Part 2: Tips for Finding Peace and Quite On Board
In part 1 we brought you the top 10 ways to find peace and quite on board your next cruise. Here we have listed a number of other ways your cruise can still be a peaceful & enjoyable experience.
Here's part 2 for Finding Peace and Quite On Board:
• Cruise Intensively: A port-intensive itinerary means you will be off ship for much of the cruise, exploring at your own pace. Windstar Cruises and Oceania Cruises keep sea days to a minimum, and emphasise time in port. Look for itineraries with overnights in port to totally maximise your time ashore.
• Or, Look for Sea Days: If all you want to do is lounge around the pool, listen to music, read a good book, watch movies and simply relax and unwind, you might prefer itineraries with lots of sea days. With nowhere to go but the open sea, you can almost feel the stress melting away into the horizon.
• Choose the Route Less Travelled: Boutique, expedition and small-ship lines have a distinct advantage over mainstream mega-ships. They fit into smaller; lesser-known ports and can deliver blissfully crowd-free shore days.
• Play the Numbers Game: To guarantee you don’t end up on an overly full cruise, avoid-peak season cruises – especially during school holidays. Have a look at our previous article “When is the best time to cruise?” for information on peak seasons for popular destinations so you can work out what might be the best time for you to set sail. Otherwise, consider a repositioning cruise – these take place in off-peak months, and tend to be long transoceanic journeys or oddball itineraries. Not only does this mean they are often less crowded, but they are also often cheaper.
• Go It Alone:Explore ports independently, or if you can afford it, hire a private car and/or a private tour guide. This gives you more flexibility compared to ship-organised tours, and it is less exhausting – you can sightsee at your own pace, skip things you don’t want to see and you don’t have to deal with large groups of people.
• Escape Private Island Crowds: Cruise line private islands offer many perks – pristine beaches, plenty of water sports and lunches that don’t cost extra. But, with everyone in the same small place, it can feel just like being on board. To escape the crowds, consider renting a private cabana – you will have a private space, with a place to shower, change and store your things. You can also indulge a little and splurge on an alfresco massage.
• Stay On Board: Avoid irritating lines, aggressive touts and packed beaches and remain on the ship when it anchors in a popular port. On board you will be able to breeze through the buffet line, book a spa treatment for when it suits you and you won’t have to fight for your favourite deck chair.
• Go Against the Flow: Every ship has a daily rhythm that influences the movements of people on board, and creates opportunities to find seclusion in certain rooms and decks at specific times. For example, hit the gym at lunch time rather than in the morning. Go to the internet café during dinner on a sea day. Or, get a chair in the observation lounge in the morning rather than at sunset.
• Walk (or sit) the Promenade: The promenade – the outside walking area – is a great place for some peace and quiet. Far from the pool-deck action, it isn’t a connection point between major public rooms, and it often has deck furniture for reading or napping. Some promenades wrap the entire ship and are great alternatives to the gym for some exercise.
• Let the Experts Guide You: Concierges, private butlers and the guest services desk know their ships’ quiet nooks, so ask for their insider tips to find the best unknown places.
• Hit the Adult-Only Enclaves: More and more ships are separating under-18’s from their parents in order to maximise the peaceful coexistence of all concerned. While you may not be able to escape all of the people, you can grab some drinks and a sun lounger for a kid-free afternoon.
• Relax Around the Clock: Night Owls have the run of the ship while everyone else is asleep – the lounges and libraries are empty, the buffet is open and the sky is waiting for some star-gazing.