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12 Things to Experience on Your Cruise

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With so much always happening on a cruise ship on a daily basis, it can be overwhelming trying to decide what to do. There never seems to be enough time in the day to do everything on the ship that you want. But despite this, there are at least 10 things you should always do when you cruise…

1. Sail-Away Party

There’s nothing quite like that moment when you first step on a cruise ship. Months of planning for this vacation have finally come down to this moment, and it’s now official. You are stepping onto the ship that is taking you far away from work and stresses at home. But don’t get so overwhelmed with ogling the ship that you miss the sail-away party. As soon as the muster drill is over, head straight up to one of the top decks so you can wave to people you don’t know who are standing on the shores, watching as your ships pulls away from the dock. The music will be rocking, the drinks will be flowing, and the party will be starting. Bon voyage!

2. Enjoy the sunset at sea.

(Or the sunrise, depending on your sleep schedule.) Whichever you prefer, you have to witness this gift of nature at least once during your cruise. It is amazing how something so simple and so commonplace can suddenly become so breathtaking and majestic when viewed while out at sea. If you don’t do anything else on this list, at least make sure you don’t miss this one.

3. Room Service

While it depends on which cruise line you’re sailing with whether there’s a fee or not, most of the time room service is free. Take advantage of that. Have your coffee delivered to you in the morning, or order a late-night snack at 1 am. Why? Because you can.

4. Eat 3 lunches.

Don’t deny it – we all share that look of awe as soon as we see all the free food options onboard. Don’t hold back. Load up your plate, then get seconds… and then thirds. Don’t worry; no one is judging you. We’re all behind you in the buffet line, waiting to do the exact same thing.

5. Deck Party

Even if you’re not a dancer, don’t miss the late-night deck parties. These are full of music, laughter, drinks, and fun, and even if you don’t want to join the dancing crowd, the excitement and festive atmosphere are too infectious to not have just as good of a time as everyone doing the Cupid Shuffle.

6. Late Night Movie

How do you make a movie night more fun? You have it on the deck of a cruise ship under the stars with the ocean breeze, and you make popcorn and drinks with it too. This is a movie experience that just can’t be beat if you’re a cruise lover.

7. Make friends with the crew.

Onboard crew members are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. Since they are away from home for months at a time, most of them are happy to talk about where they’re from and share their experiences with you if you’re willing to ask. Befriending crew members can be one of the most rewarding parts of your cruise experience, so take some time to get to know the staff around you.

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8. Formal Night

Some people hate the idea of a formal night before they’ve ever even been to one, but don’t knock it ‘til you try it. With everyone getting dressed up in their best, there’s a sense of excitement that can be felt in the air all throughout the ship, and it makes the atmosphere and mood all the more fun. Plus, these are usually the nights they serve the best dishes in the dining rooms, so do it for the food if nothing else.

9. Tour the Ship

At some point during your cruise, make it a point to explore the ship. Wander around the different decks, get lost in the halls, and go up that random staircase. It’s not uncommon for even the most experienced cruiser to find a new “hidden” spot this way or to find a new bar or venue they might not have known about. Take pictures as you go, too, so you can show your friends the ship when you get home!

10. Go to the shows.

Between the theater shows, comedy shows, cruise director’s shows, etc., there will be plenty of shows to enjoy on your vacation. And this included entertainment is one of the reasons cruising gives you so much bang for your buck, so be sure to check out the ship’s daily schedule to see what is planned. Some ships even offer Broadway shows like Mamma Mia and Chicago. How could you pass those up?

11. Take pictures.

You’ll see a handful of crew members around the ship with professional cameras asking to take your photo. Don’t be shy! These are free to take, so have fun with it. It’s always amusing to find your photos the next day in the photo gallery and to sort through them, admiring the good ones and laughing at the, well, not so good ones. If you’d like to purchase these fun memories, you can. Otherwise, just enjoy taking the glamour shots.

12. Get out of your comfort zone.

You must do something outside of your comfort zone. Try the rock-climbing wall, enter yourself in the hairy chest competition, or order the caviar at dinner. Whatever it is, just do something you normally wouldn’t do, and you may find that you’ll learn something new and have a fun story to tell.

What is something you would recommend everyone experience on their cruise?

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