When you travel on a cruise (especially the big cruise lines— Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, etc.), you can expect to be surrounded by large crowds of people the majority of the time. Therefore, if you are into relaxation on vacation like me, you should definitely avoid the noisiest staterooms at sea.
The last thing you are going to want to worry about on your vacation is hearing noises while you are in your stateroom at night and early in the morning. After diligent research and first-hand experience, I have compiled a list of cruise cabins you will want to avoid at all costs if you want to experience peaceful cruising.
But first, make sure to pick up my free cruise planner to lay out everything about your cruising vacation-- from budgeting guides and daily itineraries to shore excursion planners to packing lists.
Noisiest Staterooms Next to Elevators/
Stair Access Points
Cruise cabins near the elevator or stair access points are some of the noisiest staterooms at sea and their location will lead to a lot of noise during most parts of the night and therefore, should be avoided. Whether it be a group of teenagers running up and down the staircase or a couple of drunk friends stumbling through the elevator, noise around these areas is nearly impossible to avoid.
However, there are many benefits to a room close to the elevators and stairs that need to be considered before ruling this option out. If you plan on spending a lot of time outside your stateroom or making frequent trips to the cruise buffet, you may prioritize having a cabin close to these areas.
Some cruise ships make it fairly difficult to avoid this location so just focus on choosing a stateroom that does not share a wall with the elevator nearby.
Related: 40 Must Have Cruise Accessories
Noisiest Staterooms at Sea Adjacent to Crew Access Areas
Cruise cabins next to crew access areas should also be avoided at all costs as cruise staff will be working throughout the night to prepare for the next day.
If you end up in one of these staterooms you will frequently hear clattering as the crew maneuvers carts and other items for guests through the narrow crew access doors. The doors that guard these areas are typically very heavy and will be loud as crew members neglect to close them gently.
Also, it may become difficult to walk through the hallway near your stateroom as you awkwardly try and squeeze by the crew and their carts. While these cabins may be difficult to identify, a quick ship layout plan or call to your travel agent should help.
However, if you are looking to save money on your cruise, these noisy staterooms can actually be offered at a fraction of the cost of other cabins.
Staterooms Above or Below Lounges/ Night Clubs
Unless you are planning to stay out until around 2 am, I suggest avoiding the staterooms surrounding, above, or below the lounge and nightclub areas as they can be some of the noisiest staterooms at sea.
On most cruise lines, lounges are utilized for the night and late-night dance scene. The lounges will be filled with not only energetic but also very drunk passengers. The noise from the dance floor can easily travel through the ceiling of the cabins below so before you book your cabin, make sure to check the layout of your ship.
Unfortunately, the walls separating areas on a cruise ship are not made to be soundproof, so if you do end up in one of these staterooms. you can reasonably expect to hear noises throughout the night.
Noisy Staterooms Directly Below the Pool Deck
While you may think that these staterooms directly below the pool deck would be okay as the noise would only exist during the day, you are probably underestimating the amount of traffic this deck gets at night.
The young (and young at heart) cruisers will be out to the hours of 2 - 4 AM partying at the night club, and what do they do once the club closes? Well, they stumble back to their rooms or the 24-hour restaurant onboard. This can lead to a lot of stomping and loud conversations traveling through the pool deck's flooring.
Further, each morning (and very early, may I add) cruise staff will begin to reorganize the pool chairs and tables. If you do not plan on being up and out of your stateroom by 5 AM, you probably do not want to be hearing chair legs scraping through your ceiling before you wake.
If you do not plan on having your travel party on both sides of adjoining staterooms, I recommend avoiding them as they can be some of the loudest staterooms at sea.
In addition to these cabins offering less security, you will more than likely be hearing the conversations of your neighbors. With a full-size door being the only thing separating you from the other cabin, you will not only be able to hear nearly everything your neighbors are doing, but they will also be able to hear you.
Therefore, I highly suggest avoiding adjoining cabins and leaving them for families who would absolutely need adjoining cabins for cruising with little kids.
Staterooms Near the Anchor
Another one of the loudest staterooms at sea to avoid is those located near the anchor. If you get up early (before 5 AM), you will not be affected by these staterooms, however, everyone else should be wary as these are some of the noisiest staterooms onboard any ship.
On my most recent cruise, I was in a cabin that was on the lowest level, right next to the ship’s anchor. Every morning I was awoken by the not-so-beautiful noises the anchor made as it lowered.
Now if you want a ready-to-go alarm clock, these cabins may be perfect for you, however, I was not in the least bit impressed.
Staterooms on the Lower Decks
The noisiest staterooms at sea located on the lower decks should be avoided when possible. While the amount of noise you will hear will tend to be dependent on the itinerary of your cruise, it is important to note the potential for noise in these rooms.
I recently returned from a cruise that sailed through the roughest seas in the world (the Drake Passage) staying in a lower deck stateroom. I would frequently wake up in the middle of the night as massive waves struck the sides of our boat.
On the other hand, the decks offer the most stability to those suffering from motion sickness, so if you are one of those individuals, you should weigh the pros and cons of this location. Also, these staterooms will more than likely be the most affordable option on your cruise, so if you are more inclined to follow a strict budget, you do not necessarily need to rule these rooms out!
Related: 38 Cruise Money Saving Tips
No one wants to be hearing noises throughout the night when they are enjoying their cruise vacation to Alaska or any other destination.
If you have any interesting experiences in any of these stateroom types or other ones I failed to mention, please leave a comment down below. Hopefully, these tips to avoid the noisiest staterooms at sea have helped— and as always, happy traveling!