Are Cruise Ship Cabins Soundproof? Discover the Truth!

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Written by: Mohammad Sameer

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Imagine you’re on a luxurious cruise, ready to embark on a journey filled with relaxation and adventure. Picture yourself in the comfort of your next cabin, whether it’s a balcony cabin or one of the other staterooms available.

are cruise ship cabins soundproof?

No, cruise ship cabins are not soundproof. The cabins have thin walls that allow sound to travel easily between them, especially with interconnecting doors.

Here are some noise levels for different areas of a cruise ship:

  • Cabins: 80 dB(A)
  • Dining rooms: 85 dB(A)
  • Corridors: 90 dB(A)
  • Discotheques, theatres, entertainment areas: 105 dB(A) 
are cruise ship cabins soundproof

Cruise ship cabins are not completely soundproof due to their construction with thin walls and potential noise from neighboring cabins, common areas, and high-traffic zones like elevators and entertainment venues.

Modern ships employ insulation, double-walling, and strategic cabin placement to minimize noise transmission.

Considering cabin location, construction materials, neighboring activities, and available sharing options can help reduce noise disturbances and enhance the overall cruise experience.

Exploring Noise Disturbances and Solutions in Different Cabin Types

cruise ship cabin 1

Noise can be a real buzzkill when you’re trying to relax and enjoy your cruise vacation. Whether it’s the sound of conversations drifting in from public spaces or the vibrations from neighboring cabins, noise disturbances can put a damper on your experience.

Noise challenges specific to interior cabins

Interior cabins, also known as inside cabins, are located in the middle of the ship and do not have windows or balconies. While these cabins offer a more budget-friendly option, they come with their own set of noise challenges.

Since there are no windows to block out external sounds, you may be more susceptible to noises from public areas such as venues or corridors.

To minimize noise disturbances in interior cabins, consider the following strategies:

  • Opt for a cabin away from high-traffic areas like elevators or stairwells.
  • Use a white noise machine to drown out external noises and create a soothing environment.
  • Communicate with your neighbors if excessive noise becomes an issue.

Strategies for reducing noise in balcony cabins

Balcony cabins provide the luxury of having your own private outdoor space while enjoying scenic views at sea. However, even these cabins are not entirely immune to noise disturbances.

The proximity to public areas and neighboring balconies can result in unwanted sounds infiltrating your peaceful retreat.

Here are some tips for reducing noise in balcony cabins:

  • Choose a cabin on higher decks as they tend to be quieter.
  • Consider booking a cabin that is not directly below any public spaces like restaurants or pool decks.
  • Close balcony doors securely to minimize external noises.
  • If necessary, politely address any excessive noise issues with neighboring passengers.

Soundproofing options for suite-style cabins

Suite-style cabins offer enhanced comfort and amenities compared to standard accommodations. These spacious cabins often come with separate living areas, bedrooms, and even private balconies.

However, due to their larger size and more luxurious design, soundproofing can sometimes be a challenge.

To improve the sound insulation in suite-style cabins, you may consider the following options:

  • Invest in thicker curtains or blinds to block out external noises.
  • Use rugs or carpets to absorb vibrations and reduce echoing within the cabin.
  • Consider requesting a cabin located away from high-traffic areas during the booking process.

Remember that while these strategies can help minimize noise disturbances, it’s important to set realistic expectations.

Cruise ships are bustling environments with various activities taking place throughout the day and night. Some level of background noise is inevitable.

By being mindful of your cabin location and utilizing soundproofing options when necessary, you can create a more serene environment for yourself during your cruise vacation.

Tips for Booking a Quiet and Peaceful Cruise Ship Cabin

One of the key factors to consider is the level of soundproofing. After all, you want your cabin to be a peaceful oasis where you can relax and unwind. Here are some tips to help you choose a quiet cruise ship cabin.

Choosing a Cabin Away from High Traffic Areas

To minimize noise disturbances, opt for a cabin that is located away from high-traffic areas on the ship.

These areas typically include elevators, stairwells, and public spaces like restaurants and entertainment venues.

By selecting a cabin that is situated in quieter sections of the ship, you can reduce the chances of being disturbed by constant foot traffic or late-night revelry.

Consider these pros and cons:


  • Less noise from people passing by
  • Reduced disturbance from elevator dings and announcements
  • More privacy and tranquillity


  • May require more walking to reach popular onboard amenities
  • Limited accessibility for individuals with mobility issues

Considering Upper Decks for Reduced Noise

Another tip for securing a quiet cruise ship cabin is to choose one on an upper deck. Cabins on higher decks tend to experience less noise from activities happening below.

This is because they are further away from common areas such as the main dining room or pool deck. Being situated higher up can provide breathtaking views of the ocean or ports of call.

Here’s what you need to know:

Key information:

  • Higher decks offer better views
  • Lower likelihood of noise disruptions
  • Enhanced privacy due to fewer cabins nearby

Researching Ship Layouts to Avoid Noisy Areas

Before booking your cruise ship cabin, take some time to research the layout of the specific ship you’ll be sailing on. Different ships have varying designs, which can impact noise levels in certain areas.

Look for cabins that are positioned away from potentially noisy spots like nightclubs, theatres, or engine rooms. By familiarizing yourself with the ship’s layout, you can make an informed decision and choose a cabin that suits your need for tranquillity.

Consider these examples:

  • Carnival Cruise Line’s “Carnival Breeze” has cabins located near the casino, which can be noisy during late-night hours.
  • Royal Caribbean’s “Oasis of the Seas” has cabins near the Boardwalk area, where live performances and activities may generate noise.

By being aware of these factors and doing your research, you can select a cruise ship cabin that provides a peaceful environment for your next voyage.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Soundproofing Measures in Cabins

Testing Methods Used to Measure Sound Insulation

To determine whether cruise ship cabins are soundproof, various testing methods are employed to measure the effectiveness of sound insulation. One common method is conducting sound transmission class (STC) tests.

During these tests, a loudspeaker emits a range of frequencies in one room while microphones record the sound levels in adjacent rooms.

By analyzing the data collected, experts can assess how well the cabin walls and doors block out noise from neighboring areas.

Another testing method involves using decibel meters to measure the ambient noise levels inside cabins.

This helps evaluate how much external noise penetrates through the cabin’s structure.

These measurements are taken during different times of day and night to account for variations in background noise levels.

Comparison of Different Soundproofing Materials

There are several options available. The choice of material can significantly impact the level of sound insulation provided. Some commonly used materials include:

  • Acoustic foam: This dense foam absorbs sound waves and reduces echoes within a confined space.
  • Mass-loaded vinyl: A heavy vinyl sheet that adds mass to walls or ceilings, effectively blocking airborne sounds.
  • Sound-insulating panels: These specially designed panels consist of multiple layers that dampen vibrations and reduce noise transmission.
  • Double-glazed windows: These windows feature two panes with an air gap between them, providing better insulation against outside noise.

Each material has its own pros and cons, depending on factors such as cost, effectiveness, and ease of installation.

For example, acoustic foam is relatively inexpensive but may not provide as much sound reduction compared to other materials like mass-loaded vinyl or double-glazed windows.

Assessing the Impact of Retrofitting Measures

In some cases, cruise ship operators may retrofit existing cabins with additional soundproofing measures to enhance passenger comfort.

Retrofitting involves installing sound-absorbing materials or upgrading existing components to improve sound insulation.

One common retrofitting measure is the installation of resilient channels. These metal strips are attached to the cabin walls and ceilings, creating a gap between the surface and the structure. This helps reduce vibrations and minimize sound transmission.

Another retrofitting option is adding weatherstripping to doors and windows. This helps seal any gaps that may allow noise to enter the cabin, improving overall soundproofing.

However, it’s important to note that retrofitting measures may not always be feasible due to factors such as cost, time constraints, or structural limitations.

Cruise ship operators must carefully evaluate the potential benefits and drawbacks before deciding on retrofitting options.

Balcony vs. Interior Doors: Comparing Soundproofing Features

cruise ship design

In cruise ship cabins, the level of soundproofing can play a significant role in ensuring a peaceful and restful experience for passengers.

One crucial aspect to consider is the type of door used in the cabin, specifically comparing balcony doors to interior doors.

Differences in Door Construction between Balcony and Interior Cabins

Balcony cabins are equipped with balcony doors that provide direct access to an outdoor space, allowing passengers to enjoy fresh air and scenic views.

These doors are typically constructed with multiple layers of glass or acrylic panels to enhance insulation and minimize noise transmission from outside sources such as wind or waves.

On the other hand, interior cabins feature standard interior doors that separate the cabin from the corridors and neighboring rooms.

How Door Seals Affect Noise Transmission

The effectiveness of soundproofing in cruise ship cabins also depends on the quality of door seals. Balcony doors often come with robust sealing mechanisms designed to prevent noise leakage.

These seals help create a barrier against external sounds, ensuring a quieter environment inside the cabin. In contrast, interior doors may have less advanced sealing systems, which can result in more noise seeping through from adjacent areas.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Door Type

There are several advantages worth considering:

  • Enhanced Soundproofing: The construction of balcony doors with multiple layers helps reduce noise transmission from outside sources.
  • Access to Fresh Air and Views: Balcony cabins offer direct access to outdoor spaces where passengers can relax and enjoy panoramic views.
  • Increased Natural Light: The presence of balcony doors allows more natural light into the cabin, creating a brighter ambience.

However, there are also some downsides associated with balcony cabins:

  • Higher Cost: Balcony rooms tend to be more expensive compared to interior cabins due to their additional features.
  • Limited Privacy: Passengers staying in balcony cabins may have less privacy compared to those in interior cabins, as balconies are often visible to neighboring cabins.

On the other hand, interior doors have their own set of advantages and disadvantages:

  • Lower Cost: Interior cabins are generally more affordable than balcony cabins, making them a suitable choice for budget-conscious travellers.
  • Better Soundproofing from Corridors: Interior doors can provide efficient sound insulation against noise originating from the ship’s corridors.
  • More Privacy: Passengers staying in interior cabins typically enjoy greater privacy as there are no balconies or outdoor spaces directly connected to their rooms.

However, it is important to note that interior doors may not offer the same level of soundproofing as balcony doors.

Managing Common Noises in Cruise Ship Cabins

Mitigating Engine Noise Vibrations

Cruise ship cabins can be a haven for relaxation and tranquillity, but one common issue that many people face is the noise generated by the ship’s engines. These vibrations can disrupt your sleep and make it difficult to unwind.

However, there are solutions to help mitigate engine noise vibrations:

  • Use earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones: Investing in a good pair of earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones can significantly reduce the impact of engine noise vibrations on your sleep. These devices work by blocking out or minimizing external sounds, allowing you to enjoy a peaceful night’s rest.
  • Opt for cabins located away from the engine room: When booking your cruise cabin, try to choose one that is situated further away from the ship’s engine room. Cabins closer to the engine room are more likely to experience higher levels of vibration and noise. By selecting a cabin farther away, you can minimize the impact of these disturbances.

Reducing Hallway Noises

Another common source of disturbance in cruise ship cabins is hallway noises. With passengers constantly moving through the corridors, doors opening and closing, and cleaning staff going about their duties, it’s no wonder that hallway noises can be bothersome.

Here are some tips for reducing hallway noises:

  • Close your cabin door gently: Slamming doors can create loud noises that reverberate through the corridor and into neighboring cabins. By being mindful of how you close your door, you can minimize unnecessary disruptions for both yourself and fellow passengers.
  • Use a white noise machine: White noise machines emit a soothing background sound that helps mask other noises in your environment. By using one in your cabin, you can drown out hallway sounds and create a more peaceful atmosphere conducive to restful sleep.

Coping with Sounds from Adjacent Cabins

One of the most commonly shared horror stories on cruise ships involves noisy neighbors in adjacent cabins. While you can’t control the behaviour of others, there are ways to cope with sounds from neighboring cabins:

  • Communicate politely: If you’re experiencing excessive noise from the cabin next door, it’s worth politely communicating your concerns to your neighbors. They may not even realize that their activities are causing a disturbance and could be willing to make adjustments.
  • Request a cabin change: If all else fails and the noise from adjacent cabins becomes unbearable, consider speaking to guest services about the possibility of changing cabins. While this may not always be feasible due to availability, they may be able to find a solution that allows you to enjoy a more peaceful stay.

Remember, while cruise ship cabins strive for soundproofing, complete silence is often difficult to achieve.

However, by implementing these strategies and being prepared for some level of background noise, you can enhance your overall cruise experience and ensure a more restful stay.

Enhancing Your Cabin Experience with Soundproofing Efforts

Congratulations! You’ve now gained a deeper understanding of the factors that affect noise levels in cruise ship cabins, explored various noise disturbances and solutions in different cabin types, and learned valuable tips for booking a quiet and peaceful cabin.

But what about enhancing your cabin experience even further? That’s where soundproofing measures come into play.

By evaluating the effectiveness of soundproofing measures in cabins and comparing soundproofing features between balcony and interior doors, you can take proactive steps to minimize unwanted noises during your cruise.

Whether it’s managing common noises or investing in additional soundproofing materials, such as door seals or noise-cancelling headphones, you have the power to create a serene sanctuary within your cabin.

Remember, a peaceful cabin environment can significantly impact your overall enjoyment of the cruise.

So why not take control of your experience by implementing these soundproofing efforts? Your future self will thank you for it!


Can I request a specific cabin location on a cruise ship?

Yes, most cruise lines allow passengers to make cabin requests based on their preferences. However, keep in mind that these requests are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. It’s always best to contact the cruise line directly or work with a travel agent who can assist you in making specific cabin requests.

Are there any cabins on cruise ships that are known for being particularly quiet?

While every ship is different, certain areas on many cruise ships tend to be quieter than others. Cabins located away from high-traffic areas like elevators or stairwells are generally quieter. Choosing cabins on higher decks and towards the middle of the ship can help minimize noise from engine vibrations or waves hitting the hull.

Do all cruise ship cabins have balconies?

No, not all cruise ship cabins have balconies. Cruise ships offer a variety of cabin options ranging from interior cabins with no windows or balconies to ocean-view cabins with portholes or windows. Balcony cabins are typically more expensive but provide the added benefit of private outdoor space.

Can I bring my soundproofing materials on a cruise?

Yes, you can bring your soundproofing materials on a cruise. However, it’s essential to check the cruise line’s policies regarding what items are allowed in cabins. While basic soundproofing measures like door seals or noise-cancelling headphones are generally permitted, it’s best to avoid any excessive modifications that may violate safety regulations.

Are there any specific cabin types that are more prone to noise disturbances?

Certain cabin types may be more prone to noise disturbances than others. For example, cabins located near entertainment venues, elevators, or crew areas might experience higher levels of noise. Cabins situated at the front or back of the ship may be subject to engine noises or vibrations. It’s important to consider these factors when choosing your cabin location and take appropriate measures to minimize potential disruptions.

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About Mohammad Sameer

My name is Mohammad Sameer, the founder of SoundproofGears. My hypersensitive hearing turned me into a lifelong seeker of silence. After years of research, I've become an expert on soundproofing techniques and materials. In November 2022 I launched this site to share my knowledge and help others find acoustic sanctuary. About More