Even 11 Times Can Be New

February 19, 2015

I love to travel. Fact. Undisputed. I also enjoy some of my travels aboard cruise ships, so much so that I recently completed my 11th cruise in the past 8 years totaling more than 80 days at sea. Each one has been unique, but having sailed one ship twice, and another five times, occasionally you need to find a way to break from repetition.

While these days, ships offer plenty of activities, here are a few ideas to help any frequent cruise passenger, or traveler, to change it up adding fun along the way:

  1. Get a massage or some other fancy extravagant thing. I'm not one for the spa, but with an onboard ship credit, why not pamper yourself a bit? For me, it was a great experience. I probably won't do it again, but it was a nice change to the day, especially in a familiar port of call. Maybe it's a nice dinner at the upgraded restaurant aboard? It could even be breakfast in bed. Make it easy and make it memorable.
  2. Run a 5K. My office has an annual 5K for a local charity and this year it was while I was aboard ship. While at sea this year, I knew I'd miss the race but still decided to run at the same time as my colleagues on the ship's jogging track. A rocking boat with a 20 naught headwind for half the course made for an equally challenging race. It's fairly easy for anyone to do any time aboard ship. Just find the area reserved for running and calculate the number of laps to achieve the distance. It's a great sense of accomplishment and a fun way to start the day.
  3. Take only the stairs. I started this a few years back to help justify all the extra food and calories I'd consume. You'd be surprised how easy it can be, once you get used to not calling for an elevator. If you're concerned about stamina, energy or have a medical condition, try first to just take the stairs when going down to lower decks. Yes, I hear the cry of, "high heels," but know that you don't have to do it everytime, but most of the time is definitely a start.
  4. Espresso on the balconyEnjoy a fresh cup of coffee on the balcony or top-side by the pool. This was a tradition I began years ago when I'd stay at a beach-side resort and it blends very well aboard ship. There's something about not only enjoying a cup of coffee outside, but with a beautiful view either on land or at sea. It's an excellent, relaxing way to start the day. Most rooms come with either access to coffee, or a coffee maker in the room. I lucked out and had an espresso maker in my last room and it was a fantastic upgrade.
  5. Splurge for the upgrade. I've stayed in all room types and can honestly say they each have their value at a place and time. As a frequent solo traveler, it's nice to get the upgrade to a balcony if the inventory is available. It also makes item four above much easier to enjoy. A nap at sea on a balcony can be one of the most relaxing experiences with the sound of the surf against the hull as the ship sails. Blissful.

What are some ways you've enhanced your travel? What tips could you share that have plussed up your vacation?

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Cruise, Cruise Vacation, NCL, Norwegian Cruise Line, Vacation,