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Cruises Can Get Stressful, Here are 10 Ways to Make it a Relaxing Vacation

If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you know how it can quickly become stressful. Yes, cruises can be stressful! Like waiting too long for a table at the main dining room or trying to book shore excursions only to learn it’s already sold out, or being given a 9 pm dinner slot when you try to make dinner reservations or trying to unwind by the pool, but the crowd is just too much, and all the lounge chairs are already taken. Cruising can be a stressful experience, and that’s the last thing you want on your vacation. As someone who has been on over 25 cruises, here’s how I make my cruise experience relaxing and stress-free.

How to Make Your Cruise More Relaxing

1. Book a Suite

If you have the budget for it, booking a suite on a cruise is the easiest way to upgrade your cruise experience and make it more relaxing. Suites on most cruise ships come with a range of VIP perks. 

First of all, you’ll get priority embarkation, so you don’t have to wait in line with everyone else to board the ship. Also, most suites come with a butler who can attend to your every need and request. You don’t ever need to stand in line at guest services! 

Some cruise lines even offer suite passengers access to suite-only restaurants, so you don’t have to worry about waiting for a table or dining with the crowds. And if you’re looking for privacy, some suite staterooms even come with hot tubs on their private balcony, so you don’t have to share with strangers. 

Of course, all of these perks come at a higher cost, but if you’re looking for a more luxurious and relaxing cruise experience, booking a suite is definitely the way to go.

2. Get Access to the Thermal Spa

If booking a suite is out of your budget, a cheaper way to make your cruise more relaxing is to buy a thermal spa pass. Many cruise lines, like Norwegian and MSC sell thermal spa passes which give you access to the adults-only spa lounge. 

Using the thermal spa pass, you can unwind in the jacuzzi, steam room, sauna, cold rooms, and salt rooms. The best part is that the spa lounge is not crowded, and there are no rowdy kids! 

It makes your vacation more relaxing. I love buying thermal spa passes for the entire duration of my cruise. On sea days, you will usually find me at the spa all day, reading a book while lounging on one of the spa lounge chairs. Even on port days, I like to go to the thermal spa to relax before dinner time. All in all, it’s an excellent way to make your vacation more relaxing.

How to Make Cruising Relaxing

3. Adult Only Pool

Another way to make your cruise more relaxing is to go to the adult-only pool. Many cruise ships (not all) have pools reserved for adults only, making it a peaceful, relaxing poolside experience.

For example, on Royal Caribbean cruise ships, the solarium is the adults-only pool. It’s an indoor pool located at the front of the ship with lounge chairs and hot tubs. It tends to be less crowded than the main pool, so you can enjoy a more serene experience without the commotion of young children running around.

4. Avoid the Buffet on Embarkation Day

For a relaxing first day, it’s best to avoid the buffet on your cruise embarkation day. The buffet is the busiest place on the ship on embarkation day since everyone will be heading there after checking in at the port. The buffet will be crowded with long lines and no vacant tables! Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that the buffet on embarkation day is the last place you want to be. 

To make your embarkation day more relaxing, skip the buffet and have lunch at a sit-down restaurant instead. Just ask the cruise staff which restaurants are open for lunch and head over there. Trust me, it will be a much more relaxing experience.

5. Buy the Skip the Line Passes

Did you know you can make your cruise vacation less stressful by paying a little extra to skip the lines? Similar to Disney’s Lightning Lane, many cruise lines now offer a skip the line add-on option. 

For example, Carnival’s Faster to the Fun program gives passengers exclusive perks such as priority boarding, direct access to guest services, express luggage delivery, early access to staterooms, and priority disembarkation. 

Royal Caribbean’s The Key is an add-on package that gives priority boarding, an exclusive welcome lunch, reserved seating at shows, and the ability to skip the line at some onboard activities. By choosing to pay extra to skip the line, you can enjoy a more relaxing and stress-free cruise experience.

6. Book Your Shore Excursions Ahead of Time

Booking your shore excursions ahead of time is a great way to make sure you have a relaxing cruise. With everything organized beforehand, you can relax and enjoy your cruise. It saves you the hassle of having to find a shore excursion. And you don’t have to waste your vacation, lining up at the shore excursion desk. You can go ahead and enjoy your cruise without having to worry about shore excursions. 

7. Dine at a Specialty Dining Restaurant

One easy and fairly inexpensive way to make your cruise more relaxing is to dine at a specialty restaurant. Not only are these restaurants typically less crowded, but the servers also tend to be especially attentive, making you feel pampered. Plus, you’ll get to indulge in premium menu items that you may not find elsewhere on the ship. So, if you want to elevate your dining experience, a specialty restaurant is definitely worth checking out!

How to Make Cruising Relaxing

8. Have Breakfast in Bed 

Make sure to indulge in a little bit of relaxation during your cruise by enjoying a lazy sea day and treating yourself to breakfast in bed. Taking advantage of the luxury of room service is a must when you’re on a cruise. 

If you are in a balcony cabin, having breakfast while enjoying the view is a relaxing way to start your day. While some cruise lines now charge a fee for room service, many still offer free room service during breakfast, so take advantage of this perk while you’re on a cruise.

9. Stay on the Ship During Port Days

An easy way to make your cruise vacation relaxing is to stay on the ship during one of the port days. I personally love doing this, especially if it’s a port I’ve already visited. When you stay on the cruise ship during port days, it feels like you are at a resort all day. 

You can unwind by the pool without the crowd, relax in the hot tub, and have the buffet all to yourself. You can even take advantage of the discounts on spa treatments and salon services which are usually only available on port days. 

You won’t get bored on the ship. On port days, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained. You can catch an afternoon movie or attend a dance class. 

If you haven’t tried staying onboard the ship on port days, you should definitely try it. It’s a nice relaxing way to spend your day. Check out my article 9 Reasons Why I’m Skipping Port Days on my next cruise. 

10. Book the Beverage Package and WiFi Package in Advance

If you’re planning to buy the cruise beverage package and/or cruise WiFi package then I suggest booking them in advance. First, if you buy these packages in advance, you’ll usually be able to get a better deal because most cruise lines will offer a discount for advance purchases. 

By buying in advance, you don’t need tobe trying to figure it out while on the cruise ship. You can start your vacation right away. Go ahead, order that pina colada the moment you board the ship! Check out my article on 9 reasons why cruise ship beverage packages are a waste of money. 

Free Cruise Toiletry Bag and First Aid Kit Packing List

Get Your Free Cruise Toiletry Bag & First Aid Kit Packing List

Sign up once and you will get access to ALL exclusive content on this website. After unlocking the printable, just save the printable image and then print it. Use it as a checklist to pack your cruise toiletry bag and first aid kit so you don’t forget anything! I hope you like it!

Cruise Toiletry Bag and First Aid Kit Packing List

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