Woman on Cruise Ship

16 Cruise Activities that are Completely Free

Thinking about going on a cruise for the first time? Cruises are a great value because it comes with a wide range of activities. The best part is that these cruise activities are included in the price of your ticket! Here are some activities that are completely free on a cruise.

Free Cruise Activities


Some rides on cruise lines are free. For example, you can enjoy bumper car rides on Royal Caribbean cruises without any additional charge. The cruise staff will convert the gym into a bumper car arena, a fun activity for the entire family to enjoy.

Free cruise activities

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea is free on some cruise lines, such as Princess Cruise.  This elegant service is usually offered during at-sea days in one of the main dining rooms. 

Indulge in a lavish spread of treats such as freshly baked scones, delicate tea sandwiches, pastries, rich clotted cream, a selection of jams, and a variety of teas. It’s a nice break from the afternoon activities to enjoy a leisurely and refined experience onboard the ship.

Evening Shows

Evening shows on cruise ships are free. In recent years, many cruise lines have elevated their entertainment offerings to feature Broadway-style musicals. 

For example, Royal Caribbean has Broadway productions right on the ship!  It’s a great value to enjoy Broadway shows considering Broadway show tickets are typically over $100 per person!

Art Auction

Art auctions are a popular activity on cruises. The best part is that attending these auctions are free, and there’s no pressure to make a purchase. It’s always a fun experience because they usually give complimentary champagne for guests to enjoy. 

Attendees also have the chance to receive free prints and participate in raffles during the event. It’s not a bad way to spend your afternoon—admiring art and sipping free champagne. 

Back of the House Galley Kitchen Tour

Some cruise lines offer a free back-of-the-house galley kitchen tour. If it’s listed in the cruise daily planner, it’s definitely worth checking out. 

It’s fascinating to get a glimpse behind the scenes in the kitchen. But don’t expect to see a fully operational kitchen during the tour. Instead, you’ll see a super clean kitchen with minimal food preparation and cooking activities. Some cruise lines charge a fee for a behind-the-scenes kitchen tour, so if you happen to be on a cruise line that offers it for free, you should go!

Free cruise activities

Borrowing Books from the Library

You can borrow books for free from the cruise library. While don’t expect an extensive library, cruise onboard libraries will usually have a wide selection of popular fiction books that are perfect for leisurely reading by the pool.

Cooking Demos

Some cruise lines offer cooking demonstrations by their culinary teams as a free activity. You will have to watch out for it in the cruise daily planner. Typically, they are held on sea days, but not all cruise lines offer it. 

If you see it on the cruise daily planner, you should go. It’s a fun activity where you watch a live cooking demo and see the cruise line’s chef in action.

Bartender Competition

Bartender competitions are a fun activity. While not all cruise lines offer them, it’s worth checking the daily planner to see if they are hosting one. If you come across it, definitely make the effort to attend. 

You’ll get to witness skilled cruise bartenders expertly mixing drinks, often accompanied by lots of entertainment, including acrobatic stunts while making cocktails and juggling mixers. The best part is that they usually pick a few audience members to sample the cocktails for free!


Trivia contests are popular on cruise ships, with competitions happening almost daily. Taking part in these trivia contests is completely free, and they cover a wide range of topics, from music and movies to sports. It’s a fun way to enjoy your afternoons on the cruise.


Karaoke is another free activity on cruise lines. Check the cruise daily planner for details and sign up to showcase your singing skills. It’s a great way to have fun and entertain yourself without feeling self-conscious since you’re performing in front of strangers (you’ll most likely never see them again). So, go ahead, don’t be shy, and sing your heart out!

Dance Lessons

Many cruise lines offer complimentary dance lessons. These lessons cover a wide range of styles, from tango to cha-cha. Participating in these lessons is a fun way to make the most of your at-sea days and learn a new dance skill. Whether you’re a complete beginner or looking to improve your dance moves, these dance classes are a great way to spend your sea days on the cruise ship.


Movies are offered free of charge on many cruise lines. You can find movie showtimes in the cruise daily planner. Typically, the movies are screened in the ship’s theater. 

Some cruise lines, such as Princess Cruise, have outdoor movie nights. You can watch movies on a large outdoor screen on the pool deck under the stars. The cruise staff will set up the pool loungers with cozy seat cushions and hand out blankets and popcorn for you to enjoy while watching the movie. It’s a unique experience!

Live Music

Live music performances are free on cruise lines. Throughout the day and evening, you can experience live music in different areas of the cruise ship.

For example, during the day, you might enjoy a live piano performance at the ship’s atrium, while in the evening, unwind in the lounge after dinner while listening to a talented singer. Check the cruise ship’s daily planner for time and venue-there are many options for live music.

Borrowing Games 

You can borrow board games for free from the cruise library. Popular games like Monopoly, chess, and playing cards are available. There will be tables available for you to play the board games. 

Liquor Tasting

Another free cruise ship activity are the liquor tastings. You can find them in the cruise gift shop, and they often promote them in the cruise daily planner. 

If you’re interested, you can ask the gift shop staff to let you know when the next free liquor tastings are taking place. Sometimes, just by asking, they might even give you some free liquor to sample! 

Kids Club

Kids clubs on cruise lines are free. They usually accept children as young as 3 years old, provided they are potty trained. These Kids clubs are drop-off programs where children are grouped by age to participate in activities like arts and crafts, story time, and games.

It’s fun for the kids and gives parents a few hours of free time during the day. Typically, morning, afternoon, and evening sessions are available for the Kids club. Check out: 10 Ways to Score Free Champagne at a Cruise (How to Get Free Drinks!)

Free Cruise Carry On Bag Packing List

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Packing List for Cruise Carry-On bag

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