Not To Be Missed On Your Next Cruise

There will be many activities to choose from during your cruise.  However, My Cruising Family recommends attending the following events.  As with all the information we share here, we hope this is helpful to you and yours.  

**MANDATORY** Muster Drill:

Prior to your ship setting sail, you will be required to attend a muster drill.  The purpose of the muster drill is to familiarize all guests and crew with their assigned muster station, which is, basically, the location at which guests and crew are to assemble in the case of an emergency.  There are multiple muster stations on the ship, and to allow for an orderly evacuation, if necessary, each guest and crew member should report to his or her assigned muster station.  The muster drill also includes information on how to put on life vests, which are included in each stateroom. 

Note: Generally, the life vests that are in the stateroom are adult-sized.  If cruising with infants, toddlers, and/or other small children, you may need to request the appropriately sized life vest for the child.  However, My Cruising Family has experienced at least one cruise line that had the children’s life vests waiting for us in the stateroom upon our arrival. 

Those who miss the general muster drill will be required to take time out from the rest of the cruise to attend a make-up muster drill.  No, thank you.  My Cruising Family would much rather attend the general muster drill prior to setting sail.  Don’t miss it! 


Port Shopping Talks:

Go!  Attend!  There are lots of opportunities for FREE merchandise!  At a port shopping talk event, at 5 years old, my son received a DelSol color-change Captain America t-shirt!  At a port shopping talk event, my husband received a DelSol color-change tote bag and jewelry, my mom received a tanzanite pendant and earrings, and I received my tanzanite earrings at a port shopping talk event. 

Maps of the port-of-call, as well as discount coupons, and tickets for free items in port are also distributed at these events.  Hey, you’re on vacation, and some of the giveaways make for a nice souvenir of your trip.  Shopping is NOT the primary purpose for our cruises, but My Cruising Family has enjoyed attending these events, and we have won items at these events, on multiple cruise lines. 

Future Cruise Talks:

Most cruise lines also have a “future cruise” desk or “future cruise” area, at which guests on the current sailing can book another cruise.  There are usually incentives for booking while onboard, including, but not limited to, a significantly reduced deposit and onboard credit.   

In addition to these future cruise desks, cruise lines also have future cruise talks, which provide guests with information on new itineraries, as well as new ships that the cruise line anticipates having in the upcoming year and beyond.  For those who have discovered that cruising is their thing, this sort of event is informative and exciting as it provides information that can be used in planning their next cruise.  The information can be useful whether or not you choose to book onboard, as it may also inspire guests to research further when they return home from their cruise. 

Additionally, future cruise talks provide another opportunity to win a few goodies.  I won a bottle of wine at a future cruise talk, and other guests won gifts, such as cruise line swag, including bags, hats, and shirts. 

Theme Nights:

All cruise lines offer a special theme night, or two, or more during a cruise.  While cruise photography staff members are usually available throughout each cruise, theme nights provide an opportunity for amazing family portraits and tons of fun making memories together as there is usually a party involved. 

Making the most of theme nights requires you to know the theme nights ahead of time, so that you can pack accordingly for you and your family.  For example: if it’s formal night, then you want to pack formal wear; if it’s white party night, then you want to pack white attire.  In order to prepare for theme nights, My Cruising Family suggests getting previously issued guides for sailings on your particular itinerary.  So if you’re sailing on MSC, get copies of the previously issued Daily Program; if you’re sailing on Carnival, get copies of the previously issued FunTimes; if you’re sailing on Norwegian, get copies of the previously issued FreeStyle Daily; if you’re sailing on Royal Caribbean, get copies of the previously issued Cruise Compass for your particular itinerary, or one that is very close to your itinerary.  A simple Google search or Cruise Critic search can provide these.  Then, pack accordingly, make sure to be out and about on the ship during theme night, and stop at the designated photo areas to take some photographs.  It generally costs nothing to pose for photographs; however, if you decide to purchase photographs, then you will need to pay for them.  Some cruise lines allow you to purchase a photograph package ahead of sailing.  However, you can also buy photographs individually. 

Some theme nights include, but are not limited to, the following:

Formal Night;

All White Night;

Red, Green, & White;

70s/80s Night; and

Pirates of the Caribbean.


Cruisers, are there any other onboard activities that you highly recommend guests attend?