Rainy Day at Sea? 20 Things You Can Do

We want sunny days. When we go on vacation, we want perfect weather. It doesn’t always work out that way. You get days when it rains, even though the captain tries to steer around storms. What can you do?

Here’s what not to do: Sit in your cabin and be miserable. Don’t take it out on your spouse or traveling companion either. Unlike renting a house on the Jersey shore, you are sailing in a multi-story resort! If you were to collect a week’s worth of ship’s programs, you will probably find 50+ activities going on almost every day. So don’t just stay in bed and watch TV.

20 Things You Can Do on a Rainy Day While At Sea

Here’s a small selection of activities you should find available on most ships.

  1. Stretch out under the retractable roof. Pretend it’s not raining. Most ships have a pool and lounge chair area that is sheltered under a glass roof that is closed during bad weather. It’s still warm. Get into your swimsuit, stretch out. Listen to the water splash in the pool. Pretend you are on deck and it’s sunny.
  2. Do they have a Winter Garden? One of the holdovers from the golden age of ocean travel was the large room with a glass ceiling and plenty of comfy chairs. The term winter garden is pretty obvious. There are plants. It’s heated. You get natural light. People often come with a book, read and snooze. Others talk with friends over drinks.
  3. Visit the spa. You’ve been meaning to, but have been too busy. You have that shipboard credit that needs to be spent. The spa is likely enormous. It might have a hydro pool, which is a fancy sounding hot tub. They do massages. Pamper yourself.
  4. Get your hair done. It’s not going to rain forever. You have dinners and events to attend. You will be going ashore and want to look your best. You are planning on getting photos taken. Do something about your hair in the onboard salon.
  5. Visit the photo gallery. You’ve had it on your list, but have been too busy. Now is your chance to have a leisurely look at all the photos that were taken of you and your family. Do you think you need a new picture to update your social media profile? Now is the time to make arrangements. After all, your hair looks perfect.
  6. Have lunch in the specialty restaurant. Lunch is often easier to book than dinner. Lunch prices are often cheaper than dinner prices. Expect demand to shoot up for the dinner seating, which is why you are thinking ahead and booking for lunch.
  7. Get the daily quiz. The library usually has a pub quiz type questionnaire of 20 questions. It’s a competition. Passengers agree not to do internet searches for answers. You turn your completed sheet at the end of the afternoon. The winner gets a prize or points.
  8. Join the pub quiz. These are very popular, often taking place several times a day. Teams often form spontaneously although groups often stick together too. Sometimes they are music quizzes or picture quizzes. Most often, it’s general knowledge. They last about 30 minutes.
  9. Watch the big game on the widescreen tv. While enjoying the pub quiz or snoozing in the Winter Garden, you wonder what’s going on with that large crowd around a big TV. There is usually a big sporting event with worldwide significance going on every day. The ship knows they have a built-in audience. They setup a room for the crowd to gather and cheer.
  10. Visit the shops. They are closed while you are in port. Now you have the time to wander through and handle every item, then put it back. The shops often run sales on sea days.
  11. Stop by the casino. This is another venue that is open at sea, closed in port. You might want to play the slots or blackjack. It’s also fun just to watch.
  12. Do the daily crossword. The ship’s library usually sets out sheets with the daily puzzle. There are no prizes, but it drives you nuts. It becomes a good conversation starter when you are really stumped.
  13. Visit the gym. You’ve been taking in lots of calories. Your clothing is snug. You think it’s the sea air shrinking the fabric. Visit the gym. Maybe try the sauna or steam room too. Psychologically, you will feel better.
  14. Take a tour. The ship usually plans walking tours for sea days, since no one is heading ashore. There’s usually a kitchen tour. Sometimes there’s a general tour. There might even be a tour of the engine room.
  15. Have afternoon tea. Something sophisticated might be offered, but I’m thinking a simple, casual break. Head up to the buffet deck, make yourself a nice cup of tea, see if they have munchies and get a seat near a big window. Look! Is the sky starting to clear?
  16. Explore the ship. Admit it. The ship is big. You’ve only seen a small portion of the vessel. There might be a dozen bars. Multiple lounges. There’s a library and a bridge room? Really? Oh, there’s a cigar lounge! Now you are talking my language! Set out to walk every deck, bow to stern. You are staying inside because it’s raining.
  17. Attend a concert. Ships usually plan these for sea days. Often, it’s low key and casual, a quartet or a soloist setup in a bar or lounge. Find a seat. Close your eyes. Lose yourself in the music. When was the last time you did that?
  18. Attend a talk. Ships often have lectures and talks. You might say: “Sounds boring.” Find out what’s on offer. There might be a talk about the next port. Maybe one on how to take good photos with you iPhone. Jewelry talks are popular too.
  19. Watch a movie in the theater. Admit it. Films look better on the big screen. The ship should be showing a couple on sea days. See what’s on offer. Show up early to get the best seats. Bring a friend.
  20. Have drinks with friends before dinner. Let’s get something straight: Before dinner doesn’t start at 2:00 PM! If dinner is at 6:00, plan to meet friends in a lounge an hour earlier. It might take you time to find seats together. Linger over a drink or two. Your server should also bring over snacks. Ask for them if they don’t.

There’s plenty to do on sea days, even if it’s raining. You just need imagination.

Cover photo: Bryce and Jane, Queen Victoria voyage 2020


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