The contemporary mega-ships today offer an increasing number of drinking, eating, and entertainment options which get fees atop base fare. The days when the bar bill was the only financial concern onboard are long gone. Today cruise travelers feel like immediately after they get onboard starts the emptying of their pockets. Add-ons and surcharges are here to stay.
Is there a way out with free cruise things to do at sea?
The following review is integrated with How to Cruise For Free.
Yes, it's still possible to find your final bill at $0.00, though the (optional) surcharges make the new reality at sea. Plenty of notable experiences are still included in ticket price, like thin crust pizza, Vegas-style shows, and other simple free pleasures like toothpaste or shaving cream. Are you still wondering what are the best free cruise things that are not included in fare? Read the following review about hidden fees and you'll know how to fight against them. Check out the list of the best free cruise things to do and decide wether the mission is impossible or not ;-) .
The Top Free Cruise Things
20 Things You Won't Pay a Pound For at Sea
- Best pizza for free: In 2012 Carnival cooked-to-order pizza took over on Carnival Breeze, and soon got even better. Well, not so as Naples wood-fired good, but with impressive balance of sauce, cheese and thin crust, fresh from convection oven and fee-free. The same is now offered by Carnival Conquest.
- Ham and cheese croissants: A sandwich is more than sliced bread and filling onboard Royal Caribbean the minute you try an addictive cheese and ham mini-croissant, cheesy, flaky, three-bite morsel with tomato, lettuce, mustard and mayo topping. This fee-free mini is a staple in the 24-hour signature Cafe Promenade.
- Indian food all-you-can eat: Carnival Tandoor dining is among the best free cruise things to try at sea. The aromatic counter, open typically for lunch, serves Indian food made by Carnival Indian cooks. Try the grilled meats and fish, daals and basmati rice, curries, alongside essentials like raita, mint chutney, and achar.
- Time to eat the donuts: For all of you who hate paying for sweets at the onboard specialty cafe Oasis of the Seas features Coney Island-style Boardwalk. Grab surcharge-free donuts at the donut shop with a rotating lineup of irresistible flavors from key lime to glazed, you're sure to find what you'll like. Other items are available, but you'll have to pay up to $4 for them.
- Coronary Burgers: Craving for a complimentary "on-a-bun" heart attac? Then give Guy Fieri burgers a try. The "Guy's Burger Joint" venue is fee-free and through 2015 it will be added to pool decks of fourteen Carnival ships, offering burgers on buttered buns and toppings like onion rings, chipotle mayonnaise, and blue cheese crumbles.
- Milk and cookies: While you're lounging poolside onboard a Princess voyage, with no intention to move though longing for something sweet, attentive waiters will make your dreams come true - just relax while the staff bring over ice-cold milk and soft-baked cookies.
- Poolside milkshakes: Major lines do soft-serve free ice cream, but Oceania Cruises exceeds all with three milkshakes' flavours - chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, made to order by pool deck. And the treat is tasty.
- Free cabin toiletries: Inclusions in Carnival famous in-cabin complimentary toiletry baskets rotate, but you may expect Ludens, Pantene or Arm & Hammer... the little things.
- Bathrobes for all: Every guest on the Carnival Fun Ships, from the inside cabin occupier to the modest-sized suite passenger, gets a bathrobe. Holland America is the other line that provides robes to all. Do you still believe that only travelers with money are able to spend comfortably the post-shower moments?
- Surfing: Surf simulators debuted for the first time onboard Freedom of the Seas and offered passengers the chance to boogie-board and surf out of the ocean. Though it's among the free cruise things, if you want to participate the staff will ask you to sign a waiver, so better be aware of the possibility of public humiliation if you don't hold on to your bikini top. If you are not a daredevil type, grab a seat nearby (also for free) and enjoy other's spills.
- AquaSpa Cafe: AquaSpa Cafe is Celebrity Cruises concept about healthy cruising. The post-spa treatment or -gym bathrobed crowd enjoys this fee-free venue, offering sushi, salads, and other light-fare healthy foods alongside some a la carte items (poached salmon, grilled pork). Celebrity's glass-covered adults-only Solarium provides the right backdrop for free of guilt offerings.
- Big-Screen Wii Battles: For all grown-up kids who wish to show video-gaming skills, and now have the audience to appreciate their expertise. Norwegian Cruise Line fleet is outfitted now with Nintendo gaming interactive system, Wii. "Bowling", "Boxing", and other tournaments are available on most sailings.
- Outdoor movies: Not the first-run, but free of charge, and you may bring in treats from the buffet or cabin with no need to smuggle them under jacket. The movie screens on Lido Deck are more romantic than is the real deal, featuring prime viewing from pool by day, and snuggly loungers with blankets at night.
- Broadway onboard: Are you in the mood for a Broadway show without need to pay the high Broadway ticket prices? Allure of the Seas features "Chicago", Liberty of the Seas - "Saturday Night Fever", "Hairspray" is on Oasis of the Seas, and "Rock of Ages" on Norwegian Breakaway. Also enjoy West End and TV stars - the illusionist Derren Brown, or the classical singing Russell Watson. The best thing about such entertainment - it's among the top free cruise things.
- Blue Man Group: The best free cruise show onboard Norwegian Epic - one of a handful of venues where you can watch the blue mutes' performance at sea and the Blue Man Group painted percussion mime mess, free of charge. So put on a poncho - get ready for a show.
- Mini-golf: If you want to catch sun without lazing by deck pools and avoid crowds as well, top-deck mini-golf provides a great chance - and it's one of the best free cruise things. Offered on some Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, MSC and Disney ships, the courses aren't a full eighteen holes, but still can be challenging, as the putting will depend on ship's movement. For a more competitive twist, why not joining a mini-golf competition, offered usually once per sailing.
- Climbing the mast: Embrace the pirate in you onboard Star Clippers line - it allows passengers to climb one of ship's masts up to crow's nest lookout. So high above ocean, you'll discover one-of-a-kind view - of course if you are able to keep your eyes open after the acrophobic terror. But actually, there is nothing to worry about as the line does not let guests climb without harness.
- People-watching: This free cruise entertainment is for people who would like positioning a chair in the highest-traffic zone on pool deck, atrium, or promenade and watch your shipmates. No matter bizarre behavior, fashion snafus or overheard juicy conversations, all that you witness onboard a cruise ship rivals the best reality TV.
- Dancing Lessons: Waltz, tango, or the electric slide - contemporary cruise ships are one of the best places to try a variety of dance styles for free, including on themed music & dance cruises. It's not a problem to have two left feet - keep calm and try out some new steps during live pre-dinner music. Be sure that the couples there burn up dance floors constantly. P&O Cruises also offer the opportunity for learning some free cruise moves from 'Strictly Come Dancing ' professional dancers onboard selected sailings.
- Sunset over the ocean: We consider it the most beautiful sight while cruising (and yet not the less important among the top free cruise things), which even doesn't cost a penny extra. Grab your better half's hand (or a cocktail ;-)), and walk over to ship's railing. Sure, you've seen it before, but watching the sun fall down over the ocean is one of the things that make life feel good - take a deep breath and feel this moment.