What to do on a cruise when it rains - 41 ways to still have fun

Rainy Days on a Cruise: 41 Best Ways to Still Have Fun

When you think of cruising you probably think of enjoying the sunny days lounging by the pool with a cold drink in your hand. While we all hope for good weather, unfortunately as with any vacation, rain is a possibility. Wondering now what to do on a cruise when it rains?

Don’t let the rain get you down, there are still plenty of activities and amenities to keep you entertained indoors on a cruise ship. Here are 41 fun things to do on a cruise when it is raining.

Amenities and activities offered vary from cruise line to cruise line and even ship to ship, so before booking a cruise vacation, be sure to research your cruise ship carefully. This however, will give you a good idea of what to do on a cruise when it rains.

What to do on a cruise when it rains? 41 fun ideas. Image is the Royal Caribbean solarium

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What to do on a cruise when it rains? 41 Fun Ideas

1. Enjoy live music

There is a good chance there will be live music playing in more than one cruise ship venue. Take this time to enjoy their talents.

2. Trivia

Test your knowledge in one of the trivia contests and see if you can earn yourself a cruise prize. The cruise director’s staff host themed trivia sessions at different times during the day.

3. Search for cruise ducks

Cruise ducks have become so popular. If you aren’t familiar with this trend, people bring rubber ducks that often have a tag attached to hide around the ship (not in pools or shops though). It varies but the tag often says “oh what luck you found a duck, keep or hide, you decide”, it then states where the people are from that hid the duck, and the original sailing.

Take a stroll around the ship and see if you can find any. It’s a great way to get some extra steps into your day.

On our last Royal Caribbean cruise we found 4 ducks hid by others plus hid 5 ourselves. We noticed that even the staff were excited when they found a duck too.

Cruise ducks, search for cruise ducks on a rainy cruise day

4. Watch a movie

Sometimes a movie will be shown in one of the ship’s lounges, other cruise ships have movie theaters. Some ships, such as Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista have an Imax Movie Theatre. The Imax theatre does have an extra charge.

A more relaxing option is order room service and watch a movie in your stateroom.

5. Unwind in the spa relaxation areas

The spa facilities vary cruise ship to cruise ship, but many have thermal suites, steam rooms, saunas, and hydrotherapy pools. Access to these areas do have an additional cost (unless you are in a spa stateroom) and the day (if offered) and weekly passes often sell out.

If your ship offers these areas and rain is forecasted, I would suggest purchasing your pass ahead of time online. Check the weather forecast before your sailing. Sea days and rainy cruise days are when the spa facilities are busiest.

If you are cruising on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas, they have a sauna and steam room that can be used without any additional cost. You can read more about it in 29 Mariner of the Seas Tips.

6. Games (hosted by the cruise staff)

On rainy days the cruise director often organizes additional indoor activities and games. These vary greatly, but we’ve seen things like charades, a paper airplane competition, large board games, ladder ball, and more.

Your daily cruise schedule (paper and app) will give the details, location, and times.

7. Cruise ship scavenger hunt

The cruise line may have this as an organized event or your could create your own scavenger hunt game. If you have to create something on your own. An easy cruise ship scavenger hunt idea is to use the alphabet. Find something starting with every letter of the alphabet.

Another option, and this one is great to bring along to play even if it doesn’t rain is our cruise ship bingo/scavenger hunt game. Play it as regular bingo or walk around the ship and use it as a scavenger hunt. This is a great family cruise ship game. Put the bingo cards in a sheet protector or have them laminated at your local office supply store to make them reusable.

Cruise bingo and scavenger hunt game to print

8. Browse the shops

A rain shower is the perfect time to browse the onboard shops. Check out the duty free specials, souvenirs, and cruise line merchandise.

9. Bingo

Cruise ship bingo is an experience. Regular bingo will never be the same. O66 will forever be clickety click O66. 🙂

10. Soak in a hot tub

A hot tub is always enjoyable, even in a little rain.

11. Casino

Try your luck at one of the many slot machines or at one of the table card games. A big win will make you forget all about the bad weather.

Royal Caribbean casino

More answers to what to do on a cruise when it rains

12. Casino tournament

Play in a slot tournament, black jack tournament, or a Texas Holdem’ poker tournament. These can be a fun way to spend an hour or two. Casino tournaments are held at specific days and times.

13. Art walk

Do your own art walk. Cruise ships have some both incredible and, let’s say interesting pieces of art through out. Check out all the large pieces of art in each stair case.

Interesting piece of art on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship
Cool piece of art on Mariner of the Seas. Photo by Load The Luggage

14. Dance class

Participating in one of the dance classes is another answer to what to do on a cruise when it rains. Learn a fun new line dance that you can show off at the next deck party. These are popular on a Caribbean cruise.

15. Go to the gym

Inclement weather is a good reason to talk yourself into getting a workout in. Most cruise ships have a large amount of cardio equipment as well as free weights and a few weight machines. The fitness center is free to use on most cruise lines.

16. Fitness class

Some people prefer to take a fitness class rather than work out on their own. Check out your ship’s offerings. Some have an additional cost.

17. Laser tag

Laser tag is one of those rainy day activities that is fun for the whole family.

This fun activity is available on select cruise lines and select ships, some cruise lines charge for this activity while others don’t. You can read about our experience with laser tag on Mariner of the Seas here.

18. Escape room

This may be another indoor activity available on your cruise ship. Some of the newer cruise ships have escape room challenges.

Royal Caribbean escape room

19. Ice skating

Yes you read that right. Some Royal Caribbean ships (such as Mariner of the Seas) have an ice skating rink. I was pleasantly surprised that they don’t charge for this activity.

20. Spa treatment

Splurge and treat yourself to a massage, facial, or pedicure. A relaxing spa treatment will have you forgetting about the bad weather in no time.

21. Arcade

Wait for clear skies in the arcade. Try one of the video games, skee ball (my favorite), or play a little air hockey. There is a cost to play these games but it can be a lot of fun.

Mariner of the Seas arcade

Still wondering what to do on a cruise when it rains? Here are more ideas.

22. Read a book

Find a quiet spot to enjoy a good book. If you didn’t bring your own book, check out the ship’s library for a book to borrow. Check out the adult pool area, often there well be part of it under cover that is the perfect spot to relax, read, and wait out the rain.

You will want to get to these prime spots early as they were busy no matter what the weather.

Mariner of the Seas Solarium day beds
Mariner of the Seas solarium. Photo by Load the Luggage

23. Indoor pool

Some cruise ships have an indoor pool or a retractable roof that they will close if mother nature decides not to cooperate. In many instances, but not always, this will be an adult only pool area.

24. Art auction

Attend one of the art auctions. Just browse or join in the fun, you might even get a free glass of champagne out of the deal.

25. Play a board game

26. Watch a major sports event

Head to the cruise ship’s sports bar and see what they are showing. Football, baseball, cricket, there will be something on to watch and cheer.

27. Attend a craft class

Some cruise lines offer crafting classes, such as Carnival’s Creativity at Sea program. Kids will enjoy Carnival’s Build-A-Bear Workshop.

One of the reasons teens will love Carnival Horizon is the Build A Bear workshop. Create your own cruise souvenier.

28. Have a drink in a new bar

Grab a drink in a bar you haven’t yet been to on the ship. If they have a specialty drink, give that a try.

Twilight zone cruise drink
Twilight zone cocktail

29. Eat

Eating on a cruise ship is always a popular past time. Try a something different, like maybe breakfast or sea day brunch in the main dining room, or one of the specialty restaurants you haven’t tried yet.

30. Game show

Watch or better yet, participate in a game show featuring your fellow cruise passengers. These game shows are organized and run by the cruise ship staff. Some examples are Love & Marriage shows, Battle of the Sexes, and Majority Rules.

Many games are free, but ones like Deal or No Deal on Carnival does have an additional charge. You can win prizes though.

Deal or No Deal on Carnival Cruise ship

It was actually on a rainy day on our Carnival Radiance cruise that we played Deal or no Deal.

Even more answers to what to do on a cruise when it rains

31. Attend a port talk

Get prepared for and excited about your next port of call by attending a port talk.

32. Attend a spa seminar

33. Liquor tasting

At times the cruise line will offer, for a fee, liquor tasting. It may be tequila tasting, sampling craft beer, or margarita tasting. Check the cruise schedule.

34. Watch a towel folding demonstration

You may find a napkin folding demonstration or a towel folding class to watch or participate in. Learn to make your own towel animals.

Carnival cruise towel animals.

35. Play ping pong

Often the table tennis or ping pong table on cruise ships is under cover and out of the elements.

36. Browse the photo gallery

Check out your embarkation day photos or other photos the ship’s professional photographers have taken.

37. Book your next cruise

The best way to fight the inevitable last day of your cruise blues, is to have another one booked. Check out the discounts the cruise line offers for booking your next cruise while onboard.

38. Wordsearch or sudoku challenges

If this isn’t listed as a cruise activity for the day, check out the cruise library, they often have word puzzles that you can take and do.

If you are cruising with kids, you may want to plan ahead and pack a kids cruise activity kit like this one. We designed this cute cruise and ocean themed activity kit to be printed at home.

Kids cruise activity kit

39. Cards and games

If you have a deck of cards you always have something to do. A few places you can check on a cruise ship for a deck of cards is the library, casino, guest services, and the shops. If your cruise forecast has several rainy days scheduled, I’d suggest throwing a pack in your suitcase. It takes up such little space but can provide hours of fun.

40. Cooking class

Some cruise lines offer a cooking class or cupcake decorating classes. These have limited space available so you will want to sign up early. There may be a fee.

41. People watch

Find a comfy place to just sit and enjoy the atmosphere.

While we all hope for perfect weather, unfortunately that isn’t always the case when it comes to a vacation. As you can see there a lots of indoor cruise activities to keep you busy.

Keep in mind however, that unfortunately all these activities won’t be offered every day. Some of these activities may or may not be offered at the time it rains. It is meant to just give you an idea of some of the indoor cruise activities offered.

In the end, don’t let rain dampen your spirits. Take part in one of the planned activities, or create some fun on your own. I hope this has answered your question – what to do on a cruise when it rains.

If you are planning your first cruise you will find our cruise planner helpful.

Printable cruise planner and journal

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