Best Deck on a Cruise Ship for Avoiding Motion Sickness

Thinking about booking a cruise? Excited? Apprehensive? Both, maybe? Is motion sickness preventing you from cruising? Do you know that cabin location is a big factor if you have motion sickness?

What is the best deck on a cruise ship for someone prone to motion sickness? The best deck on a cruise ship for avoiding motion sickness is lowdown and midship – lower deck and closer to the center. The lower and more towards the center you are, the less movement you will feel on a ship. The ends of a cruise ship – the back and front – as well as higher decks, sway the most.

Deck choice plays a vital role in preventing motion sickness. If you know you are prone to motion sickness, pick a cabin in one of the lower decks towards the center of the ship. You will not want a cabin at either end of the ship as these cabins sway the most. 

Read on to learn more about the best deck choice on a cruise ship for motion sickness, and what to do if you do get motion sickness on a cruise.

What Is the Best Deck on a Cruise Ship for Motion Sickness?

A cruise vacation is always an unforgettable experience. Being on the ship itself is a thrilling get-away. Enjoying all its luxurious amenities is already an adventure in itself. Throw in exotic destinations and waking up in a different city every morning – it’s definitely a recipe for adventure!

So, you’ve made your choice on your cruise ship. Now comes the dilemma of choosing a stateroom. Cabin choice plays a big role in lessening the chances of motion sickness. 

Basically, cruise ships have two major decks – the upper decks and the lower decks.

Upper Deck

The most spectacular views are definitely from the upper decks. These decks are also the most action-filled parts of the ship. Most cruise ships have their open-air swimming pools here and other activity areas like mini-golf, water recreation, sports courts, and fitness centers. It may be tempting to get a stateroom on the upper decks because of the close proximity to all these amenities.  

But, on the flip side, the upper decks are the areas to avoid if you are prone to motion sickness. On higher cruise ship decks, there will be more rocking and swaying that you will feel. The more rock and sway you feel, the more you can trigger motion sickness. Like the saying goes: “The more you pay, the more you sway”. This clever little saying comes from the fact that cruise ships do charge more for upper decks. 

Lower Deck

The lower decks are close to the areas of embarkation and disembarkation. Some dining areas, shops, buffets, and lounges are in the lower decks as well as the main lobby. Although lower decks don’t offer much of a view, they are more stable, and roll and sway the least. Pick a stateroom in the lower decks if you have motion sickness.

Fore, Midship or Aft?

Fore (front of the ship): The front of a ship always gets the most movement because it cuts through the water first. In rough seas, the forward gets pounded by crashing waves and can cause swaying and rocking. If motion sickness and seasickness are something you get easily, avoid the cabins here.

Midship: The middle of the ship gets the least movement. Ships move side to side as it moves in the water, so midship is the most stable part of the ship. Midship is the best choice for you if you have motion sickness.

Aft (back of the ship): The aft gets some movement but substantially less than the front of a ship. This is the next best part of the ship, after midship for avoiding motion sickness.

Imagine a see-saw. The ends of a see-saw always get the most movement while the middle stays the most stable. The same applies for cruise ships.

The best choice on a cruise ship for motion sickness is in a lower deck, midship.

Stateroom Locations That Are Best for Avoiding Motion Sickness

cruise ship motion sickness

These are suggestions for staterooms when you book that cruise. 

It has happened many times – you book that cruise, pay huge amounts of money and then can’t even fall asleep due to the noise or worse yet, you end up being seasick. So as not to be disappointed, here are some suggestions for staterooms.

In Between Other Staterooms

Check deck plans and look for a stateroom that has other staterooms above, below and all sides of it. This assures you that you are not anywhere near noisy public areas that have activity until the wee hours of the morning (like casinos and discos).

This almost always assures you of a good night’s sleep, as you will have other passengers around you who are most likely looking to get some good rest as well. A well-rested body is important in avoiding motion sickness.

Midship Staterooms

Booking a midship stateroom is usually a guarantee for a better cruise experience. For one, the midship is the most stable part of the ship. Be sure to choose a lower deck, midship stateroom if you easily get motion sickness. It will lessen the probability of getting seasick.

Being midship can make getting around easier too because you are in a central part of the ship. Going to one end of the ship from midship will be less strenuous.

On the Aft of a Ship

After midship, the second-best place to be for anyone who easily gets motion sickness is the aft. The aft is a term for the back of the ship. If for some reason, you cannot book a room midship, opt for a room on the aft.

The aft does get less movement than the forward staterooms and they give amazing views of the wake of the ship. Make sure though, to check what is beside your aft stateroom as there often are exhaust vents in the aft. 

Unique Rooms

It is usual for some staterooms to have unique cuts and floor plans. Some staterooms are bigger than others but are of the same rate. A good booking agent will know these and you can ask about them.

It is good to list down all the things you will require and need in your stateroom before you book for one. If you are susceptible to getting motion sickness, the best stateroom will be on a lower deck, towards the center of the ship.

Size Matters

They say the size of a ship matters. The bigger the cruise ship, the less movement you will feel. Today, medium to large cruise ships range from 75,000 tons to 226,000 tons. Modern cruise ships also have stabilizers. These are sort of like fins on both sides of a ship and work the way wings work for an airplane. They help keep ships more stable, reducing movement and lessening the chances of getting motion sickness.

So if you choose to cruise on a medium to large ship, and pick a stateroom midship, given you’re sailing on calm waters, you will hardly notice any movement of the ship on the lower decks. These really are the best decks on a cruise ship to help avoid motion sickness. Today’s cruisers say they hardly experience motion sickness with the size and technology of modern cruise ships.

Fast Facts on Motion Sickness and Who Gets Affected

While motion sickness isn’t life-threatening, symptoms can be quite unpleasant and can turn an otherwise enjoyable voyage into a gut-gripping ordeal.

Motion sickness and seasickness are the same things. Seasickness is just used in reference to getting motion sickness when you’re on the water. It is very common and is actually a disturbance of the middle ear. It is a disturbance to the middle ear, caused by steady motion from a boat or any other vehicle.

It happens when your senses receive conflicting signals. Like say, when you’re sitting on a boat, your inner ear senses movement but your eyes see a static view. They send conflicting messages to the brain like you’re moving but not moving at all. This is when motion sickness sets in.

Many people get motion sickness when moving on a boat or other vehicle. Symptoms can be nausea, dizziness, a general sense of discomfort, sweating and vomiting. To avoid motion sickness, there are many things you can do. Just plan ahead and be prepared.

Motion sickness occurs less if you are on stable ground, with very little movement. This is why, the best deck on cruise ships for motion sickness is on a lower deck, and near the middle of this low deck. This part of the ship is always the most stable.

If You Do Get Motion Sickness on a Cruise

So, you finally decide to go on that cruise. You’re sitting by the pool, soaking in the sun and then it hits. You get this bout of nausea. You suddenly feel dizzy. Your tummy feels like a chemistry project. You’re seasick. 

What do you do? Take deep breaths. Look into the horizon, focus your eyes on it. This will help with restoring your equilibrium. If you are inside, head towards the middle of the ship, where the swaying of the ship is felt less. Lie down if you can, shut your eyes and keep your head still. You may ask for some ginger to chew on or some ginger ale, as ginger is said to aid in alleviating nausea. 

If all else fails, you may seek medical advice with the ship’s medical center. They can give you motion sickness pills to make you feel better again. Get a good night’s sleep so that you can easily bounce back again the next day. Bouts of motion sickness usually are temporary.

So what is the best deck on a cruise ship for avoiding motion sickness? The best deck is lower deck and midship. Choose a room here to avoid sickness.

Don’t feel bad if it does happen. Most people, about 80 to 90 percent of the population, will get some kind of motion sickness at one point in their lives. Most important is to not let motion sickness ruin your trip and make you cancel the cruise or never book a cruise. Remember, the best decks on a cruise ship for moton sickness are midship, lower decks. 

Go on, book that trip and enjoy!