A cruise ship does much more than get passengers from one port to another; it’s a self-contained entertainment complex, too, with loads of options for fun, relaxation and education. So, how can you make the most of your time onboard?
Our advice is to learn about your ship before you embark. The cruise line’s website has lots of information about the layout and features of the ship and the activities available during your cruise. When you know more about what’s onboard, you can make a plan. Here are a few things to consider:
With the exception of some river cruise ships, most ships have a swimming pool – and often more than one – surrounded by lounge chairs. It’s easy to spend a whole afternoon there with a good book and a refreshing drink. And, your ship may have options like an adults-only pool or a resort-style waterpark.
Most cruise ships have fitness centers, too, that rival the best available on land. You can keep up your usual fitness routine, or try something new, like Pilates, spinning, or cardio kickboxing. Some ships also have exercise facilities on the top deck, from walking tracks to zip lines.
Shipboard spas are very popular; check out your spa menu in advance to see if you’d like a massage, facial or body wrap. Your spa might offer even more, like thermal loungers and snow grottos for the ultimate in hot/cold skin therapy.
You can also enjoy onboard lectures and presentations; many ships bring experts on board to give helpful previews of the ports you’ll visit, which can help you enjoy the local sights and culture.
If you’ll cruise with kids, plan to take advantage of any onboard programs for children. These are thoughtfully designed and staffed to ensure young children, tweens, and even teens have a great time onboard. And while the kids are with their new friends, you’ll have time to enjoy your own activities.
While onboard, check the ship’s daily schedule (available on your stateroom TV or cruise line app) for wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, galley tours, art auctions, and other events you might enjoy. And, be sure to see the onboard shows, which might make you forget you’re not in a Broadway theater.
One potential problem: you may not have time to do everything you want to do onboard. So, select your top priorities for onboard fun, then plan to do the rest on future cruises.
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