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Cruise Activities You Can Re-create at Home: Virtual Cruising and Meetups

Brittany Chrusciel

Last updated
Feb 9, 2021

Read time
3 min read

One retired couple in Australia proved that anyone could stage a sailing when, to offset their canceled cruise, they drank wine in bathrobes while sitting on lounge chairs facing footage of the ocean on a flat-screen TV in their living room. Talk about balcony goals.

If you find yourself in cruise withdrawal, we've got a few things you can do to boost your mood right from your favorite armchair.

Host a Virtual Meet & Mingle

Avid cruisers might already know that a Meet & Mingle is a hosted gathering, typically on the first sea day of a sailing, led by Cruise Critic members. Often supported by the cruise line, these meetups are a way to socialize with other passionate cruisers and find some kindred spirits on your ship.

Without a ship in play, the essential idea of a Meet & Mingle remains the same -- with the exception that instead of meeting in person onboard your cruise, members interested in the same cruise line or affinity group can designate a time and platform to video chat. Skype is a downloadable software familiar to most people, but Zoom is also a popular method of video chatting online.

The captain and cruise director might not be dropping in for a Q&A or a "Bon voyage!" but it's still a great forum to shoot the breeze about the upcoming sailings you're most looking forward to, or the things you miss most about actually being at sea.

Why Not Take a Full Virtual Cruise?

We're not the only ones who have sought inventive ways to embark on a voyage from bed. Abe Hughes, a Royal Caribbean cruise director, created a digital program for an imaginary cruise to nowhere onboard Virtual of the Seas.

For those on the Viking Cruises e-mail list, the cruise line does a tremendous job bringing an itinerary to your inbox with stories, recipes, book and film recommendations, and videos from featured destinations they sail to like Budapest, Hungary. You can also tune in to all-new Viking TV, with programming from the line. Loyal Viking cruisers have even created a virtual Explorer's Lounge to foster discussion using a forum on the Cruise Critic message boards.

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic have begun posting a Virtual Expedition series to its Facebook and Instagram pages (@lindbladexp) so adventure-seekers can continue to explore the wild, from their domicile.

Holland America Line has kicked off a series called HAL@Home, delivered via email, promising entertainment, cooking demos, destination snippets and more. The first video in the series  is a culinary lesson with Chef Ethan Stowell of HAL's Culinary Council.

Crystal Cruises likewise has set up the Crystal@Home web page with a daily schedule of virtual cruise events, including Sunday Cooking with Chef Jon Ashton, Wellness Wednesday with tips and workouts and Friday Nights at the Galaxy with the cruise line's favorite performers entertaining live on Crystal's Facebook page.

Port cams and live cruise cams are also handy methods of offsetting your FOMO with a look at what’s happening in your favorite cruise port or onboard one of your favorite cruise ships -- even when you're not onboard.

For more cruising content from your sofa, check out Cruise Critic's YouTube channel.

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