With so much activity and opportunity to try something new there’s never a dull moment on a cruise. Of course if you fancy doing absolutely nothing or kicking back in the spa you can do plenty of that too! Activities range from ship to ship but you’ll generally find among mainstream cruise lines that the more modern the ship, the more choice of activities.
Children are very well catered for on a cruise, with age groups broken down and activities to fit specific ages. Certain cruise lines will even have separate areas and swimming pools just for children, so you can relax knowing they’re having the time of their lives whilst you get everything you want out of your holiday too. It is important to ask about the children’s facilities when booking your cruise as some ships do allow children on board, but do very little to entertain them. Also be aware that some ships are exclusively for adults.
The Active Life
Sports are generally well catered for onboard. You can practise your putting, go to the driving range or play a huge array of sports on the courts – from basketball to tennis or football. Royal Caribbean, for example, like to take their activities to another level with ice rinks, climbing walls and surf simulators on many of their ships.
In the Know
If you’re looking for something less energetic, the enrichment programmes onboard open your mind to new ideas from guest lecturers, such as world-renowned chefs, explorers, politicians and novelists. Enrichment programmes tend to be a key focus with the more luxurious cruise lines.
Choose an expedition cruise line such as Hurtigruten and activities onboard tend to be more limited, with ports of call dictating what goes on both on and off board. For example, guest lecturers will tell you how to get the most out of each new destination.
On most ships the evening entertainment starts from around 6pm or 7pm, so you can choose to do dinner and a show or a show and dinner. What kind of ‘show’ you’ll see really depends on the size of the ship. Larger ships offer wider entertainment programmes which can range from stand-up comics and legendary acts to extravagant Las Vegas-style productions or more intimate jazz lounge piano sets. As performers stay onboard for at least a week, it’s best to pace yourself rather than seeing everything in a couple of nights.
Of course if you’ve had a fantastic day at shore, many large ships have quieter bars or room service so you can just get cosy if you wish. If you’ve booked a suite or a room with access to a private area, you will discover relaxed and peaceful courtyards or chill out bars hidden away from many passengers. Sailing on smaller ships, you’ll find fewer public rooms and therefore fewer large scale productions. Enjoy cabaret shows over dinner, waltzes across beautiful ballrooms or simply drinks with your new-found friends..