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Life On Board

With an exceptional level of personal service, gourmet cuisine, outstanding amenities and accommodations, cruise lines go out of their way to ensure an unforgettable cruise experience. While each cruise line has its own personality and charm, you can be assured that your experience onboard any cruise ship can be tailored to create your dream vacation.

Typical Activities and Things to Do

Onboard the ship you will have a broad range of activities and amenities. Depending on the ship, you can: Take in guest lecturers or enrichment classes. Enjoy time with your significant other while the young ones play in the supervised kid's area, and the older children can congregate in the ships teen center for some fun all their own. Then there's the dining venues, swimming pools, movie theaters, ice skating rinks, and health and spa facilities, that will delight any age group. Adding to the appeal is the safety a cruise vacation offers. Couples or families can break off to do their own thing without a worry. Crew members are always watching out for their guests' enjoyment and safety. As you're enjoying all the ship has to offer, you're being transported to your next destination and port of call.

DINING

The dining experience onboard a cruise ship is just that - an experience. You can find anything from gourmet cuisine prepared by world-renowned chefs, to a slice of pizza. There are many dining options offered throughout the day. The main dining offers a formal dining experience with beautiful table settings and impeccable service. You will have the full dining experience with several courses and options from which to select. A casual dining area is offered for individuals who enjoy a more casual environment with extended hours. Typical options include buffet-style meals with sandwiches, soups, salad bar and hot meal options. And you can get your fix of hamburgers and hot dogs with poolside casual dining.

Many cruise lines will offer a specialty dining experience at a nominal fee. Reminiscent of ocean liners of the past, these distinctively elegant restaurants offer a dining experience like no other at sea. Savor the five-course menu creations prepared tableside with a medley of aromatic ingredients. Relish the timeless ambiance of an intimate dine-in wine cellar. Each restaurant is equally spectacular offering its own taste of history and unparalleled service.

Room service is an option on some cruise lines, where you can select casual dining options brought right to your room. In addition, cruise lines offer late night snacks for those enjoying the evening's entertainment at no extra costs.

ACTIVITIES

Each cruise line has their own unique way to pamper you and indulge your senses. There is always something to do onboard a cruise ship. If you want to kick back and relax poolside with a book, you are free to do so whenever you wish. But if you are looking for a little more action and entertainment, the possibilities are endless. In addition to the options featured below, many ships also feature sports equipment and play areas, libraries, as well as cruise line sponsored games and themed events and parties.

Lounges, Bars and Clubs

Each ship has several bars, lounges and clubs to choose from. You can dance the night away at one of the night clubs or enjoy a martini while enjoying some live entertainment. Elegant decor, superior service, live music and exotic beverages create a wonderful environment for making new friends or getting together with old ones.

Shows

Cruise line production teams work countless hours setting the stage for some of the most exclusive entertainers to put on imaginative and remarkable shows for their guests night after night. From singers and dancers, to comedians and magicians. Whatever your interest, there is a show for you!

Enrichment Programs/Classes

Cruises aren't simply a way to relax and unwind. They also offer opportunities to rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit.
Some examples of these activities are:
  • Wine tastings
  • Computer Classes
  • Digital Photography Classes
  • Drawing and Painting
  • Cultural and Port Education
  • Religious services offered in many denominations
Casino

If lady luck inspires you, cruise ships offer state-of-the-art gaming systems and tables. You can give the roulette wheel a spin, enter a poker tournament, or spin to win on the numerous slot machines.  Onboard casinos offer many of the games you will find at your favorite casino.

Shopping

Not all treasures are found buried at sea. Elegant shops and gallerias hold the promise of discovery and delight. Marble walkways lead you from sophisticated boutiques to fine jewelry stores that hold stylish clothing, precious gems, cosmetics, fragrances and more. Window shop, attend a fashion show or select gifts for friends and family. Then, indulge yourself as you encounter the ideal memento of your truly extraordinary cruise experience.

Art Auctions

An appreciation for the finer things sets you apart. You'll be rewarded with culturally enriching experiences at every turn. Throughout the ships, you'll find museum-quality artwork on display by masters like Picasso and contemporary painters like Peter Max. Onboard art auctions allow you the opportunity to get up close and personal with these amazing works of art and often the artist! Sip champagne as you discover the next great surrealist or complete your already impressive collection.

YOUTH PROGRAMS

Youth programs are offered on many, but not all, cruise ships. These programs are designed to keep children busy and happy during the days that you are exploring the ship. They have specific hours where you can drop off children of a certain age and they will be cared for, at no extra cost. Youth programs are usually tiered by age group, so that children will be interacting with other children their own age. All programs are run by educated individuals who love children. Cruise lines employees are thoroughly trained and extensive background checks run. Emergency and safety procedures are in place so that parents can feel secure leaving their precious cargo. Some offer pagers for emergency communication between staff and parents.

Tipping

Tipping policies vary by cruise line, so it's best to know what to expect before you depart. The following is an introduction to tipping while on a cruise. Since cruising is international, from the staff to the passengers, the practice of automatically charging your onboard account a daily flat service charge is becoming increasingly popular among cruise lines. This practice alleviates any potential angst for people not accustomed to tipping and is a simple means for the crew (who often heavily rely on tips) to receive a living wage for their services. Charges range from $10 to $13 per day/passenger and in some cases you can adjust the automatic service charge should the service not meet your expectations.

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