6 Things You Must Do on Your Next Cruise
We have to admit—there is A LOT to do on a cruise. So much that it's impossible to do it all in the seemingly short amount of time you have on board. Shore days will be packed with tons of fantastic activities, but what should you do with your time in between? How can you make the most of your time, even on cruising days?
Of course, there's no better way to spend a vacation than lounging by the pool, soaking up the sun and relaxing. Any cruise you go on will have pools on board where you can unwind. But even that can get boring eventually! When it does, you'll want some ideas in your back pocket for ways to spend your time away from the pool deck. While every cruise ship is going to offer a different agenda of activities, we've created a few guiding principles for what you should look to do on your next cruise.
Get Pampered

You're on vacation—treat yourself! Most cruises will have a spa on board, and if relaxing is on your agenda for your trip, then it's a must-visit place. Get a massage or facial. Visit the sauna or steam room. Hit the hot tub. Whatever it is that appeals to your inner zen, you'll likely find it on board. Note that in some cases you may be required to book appointments ahead of time, so take note of the rules of your specific cruise line.

It's also important to know that when it comes to cruises, not all spas are created equal. Some cruises simply offer a spa/salon/fitness center wrapped in one. While nice facilities, they may not offer the same level of treatment as a specialty spa, such as the Canyon Ranch SpaClub's aboard Celebrity Cruises, Cunard Cruises, or various other luxury cruise lines. If indulging in a deluxe spa experience is number one on your list of cruise activities, the company you choose will make all the difference.
Take a Night Swim
Sure, you've been swimming all day, so the concept of taking another swim might not sound too appealing. But what if we add entertainment to it? Not only can night swims be especially relaxing and beautiful, but also many cruise lines have outdoor movie screens, so you can watch a film while you swim, or wet bars for a night cocktail. Some cruises even host nighttime barbeques! That's an experience you can't get many other places.
Let Your Waiter Pick Your Entire Meal
Cruises are without a doubt awesome dining experiences for vacationers, based on the large selection that most ships offer and the high quality of cuisine. Between cuisine inspired by the destinations, specialty restaurants and fine dining, and celebrity partner restaurants, the opportunities to eat really good food are endless. So why not try something new while you're at it? Ask your waiter to recommend a meal, and take them up on the recommendation. It may be something outside of your comfort zone, but there's no better time to branch out than on a cruise (especially if it's part of your all-inclusive fare!)

Embrace Your Inner Kid
Any cruise isn't complete without a full agenda of fun. But just because you're an adult doesn't mean you can't indulge in it! Cruises are the best times to embrace your inner kid. You can play video games, miniature golf, bumper cars, and more. Don't be afraid to join in on the impromptu dance parties or hang out with the various cartoon characters throughout the ship. You have our permission to let your inner child out.

And if that wasn't enough, Carnival in particular is notorious for poolside games like the Rubber Chicken Olympics and the Hairy Chest Competition, which may seem weird right now but it's totally normal on the cruise! Royal Caribbean also has live game shows with guests as contestants that are sure to get some laughs. You just have to embrace the silliness!
Enjoy Live Entertainment

Most cruise ships will have some form (or multiple forms) of live entertainment on board, and you won't want to miss an opportunity to see it. Live entertainment options can include Broadway shows, live bands by the pool or in concert venues, or dinner and a show, such as Norwegian Cruise Line's Illusionarium where dinner comes with a magic show.

Some of the world's best talent performs on cruise ships, and the smaller venues and crowds make it the ideal place to see performances. For music lovers, nearly every cruise will have live music available, from live cover bands and piano bars at night to locally-inspired poolside music.

Carnival also offers the Carnival LIVE series where bands such as Journey, Little Big Town, Rascal Flatts, and more have played on board for a small fee (much less than you'd paid to see them elsewhere). Some companies also host cruises specifically for music—think of a music festival at sea. If you're really interested in live music, those may be worth checking out.
Face Your Fears
Cruise activities have gotten really elaborate in recent years. Now, primarily on the bigger ships, you can face some of your biggest fears on board. Afraid of heights? Try the ropes course or zip line. Want to know what it feels like to fly? Jump into the skydiving simulator on Royal Caribbean ships. The new Carnival Vista even has an airborne bike track you can ride… that's hanging 150 feet above the ocean. Facing your fears may force you into some the most unusual activities at sea, but we're confident that it will be 100% worth it.
Conclusion
This list doesn't even begin to describe all the activities you can partake in while on a cruise, but it might give you some ideas on how to categorize what you do. Everyone's tastes will be different—for one person, embracing your inner kid might mean hitting the water slides; for another, it might mean challenging your kids to a game of foosball. Whatever it is for you, it's your vacation! Either way, doing something that fits within each of these categories is sure to be a great time, and that's what cruising is all about!

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