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I booked a room near the stairs on a low deck and it made my vacation better

11 Jun 2024
Matt Hochberg

Big Royal Caribbean cruise ships are great, but sometimes the commute of getting from your cabin to the fun can get tiresome.

Cabin near the stairs

On my last two cruises, I ended up with cabins on a lower deck than usual and near the stairs.  It might seem like a big deal, but it made a big difference in my enjoyment overall.

There are compelling arguments of where to pick your cabin.  Aft cabins offer great views, mid-ship cabins are more stable, and some balconies are larger because of the ship design.

Read more: Royal Caribbean cabin guide

I am one of those people that doesn't spend a lot of time in my cabin, but I do find myself going back and forth a lot. With so much happening onboard, sometimes you need your sunglasses, or laptop, or bathing suit, or playing cards. But I don't want them all at once.

Door to my cabin

Out of necessity, I've started booking cabins that are on a lower deck and near the staircases, and it's made my enjoyment of the cruise far better.

Being on a low deck helps avoid elevator waits

Elevator lobby

Picking a cabin that is just one or two decks away from the Royal Promenade is half of the strategy.

Conventional wisdom says to book a balcony cabin on a higher deck for the views. I'd argue in the Caribbean, there's a negligible difference in terms of views between deck 7 and deck 9.

Read more: The 5 best cabin locations on a cruise ship

Being on a lower deck means you can easily go up one or two staircases and get to the heart of what's happening on the ship. You'll mostly find activities between decks 3, 4 and 5 on most Royal Caribbean ships because that's where the theaters are located, along with Royal Promenade, and many bars.

Hallway on Brilliance of the Seas

If all I have to do is go up a deck or two, I can easily manage that and skip the elevator.

I find after 2 or 3 decks of going up stairs, I start to feel like Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters trying to climb 22 flights of stairs.

This same methodology would hold true if I was staying on a higher deck in regards to the pool and buffet, but I find there's more happening to draw me to the lower decks.

Read more: Choosing the Quietest Cabins on Royal Caribbean

Picking a cabin near stairs is even better

Anthem of the Seas elevator lobby

Now combine a lower deck cabin with a cabin in close proximity to staircases, and you've got a winning combination.

Royal Caribbean ships have two stairwells, with one towards the front and another mid-ship. 

If you pick a cabin all the way forward or all the aft, you're going to find a long distance to traverse each time you go to and from your room.

Quantum of the Seas hallway

This is especially true on Quantum, Oasis, and Icon Class cruise ships where the hallways seem to go on indefinitely.

When I stayed in a room near the stairs, I found it so convenient to be able to get to my cabin. With kids, this is so helpful because inevitably, someone forgot something back in the room.


Plus, not having to go very far to get something from my room is quite convenient.

Because I enjoy spending most of my time around the Promenade, having a cabin near the stairs makes it so easy to get back and forth to get or drop off something.

Avoid cabins with noise bleed

Promenade view room

Before you pick the first cabin on deck 6 near the stairs, you'll want to make sure it's not above or below a public venue.

Ideally, you'll pick a cabin that is one deck above and below another cabin.

You want to avoid any cabin that is above or below a pool, bar, lounge, or restaurant because of the potential of noise bleeding through to your cabin.

Read more: Choosing a cabin for your cruise

Connecting door

Additionally, don't book a connecting room if you don't know the person in the connecting room because the connecting door is poor at preventing noise bleed.

The key is to look at the deck plans on Royal Caribbean's website before you select a room.

Suites are the exception


This strategy works for inside, oceanview, and balcony cabins, but if you prefer to stay in a suite, you're out of luck.

Suites tend to be located on higher decks. On Royal Caribbean's newest ships, you'll find its Suite Neighborhood on decks 17 and 18.

If you want to book a suite, you probably won't be able to pick a cabin on a lower deck.

Read more: A $7,000 Suite on Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas

Matt started Royal Caribbean Blog in 2010 as a place to share his passion for all things Royal Caribbean with readers. He oversees all the writers at Royal Caribbean Blog, and writes a great deal of content on a daily basis.  He has become one of the foremost expert on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Over the years, he has reached Pinnacle Club status with Royal Caribbean's customer loyalty program.

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