How to Enjoy Your Time on a Cruise in Winter Weather

We think of cruises traveling in sunny weather. Most do. There has been an upsurge of interest in cruises to Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland and the northern polar region. World cruises often start in chilly northern climes and head towards the sun. What can you do when it is too cold to be out on deck?

You might never imagine yourself on a cruise in cold weather. That’s fine. What can you do when your ship sailing through warmer weather suddenly encounters a rainy day at sea?  You need to keep yourself amused indoors. Here are a few ways you can do it.

  1. Enjoy a long, leisurely breakfast in bed. We like to skip the alarm clock and wake up to a knock on the door as the steward delivers rolls, juice and coffee. (Thank goodness for robes!) Take our idea a step further. Explore the in-stateroom menu in the desk drawer. Can they do hot dishes like eggs benedict or steak and eggs?  Order a nice breakfast and enjoy it at a civilized hour of the morning.
  2. Find the ship’s coffee bar. It is likely not crowded. It’s also alongside a trafficked area, so you can people watch as you enjoy your cappuccino or espresso. They serve pastries too.
  3. When is the wine and food pairing lunch? Many ships have one at least once during the voyage. This costs money, but I have always found it to be money well spent. Put another way, it is good value. This is often an upscale meal in one of the specialty restaurants. Someone walks you through each course, explaining how the wine compliments the food. We try to do this every voyage. We have made great friends.
  4. What’s the movie? Ships have theaters. They are the major venue for live evening shows. They also serve as movie theaters during the day. Although the film is often shown on your stateroom TV, it is more fun to watch on the large screen.
  5. Visit the gym. Your exercise routine back home involves 10,000 steps a day. Today it is rainy and cold. Although some passengers bundle up and brave the elements, visiting the gym is an easier option. They have cardio equipment and spin classes. They have weights. You can get in a workout.
  6. Lie around the pool. This might sound like a non-starter because the weather is bad. There is probably at least one indoor pool under a glass roof. This space should be heated. Get there early. Grab a lounger and spend the day in what little sun there is available.
  7. Get a massage. Your ship has a spa. In addition to providing haircuts and treatments, they should also offer different types and lengths of massages. You might not get massages at home, but you are on vacation! It is a wonderful way to get relaxed. Do not forget to tip the masseuse.
  8. What lectures are taking place today? The theater might be the venue for evening activities, but during the day it makes a great lecture hall. There should be a talk about the next port of call. Perhaps the ship’s jeweler is doing a talk about different gemstones and how to judge quality. It might be an educational lecture featured in the program. The ship’s staff knows passengers need events to keep them occupied during the day. They provide them.
  9. Try an exercise class. Not everyone wants to do high intensity exercise lie spinning. Some prefer group sessions like Zumba or less strenuous but still healthy activities like chair aerobics. These are usually in the ship’s program on a daily basis.
  10. How about a dance class? Another form of onboard exercise is dancing. This is organized by the ship or the entertainment staff. You might be doing line dancing or learning ballroom dancing. These are skills that will be useful in the evenings.

These are only a very few of the onboard activities you can take advantage of when the weather keeps you indoors. There are many others. Check your daily program.

Ed. Notes: CruiseCompete and its member travel advisors provide many curated cruise and land deals, offers and amenities on over 50 cruise lines with over 500 cruise ships sailing all around the world. Browse Cruise Ships and Cruise Lines

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Cover photo: Chess game aboard longship Viking Pride Amsterdam to Budapest ©Dennis Cox/WorldViews

Dennis Cox is All Things Cruise Writer and Official Photographer

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