Where is Deck 1 on a Cruise Ship? (Is it a Good or Bad Deck?)

The answer to this question depends on the cruise line you are sailing with. Often, Deck 1 is the lowest deck on the ship. However, this is not always the case and can vary between cruise lines.

On some cruise ships, Deck 1 is just the lowest deck available to passengers.

For example, on Disney cruise ships you can book a cabin on Deck 1.

However, on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, the lowest decks usually start at deck 2 or 3 and those of Princess Cruises start at the lowest deck available to passengers from Deck 4.

There may be lower unnumbered decks that aren’t shown on the deck plan that are restricted to crew members only.   These are sometimes seen as decks A, B, and C.

Deck One on Cruise ship

Is Deck 1 on a Cruise Ship Bad?

Deck 1 has its pros and cons but overall wouldn’t be considered as a particularly bad deck for most people, although it may be less suitable for some.

For some passengers, deck 1 may be the best deck.

We explore some of the reasons why deck one or the lowest numbered deck can be good or bad for different passenger types below.

Is Deck 1 on a Cruise Ship Noisy?

Corridor of Deck 1 cabins

Some noise is expected wherever you are on a cruise ship, but it is often amplified on the lower decks.  If you are a very light sleeper, you might consider booking a cabin on a higher deck.

At the bow of the ship the bow thrusters can sometimes be heard, as well as the dropping or raising of the ship’s anchor.

Some noise can also be expected to be heard on deck one if you are above the engine and laundry rooms on the deck below.

One of the main sources of noise is the engine and propellers. As the ship moves through the water, the engines and propellers create a lot of noise. This noise can be heard throughout the ship but is more noticeable on the lower decks.

Propellers at aft of cruise ship might be heard on deck 1

However, some people like some background noise and even sleep better with it, or alternatively, bring a fan on to put on at night to block out other sounds.

 If you are one of those people, then noise might not be as big of a factor for you when choosing a cabin on Deck 1 of a cruise ship.

In addition to the engine noise, there can also be noise from other passengers.

You might hear people walking around above you or talking in the hallways.  If you are looking for a quiet and relaxing cruise experience, then you might want to consider booking a cabin on a higher deck.

However it’s worth noting there are noisy areas on higher decks too, for example under the lido deck where the pools are located is one particular noisy area.

If you live in a city, you are more likely to be used to all kinds of noise.  However, if you live in a quiet rural area, you might notice more of these sounds while on your cruise.

So, while Deck 1 on a cruise ship may be closer to the source of some noise, it is not necessarily a bad deck to be on. It really depends on your preferences and what you are looking for in a cruise experience.

Cabins to Avoid on Deck 1

Corridor of cabins on cruise ship

Cabins above the engine room as well as noise may feel vibrations, more so when the ship is docking.

The engine rooms are normally located somewhere in the middle and more towards the aft of the ship.

You may also want to avoid cabins above the laundry room, elevator shafts, or stairwells as well.  These are all areas that can create more noise than usual.

Cabins above the bow thrusters can also be quite noisy at times.

Does Deck 1 Smell?

Some people say they can smell sewage or even diesel fuel when they are on lower decks, but this is not always the case for the vast majority of passengers.

Deck 1 should smell like every other deck of the ship.  If you notice any unusual smells, it could be an indication of a problem with the sewage system and you should report it to guest services.

Best Deck for Seasickness

Deck 1, or the lowest passenger deck available is the best deck to book a cabin on if you are prone to seasickness.

The closer you are to the waterline, the less rocking motion you will feel due to being nearer the center of the ship’s gravity.

A midship cabin on the lowest deck would also be better than one at the front of the ship (bow) or back (stern) as these have more movement. 

It really depends on how motion sensitive you are, because with large modern cruise ships the movement is often barely noticeable even on the higher decks.  

No Balconies

Cabins on deck 1 typically do not have balconies because they are too close to the surface of the water.

Cheaper Deck

Lower decks on a cruise ship, including deck 1 are typically cheaper as they are further away from the more numerous activities, entertainment and restaurants often found on the higher decks.

Lower decks also don’t have balconies and sometimes the cabins have no windows.

These factors don’t bother many passengers who just use the cabin mostly for sleeping and showering. 

What’s Below Deck 1 on a Cruise Ship?

The decks below deck 1 or the lowest number deck for passengers are usually where you’ll find the following:

  • Engine rooms
  • Brig (or jail)
  • Medical Rooms
  • Morgue
  • Laundry Room
  • Crew Cabins
  • Crew-only dining and social areas
  • Cruise staff offices
  • Storage rooms
Engine and water treatment rooms below passenger decks
Cabins above engine rooms might be a bit noiser

What Are the Advantages of Staying on Deck 1 of a Cruise Ship?

The main advantages of staying on Deck 1 of a cruise ship are combatting seasickness and the price.  Cabins on the lower decks are often cheaper than those on the upper decks and this holds true for deck 1.

Another possible advantage is if your cruise itinerary involves any ports that require tenders (smaller boats that transfer passengers from the ship to shore), those tenders are often located on Deck 1. This means that you won’t have to climb up or down stairs to get to the tender, which can be especially helpful if you have mobility issues.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Deck 1 on a Cruise Ship

Below we summarise the pros and cons of a cabin on deck 1 or the lowest deck of the ship for passengers.

Advantages of Deck 1 (or lowest deck):

  • Better close-up view of any sea life (whales, dolphins)
  • Accessible cabins for people with disabilities
  • Closer proximity to key areas such as reception & customer service desk
  • Easy access to tenders that are on lower decks
  • Cheaper cabins
  • No balcony

Disadvantages of Deck 1 (or lowest deck):

  • Comparatively poor long-distance panoramic views
  • The lowest deck is closest to the engine room & propeller noise
  • Unlikely to have the option of balcony cabins
  • Further away from Lido decks and outdoor movie screens, buffets, etc

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Carnival Cruise Ships Have a Deck 1?

Carnival Magic cruise ship
Carnival Magic

Carnival varies its first deck numbers depending on the ship.  For example, Carnival Breeze and Conquest start with a deck one which they name Riviera.

They then refer to Deck 2 as the “Main Deck” and Deck 3 as the “Lobby”.

For other cruise ships such as Carnival Celebration, the first deck for passengers is Deck 4.

Below is the view from a Deck 1 Ocean view window.

View of calm sea from Carnival Cruise Ocean View window on deck 1.
Carnival Cruise Ocean view window on deck 1

The window ledge is plenty deep enough to sit on and see the views and is much preferred to an interior room.

In general, Deck 1 cabins on Carnival cruise are a popular choice without many complaints.

Where’s Deck 1 on a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship?

Royal Caribbean doesn’t have a deck one on their vessels.

Their ship deck plans tend to start with a deck 2 or a deck 3 as the first deck.

Here are some examples of the first numbered decks on these ships:

  • Adventure of the Seas – deck 2
  • Allure of the Seas – deck 3
  • Anthem of the Seas – deck 2
  • Grandeur of the Seas – deck 2
  • Symphony of the Seas – deck 3

Where is deck 1 Disney Cruise Ship?

All 5 Disney Cruise ships have a deck 1.  It’s the lowest deck on the deck plan.

Do Celebrity Cruises Have a Deck 1?

Celebrity cruise ships do not have a deck 1.

They start their deck plan for booking passenger cabins with either a deck 2 or a deck 3.

What is Deck One Used For?

The usage of Deck One can vary between cruise lines, but it is mostly utilized for storage, crew quarters, or engine rooms.

However, you can book a cabin on Deck One on some cruise lines.

Corridor of cabin doors

Is Deck One Top or Bottom of a Ship?

Deck one is always a lower deck on a cruise ship. Higher deck numbers mean you are closer to the top of the ship.

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There is no definitive answer to whether or not Deck 1 on a cruise ship is good or bad. It really depends on your preferences and what you are looking for in a cruise experience.

If you have disability issues or suffer from seasickness and deck one of the lowest numbered deck on your ship for passengers is likely to be good for you.

Depending on where you are on deck one you may incur some extra noise from the crew-only decks below, such as the engine and laundry rooms plus other workings of the ship.

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