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What is the Lido Deck? Let’s Dive In!

Step onto the Lido Deck, the epitome of cruise ship leisure and fun.

This guide unveils the best of poolside pleasures, dining delights, and sun-drenched activities, ensuring your time is as refreshing as the ocean breeze. Prepare for a deep dive into the heart of cruise ship enjoyment.

So, What is the Lido Deck?

The Lido Deck is the epicenter of outdoor leisure on a cruise ship, synonymous with relaxation, recreation, and entertainment under the sun.

Characterized by its main pool area, it’s a vibrant hub where passengers gather to swim, sunbathe, enjoy casual meals, and participate in a plethora of activities.

Typically located towards the ship’s upper levels, the Lido Deck offers panoramic sea views, making it a favorite spot for both daytime enjoyment and evening festivities.

With amenities such as hot tubs, poolside bars, and often an outdoor movie screen, the Lido Deck caters to the quintessential cruise experience for all ages.

Lido Deck

Understanding the Lido Deck

The Lido Deck is more than just a place for sunbathing and swimming; it’s a multifaceted area designed to enhance the fun cruise experience with a blend of relaxation, dining, and entertainment options.

To fully appreciate its role on a cruise ship, it’s essential to delve into its background and design principles.

Origins and Evolution

  • Historical Context: The term “Lido” originates from the Italian word for a beach or swimming pool, often associated with leisure and relaxation. This concept was adopted by cruise ships to designate the deck area that encapsulates the essence of seaside leisure at sea.
  • Evolution of Design: Over the years, the Lido Deck has transformed from a simple open deck with a pool to a comprehensive leisure zone. Modern cruise ships feature elaborate Lido Decks with multiple pools, state-of-the-art facilities, and extensive dining and entertainment options.

Design and Layout

  • Central Features: At its core, the Lido Deck includes one or more swimming pools surrounded by sun loungers, with nearby hot tubs, poolside bars, and casual dining venues.
  • Innovative Additions: Newer ships may include additional features like water parks, retractable roofs for all-weather swimming, and outdoor movie theaters, enhancing the onboard experience.

The Lido Deck Experience

  • Day to Night Transformation: The Lido Deck is a dynamic area that transitions from a lively daytime hotspot to a serene evening retreat. Activities and entertainment offerings evolve to match the time of day, mood, and ambiance.
  • Accessibility and Inclusivity: Designed to cater to all ages and preferences, the Lido Deck offers areas and activities that appeal to families, couples, and solo travelers alike.

Understanding the Lido Deck’s origins, design, and role on a cruise ship provides a foundation for making the most of this essential space.

It’s a place where memories are made, from splashing in the pool to enjoying a movie under the stars, embodying the joy and freedom of the cruising lifestyle.

Lido Deck

Best Known Lido Decks on Cruise Ships

The Lido Deck is a highlight of any cruise, offering a perfect blend of relaxation, entertainment, and dining.

While many ships boast impressive Lido Decks, some stand out for their unique features, luxurious amenities, or innovative designs.

Here are some of the best-known Lido Decks across various cruise lines, each offering a distinctive experience that sets them apart.

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis Class Ships

  • Features: The Lido Decks on the Oasis Class ships, such as the Oasis of the Seas, are renowned for their AquaTheater pools, Zip Lines, and the Central Park and Boardwalk neighborhoods that offer an open-air experience like no other at sea.
  • Why They Stand Out: These ships have revolutionized Lido Deck designs with split structures that allow for more sunlight, expansive views, and increased activity areas, including two FlowRider surf simulators and multiple pools.

Carnival Cruise Line’s Vista Class Ships

  • Features: On ships like the Carnival Vista, the Lido Deck includes the SkyRide, an open-air cycling experience, and the WaterWorks aqua park with thrilling water slides.
  • Why They Stand Out: The Havana Pool area offers a more exclusive, resort-style atmosphere, and the Seafood Shack presents delicious dining options right on the deck.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Bliss

  • Features: Norwegian Bliss features a 20,000-square-foot Observation Lounge with 180-degree views, making its Lido Deck perfect for scenic cruising in destinations like Alaska.
  • Why They Stand Out: The ship boasts the largest race track at sea and an open-air laser tag course, providing unique entertainment options that elevate the Lido Deck experience.
What is the lido deck?

MSC Cruises’ MSC Seaside

  • Features: MSC Seaside is designed to “follow the sun,” with one of the most interactive and spacious Lido Decks, featuring the Bridge of Sighs glass-bottomed walkway, multiple pools, and a waterfront boardwalk that circles the ship.
  • Why They Stand Out: Its unique design brings guests closer to the sea, with ample outdoor space, including the Aquaventure Water Park, making it a family favorite.

Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Edge

  • Features: The Resort Deck on Celebrity Edge includes the Magic Carpet, the world’s first cantilevered, floating platform that serves various functions, from a launch pad for tenders to an extension of the Lido Deck space.
  • Why They Stand Out: With its innovative outward-facing design, the Rooftop Garden, and the stunning pool area, the Celebrity Edge offers a luxurious and modern take on the Lido Deck experience.

Princess Cruises’ Royal Class Ships

  • Features: The Lido Decks on the Royal Class ships, like the Royal Princess, are known for the Movies Under the Stars feature, expansive pool areas, and the SeaWalk, a glass-bottomed walkway extending over the ocean.
  • Why They Stand Out: These ships offer a blend of traditional elegance and modern amenities, with spacious layouts and plenty of dining options, making their Lido Decks a peaceful retreat.

These Lido Decks are celebrated for their innovative designs, extensive amenities, and unique attractions, offering passengers unforgettable experiences and setting new standards in cruise ship design.

Each brings its own flavor and flair to the cruising experience, highlighting the importance of the Lido Deck in creating memorable vacations at sea.

What is the lido deck?

Anatomy of the Lido Deck

The Lido Deck is a dynamic and multifunctional area of a cruise ship, offering a variety of amenities and spaces designed for enjoyment, relaxation, and socializing.

Its layout and features can vary significantly from one cruise line to another, but there are common elements that define the Lido Deck experience.

Core Features

  • Swimming Pools: The centerpiece of any Lido Deck, pools range from large, family-friendly options to more secluded adult-only versions.
  • Hot Tubs: Strategically placed around the pool areas, hot tubs offer a relaxing soak with views of the sea or the screen of an outdoor cinema.
  • Sun Loungers and Deck Chairs: Abundant seating options for sunbathing, reading, or simply enjoying the ocean breeze. These are usually spread out around the pools and along the deck’s perimeter.

Dining and Refreshments

  • Buffet Restaurants: Casual, self-service dining options offering a wide variety of foods to cater to every taste, often open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • Grill Stations and Snack Bars: Serving quick bites like burgers, hot dogs, pizza, and ice cream, perfect for a mid-day snack without leaving the deck.
  • Poolside Bars: Offering refreshing cocktails, soft drinks, and beer, these bars are the social hubs of the Lido Deck, especially on sunny sea days.
What is the lido deck?

Entertainment and Activities

  • Outdoor Cinema: Many cruise ships feature large LED screens for movies under the stars, live sports events, or other entertainment.
  • Stage Area: For live music, dance parties, and various daytime activities and competitions organized by the cruise ship’s entertainment team.
  • Water Features: Some ships include splash zones, water slides, or even surf simulators, adding an extra layer of fun for all ages.

Design Considerations

  • Shaded Areas: For those seeking respite from the sun, canopies, and overhangs provide shaded seating areas.
  • Adults-Only Sections: Many ships offer an adults-only part of the Lido Deck, ensuring a quiet space for relaxation away from the family-centric activities.


  • Ease of Access: The Lido Deck is designed to be easily accessible from multiple points of the ship, often directly from cabin areas or via elevators and stairs.
  • Facilities: Restrooms, showers, and changing areas are conveniently located to support a day spent poolside.

The Lido Deck is thoughtfully designed to offer something for everyone, from the thrill of water slides to the tranquility of a hot tub under the stars.

Understanding its layout and offerings allows passengers to fully enjoy this quintessential part of the cruise experience.

What is the lido deck?

Main Attractions on the Lido Deck

The Lido Deck is the heart of outdoor fun and relaxation on a cruise ship, offering a blend of sun, splash, and savory delights. Here are the main attractions that make the Lido Deck a favorite among cruisers:

Swimming Pools

  • Family Pools: Large, centrally located pools designed for family fun, often equipped with shallow areas for younger swimmers.
  • Adults-Only Pools: Quieter pools offering a serene environment, ideal for adults looking to relax away from the bustling family areas.

Hot Tubs

  • Positioned with stunning ocean views, these are perfect for unwinding after a day of exploration or simply enjoying a leisurely soak under the stars.

Sun Loungers and Cabanas

  • Sun Loungers: Ample deck chairs and loungers for sunbathing, reading, or napping in the fresh sea air.
  • Cabanas: For a more luxurious experience, some ships offer private cabanas for rent, providing shade, comfort, and sometimes even butler service.

Dining Options

  • Buffet Restaurants: The mainstay for casual dining, offering a diverse array of dishes to suit every palate.
  • Outdoor Grills and Pizzerias: Perfect for grabbing a quick, delicious bite without straying far from the poolside action.
  • Specialty Snack Bars: From gourmet burgers to fresh seafood, these offer a step up from the usual quick-service fare.
What is the lido deck?

Poolside Bars

  • The social heart of the Lido Deck, serving everything from morning mimosas to evening cocktails, often featuring live music or entertainment.

Outdoor Cinema

  • A popular feature on many ships, outdoor cinemas screen movies, concerts, and sporting events, allowing guests to enjoy entertainment under the stars.

Water Slides and Splash Zones

  • A hit with both kids and adults, these attractions add an adrenaline rush to the Lido Deck experience.

Stage for Live Entertainment

  • Host to a variety of daytime and evening activities, including dance classes, fitness sessions, live bands, and themed parties.

Activities and Games

  • Organized activities like pool games, competitions, and fitness classes keep the energy high and offer fun ways to meet fellow passengers.

Special Events

  • From sailaway parties to sunset celebrations, the Lido Deck is often the setting for some of the cruise’s most memorable events.

The Lido Deck encapsulates the essence of cruising – relaxation, adventure, and indulgence under the open sky.

With its diverse array of attractions, it offers endless opportunities to create unforgettable vacation moments.

What is the lido deck?

Activities and Entertainment on the Lido Deck

The Lido Deck is not just a place for lounging and swimming; it’s a vibrant hub of activities and entertainment that cater to all ages and interests.

Here’s a glimpse into the dynamic world of fun and leisure waiting for you on the Lido Deck:

Daytime Fun

  • Pool Games and Contests: Join in on the fun with pool volleyball, water polo, or the ever-popular belly flop competition, hosted by the ship’s entertainment team.
  • Water Slides and Splash Zones: Perfect for kids and the young at heart, these features provide hours of entertainment.
  • Fitness Classes: From sunrise yoga to aqua aerobics, these classes offer a refreshing way to stay active while at sea.
  • Craft and Cooking Demonstrations: Learn something new with on-deck workshops led by experts, ranging from cocktail making to towel origami.

Relaxation and Leisure

  • Sunbathing: With plenty of sun loungers available, finding the perfect spot to soak up the sun and relax with a book is a breeze.
  • Hot Tub Relaxation: Unwind in the warmth of the hot tubs, a perfect spot for relaxation and socializing with fellow cruisers.
  • Spa Services: Some ships offer outdoor spa treatments on the Lido Deck, allowing you to enjoy massages and facials in the fresh sea air.

Evening Entertainment

  • Outdoor Cinema: As the sun sets, the outdoor cinema becomes a focal point, where guests can enjoy movies, concerts, and live sporting events under the stars.
  • Live Music and Dancing: The evening brings live bands and DJs to the Lido Deck, setting the stage for dancing and entertainment.
  • Themed Parties and Socials: From white parties to tropical luaus, the Lido Deck hosts a variety of themed evenings that invite passengers to dress up, mingle, and enjoy special entertainment.

Dining Under the Stars

  • Al Fresco Dining: Some evenings, the Lido Deck’s eateries offer special dinner services, allowing you to enjoy your meal outdoors under the night sky.
  • Specialty Nights: Look out for barbecue nights, seafood feasts, or other specialty dining events that take advantage of the open-air setting.

Tips for Enjoying Lido Deck Activities

  • Check the Daily Schedule: Keep an eye on the ship’s daily newsletter or app for the schedule of activities and events happening on the Lido Deck.
  • Arrive Early: For popular events, especially those in the evening, arriving early ensures you get a good spot.
  • Dress Appropriately: For themed parties or special events, dressing the part can enhance your experience and make for great photos.

The Lido Deck offers a perfect blend of action-packed activities, leisurely relaxation, and evening entertainment.

Whether you’re looking to engage in spirited competition, unwind in the sun, or dance the night away, the Lido Deck is the place to be for memorable cruise experiences.

What is the lido deck?

Tips and Tricks for the Lido Deck

Navigating the bustling Lido Deck for the ultimate cruise experience requires some insider knowledge. Here are essential tips and tricks to help you make the most of your time on this popular deck:

Maximizing Pool Time

  • Early Bird Gets the Pool: Pools can get crowded, especially on sea days. Arriving early ensures you get a prime spot and enjoy a more tranquil swim.
  • Know the Pool Schedule: Some pools may have adults-only times or scheduled activities. Familiarize yourself with the schedule to plan your pool time accordingly.

Securing the Best Sun Loungers

  • Timing is Key: Like the pools, prime sun lounger locations fill up quickly. Getting there early in the morning can secure a spot with the best views or desired sun exposure.
  • Respect Chair Saving Etiquette: While it’s tempting to save chairs for later use, most cruise lines discourage saving sun loungers for extended periods. Be considerate and only save seats for a short time if you’re nearby.

Dining Like a Pro

  • Beat the Buffet Rush: The buffet can be busiest right at opening times and during peak lunch hours. Opt for off-peak times for a more relaxed dining experience.
  • Explore All Options: Beyond the buffet, the Lido Deck often hosts other eateries that might offer quicker service or different cuisines. Don’t miss out on these hidden gems.

Enjoying Drinks Wisely

  • Happy Hour Hunting: Keep an eye out for happy hour specials at the poolside bars for great deals on drinks.
  • Stay Hydrated: With all the sun exposure, it’s easy to get dehydrated. Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Making the Most of Entertainment

  • Check the Daily Program: Your cruise ship’s daily program will list all activities happening on the Lido Deck. Plan your day to catch live music, movies under the stars, or special events.
  • Participate in Activities: From dance classes to water games, joining in on the organized activities can be a fun way to meet people and enjoy unique cruise experiences.

Finding Quiet Spaces

  • Seek Out Hidden Nooks: The Lido Deck is large, and there are often quieter spots away from the main pool area where you can relax in peace.
  • Use the Adults-Only Area: If your ship has an adults-only pool or lounge area, it can be a serene refuge from the more family-focused parts of the deck.

Preparation and Comfort

  • Sun Protection: Always apply sunscreen before spending time on the Lido Deck. Reapply throughout the day, especially after swimming.
  • Comfortable Footwear: The deck can get slippery and hot. Wear comfortable, non-slip shoes to navigate the area safely.

By following these tips, you can ensure a delightful and stress-free experience on the Lido Deck, making it a highlight of your cruise vacation.

Whether you’re soaking up the sun, enjoying a dip in the pool, or sampling the variety of dining options, these strategies will enhance your enjoyment and help you make the most of this vibrant cruise ship hub.

What is the lido deck?

Lido Deck Etiquette

The Lido Deck is a central hub of activity and enjoyment on a cruise ship, but it’s also a shared space.

Observing proper etiquette ensures that all passengers can have a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Here are key points of Lido Deck etiquette to keep in mind:

Sun Lounger Courtesy

  • Avoid Chair Hogging: It’s tempting to reserve sun loungers with towels or personal items, especially during peak times, but this can be frustrating for others. Use chairs only when you’re present, and release them when you’re done or going to be away for an extended period.
  • Personal Space: Even when the deck is crowded, be mindful of others’ space. Avoid spreading out your belongings to take up more room than necessary.

Pool and Hot Tub Manners

  • Shower Before Entering: A quick rinse off in the showers provided near the pools helps keep the water clean for everyone.
  • Observe Capacity Limits: Hot tubs and pools have posted capacity limits for safety and comfort. Respect these limits and wait your turn if they’re full.
  • No Diving or Rough Play: For the safety of all guests, avoid diving into pools and engaging in rough play or running on the deck.

Dining Decorum

  • Buffet Line Patience: The buffet can get busy. Practice patience, and remember that there’s plenty of food for everyone. Use the provided utensils to serve yourself and avoid touching food you’re not taking.
  • Clear Your Table: If you’re dining in a self-service area, help the crew by clearing your table when you’re finished, if requested or if bins are provided for this purpose.

Bar Behavior

  • Wait Your Turn: During busy times, wait patiently for the bartender’s attention instead of waving money or shouting.
  • Moderation: Enjoy the ship’s variety of drinks responsibly. Overindulgence can affect not only your experience but also that of your fellow passengers.

General Conduct

  • Dress Appropriately: While the Lido Deck is casual, some areas may require shirts, cover-ups, or footwear. Observe any posted dress codes, especially when entering dining areas.
  • Noise Level: Use headphones for personal music, and keep conversations at a respectful volume, especially in close quarters or late at night.

Safety First

  • Follow Crew Instructions: For your safety and the safety of others, always follow the instructions of the cruise ship’s crew, especially in emergencies or during drills.
  • Be Aware of Your Surroundings: The deck can become slippery when wet, and obstructions can pose tripping hazards. Watch where you’re walking, and keep aisles and pathways clear.

Observing these etiquette guidelines on the Lido Deck ensures a harmonious and enjoyable environment for all passengers. It’s all about mutual respect and consideration, allowing everyone to fully enjoy their cruise experience.

What is the lido deck?