How Are Cruise Ship Decks Numbered?

By Alice Nichols

Cruise ships are massive vessels that are used to ferry passengers across often long distances. The sheer size of these vessels makes it necessary for them to be divided into various parts, or decks, as they are commonly referred to. To make navigation easier, each deck is numbered, so that passengers and staff can easily identify their specific location on the vessel.

Generally speaking, the decks on a cruise ship are numbered from the lowest one at the bottom to the highest one at the top. This means that deck number one is usually either near or at sea level, while the highest deck may have a pool or some other recreational facility on it. In addition, each deck may also be sub-divided into further sections for more specific numbering purposes.

For example, Deck 4 might have subsections A through E which would be numbered as 4A, 4B, 4C etc.

It’s important to note that while all cruise ships have a similar method of numbering their decks, there may be slight variations depending on the type of vessel in question. For instance some liners may refer to their higher levels as ‘promenade decks’ instead of just assigning them a number.

Cruise ship decks can also be divided into two distinct categories; interior and exterior. Interior decks refer to those located inside the hull of the ship and are typically used for cabins and other passenger accommodation areas. Exterior decks are located above this level and feature open-air spaces such as pools and lounges.


In summary, cruise ship decks are usually numbered from lowest (deck 1) at the bottom up to highest (top) deck at the top. Furthermore, these decks can be further divided into interior (inside hull) and exterior (above hull) sections for more specific navigation purposes. As always though there may be slight variations from one type of vessel to another.