If you’ve never taken a holiday on the ocean, there’s never been a better time to start. Many popular cruise lines are offering considerable discounts in 2021, which means you have more money to spend both preparing for your trip and during it. Cruise ship holidays are like no other traditional vacation, and are filled with things to do – if you aren’t happy just sunbathing on deck, that is!

We’ve rounded up several ways you could spend your extra capital – as well as some free options – in this list of “How to Take Your Cruise Ship Holiday to the Next Level”.

1. Upgrade Your Cabin

This is a great option for those who are already cruise ship veterans, but have only ever booked a cheap cabin on the bottom deck in prior years. Even if this is your first time on a sailing holiday, its worth considering an upgrade to a more spacious cabin.

The smaller options can sometimes be cramped, with many lacking windows, too. The best options, on the other hand, often feature a mezzanine-style layout, with several rooms for you and your family – or just your partner – to enjoy throughout your trip.

Many of the larger cruise lines offer VIP benefits to those who book suites, or even the lower categories of balcony cabin. If your cruise offers a “Guarantee Cabin”, this means you can be sure of a great lounge chair, meaning you won’t have to get up early to be sure of spending your day by the pool.

2. Visit The Casino

Fancy a few spins at the roulette table, or even playing some Baccarat or Blackjack against a live dealer? You’re in luck, as almost every cruise ship has a fully-featured casino on-board with slots, table games, video poker, and specialty tables. 

Whilst it’s true you may not get the same odds as you would back home, and especially on-line, few players seem to be worrying about this when wandering the halls of cruise ship casinos. It’s all about having fun, after all!

3. Explore the Ports

Your ship will dock several times during most journeys, and cruise lines always do their best to ensure that patrons have time to visit exciting locations during their time off-ship. This is a great way to spend a little time exploring some of the world’s greatest cities, but you don’t just have to go shopping!

Many port cities feature world-class restaurants, the chance to swim with Dolphins and other marine life, and if the boat is going to be docked for a few days, you have no excuse not to go exploring – just be sure to make it back to port in plenty of time!

4. Enjoy a Luxury Meal

Ever wondered what a Michelin-star meal would be like? Wonder no more, and seek out a ship with an upscale restaurant featuring a Michelin-starred chef! If you are looking for a more intimate experience, room service to your cabin – or better yet, your balcony, if you upgraded your cabin – could be one of the most memorable and romantic meals you can remember.

If you give the cruise line advance notice, they are usually willing to accommodate any special requests their guests may have. This could be the perfect way to surprise your partner with their favorite meal during your trip.

5. Go Shopping at the On-Board Mall

Sometimes it’s worth splashing out on a special piece of jewelry or designer handbag or outfit, and during a cruise ship holiday sounds like one such ideal time to me! Whether you are treating yourself or someone you love, cast aside the worries about money one day and go check out the many shops and amenities on board your ship.

Maybe you would like a manicure, sauna, or massage, rather than physical goods? You’ll have no trouble finding all of these things on any of the large cruise lines. Designer stores are something of a specialty in the cruise ship world too, and you might be surprised at just how wide the selection can be.

6. Do Something Unexpected!

As our final tip, we recommend trying as many new experiences as you can during your cruise ship holiday. Look out for opportunities to try activities such as surfing, fishing, or kayaking during your stay in the port towns, whilst the more adventurous may gravitate towards activities such as rock-climbing or zip-lining. It’s impossible to say what opportunities might be available, but talk to the staff onboard who will always have plenty of suggestions for what you can do during your next layover.

We hope this has given you a few ideas for your next cruise ship holiday – take it to the next level!