What to Do Onboard a Cruise Ship in Bad Weather

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You always hope for good vacation weather – clear skies, moderate temperatures, gentle breezes, and certainly no rain in the forecast. Unfortunately, Mother Nature may not always cooperate and you could have all sorts of poor weather on a cruise, from gale force winds and choppy seas to dense fog, chilly temperatures, and pouring rain. Bad weather doesn’t have to spoil your getaway, however, and there are plenty of great things to do onboard even in the worst weather.

How Bad Weather Can Affect a Cruise

Cruise ships are built to withstand typical weather with ease, including the occasional storm or other bad weather. Likewise, cruise itineraries are planned to take advantage of the best weather seasons with minimal disruptions. Still, bad weather can impact a cruise in several ways.

P&O Oceana
Video Footage By: georgewambobo (YouTube)

A simple rainy day may close pools and hot tubs or cancel outdoor activities or shore tours, or rough seas may mean certain shows are not safe for entertainers to perform and will have to be rescheduled. In very poor weather, the ship may need to be rerouted, and arrivals and departures at ports of call may be delayed, changed, or even canceled in extreme cases.

Read our dedicated post about how Hurricane can impact your cruise.

When extreme adjustments are made to a ship’s itinerary, cruise passengers are often offered onboard credit or refunds, but those compensations are not required and should not be expected or demanded. At the same time, cruise lines will make every effort to offer substitute activities and more events that can be enjoyed regardless of the weather.

Enjoying Your Cruise When Bad Weather Strikes

It can be disappointing when bad weather changes the activities or destinations you’d hoped to enjoy on your cruise, but there is still plenty to do.

Most indoor activities will be unaffected by inclement weather, including trivia contests, karaoke, cooking demonstrations, Bingo games, art auctions, craft projects, comedy shows, slot tournaments, scavenger hunts, and more.

How about one of these foldable umbrella caps for those rainy days in port!

You can also take advantage of the ship’s indoor facilities, such as the gym, spa, arcade, and shopping mall, all of which may have different presentations, lectures, and sales going on no matter what the weather. Larger, more elaborate ships often have even more unusual options, such as ice rinks, bowling alleys, movie theaters, or planetariums.

If none of the scheduled options appeal to you on a rainy day, you can enjoy a slower pace by indulging in your own entertainment onboard. Most cruise ships offer several in-cabin movie options and you can order room service for a cozy snack.

You could visit the ship’s library and see what reading material is available, and many libraries offer board games and puzzles for passengers to use.

If you’re a bit hungry, you might enjoy taking the time to try out the taco bar, sushi station, gourmet pizza, ice cream sundaes, deli sandwiches, or other great food choices available. Wash it down with a festive drink of the day or sample a new type of cocktail, wine, or beer you’ve been interested in trying.

Cruise Port
Photo By: Russell Otway

All the while, listen for ongoing announcements about the ship’s schedule and any itinerary changes or adjustments. Cruise ships have access to state-of-the-art weather tracking equipment and detailed weather reports, and as the weather changes the ship’s officers have the discretion to adjust their route and plans to compensate as needed.

Get all your cruise accessories before you head off on vacation.

At the same time, the cruise director or other members of the entertainment staff will make announcements about new activities and other fun onboard so you don’t have to miss out on a thing.

A Note About Seasickness

When the weather turns bad during a cruise, seasickness can always be a concern. Be sure you take appropriate steps to control nausea if you are susceptible to seasickness, such as avoiding excessive alcohol or greasy or spicy food that may upset your stomach further. Avoid rambunctious activities and slow your pace down a bit.

It might be worth buying seasickness wristbands for your cruise right here.

Consider home remedies to lessen seasickness, such as a taste of peppermint or some ginger ale, and your stomach won’t be nearly as concerned with the bad weather as you are.

Bad weather does not have to ruin your cruise if you don’t let it. While poor weather can make your cruise different from what you’d expected, embracing those changes and enjoying the available activities can ensure you still have a great time even on a stormy sailing.

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