7 Worst Cruise Ship Cabin Locations

best worst cruise ship cabin locations
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:

1. By a Door to the Crew’s Quarters

crew msc divina quarters

An average cruise ship has about 1,000 crew members, and many of them work around the clock. - Photo by MSC Cruises

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.


2. Above Mechanical Equipment

anchor bad cabin avoid cruise ship

The dropping of the anchor in port is not an ideal alarm clock. - Photo by Ruth Peterkin

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.


3. Near elevators or stairs

elevator cruise ship worst cabin

Elevators are natural congregating points. - Photo by Carnival

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.


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4. Next to an Ice Machine

worst cabin ice machine cruise ship

Ice machines aren't super common, but they should be avoided at all costs. - Photo by Chuck Wagner

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.


5. Beside a Laundry Room

laundry cruise ship bad cabin

Pocket change rattling inside a washing machine is not soothing background noise. - Photo by amixstudio

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.


6. Right Below a Public Deck

public deck worst cabin

These cabins look secluded at first glance, but they're directly below the Lido Marketplace.

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.


7. Above or Below a Dance Floor or Midnight Buffet

Some people like to dance, others prefer to sleep. - Photo by Norwegian Cruise Line

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!


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

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!

Posted by rabyjames

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

Posted by Happylada

Where did my comment go?

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

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.

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.

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

Posted by TaraBonVoyage

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

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.

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.

Posted by Buck67890209

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.

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.

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.

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

Posted by CruisingDivaGal

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

Posted by Donna712

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

Posted by SimonCommunity

Yes, staterooms are air-conditioned on any modern cruise ship. Not sure what purpose the fans that others suggest would serve.

Posted by 20cruises

We had a room directly under a pool and the water sloshed all night because of rough seas. The porthole room was awesome as we went through the Panama Canal.

Posted by Grandmitz

We have had rooms across from the laundry room and it was very quiet. I don't mind a room in that area. Makes it easy to use the laundry. You can watch a movie in your room and get your laundry done.

Posted by djlasvegas

I'm about to book my cruise and mid-ship cabins are all full. I'm choosing aft because its closest to dining. There's two cabins left. One is located in the far back of the ship with the window looking out the back of the ship. The other is the second to last cabin on the starboard side. Has anyone ever stayed in one of the back facing cabins? And, if so, what are their pros and cons?

Posted by deconz

Found the top floors can be a problem with deck chairs being moved and near the lefts the doors opening

Posted by EdFLondon

under the gym. you forgot under the gym. (Side comment: still not getting my head around why people insist on upper decks where they are more likely to encounter noise and large public areas overhead ... not to mention the exaggerated movements of the ship. Group think? Just saying)

Posted by lovcruisinlife

I will be taking a cruise and have a forward cabin. I usually sail mid ship but everything is already booked 16 months ahead of sailing. Has anyone sailed deck 7 forward on the Anthem of the sea? Wondering how the noise is. I think we are close the the docking equiptment. Also how are the waves hitting the boat? I hear forward on a ship can be a rocky cruise

Posted by TaraBelle

I have a travel white noise machine. It's more convenient than a fan.

Posted by cruiseingall

we are going on our first cruise in just 18 days carnival Triumph we are on the 10 deck number 1003 any good are bad thing about this please tell me what you think

Posted by mladkins1

Fans are to help drown out any noises which you find disturbing. Consider it a little "white noise." Plus, it helps to move the air around if that ever becomes an issue.

Posted by Npressme

Have anyone been on the carnival triumph and stay mid-ship on deck 2 what is above it and the pros and cons. We are first timer


We cruise HAL often and always take a Neptune Suite on very back of ship usually on deck 6. Love the wrap around deck and super quiet! Food is awesome, even buffet is good. Free upgraded room service breakfast & dining room menu is amazing. Free laundry is such a great perk especially traveling with the family. My 12 year old son LOVES club HAL. Shows are not super top notch but enjoyable. We made same mistake trying NCL Dawn by booking Jr Suite on very back of ship and guess what! right below the nightclub! Nobody told us. At least around 1am it wasn't too bad and thumping music was turned down. Food was awful, especially the buffet. No free laundry and no room service even for suite guests. Shows were great. It was back to HAL for us!

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