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Cool Things to Do on a Cruise Ship



Cruise lines are constantly coming up with new ways to keep guests entertained. Here are some of the coolest ways to have fun onboard without ever leaving the ship.



The first step in deciding what to do onboard is determining your traveling “personality”. To help identify yourself, we’ve highlighted a few basic travel personalities – one or a few are likely to fit your profile. You can use them to help research your ship and enjoy those days at sea!



Adventurers take to the Sky with Carnival Cruise Line’s challenging SkyCourse. ©Carnival Cruise Line

For the Adventurer

If your bucket-list items consist of action-packed activities like running with the bulls or skydiving, you’re sure to find a multitude of activities to keep you busy onboard a cruise. On some of the larger ships, like Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class ships, guests of all ages can experience the thrill of skydiving out on the deep blue sea with Ripcord® by iFly®, the only skydiving simulator at sea. On Oasis class ships guests can see the ship nine decks above the Boardwalk® on the Zip Line or guests can rock out on the rock-climbing wall for full-scale adventure.

Is a two-level racetrack more your speed? Experience the thrill of driving a race car on the largest race track at sea with Norwegian Cruise Line. Although mega-ships tend to have a wider array of activities, you can still catch a thrill on some of the smaller ships too. Try a team-based activity, like an escape room, where you can work together to solve riddles and puzzles and get you thinking it a lot of different directions. Take off on an exhilarating journey on Disney Cruise Line’s Aqua Duck, which is a thrilling “water coaster”, or challenge yourself on Carnival Cruise Line’s SkyCourse ropes course. (Don’t worry, you’ll be safely strapped in!)

    Visit with some of your best friends on the beach! ©Disney Cruise Line

    Family-Friendly Fun

    Not all ships are created equal, especially when it comes to traveling with kids. Family-friendly and multigenerational travel is a growing trend. As cruise lines introduce more ships into their fleets, they are continuing to focus on the needs of families. For this reason, I would recommend the newer, larger ships which are designed with onboard amenities and cabin configurations that are well suited for families. For example, some of Disney Cruise Line’s staterooms include a privacy curtain and a split bath with tub and shower, making it easier for everyone to get ready. Also, some newer ships offer more connecting and family cabins, making it easier for families to be close to each other.

    There is very little chance for boredom with the abundance of family-friendly activities that can be found onboard a cruise ship. Play a round or two of mini-golf and see how many times you can get a hole-in-one or fulfill your video game fix with classic games at the arcade. Children can interact with characters from Frozen to Star Wars onboard Disney Cruise Line ships or Dr. Seuss onboard Carnival Cruise Line ships, or they can make new friends at one of the many kids' clubs available on select ships.

      Family-Friendly Fun

      Not all ships are created equal, especially when it comes to traveling with kids. Family-friendly and multigenerational travel is a growing trend. As cruise lines introduce more ships into their fleets, they are continuing to focus on the needs of families. For this reason, I would recommend the newer, larger ships which are designed with onboard amenities and cabin configurations that are well suited for families. For example, some of Disney Cruise Line’s staterooms include a privacy curtain and a split bath with tub and shower, making it easier for everyone to get ready. Also, some newer ships offer more connecting and family cabins, making it easier for families to be close to each other.

      There is very little chance for boredom with the abundance of family-friendly activities that can be found onboard a cruise ship. Play a round or two of mini-golf and see how many times you can get a hole-in-one or fulfill your video game fix with classic games at the arcade. Children can interact with characters from Frozen to Star Wars onboard Disney Cruise Line ships or Dr. Seuss onboard Carnival Cruise Line ships, or they can make new friends at one of the many kids' clubs available on select ships.

        Visit with some of your best friends on the beach! ©Disney Cruise Line

        Get pampered with onboard spa facilities. ©Royal Caribbean®

        Relax to the Max

        There are plenty of ways to help you feel renewed, relaxed and rejuvenated on a cruise ship. My favorite way to relax on a sea day is at the spa, which is commonly offered on cruise ships. Typically you can pamper yourself by booking an array of services, such as a massage or facial, or you can get your hair, nails or makeup done at the onboard beauty salon. Some cruise lines even offer medi-spa treatments and teeth whitening services. I suggest booking these prior to departure, as appointments start to fill up once onboard. If the pool is more your style, many cruise lines offer private cabana rentals or adult-only pool areas.

          Sushi and other culinary delights await your pallet! ©Celebrity Cruises

          For the Foodie

          While buffets are a popular dining choice onboard, it’s not the only option like some may think. Cruise lines now have diverse dining options, serving everything from celebrity chef-inspired burgers to international delicacies, and everything in between. Whether you want to take a regionally inspired cooking class, book an excursion to a local farmers market, or spend the evening at one of the many specialty restaurants, a cruise can be a great option for the foodie in you. Many cruise lines offer dishes made from popular local ingredients, culinary-specific itineraries and celebrity-chef hosted sailings, like Celebrity's Chef Sam Hazen Culinary Cruise. For an additional fee, many cruise lines offer "The Chef's Table" which is a prix fixe menu typically paired with wine and hosted by the chef and sommelier. It is truly an intimate, gourmet experience and in my opinion, well worth the additional cost. If dining out every night is not your thing then you are in luck as most cruise lines offer 24-hour room service! Please note an additional fee may apply.

            For the Foodie

            While buffets are a popular dining choice onboard, it’s not the only option like some may think. Cruise lines now have diverse dining options, serving everything from celebrity chef-inspired burgers to international delicacies, and everything in between. Whether you want to take a regionally inspired cooking class, book an excursion to a local farmers market, or spend the evening at one of the many specialty restaurants, a cruise can be a great option for the foodie in you. Many cruise lines offer dishes made from popular local ingredients, culinary-specific itineraries and celebrity-chef hosted sailings, like Celebrity's Chef Sam Hazen Culinary Cruise. For an additional fee, many cruise lines offer "The Chef's Table" which is a prix fixe menu typically paired with wine and hosted by the chef and sommelier. It is truly an intimate, gourmet experience and in my opinion, well worth the additional cost. If dining out every night is not your thing then you are in luck as most cruise lines offer 24-hour room service! Please note an additional fee may apply.

              Sushi and other culinary delights await your pallet! ©Celebrity Cruises

              Many ships offer fitness classes such as yoga.

              Health-Conscious

              It can be easy to expand the waistline with all the decadent dining options onboard, but there are ways wellness-oriented guests can stay healthy and fit during their cruise. Almost every ship offers a walking track, which is a great way to soak in gorgeous ocean-views while hitting your daily step goal. Many ships offer state-of-the-art gyms with all the equipment you would expect to find on land. You can find a variety of fitness classes onboard ranging from Pilates and yoga to kickboxing and spin classes.

                Adventurers take to the Sky with Carnival Cruise Line’s challenging SkyCourse. ©Carnival Cruise Line

                For the Adventurer

                If your bucket-list items consist of action-packed activities like running with the bulls or skydiving, you’re sure to find a multitude of activities to keep you busy onboard a cruise. On some of the larger ships, like Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class ships, guests of all ages can experience the thrill of skydiving out on the deep blue sea with Ripcord® by iFly®, the only skydiving simulator at sea. On Oasis class ships guests can see the ship nine decks above the Boardwalk® on the Zip Line or guests can rock out on the rock-climbing wall for full-scale adventure.

                Is a two-level racetrack more your speed? Experience the thrill of driving a race car on the largest race track at sea with Norwegian Cruise Line. Although mega-ships tend to have a wider array of activities, you can still catch a thrill on some of the smaller ships too. Try a team-based activity, like an escape room, where you can work together to solve riddles and puzzles and get you thinking it a lot of different directions. Take off on an exhilarating journey on Disney Cruise Line’s Aqua Duck, which is a thrilling “water coaster”, or challenge yourself on Carnival Cruise Line’s SkyCourse ropes course. (Don’t worry, you’ll be safely strapped in!)

                  Visit with some of your best friends on the beach! ©Disney Cruise Line

                  Family-Friendly Fun

                  Not all ships are created equal, especially when it comes to traveling with kids. Family-friendly and multigenerational travel is a growing trend. As cruise lines introduce more ships into their fleets, they are continuing to focus on the needs of families. For this reason, I would recommend the newer, larger ships which are designed with onboard amenities and cabin configurations that are well suited for families. For example, some of Disney Cruise Line’s staterooms include a privacy curtain and a split bath with tub and shower, making it easier for everyone to get ready. Also, some newer ships offer more connecting and family cabins, making it easier for families to be close to each other.

                  There is very little chance for boredom with the abundance of family-friendly activities that can be found onboard a cruise ship. Play a round or two of mini-golf and see how many times you can get a hole-in-one or fulfill your video game fix with classic games at the arcade. Children can interact with characters from Frozen to Star Wars onboard Disney Cruise Line ships or Dr. Seuss onboard Carnival Cruise Line ships, or they can make new friends at one of the many kids' clubs available on select ships.

                    Family-Friendly Fun

                    Not all ships are created equal, especially when it comes to traveling with kids. Family-friendly and multigenerational travel is a growing trend. As cruise lines introduce more ships into their fleets, they are continuing to focus on the needs of families. For this reason, I would recommend the newer, larger ships which are designed with onboard amenities and cabin configurations that are well suited for families. For example, some of Disney Cruise Line’s staterooms include a privacy curtain and a split bath with tub and shower, making it easier for everyone to get ready. Also, some newer ships offer more connecting and family cabins, making it easier for families to be close to each other.

                    There is very little chance for boredom with the abundance of family-friendly activities that can be found onboard a cruise ship. Play a round or two of mini-golf and see how many times you can get a hole-in-one or fulfill your video game fix with classic games at the arcade. Children can interact with characters from Frozen to Star Wars onboard Disney Cruise Line ships or Dr. Seuss onboard Carnival Cruise Line ships, or they can make new friends at one of the many kids' clubs available on select ships.

                      Visit with some of your best friends on the beach! ©Disney Cruise Line

                      Get pampered with onboard spa facilities. ©Royal Caribbean®

                      Relax to the Max

                      There are plenty of ways to help you feel renewed, relaxed and rejuvenated on a cruise ship. My favorite way to relax on a sea day is at the spa, which is commonly offered on cruise ships. Typically you can pamper yourself by booking an array of services, such as a massage or facial, or you can get your hair, nails or makeup done at the onboard beauty salon. Some cruise lines even offer medi-spa treatments and teeth whitening services. I suggest booking these prior to departure, as appointments start to fill up once onboard. If the pool is more your style, many cruise lines offer private cabana rentals or adult-only pool areas.

                        Sushi and other culinary delights await your pallet! ©Celebrity Cruises

                        For the Foodie

                        While buffets are a popular dining choice onboard, it’s not the only option like some may think. Cruise lines now have diverse dining options, serving everything from celebrity chef-inspired burgers to international delicacies, and everything in between. Whether you want to take a regionally inspired cooking class, book an excursion to a local farmers market, or spend the evening at one of the many specialty restaurants, a cruise can be a great option for the foodie in you. Many cruise lines offer dishes made from popular local ingredients, culinary-specific itineraries and celebrity-chef hosted sailings, like Celebrity's Chef Sam Hazen Culinary Cruise. For an additional fee, many cruise lines offer "The Chef's Table" which is a prix fixe menu typically paired with wine and hosted by the chef and sommelier. It is truly an intimate, gourmet experience and in my opinion, well worth the additional cost. If dining out every night is not your thing then you are in luck as most cruise lines offer 24-hour room service! Please note an additional fee may apply.

                          For the Foodie

                          While buffets are a popular dining choice onboard, it’s not the only option like some may think. Cruise lines now have diverse dining options, serving everything from celebrity chef-inspired burgers to international delicacies, and everything in between. Whether you want to take a regionally inspired cooking class, book an excursion to a local farmers market, or spend the evening at one of the many specialty restaurants, a cruise can be a great option for the foodie in you. Many cruise lines offer dishes made from popular local ingredients, culinary-specific itineraries and celebrity-chef hosted sailings, like Celebrity's Chef Sam Hazen Culinary Cruise. For an additional fee, many cruise lines offer "The Chef's Table" which is a prix fixe menu typically paired with wine and hosted by the chef and sommelier. It is truly an intimate, gourmet experience and in my opinion, well worth the additional cost. If dining out every night is not your thing then you are in luck as most cruise lines offer 24-hour room service! Please note an additional fee may apply.

                            Sushi and other culinary delights await your pallet! ©Celebrity Cruises

                            Many ships offer fitness classes such as yoga.

                            Health-Conscious

                            It can be easy to expand the waistline with all the decadent dining options onboard, but there are ways wellness-oriented guests can stay healthy and fit during their cruise. Almost every ship offers a walking track, which is a great way to soak in gorgeous ocean-views while hitting your daily step goal. Many ships offer state-of-the-art gyms with all the equipment you would expect to find on land. You can find a variety of fitness classes onboard ranging from Pilates and yoga to kickboxing and spin classes.


                              About the Author: The above piece was written by Ashley Stephens, a Costco Travel employee and former cruise Reservations Agent with 5 years’ experience in the travel industry.


                               
                               
                               
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