If you're new to cruising, you may be feeling apprehensive about spending a whole day 'stuck' onboard. The good news is that there are always so many options to choose from. When at sea, you'll be pleased to know that there are tons to do whilst travelling to your next port of call.
In this post I will share with you my 'perfect day at sea' with some suggestions to help you get the most out of your cruise.
8.20am I wake up and put my gym kit on, I'm off to start my day with a Zumba class. On my way to the class I grab a coffee and sit out on deck, gazing out at the view. It's nice and peaceful at this time of day as many cruisers choose to sleep in on sea days.
9.00am It's Zumba time! My favourite thing about the class is that I get to burn off some of those delicious calories, whilst enjoying myself; I'm not a gym person but love to dance so this is perfect exercise in disguise. The class is around 45 minutes and attracts all ages and abilities to join in.
9.45am After Zumba, I head to the buffet for breakfast. I never normally eat breakfast at home but the choice on offer on a cruise ship cannot be denied so I tuck into a cooked breakfast, fruit, perhaps a pastry... and pancakes!
10.45am I pop back to my cabin for a shower and to get changed. I consult the daily onboard newsletter, which details all the events and activities planned for the day. I may even highlight particular things I don't want to miss before throwing some essentials in a day bag: sun cream, phone, earphones and a book.
11.30am Wondering through the ship's atrium I stop to watch a cocktail demonstration complete with juggling and dancing!
11.45am I take the elevator to the pool deck where I find a sunny spot to settle down with my book. I also enjoy a bit of people-watching and chat to fellow cruisers about where they're from and why they enjoy cruising. I like to meet people from other countries, I find it interesting to learn more about their lives and what brought them on the cruise.
1.30pm I start thinking about lunch so I walk to the buffet and enjoy a light lunch of soup and sushi. I love sushi but don't get to enjoy it very often so make the most of this opportunity! I stop by the complimentary soft-serve ice cream kiosk as I leave for a sugar fix.
2.30pm There's a backstage tour of the ship's theatre on the daily newsletter so I take a seat and listen to the cruise director interview the dance captain about what life is like onboard for members of the entertainment team. I learn that the dancers onboard cruise ships tend to have more spare time than some of the other roles onboard as most of their performances are in the evening. This gives them more freedom to explore cruise ports. We are invited backstage to see the dressing rooms, which are compact with a huge clothes rail for the performers' costumes.
3.15pm It's cocktail o'clock! I head to the back of the ship to order a cocktail from the ship's aft bar and gaze out at the wake view - this view never gets old. My favourite cocktail whilst cruising is a Margarita - it's easy sipping!
4.30pm I wonder back to the pool area where I watch an ice carving demonstration. I learn that these special blocks of ice are from South America and brought onboard just to create ice sculptures. It's likely that I will see them on display in the buffet later.
5.00pm On a cruise, I like to try at least one specialty dining option. I decide to book a specialty dining restaurant for the next sea day using my onboard credit so swing by the restaurant and make a reservation with the maître d'.
5.10pm I take a walk on the promenade deck, there is something about a traditional promenade deck that I love. I do a complete lap, stopping now and again to take in the beautiful panoramic views of the ocean.
5.30pm It's time to head to my cabin to have a little down time. On my way back, I pause to browse the onboard shops. When I get back to the cabin I enjoy watching one of the movies pre-loaded on the TV whilst getting ready for formal night.
7.30pm Dressed, with hair and make-up done, I am ready for formal night! It's quite common for a formal night to be held on a sea day so everyone has plenty of time to get glammed up. My first stop is the ship's atrium to enjoy a pre-dinner Bellini cocktail. It's so nice to see everyone dressed to impress.
7.50pm I make my way to one of the main dining rooms. I always opt for flexible dining so that I can choose the time I eat. There is no waiting time tonight, so I'm shown to a table straight away and settle down to enjoy an exquisite three-course meal.
9.00pm Feeling rather content from my evening meal, I take a stroll to one of the lounges and plop myself down to enjoy a guest comedian act. Waiter service allows me to order a couple of cocktails whilst enjoying the entertainment.
9.45pm I'm feeling lucky, so I make my way to the ship's casino to take a spin on the roulette. I show great restraint and stick to my $20 limit, which can last me quite a while if I'm fortunate. The aim is to leave the table with more than I started with... this happens sometimes - #winning!
10.45pm I finish the evening at one of the lounge bars, perhaps listening to some background music, I particularly like entertainment in keeping with the cruise destinations e.g. steel drums in the Caribbean or a ukulele player on the way to Hawaii.
11.45pm It's off to bed for me. I fall asleep in my big comfy bed and look forward to the rest of my cruise; the destinations I'm going to explore and the experiences I'm yet to have.
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Laura started this blog to share her experiences of cruising, to offer tips and suggestions for what to do whilst on-board and when visiting destinations. Where are the best places to eat? What should you not miss when visiting a cruise port? What should you wear? She hopes that her cruise blog will help you plan your next cruise and make it the best it can be.Cruise Lifestyle