23 Ways to Cruise at Home

As the nation is ordered to stay at home during the current climate, many of us are left wondering how we can curb our cruise habit from our own homes.

With a little creativity, we believe you can! Whether it’s hosting your own formal night or recreating your favourite cruising cocktail, there are plenty of ways to ‘cruise’ at home. Here are 23 ways to feel like you’re back on-board and keep you looking forward to when you can finally set sail again.

1. Create your own spa

One of the big things on a cruise ship is the spa facilities. Wellness has been a leading contributor to ensuring cruisers are relaxed while on-board, with saunas, steam rooms and expertly trained therapists offering the best treatments. Why not treat yourself to a relaxing at-home pamper session and transport yourself to your favourite cruise ship spa?

At home spa - Relax in the bath

2. Host your own cooking class

Cruise ships are renowned for their vast dining experiences, from five-course extravaganzas to 24-hour pizza parlours. Aside from fantastic foodie options, many cruise lines allow you to get hands-on in the kitchen. Royal Caribbean hosts cupcake decorating or sushi making on-board, while P&O Cruises has a whole cookery club with celebrity chefs.

Cooking class

Whether you’re decorating cupcakes or assembling homemade pizzas, hosting a cooking class with family and friends is a great way to come together and enjoy some delicious food together. Get aprons for everyone or make your own chef hats to wear during the class and set up in the kitchen for some hands-on cooking.

Need some inspiration? Try these cruise line recipes to recreate in your kitchen!

3. Set up a scavenger hunt

Cruises are great places for family-friendly activities and most cruise lines offer these scavenger hunts on a regular basis. Create your own at home by hiding certain items or finding things around the house. Draw up some clues and set your team on a hunt to see who solves it first!

4. Lounge by the pool

The paddling pool that is. There’s no denying we are all dreaming of laying by the pool right now and who doesn’t love a pool day? So, why not have you own (weather permitting) in your garden! Dig out the paddling pool and colourful floats, stick on your favourite poolside tunes and have your own imaginary sail away party!

Father and daughter swimming in a pool on-board Princess Cruises

5. Stage your own formal night

What’s a cruise without a formal night? Love them or hate them, there’s no getting away from this cruise tradition and it’s incredibly easy to have your own at home. Simply glam up in your favourite dress or suit and get the family together for fancy fun. Getting your picture taken is an essential part of formal night so why not set up a backdrop, grab some props and take some snaps before you enjoy dinner together.

Staff on-board MSC Bellissima

6. Start a fitness regime

Cruise ships are renowned for having state-of-the-art gyms as well as great workout and fitness classes, many of which are simple enough to replicate at home. From yoga and Pilates to high-intensity workouts and chair exercises for home-workers, there are plenty of online tutorials and video sessions to get those muscles moving.

Yoga on-board Royal Caribbean

7. Go to the theatre

… in your living room! Yes, that’s right. With incredible Broadway-style shows such as Royal Caribbean’s We Will Rock You; MSC Cruises’ Cirque du Soleil at Sea and NCL’s Jersey Boys, cruise shows offer some of the best entertainment at sea.

Hairspray - Show on Royal Caribbean

To curb your love of cruise ship theatre, many theatres around the world are offering their shows to watch online for free, as well as workshops for children. While it doesn’t offer the same level of grandeur as a cruise theatre, your living room is perfect for doubling up as the place to watch world-class theatre with your family.

Here are just some of the theatres offering free content:

  • National Theatre Join them on their YouTube channel to see some of the best British Theatre, including the online premiere of One Man, Two Guvnors starring James Corden
  • Shakespeare’s Globe Free content released from their platform ‘Globe Player’ includes six filmed productions, 37 short films, and a new digital series from Sandi and Jenifer Toksvig called Shakespeare & Love in Isolation
  • Hampstead Theatre In collaboration with The Guardian, Hampstead Theatre is re-releasing live-stream recordings of three past productions including Mike Bartlett’s Wild and Beth Steel’s Wonderland
  • Catherine Wheels This children’s theatre company is releasing White by Andy Manley ahead of the Easter Weekend, with the show available to watch on their YouTube channel from 10th-13th April
  • Sadler’s Wells This theatre has announced new productions and workshops to be made available digitally, including activities for younger children

8. Have a family Q&A

If you’ve ever been to a Captain’s Corner question session on a cruise ship, you will know it’s a great time to openly ask the Captain and their team something you’ve always wanted to know. From your favourite memories to where you want to go on a dream holiday, this activity is a great option to learn more about your loved ones.

Group sharing drinks

9. Become a cocktail connoisseur

Recreate your favourite cruise cocktails at home with online recipes and tasty ingredients and become your own bartender! Or why not take the time to discover a new cocktail of your own? Here are some of our favourite recipes that you can make at home.

  • P&O Cruises’ Raspberry Crème Brûlée:Baileys, black raspberry liqueur, caramel syrup, raspberries and cream shaken together.
  • Princess Cruises’ 24K Gold Rita:1800 tequila, Cointreau and exotic orange Grand Marnier mixed together with ice.
  • Carnival Cruise Line’s Hurricane Wave:Coconut rum, peach schnapps, pineapple juice, orange juice and grenadine all poured over ice.

10. Learn towel folding

This intricate art is one that is ever popular when cruising, as housekeeping staff leave amazing towel animals in staterooms for guests to find. From swans and elephants to frogs and monkeys, try it yourself at home and see what animals you can fold yourself.

Towel folding

Photo credit: Prayitno (Flickr.com)

11. Unleash your inner artist

Origami, scrapbooking, collage making, painting – there’s plenty of ways you can express yourself through arts and crafts. Even on a cruise ship, kids’ love taking part in all sorts of fun activities and the kids’ clubs on a cruise are some of the best you will find!

Kids club - P&O Cruises

From scrapbooking classes with Royal Caribbean to learning how to create your own animation on a Disney Cruise, grab the paints, felt tips and crayons and prepare to get creative with your little ones.

12. Create an obstacle course

Having to stay home means things such as exercise and daily workouts are a little more difficult. Like the courses you would see with Carnival Cruise Line’s SkyCourse or Norwegian Cruise Line’s SkyTrail, a fun way to get some physical activity in is through building an obstacle course for you and your family to navigate through. You could even make it competitive and see who can complete it the fastest!

SkyCourse on-board Carnival - A high ropes course for the adventurous

13. Spend a cosy evening outside

Princess Cruises have their Movies Under the Stars, Cunard has its own planetarium. Now you can have it too with your own recreation! Set up somewhere comfy on a clear night and watch a film from a laptop or tablet. You could even take up a bit of stargazing and see if you can spot any popular constellations in the evening sky.

Movies under the stars - Sapphire Princess - Princess Cruises

14. Learn a new language

Longing for the time when you can holiday once more? Now if the perfect time to brush up on your French or Spanish ready for when you can finally set sail again! There are plenty of apps and online courses to take up which offer free content and support to get you speaking a new language in no time. Some of the top options include Duolingo, Babbel and Open Culture.

15. Host a dinner party

Another excuse to get dressed up, hosting a dinner party is the perfect reason to get creative at mealtimes and do something a bit different. Much like formal night, going out to a nice restaurant as a family is something we all love doing while cruising. Whether you’re usually heading to Royal Caribbean’s Chops Grille or the Chef’s Table aboard Princess Cruises, recreate that feeling with you own dinner party.

A multi-generational family toasting their voyage in a restaurant on-board a Princess Cruises ship

Why not design a menu and place settings to make it feel extra special?

16. Read a book

This may already be a way you past the time but for many having access to a cruise line library is perfect as it offers a breadth of choice you might not have at home! Most cruise ship libraries are open 24-hours a day and some even have board games as well as a bar to keep visitors happy!

The sophisticated library on-board the Celebrity Xperience cruise ship

Storytime is a great way to unwind when you’re on holiday and at home should be no different. Find time to relax alone with your latest pick or gather your children round for family story time.

17. Have breakfast in bed

Room service is a treat for many of us while cruising, with some cruise lines offering selected menu items for free. Types of food a cruise line typically includes bagels, pastries, cereal, omelettes, fruit, toast as well as a variety of hot drinks and fruit juices.

Room Service Tray

Stage your own room service for a family member and bring them breakfast in bed for a great start to their day!

18. Plan a karaoke night

No cruise is complete without karaoke! Whether it’s a group rendition of their favourite tune or a solo act coming alive while belting out a ballad, it’s a great experience to watch people step onstage and sing their hearts out. Princess Cruises even have their own version of The Voice of the Ocean which shares the same exciting spectacle as the TV’s singing competition, complete with team coaches, auditions and the iconic ‘I Want You’ chairs.

Have your own family karaoke night and pick your best songs to belt out, just be wary of the neighbours!

19. Explore the world

If you’re left feeling a little stir-crazy and longing to set sail, why not explore these world attractions from the comfort of your couch. Many landmarks and key locations such as museums, zoos and national parks, are offering the experience virtually for people to enjoy online.

From Buckingham Palace to New York’s Central Park, enjoy a little moment of escapism with just a few clicks! Why not see it all on our article 31 Virtual Tours Around the World?

Grand Canyon, Arizona

20. Design your own cruise documents

Two key documents while cruising are your cruise ship card and your daily planner. Both of these hold information relating to your stateroom and name, as well as any package information, ship activities and dining options.

Look forward to your next cruise by enjoying a fun and arty activity to design your own cruise ID card and daily itinerary. It’s a chance to get creative and who knows, you might even plan your next perfect cruise together!

Art supplies - hobby

21. Start a new hobby

Cruises have a fun way of opening our eyes to new hobbies or interests we might have even known we had! Golf, knitting, photography – there’s no end to the hobbies you can try out on a cruise. While we are stuck indoors and have a bit of extra time on our hands, it’s the perfect time to start learning something new. With so much resource and support found online, it’s never been easier to revisit old pastimes or kickstart a love for something new.

Cruise passenger taking a picture of a butterfly after an on-board photography class

22. Have a film night

Whether in your stateroom, on the pool deck or in the cinema, a cruise ship offers incredible movie listings for you to enjoy on-board. While at home, recreate that movie night feeling by choosing a flick to watch together on the sofa. There are plenty ways to stream movies to your TV with options including Netflix, Amazon and the brand-new Disney+. Simply grab the popcorn, stock up on snacks, and press play on your TV remote as you’re ready to snuggle up to watch one of your family favourites.

Movies Under the Stars - Princess Cruises

23. Complete an online course

Whether brushing up on your history or wanting to know more about the environment, there is a diverse selection of courses online to expand your knowledge and understand more about the world.

Cruise ships are one of the best places to encourage learning, offering lectures, workshops and tutorials with industry experts. Enrichment activities on cruise lines such as Princess Cruises, Cunard and P&O Cruises are the perfect way to broaden your knowledge, with a wealth of subjects for nearly ever interest.

Try it for yourself at home with these online resources: FutureLearn, OpenLearn, and the Online Learning College.

Ready to set sail when you are

No matter how you choose to spend your time at home, know that Cruise118 is waiting to find your perfect cruise when you are. Whether you’re wanting to set sail in 2020 or later, we are ready to plan the perfect cruise holiday you deserve.

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Emma Smith
Emma has more than six years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for over a year. She loves learning of new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in diary for 2020! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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