What is a Lido Deck on a Cruise Ship and How Did It Get That Name?

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Are you planning your next cruise vacation and curious about what the lido deck is? You’ve come to the right place!

The lido deck is a key feature on many cruise ships. Put simply, it’s the deck on the cruise ship that includes the outdoor pool area, and it’s where you’ll likely spend a lot of your time while on board.

But let’s look at it in more detail and find out where it got that strange name from.

What Is A Lido Deck On A Cruise Ship?

Alan and I On Brilliance of the Seas “Pool Deck”

A Lido Deck is essentially at the heart of a cruise ship’s design and refers to a public outdoor leisure area. 

Here, you’ll find swimming pools, hot tubs, and lounge chairs, perfect for soaking up the sun while you make a splash or unwind with a good book.

This deck also typically features dining options so you don’t have to worry about traveling far for a tasty meal or refreshing drink.

Think about how many cruise ships have their large buffet restaurant area right off the pool deck. Makes sense now, doesn’t it?

The Pool Deck Area on Royal Caribbean's Empress of the Seas (Now Part of Cordelia Cruise Fleet)
The Pool Deck Area on Royal Caribbean’s Empress of the Seas (Now Part of Cordelia Cruise Fleet)

But the fun doesn’t stop at food and relaxation! On this deck, you might also find waterslides and splash parks to entertain the kids, as well as poolside bars for adults to enjoy.

Sometimes, there’s even an outdoor movie screen set up for you to enjoy films under the stars.

Throughout the day (and often into the night), you can find live music, DJ sets, and dance parties taking place on the Lido.

If you’re looking to break a sweat, many cruise ships also feature a sports area or a fitness center nearby, so you can stay active while still enjoying the ocean views.

On our cruise on Carnival Pride, the Lido Deck on that ship had a very handy retractable roof. Which was great for cooler days at sea. You’ll see that on a lot of modern cruise ships.

Where Does The Term Lido Deck Come From?

The author with the Grand Canal of Venice in the background
Yours Truly in Venice Italy

The term comes from Italian word “lido“. This term originally referred to a “beach” or “seashore” where people gather to swim. 

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, beach holidays were all the rage in Europe. People couldn’t get enough of the sea and sun. That’s when the term “lido” started making waves in the English language.

But it’s not just about the beach; it’s about chilling out, having fun, and soaking up the sun.

That’s why the term started to pop up as the go-to spot for pools, hot tubs, and loungers. The marketing people likened it to a slice of the Italian beach life but on the high seas.

This deck was all about that laid-back, holiday vibe – think sun, water, and good times.

The exact year when cruise ships started calling it the “Lido Deck”? That’s a bit murky. But one thing’s for sure: it’s a nod to those leisurely Italian beach days, transformed into a floating paradise.

Cool, right?

All in all, it’s no wonder that the term has become synonymous with a leisurely and enjoyable experience at sea.

Do All Cruise Ships Have a Lido Deck?

The Retractable Roof on Carnival Pride's Lido Deck
The Retractable Roof on Carnival Pride’s Lido Deck

The quick answer is that while most major cruise lines include a lido deck, they may not always call it that name.

Cruise lines like Carnival, and Princess Cruises use the term Lido deck.  However Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Disney Cruise Line will use the term “Sun Deck”.  Some ships might just refer to the deck as a number.

While most modern cruise ships will have a Lido or “pool deck”, each cruise line may have its own spin on design and amenities found on the Lido deck.

So, to answer your question simply: most major cruise ships have an equivalent to a lido deck, but it might be called something different depending on the cruise line. 

What Other Names Are Commonly Used For The Lido Deck?

Royal Caribbean Vision of the Seas docked in St Kitts
Royal Caribbean Do Not Use The Term Lido Deck

Some cruise lines have different names for the Lido deck that still refer to the same area we all know and love.

On some ships, you’ll hear it called the pool deck since it typically houses the main swimming pool, hot tubs, and waterslides. 

Another term that is used but not very often is the “Resort Deck”.  I’ve also seen “Recreation Deck” and simply the “Top Deck” used as well

Lido! Whoa Oh Oh Oh!

So there you have it. Now you know the meaning and origins of the Lido Deck.

And contrary to what you might be thinking, the Lido Shuffle is not the constant hunt for a vacant sun lounger LOL You’ll have “Lido Shuffle” playing in your head all day long now

If you’re thirsty for more cruise knowledge, do you want the Poop Deck meaning explained? Stop sniggering at the back!

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Morag is our Food, Fashion and Fun expert at Cruise Nonstop. On a typical cruise, you'll find Morag either studying the fine dining menus or dancing on the dance floor, having a ball!

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