What is a Lido Deck on a Cruise Ship? (Why We Love Them)



Victoria Ridley

I love to travel, see new places, and meet new people. I have been lucky enough to travel on multiple continents, as well as several cruise lines. I am passionate about sharing my experience with readers.
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If you’re planning a cruise vacation, you might be wondering, “what is a lido deck?”

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

What Is a Lido Deck on a Cruise Ship?

The lido deck on a cruise ship often refers to the outdoor pool area on one of the top decks of the vessel.

Lido deck on the amplified Navigator of the Seas
(Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean International)

The word “lido” refers to a beach or public outdoor swimming pool where people gather to swim. Accordingly, many cruise lines refer to the pool area as the lido deck.

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.

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

It’s important to remember that the layout and amenities offered on the lido deck vary by cruise ship.

Where Is the Lido Deck?

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

The lido deck may have several sections, including the main pools, sports deck, buffet, stage, running track, 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.

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.

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 have several standard features.

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

Relax at the Poolside

Wonder of the Seas pool deck
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.

The pool may be on either side of the cruise ship or right in the center. And large ships have more than one.

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.

You’ll also find tables and chairs, so you can bring a snack or pick up a drink from the nearby bar.

Take a Dip in the Hot Tub

Each pool area has several hot tubs. After a day exploring the world, there’s nothing better than relaxing in one of the poolside hot tubs.

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.

Watch a Movie Under the Stars

Photo Credit (Royal Caribbean)

Most cruise ships have large movie screens next to the main pool.

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.

The location of the movie screen means you can watch the movie while floating in the pool or relaxing in one of the whirlpool hot tubs.

Grab a Drink at the Bar

Royal Caribbean's Lime and Coconut
Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean

No lido deck would be complete without a bar.

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

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

Photo Credit (Royal Caribbean)

Many cruise ships feature a mini-golf course on the lido deck.

If you’re in the mood for a little friendly competition, mini-golf is a fun activity for guests of all ages.

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

Try a Waterslide

Mom and daughter riding the AquaDuck water coaster slide on Disney Dream cruise ship
Mardi Gras WaterWorks (Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line)

Waterslides have become a staple on cruise ships.

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

Many large ships have several waterslides.

If you’re wondering how popular they are, look no further than Royal Caribbean.

Up until 2016, not a single Royal Caribbean ship had a waterslide. Fast forward to today, over half of Royal Caribbean’s vessels have added waterslides.

Waterslides have proven themselves to be a timeless attraction for all ages.

Take Your Kids to the Splash Park

Speaking of fun water activities, new cruise ships seem to be in a never-ending competition to build the greatest splash park.

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

Take in the Sights

One of the best features of the lido deck is the incredible view. From the top floor of the ship, the lido deck provides uninterrupted views of the world around you.

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)

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.

Royal Caribbean's Wonder of the Seas Wonder of the Seas Playscape Rendering
(Rendering Credit: Royal Caribbean International)

The North Star is a small pod that rises over 300 feet above the ocean. The pod provides unbeatable views. If you’re not afraid of heights, it’s a 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 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.

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About the author

Victoria Ridley

I love to travel, see new places, and meet new people. I have been lucky enough to travel on multiple continents, as well as several cruise lines. I am passionate about sharing my experience with readers.

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