Many dread the idea of a day at sea, longing for the days where the cruise is docked and visiting new places. However, there is more to do than you can imagine with a day at sea. Cruise ships offer many talks, activities, games and entertainment throughout each day. I’ve been on 3 cruises so far and here’s what I’ve found a typical day at sea may involve.
Food is included on cruises so it’s the perfect opportunity to eat to your hearts content! For breakfast there’s the choice of a buffet where you can eat anything that tickles your fancy from a Full English, pastries, oats, fruit, waffles to eggs cooked to your liking and much more. You can also opt for a sit down breakfast in the main dining room for a more formal breakfast.
If you’re tired from the previous ports and ready to relax, there are plenty of sunbathing spots around the ship. I usually prefer relaxing in the shade with a good book but the strong sea winds make laying in the sun a breeze (pun intended).
At some point during the day there’s usually a game of bingo. Buying the numbers though are pretty pricey but the prizes are tempting! One bingo we attended had a prize of €3,000.
There are a number of different lectures and seminars taking place on board ranging from fitness to binocular talks. I personally love attending the jewellery talks, you might even be able to try some on afterwards! I find it fascinating learning about different gem stones and how they are priced. I have also attended photography talks which I found equally as interesting.
There are lots of choices for lunch on the ship. One is the buffet, again with a huge array of choice. Whether you want pasta, pizza, burgers or salad, there’s plenty of options. Another place that’s great for lunch is around the pool, sometimes there will be a bbq or there will be a pool bar you can order food. You could also opt for a sit down 3 course meal or go to one of the pubs on board.
Activities around the pool
Usually in the afternoon there will be some sort of activity or contest around the pool. I’ve seen ice carving and line dancing among other things. Not for everyone but fun for some. There might even be a band ready to entertain you.
Gym and spa
There’s a gym on board usually overlooking the sea. There are also personal trainers willing to help. I have never had any treatments in the spa onboard the ship, though I have always meant to. They often do special deals in the second week of the cruise so wait a little to book for the best offers.
Check out the shops
There are always a large array of shops on board waiting to tempt you there’s usually a jewellery, duty free and drink shop. Some shops even have a michael Kors and an Apple shop! They are open when the ship isn’t not docked somewhere, so it’s the perfect thing to do with a day at sea.
We saw a game show called ‘Mr and Mrs Newlyweds and not so Newlyweds’ which was hilarious. It was like the TV show where each couple had to guess how they’re partner answered each question. For example: who of your wife’s girlfriends looks best in their bikini? Slightly cheesey but very entertaining.
In the evenings there will be a photographer in the main atrium with different backdrops each night. It’s great to have them position you perfectly for each picture. You can then purchase the pictures at any point throughout your cruise. The photographers will also be around the main restaurants at dinner and waiting as you get off the ship at each stop.
Watch the sun set over the ocean
Some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen have been on board a cruise ship. One of the great things about the sunsets on board is that you see it from a different location each evening. There’s not many things more peaceful than relaxing on the top deck, sipping a cocktail and enjoying the sunset over the ocean.
Again, there are plenty of places to eat for dinner including the buffet, main dining rooms with 3 or 4 course meals, pubs and sometimes there are speciality restaurants on board. For example there was a complimentary Italian restaurant on one cruise I went on and an Asian one on another. I tend to always eat in the main dining room as the food is always well presented and absolutely delicious. Try to get a table by the window if you can. A dress code is expected in the main restaurant, if you like to dress more casual head for the buffet or a pub onboard.
I love attending the dance classes on board. They are a lot of fun and not taken too seriously. I have attended flamenco dancing, salsa dancing and jazz dancing.
Movies under the stars
If you’re lucky, you might end up on a ship with movies under the stars. There is usually a huge screen by the pool which plays films at night. The deckchairs are covered with blankets and filled with popcorn.
Winning some money (hopefully!) is the perfect way to get the evening started. I always play roulette, mainly because I don’t know how to play much else. Even just going into the casino and watching others play is fun in itself.
Going to the theatre onboard the ship is a great experience. There are always dance and singing shows and sometimes there may be comededians, acrobats, circus performers or magicians ready to entertain you. The best entertainment I’ve seen at sea was with Norwegian Cruise Line. They have some brilliant acts on board.
There are a range of bars on board. For a relaxing evening head to the champagne bar where there may be a singer to add some atmosphere. There are also pubs, bars with dance floors and nightclubs. Something for everyone!
Some options of rooms include a balcony, window or an inside cabin. I’ve always had an inside cabin due to the price. They are very small but they have everything you could want for somewhere to sleep.