cruise to see Alaska's glaciers before they disappear. We chose UnCruise. a Seattle company of good reputation to take us into Glacier Bay. Our small boat got close to places big ships could only view from a distance. Zodiacs took us a quarter mile from the marine glacier’s crumbling face and to remote shorelines.
Booking for us, unfamiliar with cruising, was supportive. Uncruise met us at the Juneau airport and escorted us to the ship. Crew were tops, every member - helpful, enthusiastic, smart. Couldn't do enough for us. The bridge was open most times, the captain welcoming. The ship was clean but spare and dated; food good varied, ample; the bartender a magician. A park ranger joined us for a full day providing a complete tutorial. Were that all, no question five stars plus.
My wife completely enjoyed every minute of the trip despite the noisy cabin.
Our cabin 207 was. the captain told me sympathetically, directly above the main engine. He said they hoped to add soundproofing in a retrofit. On my IPhone decibel meter I got consisted readings from 75 dB at normal cruising speed to 85 dB when the engine was at full speed and in turbulence. Every night. Back home I tested the meter for comparison: 75 dB had us try to sleep with our blender on a lower setting and 85dB our electric leaf blower on high.
UnCruise’s CEO in a considered response wrote “ I can confirm that cabins above the engine room offer much greater levels of sound intrusion than cabins elsewhere on the ship. No doubt, this is why these cabins are amongst the lowest price accommodations.” Responding to my request for the dB reading he had taken he went on “Normal running had me in the 70 - 78 range with lower level reading just a few points lower than your numbers.”
I take this to essentially confirm my readings. Every increase of 3 dB represents a doubling of sound intensity. Many variables a sound engineer is required for exactitude but I think the full out engine might be ten times normal running noise. Our cabin price reduction due to engine noise was in no way made clear to us verbally or in advertisement. Inconsequential compensation for the loss of enjoyment. In fairness I think UnCruise should clearly inform patrons, as the CEO did me in arrears, that cabin 207 may be unbearable and supply dB readings to allow them to decide for themselves.