Which Deck Is the Best on a Cruise Ship?

So, you’ve finally decided to go on a cruise. That’s wonderful! But you are now stuck on deciding which deck is the best to choose. Well, you came to the right place. In this post, I will answer that question and discuss other vital information related to it.

Which deck is the best on a cruise ship? The best deck on a cruise ship is located in the central area and at the lowest part of the ship. If these decks are already occupied, then choose a deck that is closer to the center and nearer to the lowest decks. The reason is that you could feel less of the swaying and rolling of the ship when you’re in these areas.

The upper decks and those found at the end (aft), including the front (forward) parts of the ship, are more affected when the ship rolls and sways. 

Choosing the best deck will allow you to enjoy your trip more and make it a memorable one. Continue reading to learn more about which deck is best on a cruise ship, as well as other factors to consider when choosing the best one for your trip.

Which Deck Is the Best on a Cruise Ship?

Taking a cruise is a wonderful adventure. However, if you are uncomfortable and seasick during the trip, there’s no way you can enjoy it. So it is crucial to choose a cabin that is on the best deck on the cruise ship. What criteria should you look for when choosing the best deck for your cruise? I will answer this question to help you out. But first, you have to know how many decks are there on a cruise ship and how they are named.

How Many Decks Are There in a Cruise Ship?

Decks on a cruise ship refer to the levels or floors of the ship. When compared to a building, decks are the stories. Typically, there are 12 to 16 decks on a cruise ship. These decks are usually numbered based on the primary deck. The decks above the primary deck (#1) may be numbered as #A2 (A-above), while the next deck below the primary deck is #2, and so on. 

So, what are the best deck locations that you should consider? Here are some suggestions.

The Most Recommended Deck Locations

deck locations on a cruise ship

1. Midship

The best location is at the center and in the lowest areas of the ship. The more central and lower the deck is, the lesser you experience swaying and rolling. Therefore, if you have motion sickness, choose your deck in these areas. Furthermore, you can be stable on your feet and easily attend to your business in this deck. Also, you can quickly go from one area to another when you’re on the lowest part of the ship. 

But if you’re not prone to seasickness, you can choose an upper deck midship cabin. You can quickly use the stairs to relish some sea air or bask in the early morning sun when you’re on the upper decks.

2. Decks Away from Noise

If you want to avoid the din and just want some peace during the night, you should choose a deck that is far from the pool area, lounge, bars, nightclubs, casinos, engine room, and other places where people usually congregate. 

The best cabin on the deck would be one that is near other cabins. For sure, other passengers would want their “beauty rest” as well, so you are assured of having some peaceful and restful time during your stay on the cruise. 

But take note that a big family with kids would, most likely, cause loud noise too, with kids bawling or running around. Thus, try to stay away from family cabins.

The ship’s engine could also cause a loud, roaring sound, so avoid decks near this place. Having a safe, private, and restful place to stay while at sea is essential for you to enjoy your cruise. 

3. Decks Close to Services

In cases when you have problems with mobility, you may want to opt for a deck near the elevators or similar services. If you love sunbathing and swimming, choose a deck near the sun deck or pool. 

4. Ship’s Aft 

This rear portion of the ship is ideal for individuals who want to admire the scenery without being bothered by the throngs of people. Most of the passengers would be near the bow (forward) cabins, so there would be lesser traffic and more space to maneuver in the ship’s aft.

The best deck on a cruise ship for you depends on your purpose and preferences. There is no perfect deck for all purposes, so you will have to prioritize certain aspects to fully enjoy your stay. 

What Decks to Avoid on a Cruise Ship

1. Deck Right Below the Top Deck 

The top deck is where the sun deck, pools, slides, hot tubs, water parks, and other outdoor facilities are generally located. Thus, people would be trooping to these spots all day long. If you’re in a cabin located at the deck below the top deck, you’re in for a lot of noise and disturbances. 

Noise can come from the scraping of chairs, booming voices, loud splashes of water, boisterous laughter, cheering, or buzzing conversations. However, you have one advantage: within minutes, you can avail yourself of most of the cruise ship’s amenities. 

On the contrary, you can choose this deck if you’re not bothered by the noise and prefer to be near cruise amenities.

2. Decks with Obstructed Views

There are cabins at certain decks that provide obstructed views of the scenery. Decks with obstructed views could be a disadvantage for travelers who want to capture the spectacular view of the surrounding areas. However, when the view doesn’t matter to you, then you can choose the deck that suits your priorities the best.

3. Upper Decks

Decks located at the upper levels of the ship tend to roll and sway a lot. These decks are not recommended for children and adults who have motion sickness. As previously mentioned, if you’re prone to seasickness, choose the lower and more central decks of the ship.

Pros and Cons of Upper Decks

The best deck for you on a cruise ship would depend primarily on your needs. To help you decide which deck meets your requirements, let’s take a look first at the pros and cons of the upper decks.


  • Best Panoramic View: The upper decks can provide the best panoramic view of the surrounding areas. The higher the deck, the more visible scenic spots can be viewed. Photographers, journalists, and artists find the upper decks appealing and exciting. 
  • Close to Entertainment Hubs and Amenities: Generally, it’s in the upper decks that cruise ships place their attractions, such as entertainment hubs, sports courts, and other amenities. So, if you love watersports and entertainment, and you’re not bothered by noise coming from all these events, then the upper decks are best for you.


  • Less Stable: Upper decks are less stable, so they’re not good for people who are predisposed to motion sickness, and people who have difficulty staying on their feet. Again, the reason is that the upper decks tend to sway and roll more than the lower decks.
  • Far from the Main Lobby, Main Dining Rooms, and Embarkation/Disembarkation Areas: You will have to choose between being near the entertainment hubs or near the main lobby and main dining rooms. The pools and entertainment hubs are usually found at the upper decks, but the main lobby and the main dining rooms are found at the lowest decks.

Pros and Cons of Lower Decks

The following are the pros and cons of lower decks:


  • More Stable: Lower decks are more stable, as they sway and roll less than the upper decks. These decks are best for people with motion sickness and who are less stable on their feet. 
  • Close to Main Dining Rooms and Embarkation/Disembarkation Areas: Most cruise ships have their main dining rooms and embarkation and disembarkation areas at the lowest decks. Being near the main dining room is a major advantage, as you will have to eat your meals or snacks at least three times a day or more. You can also embark and disembark more quickly by staying in lower decks. 
  • Close to the Main Lobby: You can promptly lodge your inquiries at the information center without going too far. There are also service centers at the main lobby that may not be found at the upper decks.
  • More Spacious Hallways: Lower decks have more spacious hallways that could allow wheelchairs and similar equipment to pass. Thus, if you’re traveling with a person with a disability, the lower decks would be ideal for you.
  • Closer View of the Splendor of the Ocean: Although you cannot view the entire scenery, you will get a more close-up view of the splendor of the ocean. You can closely watch the school of fish or the dolphins cruising by through your cabin window. 


  • Closer View of the Scary Aspects of the Ocean: The closer view of the ocean can be a con or a pro for different individuals, depending on their perception. Some individuals who have experienced mishaps in water could be frightened by the ocean waves splashing all over their windows, or of near collisions with sea rocks. If you’re one to be scared by these happenings, avoid the lower decks.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Cabin

cabin on a cruise ship

Once you have chosen the most appropriate deck for you, you can now choose your cabin. The following are factors you can consider:

1. Space 

Can the cabin accommodate your group? Make sure there’s ample room for everyone and that you have enough legroom in your bed.

2. View

Is the view pleasant for you or your group? You have to know this beforehand because it may be difficult to change cabins later on. Some cabins have no windows, while others have large windows. Choose a cabin that can provide the view that you want.

3. Amenities Provided

Learn about the amenities and privileges that come with your cabin. Are there free breakfasts, snacks, extra services, or memberships provided? Do you get a personal butler, or are there freebies that you can avail of? Before signing up for a cabin, make sure to know all of the things that come with the package.

4. Ambiance

Do you like how the arrangement of the pieces of furniture inside your cabin? What about the bed and the blankets? Are they comfortable enough? 

5. Safety and Security

Is the cabin sufficiently safe and secure? Is there a clear escape route in cases of emergency? Before choosing a cabin, double-check its security and safety features.

6. Convenience

Is the location of the cabin convenient for you? Is it near the facilities or services that you often use? Are the basic amenities provided in your room? You have to make sure that all the things you need are included in your package. 

7. Cost

Larger and fully furnished cabins are more costly. Travel cost tends to be more expensive if it comes with a personal butler and other room services.

Conclusion – Which Deck Is the Best on a Cruise Ship?

For most people, seasickness is one of the major problems they face when going on a cruise. So for many, the best deck on a cruise ship is at the midship and lower deck areas. Nonetheless, the best deck for you actually depends on your personal preferences. 

If you’re more into watersports, parks, sunbathing, and swimming, choosing the upper decks would be more convenient and practical. The upper decks are also ideal for people who would want to capture the scenic view of the whole area.

However, if you want to be near the main dining rooms, the main lobby, and the embarkation and disembarkation areas, then a cabin in the lower decks would be perfect for you. These services are mostly located on the lower or lowest decks of the ship.

The best deck for you is the one that can provide all the things you need and want from your cruise. After all, you’re there to relax and have a good time.

Related reading:

How Do Cruise Ships Not Tip Over?

What Is a Veranda on a Cruise Ship?