What Kinds of Parties Will I Find on My Cruise Ship?

Do you like big parties and galas? Do you dance a lot? This can be a major part of your cruising vacation. Depending on your age and interests, it’s worth talking this over with your travel agent. Different cruise lines have different personalities. You want to align yourself to the right ones.

Start by thinking about: “What’s life like at home?” Maybe you attend lots of weddings. Perhaps you are on the charity gala circuit in the Spring and Fall. Maybe you go clubbing. These factors will influence the cruise you choose. Be flexible. This might be “the trip of a lifetime.” You might be celebrating a major anniversary. You can let your hair down a bit.

Let’s assume it’s a pretty big ship drawing a Baby Boomer crowd.  Here are ten party situations you will might encounter:

  1. The themed cruise. It’s a Rock n’ Roll cruise. A Disco Cruise. Everyone is there because for them, it’s the perfect place to be. If this isn’t you, you better find that out before you put down your deposit.
  2. Captain’s Welcome Cocktail Party. Most ships have one. It’s often on a dress up night. Lots of drinks, no dancing. Short speeches. If you are involved with charity fund raisers at home, you will be amazed. The ship’s staff can fit an entire event into about 45 minutes.
  3. Frequent Sailors Party. Often on another formal night. Less of a crowd. There might be dancing. In and out in 45 minutes.
  4. Venetian Masked Ball. If they have one, you will be amazed. If passengers are dressed formally and wear colorful masks, you won’t be able to tell who most people are! Don’t get separated from your friends. Ideally, you bring a mask with you. Those magnificent Papier-mâché ones made in Venice might set you back $ 35 or so. You can probably buy one online. Marshalls HomeGoods often has them. You will only need one during your lifetime. There will be dancing.
  5. Ballroom Dancing Evening. People are usually dressed up. There should be a demonstration done by professionals. Lots of people doing synchronized dancing. Not a “make it up as you go along” event.
  6. Big Band Evening. Swing never really went out. This is usually a full orchestra. Lots of brass instruments. Very high energy. Lots of dancing.
  7. Roaring 20’s Evening. In this case, it’s the 1920’s. People dressing like detectives from pulp fiction. Others looking like mobsters. Think about any movie you’ve seen about Chicago in Prohibition. Lots of dancing.
  8. Sail Away Party. This is lower key. It’s on deck, around the pools as the ship slips away from the dock and the city skyline disappears. Lots of music. Celebratory atmosphere. Live music. There will be sporadic dancing.
  9. Clubbing. Your ship might cater to a certain generation. They travel with their 20 something children, who would be bored to death with the dress up formal dance parties described above. Somewhere on board, there’s a club with a great sound system. It’s the last venue to close. Lots of dancing.
  10. Lounge singers. Some passengers want the “we’re at a nightclub” experience without being expected to dance. You ship should have a couple of cocktail lounges with live singers backed up by a small band. You sit at little round tables and drink cocktails, just like in the movies.

Different ships have different cultures. You should be prepared so you can have a good time and make great memories.

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