I'm about to book my first cruise and I'm not sure which is the best part of the ship for the least movement - is the front, middle or back less affected by the action of the ocean?

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    Mid-ship and low is a good plan, but check out the full layout of the ship and stay away from the main "ballroom" or entry way or whatever. We were on a Carnival cruise, and thought being close to that 'central' area would be super convenient, and it was, but it was also very noisy into the night with the live music and people using stairs and elevators.
    – JPhi1618
    Dec 10, 2014 at 14:01
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    @JPhi1618 That should be an answer! Dec 10, 2014 at 17:39

2 Answers 2


Low and central. The center (midships) is least affected by pitching (boat rotating up and down when moving into/with waves), and low floors are least affected by rolling (boat rotating side to side when the waves comes in from the side).

Homework reading: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ship_motions

  • 8
    Point being: the closer you are to the fulcrum of rotation, the less your tangential velocity. Hence the less you feel the changes in tangential acceleration as the boat oscillates. In other words you don't feel as if you are moving that much.
    – JoErNanO
    Dec 10, 2014 at 15:26
  • @JoErNanO well put. Dec 10, 2014 at 18:04
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    Which leads to a bit of historical irony: first-class passengers on a liner had cabins way up on the topmost decks, where they were most likely to get seasick, while steerage-class passengers down in the bottom levels were least likely to get seasick.
    – Mark
    Dec 10, 2014 at 23:17
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    @Mark: its ironic in history only in terms of relative motion felt between lowest deck and upper deck. The actual reason was relative safety. In event of an accident (sinking), steerage class passengers would be affected first and rescued last as opposed to vice versa with first class.
    – user24208
    Dec 11, 2014 at 7:29
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    @Mark I think we're all well aware of that sir ;-)
    – smci
    Dec 12, 2014 at 1:58

Most cruise ships have stabilizers that will keep the ship very stable in most "normal" weather, If you are very sensitive to motion it may feel unnatural to you because it makes for somewhat of an artificial motion (Roll on wave then pushed up by stabilizer (if they are active)the speeds are a little different). Overall unless you get motion sickness you will probably be ok anywhere unless you are sailing thru a storm.

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