20 Onboard Activities That Might Just Convince You To Go On A Cruise Now!
Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
The idea of cruising in the middle of the ocean can be scary for some. With the memory of seeing the Titanic movie, the tendency to experience motion sickness, and only the view of the horizon, the fear is completely understandable.
But here's the thing, if you haven't tried it yet, how do you know you don't (and won't) like it? If you like traveling via plane where you're just on your seat, what's not to like about cruising where the ship literally offers hundreds of options to explore and enjoy onboard—not to mention take you places for exciting shore excursions?
Several cruise industry trends have been seen and experienced in recent years—whether it be geared towards more flexible and personalized luxury cruising or the more laid-back shorter cruises that appeal to millennials. Cruise lines are leveling up their games by improving the ship's design and amenities, and updating their lineup of activities and services onboard, to cater to a wider market. Cruising has been the vacation of choice of the elderly and families, but now it's gaining popularity, too, for the adventurous set of young squads.
Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas, photographed when it stopped by for a visit in Manila last July. This ship is said to have about 300 Filipino employees onboard. | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
Considered one of the best cruise lines in the world is Royal Caribbean International, which currently operates 26 ships, including four of the largest cruise ships in the world now: Symphony of the Seas, Harmony of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, and Allure of the Seas.
Metro.Style was recently invited to a 4-Night Port Klang and Phuket Cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas. We flew from Manila to Singapore, where the ship was docked. And as we sailed to the open seas, we got to explore the ship—from the bridge to the galley to everything else that keeps its guests satisfied, entertained, and pampered.
The itineraries of the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas include the following: 3-Night Port Klang, 3-Night Penang, 4-Night Penang and Phuket, 5-Night Spice of Southeast Asia (Singapore, Port Klang, Penang, and Phuket / Singapore, Penang, Langkawi, and Phuket), 5-Night Bangkok, 7-Night Spice of Southeast Asia (Singapore, Port Klang, Penang, Langkawi, and Phuket), and 9-Night Singapore to Hong Kong (Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Hue/Danang, and Hong Kong). All trips depart from Singapore. | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
Voyager of the Seas had its maiden voyage in 1999. At the time, it was the largest cruise ship in the world, with a gross tonnage of 137,276 tons; it is 157.5 feet wide and 1,020 feet long, and has a 29-feet draft. Here's further information on Voyager of the Seas, by the numbers:
- It has 15 decks.
- It has 14 guest elevators.
- It can occupy a total of 4,269 guests.
- It has a total of 1,176 crew members from different parts of the world.
- It has a total of 1,643 staterooms (652 balcony, 230 outside, 642 inside, 508 with 3/4th berth, 27 accessible, 81 virtual balcony, and 138 promenade)
Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas captain Pehr Pehrsson showed us around the bridge. Guests can have a peek at what's going on here at the Peek-a-Boo Bridge. | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
Now, let's get to the most fun part. What can you do onboard this cruise ship? Scroll down.
Photos by Grace Libero-Cruz
1. Explore. Go outside and enjoy the view, while savoring the breeze. Or, walk around and tour the ship.
There's a total of 15 decks! | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
Stunning staircases leading to different adventures onboard | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
2. Swim and relax. There are three pools and six whirlpools onboard! There are whirlpools by the Solarium Bar that you may enjoy till midnight, with a drink in hand.
The adults-only pool area | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
A whirlpool by the Solarium Bar | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
3. Watch a movie. And this is no ordinary movie experience, because we're talking about a big outdoor screen here, which you can enjoy whether you're in the pool or on a pool lounge chair.
Popcorn, anyone? | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
4. Netflix (or Viu / iflix) and chill. If you want to binge-watch and stay in the comfort of your stateroom, onboard internet with fast connectivity, called Voom, is available. The charge for the internet usage will be added to your stateroom account. There's an option for a Surf & Stream Voom or Surf. The charge is per day, per device (e.g. 1 device: $19.99 per day, per device). But, if you want to switch between devices, you may do so by logging out the first device via logoff.com on your web browser, and logging back in using the other device.
Interior Stateroom with the Royal Promenade as the view. It has a private bathroom with shower, vanity area, hair dryer, TV, telephone, and safe. There's also a sitting area. The Royal King bed may be converted to twin beds. | Photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean
5. Eat, eat, and eat some more. It won't be surprising if you gain a few pounds from this cruise. There are three complimentary restaurants: the 3-Level Main Dining Room, Windjammer Café, and Café Promenade. The specialty restaurants are the steakhouse Chop's Grille, the casual Italian Giovanni's Table, the Izumi Japanese Cuisine, the American fast casual food diner Johnny Rockets, and the Ben and Jerry's ice cream parlor. There's also the Room Service option.
The grand and elegant 3-Level Main Dining Room called the Sapphire serves multi-course meals of various cuisines for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We mostly had breakfast and dinner here. While there is a standard Royal Breakfast menu (you can order as many as you want and ask for extra salmon for your Smoked Salmon Plate or additional bacon, by the way), the dinner menu varies per night (a personal touch we truly appreciated was that the chef even served our group adobo and rice on our last night, to make our trip even more memorable).
Meanwhile, the Windjammer Café offers a buffet selection—from soups, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, international dishes, freshly carved meats, and desserts. If you need some snacks or refreshments, head to the Café Promenade, which offers an array of pastries and sandwiches, and a selection of beverages; who needs a mini ref and complimentary bottles of water in the room, when you can just make a quick stop here anytime throughout the day and into the night (it's open 24 hours!) for your snack craving and tumbler refill? For our last lunch onboard, we checked out Giovanni's Table, where we were served rustic Italian dishes with a contemporary spin.
Facade of the Sapphire Main Dining Room | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
Sapphire, the 3-Level Main Dining Room | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas offers dishes from various cuisines. | Photos by Grace Libero-Cruz
End your meal on a sweet note. | Photos by Grace Libero-Cruz
Indoor dining area at Giovanni's Table | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
Dining at Giovanni's Table | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
Food at Giovanni's Table | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
Windjammer Café | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
Dining area at Windjammer Café | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
Wide selection at Windjammer Café | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
Café Promenade | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
Johnny Rockets | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
Franz Litzner, Food and Beverage Director at the Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
6. Burn the calories. You've eaten so much, we can't blame you. Don't worry, you can sweat out those calories in the fully equipped gym or on the outdoor jogging track.
Workout with the view of the ocean | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
The outdoor jogging track with the view of the horizon | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
7. Be adventurous, get sporty, and get your groove on. There are other ways to be active in this cruise ship. You can surf the high seas via the 12-meter-long surf simulator called the FlowRider, play a round of mini golf, try rock-climbing, learn ice-skating, or play basketball or tennis. There are also Zumba and disco night sessions at the Royal Promenade, to kick-start your day or cap off your evening.
Basketball court | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
The FlowRider | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
Mini golf area | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
Zumba session at the Royal Promenade, courtesy of Cruise Director Michelle Oliveira | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
8. Pamper yourself. The Vitality Spa offers services like seaweed wrap or hotstone massage. There's also a nail salon to dress up your digits.
Salon onboard | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
Get a mani | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
Relax and get a massage | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
9. Play some games. Feel like a kid again at Adventure Ocean, and kill time playing ice hockey, beating a claw machine, going for a drive at the racing arcade machine, and so much more. For more fun, head to the Card Room to play Scrabble, Backgammon, and other cards and board games. Play Bingo or join the trivia games (read: there is one specially for Potterheads).
The Adventure Ocean for the kids and kids at heart | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
Card room | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
10. Buy an artwork. There are art auctions onboard, and unique pieces of artwork are up for grabs. Bid away!
Art gallery | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
11. Sit back, relax, and enjoy some entertainment. There are many performances that kids and even adults can enjoy. The shows include: "Music in Pictures" (where songs from classics such as the Sound of Music and Alfie are performed), "Broadway Rhythm and Rhyme" (a show inspired by several Broadway shows like the West Side Story, Dreamgirls, and Chicago), "Rock Rhapsody" (which features a song-and-dance routine done to the tune of the best songs by Queen), and an illusion show. These are performed at the two-level La Scala Theater.
Kids will definitely love the DreamWorks parade, too, moreso because they can also have their pictures taken with some of their favorite characters from Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, and other DreamWorks Animation films.
Facade and interior of the La Scala Theater | Photos by Pat Buenaobra
World-class performances | Photos by Grace Libero-Cruz
DreamWorks parade, featuring Po from Kung Fu Panda, as seen from our stateroom | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
12. Marvel at an ice-skating show. Spectacular dance routines on ice can be enjoyed at the Studio B ice rink.
Jaw-dropping ice-skating show | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
13. Cozy up with a good book. You may do so in the Jay Pritzker library or on the different quiet spots around the ship.
Library | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
Nighttime reading with the moon as your light | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
Reading nook with a view of the ocean | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
14. Shop for yourself or for pasalubongs. Swiss timepieces, liquor, fine jewelry, beauty and high fashion products can be found at the Royal Promenade, tax and duty free; there are special sale savings on certain days, too! Fancy a his and hers watch at a fairly reasonable price? Make sure to catch great deals like this.
Royal Promenade | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
15. Beat the odds at the Casino. Get a taste of Vegas while on a cruise. Who knows, you might just win prizes when you try out the slots, poker, or blackjack tournaments.
Casino Royale | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
16. Sign up for a galley tour. If you've always been curious about how the kitchen in a cruise ship looks like, here's your chance to see and have an idea of just how many dishes are being prepared at the Sapphire Main Dining Room on a daily basis.
The pastry section in the kitchen of Sapphire Main Dining Room | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
17. Grab drinks, and party the night away. There are several bars onboard, to quench your thirst for some alcohol: Solarium Bar, Pool Bar, R Bar, Diamond Club, The Tavern, High Notes, Viking Crown Lounge, Pig & Whistle Pub, Schooner Bar, and Sky Bar. There are live band performances at some of these bars as well.
Do not miss the Tropical Pool Party, because it's so much fun! When we were there, a band with Filipino members were entertaining the crowd. At the Royal Promenade during our last night, there was also a 70s Disco Inferno Street Party.
Schooner Bar | Photo by Pat Buenaobra
Tropical Pool Party | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
18. Learn something new. There are cool classes you can sign up for: origami, towel folding, Zumba dance fitness, 70s line dance, ballroom dance, arts & crafts: ribbon to roses, and cupcake decorating.
Sign up for a cupcake decorating class. | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
A cute touch: towel art in your stateroom | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
19. Sing your heart out. Live out your dream to become a singer, and participate in the open mic nights at the Star Lounge.
Photo by Elliot Sloman on Unsplash
20. Get married! Yes, you can do that onboard! Imagine how wonderful it is to have all your family and friends gathered in a cruise ship. Talk about a different kind of destination wedding! There's a Skylight Wedding Chapel for the ceremony and the Conference Center that can accommodate 400 people for the reception.
Conference Center for events at Deck 2 | Photo by Grace Libero-Cruz
Get married onboard a cruise ship—why not?! | Photo by Angelo Lacancellera on Unsplash