69 Fun Things To Do On A Cruise Ship

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Choose the right cruise ship and you will never be bored! Today’s modern cruise ships have so much to enjoy!

Picking a cruise ship with lots of activities is particularly important if you’re cruising out of season when the weather is colder. Or if you have an itinerary with lots of sea days, such as a transatlantic cruise.

So, here’s a list of the best things you can do on a cruise ship…

People relaxing on the cruise ship

1. Eat All the Food

The average cruiser puts on half a stone per week on a cruise, which requires eating an extra 3,500 calories per day on top of what you’d usually eat. Sounds a lot? Well, it’s easily done with endless snack options like pizza slices, chips and ice cream as well as endless buffets and three-course meals every night.

a hand removing the food cover
Royal Caribbean’s Wonderland restaurant

2. Spa Day

Have a massage, float in the pool, and nap on a heated water bed. You could even get your teeth whitened on board. These are some of the most relaxing cruise ship activities by far.

Couple on a cruise ship getting a massage
Carnival Cruise Line’s Cloud 9 Spa

3. Indoor Swimming Pool

What do you do on a cruise when the weather’s not great? Relax by the pool anyway, of course! Choosing a cruise ship with an indoor pool is a good idea for anyone with kids. Even better, head to the adults-only solarium while they’re in the kids’ club for a much more relaxing time.

Indoor pool on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas
Indoor pool on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas

4. Watch a Movie

Most cruise ships have either a cinema indoors, or a large screen on the pool deck showing movies. P&O ship Iona has four cinema screens on board, so there’s always something good to watch.

a cinema
P&O Iona – Ocean Studios

5. Bingo

Eyes down! Cruise ship bingo can be adults only with big money at stake, or there may also be family versions where kids can join in to win sweets and toys.

Family bingo on P&O Britannia
Family bingo on P&O Britannia

6. Casino

There’s loads of fun to be had in the casino, whether at the tables or machines, it’s easy to forget what time it is. One of the more popular things to do on a cruise ship in the evening – although there are still plenty of other options, too.

Casino
Majestic Princess – Casino

7. Gym

I always tell myself I’m going to go to the gym on a cruise but I’ve still never done it. I’m sure it would make me feel less guilty about all the desserts if I could manage it!

Gym on a cruise ship
Gym on P&O Britanna

8. Fitness Classes

Zumba, pilates, HIIT, there’s something for everyone, just check your daily planner (the cruise ship activities list either posted in your room or on the app) for the times.

people exercising
Zumba Fitness Class on Caribbean Princess

9. Get Drunk

A rainy day is a great excuse to work your way down the cocktail menu. Particularly if you have a drinks package.

Drinking cocktails at sea
Drinking cocktails at sea

10. Hot Tub

Here’s one outdoor activity that can be enjoyed whatever the weather. Just make sure you have a towel nearby for when it’s time to get out!

a hot tub on a cruise ship
Hot tub on P&O Britannia

11. Play Cards

Most ships have card rooms where you can find others to play games like bridge or whist with.

Card room on a cruise ship
Card Room on Royal Caribbean

12. Admire the Views

Head up to the top deck, look out the window or, if you’re on a Royal Caribbean Quantum Class ship, take a ride in the North Star observation pod which rises 300 feet above the sea.

The North Star observation pod on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas

13. Ice Skating

Get your skates on and fall over in style. Then watch the professional ice show and wow at how easy they make it look.

family on ice skating rink
Ice Rink on Royal Caribbean

14. Bumper Cars

Another feature on Quantum-class ships is bumper cars, also known as dodgems.

bumper cars
Bumper cars in Royal Caribbean’s SeaPlex

15. Social Media

Make the most of your WiFi package by making your friends jealous with photos of your food.

hand holding a mobile phone

16. Go to the Hairdresser

Relax with a new style, color, or a fancy updo, ready for a formal night.

beauty salon
Carnival Sunrise Cloud 9 Spa Beauty Salon

17. Watch a Show

Singers, comedians, dancers, musicals, and even synchronized swimming, you’ll find all kinds of entertainment shows on board.

performers on a stage
Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean

18. Learn Floristry

Did you know that cruise ships have florists on board? Learn how to arrange flowers or make your own corsage to wear in the evening.

woman making a lei
Photo Credit: Princess Cruises

19. Ice Bar

Norwegian Breakaway, Getaway and Epic each have an ice bar where you can don a winter coat and enjoy ice cold vodka cocktails whilst sitting on furniture made of ice.

ice bar
Norwegian Cruise Line’s Ice Bar

20. Stay In Bed

Order room service, watch movies in bed and take naps. Sounds like heaven to me!

room in a cruise ship
Carnival Vista Stateroom

21. Escape Room

Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises each have escape room games where you have to piece together clues to make your way out of a room before the time is up.

escape room
Royal Caribbean’s Escape Room – Planetary Puzzler

22. Virtual Reality Bungee Trampolines

Don your VR goggles and choose from different virtual reality experiences. Or skip the goggles and just bounce. The choice is yours.

Royal Caribbean's Sky Pad
Royal Caribbean’s Sky Pad

23. Galley Tour

Ever wondered how cruise ship kitchens can serve up enough food to feed thousands of people at the same time? Find out with a tour of the ship’s kitchen, also known as the galley.

father and daughter watching the chef prepare food
Princess Cruises’ Galley Tour

24. Rock Climbing

Heading up the rock climbing wall is a surefire way to warm up in cooler weather. The small kids make it look so easy. It’s not!

The climbing wall on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epic

25. Arcade

From retro games to air hockey and dance games, there’s lots of fun to be had in the arcades.

arcade
Carnival Panorama’s The Warehouse Arcade

26. Board Games

We love to hunt out board games to borrow. Even if we’re not playing them, young kids they like to make up their own games with the pieces.

kid playing
Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line

27. Mini Golf

Crazy golf is fun for all the family. Just don’t hit it into the sea! Fore!

Arvia mini golf course
Golf course on new ship, Arvia

28. Archery

A great way for families to spend time together, you can enjoy an expert-led archery class on your cruise.

a girl holding archery bow
Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean

29. Fencing

Where else but posh cruise line Cunard would offer fencing as an activity? I’d love to give it a go. On guard!

fencing
Fencing on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2

30. See Behind The Scenes

Ever fancied a look in the engine room? Book a behind-the-scenes tour and see all that and more.

cruise ship's engine room
Allure of the Seas’ Engine Room

31. Trapeze School

After you’ve watched the circus show, on Anthem of the Seas you can actually have a go yourself with a lesson in trapeze artistry.

a girl learning how to do trapeze
Royal Caribbean’s Circus School in the SeaPlex

32. Laser Tag

Once an 80s craze, laser tag is back and better than ever on selected Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line ships.

laser tag area
Royal Caribbean’s Laser Tag: Battle for Planet Z

33. Sports

Basketball, tennis, volleyball, football… there’s no end of sports to enjoy.

group of people playing volleyball at Sport square
Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line

34. Watch a Game Show

I really like cruise ship gameshows. It’s great fun cheering on your fellow cruisers as they try to win prizes. The Mr and Mrs type ones are my favourites – so funny!

group of people on a stage
Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean

35. Table Tennis

A great way to spend an hour, table tennis, or as the Americans call it ping-pong is a fun game for two or four people to enjoy together.

table tennis area
Table tennis on P&O Britannia

36. Ride a Carousel

Hop aboard a horsey (or zebra) and ride the carousel in the Boardwalk of selected Royal Caribbean ships.

carousel area
Carousel onboard Symphony of the Seas

37. Hall of Mirrors

Watch out for the funny mirrors by the carousel, especially the one that shows what you’ll look like if you spend too long in the buffet.

38. Go Karting

Yes, that’s right, newer Norwegian Cruise Line ships even have go kart tracks on board! Unbelievable!

go kart area on a cruise ship
Go Kart Track on Norwegian Bliss

39. Art Classes

Learn to draw or paint in a class led by an expert artist.

man holding an artwork in front of a group
Carnival Cruise – Educational Art Seminar and Lectures

40. Silent Disco

On Celebrity Cruises, you can set your headphones to your favorite channel and dance like nobody’s watching.

Silent Disco on the Disney Wish
Silent Disco on the Disney Wish

41. Ride a Roller Coaster

The world’s first roller coasters at sea can be found on Carnival Cruise Line’s newer ships Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration and Carnival Jubilee.

roller coaster on a cruise ship
BOLT roller coaster on Carnival Mardi Gras

42. Bowling

Knock down the pins and try for a strike in the bowling alley

bowling alley

43. Planetarium

Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 has a full-size planetarium where you can learn about everything in the night sky for a fun and educational experience.

planetarium
Cunard’s planetarium

44. Cookery Classes

Learn to make sushi, cupcakes, pizzas or almost anything else at an expert-led class

cooking class
Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line

45. Art Gallery

Admire the pieces in the onboard art gallery. You could even attend an art auction and bid on a piece to take home with you.

art gallery
Gallery on board Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth

46. Order a Drink From a Robot

Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises both have bionic bartenders that will mix your cocktails while you look on in awe. So clever!

MSC Cruises Starship Club
MSC Cruises Starship Club

47. Dance Classes

Led by expert dancers, a sea day is a perfect opportunity to spend an hour learning to tango, waltz or samba.

couple dancing
Photo Credit: Princess Cruises

48. Sky Bike

Carnival Vista, Carnival Panorama and Carnival Horizon have pedal-powered bikes on a track 150 feet above the sea.

Carnival Cruise Line's SkyRide
Carnival Cruise Line’s SkyRide

49. Learn a Language

Brush up on your skills or learn something entirely new with a language class.

welcome in different languages

50. Sky Diving

Royal Caribbean’s RipCord by iFLY attraction is a skydiving simulator that can be found on Quantum Class ships such as Anthem of the Seas.

Royal Caribbean’s Skydiving Simulator

51. Karaoke

Cruise ship karaoke is great. But does anyone else prefer the bad singers to the good ones?

Karaoke room
Majestic Princess Karaoke Room

52. Seawalk

Walk along a glass pathway 128 feet above the sea on Princess Cruises’ ships Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess.

Princess Cruises' Seawalk
Princess Cruises’ Seawalk

53. 4D Movies

More than just a 3D movie, with a 4D experience your chair moves, you’re squirted with water and there might even be pumped-in smells to add to the sensory experience of watching a film. 4D cinemas can be found on selected MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line ships.

4D Cinema
MSC Meraviglia 4D Cinema

54. Formula One Simulator

Get behind the wheel of a Formula One car replica and go for a spin on the virtual reality track.

MSC Fantasia's Formula One simulator
MSC Fantasia’s Formula One simulator

55. Roller Skating

You’ll be reminded of your childhood as you whizz round on skates, trying not to take anyone out as you go.

roller skate
Photo Credit: Royal Caribbean

56. Slides

Whilst you might not want to brave a water slide in the cold weather, selected Royal Caribbean ships feature the Ultimate Abyss – a dry slide which starts at deck 16 and ends at deck 6.

Royal Caribbean's Ultimate Abyss slide
Royal Caribbean’s Ultimate Abyss slide

57. Quizzes

Who doesn’t love a good pub quiz? I’m terrible at them but it’s still good fun.

Participants having fun playing Trivia
Playing Trivia on Carnival Breeze

58. High Ropes Course

Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Escape have ropes courses with 99 elements, including a plank which extends eight feet over the edge of the ship. You have to stretch to ring the bell. Not much scares me but I found this terrifying!

High ropes course
High ropes course on Norwegian Escape

59. Guest Lectures

Lectures can be about anything from health and fitness to the history of the ports you’ll visit. Take a look at the daily planner to see which ones look interesting.

group of people learning how to tie a sarong
Sarong Tying, Hawaii Regional Activities on Princess Cruises

60. Computer Games Tournaments

Teenagers can challenge their new friends to a whole host of games on the Xbox, Switch or Playstation.

two boys playing computer games
Photo Credit: Carnival Cruise Line

61. Towel Art

Want to know how the housekeepers manage to make your towel look like a swan? Learn the tricks at a towel art class so you can make your own towel animals at home.

towel art activity
Towel Animal Theater on Carnival Cruise Line

62. Build a Model Cruise Ship

Team up with fellow cruisers and staff to see who can build the best model cruise ship on P&O Cruises holidays. You’ll even get to float them in the pool and see how they fare against stormy seas.

Cruise Ship Model

63. Ziplining

Nine decks high and 82 feet across, Royal Caribbean’s ziplines zoom above Central Park in the hollow centre of the ship.

a woman on a zip line
Zip line onboard Symphony of the Seas

64. Play Pool

You may not be up for swimming in the cold, so why not try a different kind of pool and have a game on a pool table? This popular pub game is best accompanied with a pint of beer. The ships’ tables even have stabilisers so the balls don’t roll around in the waves (unless it gets a bit stormy)!

billiards table in Carnival Sunrise SportSquare
Carnival Sunrise SportSquare

65. Surf Lessons

Ever wanted to learn how to surf? Enjoy a private lesson on Royal Caribbean’s FlowRider surf simulator.

man learning how to surf on the simulator
Navigator of the Seas Ship’s FlowRider Surf Simulator

66. Watch An Outdoor Movie

Snuggle up under blankets, grab some popcorn and relax and watch a film on the big screen by the pool.

Outdoor Theater
Princess Cruises’ Outdoor Movie Theater

67. Croquet

Selected Celebrity Cruises ships have real grass on the top deck which is ideal for enjoying a quiet game of croquet. Possibly followed by Pimms and cucumber sandwiches, I’d imagine.

group of people playing croquet
Croquet on Celebrity Equinox

68. Read a Book

I only ever read books on holiday. I just don’t get time at home. So when I’m away I love to curl up in a cosy spot and get stuck in to a good book.

woman reading a book
Photo Credit: Princess Cruises

69. Deck Games

Old fashioned games like quoits and shuffleboard have been popular since the olden days and still provide a good hour of fun, once you understand the rules.

Shuffleboard on Princess Cruises

What Do You Like To Do on a Sea Day?

What’s your favourite activity that you’ve enjoyed on a sea day? Let me know in the comments below. With so much to enjoy on today’s exciting modern cruise ships, I’d be happy if every day was a sea day. A transatlantic crossing is definitely on my bucket list.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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