Being on a cruise is like being a kid in a chocolate factory: there is absolutely an unlimited number of events and activities to choose from. For our annual honeymoon, my husband and I decided to go on a Southeast Asian trip that had us sailing, singing, dancing, reading and eating for seven straight days on Royal Caribbean. Here are seven events on a cruise that you shouldn't miss to maximize your experience:
1. Raffle Draws
Okay, I am not the luckiest person on earth. I seldom win in raffle draws but when I do, I really get sweet prizes (like an iphone or a fonepad once in a blue moon). Shops in your ship may hold raffle draws as a way of advertising their products and services. We joined a raffle draw conducted by the ship's spa and salon. I didn't win (as expected) but the positive energy and excitement of people in the lounge was addicting. Our seatmate won a full body massage service. Lucky woman!
2. Sailaway Dance Party
There is usually a big send-off party and the entire pool area is filled with songs, laughs and dances by your in-house performers. This is the kickoff activity of a weeklong festival of sounds and sights. This is a total experience of a lifetime so do not miss this one. Wave to the people who are still onshore and start your journey with a promise to yourself that you will really define "fun" on this trip.
3. Trivia Sessions
Many young people shun this because the loyalists of this event are mostly members of the older crowd. But I like it because it is slow and informative. You don't have to hustle and get ahead of everyone. You just sit down, listen, think and answer.
4. Karaoke Nights
If you're like me and love to sing just about anything found in the playlist, then scour your daily planner for karaoke sessions. On our ship, karaoke in English was only done for an hour and was held in a venue aptly called The Dragon's Lair (yeah, passionate, aggressive wannabe singers spit out fire). Prepare yourself for your best performance and start practicing and belting out notes while you're taking a shower.
5. Boutique Openings
Cruise ships earn a lot from retail sales so if you are a compulsive shopper then you will make them really happy with your purchases. But if you just want to window shop and your ship happens to have a boutique opening on your first sail day, go. Cartier had a grand opening on our cruise and it was just an experience to stand there and watch people being convinced by sales persons to buy this and that.
6. Singles Mingle Party
If you're single, bored and looking for the love of your life, perhaps you might consider attending this party exclusive for singles. The single piece of advice I can give in meeting people in a cruise ship though is: just don't expect too much. In other words: don't get your hopes up. You don't want to get your heart broken after a week.
7. Meet and Mingle
This is different from number 6. Before boarding the ship, some of your fellow travellers would actually go to Cruise Critic and join your ship's roll call. When the number of people reaches 25, the ship management arranges a meet up of these members. Roll calls are great venues to discuss ways to save up on shore excursions or land transportation. Plus, you get to meet new friends from all over the world.
What's your favorite part of a cruise?