What to do on a Cruise Ship

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What to do on a Cruise Ship – have a cruise planned?  Wondering how to fill your time and make sure you don’t get bored?  Here are lots of great ideas to keep you busy and having fun!

This post is sponsored by Princess Cruises. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

I have always been a fan of cruises. We went on our first cruise for our honeymoon and immediately fell in love. We have been on many since, and recently I went on an Alaska cruise with Princess Cruises. I do love having lots of stops and keeping busy on a cruise.  But you don’t need a stop every day and lots of shore excursions booked to have a good time.

When I was talking to friends about a cruise their first reaction was “won’t you be bored on the sea days”. “What do you do when you aren’t in port.”  Well today I am going to give you some of my favorite things to do on board a cruise ship. Because there are activities for all ages, and you will not get bored!

What to do on a Cruise Ship - have a cruise planned?  Wondering how to fill your time and make sure you don't get bored?  Here are lots of great ideas to keep you busy and having fun!


First let’s start by saying that on a Princess cruise you get something called the Princess Patter that is delivered to your room every day.  In this you can find all sorts of information for the next port you are stopping at, the weather, hours for all the dining options as well as a schedule of all the events that day on the ship.

There is a little bit of everything available; crafting projects, meet-ups, movies, games, trivia and more.  Seriously they have things starting about every 10 minutes all day long. When you get back from dinner you will have the Princess Patter outside your door for the next day. So you can read through it and plan your day.  So let’s get to it!  Here are a few of my favorite things to do on a cruise ship.

A blue pool of water

Pools/Hot Tubs

When people think of cruises they always think of pools and sitting on the deck drinking cocktails.  That is definitely an option, but not the only option. On Princess ships they have the main pool that has hot tubs right near by. They also have an indoor pool and hot tub area if you want to stay out of the sun or it is chilly out.

Wine Tasting

Depending on the length of your cruise, they will often offer a wine tasting one afternoon.  We went and learned a lot about different wines and how to taste them. They featured 6 different wines along with food/snack pairings. We came away with an information sheet on all of the wines, so if we found one we really liked, we could know how to purchase it once back home.

A bottle of wine on a table


Cruising is known for their entertainment. Each night they have  a show in the main theater. It ranges from a full production show to a comedian and more. The cast does an amazing job of putting on a production show, it exceeds my expectations every time.  Getting dinner and a show is kind of a like a dream date night, and you get that every day of the cruise!

A person sitting at a table playing bingo


There are lots of opportunities to play Bingo on the ship. They have different options for how to purchase game cards and how many. And you play for real money! I think the jackpot depends on how many people play, but one game we played the jackpot was about $1800. So you can win real substantial money. Plus Bingo is just fun, I haven’t played it since elementary school.


Do you like gambling?  Slot machines, roulette, blackjack, craps?  You can play it all on the ship!  I am partial to video poker and there were more than enough machines available. The dealers are knowledgeable and more than willing to teach you how to play a certain game if you don’t know how.

margarita at a table with a board game


In the library on the ship they have a whole wall of games you can play. Scrabble, connect 4, rumikub, decks of cards and more. You can sit at a table in the library to play, or take the game to a bar or other open are to play. It is a great way to meet new people or just play with your friends and family. The ship we were on also had an Escape Room you could sign up for!  We may have managed to set the cruise record for time! It was small, but a really fun experience. When you are exploring the ship you can also find an area that has shuffle board, ping pong tables, basketball and more.  So many different games you can play.

Spa/The Sanctuary

If you want to get pampered this is the place to be!  You can book just about any spa or salon service that you can think of. The hot stone massage was heavenly and the most relaxing thing I have done in a long time. The Sanctuary is an area you can reserve the most comfortable deck chairs ever. It is pretty private and a great place to relax and feel like royalty.

view from cruise ship balcony


I love playing trivia. I may not be great at it, but it is fun to do with a group.  The times and locations will be on the Princess Patter each day, so you can go to a different bar or lounge and play. Just grab an answer sheet and pencil from the staff and have a seat. You can play with another group and up your chance of winning a prize. The trivia is usually about 20 general knowledge questions that is just fun to play.


Everyday usually in the afternoon and sometimes in the evening you can watch a movie on the pool deck.  There is a very large screen that they play a relatively new movie.  They bring out comfy blankets for you and pop popcorn. Can’t get a much better movie experience in the middle of the ocean!

A person in a pool of water

Bars/Dancing/Live Music

Do you like dancing, listening to music or just hanging out with friends.  There are plenty of fun bars on board for you to hang out in.  The Explorer’s Lounge has a stage and often times has live music with a dance floor for dancing.  It is a great place to go if you want late night fun.  There are lots of other lounges that have music in the background, plenty of seating and are a great place to just hang out and chat. There is even a piano bar where they have talented musicians play during the cruise.


Did you know that you can shop on a cruise ship?  You can buy jewelry, perfume, clothing, souvenirs and more! Princess ships have multiple shops on board where you can purchase some basics that you may have forgotten at home or treat your self to a little something special. You can even buy cameras, go pros and other small electronics.

a melon carved like a swan


Have you ever wondered how they carve melons and other food into animals and other shapes?  Or maybe how to make one of the many martini’s you see on the drink menu?  Check the Princess Patter because throughout the trip you will see different demos that you can attend.  The food carving demo was amazing. What people can do with fruit is incredible.

A pizza sitting on top of a plate of food on a table a glass of wine


I am pretty sure that everyone who goes on a cruise knows about the food, and that is part of the reason they picked a cruise.  Well make sure you branch out and try different things!  On sea days they opened different pop-up restaurants for lunch. One day they had an English Pub lunch were you could get fish n’ chips, bangers and mash and more. Another day they opened Alfredo’s pizza. They served gourmet personal pizzas that were delicious. Don’t just stick to the buffet or the main dining room, explore and see what you can find.  The specialty restaurants on Princess are over the top amazing and definitely worth it.  Look into the Champagne Breakfast for when you are sailing through Glacier Bay. Eat breakfast on your balcony while enjoying the scenery.


A plate of food and glasses of wine on a table, with Ship and Dinner

So if you are worried about being bored on a cruise, think again!  These are only of the few things to do on a cruise ship. It is one of the best vacations you will take, so if you are on the fence about booking, change that!

Learn more about our Alaska Cruise by checking out the other posts I shared

Chocolate Milkshakes

Mini Pavlovas

Shrimp and Grits

What to Pack

Long Island Iced Tea


** This post is sponsored by Princess Cruises. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.




About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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  1. it’s been a few years since we went on our cruise, and I’m dying to go back. Looks like you had lots of fun!

  2. There are sooooo many fun things to do on the ship. I want to try to see some of the demos! That sounds fun.