You Can Be Pampered When You Cruise in Floating Luxury
A cruise ship voyage may be all about the ports you are visiting but you should remember you are staying on a pretty great floating resort. When you cruise in floating luxury you will have time to enjoy the ship’s amenities for most meals, in the evening, for days at sea, for partial days where your port time is shorter and for times when you opt out of excursions. The bigger cruise ships (like Oasis of the Seas) have a wide range of activities for everyone. If you travel on the smaller luxury lines like our Oceania Regatta ship, there is less breadth of activities but still lots to do. This is very important if you are doing a long cruise as we did for 26 days in the Caribbean!
Let’s explore what you find on a cruise in floating luxury ….
Food On A Cruise
Let’s start with something everyone will use. Restaurant hours vary by location but you will never go hungry on a cruise ship! If you have an excellent pastry chef on board, your sweet tooth will be very happy.
Most cruise shops offer different dining options:
When you cruise in floating luxury there are often a few specialty restaurants on every ship – usually an Italian and a steak house at a minimum. The menus are typically fixed with maybe one daily special. These require reservations and the number you can book typically depends on the class of cabin you have. You may get lucky if you just show up and there have been a lot of cancellations or no shows. While it is nice to try these restaurants, we have eaten as well or better in other venues onboard Oceania ships. But then, Oceania is known for its great food.
Grand Dining Room:
The main dining room typically requires no reservations onboard smaller ships but seating is first come, first seated. If you want a great spot by the window, show up early as there are a limited number of tables for two if you want a romantic dinner. But if you want to meet others, you can always join a larger table. On Oceania, the main dining room menu is typically broad and is posted in advance so you can use this to decide whether the main dining room will work for you that day. The Regatta main dining room menu always includes a full Canyon Ranch menu for those wanting a healthier option and also includes choices from the menus of award winning specialty restaurants not on this ship (Jacques and Red Ginger). Some of the dinners we had in the main dining room left us wanting to lick our plates!
Cruise ships also offer buffet options with specialized menu days. This venue is typically less formal and let’s you eat until you are stuffed. The Regatta was recently refurbished to add a grill in the buffet restaurant so you can get fresh grilled selections if you want that. We are always watching for seafood day so David can fill his plate! With an outdoor patio when you are cruising in the Caribbean, this venue will give you lots of opportunities to dine under the stars!
Other Dining Options:
Oceania ships have a poolside grill (Waves) with good grill menu. The ice cream bar beside it is a favourite spot!
A special treat when we cruise in floating luxury is the barista station where we can get non-machine cappuccino and sweet treats. They are open early enough to allow me to get spoiled with a pre-breakfast cappuccino and chocolate croissant in bed.
If you need an afternoon sugar high, you can find afternoon tea with fully loaded treat carts. They even have English scones with cream and jam.
Finally, if you really want to lay low, you can get room service with a little pre-planning. We have enjoyed breakfast on our patio as we sat tied up in dock, toasting our new day with champagne on our cruise in floating luxury.
Fitness On A Cruise
The first day on board the fitness director said his job was to stop the guests from gaining a pound a day. With 26 days on board this time, I certainly could not afford that extra weight gain!
The first thing to note is that you will probably be doing a lot of walking! You will transit the length of your ship several times as you head for meals and other things to do. If you choose to walk up and down the stairs, it will add even more steps to your day.
Most excursions require walking, especially if the walk down the cruise dock is long! If you didn’t get enough walking during a regular day, you can stroll around the walking track on the upper deck of the ship. Most days we were doing about 10,000 steps each day!
If you want to keep up your exercise program when you cruise in floating luxury, the ships have a well outfitted gym. There are also organized classes you could take (some for a nominal fee).
Most swimming pools won’t give you a really good run for laps but you could do some aqua-aerobics! If you need to relax after a workout, there is always the hot tub or just lying around the pool soaking up the sun!
And if your health and fitness regime includes spa services, you can usually get a broad range of services on board when you cruise in floating luxury – from simple beauty treatments, to full body services and a range of massages. You can arrive in a new port relaxed and refreshed! The Canyon Ranch spas onboard Oceania ships offer an excellent set of treats for at sea days or if you are opting out of an excursion day.
Entertainment Onboard a Cruise
I will start by saying we are generally early to bed, especially when we are out all day on excursions. Night entertainment is not usually high on our “needs” list. If you travel on the bigger ships, you will generally get a broader selection and usually a higher calibre of entertainment. Travelling with Oceania provides some good night entertainment from the special guests. The other staff entertainers often vary in quality. You can typically find music in many venues and on our ship you can have DJ music to dance into the wee hours if you are up.
Sometimes you get an amazing surprise. The Pudra String Quartet we saw onboard one cruise forever dispelled our view that string music was for my mother!
Most ships offer a casino that is available once you are at sea. You can play the tables or a selection of slot machines. If you don’t know how to play, wait for one of the seminars or tournaments to pick up a new way to burn through money!
There are a wide variety of seminars on board. You can learn a new skill (magic lessons, bridge, photography, cooking, wine and cognac tasting). Or get deep background information on the ports you are visiting. One of our favourites was the cooking demonstrations. The executive chef Mario was part entertainer, part drill master but mostly a culinary expert. Not only did we get an entertaining show but we learned a few great cooking tips!
If shopping is entertainment for you, the onboard stores offer some shopping selection and there are typically special displays and discounts throughout the cruise. There are also shopping seminars to help prepare you for shopping on port days. The shopping expert will help you to understand which products are best in a particular port and where may be better places to shop. Don’t forget to pick up your VIP cards if you plan any major purchase.
Enjoy Your Cruise in Floating Luxury
Cruise ships offer you a great selection of ports and excursions. Don’t miss out on the ones you really want to see, but also take some time to enjoy your great floating resort!
Did I miss any of the big things you should do on board when you cruise in floating luxury? What is your favourite activity?