Cruises are some of the most popular vacation options in the world, and it’s easy to see why when you look at what they offer: relaxation, beautiful scenery, delicious food, swimming, drinking, and all the luxuries you could ask for.
That explains why the global cruise industry currently generates more than $27 billion in revenue. With all the things there are to do on a cruise ship, it can be hard to know where to start – so we’ve compiled our top seven must-do activities from our own cruise experiences!
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1. Take at Least One Excursion
Scheduled excursions are the main part of any cruise (you can find some great options in the Vodohod river cruises). And while they’re not a required part of your experience, they allow you to explore certain locations in-depth and learn more about your surroundings.
With activities ranging from golfing to snorkeling to zip-lining, there’s bound to be something on your cruise that catches your eye. As a bonus, excursions often include several hours of free time at either end, so you can be as active or relaxed as you like during those periods.
2. Take a Cooking Class
Cruises tend to have lots of gourmet dining options, but sometimes you want something more casual and relaxed. Learn how to whip up a few healthy meals on your own by signing up for a cooking class at sea.
Options like these are often available on cruise ships—just look in your daily newsletter or explore the ship’s amenities ahead of time to see what’s included. Additionally, if you book an excursion that includes meal preparation (such as fishing or snorkeling), it’s possible that your guide will teach a culinary skill.
If neither option is available when you go cruising, simply ask to do some hands-on learning during your shore excursions. Your travel advisor should be able to assist with locating a nearby cooking school while on land. Many port cities (especially popular tourist destinations) also offer cooking classes from local chefs.
3. Get Involved in the Shows
If you’re going on a cruise, be sure to check out what kind of entertainment is on offer. Some cruises have Las Vegas-style cabaret acts, while others host live bands or even comedians. (You may also have a choice in terms of restaurants and bars.)
There are usually plenty of things to do onboard, including sports and games that you can participate in with other passengers. And since it’s a vacation, why not let loose? Sing along to your favorite songs during dinner, dance until dawn in one of your ship’s nightclubs, or enjoy some leisurely deck time by yourself.
4. Eat at More Than One Specialty Restaurant
Before you book a cruise, take time to research which specialty restaurants are offered on your cruise ship. (Specialty restaurants often serve meals and drinks that can’t be found in other places on a board.)
These dining options are usually pricier than your typical meal, but with so many delicious options available, it may be worth it. Just don’t forget to budget for these extra costs when planning your trip.
5. Go Ice Skating
Ice skating is one of those rare things that are fun, relaxing, and nostalgic all at once. If you’re going on a cruise, you should absolutely make time to go ice skating. The best part is that you don’t even need skates—there is special footwear available on many ships.
Choose from figure skating (which requires more balance) or speed skating (which requires less balance). Both have their charm! Because each ship has its own rink size, it can be tricky to recommend which ship would suit your needs. However, if you’re traveling in Europe, consider yourself lucky because there are some enormous cruise ships that rival rinks back home!
6. Watch the Sunset
Whether you’re on a small boat or a giant cruise ship, there’s always time to stop and watch a sunset—even if it takes an hour just to get to where you can see one. Many cruise ships have outdoor decks or open-air bars ideal for watching spectacular sunsets. Many passengers also watch from inside their rooms as they enjoy a glass of wine after dinner.
7. Attend a Party on Deck
No cruise trip is complete without a deck party. Head to one of these shipboard shindigs, and you’ll be sure to dance your cares away. Deck parties are a great way to meet other passengers while you learn some on-the-spot salsa steps or take in some old-school rock ‘n’ roll from a live band.
Cruises are a great holiday choice if you know where to go. They are a great chance to relax and have fun, but it’s also important not to forget about safety at sea. Just be sure to keep these safety tips in mind: wear sunscreen, be careful when swimming or diving in tropical waters (they can be dangerous), and always be sure to take food with you wherever you walk on deck (sometimes there aren’t any stores nearby). Moreover, keep updated on COVID protocols and information for the cruise industry. These simple measures will help ensure that your cruise remains carefree.