Pete, you are accurate with everything you said. Todays lower decks are just as good as any deck. Things weren't always that way, I have been cruising since the early 70s and can tell you the lower cabins were too close to the water then. Once had an outside cabin (small porthole) and waves were breaking above the porthole.
Today we book any deck but a cabin near the aft elevator. Least amount of walking on todays mile long ships. L
O F C'er