What to Expect on a Cruise

So, you’ve found a cruise that looks good and you’ve packed your bags in anticipation of the day that you’ll be shipping off. But what can you really expect to do and see while you’re at sea? If you’ve never been on a cruise before and you’re wondering what you’re likely to see on the ship and at your ports of call, here’s a sneak preview.

Ship Activities and Amenities

Cruise lines do a couple of things very well: they keep their guests well fed and well entertained. Expect to see food everywhere-you’ll have everything from all you can eat buffets to formal dining halls to small specialty restaurants to choose from, not to mention the small cafes and snack areas. It’s not unusual for cruise goers to find that they’ve gained five or ten pounds by the end of the cruise.

There will also be plenty to keep yourself occupied during the time at sea. Adult entertainment on a cruise ship can include bars, dance clubs, and casinos. People of all ages can enjoy the swimming pools, movie theaters, libraries, video arcades, and live shows. Many cruise ships offer golf courses, basketball courts, and the chance to play other sports. Cruises that allow children usually offer child minding and plenty of kid-focused events that can keep them entertained and give their parents a break.

Off-Board Activities

Of course, the types of activities that will be available to you at your ports of call depend in part on what time of year it is and where you are in the world. But there are some common options that you can probably depend on seeing. For example, in a sunny, tropical location, snorkeling, scuba diving, and zip-lining are popular activities for cruise ship passengers. On an Alaskan cruise, however, you’re more likely to find activities like hiking, fishing tours, and glacier flights.

Don’t discount the option of exploring a new city without a minute by minute agenda, window shopping, or participating in tours of historical monuments or ancient ruins.