The news is official! The CDC has lifted all health restrictions for the cruising industry! Let’s hear three cheers for the cruising industry! Let’s hear another three cheers for the CDC! No longer will they have to serve as a health advisory. The cruise lines can now operate under their own power, with nowhere else to go but up. Step by step, the horrors of the COVID pandemic continue to disappear. As the horrors of COVID continue to fade away, it’s time for cruisers to look forward to those happy times ahead. Happy times on cruises come in a variety of forms. Specifically, what on board cruise activities should cruisers not miss out on? The top 5 on board cruise activities to never miss are as follows. Warning: Laughing can and will be uncontrollable.

5. Sail away party: Once the lifeboat safety muster drill has concluded, the announcement is made. The captain or the cruise director will say on the ship’s P.A. system, “You’re now on vacation!”. The sail away party has officially begun. Upon departure from the pier, the music on the open deck is cranked up. The ship’s main pool is crammed with people of all ages, just taking in the joys of being on board a floating city. Or should one say, a floating party on the move? The sail away party is the party of all parties. The alcohol is flowing! The conga line is stretching around the pool deck. The cruise director’s staff is mixing and mingling with the guests, getting to know them all personally. That’s what the sail away party is all about. Everyone’s getting to know each other; learning who’s from where, who’s eating when, who’s doing what when, and who’s meeting up with whom wherever. The good times are rolling for sure. The sail away party is the ultimate party experience.

4. Dining with strangers: On the very first night on board, the guests file into the main dining room for their dinner seating. It is in the dining room where the dining staff begin to put on their show. The dining staff are the utmost personable when it comes to taking care of hungry guests. The guests are so hungry, they’re undoubtedly looking to sink their teeth into the food they paid thousands of dollars in advance to scarf down for an entire week. Besides the guests indulging themselves, the distinct pleasure of meeting their tablemates is a whole other story. It is at the dining room table where each and every night they share their stories from the day. It is at the dining room table where two people could become close acquaintances; very close. From there, no one knows what events or moments could transpire throughout the week.

3. Buffets: On any cruise, there’s food, food, and more food. Where does the culinary staff store all of the food for one week is anyone’s guess. In one week, a cruise ship carries up to half a million eggs-with only one chicken on board. The dining room may be the place where the show takes place, but the buffets on the top deck are a show of another kind. Guests are sure to be drinking endless gallons of coffee, eating pounds and pounds of bacon and sausage, and tons upon tons of pancakes. It goes way beyond pancakes! How about the endless toast, boundless piles of waffles, and never-ending spoonfuls of butter. Buffets bring out the excitement in all guests. Without buffets, cruises are nothing. Without buffets, guests would have nothing to write home about. Buffets on cruises are postcards that speak for themselves.

2. Nighttime entertainment: Nighttime on board any cruise vessel is always special. Each and every evening, guests are treated to nighttime shows that they’re never used to at home. Nighttime entertainment on any cruise ship, regardless of cruise line, is pulsing with energy. There is something for everyone on board-for the adults (young and old), teens, tweens, and yes-the little ones, to a certain hour. From day one, the nighttime activities are non-stop. From comedians, to headliner shows, to all-inclusive shows such as the “Love & Marriage Gameshow” and the “Whiteout Party”, undoubtedly bring out the young spirited energy in all guests. Speaking of nighttime entertainment, the on board casino is the one place where the energy and anticipation are flowing. As soon as the ship sails into international waters, the casinos begin taking donations.

1. Poolside activities: On any cruise, there is absolutely nothing like the poolside activities. All-cruise-long, every cruise line features a wide array of poolside activities. The cruise director and his/her staff put on a non-stop repertoire of activities, especially those that take place poolside. From pool volleyball, to the outdoor BBQ lunch, to bartending games, to the most famous activities including the belly flop competition. The belly flop competition is the one contest which all men will never stop clamoring about, before and after. No matter what happens poolside, there are plenty of ladies in their bikinis taking in the action. Without poolside activities, the fun would be nonexistent. They’re what make life on the open deck “the good life”.

Finally, the true fun of cruising has returned. The CDC has removed all of its restrictions and no longer will play “Big Brother” with the cruise lines. Yes, cruising for sure can to return to pre-COVID form. Who said cruising was going to look any different post-COVID? The good times are sure to remain as they always have been there from the beginning. The sail away party will always kick the cruise off to a flying start. Guests will always look forward to eating with total strangers and become close friends in a matter of hours. The nighttime entertainment will certainly be inviting guests each and every night to put it all out there. Of course, guests will always look forward to that opportunity to indulge at the buffet; breakfast, lunch, snack time, and beyond. More than anything, cruise guests are sure to take home fond memories of their time poolside, from receiving a perfect score on making a Mojito or winning 1st place in the belly flop competition. Cruising is back. The daily indulgence is back. The on board activities are back. The floating party is back. Ultimately, making memories is back. Regardless of occasion, the cruise vacation-the traveling experience of a lifetime is back!

About Author

David Kriso has been a travel writer since August 2011. He is a contributing writer for both of his hometown's newspapers, The Gazette, and The Observer. His articles focus on cruise and railroad travel. David is also published online at ProwsEdge.com, a cruise magazine based in Vancouver, Canada and at Amtrak's story site, Whistlestop.Amtrak.com. David also writes for the publication Examiner.com. On Examiner.com, he writes about cruise and rail travel. David is a long-time train traveler, avid cruiser, and a Disney traveler since age 4.

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