What is a Lido Deck on a Cruise Ship?

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Lido deck on the amplified Navigator of the Seas

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If you’re planning a cruise vacation, you might have questions about popular cruise ship terms. If you’ve heard the phrase “meet me on the lido deck,” you might get confused, wondering where to go.

Every cruise ship has a lido deck, but some cruise lines call it by another name.

Here’s what you need to know about the lido deck on a cruise ship.

What Is a Lido Deck on a Cruise Ship?

A view of the pool deck from the top deck of symphony of the seas

The lido deck on a cruise ship is a name for the pool deck, usually located on one of the ship’s top decks.

Cruise ship Lido decks are home to outdoor pools, hot tubs, sun lounges, bars, movie screens, waterslides, rock climbing walls, mini-golf, a splash park, and more.

The lido deck is one of the most popular and busy spots on the cruise ship during the day. And it gets especially crowded on sea days as passengers spend the day swimming in the pool and lounging on the deck under the sun.

Why is it Called The Lido Deck?

Passengers on the Pool deck of Virgin Voyages Scarlet lady cruise ship in the Bahamas

The word “lido” comes from Italian roots and refers to a beach or public outdoor swimming pool where people gather to swim (Source). On a cruise ship, the lido deck refers to the outdoor swimming pool and the surrounding bars, restaurants, activities, and facilities.

However, not every cruise line uses the term “lido deck.” For example, you will find the pool area called the lido deck on Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line, but not on Royal Caribbean.

Where Is the Lido Deck?

The lido deck is often located on one of the top decks of the cruise ship.

The lido deck may have several sections, including the main pools, sports deck, buffet, stage, running track, dance parties, live music, bars, and more. The layout of the lido deck varies by cruise line, but most have at least a pool and hot tub with an adjacent bar.

Check with your cruise ships deck plan if you need help finding the lido deck.

If you forgot to bring a towel, there’s no need to worry. You can rent a towel for free from the nearby booth. Simply show the attendant your cruise card and return the towel when you are finished.

Just make sure you return the towel by the end of your cruise, or the cruise line will charge you for the towel.

What Can I Do on the Lido Deck?

The amenities vary by the cruise line. However, you’ll find the lido deck on cruise ships has several standard features.

Here are some common things to do on a cruise ship lido deck:

Relax at the Poolside

Passengers relaxing in the pool on the lido deck of Symphony of the seas
Wonder of the Seas pool deck (photo credit: Royal Caribbean International)

Every Lido deck has a pool. It’s no surprise, given that “lido” refers to a public outdoor swimming pool or beach.

With comfortable loungers and daybeds scattered around, you can recline with a book, enjoy a refreshing drink, or simply soak up the sun’s rays.

The pool may be on either side of the cruise ship or right in the center. The largest cruise ships in the world have more than one pool and up to a dozen hot tubs.

By the pools, you’ll find plenty of sun loungers and sunchairs. Feel free to lay out a towel and soak up some sun by the pool.

Unfortunately, you’ll find plenty of chair hogs who’ll use towels and other personal items to reserve their sun lounger for the day. It’s unfortunate, but inconsiderate passengers wake up early in the morning to reserve lounge chairs that they won’t use for several hours.

Take a Dip in the Hot Tub

The small pool and two hot tubs on Scarlet lady as seen from the top deck

After a day filled with activities, there’s nothing more relaxing than soaking in a hot tub. Lido decks have several hot tubs where you can unwind, relax, and let the bubbles massage away any fatigue

If you’re sailing in a cooler climate such as Alaska, taking a dip in the hot tub is an excellent way to escape the cold air.

The whirlpools are also a romantic spot to enjoy a tranquil evening under the stars with your partner.

Watch a Movie Under the Stars

Photo Credit (Royal Caribbean)

Many cruise ships offer large outdoor movie screens on the Lido Deck, where you can watch a movie under the stars.

At night, enjoy new releases or classic movies while taking a break from the hustle and bustle of cruising. After a full day of hiking, walking, and touring the local port, watching a movie under the stars is a refreshing break.

Bring along a blanket or find a cozy lounger, grab some popcorn, and enjoy the show. Or grab your bathing suite and watch the movie while floating in the pool or relaxing in one of the whirlpool hot tubs.

Grab a Drink at the Bar

The pool bar on Symphony of the Seas
Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean

No lido deck would be complete without a bar.

The Caribbean sun, open-air, and poolside loungers make the sun deck the perfect spot to enjoy Piña Coladas and pineapple mojitos.

The bars on the pool deck provide a relaxed, open-air setting to enjoy a drink. Whether you fancy a tropical cocktail, a cold beer, or a fine glass of wine, the poolside bars have what you need.

You’re sure to find at least one bar near the pools.

Enjoy the Buffett

Most cruise ships situate the buffet close to the lido deck. The nearby buffet is super convenient for grabbing a quick snack without changing out of your bathing suit or giving up your sun loungers.

Some ships offer self-serve ice cream by the pool.

Play a Round of Miniature Golf

Passengers playing mini golf on a cruise ship
Photo Credit (Royal Caribbean)

Many cruise ships feature miniature golf courses on the Lido Deck or nearby. It’s a fun and leisurely activity that everyone can enjoy.

Challenge your family or friends to a friendly game and enjoy some lighthearted competition amidst the cool sea breeze.

Mini golf is just one of the fun sports you can play on a cruise ship.

Try a Waterslide

Orange and yellow waterslides at the water park on Carnival Breeze
Mardi Gras WaterWorks (Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line)

Waterslides have become a staple on cruise ships. If you’re looking for a splash of adrenaline, the waterslides on the Lido Deck offer just that.

Twist and turn down exciting slides that often extend over the edge of the ship, providing a thrilling ride with fantastic views.

Of course, not every cruise ship has a water slide, but the ones that do go above and beyond.

Cruise ships are pushing the boundaries of at-sea thrills with drop slides, tube slides, and transparent slides that extend beyond the ship, bringing you several stories above the ocean.

Take Your Kids to the Splash Park

Passengers enjoying a day of fun on the pool deck of Oasis of the Seas cruise ship

For families with young children, the splash parks on the Lido Deck are a paradise. With water fountains, mini slides, and interactive water play areas, it’s a safe and fun environment for kids to burn off some energy.

New cruise ships seem to be in an ever-increasing competition to build the largest water parks.

The splash parks are perfect for cruising with kids, providing endless entertainment on sea days. Splash parks have quickly become a new cruise ship staple, from dizzying waterslides to tipping buckets.

Take in the Sights

A view of royal caribbean’s solarium during the day

One of the best features of the lido deck is the incredible view. The elevated position of the Lido Deck provides panoramic views of the ocean and the ship’s surroundings. Whether you’re sailing through scenic fjords or docking at an exotic port, the views from the Lido Deck are often breathtaking.

Bring your camera. The lido deck is a photographer’s dream and a romantic spot to watch the sunset.

The view is especially thrilling on sea days when you can see the endless blue horizon stretching in every direction.

Just be sure to keep a tight hold on your belongings. You don’t want to drop a smartphone or camera into the ocean.

Soar Above the Sea (North Star and Seawalk)

Passengers taking a ride on North Star on the Spectrum of the Seas cruise ship
(Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean International)

If you’re looking for an unbeatable view of the seas, you’ll want to check out Royal Caribbean’s North Star or Princess Cruises Seawalk.

The North Star is a small pod that rises over 300 feet above the ocean. The pod provides unbeatable 360-degree views. If you’re not afraid of heights, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thrill you won’t want to miss.

North Star is available on Royal Caribbeans Quantum-class ships.

Glass floor seawalk over the sea on Royal Princess ship with a view of the ocean below

Princess Royal class ships provide a different heart-racing way to view the ocean.

Hovering 128 feet above the sea, SeaWalk is a glass-floor walkway that extends 28 feet off the ship’s side. Those daring enough to step out onto the platform are greeted with a top-down view of the ocean and a panoramic view of the horizon.

Marcello De Lio
Marcello De Lio

Marcello's been cruising since he was 12 years old. He loves the freedom that cruising provides, meeting new people, and exploring amazing new ships. Marcello created High Seas Cruising to share his passion for cruising and travel with readers and grow a community of passionate voyagers.

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