Best Deck on a Cruise Ship – How to Choose

You’ve booked your cruise, and now it is time to select your cabin. But which deck is the best deck on a cruise ship? Find out here!

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You have finally booked your cruise with your favorite cruise line – whether it’s on Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, or Princess Cruises – and are wondering which is the best deck on a cruise ship.

Perhaps you suffer from motion sickness and are concerned about the ship’s movement. You may want a great view, or you may just want the most memorable experience possible. We discuss how to select the best deck and things to consider so that you have the best trip ever!

If you are concerned about getting seasick, the best deck on a cruise ship is in the lowest part of the ship, near the central areas. If these rooms are already taken, select a room that is still in the center of the ship and as close to the lower decks as you can get.

In this location, you will feel less rolling and swaying of the ship. If you are prone to motion sickness, this is the best area for you.

The areas most affected by a cruise ship’s movement are the upper deck, the end, and the forward parts of the ship. Therefore, avoid balcony cabins and cabins on the higher decks.

Finding the best deck allows you to have a more enjoyable trip and provides the opportunity to make it a memorable experience rather than a less-than-enjoyable one. We discuss which deck and cruise ship cabin is best for traveling, along with other factors to help you in your selection.

Best Deck on a Cruise Ship

Going on a cruise – whether it’s a river cruise or an ocean venture – should be a wonderful adventure and an experience you will always cherish. But if you are seasick, uncomfortable, or surrounded by noise, then you will not enjoy it. For this reason, choosing the best cabin on the best deck is very important.

How Many Decks Are There on a Cruise Ship?

Cruise ship decks are the floors that a ship contains. If you compare it to a building, then the decks on a ship would be the storeys. Cruise ships tend to have 12 – 16 decks.

Their numbering is based on its primary deck. Decks above the ship’s primary deck (#1) can be numbered as #A2 (A for Above), while those below are #2, #3, etc.

Best Deck for Seasickness and Access to Amenities

The best location to book your cabin will be in the center of the cruise ship and on the lower deck. The lower you go down, the less rocking you will experience during your trip. If you suffer from any motion sickness, this area is ideal for you.

You will also be more stable on your feet and can easily attend to anything you may need to do. Since the location is central, you will have easy access to all areas of the deck and are never far away from activities and amenities.

However, if you are not prone to becoming seasick, you can select a cabin located in the midship area on the upper decks. Stairs can be used to take in the fresh sea air or to relax in the morning sun.

Best Deck for Relaxation and Peace

If you want to relax and get away from the noise from the nightlife aboard the cruise, select a deck away from the lounge, pool, bar, nightclub, engine rooms, casinos, and other areas where people congregate. In this case, the best cabin is located near other cabins rather than close to activity areas.

Other passengers in this area will either be socializing away from their cabin or resting. You’ll have a much better chance of getting a good night’s rest and not being kept up all night.

Cruise Ship Deck

Keep in mind to avoid family cabins if you want a more secluded, quiet experience. Big, extended family vacations mean a lot more children. Children will have the potential to make more noise by being active or crying.

Worth Reading: Port and Starboard – Which Side Is Which?

The area near the engine room on a ship should also be avoided. It frequently produces a loud, roaring sound. Therefore, avoid booking your cruise ship cabin near this location. Having an experience that is private, safe, and restful while you are at sea will be important when enjoying your cruise.

Best Deck for Those with Mobility Concerns

If you have issues with mobility, you will want a deck close to elevators or something similar. Should you enjoy things like sunbathing or swimming, you can choose a cabin on a deck close to the pool or sun deck for easier access.

Princess Cruises Deck
Photo Credit: Vintagepix / Shutterstock

Visitors with mobility challenges may appreciate being closer to the activities as opposed to having to walk greater distances to participate in an event. Guests will have an easier time getting around the cruise ship on these decks rather than booking on other ones.

If you require wider hallways and more spacious accommodations, the best deck for you will be the lower decks. These decks are more spacious, and the hallways allow people with mobility equipment to pass through easily.

Best Deck for Scenery

The rear area of a ship is perfect for those who want to bask in the beauty of nature without being distracted by large gatherings of people. Most passengers can be found near the forward (bow) cabins. By booking your cabin in the back of the ship, you will have more space to move around and less traffic.

In determining the best deck, it comes down to personal choice. You need to first think about what type of experience you will enjoy the most and what you are looking for. If you suffer from motion sickness, you will want to factor that in.

Living on a Cruise Ship
Photo Credit: Jeff R. Clow / Shutterstock

If this is your first time on a cruise and you are unsure about seasickness, you may want to book a cabin with less rocking to be sure that the trip is enjoyable.

There really is no “perfect” deck. The perfect cabin will come down to what type of experience you want. You may have to prioritize your expectations to enjoy your trip fully.

What Decks Should be Avoided

Top decks contain pools, sun decks, hot tubs, slides, outdoor facilities, and water parks. People will be occupying these spaces at all hours, so they will be noisier. If your cabin is at a deck below this area, you may experience more disturbances and noise throughout your trip.

Noises may be from loud, booming voices, chairs scraping, water splashing, boisterous giggling, conversations, and cheering. The only advantage to booking in this area is that, within minutes, you are close to all amenities.

Cruise Ship Lido Deck
Photo Courtesy: Carnival Cruise Line

You can choose this deck if you really want to enjoy the nightlife, want to be close to the activities, and aren’t bothered by excessive noise.

There are also cabins on certain decks that have obstructed views of scenery. This may be a disadvantage to those who want to take in the view. If the scenery is irrelevant, then you can choose these cabins.

Upper decks should be avoided if you have motion sickness as you will feel the ship’s rocking more. If you do suffer from this, the lower and central decks would be best suited to you.

Upper Deck: Advantages and Disadvantages

Your needs will dictate the best deck for you. To help in your decision, we will examine the advantages and disadvantages of each location.

Advantages

  • Close to Entertainment/Amenities – Upper decks are frequently used for attractions like sports courts, entertainment areas, and additional amenities. If you enjoy entertainment and watersports, and if noise doesn’t bother you, then select the upper deck.
  • Best Panoramic View – This area contains the best views on the ship. Guests can easily view the surrounding areas in spectacular detail on these decks. The higher you go, the better able you will be to take in the scenery. Journalists, photographers, and artists find these decks inspiring.
View From Upper Balcony
View From Upper Balcony (Photo Credit: Eliza Olarean / Shutterstock)

Disadvantages

  • Far from the Main Dining Room, Lobby, and Embarkation/Disembarkation – Guests may need to choose between being close to the main lobby and dining rooms and being close to entertainment hubs. Entertainment hubs and pools are found on the upper deck, but the lobby and main dining rooms are located on lower decks. You may have to travel farther each way.
  • Less Stable – As mentioned, this area isn’t as stable as the lower decks. So, if you suffer from motion sickness, the upper decks will just exacerbate the situation. You will also not want to book a cabin in this area if you aren’t stable on your feet.

Lower Decks: Advantages and Disadvantages

The lower decks have some benefits and drawbacks as well. While they tend to be best if motion sickness is a concern, the views may not be as great, and some floors can be noisy.

Read Also: What Is on the Lowest Deck on a Ship?

Advantages

  • Close to Dining Rooms and Disembarkation/Embarkation – Cruise ships have their embarkation/disembarkation and dining rooms on the lower decks. Being close to a main dining room is a major advantage as snacks and meals are consumed there three times per day. This area also allows you to be closer when getting on and off the cruise ship. This is a benefit if mobility is a concern.
  • More Stable – As mentioned, lower decks are more stable. They experience less motion compared to the upper decks on a ship.
  • Close to Main Lobby – Inquiries can be placed without the need to go very far. There may be service centers that aren’t found in the upper decks.
  • Spacious Hallways – If you have a physical disability or are travelling with someone who does, consider booking a cabin in this area since the hallways are wider.
  • Better View of the Ocean – While guests will not be able to see scenery, they will see the beauty of the ocean and the creatures found within it. Visitors can watch schools of fish swim by or dolphins through their cabin window.
Lower Deck
Lower Deck (Photo Credit: David Fadul / Shutterstock)

Disadvantages

  • Closer Views May be Concerning – Depending on your perception, some people may find the view alarming. For those who have experienced water mishaps, they may be scared by ocean waves beating against their window. Near collisions with sea rocks may be alarming as well. If this is a concern, avoid booking on a lower deck.
  • Lower Decks Hold the Engine Room – The engine rooms are located on the lower decks. Some passengers may find them noisy.

Things to Consider with Cabin Selection

Once the best deck has been selected, it is time to find the best cabin. In finding the best one for you, there are seven factors to consider.

  1. View – Do you want a room with a view? Should this view include scenery/nature or underwater delights? Guests may need to figure out what they would like to see when they look out their cabin window. This needs to be established while booking your trip as changing cabins later on is difficult. Additionally, some cabins have large windows, and some have none. Find one with a view you want.
  2. Space – How many people are traveling with you? Furthermore, you will need to factor in seniors and anyone with mobility challenges. Both will affect which deck you choose. Also, families will affect your cabin size and location. Make sure your whole group has ample space and your beds have adequate leg room.
  3. Ambiance – Does the cabin feel homey and comfortable to you? Do you like the arrangement?
  4. Amenities – Learn about what is provided with the cabin. Are their free snacks, breakfasts, memberships, or extra services available? Which ones do you need? Is there a personal butler or freebees that you can use? Prior to booking a cabin, become familiar with what is included to avoid any surprises during the trip.
  5. Security and Safety – Your cabin needs to make you feel safe so that you can relax. Make sure there is an escape route in case of emergency. Prior to selecting a cabin, make sure to check safety and security features.
  6. Price – Large, fully furnished cabins cost more. The cost is even higher if room service and a butler is included.
  7. Convenient Location – Is the location close to areas you need to access or amenities that you frequently utilize? Does the room provide basic amenities? Make sure you have everything you need. For items that are not included, budget accordingly with a little extra just in case.

Conclusion

The best deck on a cruise ship doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all answer. It will depend on the individual and their preferences. If you are traveling in a group, make sure you take each person’s needs and preferences into consideration so that everyone will have an enjoyable and memorable experience.

Haiyan Ma
Haiyan Ma
I absolutely love cruising with my favorite ports of call being in the Caribbean. As a former crew member for Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival Cruise Line I can continue my passion by sharing my experiences with readers. Find out more about us here.

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