Cruisers cite several reasons for why they don’t plan to get off a ship when it reaches a certain destination on the itinerary. Maybe they get too worn down if they go out every day on a schedule that has back-to-back-to-back port days. Or perhaps they are veteran cruisers who have already visited a particular port multiple times. This happens on Caribbean cruises, for example, when it might seem that you are stopping at Cozumel or St. Thomas on every cruise you take.
These are legitimate reasons, for sure. We can add several more cool reasons to stay on your cruise ship when it reaches port.
Spa Discounts — Your cruise ship spa knows that most passengers head ashore. So, you’ll see big discounts on port days. Ships offer savings like 2-for-1 deals, bundled treatments and up to 40 percent off regular pricing to entice cruisers to spend some of their time (and money) on a massage or other spa treatment.
Room to Roam — I love to get off the ship to explore new things to do in port, but I must admit that it is really nice to just stay on the ship and enjoy the calm and lack of crowds. You really notice how jam-packed the high-traffic areas can be on sea days and embarkation day. But on port days, the ship is quiet and you can hit the jogging track to get in a run without the worry of dodging fellow passengers and the numerous lounge chairs that inevitably creep onto the path. The fitness center also will be blissfully free of crowds, so you can perform your workouts at your pace and on any piece of equipment you like.
No Lines at the Buffet – Or anywhere else! No standing around, pushing or shoving at the buffet or poolside grill or pizzeria or soft-serve ice cream machines. You can stroll on up anytime you want and quickly get what you are looking for — with no waiting. This allows you to speedily resume your stress-free day of fun and relaxation.
Peace and Quiet – The lounges and all public spaces are quiet on port days. You can settle in and really appreciate some of the finer details of your cruise ship, which might feature unique art displays on the walls or in statuary or other installations placed around the ship. This is also a great time to enjoy a good book by the pool or in a quiet and calm interior space. You might even find yourself drifting away into a relaxing afternoon nap.
Ship is Your Playground – Does your cruise ship have awesome activities that always seem to have long lines? Now is the time to play mini-golf and get on the waterslides, ziplines, ropes course, surfing simulators and other activities. You can have a blast without having to wait. This way you get much more time playing on your favorite attractions.
Pool Time — The cruise ship pools always are chaotic on sea days. I love the vibe around these spots when the ship is in port. I can always find a sun lounger in a prime location, plop down and enjoy a magazine, island breezes, sunshine and nearly empty pools for cooling off as needed.
Speedy Bar Service – Your favorite bars will be all clear when most everyone else is ashore. This means no frustrating jostling, elbowing in and trying to get a bartender’s attention when you sidle up to get a beer or cocktail.
You’ll also have the chance to engage in friendly conversations with the bar staff and any other passengers who have decided to stay onboard with you. You know, the other smart cruisers.
Why do you like to skip a port and stay on the ship instead? Let us know in the comments.
John Roberts is a freelance writer and operator of InTheLoopTravel.com. He writes about cruising and active travel, highlighting how people can connect with the world and other cultures through rewarding travel experiences.