Day at Sea: Day of Boredom or Day of Fun! It’s Your Choice!

A “day at sea” sounds like a splendid idea, doesn’t it?  But after you’ve gazed out at unending waves, for hours on end, with not a hint of land in sight, you will soon begin looking for something to do to ease the boredom.  A cruise ship activities staff has just the answer. Whether you are super physical, or you like attentive pampering, or you are a trivia junkie, you WILL find something to do.

Here’s a sample list of activities recently offered by our ship the Celebrity Mercury on a January sailing around New Zealand and Australia.  The list is typical of most cruise ships depending upon the size of the ship.

Participatory Events/Organized Games:

  • Salsa or ballroom dance lessons
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Trivia games (Beatles, TV, men vs. women, musical oldies)
  • Shuffleboard tournament
  • Boxed games – Tribond, Scattergories, Pictionary
  • Bingo (this can be a costly affair as cards cost $20 each)
  • Bridge tournaments
  • Golf putting challenge
  • Pool games
  • Table tennis competitions
  • Basketball free throw
  • Cooking demonstrations
  • Flower arranging demonstrations
  • Wine-tasting with a sommelier (you’ll even be given your own aluminum tasting cup)
  • Art auction (TACKY!!!! We know this is part of every cruise, but we would walk miles to get around this uniquely horrible offering.)
  • Prizes are usually lame like pens, sun visors, notebooks, but sometimes you can win bingo cards, or even a stay in the ship’s penthouse suite.

Passive Activities – Drop-in:

  • Casino slot play/card tournaments
  • Deck walking
  • Spa treatments
  • Pilates and yoga classes
  • Arts and crafts – making picture frames enhanced with seashells or paper bead necklaces
  • Reading
  • Internet
  • Edutainment (educational) presentations (port history, port hi-lights, digital cameras, wine)
  • Golf technique improvement clinic
  • Movies
  • Stage shows
  • Musical presentations

Non-physically demanding Activities:

  • Sunbathing
  • Eating
  • Shopping (most ships have a variety of jewelery, clothing, perfume and souvenir boutiques and “sidewalk” sales)
  • Sleeping
  • Watching TV
  • Journaling
  • And…Catholic mass

And then there are the Junior Cruisers:

Many parents and other caregivers bring children on cruises.  And most ships are ready and able to help with children as young as 3 years of age.  The Celebrity Mercury calls those little ones aged 3-9, Ship Mates; those aged 10-17 are called Ensigns.  Activities might include the following:

  • A huge variety of crafts including mask-making
  • Design your own race car
  • Physical participation games (like camp games)
  • Movies
  • Sleepover nights & pajama parties
  • And for the ensigns…a learn-how-to-gamble class.  (I’m not kidding…they’ll teach your teen to play Texas Hold ‘em and Blackjack.)

For a more in-depth overview of cruising with children, see my article on “Cruising with Children.”

There’s just no excuse for being bored, on board!

Regardless of what activity you choose to alleviate boredom during your cruise ship “day at sea,” rest assured that the cruise activities staff will do its darndest to get you involved.  Your participation or lack thereof, is entirely up to you. 

But trust a seasoned cruiser when I say this: Move, don’t just lay around, because the steady stream of delicious food served up on most ships will make an impression upon you, and your bathroom scale, when you get back home. 

See my other blog entry on losing weight gained on a cruise.

Sheree Zielke

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