We’re cruise mad here at the moment, we’re taking our second Trans Atlantic Cruise in a couple of weeks and I’m on a mission to spread the word about how much fun cruising can be and how affordable cruising can be particularly as an alternative to flying.. There are things to do on a cruise ship that you may not have thought of, lots of things.
Before our first ever cruise I had totally the wrong idea about what it would be like. I imagined dressed up dining, dinner dances, high tea, spa treatments and the captain’s table. To be honest, it didn’t appeal. But then a really great deal came up so we grabbed it and had the shock of our lives.
Our cruise was nothing like that. It was heaps of fun for us and for the kids.
Of course, a lot depends on which cruise line you pick, so make sure your cruise line is a good match for you and your style.
I also want to take a moment to remind you that cruise ships are not very eco-friendly travel. It’s something we all need to think about now.
Things To Do on a Cruise Ship
You can eat, sleep, swim, relax, take shore excurtions and enjoy evening entertainments on a cruise ship. But of course, there is something to keep you busy at any hour of the day or night. We watched movies at midnight on the big screen, danced on the deck, soaked in spa pools and just wandered the ship. The one thing we did very little of was spend time in our cabin. After trying inside and outside cabins, we think inside is a better option if, like us, you’re mostly out and about.
1. Learn New Skills
We tried our hands at many practical crafts and arts on our cruise.
We tried cake decorating, making little charms from beads, colouring on fabrics and even took a dance class. We now know all about Margheritas and how to mix them and the kids learnt some circus skills.
Next time we’re going to find out about Mojitos, in the interest of research, of course! Most of the above was free. We did pay for the Margherita class.
2. Find Time to do Things You Never Normally Do
I never, ever, do crosswords or Sudoku. Neither do I read during the day.
I very rarely sit still and truly relax. I’ve always got chores to do or the internet to check.
We found ourselves with loads of free time on the cruise ship so we filled it with things we don’t normally do. To our complete surprise, we found we enjoyed it.
3. Try a New Sport of Activity
We tried climbing on the outdoor climbing wall and took on the mighty ( and scary) ropes course.
Because these activities were included in the price there was no toss-up over whether or not to stump up the cash, we all dived in and had great fun.
We also played table tennis, crazy golf, ran, used the gym and the kids played basketball. Sounding healthy?
4. Eat Healthily
Cruises have this float and bloat reputation for extreme weight gain but we found that with the extensive food choices it was really easy to pick healthy foods from the buffet. There was plenty of fruit, salads and simple proteins, no need to gain any weight at all if you didn’t want to. My husband wanted to, he was polishing off plates like this every day while I ate to stay in my jeans.
5. Just Have Fun
Our cruise was totally informal, we never had to dress for dinner or share a table with anyone.
You can, if you choose, but that’s not our thing at all. We had fun, all day every day.
I’ve talked before about getting your “cruise head” on. Forget your cool and throw yourself into all the silly games and quizzes. Play with the kids in the pools, try every dish on the buffet if you’re not watching your waistline. Take in a show. Even if it’s not the sort of show you’d normally pay for, try it. You never know, you may like it.
If you’d like to read more about our first trans Atlantic cruise click here, or if you want to find yourself a cruise for under $30/night click here. Welcome to the surprising world of cruising!
If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!
We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of travel insurance.
Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!
Wednesday 2nd of April 2014
I've never been on a cruise and one of the things that has made me wary has been the worry about whether I would get bored but some of these things sound great like the cake decorating! Pretty good attempt if it was a first time for you! Any particular cruise companies you would recommend for a first timer?
Wednesday 2nd of April 2014
Yes, first time ever! We went with Norwegian, they have a very casual dining programme that worked well for us. Go have a look at the other cruise links towards the bottom of the post, they have more details. We had a wonderful time. Looking forward to the next one!