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The A-Z of Cruise Holiday Days at Sea

You’re booking a cruise for the first time, perusing your exciting itinerary of destinations and you notice this: ‘Day At Sea’. Most cruise holidays have them. It’s a day travelling between ports to get to a destination that cannot be reached overnight. But it’s not wasted time, it’s time to explore and enjoy the facilities and activities on your cruise ship or simply relax. Here’s our A-Z of top things to while away your days at sea.


Try something new and test your strength and nerves on the abseiling wall on-board some of Norwegian Cruise Line ships. It’s an exhilarating way to get the most incredible view way up from the top deck.


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OK, so you won’t find a full-size mall on-board, but you might find enough shopping to satisfy your retail cravings for an hour or two, especially on-board superliners like Harmony of the Seas that has Michael Kors, Tiffany, Guess and Coach boutiques on-board. Cruises can be excellent places to acquire new pieces of art too and there may even be an art auction during your sailing.


On some cruises by Holland America Line and P&O, guests have the opportunity to learn to cook alongside professional chefs, learn new kitchen skills and get a hands-on culinary experience.


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Take part in a dance class, like the ones offered on Celebrity Cruises ‘Let’s Dance’ series, or on-board Carnival Cruises, and learn to salsa, jive and ballroom dance.


With most of your dining included in the price of a cruise, a sea-day is the perfect time to relax over some delicious cuisine. Indulge in a leisurely afternoon tea on-board Cunard’s Queen Victoria, a quintessentially British experience. Sample some sushi at the Bonsai Sushi restaurant on-board Carnival ships or indulge in a top-quality Relais & Chateaux restaurant on-board a Silversea cruise.


If a holiday is no excuse for a lapse in your exercise regime, fear not: a gym is almost a certain feature on-board. There’s usually a good range of fitness classes on all cruises, from aerobics to Pilates. To breathe the sea air, jogging tracks can typically be found around the perimeter of the top deck of most ships.



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Even the biggest ships aren’t big enough for a full 18-hole course. But mini-golf can often be an on-board option for fun family competitions. And for true golf fanatics that simply can’t be away from the course for too long, driving nets can be found on-board ships like Norwegian Pearl.


Book an appointment at the on-board hair salon to achieve perfectly coiffed locks for a black-tie evening. A sea day could also be an ideal opportunity to indulge in some me-time with a hair treatment at the salon.

Ice Skate

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Imagine ice skating in the Caribbean! Whether you want to take part or watch the pros in an ice-show, skating can be a fun and unexpected part of a family cruise.


Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Epic have bungee trampolines for laugh-out-loud exercise at sea, as well as brilliant sea-views. The trampoline is part of the massive sports complex on-board where guests can also enjoy a challenging ropes course, rock climbing wall and the chance to ‘walk the plank’ 8 feet off the side of the ship.


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Love it or hate it, you might find there’s the opportunity to belt out a ballad on-board your cruise ship. In fact, karaoke is something Carnival cruises take very seriously – you’ll even have a live band and backup singers.


A cruise holiday can be the perfect opportunity to listen to world-renowned academics, astronomers, politicians, explorers, chefs and celebrities and on an range of topics. Seabourn, Regent Seven Seas and Cunard offer some of the best learning and enrichment programmes afloat.


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Outdoor movies on giant screens can be a fun and relaxing way to pass the time on the top deck, found on ships by Princess and Disney, among others. These poolside screens offer guests the chance to catch a flick while enjoying all the deck-side activities and refreshments. Who said you can’t have it all? And don’t forget, 3D, 4D and IMAX cinemas can be found at sea too.


Even the smallest guests can have a sea day to remember with the excellent on-board nurseries. Disney Cruises naturally offer some of the best childcare options, and the ‘It’s A Small World’ nursery has an abundance of books, toys and games. Trained supervisors are on hand to ensure your tot has the best possible time.



Well, you’re on holiday after all. And a sea day could be the perfect opportunity to snooze. Perhaps order breakfast by room service and embrace a blissfully leisurely day at sea.


Splash pools, aqua-parks, whirlpools, indoor pools, outdoor pools, lap pools, salt-water pools and fresh-water pools. All manner of swimming pools can be found on-board cruise ships. And don’t forget the twisting flumes that can be found on the superliners by Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Disney.

Quiet Time

With cruise lines offering beautiful and relaxing staterooms with balconies, a sea day is the ideal opportunity to put your feet up in the seclusion of your own balcony to enjoy the world go by as you sail on to the next port.


Some cruise ships boast incredibly well-stocked libraries. There are over 6,000 titles on-board Queen Elizabeth’s mahogany-panelled library and there is a dedicated librarian too.



Adrenaline junkies will love Royal Caribbean’s FlowRider, a simulator that mimics what it’s like to surf on the ocean. Great for first-timers and experienced pros alike, it also makes an entertaining spectator sport!

Ten-Pin Bowling

Have a family ten-pin bowling game on-board Norwegian Cruise Line’s fun and family-friendly ships. But don’t let the competition stop there. There’s soccer and dodgeball games to be played. Or giant chess for the less athletic.


There’s a spa on almost every cruise ship. And on some, they can be expansive, multi-deck emporiums of relaxation. You may find spacious thermal suites, laconiums, tepidariums, steam baths, relaxation rooms with panoramic ocean views and top spa therapists offering the latest treatments.


The ‘North Star’ capsule on the newest Royal Caribbean ships propels you 300ft above sea level for panoramic ocean views. Who knew a cruise was going to give you the chance to fly?


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Take some time to have a leisurely wander around your floating resort. On-board some Royal Caribbean ships, stroll through ‘Central Park’, modelled on New York’s finest green space. Or, on a more traditional cruise, a lap of the promenade deck will afford the opportunity to breathe in the refreshing sea air.


Tearing teens away from their favourite video games can be a challenge. But Celebrity Cruises have fitted some of their ships with dedicated Xbox stations to provide some of the largest digital game and entertainment experiences at sea. And on some Norwegian Cruise Line ships, there are humungous two-storey Wii screens. Their gaming will never be the same again…

Youth Clubs

There’s never been a better time for kids to join their parents on a cruise, with fantastic activities for all ages. Your children will love sea days as they’re entertained from morning to night and get the chance to socialise with other kids of their age.

Zip Lining

Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas was the first ship to offer a zip line at sea. 9 decks high, guests fly a thrilling 82 feet from end to end. Exhilarating!


To speak to a cruise expert about cruise holidays and finding the right option for you, call 0800 840 5819 or visit for more inspiration.


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