There is a common misconception when it comes to cruising that all that time spent onboard will be incredibly boring. In reality, there is plenty to do on a cruise provided you choose the right itinerary and ship. That said, being prepared for a little downtime will also help allay your fears. Here are six tips will help you to avoid catching cabin fever and make the most of your time spent at sea.
1. Choose the right ship?
One of the best ways to avoid getting bored on a cruise is to pick a really big ship. Some vessels are so large that they’re almost like cities at sea, with different neighbourhoods within their decks. Activities on some of the largest ships include rock climbing, playing miniature golf, surfing, going zip-lining, ice-skating, and learning scuba diving. A bit too adventurous? How about trying cooking classes, relaxing at a spa, hitting the gym, lying by the ‘beach’ or in a hot tub, enjoying live entertainment, going shopping, kicking back at the bar or even lending your voice to karaoke? If this isn’t enough to keep you entertained, you can always take a book!
2. Plan your port stops?
On most cruises you will spend at least half of the days in port. Spend your cruising time researching your next destination – using a combination of guide books, the internet and advice from the ship’s staff – so you can make the most of your time ashore. Not only does this help to pass the time on board, but you also get the added bonus of making the most of your time ashore also. One of the best parts of travel is becoming excited about the sights you are soon to see and experience.
3. Take lots of books?
Or take your tablet. It’s probably not often you get the space to just sit and read, or to watch your favourite television show on your tablet – uninterrupted. A cruise can be a great way to enjoy ‘enforced’ relaxation time – that is, you don’t have to be up and doing something every moment of every day. Find a nice shady spot on the deck, sit by the pool or enjoy sprawling out on your private balcony, and settle in with your favourite form of quiet entertainment. If you are travelling with a friend, you might like to consider playing a game of cards or challenging them to a game of chess.
4. Learn a new skill
You know all those things you’d love to learn? Well a cruise is the perfect time to do so. If you’ve been planning to learn how to crochet, or keep putting off the Spanish lessons you downloaded as an app all those months ago, a cruise can be a great chance to just sit down and get stuck into learning a new skill.
5. Indulge yourself?
Set aside an entire day for pampering yourself. Think of all those little beauty tasks for which you rarely find time. Start with a hair mask, then give yourself a facial, a mud body mask, and a manicure and pedicure. You could also learn how to dry body brush, go for a massage and finish with a relaxing spa. The options are endless. Men: for yor information, a manicure doesn’t have to include nail polish. Manicures can be manly as well, and well-kept hands with neatly trimmed nails are definitely more attractive than rough skin and chewed hangnails.
6. Acknowledge that cruising might not be for you?
At the end of the day cruising is not for everyone. Your friends might think that it’s the bees knees, but if the thought of a cruise makes you shudder and start packing everything but your kitchen sink, then perhaps it’s not the way you enjoy holidaying. If you are unsure, try a weekend-long cruise, instead of locking yourself in ‘boredom-central’ for weeks on end. It’s important to try things at least once, but that doesn’t mean you have to like it (or ever do it again).
What’s your favourite way to pass the time on a cruise?
SJ is a regular travel contributor to YourLifeChoices. Her favourite travel ritual is an afternoon Aperol Spritz, preferably enjoyed pool or beach side.