Looking for the best cabin? 7 locations to avoid

best cruise ship cabin locations avoid
Choose your stateroom location carefully if you're a light sleeper. - Photo by Thinkstock

I’m a light sleeper — a very light sleeper. If you’re like me, choosing a hotel room’s location is extremely important … and cruise ship cabin real estate is even more vital. After all, you don’t often spend a week at one hotel, but you do on a ship. Here are a few cabin location proximities to avoid:


By a door to the crew’s quarters

On one sailing, my cabin was right across from the entrance to the crew’s quarters. And although these may have been the most polite, professional crew members I have ever met (I heard shockingly little discussion between them from my cabin, and zero humming, singing, or whistling, as is sometimes the case), they work around the clock, so that door opened and closed well after I climbed into bed.


Above mechanical equipment

Once, I sailed in the most forward cabin on a ship — right over the bow — and I was awakened at the crack of dawn every day by the construction-like noise of the anchor as arrived in port. That cabin — and others near equipment the crew use — may be designated by an unmarked white area on the deck plan, so when you see a space like that, call the cruise line for more information.


Near elevators or stairs

Light sleepers everywhere request rooms away from elevators in hotels. The same should be true on cruise ships, only more so since passengers sometimes gather there — say, on the way to meals, shows, or for disembarkation.


Next to an ice machine

This is another one that is a common request in hotels for noise-a-phobes like myself, and should be on ships. Important to note: Some ships hide the ice machines in internal crew-only spaces; others keep them available for self-service.


Beside a laundry room

Not all ships have public laundry facilities, but on those that do, you want to avoid hearing the washers and dryers from inside your cabin.


Right below a public deck

Don’t want to hear the deck chairs as they’re moved around or dragged across the floor, or the sound of early-morning joggers? Then you’ll certainly want to avoid this location.


Above or below a dance floor or midnight buffet

Sailing on a ship that’s known for nightlife? When in doubt, don’t risk it.

Join the discussion

Have you ever gotten stuck in a loud cabin? Tell us about it!
Katieohio's Avatar

Posted by Katieohio

We just came back from 3rd NCL cruise. We chose Getaway and hated it. Food at buffet substantial dard, last night was leftover hotdogs in BBQ sauce and cold cuts. Debarkation was a terror. Only one gangway open! No one at elevators to direct you, pasengers milling everywhere with no clue where to ho. People cutting in line, went through crowded floor only to be told we had gone the wrong way! Took over 1 1/2 hrs to get off ship with tempers flaring. Smoking areas miniscule and closed in, smokehouse more like it. Would never book on Getaway, 11 in our party, all felt same way

Jules57's Avatar

Posted by Jules57

We were under the shops on our last cruise and every night around midnight for around an hour, they moved things around - very hard to sleep!

rabyjames's Avatar

Posted by rabyjames

Our room was right under the pool, on the Enchantment of the Seas and we slept like rocks.

Happylada's Avatar

Posted by Happylada

Where did my comment go?

Cruisesinc's Avatar

Posted by Cruisesinc

Most cruise lines also have a limited number of fans that you can request once onboard to put in your cabin so you don't have to carry it with you. They usually only have a limited number to call for it as soon as you get on board.

Happy Sailing

NHguy's Avatar

Posted by NHguy

We just sailed on the newest ship, the "Norwegian Getaway" Our cabin was 14220, just below the buffet floor and across the hall from the supply closet. We never head a thing and slept like babies. Must be in the building of the ship. Soundproofing must have been A+ because the only time we heard extra noise was when we had the balcony door open.

Wan's Avatar

Posted by Wan

I cruised on Royal Caribbean and they confiscated my fan. My room was over the gangway so the noises from opening the doors and loading/unloading supplies was bad.

maturetravel's Avatar

Posted by maturetravel

if you purchase a guaranteed cabin, even an ocean view, if YOU TRAVEL SOLO, there is a slim chance you will ever get a full view..... now I don't bother paying more, they already make me pay far more than every other passeger

TaraBonVoyage's Avatar

Posted by TaraBonVoyage

Sounds like you know exactly what we’re talking about, Doseibel! Which ship were you on?

TaraBonVoyage's Avatar

Posted by TaraBonVoyage

Hi Buck! The entrance to the crew’s quarters varies in location from ship to ship, so it’s something to keep in mind when booking a cabin.

Doseibel's Avatar

Posted by Doseibel

On our last cruise we were "upgraded" to a floor right below the buffet. There was a tile logo on the floor in the buffet and the serving carts started rolling intermittently over that logo about 5:30 a.m. Waking us up! Also there was a dish washing station across from our room and while we couldn't smell anything or hear the noise from INSIDE our room, the smell from garbage was pretty rank when coming down the hall to our room and it was very noisy each time we opened our door.

Buck's Avatar

Posted by Buck

I was on Holland America ship ms Oosterdam, and discovered the entrance to crew quarters. It was nowhere close to any passenger cabins. There is no way in the world a single passenger could have been bothered no matter how loud the music may have been.

EJSmith's Avatar

Posted by EJSmith

Key is a cabin mid ship and not real high up, pending if your route can have heavy seas. Mid ship is best and fore and aft bad, like noted, under the theatre, kitchen or if a bad storm, aft when props come part out of the water and spin. Since I used to lecture on cruise ships, many funny tales from the past and present, almost always apply. People do not change. Just the ships, way too big. Have a walkie talkie to keep in touch with friends too, since with 3500 or more on 15 plus decks, you'll never find them unless a "timed meeting place" like lunch, buffet, starboard aft. And a note pad if you meet someone you want to see later. Name and cabin # makes that possible or you'll never seen them again. Bon Voyage.

Kinch's Avatar

Posted by Kinch

Fans are a great idea, but if you don't have room in your suitcase, you can always bring a couple pairs of those in-ear foam earplugs. Not super comfortable, but for a light sleeper like me, it's better than dealing with noise.

slara1961's Avatar

Posted by slara1961

Great tips. Also, if the cruise line calls you to say you've been "upgraded", think again. Many times they upgrade you to a cabin that stinks! Look twice before you say yes. Follow me on Twitter @scottlara1961

sariah's Avatar

Posted by sariah

We brought two small fans in our suitcase but yet strong ones. We slept like babies and didn't hear a thing.

Donna712's Avatar

Posted by Donna712

Sorry if stupid question- what are fans for- noise reduction? Are state rooms air conditioned?

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