Reasons to Stay aboard the Cruise ship

(When it is docked at a Port-of-call)

One of the joys of taking a cruise vacation is the many great port-of-call destinations you will go to along the way. Getting out and exploring the ports and surrounding areas are the most significant appeal for people when they book a cruise. However, there are many reasons why you may want to stay aboard the cruise ship while others go ashore.

I know….
You spent all this money to go on a cruise to visit the many great exotic locales, cultures, and new experiences. Why would you stay aboard the cruise ship when it is docked at the port?
While staying on board at ports of call may not be for everyone, some of these ideas may give you reasons to want to stay behind. Thats what Freestyle cruising is all about – do your own thing.

Pools & Hot Tubs

Lounging by the pool is popular for many cruisers, making the pools rather crowded while at sea. The deck lounge chairs in primo spots are often taken or reserved, making it difficult to find an excellent place to relax.
While most other cruise passengers are out exploring, you can find the perfect spot to lounge by the pool or have the pool all to yourself. You can relax in the hot tubs without sharing it with strangers.
It will be less noisy, disruptive, and distracting; and more relaxing and enjoyable.
If your ship has a waterslide, this will be a great time to enjoy this feature, as there are no lines or crowding.

Rest and Relaxation

If you have ever been on a cruise with many ports of call, you know how exhausting that can be. Busy cruise itineraries may seem like a great way to go – you certainly get more bang for your buck. We went on a 10-day cruise around Italy, and it had five ports of call back to back in the course of 5 of those days. While that may sound like a lot of fun, after five days of walking around Italy – it can be rather tiring.
You may want to take a break and relax for a bit. Taking a day off from exploring may be just what you need. This break allows you the opportunity to sleep in, read a book, or enjoy a day by yourself away from people.

TIP: Grab a plate of veggies/fruits/cheese and sit by the pool as you read, or simply relax.

Discounts on Spa packages

One of the perks of staying onboard the cruise ship is that the Spas often have discounted rates on their massages, steams, facials, and other treatments. A trip to the spa is a fabulous way to help you relax and rejuvenate; after a hectic day of excursions at the port.
The availability is better because very few people are on board. So, there is no waiting for an appointment.

Playing Games

When we take cruises, we enjoy playing board games in the games room. However, this is a very popular activity when the cruise ship is at sea, making it difficult to get a table. Yet, you have your pick of tables when you are at port.

Tip: There may be Bingo (or other) games going on where your chances of winning money go up.

Lectures, Seminars, and demonstrations

Every day, you will receive a newsletter with a schedule of events for the next day. Take a look at this and plan your daily activities to fit your interests. There are many seminars, lectures, and activities that the cruise staff put on that you may find of personal interest. Some of these include wine tasting, towel folding, dance classes, circus training, and much more. The chances of getting into these activities are vastly improved when the cruise ship is docked at port.

Exploring the ship

Is touring the vessel something you would enjoy? For many curious cruisers, this is a highlight of taking a cruise. Cruisers love seeing how things run onboard the boat and go behind the scenes. Maybe you want to visit the bridge or meet the officers and captain. You can see parts of the ship that are more functional than ‘pretty’. When the boat is docked at the port is a great time to make this happen. Satisfy your curiosity and explore the ship.

Bars & Restaurants

Staying aboard while most people go ashore is a wonderful time to enjoy the various restaurants on the ship. There is no shortage of dining options on a cruise ship, and you can be guaranteed a table at any of them. You can enjoy a relaxing meal at your favourite restaurant, burger joint, buffet, or pub without the crowds or wait time.

The bars are not busy if you just want to kick back and enjoy a cocktail. You will get the same excellent service you are accustomed to without a wait.

Meet the Crew

We like to think of ourselves as good travellers who appreciate those who work in the tourism industry. We are always very kind and respectful when we cruise to the servers, bartenders, housekeeping, and other crew members. Engaging in conversation with them to learn a little more about them is something we enjoy. Where they are from, and what their job entails. There is always time to be kind and respectful. With fewer people on board for them to serve, striking up a conversation with the crew is much easier. Let them know you appreciate what they do to improve your cruise vacation.


If you choose to stay aboard the cruise ship when it is docked at the port, there are movies and shows for you to enjoy. Head to the theatre and catch a show with your choice of seat.



Cruising can be a lot of fun and a great way to see many different countries in a short time. Some cruises, like the Caribbean, Mediterranean, etc., often include many of the same ports of call. The more you cruise, the more you will see these ports, giving you more chances to stay behind.

Check out our Cruising Tips for Beginners.

Have you ever stayed aboard a cruise ship while docked at a port of call? What are some of the reasons that keep you onboard? Contact us to let us know.


Adventurer, gastro-tourist, avid road tripper, and butter tart aficionado. Exploring the road less travelled and the adventures that exist for all to see if you open yourself up to new possibilities. Greg and his husband Nick are residents of Guelph, and their greatest joys in life are exploring the world around them. Road trips with no real destination are a favourite past time. Get off the beaten path and discover somewhere they have never been before. Sometimes the best vacations are the ones you don't really plan. Life is about the journey together and not the destination.

Write A Comment