Our cruise has finally come to an end after 28 great days! We thought we would share with you some of the things we do while on board the ship when we are not at a port. We enjoy sea days although port days are usually more interesting. You always need a few sea days in between port days to recharge you batteries and review your plans on what you are going to do at the next port.
In order to enjoy the great food on the ship we always get plenty of exercise. We will either spend at least an hour at the gym or find some sport to do on the ship. This cruise we have found a group of people who enjoy playing paddle tennis. This is a game somewhere between tennis and paddle ball that is played on a very small tennis court with wooden paddles. In order to play it on a cruise ship the entire court has a net around it to prevent balls from flying into the ocean! We have played paddle tennis on several other Princess ships and were happy to find that this ship also had a court we could use. During one of the first days they announced paddle tennis play in the “Patter” (ship newspaper); several people came up to play. The ship staff organized a tournament and we were able to beat everyone to win a big prize (a magnetic wall clip!). Since this first day the group has grown and sometimes we have 10 or 12 people wanting to play. We had been playing in the mornings with another couple to avoid some of the crowds that sometimes show up in the afternoon. This has been great exercise and we haven’t been going to the gym much because we have been playing 3-4 hours a day on the paddle tennis court. We also did not gain a pound between us while cruising and eating for 28 days!
Other activity options available throughout the day while on board the ship are: reading magazines or a good book; gym classes (Zumba, Boot Camp, Spinning, Yoga, Morning Stretch, etc.); view lecturers that come on board to speak on specific topics (nature, highlights of our port stops, ship bridge talk, etc.); participate in arts and crafts activities; play the trivia challenges; gamble in the casino tournaments (Texas Hold’Em, slot machines, Roulette, Craps or blackjack); participate in organized sports tournaments (golf putting, basketball, volleyball, table tennis, paddle tennis, shuffleboard, etc.); play games with other passengers (bridge/mahjong, Sudoku challenge, board games): take one of the seminars (digital camera, iPods, IPhones, future cruise itineraries, health, etc.); participate in a musical class (ukulele lessons were provided on this cruise in addition to singing contests); watch an array of demonstrations (that include specific food cooking, ice carving, art of making alcoholic beverages); participate in organized games (such as belly flop contest, best looking legs, pool Olympics, etc.). These options change daily and there are too many things to list. Each cruise has unique offering such as Easter egg decorating and egg drop contests as well as a Murder Mystery plot on this cruise.
In the evenings there are always various entertainment opportunities. There are usually two shows going on with different entertainers in addition to a movie being played outside on the big screen by the swimming pool (called “Movies Under the Stars”). We had seen several movies while on board and almost always at least see one of the entertainers each night. The entertainers vary from comedians, jugglers, ventriloquists, instrumentalists, vocalists, magicians, to the ship’s onboard production singers and dancers. We like the Princess production singers and dancers as they put on very nice Broadway type shows. They always have at least 3 unique shows and sometimes on longer cruises like this they have one or two more new shows. A few outside entertainers come on board where the cruise originates and they depart at the next arrival port where other new entertainers come onboard. This is done throughout the cruise for a good variety of different entertainers. Some of these entertainers perform multiple shows with different content on different nights. There is one large theater on board that holds several hundred people and one large lounge where shows are presented which can hold a couple hundred people. Each entertainer has two or three shows each night. Entertainment is included with the cost of your cruise fare and is always very good.
If the entertainers or movies don’t interest you during an evening there are also different dance music options available at the various lounges around the ship. The music varies from ballroom dancing to country western to discothèque DJ music. Almost every ship, including this one, has a piano bar where you can sing along with the piano player.
There are always some many good options we are almost never left with nothing to do. On those rare occasions where nothing scheduled interests us, we bring along a backgammon set that we can play while having a drink or sipping some coffee. Guess what? We didn’t play backgammon once this cruise!
Cruising is fun and there is always something you can find to do when you are on a ship.
Greg and Sharon Conrad