While there really isn’t a “bad” stateroom on a cruise ship, there are some cabins on cruises that are less desirable due to their location. Since we want you to have the best cruise possible, here are some cruise cabin locations that you may want to avoid.
Cabins directly above or below clubs and lounges – Unless you plan on heading to your cabin after 1 a.m. each night for sleep, you should try to avoid cabins that are directly over or below the ship’s clubs and bars. The bass of the subwoofers in the clubs can easily be heard in these staterooms. On a recent cruise, I could easily hear the music from the lounge below me until 1 a.m. each night.
If you are an early to bed, early to rise cruiser, stay away from cabins that are located directly above the loud, noisy clubs where DJs spin beats late into the night. This is also something to consider if you are a light sleeper.
Cabins directly above the theater – Unfortunately, the cabin walls on cruise ships are not sound proof. While they do block a fair amount of noise, you will still be able to hear music in the staterooms directly above the theater.
The good news is that most of the production show are over by 11:00 p.m., so it is less of an issue than cabins above/below the clubs.
Cabins directly below the pool deck – Each morning, staff members will begin to rearrange and organize the pool deck loungers getting the lido deck ready for the day. While some crew members will lift and move the loungers, many will drag them across the lido deck floor waking up passengers who are sleeping directly below.
If you enjoy sleeping in on sea days, avoid cabins that are located directly below where the loungers will be on the lido deck.
Also, some cruise ships throw parties on the pool deck late at night on a night or two of the cruise. If you are directly below the pool, you will likely hear noise until the party is over.
Adjoining cabins – Adjoining cabins are great for larger families as many staterooms only hold a maximum of 4-5 passengers. However, due to the extra door between the cabins, you can often hear conversations from louder neighbors in the adjoining cabin next to you
The door is not as soundproof as the walls are so be prepared to hear extra noise if you book one of these cabins. I can’t tell you how many complaints I have heard about these staterooms.
Cabins near arcades/kids clubs – This will not be an issue with most newer ships as the arcades and kids clubs are now usually located away from staterooms. However on some older ships, the arcade and youth academy are surrounded by cabins.
Because of this, you will have a greater number of kids walking/running by your cabin. While I have no problem with children on cruises, they tend to be overly excited (who can blame them) and these cabins will hear more outside noise than cabins in other parts of the ship.
Cabins with balconies that face other cabins – While most cabins with a balcony offer lots of privacy, some on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class or MSC Cruises’ World class have balconies that face other balconies. These balconies have no privacy and offer either little or no view of the ocean. They do tend to be cheaper than ocean view balconies though.
Oddball cabins – If you are a couple, then you will want to avoid cabins that have just bunk beds. While most cruise cabins won’t have these, the 1A interior cabins on Carnival Cruise Line only have bunk beds. They are the cheapest cabins on the ship and work great for friends traveling together, just not for couples.
The overwhelming majority of cruise cabins have two twin beds that can be combined to make a queen.
What cabins are best? Personally, I’d sleep in the broom closet if it meant I’d be on a cruise ship. However, locations that have cabins directly above and below them are generally the quietest. Cabins that are located midship will also feel less movement than aft cabins and cabins near the bow.
It’s always good to look at the deck plans of a cruise ship when choosing your cabin. These can be found on each cruise line’s website. If you book a guarantee stateroom, you will not be able to choose you exact location However, these rooms are usually price cheaper so they will save you money.
Which cabins are generally the quietest? I say generally because no matter where your cabin is located on the ship, you can always have noisy neighbors. I like booking cabins at the end of hallways. Why? Because few passengers walk by and it’s usually quieter.
I once had an aft balcony stateroom on Disney Dream. Since the stateroom was right in the middle on the aft, hardly anyone ever walked by our room. It was the quietest cabin I’ve ever had on a cruise.
These cabins aren’t centrally located by the stairs and elevators, but the peace and quiet you will have more than make up for it.
This article was updated in November 2023.
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