Hot on the Forums: What Onboard Activities and Areas Do You Ignore?

April 16, 2014 | By | 17 Comments

Image courtesy of Anan Kaewkhammul
Cruise ships are awash with a multitude of onboard activities, from the traditional deck games, bridge, bingo and trivia quizzes that bring out varying degrees of competitiveness to all-singing all-dancing shows and movies under the stars.
And that’s before you even tackle the rock-climbing walls and watersports on all-action cruises or strike a pose for the ship’s photographer.
In fact, the exhaustive list of things to do can be, well, exhausting. It really is a case of so much to do, so little time.

And despite the ever-increasing range of options, it seems there are some things that simply don’t float our boat. Cruise Critic member pathiwriting on our message boards – said that so far he and his DW had never taken the plunge in the pool or hot tub, and asked what activities fellow cruisers had sidestepped.
A fairly unscientific study of our forums puts bingo, art auctions and swimming pools near the top of the avoidance list. Others shun spas, steer clear of buying photos (with some employing tactics to avoid the onboard snapper altogether) and give the thumbs down to movies under the stars.
JF – retired RRT doesn’t want to see himself in photos, thinks art auctions are a silly place to spend big bucks and stays away from bingo, spas, sailaways, casinos and bars. However, he adds: “I don’t do a lot of the available stuff, but still have a good time.”
And after 18 cruises, dfields1814 has never been to bingo, art sales or those movies under the stars.
For me? I’m up there with DanaPointBob and have never weighed myself while on a ship. Scales are for fish.
Join the debate and let us know what cruise ship amenities and facilities you’ve never used in the comments below.
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    17 Responses to “Hot on the Forums: What Onboard Activities and Areas Do You Ignore?”

    1. Liz
      April 16th, 2014 @ 2:55 pm

      Art Auction = free champagne! And you can learn a little about art. We’ve never bought anything!!

    2. ryba
      April 16th, 2014 @ 3:03 pm

      We absolutely LOVE Bingo (when reasonably priced), but we’ll never ever attend another Art Auction again.

    3. Diane Harris
      April 16th, 2014 @ 3:10 pm

      We’ve been on 10 cruises and never been to the spa

    4. KenSanDiego
      April 16th, 2014 @ 3:19 pm

      I regularly chastise myself for not partaking of the many activities on board, vowing to try them next time. But next time comes and I find myself doing the same things I had done on the last cruise.
      I enjoy people watching at the Lido Deck Bar, comedy shows, the casino and karaoke. Once in awhile I will see the big show. I also enjoy movies under the stars with a nice Monte Cristo.
      I tend to do my adventuring in port, usually opting for the ATV excursions then heading for the nearest Margaritaville for a swim and cocktails. Not always, but those are my defaults.
      This is not to say I haven’t tried other offerings. I experimented with the art auction, mainly for the free champagne but ended up buying animation cells. I tried trivia and was discouraged by the lack of oversight. The ‘honor system’ seems to mean different things to different people.
      The spa will never entice me and exercising is what you do after a cruise, not during. You won’t ever find me at Bingo either. That is the domain of those who carry an assortment of dobbers wherever they go.
      Still, I manage to have a great time, every time doing only the things I personally enjoy, at my own pace, and on my own schedule. 17 cruises later and you will still most likely find me at the Lido Deck bar or the casino.

    5. dontpanik
      April 16th, 2014 @ 3:33 pm

      I avoid crowds which on most, new ships is virtually impossible. I don’t do the bingo, art auctions, pool (for the most part unless it’s relatively empty), pay dining venues, any poolside contests ie hairy chest, belly flop, sexiest legs, etc., and shopping presentations.

      I do enjoy lectures, cooking demonstrations, sitting on my verandah reading or looking out to sea, walking/touring the ship, looking at the art, trivia contests, workshops, and spa days.

      Maybe I’m just getting old but if I wanna hang out getting blotted and being surrounded by 4000 people, I’d go to South Padre at Spring Break.

    6. Renee hall
      April 16th, 2014 @ 3:37 pm

      Bingo – too expensive, art auctions – do people honestly buy art? They must do, it takes up a decent amount of space on the ships I have been on, the library – maybe I should!

    7. maureen zeiss
      April 16th, 2014 @ 3:52 pm

      The ONLY thing I avoid is the pictures and maybe bingo:) Bingo gets too crowded at times.I use the art auctions to learn more about artists.

    8. Andrew
      April 16th, 2014 @ 4:05 pm

      I’ve never been to the shopping seminars that are held for each port, seems like a big sales pitch I just prefer to avoid.

    9. AudalSomerset
      April 16th, 2014 @ 4:54 pm

      Hate the overpriced photos, and being caught every time you disembark.have bought paintings at art shows but not anymore. Hote noisy rubbishy pool games.still have a great time after 24 cruises.

    10. Tracey
      April 16th, 2014 @ 5:08 pm

      We never go to the art auctions. We have our own picture framing business and don’t like the way they are framed and they are way overpriced. Save your money and buy them elsewhere. Unless you’re buying a Van Gogh or similiar you won’t get your money worth. But art because you like it not because got think you might make money on it.

    11. Suzanne
      April 16th, 2014 @ 5:33 pm

      #1 Pool & Spa, #2 Art Auction, #3 Ship’s photographer.

    12. Babsin TO
      April 16th, 2014 @ 5:42 pm

      I avoid the spas and the art auctions. And never, ever let anyone take my picture.

    13. deborah greenaway
      April 16th, 2014 @ 6:52 pm

      Love the art auctions when they are educational but hate the bingo . Trivia csn be good on sea days when you have diverse and fun loving team

    14. Millie
      April 16th, 2014 @ 7:26 pm

      Definitely HATE the art auctions….all the things they have are repeated on the next cruise. Over priced, auctioneer is not that good. We do play Bingo for the Jackpot day….nothing else to do sometimes. Have never done the movies under the stars as it was Alaska & too cold. we also had to skip on a Autumn cruise to Hawaii b/c too cold & rainy. When they finally get smokers off the boats we might return to the casino…I know this is touchy…I was addicted once as well, now it is unbearable to be there where there is smoke. Pools are filthy places…wouldn’t be in a hot tub on a ship for anything.
      We sail to be with our friends…drink way too much, laugh like fools, dine like millionaires & just enjoy ourselves.
      If we go without our friends we make friends onboard…

    15. Mo Better
      April 17th, 2014 @ 8:04 pm

      We avoid the casinos – too much smoke and in over 20 cruises have never used the spas. Made the mistake of using a hot tub on an early cruise – until we learned it is a petri dish for all kinds of nasties.. poolside contests are avoided at all costs. Never miss a Bingo game as I like the free drink when selected as the Bingo Commissioner, plus I’ve won several large payouts. Go RCCL Bingo!

    16. Jean
      April 18th, 2014 @ 4:53 pm

      This is why I like 55& older cruise,I like the
      Bingo games,and the rock wall.I think everyone
      would enjoy what they think they can do.

    17. Anne
      April 23rd, 2014 @ 10:38 am

      We will try it all at least once. We have purchased at an art auction (a whopping $90 for a lovely memento of our trip) and still attend even if we don’t plan to buy just to watch and learn. I’ve had a pedicure at the spa (overpriced, but a great view), engaged in trivia, taken a dance class, eaten at specialties (Sabatini’s was awesome), hit the slots at the casino, enjoyed the pool and hot tubs, watched the big musical productions and comedy acts, accidentally went to a shopping presentation (I was reading in a lounge and they showed up), purchased photos, and attended lectures. Would I do it all again? Sure! What I won’t do? Buy gold/silver by the foot, spend money on the drink of the day ($7 punch with a thimble of booze), pay for wine tastings, or go to Diamonds International. Eventually I would like to try bingo, take a painting/craft class, and do a galley tour.

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