Carnival Cruise Line’s IMAX® movie theater, an entertainment option available only on the Carnival Vista. (Image: Carnival Cruise Lines)



There’s nothing like the gloom that settles over a cruise ship when the weather turns gray. Cold, rainy days are not what guests hope for when booking a cruise, but these floating cities are no more more immune to weather than those on land. What are guests to do when a day on deck is no longer an appealing option?

Check out all of your ship’s special attractions

Chances are you booked your cruise with extra amenities in mind — and were even willing to pay more for them. But days spent on deck around the pool or in port can mean missing out on many of the special extras your ship has to offer, like the IMAX® movie theater, tattoo parlor or the spa.

Go to… the library?

Every ship has an on board library, typically a place when you can find books and board games as well as room to read and play. Take advantage of your time on board and unplugged with an epic session of Monopoly or cards. Organize your own board game Olympics. Or just settle in for a cozy read with a mug of hot chocolate.

Play with your food

Love Food Network shows like Chopped? Create your own cooking competition with ingredients drawn from the ultimate at-sea pantry: the buffet. Challenge players to combine ingredients in unique and (hopefully) tasty ways. Who knows, maybe you’ll invent a new family favorite!


If you’re starting the feel the pinch of your waistband from sampling every dessert at the buffet, bad weather days are a great opportunity to catch up on exercise. Visit the gym for weight lifting, stationary bikes or treadmills (and enjoy the locker room sauna afterward.) Or skip the equipment and get a workout by exploring your ship from deck to deck, end to end. Modern cruise ships average 1000 feet in length, and with multiple levels, you can start at the bottom and work your way up. Make it fun for the kids by adding a scavenger hunt.

Kids aren’t barred from the bar

So much of the daytime entertainment on a ship happens in its bars, where kids are welcome to join in the fun. Find tabletop shuffleboard, themed trivia contests, live music, and sports on the TV. And if you’re visiting without kids, check out specialty bars for adults-only pleasures such as cigars, artisanal cocktails and even an Ice Bar, kept at 17 degrees Fahrenheit, where your cover charge includes a parka and two drinks.

Bad weather need not ruin your floating vacation. With a little imagination, you can turn a bummer into an adventure and make memories that will last a lifetime.