AI image of a cruise ship with decks below water

Underwater Cruise Ship Rooms: Are They Real?

For many, the thought of underwater cruise ship rooms can give them nightmares. If you’ve ever seen the movie Titanic, you know why.

However, very few passengers have seen these rooms, and many wonder if they exist. So are underwater cruise ship rooms real?

Today, we’re diving into the belly of cruise ships to see if these mysterious rooms are real.

Come aboard, and let’s get started!

What Are Underwater Cruise Ship Rooms?

Underwater cruise ship rooms are exactly what their name implies, rooms on a ship below the water’s surface. However, good luck if you want to stay in one of these rooms as a passenger. Most cruise lines do not use them for passengers. Typically these spaces are reserved for the crew and other operational purposes.

These rooms typically do not have windows. Iif they did, you wouldn’t likely see much of anything. The waters outside the ship would be incredibly turbulent due to the ship’s motors. It would likely be similar to watching your clothes in the window of your washing machine.

How Many Floors Are Underwater on a Cruise Ship?

Most cruise ships typically have one or two decks that are entirely underwater. However, this will entirely depend on the size of the ship. The larger the ship, the more that will be underwater. In general, it’s typically only about 10% of the actual ship that’s underwater.

As mentioned, these are usually inaccessible to passengers. Crew members often have special cards and the clearance to access them. For security purposes, most standard elevators for passenger use cannot access these parts of the ship.

Underwater Facilities on a Cruise Ship

So if there aren’t passenger rooms underwater on a cruise ship, what exactly is below the surface? Let’s look at what cruise lines are hiding from the rest of us.

Crew Cabins

One of the biggest uses of this space is for cabins and staterooms for the crew. This is where they eat, sleep, and enjoy their time off. The crew around the ship typically share accommodations with a fellow crew member. It’s like a floating dormitory for employees of the ship.

Larger ships can have crews numbering in the thousands. Having a place to rest, relax, and recharge their batteries before returning to work is essential. Many work seven days a week and rarely receive an entire day off. For some of the crew, these spaces are sacred. However, you can find YouTube videos from crew willing to give a tour of their space.


It may surprise you to discover that some cruise ships have a woodshop. This is because many decorative pieces on the ships are made from wood. Because cruise lines operate on such a tight schedule, many repairs must be done in-house. As a result, they need expert craftsmen and women and an appropriate work environment to keep the shape looking like new.

Cruise Ship Morgue

The unfortunate reality of cruising is that passenger deaths aren’t uncommon. Some studies estimate that approximately 70 people die each year onboard ships. While cruising isn’t necessarily dangerous, it’s largely due to passenger demographics. A larger percentage of passengers are elderly individuals who have lived long lives.

Officials use the ship’s morgue to store deceased passengers until they return to the original port. They’ll be in communication with local officials to ensure that the necessary processes are respectfully followed.

The Jail

One underwater cruise ship room that we hope you never see is the jail. Yes, cruise ships have a jail on them. A passenger who drinks too much or makes bad decisions can end up here. Security has the authority to hold passengers for security or safety concerns.

If ship officials think it’s necessary, they could eject a passenger at the next port. You would then be responsible for covering the expenses of getting yourself home. As we said, we hope you never see this room on a ship.

Crew Bar and OB

Because they work long hours and have difficult jobs, the crew needs a place to relax too. The crew bar and OB (officer’s bar) offers a variety of entertainment and services for the crew. They enjoy discounted drinks, stock up on supplies and get ready for their next shift.

Fortunately for the crew, passengers aren’t welcome in these areas. Accessing them requires special clearance. This is another area where you can find video tours on YouTube from crew members who are also influencers. The various cruise lines put varying degrees of effort into these spaces. However, crew are generally appreciative of them and enjoy using them.

Print Shop

This room is getting used much less these days as many cruise lines are going digital. However, these spaces were often used for a variety of printing needs. Typically, the biggest need was the newsletters and schedules that were placed in passenger rooms each night. These allowed them to know the events for the following day so they could plan accordingly.

Now that most major cruise lines are investing in smartphone apps, passengers can access the same information on their phones. This allows them to save time, money, and reduce waste. However, these likely won’t go away entirely any time soon as there’s always going to be some sort of printing needs on most ships.

The I-95

Many in the industry refer to the long hallway that runs from one end of the ship to the other as the I-95. Like the interstate, crew members are able to quickly move from one area of the ship to the other without having to navigate passengers or deal with the maze-like hallways.

This is a common feature on most ships and even Walt Disney World has something similar at the Magic Kingdom location. It increases efficiency and allows the ship to operate better. However, don’t expect anything fancy. Since passengers aren’t likely to ever see this area, it typically has a very stale and industrial look to it.

Enjoy the Views Above the Water

We’re sorry to burst your bubble if you were hoping to book one of these underwater cruise ship rooms. However, you can know that while you’re enjoying yourself while cruising, there’s a lot of activities going on down there. Crew are working hard and resting up to give you the best possible experience.

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