All At Sea - Getting Away From It All

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There are many reasons why people opt for a high seas holiday. For some it can be the ship, while for others it can be the opportunity to explore somewhere new with ease, but a cruise can also be a chance for most people to truly get away from it all. When you’re sharing your floating resort with many others, however, finding some space for yourself can sometimes be challenging. So what can you do?

Book A Balcony Stateroom

This is my top recommendation for anyone who wants to get away from it all on a cruise. A balcony not only enhances your accommodation, but also gives you a private space of your own in the great outdoors. You can sit in the sun, enjoy quiet time to read or watch the scenery, and if your ship offers room service, you can also enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you can stretch to it, a suite will be even larger, possibly with a separate bedroom and living area so couples can enjoy some togetherness apart.

Make Use Of A Ship’s Quiet Spots

Most ships have a library, and in keeping with traditions on land, they are often ideal places to spend quiet time. Often they have ocean views, and nooks and crannies in which to tuck yourself away, and many have a cafe nearby so you can enjoy peace, a good book and your daily latté. Another quite spot on many ships, if it has one, is the promenade deck. As they wrap around the ship not particularly linking one area with another, and they are often beneath the lifeboats in the shade, they are usually quiet but will have sun loungers for napping or watching the scenery slip by.

Opt For A Small Luxury Ship

Smaller luxury ships have fewer guests, and public areas tend to be less busy at any one time as a result. Many ships, such as Seabourn and Regent, have more balcony accommodations, and they also operate on an open seating basis, which often means less of a rush for meals, and alternative restaurants where you can dine when and with whom you choose. These ships also offer 24-hour room service, so if you feel like dining alone in your suite with DVD, no problem!

Take Advantage Of Adult-Only Facilities

These have become extremely popular in recent years, offering grown-ups a chance to get away from it all in an exclusive enclave. Examples include Serenity on Carnival, The Sanctuary on Princess, and The Retreat on P&O. The only thing to be mindful of here is that some ships do charge for entry, and restrict how long you can be inside, and on particular cruises, such as those during school holidays, they can be very busy with like minded cruisers.

Head For The Spa

In recent years a visit to the spa has become one of the “must-do” activities while cruising the high seas. Besides a spot of pampering, however, they are also havens of quiet, often with additional facilities such as saunas and relaxation rooms to enjoy. On Celebrity ships, for example, you can buy a pass to its Persian Garden steam room for the entire cruise. Many ships also have dedicated spa accommodations, from staterooms to suites, offering perks including additional access to spa facilities.

Explore On Your Own Ashore

If your itinerary features ports of call which are easy to explore without a tour, go it alone. If you want to tour and can stretch to it, hire a private tour guide and car (either through the ship if offered, or independently) rent a car of your own, or join a limited numbers tour such as those offered by Oceania Cruises. If your ship stops at its own private island, rent a cabana to get away from the crowds.

Stay Aboard

Some people loathe sea days as everyone is on board looking for something to do, and everyone is queuing for the buffet. On port days, however, most people are off on tours or exploring, which offer crowd-haters the opportunity to stay behind and enjoy the ship as if it was your own. While some facilities may not operate on port days, however, those including the spa often offer special deals which you can also take advantage of.

Choose Your Itinerary Carefully

There are two options here. A busy itinerary with many port days means you won’t be on the ship that much, unless you opt to stay aboard, however, remember that the port itself may still be busy with guests from your ship and others. One thing to consider is a small or expedition ship, which will likely head to places less touristy and well-known, and which are consequently less busy. Examples of cruise lines for this include Orion Lindblad, Captain Cook, and Hurtigruten. 

Splash Out

Some big ships have operate a class system of sorts, with certain facilities exclusively reserved for those who are prepared to spend big. For example, guests of MSC’s Yacht Club, on selected ships, can enjoy a ship-within-a-ship concept, with a separate Concierge Reception, Top Sail Lounge, swimming pool and other amenities served by an exclusive round-the-clock butler service. Other similar concepts include guests of Haven by Norwegian on NCL’s Epic, and Queen’s Grill guests on Cunard’s three Queens.



Joanna Hall