Are We There Yet? – Taking a Cruise

On-board cruise activities.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

I have friends who are experiencing their first cruise right now as they sail through the Caribbean islands (jealous!!). My parents (especially my mom) is a huge cruise-fanatic – she doesn't even care about the stops and excursions; she would happily sail around in circles in the middle of the ocean if it meant more time on the ship.


I think the reason the ships are so exciting is not only because of their impressive decor – it's the immense amount of activities that travelers can explore, from taking classes to attending demonstrations and learning something new. I am constantly receiving press releases about new cruise activities and events, so here are a few:


– The ultra-luxurious Silversea Cruises recently announced that four additional voyages this year will feature the exclusive "Relais & Châteaux L'École des Chefs" interactive cooking school. When the itinerary permits, travelers will experience "market to the plate," which is similar to the 100 km diet concept that provides an escorted tour of a local market followed by a cooking class as well as a "culinary outing" – an instructor-escorted excursion to a local restaurant, hotel or other venue where guests can enjoy a unique culinary exploration.


– The P&O Cruises ship Ventura has an over-the-top class for kids as well as kids at heart – circus school! Learn from an actual circus school professor how to swing through the air with the greatest of ease, walk the tight wire or manoeuvre stilts.


– Norwegian Cruise Line has a huge range of fun sports activities, from volleyball and basketball tournaments to kayak and scuba diving lessons. But the one that caught my eye were their mixology classes. Guests can enjoy a demonstration and then a few tutorials on making the perfect cocktail from a professional mixologist.


– Princess Cruises took learning on-board a step further and created a program called ScholarShip@Sea® where visitors can take classes on wine tasting, photography, attend enrichment lectures, and even brush up on their computer skills.


Bon Voyage,



Jenn Cox is a Montreal-based freelance journalist. Visit her website or email her at