Are cruises boring? Image is a an ariel view of a cruise ship

Are Cruises Boring or a Blast?  You might be surprised.

People who have never cruised will often make comments like “I don’t want to be stuck on a ship” or “will I be bored on a cruise ship?”  If you too are wondering, are cruises boring?  This article is for you.

We debunk the myth that cruises are boring by highlighting some of exciting activities onboard. Discover a world of fun and entertainment, from thrilling water slides and captivating live shows to engaging classes and enriching cultural experiences.  If you are first time cruiser you will find this especially helpful.

Will I be bored on a cruise?  No way, not with so many cool amenities, activities and food options.  There is plenty to do if you want to stay busy and lots of opportunities for relaxation too.  Just be sure to do your research and book the right cruise ship for you.

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After many cruises on different cruise lines, I can honestly say that I have never been bored on a cruise ship. A cruise vacation has so much to offer. Fun activities, amazing good, delicious drinks, and fabulous destinations. Cruises have it all.

In this article we will cover

  • Fun cruise ship activities
  • First cruise tips for those worried about cruise ship boredom
  • Some great cruise lines and ships to consider

Are cruises boring?

If you are wondering if you will be bored on a cruise ship, you are probably interested in knowing about the fun things to do on a cruise.

Some of the larger modern cruise ships have amenities you probably wouldn’t expect to find on a cruise ship.  Such as ice skating, laser tag, a surf simulator, and even a roller coaster. 

It is important to note, however that amenities vary between cruise lines and even ship to ship, just as hotels do.   Be sure to do your research before booking, especially if you are worried about being bored on a cruise ship. 

Reasons a cruise vacation isn’t boring

1. Fun activities on a cruise ship

Remember you won’t find all these amenities and activities on the same ship and some ships will have very limited amenities.  Many of these activities are free, however some will have an additional charge.

Water slides and or a splash or water park.    

Skypad – virtual bungee trampoline experience

**Update – Royal Caribbean no longer offers this activity on any of their cruise ships

You will find this on some of Royal Caribbean’s ships. And the best part – it’s a free activity.

Mariner of the Seas sky pad, a free activity on Mariner of the Seas that teens will love.

Mini golf

Rock climbing

Basketball court

On many ships the basketball court is multi functional.  At time it will be set up as a volleyball or pickleball court.

Laser tag

You can read about laser tag on Mariner of the Seas (a Royal Caribbean ship) here.

Escape rooms

Pools and hot tubs

The main pool deck area is the hub of activity.  It’s the perfect place to enjoy a frozen cocktail, catch some rays, watch or participate in poolside games and soak up the atmosphere.

Ice skating

You can find ice rinks on some of Royal Caribbean ships. 

Fitness center

Work out on your own, take a fitness class or go for jog on the outdoor track.

Dance lessons.

keep your eye out for different dance classes to be offered.  It might be ballroom dancing, country line dancing or the latest Caribbean line dance offered.

Surf simulator

The FlowRider on select Royal Caribbean ships can be just as fun to watch.

Flowrider surf simulator on Mariner of the Seas


A few of Norwegian Cruise Line’s newer ships have a very cool looking racetrack. No way that can be boring.

Roller coaster

Believe it or not, three of Carnival Cruise Line’s newer ships have a roller coaster. 

Will I be bored on a cruise ship?  Choose the right ship and the answer is no.  Bolt on Carnival Cruise Line's Mardi Gras, the first roller coaster at see is just one of the many activities you will find on the Mardi Gras
Bolt on Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, the first roller coaster at sea is just one of the many activities you will find on Mardi Gras.
Photo by Carnival Cruise Lines

Ropes course

Zip line

Skydiving simulator

Select Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ships have Ripcord by iFly that you can try out for an additional cost.


If gambling gives you a thrill, try your luck in the casino.  In addition to a wide variety of slot machines, you’ll find classic table games like blackjack, roulette, craps and poker. 

The casinos often host a slot tournament, blackjack tournaments and Texas holdem’ tournaments

There are so many activiities on cruise ships to keep you from being bored.  Image is of the Carnival Dream's casino.
Casino on Carnival Dream
Photo by Carnival Cruise Lines


Cruise ship bingo is anything but boring. 

Live music

Cruise ships have a variety of entertainment venues.    From piano bars to Latin music, to string quartets.  You are sure to find something to suit your taste.

Production shows

Cruise ships are known for their evening entertainment.  Most major cruise lines offer Broadway type shows.

The evening activities are as fun as the daytime activities.  Carnival's American Rocks production show is a must see if cruising with Carnival and just another reason your won't be bored on a cruise ship.
Carnival Cruise Line’s production show American Rocks. Photo by Carnival Cruise Line

Comedy clubs

Nothing says fun like a good comedy show.  Often there will be a PG show and an 18+ show offered.

Deck parties

One of my favorite things about a cruise are the deck parties.  From sail away parties to evening themed parties the whole family will enjoy these.

Carnival cruise deck party is one thing to do on a cruise.  One of the reasons cruises are not boring
photo by Load the Luggage


Karaoke can be just as fun to watch as it is to participate in. There is usually a good mix of serious talent and just pure entertainment.

Outdoor movies

Many ships have good movies that are played outdoors on a large screen under the stars, often poolside.

Art auction

While this isn’t my idea of fun, it is for some.

Wine tastings

Some ships offer wine tastings, some offer margarita tastings, and other ships have their own craft beer with brewery tours.

Cruise ship bar


I have yet to be on a cruise ship that didn’t offer trivia several times during the cruise.  Often, they are themed trivia games.

Ping pong, shuffleboard, and different activities such as foosball and bean bag toss are often offered.

Craft classes

Some ships offer classes such as scrapbooking and Build-A-Bear.

Kids clubs

One of the best things about a cruise is that the whole family will love it.  The kids clubs are broken out into different age groups and offer age appropriate fun activities. 

The kids’ clubs are also a great place for your children to meet new friends. Kids having fun equals parents having fun.

Check your daily schedule for a list of the day’s activities and events.  The cruise director works hard to plan activities to enjoy on the sunny days and always has back up plans for bad weather. 

You can also bring games to play on a cruise. Here is a list of 21 fun games to bring on a cruise.

Don’t discount relaxing. Spending some time just relaxing can be an enjoyable part of your cruise too. Sipping a delicious frozen beverage delivered to you as you lounge by the pool, or finding a quiet spot to read and listen to the crashing waves is definitely something to experience.

Will I be bored on a cruise? You won't think so after seeing this list of amenities and activities.  Don't discount relaxing though, it is a valuable part of a vacation.
Photo from Pixabay

For those looking to mix in a little relaxation into your cruise vacation, this article will be useful.

If you are worried about rain and wondering what are what there is to do on a cruise ship when it rains, check out this list of fun activities.

2. Good food

On a cruise vacation eating is an activity in itself.  From casual food venues to the main dining room to a specialty restaurant or even room service you will find it all onboard.

There will be a mix of restaurants included in your cruise fare and ones that have an additional charge.  The larger ships have more food options.

Many cruise lines have restaurants by celebrity chefs. You can read our review of Jamie Oliver’s restaurant on Mariner of the Seas here.

Will I be bored on a cruise?  Heck no.  Check out these amenities and activities designed to make your vacation an enjoyable and memorable one.

3. Delicious drinks

Nothing says cruise vacation like an ice cold drink or a frozen cocktail by the pool.

Each ship will have several bars onboard. It can be enjoyable just to sit and enjoy a beverage while people watching or enjoying some live entertainment.

If you are looking for something new to try, check out one of these 12 best cruise drinks. If you prefer non-alcoholic drinks, then try one of these top cruise mocktails.

Sipping a frozen cocktail is an enjoyable cruise activity
Photo by Load the Luggage

4. Beautiful destinations

Don’t forget you will be waking up in amazing destinations to explore, with the added advantage of not having to pack and unpack. On a 7 night cruise you will likely be stopping in 3-4 different places.

Shore excursions will be offered in each port.  These tours will range from beach breaks to cultural explorations to thrilling activities.  No matter which you choose you are sure to have a good time ashore.

Waking up at a new place to explore is one of the many great things about a cruise.

If you are preparing for your first cruise you will want to go through this list of 55+ cruise essentials on Amazon. I bet there are a few you didn’t think of.

First cruise tips for those wondering “are cruises boring?”

1. Choose a larger and newer ship

The newer and larger the ship, the more amenities, activities, restaurants, and bars that will be onboard.             

Check out the cruise line’s website before booking to see what amenities are onboard.

2. Choose the right cruise line

Different cruise lines appeal to different clientele.  Be sure to research your cruise line ahead of time. 

You will always find a mix of people onboard, but for example a Disney cruise caters to a young family while Holland America caters to more of an older crowd.  You won’t find surf simulators or roller coasters on a Holland America ship.

Keep reading to see which cruise lines I’d suggest you look at if you are worried about being bored on a cruise ship.

3. Start with a shorter cruise

For your first cruise vacation consider a shorter duration if you are worried about being bored.  Most cruise lines offer 3, 4, 5 and 6 night cruises in addition to longer ones.

4. Choose an itinerary with lots of stops

An itinerary with lots of ports of calls and less cruise sea days is a good introduction to cruising.

If you are wondering what to do in these ports it’s a good idea to check out the shore excursions offered by the cruise line, it will give you a good idea what there is to do in each destination. You will find this on their website.

Are cruises boring? You might be surprised. Image is a cruise ship in the beautiful blue ocean

Cruise lines with the most fun activities

You now might be wondering which is the best cruise line for fun and that have the best activities.  The best cruise line is always subjective, but if you are planning your next cruise and are looking for lots of fun amenities these are the three cruise lines I’d suggest you first look at.

1. Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean cruise line have some really great action-packed activities such as the FlowRider surf simulator, ice skating rinks, laser tag, escape rooms, zip lining and more on select ships.

In my opinion, Royal Caribbean is probably the best choice if you are looking for high energy amenities and activities.

Two of their newest ships are Wonder of the Seas and Icon of the Seas. These ships are just massive and have all the latest and greatest activities. There is no way you could be bored on these ships.

Royal Caribbean currently has the biggest cruise ships in the world. 

We sailed recently on Mariner of the Seas.  This isn’t one of the newer ships but it is also a really great option.  Best things to do on Mariner of the Seas explains why.

2. Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruises are known as the fun ships.

Take a look at Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras or Carnival Celebration they have the first roller coasters at sea! How cool is that! That is in addition to a waterpark, mini golf, a ropes course, basketball court, and so much more. There is an extra charge to ride Bolt.

3. Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian (NCL) is another great cruise line.

How about Norwegian Prima or Norwegian Viva? These are two of their newer and larger ships that are worth checking out.

Here you can take a spin on their race track or play in the Galaxy Pavilion. It looks so fun! There is also an incredible looking enclosed waterslide that takes you over the side of the ship and a mini golf course.

Check out each cruise line’s website and deck plans of the ship you are interested in before booking. 

The larger and newer cruise ships do have a higher cruise fare though.  See which activities are offered and how many you would actually do.  Maybe one of the slightly smaller ships has everything you would enjoy.

If you don’t find what you are looking for with these three cruise lines, others you may want to look at are Princess Cruises, Celebrity cruises, Virgin Voyages, and Disney Cruise Line.  Virgin’s ships are adults-only cruises.

Are cruises boring?  This is a common question but one you won't be asking one you check out these reasons why cruises aren't boring.

Do you still think you will be bored on a cruise ship?

In conclusion, if you’ve ever wondered, “Are cruises boring?” the answer is a resounding no! Cruises offer an incredible array of activities and experiences that cater to every interest and age group.

Whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, entertainment, or cultural immersion, a cruise vacation has something for everyone.

That is the great thing about cruising you can be as busy and active as you want to be, enjoy delicious food without any cooking or clean up, sip a frozen cocktail or two, all while surrounded in a fun atmosphere. Then you throw in some amazing ports and you have yourself an incredible vacation with memories to last a life time.

Ships are designed to keep you busy if you want to be and relaxed and pampered if you so choose. Their existence depends on their customers being happy and enjoying themselves.

If you are looking to add a little extra fun to your cruise, get yourself one of these awesome cruise shirts.

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