How Do I Get Around On A Cruise Ship?

Wondering how to get around on a cruise ship? Well, fear not! I’ve got all the information you need right here. Whether it’s your first time cruising or you’re a seasoned sailor, navigating a cruise ship can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. But don’t worry, I’m here to guide you through the ins and outs of getting around onboard. From finding your cabin to getting to all the exciting activities and amenities, I’ll make sure you know exactly how to get where you want to go on your next cruise adventure.

Planning a cruise and curious about the best way to get around on a cruise ship? Look no further! In my upcoming article, I’ll be sharing all the essential tips and tricks for navigating a cruise ship like a pro. From the moment you step foot on the ship to exploring the different decks and areas, you’ll learn about all the readily available options to move around in comfort and style. Whether it’s using the ship’s interactive map, taking advantage of the convenient onboard transportation, or simply relying on your own two feet, I’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide to ensure you make the most of your cruise experience. So stay tuned and get ready to become a master of navigation on the high seas.

Navigating the Ship

Understanding the Ship’s Layout

When you step aboard a cruise ship for the first time, it can feel like a small city floating on the water. To navigate the ship efficiently, it’s essential to understand its layout. Most cruise ships have multiple decks, each with different areas and facilities. The lower decks usually house the cabins, while the upper decks feature public spaces such as restaurants, entertainment venues, and recreational facilities.

Using Deck Plans

Deck plans are your best friend when it comes to navigating a cruise ship. These detailed maps show the layout of each deck, highlighting key areas and facilities. You can typically find deck plans in your cabin or at guest services. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the deck plans, noting where the important areas like the main dining room, spa, and entertainment venues are located. It will save you time and effort when moving around the ship.

Identifying Key Areas and Facilities

To make it easier to get around, it’s crucial to identify the ship’s key areas and facilities. The main dining room is usually situated in a central location on one of the higher decks. It is usually the largest restaurant on the ship and offers a varied menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Specialty restaurants, on the other hand, are more intimate venues that offer a unique dining experience for an additional fee.

Other key areas that you should locate include the buffet areas and casual dining spots. These are often located on the pool decks and are perfect for grabbing a quick bite or enjoying a more relaxed dining experience. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the ship’s entertainment venues, such as the theater and lounges, where you can attend shows and performances throughout your cruise.

Navigating Public Spaces

Moving around the ship’s public spaces can sometimes be challenging, especially during peak times when many passengers are out and about. To get around more easily, try to avoid the busiest areas. Instead of taking the main elevators, consider using less crowded staircases. You can also take advantage of moving walkways, which are available in some larger cruise ships to help passengers move more quickly and efficiently.

Transportation Options

Using Staircases and Elevators

Staircases and elevators are the primary means of transportation on a cruise ship. Staircases are a convenient option for shorter distances, especially when the elevators are crowded. They are also a great way to burn a few extra calories during your cruise. Just remember to be mindful of other passengers who may be using the staircases as well.

Elevators, on the other hand, are ideal for navigating between decks, especially if you have limited mobility or are carrying heavy bags. However, during peak times, elevators can get busy, so you may need to wait for a little while. Consider using the stairs as an alternative.

Taking Advantage of Moving Walkways

Some larger cruise ships have moving walkways, similar to those found in airports. These walkways are designed to help passengers move more efficiently between different areas of the ship. You can usually find them on the more extensive decks or in areas with high foot traffic, such as near the pool decks or shopping areas. Look out for signs indicating the presence of moving walkways and take advantage of them to get around the ship quickly.

Utilizing Shuttle Services

If you’re on a particularly large ship or if you have difficulty walking long distances, you may find shuttle services available. These shuttles can transport you from one end of the ship to another, ensuring you don’t miss out on any of the onboard activities. The shuttle service usually operates on a fixed schedule and has designated pick-up and drop-off points, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the schedule to avoid any inconvenience.

Accommodation and Room Service

Locating Your Cabin

Finding your cabin can be overwhelming, especially if the ship has multiple decks and thousands of cabins. To locate your cabin easily, use the deck plan provided and identify the deck and the area where your cabin is located. The deck plans will have clear information on each cabin section, making it easier to find your way around.

Ordering Room Service

Room service is a convenient option for enjoying a meal in the comfort of your cabin. You can order breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even snacks and drinks through the room service menu provided in your cabin. To make use of this service, simply call the number provided or fill out the room service card and hang it outside your cabin door at the desired time. Just remember to tip the delivery person for their service.

Getting Assistance from Cabin Stewards

Cabin stewards are there to ensure your comfort and assist you with any questions or concerns you may have during your cruise. They play a crucial role in maintaining the cleanliness and orderliness of your cabin. If you need any assistance or have any specific requirements, don’t hesitate to ask your cabin steward. They can provide you with information about onboard facilities and activities and help make your cruise experience more enjoyable.

Dining and Food Options

Finding the Main Dining Room

The main dining room is the heart of the ship’s culinary experience. Located on one of the upper decks, it is usually a large and elegant restaurant where you can enjoy delicious meals prepared by talented chefs. The main dining room offers a variety of dining options, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a selection of appetizers, entrees, and desserts. To dine in the main dining room, simply check the daily cruise program for the assigned table time or make a reservation if offered.

Exploring Specialty Restaurants

In addition to the main dining room, many cruise ships offer specialty restaurants that provide a more unique and intimate dining experience. These restaurants often have a specific theme or cuisine and usually require reservations and an additional fee. If you’re looking to celebrate a special occasion or treat yourself to an exceptional dining experience, exploring the ship’s specialty restaurants is a must.

Discovering Buffet Areas and Casual Dining

Buffet areas are another popular option for meals on a cruise ship. Located on the pool decks, these self-service restaurants offer a wide range of food choices, allowing you to create your own plate according to your preferences. The buffet areas are typically open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a variety of options including salads, hot dishes, and desserts. Casual dining spots such as small cafes and snack bars are also scattered around different areas of the ship, offering lighter fare for those in need of a quick bite.

Entertainment and Activities

Attending Shows and Performances

One of the most enjoyable aspects of a cruise is the variety of shows and performances available onboard. From Broadway-style productions to comedy acts and live music performances, there is always something to entertain you during your cruise. Make sure to check the daily cruise program for the schedule of shows and performances. Arrive early to secure a good seat, as the venues can fill up quickly.

Participating in Onboard Activities

Cruise ships offer a plethora of onboard activities to keep you entertained throughout your trip. These activities can range from trivia games and dance classes to art auctions and cooking demonstrations. The daily cruise program will provide a schedule of activities taking place each day. Pick the ones that interest you the most and join in the fun. It’s a great way to meet fellow passengers and make lasting memories.

Exploring Recreational Facilities

Cruise ships are known for their recreational facilities, which cater to passengers of all ages and interests. From swimming pools and water parks to sports courts and rock climbing walls, there are endless opportunities for leisure and adventure. Take some time to explore the ship’s recreational facilities and try out the different activities available. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or excitement, there’s something for everyone on a cruise ship.

Spa and Wellness Facilities

Accessing the Spa and Fitness Center

If relaxing and pampering yourself is high on your agenda, the onboard spa and fitness center are must-visit locations. The ship’s spa offers a variety of treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps, to help you unwind and rejuvenate. Meanwhile, the fitness center is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for those who want to stay active during their cruise. Both the spa and fitness center are typically located on one of the higher decks, providing stunning views while you indulge in self-care.

Booking Spa Treatments

To ensure you get the treatments and services you desire, it’s essential to book spa treatments in advance. This can usually be done online or at the spa reception desk upon boarding. From couples massages to hot stone therapies, there are a plethora of options to choose from. Treat yourself to some well-deserved relaxation and book your favorite spa treatments early to avoid disappointment.

Using Wellness Amenities

In addition to the spa, cruise ships often offer various wellness amenities to enhance your onboard experience. These amenities may include saunas, steam rooms, and even dedicated spaces for yoga or meditation. Take advantage of these facilities to unwind and rejuvenate after a day of exploring the ship or enjoying shore excursions. Enjoy some quiet time and focus on your well-being while surrounded by the calming ambiance of the ship’s wellness amenities.

Kids and Family Services

Finding Kids’ Clubs and Play Areas

Cruise ships are perfect for family vacations, and many ships offer dedicated kids’ clubs and play areas. These areas are designed to provide age-appropriate activities and entertainment for children, allowing parents to have some free time while knowing their little ones are well taken care of. Locate the kids’ clubs and play areas on the deck plans and bring your children there to meet new friends and have a blast during the cruise.

Taking Advantage of Babysitting Services

For parents who want some child-free time, cruise ships often offer babysitting services. Depending on the ship, these services may be available both during the day and in the evenings. Check with the onboard childcare staff for specific hours and rates. This way, you can enjoy a romantic dinner or catch a show knowing your children are being cared for by certified professionals.

Joining Family-Friendly Activities

Cruise ships provide plenty of family-friendly activities that both parents and children can enjoy together. From poolside movie nights to game shows and scavenger hunts, the onboard entertainment staff works hard to ensure there is never a dull moment. Check the daily cruise program for family-friendly activities and make it a point to participate as a family. These shared experiences will create lasting memories for everyone.

Excursions and Port Visits

Understanding Shore Excursion Options

One of the highlights of a cruise is the opportunity to explore different ports of call and participate in shore excursions. Shore excursions allow you to discover the local culture, sightsee famous landmarks, and engage in various activities, such as snorkeling, hiking, or city tours. The ship’s excursion desk can provide you with information about the available options and help you book the excursions that suit your interests and preferences.

Planning for Port Visits

To make the most of your port visits, it’s essential to plan ahead. Research each destination to learn about its top attractions, local customs, and any safety precautions you should be aware of. This will help you prioritize and decide which excursions or activities to participate in. It’s also a good idea to have a rough itinerary for each port visit, allowing you to maximize your time exploring and immersing yourself in the local culture.

Utilizing Onboard Port Resources

The onboard port resources, including talks and presentations, are great for gathering information about each destination. These resources provide insight into the must-see sights, hidden gems, and unique experiences in each port. Attend these sessions to get expert advice and tips from the ship’s staff, ensuring that you make the most of your time ashore.

Safety and Security

Familiarizing Yourself with Safety Procedures

Safety is of utmost importance on a cruise ship, and it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the ship’s safety procedures. Attend the mandatory safety drill that usually takes place shortly after embarkation. During the drill, you will be shown the location of the emergency exits, the assembly stations, and how to properly wear a life jacket. Pay attention to these instructions as they are crucial for your safety in case of an emergency.

Locating Emergency Exits and Assembly Stations

Knowing the location of emergency exits and assembly stations is essential for your safety. Take note of the emergency exit signs and the quickest route to reach them from your cabin. Additionally, locate the assembly station assigned to you and keep the information handy in case of an emergency. Familiarizing yourself with these locations beforehand will help you stay calm and react quickly if necessary.

Reporting Suspicious Behavior or Incidents

Cruise ships have security personnel onboard to ensure the safety and well-being of all passengers. If you witness any suspicious behavior or incidents, don’t hesitate to report them to the ship’s security. This includes anything that seems out of the ordinary or makes you feel uncomfortable. Your vigilance can contribute to maintaining a safe and enjoyable environment for everyone onboard.


Navigating a cruise ship may seem daunting at first, but with a little planning and familiarity with the ship’s layout and facilities, it can be a smooth and enjoyable experience. Take the time to understand the deck plans, locate key areas and facilities, and make use of transportation options such as staircases, elevators, and moving walkways. Familiarize yourself with the dining and food options, entertainment venues, and recreational facilities to ensure you make the most of your cruise experience.

Don’t forget to indulge in the spa and wellness facilities, utilize the kids and family services, and plan your excursions and port visits in advance. Keep safety as a top priority, familiarize yourself with the ship’s safety procedures, and report any suspicious behavior or incidents to the security personnel.

By following these tips and making the most of the onboard facilities and services, you’ll be well-equipped to navigate a cruise ship and enjoy a smooth and fun-filled journey. Bon voyage!