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Banish Those Boredom Fears! What To Do On A Cruise You’ll Enjoy

Are you considering a cruise vacation (or perhaps having your arm twisted to consider it) and concerned about being bored? You may have heard that cruise trips are excellent, but are still wondering what to do on a cruise. If you are contemplating a cruise vacation on a ship run by one of the large cruise ship companies, you will only be bored if you want to be bored. Even on cruise itineraries where there are only one or two port stops, you should still have an array of options open to you.

There are plenty of fun things on a cruise ship that will keep you entertained while at sea. Whether cruising as a couple, with family, or with senior citizens, you are sure to be entertained. So, let’s consider what you can do on a cruise. 

photo of family taking photographs on the beach with their cruise ship in the background.

Things To Do On A Cruise Ship

Going on a cruise ship is not everyone’s cup of tea, especially not those who get seasick or fear the ocean. But, if you’re planning your first-ever cruise trip, you might be excited about being so far away from home and lounging around the pool deck. But what else can you do on a cruise ship? 

There are plenty of activities on a cruise ship that cater to all passengers’ needs and interests. The cruise director’s job is to make sure that everyone has a good time and to ensure this. Numerous activities are available each day of your cruise. 

If you’re worried that someone in your party may feel left out or bored on the cruise ship, you may wonder what there is for everyone to do. Let’s take a closer look at things to do on the cruise ship for passengers of all ages and interests.

What To Do On A Cruise Ship For Families

Many families decide to go on a cruise ship to spend quality time together, relax, and enjoy the beautiful ocean and shore experiences. But when traveling with people of different ages, you may worry that some of them may feel left out. 

Most major cruise ships make provisions for families traveling, and there are countless fun activities for kids and families to enjoy while onboard. (A notable exception is Virgin Voyages, which is an adults-only cruise line.) These are some of the best family activities cruise ships have to offer:

  • See a movie by the pool and/or under the stars.
  • Watch a Broadway show in one of the theaters
  • Compete in one of the many poolside activities and competitions.
  • Enjoy board games in the game room or library
  • Read books in the library.
  • Go for a swim
  • Relax in the jacuzzi.
  • Attend karaoke night
  • Participate in an arts and crafts activity.
  • Play bingo or in a game-show-style activity.
  • Play mini-golf

Each cruise line has different family activities to offer, but they all will have some fun things for the whole family. Enquire about family activities at the guest relations desk so you know exactly where and when you can go for quality family time. 

Typically, the cruise ship will publish a roster or agenda of activities available each day. You can access this in hard copy or by a cruise ship app.

Some activities may require booking in advance, so plan ahead.

Activities For Kids To Do On A Cruise Ship 

While you may want to enjoy some time with the family on a cruise, some activities aren’t suitable for everyone. In this case, you can take advantage of the different activities available for kids on the cruise ship while the adults do their own activities. 

Most family-friendly cruise ships cater to kids, meaning they have various things on board to entertain children of all ages. For example, there are play areas for toddlers, where trained crew members take care of the kids and play with them. Cruise ships also offer entertainment venues for teens and older kids, ensuring they have enough activities to keep them busy. Here are some things for kids to do on a cruise ship:

  • Socialize with other kids at the kids’ club.
  • Attend art classes.
  • Attend crafts or cooking classes.
  • Visit the science center to learn about the ocean.
  • Watch movies in the cinema or an outdoor venue.
  • Visit the water play area.
  • Participate in some of the kids’ competitions.
  • Relax in the game room.
  • Visit the teen lounge.
  • Visit the sports area.
What To Do On A Cruise

Of course, there are also many activities available that kids of all ages can participate in together. While some activities are restricted to specific age groups, no matter your children’s ages, they are sure to find something fun and entertaining to keep busy with. 

Activities For Adults To Do On A Cruise Ship 

If you aren’t traveling with kids or looking for something to do while the kids are busy with being entertained elsewhere, you’re in luck. There are many activities for adults to enjoy while their kids are busy. 

Depending on what type of activities you like, you can schedule some adult time any time of the day or night.

You can bring your kids along for some of these activities, but most are more suitable for an adult-only crowd. Here are some things adults can do on a cruise ship:

  • Go to the gym or attend a fitness class.
  • Enjoy a massage or treatment at the spa.
  • Try your luck at the casino.
  • Go to one of the many clubs, bars, or lounges on the ship.
  • Catch a comedy show.
  • Participate in a couples-based game show.
  • See a show in the theater.
  • Drink cocktails in the lounge.
  • Attend one of the pool parties or activities.
  • Enjoy a fine dining experience.

Since you may not get to do many of these activities at home, try them while on a cruise. Some activities require bookings, so be sure to find out more information at the information desk on the cruise ship. Most adult activities are perfect for groups of friends, girls or guys trips, or couples. 

Things For Seniors To Do On A Cruise Ship 

If you are a senior citizen or traveling with senior citizens, you may worry that there won’t be enough fun activities for older guests to enjoy. The senior crowd has long been a key demographic for the cruise industry. So, there will likely be an abundance of options for the older folks in your group.  

Whether you are young at heart or prefer a more slow-paced schedule, you’re sure to find the perfect activity to keep you busy while on a cruise ship. Here are some things to do on cruise ships for seniors:

  • Attend a fitness or water-aerobics class
  • See a show in the theater
  • Try your hand at slots, poker, or blackjack in the casino
  • Play one of the fun games, like bingo, in the entertainment hall
  • Go for a relaxing massage
  • Take a dip in the pool or relax by the poolside (there may be an adults-only pool as well)
  • Go to a karaoke evening
  • Visit one of the fine-dining restaurants onboard

Most activities take place during the day, which gives you plenty of time for a good night’s sleep. Of course, if you are a night owl, there’ll also be some exciting things to do at night since the cruise ship never runs out of things to offer. Plan your day ahead of time so you never miss a thing. 

Activities For Couples To Do On A Cruise Ship 

If you’re traveling on a cruise ship with your significant other, you may be more interested in a romantic trip than a loud one. Most cruise ships offer the perfect setting for a romantic getaway, too, meaning you can enjoy your time on the ship exactly how you want to. 

If you are on the cruise ship for a honeymoon or anniversary, be sure to inform the staff so they can ensure your special time is amazing. Here are some brilliant activities to consider when going on a cruise as a couple.

  • Enjoy cocktails on the deck for sunset.
  • Go for a couple’s massage (bonus if there are outdoor options!).
  • Go stargazing on the deck.
  • Eat at one of the fine dining restaurants.
  • See a show/movie.
  • Stay in and order room service (do it on the balcony if you have one).
  • Attend dance classes.

Depending on what you like doing as a couple, you can also go to the gym or try one of the more thrilling activities, like skydiving, rock climbing, or surf simulation. A cruise ship is the perfect location for a romantic getaway, and you’ll never exhaust the things you can do with your significant other. 

The cruise ship may also be the ideal place to “pop the question” if you want to. Arrange with the staff before doing so so they can ensure the moment is romantic and memorable. 

How Long Can A Cruise Ship Entertain You?

The longer you stay on the cruise ship, the more things you can experience. But having said that, you’ll want to book your cruise trip for just long enough to experience all the fun, but not so long that people in your group feel bored. 

For first-time cruisers, booking something in the 5 to 7-day range is ideal.

If you go on a cruise ship with the right attitude, it’s likely that you’ll never get bored. Of course, how long you can be entertained on the ship depends on your lifestyle and preferences. 

Are All Activities On A Cruise Ship Free?

Not all the activities on a cruise ship are free. Some basic things are included in your cruise fares, like your cabin, food, and some entertainment (movies, shows in the theater, clubs). Other activities like the spa and the casino require an extra charge

You’ll likely have plenty to do even if you only stick to what’s included, but be sure to know which activities are not part of your package to plan ahead and avoid disappointment. 

Most cruise ships also don’t include alcoholic beverages in the cruise fare, which is something you should consider when booking your ticket.

Closing Thoughts

Cruise ships are huge vessels that offer plenty of onboard entertainment and activities to keep even the most energetic members of your group entertained. Regardless of whether or not you opt to add additional excursions or experiences to your ticket, you’re sure to find plenty of ways to keep yourself occupied on a cruise and will have a great time doing so. 

Mona Marks


Mona loves group travel of all kinds, and she finds cruises are the perfect setting for that.

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