Birthday cruise - 10 ways to make it extra special

Birthday Cruise – 12 Best Ways to Make it Extra Special

Want an epic birthday celebration? A birthday cruise is a great way to celebrate your special day.

A birthday, especially a milestone birthday is a great excuse to plan a cruise vacation. Whether you are cruising with your partner, immediate family, extended family, or closest friends, here are 10 tips and ideas to make your birthday cruise extra special.

Birthday Cruise - 10 ways to make it extra special.  Image is a cruise ship at the top and a cupcake with candle at the bottom

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Birthday Cruise – 12 Best Ways to Make it Extra Special

Let the cruise line know

Advise the cruise line ahead of time that you or a travel partner is celebrating a birthday on the cruise ship. Often they will acknowledge it at dinner in the main dining room by a special dessert and/or singing happy birthday.

Order a cruise birthday package

Each cruise line offers something a little different. Check out their website, under in-room gifts or something similar. Most packages include cabin decorations along with a cake and/or souvenir.

These packages can be on the pricey side, but are a fun way to celebrate a special occasion, especially if it is a surprise for someone else.

Decorate yourself

An alternative to the pricier cruise birthday packages, you can bring your own decorations.

This is what I did for my daughter’s 18th birthday cruise. I bought decorations from the dollar store and some magnetic hooks.

The walls and ceiling are magnetic, so magnetic hooks are the best way to hang decorations. I waited until she was out of the cabin so that when she returned the decorations were a surprise.

Cruise ship cabin with birthday decorations

We then just bought a cake from Carnival. It was inexpensive ($10) and so good. It was waiting in our cabin when we arrived.

Birthday cruise door decorations

Magnets are the perfect way to decorate your cruise cabin door as they are magnetic. This applies to most cruise lines, but not Norwegian. NCL has banned stateroom door decorations. Door decorations are popular on Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line, and Royal Caribbean Cruises.

A decorated door will put a smile on the face of anyone passing by.

Here are a couple great birthday cruise door decoration options that can be personalized. Check out these cute stateroom door magnets.

Birthday cruise magnets that are personalized are a great way to make a birthday cruise extra special
Personalized birthday cruise door decorations – Photo by CruiseDesignsBB

Decorate your stateroom door with a birthday cruise magnet
Birthday cruise door decorations – Photo by CruiseDesignsBB

A small magnetic whiteboard is another fun cruise door decoration. Since you aren’t having an actual birthday party, this is a fun way for fellow passengers to wish you a wonderful day.

On our cruise last year, our neighbor had a magnetic whiteboard on their cabin door. It was fun to see messages left by the other guests.

Small magnetic white board on the outside of a cruise room door

This is a great options because it won’t take up much space in your suitcase. Don’t forget to pack the markers.

Upgrade your stateroom

Splurge and book a stateroom you wouldn’t normally book, such as a balcony, suite, or specialty cabin. Some cruise lines have specialty staterooms like spa cabins or exclusive area rooms (ex/ Carnival’s Havana staterooms or NCL’s Haven staterooms).

Breakfast on your balcony is a great way to start off your day.

Birthday dinner at a specialty restaurant

If you don’t care to be sung to in the main dining room on your birthday, consider having your birthday dinner at an alternative restaurant.

Many cruise ship specialty restaurants have an additional charge, but it is your birthday after all.

If you are sailing on a Royal Caribbean ship with Jamie’s Italian (restaurant by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver), you won’t be disappointed eating here.

Get pampered at the spa

Treat yourself or your loved one to one of the several luxurious spa treatments offered in the ship’s spa. Some ships also have spa passes where you can enjoy thermal loungers, saunas, steam rooms and more. The spa facilities vary greatly cruise line to cruise line and even ship to ship.

Many ships offer discounts on spa treatments on port days. Keep your eye out for these.

Birthday cruise - 10 ways to make it extra special.  Image is a birthday cupcake

Order birthday cruise shirts

Fun night out

Cruise ships have some amazing evening entertainment options to ensure you have a great time. Take in a Broadway style show, tear up the dance floor, try your luck in the casino, or do it all.

Choose a great shore excursion

Book yourself the shore excursion you have always wanted to do. If you are planning a cruise for someone else’s birthday, let them choose one of the shore excursions.

Birthday cruise coupons

Birthday cruise coupon book


Even better than celebrating your own birthday on a cruise with family or a close friend is to surprise your loved one with a cruise for their birthday. Who wouldn’t love that? Do all of these things but for someone else. This would be a gift they would never forget. The best part – you get to invite yourself.

Printable cruise planner and journal

A cruise is such a great choice for any vacation. Whether it is the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, or Europe, you see several destinations without having to pack and unpack. There is no cooking, cleaning, meal planning, or grocery shopping. The crew members are amazing, they have a way of making you feel so special. This is in addition to the delicious food and drinks, amazing entertainment, and fun activities. No matter what the occasion is you are sure to have a great time.

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