How To Seek Out Quieter Spaces On Cruise Ships

27 December 2016

If your travel tastes tend to lean more toward finding a quiet space to relax with a good book and an even better view, a cruise may not be at the top of the ol' bucket list. Though, with cruises offering incredible value, the chance to travel around the world and all-inclusive packages that take the hassle out of planning, setting sail is an excellent and cost effective way to take a holiday. Luckily, for all of us introverts out there that gravitate to less-crowded spaces, it's easier than you may think to seek solace among 3,000 or more fellow passengers.

Empty deck chairs on a cruise ship promenade Finding a quiet space to relax is easier than you might think (Image: Getty)

Go Off Peak

One of the best ways to ensure privacy when cruising is to consider your timing. When booking, do a little research on peak periods surrounding the destinations you'd like to visit on your cruise. For example, high season for the Caribbean runs from March to July, while Asia sees its highest numbers between January and May.  If you're looking at a short and sweet cruise close to home, Aussie high seasons tend to be through the summer and around school holidays.

While on board, timing your day just right is another savvy tip if you're looking for less crowded spaces. Eat your meals a little earlier or later to avoid the mealtime rush. Plan a relaxing reading session poolside early in the morning. Of, if you're a bit of a night owl, head up to the pool deck in the wee hours for some solo stargazing.

The interior of a balcony cabin on Royal Caribbean International A balcony can offer extra space to your cabin and provide welcomed respite from the crowds (Image: Royal Caribbean International)

Upgrade That Cabin

Another easy way to ensure quiet respite is to upgrade your cabin to a balcony or suite. Not only do these cabins offer more room to spread out, they also ensure a quieter space to retreat to when things get a little too busy for comfort. All you have to do is simply step out onto your balcony and watch the ocean pass by.  

A woman getting a spa treatment on a cruise ship Pampering is a great way to get some alone time (Image: Royal Caribbean International)

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Indulge Yourself

If there's one spot on a cruise where serenity is assured, it's the spa. Onboard spas are the rule not the exception, providing passengers with the opportunity to unwind with a pampering treatment or two. From a simple facial treatment to relaxation rituals, you'd be surprised at the breadth of services available at sea. And since it's a solo activity, it's ideal if you need a little quiet time. Just keep in mind that most onboard spas are an additional cost.  

Empty lounge chairs along a cruise ship promenade You'll often find empty loungers along the Promenade (Image: Getty)

Stroll The Promenade

During days at sea, most people fill their days with onboard activities, tending to focus on the Lido deck. That often leaves the promenades relatively people free. Most ships will offer loungers, benches and chairs along the promenade decks, which makes a perfect spot to sit down with that book you've been dying to read. Or simply lay back and spend an afternoon figuring out exactly where the ocean meets the horizon.  

The upper deck of a cruise ship Head to the upper decks away from the pool area for a little privacy (Image: Royal Caribbean International)

Up And Away

Speaking of the Lido deck, the farther away from it you move, the quieter the spaces will be. So, if you're looking for a less populated space, head for the higher decks toward the front or rear of the ship.

Find The Library

With all of the amenities available on cruise ships these days, the little ol' library often gets overlooked. This is especially true if the sun is out, which leaves the majority of the ship's interior spaces deserted. This comes as great news if you're hoping for a little quiet time. Plus, you'll have your pick of comfy chairs!  

An adults only area on a cruise ship Seek out the Adults only area for a kid-free afternoon (Image: Royal Caribbean International)

Adults Only

Cruising is a great option for families, offering easy planning and value for money, but that doesn't mean your days have to be filled with kids (your own or those of your fellow passengers). All major cruise lines offer adults only lounge areas that provide a kid-free zone to unwind in. These quieter spaces often come complete with their own pool and bar area so you can grab a cocktail and pull up a chair for a little poolside relaxation.

Just Ask

It definitely pays to speak up if you need something on a cruise ship. Simply ask the staff for their favourite quiet spots onboard. Since they know the ship better than anyone, they'll be able to point you to some secret spots where other passengers wouldn't think to look. 


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Carlie Tucker

Travelling is for discovering the unexpected. From fantastic meals in ramshackle joints to stumbling upon a best kept secret, I love those fortuitous travel moments that couldn't be planned if I tried.