Ways to relax on a cruise vacation

Ways to Relax on a Cruise (Unwind and destress)

There are so many articles talking about the fun amenities and activities on a cruise ship.  And they are right! Cruise ships are designed to keep you entertained, but they have also done a great job including quieter places to relax.

Activities and fun are great but sometimes on a vacation you want time to relax and unwind a bit.

Ways to relax on a cruise.  If you are wondering if cruises are relaxing then this post is for you.  If you are planning a cruise and want to relax and unwind on your vacation check out these ways to make your cruise more relaxing.

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This leads to the question…

Are cruises relaxing?

One of the great things about a cruise is that you can make your cruise vacation as busy and active or as calm and relaxing as you like.  For me, the best cruise vacation combines both.

If you are looking for a more relaxing cruise, then check out these tips.

Ways to Make a Cruise More Relaxing

Book a balcony or a suite

Having your own quiet outdoor space away from the crowds is one of the best ways to relax on a cruise.

Imagine lounging on your balcony sipping a cold beverage and reading a good book.  The sun, the sound of the waves, the breeze, aaahhh.  Sounds pretty perfect to me.

Carnival Vista Havana Cabana outdoor area
Havana cabana on Carnival Vista

Breakfast on your balcony

Start your morning off with breakfast delivered to your stateroom that you can enjoy on your balcony (if you splurged for one).  Most cruise lines offer complimentary continental room service breakfast.

Stay on the ship in port

If you are wanting to explore the ship with a lot less people onboard, consider staying on the ship while most of the other passengers are off in port.

Another bonus to staying on the ship instead of going to shore is that the spa often offers port day specials for spa treatments.

Plan shore excursions ahead of time

For the ports that you do go ashore, plan you shore excursions or activities ahead of time before your cruise. 

Having them organized before sailing will save you from trying to decide what and how to book while you are on
vacation.  It will make your cruise more relaxing and less stressful.

A bonus to booking shore excursions ahead of time is that some cruise lines will offer sales or discounts for booking early.

Royal Naval Dockyard Bermuda

Cruise ship spa facilities

One of the best ways to relax on a cruise ship is to enjoy the spa facilities.  The spa facilities and amenities vary cruise ship to cruise ship. 

Look for a cruise ship that offers great amenities other than just the standard treatments like massage, pedicures, etc.

There is an extra cost to use the spa facilities but if relaxation is what you are after then the cost might be worth it to you.

If you plan to frequent the spa often, then look to see if your cruise ship offers spa staterooms.  Carnival Cruise Line has several spa stateroom categories (interior, balcony, suite).  Booking a Carnival spa stateroom gives you added perks including unlimited use of the thermal suites and hydrotherapy pool, discounted spa treatments, and the use of bathrobes and slippers.  Definitely something to consider.

Tiled lounger in the relaxation area of a the Carnival Vista spa
Tiled lounger in the Carnival Vista spa

Aromatherapy Shower Steamers

These are a great way to add a spa feel to your stateroom, especially if you can’t afford to visit the spa.  Add a box of these highly rated shower steamers to your cruise packing list.

Cleverfy Shower Steamers Aromatherapy - Variety Pack of 6 Shower Bombs with Essential Oils. Self Care Christmas Gifts for Women and Stocking Stuffers for Adults and Teens. Purple Set

Ways to relax on a cruise

For those times on a cruise that you want to escape the crowds and relax with a good book or your thoughts, seek out some of the quieter areas on the cruise ship.

Other popular cruise posts:

Ways to relax on a cruise ship

Some of the quieter areas on a cruise ship

Adult only pool area

Many cruise lines have an adult only pool area.  Carnival calls theirs the Serenity Deck.  Royal Caribbean calls theirs the Solarium. 

These areas are quieter than the main pool area and usually feature upgraded comfy loungers.

Clam shell day beds on the Carnival Serenity deck

 Aft pool

If your ship doesn’t have an adult only pool area or if you are looking for a change of scenery, try the pool aft on the ship (at the back of the ship).  Many cruise ships have a main mid ship pool that is a lively fun area as well as a quieter, smaller pool near the back of the ship.


Most cruise ships still have a library, although it is more often used as a sitting room or a card/board game room.  This room is often not very busy and is usually on the quieter side.  A great place to escape with a book.

Promenade deck

The promenade deck on a cruise ship is the deck that you can walk around the ship outside.  It’s a great place to walk around enjoying the ocean air.  That in itself is relaxing.

Often you can find lounge chairs scattered around making for another quieter place to relax on your cruise vacation.

Relaxing on an outside cruise ship deck

Explore the ship

It’s your cruise, it’s your vacation.  Relax, unwind, have fun, try something new.  Happy cruising.