8 Places to Relax on Top Cruise Ships

by Donna Heiderstadt

8 Places to Relax on Top Cruise Ships

by Donna Heiderstadt

Cruise ships — especially those that accommodate thousands of passengers — can sometimes feel overwhelming. So when you need a bit of quiet time, here are eight of our favorite quiet spots to chill that come at no extra cost.

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Relaxing on a Celebrity ship / Celebrity Cruises
Viking Sea's LivNordic Spa
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LivNordic Spa

Found on: Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, and Viking Sun

You’ll never pay a fee to access the thermal suite in the LivNordic Spa on Viking Ocean shipsso it’s yours to enjoy anytime it’s open. All of this line's 930-passenger ships are identical, and the spa’s Scandinavian design combines soothing vistas of birch forests with an inviting wall-length fireplace, heated tile recliners, jetted whirlpools, a sauna, and — in Nordic tradition — an invigorating snow grotto. 

Found on: Viking Star, Viking Sea, Viking Sky, and Viking Sun

You’ll never pay a fee to access the thermal suite in the LivNordic Spa on Viking Ocean shipsso it’s yours to enjoy anytime it’s open. All of this line's 930-passenger ships are identical, and the spa’s Scandinavian design combines soothing vistas of birch forests with an inviting wall-length fireplace, heated tile recliners, jetted whirlpools, a sauna, and — in Nordic tradition — an invigorating snow grotto. 

The Haven Private Courtyard Sun Deck
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The Haven

Found on: Norwegian EscapeNorwegian GetawayNorwegian BreakawayNorwegian EpicNorwegian GemNorwegian JadeNorwegian JewelNorwegian Bliss, and Norwegian Pearl

If you love lounging on deck, but hate sharing it with so many other passengers, escape to this secluded area on Norwegian ships. The exclusive "ship within a ship" space is just for passengers who book Haven cabins, and they alone have access to the sundeck, hot tub, and even butler service here. Not willing to splurge on these top tier accommodations? There are two hot tubs located forward on the starboard side of deck 19 on Norwegian Escape, for example, that are rarely crowded — just remember to grab a cocktail from the pool bar before heading up there.

Found on: Norwegian EscapeNorwegian GetawayNorwegian BreakawayNorwegian EpicNorwegian GemNorwegian JadeNorwegian JewelNorwegian Bliss, and Norwegian Pearl

If you love lounging on deck, but hate sharing it with so many other passengers, escape to this secluded area on Norwegian ships. The exclusive "ship within a ship" space is just for passengers who book Haven cabins, and they alone have access to the sundeck, hot tub, and even butler service here. Not willing to splurge on these top tier accommodations? There are two hot tubs located forward on the starboard side of deck 19 on Norwegian Escape, for example, that are rarely crowded — just remember to grab a cocktail from the pool bar before heading up there.

Allure of the Seas' Solarium
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The Solarium

Found on: Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas

The window-facing, round daybeds in the adults-only Solarium on these 5,400-passenger Royal Caribbean ships are the perfect spot for couples to escape the families with kids onboard and stare blissfully at blue sky and turquoise sea. Alas, they are extremely popular, so your true chill-out time may be limited to early morning or late afternoon—snag one when you can and enjoy the view.

Found on: Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas

The window-facing, round daybeds in the adults-only Solarium on these 5,400-passenger Royal Caribbean ships are the perfect spot for couples to escape the families with kids onboard and stare blissfully at blue sky and turquoise sea. Alas, they are extremely popular, so your true chill-out time may be limited to early morning or late afternoon—snag one when you can and enjoy the view.

The Sanctuary
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The Retreat Pool

Found on: Regal Princess and Royal Princess

Located on Deck 17 of Princess's newest 3,560-passenger sister shipsthe adults-only Retreat Pool is an escape from the louder, more family-friendly vibe at the Fountain Pool one deck below. Surrounded by loungers (which are free) and cabanas (which aren’t) and designed with two hot tubs and a full-service bar, this serene space transitions after sundown to the “Chill Lounge.” 

Found on: Regal Princess and Royal Princess

Located on Deck 17 of Princess's newest 3,560-passenger sister shipsthe adults-only Retreat Pool is an escape from the louder, more family-friendly vibe at the Fountain Pool one deck below. Surrounded by loungers (which are free) and cabanas (which aren’t) and designed with two hot tubs and a full-service bar, this serene space transitions after sundown to the “Chill Lounge.” 

Queen Mary 2's library
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The Largest Library at Sea

Found on: Queen Mary 2

If getting drawn deep into the plot of a good book while at sea is your thing, you can’t beat the library onboard Cunard’s 2,695-passenger Queen Mary 2. Not only is it the largest library at sea — it has more than 10,000 books in six languages — but its classic polished-wood décor makes you want to speak in a whisper. Nab one of the forward-facing leather armchairs and you’ll be dreamily reading for hours. 

Found on: Queen Mary 2

If getting drawn deep into the plot of a good book while at sea is your thing, you can’t beat the library onboard Cunard’s 2,695-passenger Queen Mary 2. Not only is it the largest library at sea — it has more than 10,000 books in six languages — but its classic polished-wood décor makes you want to speak in a whisper. Nab one of the forward-facing leather armchairs and you’ll be dreamily reading for hours. 

The Alcoves
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The Lawn Club

Found on: Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity EquinoxCelebrity EclipseCelebrity Silhouette, and Celebrity Reflection

Celebrity’s Solstice-class ships have an idyllic top deck made with real grass where you can sprawl out with a picnic. For even more relaxing spaces, try the two-story library on Decks 10 and 11 that overlooks the atrium and features cool art and contemporary sofas and wing chairs, or the Solstice Deck (on 16 at the very front of the ship) that offers comfy two-person day beds ideal for snoozing in the sun.

Found on: Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity EquinoxCelebrity EclipseCelebrity Silhouette, and Celebrity Reflection

Celebrity’s Solstice-class ships have an idyllic top deck made with real grass where you can sprawl out with a picnic. For even more relaxing spaces, try the two-story library on Decks 10 and 11 that overlooks the atrium and features cool art and contemporary sofas and wing chairs, or the Solstice Deck (on 16 at the very front of the ship) that offers comfy two-person day beds ideal for snoozing in the sun.

Quiet Cove Pool
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Quiet Cove Pool

Found on: Disney MagicDisney WonderDisney Dream, and Disney Fantasy

Disney knows that parents need a time-out, too, so all four of its ships feature this secluded and adults-only pool. It has a swim-up bar and hot tubs that can help soak the kinks out of tired mommy and daddy bodies.

Found on: Disney MagicDisney WonderDisney Dream, and Disney Fantasy

Disney knows that parents need a time-out, too, so all four of its ships feature this secluded and adults-only pool. It has a swim-up bar and hot tubs that can help soak the kinks out of tired mommy and daddy bodies.

The Library Bar
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The Library Bar

Found on: Carnival Vista 

Carnival, a cruise line known for its “Fun Ships,” isn’t necessarily the right one for someone seeking solitude, but even passengers who like to party might want to chill once in a while. The solution? The Library Bar on this 3,936-passenger ship, which combines comfortable seating for reading, playing chess, or doing crossword puzzles with a wine bar — keeps some of the fun on tap (literally, as there are self-serve wine dispensers for an added fee).  

Found on: Carnival Vista 

Carnival, a cruise line known for its “Fun Ships,” isn’t necessarily the right one for someone seeking solitude, but even passengers who like to party might want to chill once in a while. The solution? The Library Bar on this 3,936-passenger ship, which combines comfortable seating for reading, playing chess, or doing crossword puzzles with a wine bar — keeps some of the fun on tap (literally, as there are self-serve wine dispensers for an added fee).  

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