Doesn’t everyone enjoy the sun, especially after a cold winter? When you take a cruise, enjoying good weather is one of the major reasons you chose this type of vacation. It is important to remember the dangers posed by the sun and take adequate precautions. After enduring cold weather and dark winters, how can you make the most of your time in the sun.
- Sit out on your balcony. It is surprising how little time you spend on your own private outdoor space. The air conditioning is so great you forget about those chairs and tables beyond the heavy glass door. You should have some shade from above because there are more balcony cabins above you.
- Find a deck chair on an open deck. You can choose sun or shade. You can move your chair from time to time. You can meet interesting people. The problem is the limited number of loungers compared to the hundreds of your fellow passengers with the same idea. Get there early!
- Rent a private cabana. Some ships, like Holland America Line’s Rotterdam has a private area on a top deck comprised of several tented cabanas or small rooms. These come with loungers, towels, an ice bucket and other conveniences. There was a hot tub, seating for dining and dedicated toilets. These spaces come at a daily cost and require reservations. You avoid the crowds.
- Walking the deck. Post ships feature a promenade deck. As the name implies, it is designed for walking. You should be able to circle the ship. This is ideal for people who like to walk or hike. It’s all level surfaces. You should have plenty of company.
- The pool with the retractable roof. This is ideal for rainy days when you still want the warm weather pool experience. Since you are in a sheltered area, it should be an improvement over direct sunlight, but you must still be careful.
- The outdoor pools. They are often not as crowded as you might expect. You can swim a bit and splash around. Unless you think you were a fish in a past life, you will want to get out, towel down and find a deck chair.
- The hot tubs. These are often out on deck, near the pools. They are much smaller than the pools, but the swirling water feels really good. The warning signs tell you not to stay in too long.
- The poolside bar. Not all of us seek direct sunlight or constant swimming. Some of us want a gin and tonic sipped in the shade while outdoors. Here is something I have noticed: The weather is hot, so the ice melts quickly, diluting the alcohol. (Beer and wine are the exceptions.) Meanwhile, you are cooled by a continuous breeze because the ship is moving. You are comfortable while drinking.
- The Winter Garden. Some ships still have this classic space from the Golden Age of the ocean liner. It is a large indoor space under a glass ceiling. (Sounds like the covered pool area.) There are many, many seating areas plus plenty of trees and vegetation. It was designed for people seeking the sun when the weather outside was too cold to sit on deck.
- Al fresco dining. Your ship should have its version of a sidewalk café. You can sit in the sun, shaded by an umbrella, giving your lunch order to a uniformed waiter. On a more casual level, there should be an outdoor self-service restaurant featuring burgers and fries. You can pretend you are eating on the boardwalk at the beach back home.
- Walking in port. At last! Your ship is in port. You can walk or tender ashore, exploring the town at your leisure. Just get back to the ship in time.
- Visit the beaches. Ships often call on island ports. Islands have beaches. You can seek out the public beaches or pay a bit and have access to a hotel’s private beach.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy the sun while on vacation. Just do not overdo it.
Longship Viking Pride chess board on deck Photos ©Dennis Cox/WorldViews
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