On the one hand, cruises are all about adventure. They’re about imprinting new, incredible sights onto your memory and experiencing fresh new flavors you never imagined existed. On the other hand, there’s only so much adventure and excitement our bodies and minds can handle.
We all need a moment or two to ourselves from time to time to relax, unwind and think. The question is, how can one do this on a ship full of people? Here are a few cruise tips for doing so:
Eat away from the others
Breakfast, lunch, dinner: They’re all good times to go and connect with other passengers. However, if you’re desperately in need of some alone time, you may not want to go and hobnob for a half hour or so.
You might consider eating a little later than everyone else, and avoiding the rush. Depending on the size of the ship and number of passengers, you may be able to snag a table for just you and your friends or family – or, if you prefer, just yourself.
Alternatively, if you don’t mind spending a little extra, you could go ashore and check out the local eateries. Of course, make sure you know when your ship will be shoving off – you don’t want to get left behind or, worse, have to rush your meal.
Finally, you could try giving yourself the luxury treatment and eating back in your bed in the cabin. Not only will it feel cozy, but you’re also all but guaranteed not to have to deal with anyone else.
Don’t skimp on the accommodation
Speaking of the room, it’s possible to book one so nice that you won’t ever want to set foot outside of it. While the other passengers might use their smaller, bare-bones cabins simply as sleeping quarters, if you book a spacious, luxury room, perhaps with a balcony, your room will be a perfect getaway space from the daily hustle and bustle of the cruise ship.
Of course, this will be pricier, so you’ll have to weigh how important peace and quiet is to you against how much you’re willing to spend. For some, it might be an easy choice, but for others, between the cost of the tickets, daily spending and travel insurance, it might be something to put off for another time.
Make use of children’s programs
This is a must-do if you’re traveling with your family. Adventuring and socializing can be exhausting enough without having kids or grandkids to keep an eye on as well, lest they get lost or set off the fire alarm – or both.
Fortunately, just about any cruise line will have children’s programs that let you drop the young ‘uns off and keep them occupied for an hour or two while you enjoy some well-deserved R and R. This time can be used for anything you want – taking a dip in the pool, chatting with a new (or old) companion or even re-reading “Pride and Prejudice” for the 17th time.
For those willing to pay a little more, some cruise lines even offer babysitting services.
Tailor your cruise to your personality
We all have different methods for decompressing. Some people like to come home and veg out on the couch in front of the TV, while others like to keep active even after a day full of rushing around. Depending on where you sit, book the cruise that works best for how your brain functions.
For example, if you get your relaxation by exploring, go with a cruise line that focuses more on days in port than on sea. Then, when you go ashore, avoid the tour guides and other services that all the other passengers are using, and strike out on your own. Conversely, if you’d rather just lie down and relax, it might be best to book a cruise with lots of sea days.