Unfortunately from time to time, cruise ships are unable to stop at a port of call that is on the itinerary due to weather such as a tropical storm or hurricane. Although port stops are not guaranteed, cruise lines do everything in their power to stick to the original cruise itinerary. After all, the itinerary is one of the major reasons why passengers booked that particular cruise.
The most common reason why a cruise skips a port stop is due to weather. Port stops that require tendering can be the most vulnerable when weather conditions get rough. I missed the cruise line’s private island on my very first cruise after a cold front hit the Bahamas. It happens from time to time and since there is nothing you can do about it, you might as well make the most of the situation.
Other reasons why cruises may miss a scheduled port stop can be due to a medical emergency on board and in very rare cases, a problem with the ship (this does not happen very often). When a ship does have to skip a port, the cruise director will add a variety of activities that weren’t originally planned.
If you are on a cruise and your ship misses a port stop, here are 21 things you can do on board:
- Find the Ship’s Coins – Commemorative coins are placed under the kneelblock when a ship is being built. A box containing the coins is welded somewhere on the ship during the ship’s official coin ceremony.
- Play Trivia – Join your fellow cruise mates for a fun time of trivia.
- Watch a Movie – Either on the big screen on the pool deck or in the privacy your cabin.
- Pool Games – Pool games on sea days are always a great time.
- Tour the Ship – Having an unexpected sea day is the perfect time to walk around and tour the ship. You will likely find a new lounge that you never even knew about.
- Book a Spa Treatment – Nothing will turn around the disappointment of missing a cruise port faster than getting pampered in the ship’s spa. A hot stone massage is nothing short of heavenly.
- Visit the Library – The library will have a number of board games you can play, fun for the whole family.
- Karaoke – Go ahead and sing your heart out, you’ll most likely never see any of the passengers again.
- Visit the Gym – Work off that 2nd helping of dessert.
- Attend an Enrichment Class – Cruise lines have enrichment classes that will help you learn all about the regions that you are visiting.
- Play Bingo – After all, someone is going to win that free cruise. It might as well be YOU.
- Do Nothing – That’s right, find a lounger with a gorgeous ocean view and take the day to relax. On sea days, doing nothing is something!
- Zumba – Join the certified Zumba instructors for 30 minutes of high energy dancing.
- Sports Deck – Hit up the sports deck for some shuffleboard, basketball, ping pong, volleyball, or miniature golf.
- Visit the Casino – A great way to have fun in the ship’s casino without losing your shirt is to enter one of the daily tournaments.
- Take a Galley Tour – I am always amazed how a cruise ship can feed 4,000 passengers three meals a day.
- Listen to Live Music – Live music can be found all around the ship.
- Visit the Ship’s Thermal Suite – Relax in the saunas, Turkish-style steam rooms, and hydro-therapy pools that will rejuvenate your mind and body.
- Room Service – Sea days are great days to take advantage of free room service that ship’s offer.
- Enjoy Your Balcony – Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy a quiet, relaxing day on your private balcony.
- Book Your Next Cruise – Visit the future cruise consultant and book your next cruise. Cruise lines will usually give you free on board credit for the cruise you are on when you book a future cruise.