7 Things You Didn’t Expect To Find On A Cruise Ship

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Preconceptions.  Everybody’s got them.  Even if you try to keep an open mind and like to be surprised.  Try these cruise ship surprises on for size and see what you reckon…

A sense of adventure

If you think cruising is a little, well, *tame*, then think again.  You can bring your sense of adventure via your destination, whether it be Antarctica, the Mekong river, the Norwegian coastline or the Galapagos Islands, Iceland or a trip up the Amazon.  Itineraries are getting much more adventurous, and there ‘s plenty of scope to get your adrenaline on.


Two of my business colleagues have been on a tall ship cruise and just loved it.  Imagine working the sails with the crew, lying in the nets at sundown, and even climbing to the Crow’s Nest (perhaps that’s not one for me…).  Think of those tiny ports off the beaten tracks that these ships visit, and hear the theme from Robinson Crusoe all over again.

An education

From the inner workings of MI6 to the intricacies of chocolate production, it’s surprising what I’ve learned on board.  There’s even an opportunity for students to take a semester at sea.  No danger in wanting to play hooky on that one.

A love of art

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From actual artist’s studios at sea all ready for your participation to a vibrant collection of art on board, you’d be surprised at the feast for the eyes to be found, and one that can rival the scenery.  I’ve even watched glass blown on the top deck of a ship, and seen museum exhibits in a fascinating display.

The Mouse and his mates

If you bring your children, you’d be surprised at the range of characters prowling a ship.  From Dreamworks to Disney and even Noddy, they’re all doing the rounds to entertain you.

Healthy Living

It’s not all about the gourmet indulgences….well, it can be.  But you could actually leave lighter and fitter than you embarked.  I still maintain that I spent the best 147 calories ever on an arugula and almond salad with raspberry dressing.  The spa cuisine onboard is magnificent, the gym facilities are superb, and there are all kinds of free activities to get your adrenaline flowing and your calories burning.

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Time on your own

I have not yet failed to find solitude on a ship.  Whether it’s an undiscovered lounge, a stray chair on a deserted deck, or a little corner of the library, there’s always a little quiet place with your name on it.

What’s surprised you at sea?


2 thoughts on “7 Things You Didn’t Expect To Find On A Cruise Ship

  1. Have never been on a cruise proper…went to Alaska on the Alaska Ferry, which is the size of a small crusie liner. Pretty lax. Slept on deck, with my back against the warm engine vent. I’ve always thought of it as confining, but you seem to know much more about traveling than I…maybe take a cruise on that waterway on the top of your page – SEARCH AND DESTROY !
    Sure you’ll be there to cheer me on.

  2. The “Search and Destroy” appeared one night on the main canal in Ghent. I asked around, but no one saw it being set up. Ghent’s the kind of place where that sort of stuff just happens. You’ve reminded me that I have another quirky picture taken nearby. It’s a series of shop dummies painted up to say – I think – “shine on you crazy diamond”. If I can find it, I’ll post it. Must be some frustrated lyricists in Ghent…

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