11 Things to Do on a Cruise Ship Sun Deck & 1 Not to

November 29, 2011 | By | 39 Comments

Today’s cruise ship sun decks are about sea views, salt air … and surf simulators. Over the past decade, top-ship spaces have been transformed into activity hubs, featuring watercoasters, adults-only retreats and freshly mowed picnic areas. And while we’ll never tire of simple sun-deck pursuits like reading or getting sunburn, the new options mean we can also learn to grill, conquer a fear of heights or catch a movie under the stars.
But, however you spend your top-deck time, do not, under any circumstance, participate in the sort of activity described in the last slide. Better yet: Don’t film yourself doing it.
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    39 Responses to “11 Things to Do on a Cruise Ship Sun Deck & 1 Not to”

    1. Helen
      November 30th, 2011 @ 8:19 am

      Sit at the pool with a bucket of beer and watch passengers fight over chairs.

    2. Lifetimelinda
      November 30th, 2011 @ 9:42 am

      Hallelujuh!! Right there with you.

    3. Dori
      November 30th, 2011 @ 10:22 am

      I guess I am old fashioned when it comes to cruising. I much prefer, to commune with the sound of peace and quiet while reading a good book. I stay off the mega ships with the circus mentality on the sun decks. It’s great for young families who need to entertain themselves. I always aim to get off the ship more relaxed than when I get on.

    4. glenn gustaferri
      November 30th, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

      my wife and i love to cruse we love kids ,but keep them in there on place with their parents not runing all over the ship.

    5. Angus Lawson
      November 30th, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

      I agree with dori. I think these Princess ships have gone to far. blaring movies a day long around one pool and noisy games around the other. Forces people to pay extra in the sanctuary for peace and quiet. I guess thats the trend, extra billing.

    6. patricia
      November 30th, 2011 @ 1:11 pm

      I am not for the blaring music, blue suede shoes car salesman type of cruise director blaring his ego direction and ride the stick horse games. I go to relax and hear the waves or read and have a peaceful time, not party time. That can go at night or drinks at the pool. I’m with Dori and Angus. Leave the rock climbing and iceskating and party games at the pool to those under 20 or on children’s cruises. Not for adults that want to enjoy peace.

    7. julio
      November 30th, 2011 @ 1:59 pm

      I LOVE to party, even if I’m 43, that’s exactly the best reason to feel you are alive and not a dead body. Most of RCCL cruise ships have nice and peaceful libraries where you can always read a good book. My next cruise God would allow me to go for is the Allure of the Seas, next coming january and it’s going to be 100% a party time…a sun tan is always welcome, it doesn’t matter if there’s nobody around or, it’s a crowded area…sun will be there for me!

    8. Jane
      November 30th, 2011 @ 3:32 pm

      I have never been on a cruise looking forward this Feb a short on to start 4 nights with the family

    9. angusm
      November 30th, 2011 @ 4:27 pm

      we used to enjoy princess cruises but with all the noise and hype with movies etc we are sailing Holland America i wish people with children would teach them some manners and respect

    10. Sonya Sherow
      November 30th, 2011 @ 5:29 pm

      I would enjoy the half a day of the no kids zone and even willing to pay the price. Love my daughter, but can I get a couple of hours of free time. Sign me up! We can climb the rock wall together later.

    11. IslandDreamers
      November 30th, 2011 @ 5:34 pm

      I like the sun, while DH sits under the shade of the pool bar. I love the live band, the music…the hollering of the “mango-tango-tastes like chicken!” coming from the bar staff. A few things I could do without are: kids splashing innocent sun-worshipers in the general pool area (watch out for hard cover books, you brats!) and parents who think it’s ok for their kids in swimmers to marinde in pools and hot tubs. I have seen parents argue with pool staff about such an event. Not cool and not sanitary!

    12. John
      November 30th, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

      Believe it or not, I actually enjoy reading a book, on a deck chair, on the Promenade Deck! Port for Sun, Starboard for Shade, depending on which way the ship is sailing Peace,quiet,a slow parade of joggers,no kids! And no fighting for chairs. See you at afternoon tea

    13. Paddy Dulson
      November 30th, 2011 @ 5:50 pm

      Although I’m with you about noisy kids, I have witnessed some grown men and women who are much worse Especially when they jump in the pool. Bigger mass, larger splash

    14. C-Bear
      November 30th, 2011 @ 6:52 pm

      We go on a cruise to relax and to unwind from work and everyday stress and craziness. We like the options that are available to us on the ships. Everything from socializing in a trivia contest or the fun at an art auction to the elegance of afternoon tea or just a quiet corner to curl up in and play cards, nap or just watch the waves. I appreciate that there are options. I would, however, love that cooking/feasting event though! Cooking is my everyday unwind choice and I think it would be a blast to cook for the other passengers under the eye of the cruise Chefs.

    15. christine
      November 30th, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

      I love sea days on Princess in the Sanctuary. It is worth the money to me. Also sitting in the aft of the ship is a great place to sit and read and relax. I find sitting around the main pools are too noise and too crowded. The best time of all is when everyone gets off the ship and you have it all to yourself. The Movie under the Stars MUTS for short is great at night for movies. Yes parents keep your kids in check! Stop the running all over the halls and playing with the elevatores!

    16. Steve
      November 30th, 2011 @ 9:32 pm

      There is another event for which you can (and should) throw stuff overboard. If you see a person go overboard you should start throwing anything that will float over the side. There is always a chance that person can grab onto it, but the practical reason is to mark the area for searching.

    17. romel
      November 30th, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

      Just returned from a cruise that left me so tired I slept till noon next day. Cabin above Vista Lounge loud music did not have to go to shows heard rehearsal during day no rest again. Then at night till all hours. After a disastrous year went to relax and recuperate BIG MISTAKE.

    18. Tony Dimond
      November 30th, 2011 @ 10:18 pm

      We love Princess. It has a great cross section for all and a good range of ship sizers. The pool on the stern of the larger ships is best for a quiet laze and read. The two complaints, adults taking over the hot tubs for hours on end (it is hard to believe that whilst drinking, they can hold their bladders for hours on end). The second complaint, parent’s who have no control of their children nor wish to. If we wanted to hear and watch children misbehaving, we would have rented a house opposite a school.

    19. michele moore
      November 30th, 2011 @ 10:28 pm

      oh romel…ya gotta check the ship spaces before you book to make sure of where the rooms at.

    20. Dollhouse Duchess
      November 30th, 2011 @ 10:42 pm

      All this makes me glad we’re Holland American mariners…we enjoy what they offer, the minimum of children and horseplay, the time and space to relax and enjoy our vacation with great service, great entertainment, lectures, etc., etc. which we can choose to do or not do.

    21. cruise cousin
      December 1st, 2011 @ 11:45 am

      Just returned from a Holland America cruise. Had a credit so took HAL even though we were aware of the preponderence of \Seniors\ that sail on HAL. The food, service and entertainment were great but I have to say that dead cannot begin to describe the atmosphere. There were walkers, wheelchairs and hearing aids in huge abundance. They were in their pjs by 9pm. Except for sailing with Carnival we usually dont encounter real rowdiness on our many cruises but I prefer that to a floating morgue any time. We have sailed Hal in summer on a Med cruise and that was pretty even between families and elderly.

    22. H. Harper
      December 1st, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

      Just returned from a 2 week NCL cruise. Loved the cruise………..EXCEPT for the constant piped in music EVERYWHERE on the ship except the Library or our cabin. Too much noise pollution! We will go back to Holland America!

    23. Cruise Critic
      December 1st, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

      @Steve, right you are on that overboard scenario…

    24. AlanFromFL
      December 1st, 2011 @ 3:34 pm

      Tony Dimond – are you 100% certain that they are indeed holding their bladders? :)

      Yes, I agree about the hot tub lizards…also, kids in the ‘adults only’ pools and hot tubs.

    25. Ruthie
      December 1st, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

      Cruising is a subject that requires research.
      The cruise line. The cabin location. The ports of call.Don’t give up because YOU did not make a good choice.

      I love children, at the grocery store,in their home,or in the mall. On ships, not so much! I am a X girl. I love the
      low keyed,culture driven atmosphere. Look carefully before you sail, research, research…

      December 1st, 2011 @ 7:56 pm

      Just returned from a fabulous 28 day Princess cruise to Tahiti. It was about 80% seniors.
      Yes, many of them had the devices that annoyed you. Well, I use a cane and I thank God that these people can get out and enjoy themselves. I also noticed that most of the passengers were very well mannered. No pushing, shoving, cursing, etc. They cared about each other and had a great time. Wait a while. You’ll be there too.

    27. Christian
      December 1st, 2011 @ 10:03 pm

      Well, one thing we all have to live with on a cruise is proximity with many other peoples. Respect those who want peace and relax, and respect those who need to party hard. Share mutual respect and enjoy the ocean breeze. We all paid for a good time and should expect the best. I Do not worry if a little old lady looks oddly at my kids having a blast. Or if a slob is lost trying to get back to the bar… It’s just fun and you know… If you get aggravated by others, cruising is really not for you. Happy cruising. ;-)

    28. Florin Georgescu
      December 2nd, 2011 @ 10:33 am

      Amazing activities! It’s about relaxation, fun, body building some times, socializing, general culture also, quality time.
      By the way polls are tricky some times…

    29. Cindy
      December 2nd, 2011 @ 5:57 pm

      Celebrity is the line of choice for us…with a wonderful blend of ages, tending perhaps to the older ones, but that’s me! Few announcements to aggravate you…lots of activities if you want them or not. We love the choices, the food and also the spa food offerings. Not only healthy but delicious and no guilt. Few children and the ones we have seen were extremely well behaved…a salute to the parents.

    30. christine
      December 2nd, 2011 @ 6:15 pm

      Myrna you said it right. All of you who find it a bother to have people with walkers etc. a problem just remember that can be you someday. I was on HAL and found it anything but a snooze. I won’t travel with them again but not because of older people.

    31. Gunnar
      December 4th, 2011 @ 9:53 pm

      Cruising on the Mega ships gives you the varitity of have what ever environment you want. On Princess we were able to have peace up a couple levels from the pool near the stack. I do want to let you know the these cruise ships do give relaxation to parents. My son has Autism and RCCL has bent over backwards so that that he has a great trip, we have a great trip and all of the other people on the ship have a great trip. We are all on board to enjoy ourselves and to relax. So when life gives you lemons find someone whose life has given them vodka.

    32. Suzy
      December 5th, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

      Enjoy your balcony. Be sure to check out the drink specials on Holland America,,last cruise was 2for 1 in certain locations,,what a deal!!People watch,,see the ones that really enjoy,and those that look like they are in prison!!

    33. Di
      December 5th, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

      Never even saw the cruise director on my two cruises. Loved the peace & quiet on deck & on my balcony reading. Whatever floats your boat, er ship.

    34. Raisuli
      December 5th, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

      Got back about a month ago from a Carnival. TRIED to relax on my balcony, but the family six doors down let their kids use the passageway as a racetrack, screaming full volume. The second time that happened I spoke to the midget miscreant, who had nothing intelligent to say, so I made a call. Problem solved.

      My biggest complaint about Carnival is those horrific televisions, and by all accounts they’re spreading like any other virus…

    35. David Welsh
      December 6th, 2011 @ 12:34 am

      Just read all these postings and agree that a cruise population is reflective of the general populace. After 40 years of cruising on a variety of ships have concluded that the popular lines are now no more than holiday camps and that the luxury lines are the only way to have a relaxed, enjoyable,restful and satisfying experience.
      We have enjoyed the luxury lines by ourselves the last several years but are going on RCI with 31 of our family in 3 weeks time. I am sure it is going to be a different experience but we look forward to the adventure.

    36. Janette Thomson
      December 29th, 2011 @ 8:22 am

      Whoever tossed the shoe overboard is not alone! My grandson at the age of two did exactly the same thing with one of his holiday sandals. It happened so quickly and I couldn’t stop thinking for ages about one of his belongings being at the bottome of the ocean. At least he didn’t know better!

    37. ILene
      December 29th, 2011 @ 7:25 pm

      We have recently gone on a transatlantic cruise with Celebrity (our favorite). The thing that is most annoying is the not being able to get a seat at the indoor pool because folks put towels on all the chairs and then leave for hours. Wonder what could be done about this? Think it would work to remind these folks that this is an inconsiderate practice. I guess not. Where do all these people go, we know they are not in the pool.

    38. Chana Cain
      March 18th, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

      Cruising is for people who enjoy the cruising culture. If you are a complainer you will find anything to complain about. I have always found noisy and quiet areas on ships to enjoy. Do your research. That’s what the internet is for. There is something for everyone who wants to ENJOY themselves.

    39. Osprey
      March 18th, 2012 @ 6:31 pm

      The Oasis’ Solarium was my favorite spot. Lots of deck chairs, wonderful view (right on the front of the ship’s pool deck) and most of the time, peaceful. Sometimes even with the adults it could get crowded and rowdy in the pool area. Still, for the most part a great place to take your book or laptop (or a bucket of brews) and relax. And the Solarium restaurant is wonderful too! Spa dining, but the food was so good! Ate more breakfasts and lunches there more than anywhere else. It was never crowded, and a table was always available… and did I mention the food was excellent?

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