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Unveiling the Hidden Gems of Cruise Ship Experiences

Ahoy, fellow cruisers! Today, I am here to spill the beans on some of the most overlooked, yet utterly delightful experiences that you might be missing out on during your cruise adventures. While the usual suspects like lounging by the pool or catching a live show are certainly great things to do, there are a few gems hiding in plain sight that deserve a special mention. So, settle in, and let me guide you through the nuances of cruise ship indulgence.


Epicurean Escapes at Specialty Restaurants

Picture this: an intimate setting, impeccable service, and a menu that promises culinary ecstasy. Yes, I am talking about the specialty restaurants onboard. I strongly advocate that cruisers have at least one meal at a specialty restaurant during their cruise. While the main dining room offers a fantastic array of dishes, the specialty restaurants take your taste buds on a journey and escalate your dinner experience to a completely new level. From succulent steaks grilled to perfection to delicate seafood creations and exotic flavors from around the globe, these culinary haves are a must-try for any food enthusiast.

Scallops on a plate
Dinner Time!

Be aware, that unlike dining at the main dining room or buffet cafeteria, the cost to dine at specialty restaurants is not included in your cruise fare with most cruise lines. Regardless, TREAT YOURSELF! Whether you are celebrating a special occasion or simply treating yourself to a beautiful dinner, dining at a specialty restaurant during your cruise is an experience not to be missed.


Rejuvenate Your Body and Soul at the Spa


Amidst the hustle and bustle of onboard activities, do not forget to carve out some "me time" at the spa. Trust me; it is more than just a luxury – it is a necessity! Step into a realm of tranquility and pamper yourself with a massage, rejuvenating facial, or perhaps a soothing soak in the whirlpool. Let go of all your worries as expert hands work their magic, leaving you feeling utterly relaxed and rejuvenated.

Some cruise lines also have thermal spas where you can take a dip in a hydro-therapy pool or be massaged by cascading rain showers at various strengths. My favorite thermal pool experience was with Majestic Princess at The Enclave. With a water bed bench, two steam rooms and a dry sauna room, this was the perfect place for me to relax during my 7-day Alaskan cruise (see my previous post Best Places to Visit in Southeast Alaska ( for more details). The number of times that I visited made buying a pass worth it!


Dive into the World of Art at Auctions


Art lovers, this is for you! Cruise ships often host art auctions highlighting an eclectic collection of masterpieces waiting to find a new home. It is not just about bidding on a painting; it is about immersing yourself in the beauty of art, learning about different styles, and perhaps even discovering a hidden gem that speaks to you. If something catches your eye, do not hesitate to participate in the bidding – who knows, you might just discover a masterpiece to adorn your home and serve as a cherished memento of your voyage. Personally, I have always thought that it looked fun when I would see people bidding at auctions on TV. Now, I can say I have participated in a few art auctions myself. I have a CRAZY, unique piece by Kre8 that I saw during a cruise this past summer and had to have 😊 

Artwork of a piano
From the art gallery onboard Majestic Princess

Embrace the Magic of Late-Night Ship Wondering


Caribbean sunset on cruise ship
Sunset somewhere in the Caribbean. Photo Credit: John McKnight

Caribbean sunset
Another gorgeous sunset. Photo Credit: John McKnight

There is something truly magical about wandering the decks of a cruise ship late at night or in the early morning hours when most passengers are fast asleep. Whether you are gazing at the star-studded sky, listening to the gentleness of the ocean, or simply enjoying the peace and quiet, it is a moment of serenity amidst the vast expanse of the sea. The stillness of it all brings a sense of peace as you are watching the moonlit sky or the sun starting to rise over the ocean.

Cruise ship pool
6am views on Celebrity Reflection. Photo Credit: Ronda McKnight

Another beauty that often goes unnoticed through crowds of people is the ship itself! Most cruise lines put lots of effort and mindfulness in the design and craftsmanship of their ships. When you are roaming the ship in the stillness of night, it becomes a wonderful opportunity to admire beautiful chandeliers, artistic stairwells, and intricate detailed styling of themed lounges and bars. Now I promise you, the next time you board a cruise ship you will be looking out for all the special touches. 😉


In conclusion, while cruising offers a myriad of experiences to suit every taste, it is these hidden gems that truly elevate the journey from ordinary to extraordinary. From tantalizing your taste buds at specialty restaurants to indulging in self-care at the spa, exploring the world of art, and embracing the tranquility of late-night ship wondering – each of these experiences holds the promise of unforgettable moments. So, the next time you set sail, dare to venture beyond the usual and discover the extraordinary treasures that await you onboard. Bon voyage!


Ronda Wright

Hey, I'm Ronda McKnight 👋🏽

I'm the founder of The Wright Getaway. I love all things travel and helping other people experience the world.

Let's chat about your upcoming travel plans!



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