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Cruises: Onboard activities and excursions

cruise-ship

Modern cruise ships offer passengers a vast range of activities and facilities. Here is a selection of what you might find on-board:

  • A casino (which is only permitted to open when the ship is at sea)

  • Spa, fitness center, hot tubs, gym, indoor and/or outdoor swimming pools

  • A range of shops and malls (which can only open when ship is at sea)

  • A library, theater, cinema, lounges, and Internet café

  • Pubs, nightclubs, discos, and video arcades

  • A selection of restaurants: buffet, pizzeria, reservation-only supper clubs... Some dining options are at extra cost

  • Sporting activities like bowling alleys, ice skating, rock climbing walls, mini-golf courses, basketball courts, or tennis courts

  • Chapels and perhaps even a wedding chapel

The ship's bulletin

Ships generally put a daily bulletin under your cabin door each morning to keep you informed of the day’s activities and shows, and you are guaranteed to find something to suit the tastes of every member of the family. How about trivia contests, bingo, dance competitions, wine tasting, Wii or PlayStation tournaments, cooking classes or pool activities? The opening times for all facilities will also be given in this bulletin.

Shore excursions

The shore excursions office onboard the ship will offer a range of tours, cultural visits and organized activities at the different ports of call to be visited.

How about swimming with dolphins, a full-day tour to one of the “wonders of the world”, scuba diving, kayaking, climbing a glacier, or shopping at an exotic local market? Most cruise lines charge extra for these excursions and prices may be significantly more than a locally organized tour, but they guarantee convenience and peace of mind.

If you would like a city tour but prefer to have some time to yourself to explore or go shopping, consider a half-day tour.

Popular shore excursions tend to book up fast, maybe even before you set sail, so find out in advance if you have your heart set on a particular experience.

Bear in mind that cruise ships dock in ports which are often in the seedy side of town, so even you plan to set off exploring on your own, you are recommended to take the ship’s shuttle bus service from the ship to a taxi terminal or downtown.

Shore excursions are a great way to explore the areas you visit and to try out a wide range of exciting activities.

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