What’s the Best Deck on a Cruise Ship?

Consider noise, motion sickness and your desired view when choosing which deck to stay on during your next cruise.
Anya Kartashova
By Anya Kartashova 
Edited by Meghan Coyle

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The best deck on a cruise ship is different for every traveler. For example, if you get motion sickness, you won't want to stay on the same deck as those who enjoy looking at the scenery. And travelers with limited mobility may not want to stay on the vessel's top deck. So, what's the best deck on cruise ships for your particular wants and needs? Let's dive in.

Types of cabins aboard a cruise ship

Most cruise ships have the following four types of cabins, aka staterooms (in order from least to most expensive):

  • Inside.

  • Oceanview.

  • Balcony.

  • Suite.


As the name suggests, an inside cabin is located in the ship's center without window access. These are usually the most affordable cabins, allowing you to save money and possibly go on more cruises later.


An oceanview cabin, sometimes known as an outside cabin, is similar in size to inside cabins but has a porthole window that lets natural sunlight in. Nevertheless, these small windows don't open if you're seeking fresh air. Oceanview cabins are typically located on the lower decks of the ship.


A balcony stateroom, as you might have guessed, has a balcony with a sliding door that allows you to get some fresh air and take in the views. The upside is outside access and a private space for breakfast or stargazing.


Finally, the best cruise ship rooms are suites at the top of the vessel. In most cases, you'll have a sitting area separate from the sleeping area, a full bathroom and a more spacious balcony. You might even enjoy a boatload of amenities, such as priority boarding, premium toiletries and a private concierge.

Aside from cabin varieties, you may be interested in knowing the best spot to be on a cruise ship. If you get seasick easily or want the nicest views, these are the best cruise ship locations.

The best deck for those who get seasick

When seasickness strikes, no matter how much you prepare, you wish you had done more.

To lessen its impact, take motion sickness medication, wear acupressure bracelets to prevent nausea, and choose one of the best decks on a cruise ship. Midship staterooms on the lowest passenger deck are the most excellent spot to be on a cruise ship in this instance because you don't feel the vessel sway as much. The front and back of the ship are a no-no.

We recommend a balcony stateroom, or at least an oceanview stateroom because you can look at the horizon and hopefully avoid being sick without leaving your room when Poseidon decides to use his trident.

» Learn more: The best cruise lines

The best deck for the views

For passengers looking to enjoy views, especially the scenery in the wake of a ship, we recommend higher decks and the back of the vessel. The higher you pick, the farther you'll see.

If you're after views, the best room on a cruise ship will be a balcony cabin at the ship's rear end. Aft balcony accommodations at the ship's corners are also the largest and often give more outside area than conventional balcony cabins, allowing you to enjoy both the beautiful views and the extra space.

The best deck for light sleepers

Those seeking a good night's rest should avoid cabins near the pool deck. Additionally, if you're anywhere near elevators, casinos, theaters or nightclubs, your chances of sleeping will sink faster than the Heart of the Ocean at the end of "Titanic."

We also recommend avoiding the lower decks at the front of the ship, where you'll likely hear the anchor chain moving up and down at every port of call. Instead, pick a cabin surrounded by other cabins for more insulation.

The best deck for those with mobility impairment

If mobility is a concern, it's better to pick a stateroom near an elevator on the lower deck where the dining room is located. After all, you have to eat multiple times per day, and the elevator will easily reach the other decks. Also, a lower deck means you'll likely be closer to the embarkation/disembarkation point, making things easier on the cruise's first and last day.

The bottom line

The best location on a cruise ship will vary for each person, so use the information to pick the best deck for your needs. For example, passengers who get seasick will find comfort in the rhythm of the sea from a lower deck, while those prioritizing the best views will enjoy an upper deck more. 

Finally, consider the noise levels and choose the option that will make your sea voyage more enjoyable.

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