It is not uncommon for me to hear someone say “I would love to take a cruise, but my spouse, partner, or travel friend is afraid the time on the ship will be boring.”
Sea life is not for everyone, but often that is because a common perception is that time aboard the ship is one of two scenarios. Sitting and reading in a deck chair or sunning by the pool is one old-fashioned version of days at sea. Another is a crowded mega-ship with hundreds of children, large noisy casinos and lots of young singles celebrating while you want peace and quiet.
And yes those options do exist, but that doesn’t have to be your vacation.
Since people associate cruising with food, let’s talk about that first. From the famous High Teas with white glove service served on Crystal and Cunard ships to the 20 plus specialty restaurants on some mega-ships, there is a cuisine to suit everyone’s taste. Mexican, Italian, Asian, French, Brazilian, English Pub Food, or American regional specialties–you will find it at sea. Specialty bakeries, gelaterias, pizzerias, sushi bars and ice bars–they are all found on ships. Restricted or special diet—ships accommodate that as well.
Worried about gaining weight from too much good food? Crystal Serenity offers Deck Walking programs that allow you to tone up and work off extra calories in the fresh air with ocean views. And of course, there is always the gym.
Want to be pampered? Try and hour or a day at a specialty spa such as Canyon Ranch SpaClub found on Crystal ships among others.
Pampering is not just for adults. For generous parents or grandparents taking families on a Disney ship, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique offers packages ranging from a couple hours to three days of hair, makeup and costumes for children ages 3 to 12. Other cruise lines also have specialty programs for children, tweens and teens, including babysitting options for the adults who want time for themselves.
How about a little personal luxury? Be treated like royalty in suites that offer butler service and concierge lounges.
Don’t want to get dressed up for dinner? Norwegian Cruise Lines has no formal dress code, and even jeans can be worn in their dining rooms.
Want to get away from other people’s children because you left yours at home? Many ships offer ‘adult only ‘ pools, spas and other spaces.
Miss being on dry land? The Solstice Class Celebrity cruise ships sport half acre parks with actual green grass lawns where passengers can picnic, play bocce or sit on the grass and read or tan.
Today’s ships offer lecture series, trivia teams, and performances ranging from classical music and comedians to the Blue Man Group. Art classes, book review groups, bridge sessions, language and computer classes can take up many interesting hours at sea. Queen Mary 2 offers acting workshops with professional actors from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts on their famed transatlantic crossings.
And if for some reason you want to know what is happening in the world you have left behind, there are daily condensed versions of international newspapers, internet, and television available in staterooms.
And then there are specialty theme-based interest cruises focusing on topics such as arts, sports or fashion, to name a few.
Who knows, maybe what you really do want is just a day sitting on your verandah, with a cool drink, a book and a view of the sea! I can arrange that for you!
Smooth seas and calm winds,