It Isn’t a Cruise Until You’ve Done These 10 Things

Going on a cruise is about enjoying yourself to the hilt while you’re cruising and bringing home memories that will last a lifetime. Visiting exotic new destinations is a big part of the excitement, but there are practically endless enticing things to do on board a cruise ship, too — all conveniently located in the same marvelous floating space. Here are ten things that you must do on a cruise.

1. Frolic Outdoors in New Parts of the World

Adventuring in new locales is a classic cruising activity. Are you going on a cruise to the Caribbean? Take an offshore excursion to snorkel the great natural reefs, zip line through rain forests, or give parasailing a spin.

Heading for Hawaii? Feast at a traditional luau, or unwind at the world-famous Waikiki Beach, where you can rent a surfboard, standup paddleboard, or boogie board and act like a surfing pro.

aerial view of the waimea canyon on kauai hawaii

2. Interact With Cool Animals and Fish, or Just Watch

Getting to know nature up-close is another fun thing to do on a cruise. Traveling northward to Alaska? Stop off at Icy Strait Point, an unspoiled wilderness with some of the best bear and whale watching to be found in the state. Cruising to a tropical climate?

Swim with the rays in Grand Turk, make friends with dolphins off Kona, Hawaii, or go horseback riding along the magnificent shoreline of Half Moon Cay in The Bahamas.

whale jumping out of the water off the shore of alaska

3. Explore Historic Cities at Ports of Call

Experiencing history and culture adds a different dimension to your vacation, so it’s another classic cruise activity. Are you on your way to Mexico? Take a shore excursion to the Mayan ruins in the ancient city of Tulum, which sits above a 40-foot sheer cliff with unforgettable views of the blue sea below.

On a cruise to Antigua, embark on a walking tour of St. John’s and the surrounding harbor. First colonized by the British back in 1632, this quaint area still celebrates high tea at 4 p.m. each day.

ancient mayan pyramid in costa maya mexico

4. Gaze at a Sunset

When you’re back on board the cruise ship, it’s time to re-gear. You’ve probably been snapping photos during your shore excursions, but you might want to take out your smartphone again to capture some digital memories of a glorious sunset.

You can get great shots of the end-of-day horizon from several vantage points, including the open deck and the promenade. If your stateroom has a private deck, settle down in a deck chair and wonder at the colorful kaleidoscopic skyline. That’s one of the most relaxing things to do on a cruise.

couple admiring the sunset onboard a carnival cruise ship

5. Jump Into the Onboard Pool

Cavorting in the swimming pool is another thing that you must do on a cruise. Bring your whole family with you. Nearly all Carnival cruise ships feature WaterWorks, and the newest updated vessels also offer super aquatic fun through state-of-the art innovations, like side-by-side racing waterslides and dive-in movies. Refresh yourself and lounge about at a poolside bar or eatery.

children are getting soaked by a large bucket of water in carnival’s waterworks

6. Play Your Favorite Sport, or Try a New One

Participating in sports is another classic cruising activity. Basketball courts, jogging tracks, and mini-golf courses are on board most Carnival cruise ships. On many ships, you’ll also find tables for ping pong, foosball, and billiards, plus gym equipment for keeping in shape.

Some ships offer ropes courses, too. Another distinctive thing to do, SkyRide lets you zip safely around a two-lane suspended track high above the sea in a pedal-powered, bicycle-like go-mobile.

man cycling high above the sea on carnival’s skyride

7. Luxuriate at the Spa

When you’re getting ready for onboard nightlife, visiting the spa is a must-do on a cruise. Spas on most Carnival cruise ships provide luxurious treatments like hot stone massages and body wraps along with hot tubs, steam rooms, saunas, and full-service hair and beauty salons.

On some cruise ships, you’ll also find thalassotherapy pools, filled with nutrient-rich vitamins so you’ll feel renewed from head to toe.

thalassotherapy pool on board a carnival cruise ship

8. Dine Abundantly

Staying out of the kitchen while on vacation is also a must-do on a cruise. Whether you’re donning jeans or dressed to the nines, Carnival’s Dining Room provides delicious three-course meals from a rotating menu featuring fresh seafood, prime rib and an abundance of other options.

Most cruise ships are outfitted with onboard steakhouses and with specialty eateries like Guy’s Burger Joint, Guy’s Pig & Anchor Smokehouse | Brewhouse, Italian restaurants, pasta bars, pizzerias, sushi spots, and a whole lot more.

delicious steak from chef’s table

9. Let Us Entertain You

At Carnival, where fun is the top priority, great entertainment is a classic cruise activity. After dinner, enjoy yourself at one of Carnival’s well-known spectacular stage shows. Join in on Hasbro©, The Game Show, where you can compete for prizes by playing giant versions of board games onstage.

If movies are more your thing, Carnival’s latest cruise ships have IMAX theaters, too. Also, take some time to stroll over to the onboard casino. You never know when you’ll win big and take home a boatload of cash.

group of friends playing on the roulette table onboard carnival’s casino

10. Shop for the Unusual

What? Your cruise ship has reached another port of call and you haven’t gone shopping yet? Hunting for unusual souvenirs and gifts is another must-do on a cruise. Going on a cruise to Costa Rica?

Take a shore excursion to a Costa Rican coffee farm, sample the brew, and end the day at Sarchi, a famous artisan town where you can browse through hand-painted oxcarts and other beautiful handmade crafts. Is your destination The Bahamas?

Take the Garden of the Groves Sightseeing and Shopping Tour, which will bring you to the Port Lucaya Marketplace. And before you relax on the soothing sandy beaches of St. Maarten, browse the quaint, European-style boutiques on the island’s French side, St. Martin.

women looking at handmade souvenirs at one of the caribbean ports

Going on a cruise is your opportunity to leave your everyday routine behind and discover new adventures and experiences that the world has to offer. Make these ten must-dos part of your bucket list, and you’ll bring home memories to keep you happy way beyond your final port of call.