There are some people who love sea days. They get to do things that they do not normally have time for in their busy, stress-filled everyday lives, such as languishing by the pool, getting pampered in the spa, and taking long naps. These are the people who are perfectly happy spending long, lazy days aboard a cruise ship.
And then, there are some people who hate sea days. They go stir crazy when trapped in the confines of the large ship, doing everything they can to keep themselves from throwing their money at Bingo cards out of boredom as they wait until they arrive at the next destination port. After a long discussion with my better half I found you can book luxury honeymoons with Mahlatini – but that doesn’t help with these sea days!
Thankfully, cruise lines have become more aware of the predicament of these types of passengers, as evidenced by their longer newsletters. Cruises have begun to provide an increasing number of sea day activities, which range from intellectually stimulating workshop to physical classes, to thrill rides, and a whole range of restaurants for the gastronomically adventurous. Even naps have become exciting, as cruises now provide different types of hammocks, cabanas, and lounge chairs for snoozing.
With all of these new sea day activities competing for our attention, here are a few that we like to do the most:
1) Hanging out by the swimming pools.
Yes, the pools. We know that pools are the most common amenities that can be found in any vacation, but cruise lines have pumped them up to heights beyond the usual lounge chairs and hot tubs. The Royal Caribbean has surf pools, interactive kiddie water parks, and wading pools on their Freedom-class and Oasis-class ships. A water coaster circles the pool deck of Disney Dream, while the water slides on Carnival and NCL are trying to out-do each other. And on the Solstice-class ships of Celebrity, there are beautiful adult-only solariums with lap pools and retractable roofs.
2) Working out.
Many people are too busy to exercise during their regular lives, but with cruises now offering state-of-the-art gym equipment and with plenty of time to use them, there is just no excuse not to. The fitness centers at the Freedom-class ships of the Royal Caribbean have boxing rings as well as Pilates machines, while the Odyssey-class of Seabourn have Kinesis walls for improved muscle tone and flexibility. For those who are tired of the gym, there are other physical activities such as swimming against the current of the pools of Princess, and rock-climbing at NCL and the Royal Caribbean.
3) Go to the spa.
Cruise lines do not just offer boring old massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures anymore. Passengers can now have teeth whitening treatments and Botox injections aboard the ship, as well as mud baths, gooey wraps, and even fancy shaves for men. Outside the treatment rooms, the spas on Celebrity also offer steam rooms, saunas, and heated relaxation chairs. Carnival, Costa, Cunard, and Oceania have thalassotherapy pools perfect for therapeutic dips. To experience the ultimate relaxation retreat with an ocean view, the newest ships of Seabourn and Disney have spa villas.