12 Most Pleasurable Things To Do On a Cruise
My great grandfather, Paul Biedermann, was a renowned ship designer/engineer at the beginning of the last century. So, needless to say, ocean liners have long been part of my family history.
Going on my first cruise gave me a small glimpse into that glorious past when the great ships ruled. A lot has changed, of course, and I’m sure the size of today’s ginormous vessels would give my great grandfather pause. Quite different from the ships of yesteryear, which were meant for transatlantic voyage and segmented by class, they are now built to freely entertain the masses, replete with casinos, spas and water slides. The craftsmanship of the furniture may not be as exquisite and the artistry of the paintings may not be as grand, but today’s ships are definitely built to party!
1. Tune out and stay unplugged
Resist the temptation to subscribe to onboard internet service. Isn’t that the reason you left on a cruise in the first place! Geez!
2. Hit the pools and jacuzzis early in the morning!
For maximum rays, stake out your lounge chairs and save a couple for the later risers — the seating goes quickly and your other traveling companions will love you for it! Nothing worse than being relegated to the noisy corner by the dirty buffet dishes or next to the towel-exchange guy.
3. Locate the most accessible coffee machine and stick to it. Every day
For some reason, crowds seem to like crowds and the busiest coffee stations stay that way for the duration of the cruise. The slightly more isolated ones (and I mean slightly, as in just around the corner) stay that way too. No idea why, just is.
4. Attend the stage shows!
I was happily surprised by the quality of the shows on our cruise. Uneven, for sure, but it wasn’t difficult to decipher the winners from the clunkers. And sitting in a fully-equipped, acoustically-correct auditorium with waiter service in the middle of an ocean is pretty darned cool!
5. Order room service at least once
It’s fun to have your breakfast served right to your balcony over a sea of blue. Need I say more?
6. Try your luck at the casino
Even if you don’t consider yourself a gambler, you could end up winning a bottle of champagne just like we did! And trust me, that makes popping the cork that much more fun when you’re on a cruise!
7. Have your photos taken by the roving ship photographers
They take great shots and you get to be in the photos too, instead of stuck behind the camera. It’s also far better than the blurry shots you’ll get with the big thumb in the corner by handing your camera to the first person you see.
8. Don’t overeat!
As you probably know, food on a cruise is like water in an ocean — it’s everywhere! But it’s no fun coming home ten pounds heavier, so layoff that extra slice of cheesecake!
9. Join a few activities
Whether it’s working on your golf swing, learning about art, or climbing a rock wall, you can learn and try things you haven’t had a chance to before. I learned how to do live improv with the funny folks from Second City!
10. Scout for an air-conditioned reading spot
No matter how much you may like the sun, it can get a little hot after several hours of baking. You may also crave a little solitude after hanging out with 2500 of your closest friends on a boat. Fortunately, many inside lounges are barren during the day and in close proximity to the pools with lots of comfy seating!
11. Look at the ocean
That’s right, being surrounded by all that water can numb you after awhile. With all the onboard stimulation, it can be easy to forget the water is even there! But looking out and seeing four pods of porpoises swim by was one of the highlights of our trip, so don’t forget to look at what you’re floating on!
Photo courtesy of Paul Biedermann, re:DESIGN
Article by Paul Biedermann