17 Free On Board Activities that are Worth Doing on a Cruise

Going on a cruise isn’t cheap, however there’s a lot included that’s pretty amazing and worth doing. Here’s a list of 17 free things to do on a cruise, that you likely wouldn’t get to do on a land trip.

I remember when we first took our kids on a cruise, we were amazed at all we could do, see, and eat that was included! Although cruise lines definitely push and promote the extras that you can pay for (like specialty restaurants and more), there’s so much great stuff offered for “free” or included.

1. Broadway Style Shows

On a cruise you could see shows ranging from really good original Vegas style in-house productions with excellent singers and dancers, to actual Broadway run shows such as Hairspray on Royal Caribbean and Rock of Ages on Norwegian Cruise Line.

Don’t miss out on cruise ship entertainment! Think how much you would pay for shows like this back home or even on a land trip to New York or another big city.

Tip: If you are booked on a very large cruise ship, check to see if you need to make reservations online before the cruise. They do this to control crowd capacity and you may not be able to just walk in.

2. Amazing Cruise Food (try new stuff!)

One of the things we love most when we are cruising, is the opportunity to try new foods. Let’s face it, at home you couldn’t just “try”escargots in a restaurant. Perhaps salmon tartar or a delicious new salad combination is tempting.

From different cuisines in the buffet (my kids loved the Indian food on Princess), to decadent desserts in the cafe or main dining room, the options are almost endless!

This is your chance – and if you don’t love it, simply order something else.

A short anecdote:

On one of our first cruises, our family was sitting in the grand looking main dining-room when the waiter came over offered my children a “kid’s menu”. However, my kids had already seen both Filet Mignon steak and ricotta and spinach ravioli on the main menu.

They asked him “Do we need to order from the kid’s menu?”. They definitely wanted to order from the regular dining room menu! That’s where the good stuff was!

Our thought was that they could eat chicken nuggets at a birthday party back home, however they could eat well and try delicious new foods on a cruise, without any pressure.

To this day, my kids talk about their memories of our family dinners on cruises. It’s worth everything!


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