I love cruises! I’ve been on 4! Five day and eight day cruises. My favorite days are the sea days. I love waking up and going up on deck to get breakfast and find a table outside along the deck to drink coffee and eat and watch the waves! So relaxing.
January will likely not be crowded, I typically go in October but I’ve been in May and May was really busy compared to October. I’m not a crowd loving person. It also depends on ship layout. A well designed ship will not feel crowded. The last cruise I took it was poorly designed and traffic to high flow areas like the lido (food) deck and the showtime stages were nightmares. all the other ships I’ve been on had tons of space, mainly different pathways to get to common places and plenty of elevators and I never felt crowded at all.
There is so so much to do on board! They have tons of foods from all over the world and the buffets are endless! So much food I’m not kidding! You have a sit down dinner every night that is delicious. It’s just like an upscale restaurant but it’s all included in your cruise unless you order wine or a specialty cut of meat. Depending on the ship they do contests, dancing, trivia, bingo, life size chess, raffles, game shows, shops for jewelry and clothes and trinkets. They have live shows of dancing and other preforming arts and the have comedy clubs with usually two nightly shows that are super fun. Those show rooms are decorated so beautifully. Nice comfy couches and booths and chairs. They frequently have life music and dancing in the atrium floor. They have a nightclub which can get pretty hopping in that’s your thing. They have tons of bars to drink at. You don’t have to go far to get a beverage. Most ships have a Casino and several pools. Plenty of deck space for sunning and reading. There is a spa, but those services are extra. Elegant nights, god I love elegant night. You get all fancied up and go out and they take your picture and you have the option to pose at different scenes to have more pictures done. The pictures are expensive but they’re professionally done so you’ll want to budget for buying one or two favorites! Hint hint wait until the second to last night to buy them, you’ll likely spend less.
I love how all inclusive they are. You can get onboard and not spend a penny more if you don’t want to. Alcohol is extra but if your a big drinker you can purchase a package. I tried the alcohol package once. I couldn’t drink enough fruity frozen drinks to make it worth the money. I tried. Still would’ve spent less buying them individually. They do drink specials on sea days and you can get fun fish cups as a souvenir! The all have an adult only area typically “serenity deck”. That place is awesome.
If you have kids they have “day camp” for all ages and fun supervised activities throughout the day and night.
Advice… pack 2-4 bathing suits, (hot tubs, pools and the ocean so you’ll be changing frequently and won’t want a wet suit under your dry day clothes) lots of sunscreen, casual dressy wear for dinners in the dining room and don’t forget your elegant night attire. Shorts, sandals and coverups are fine everywhere else on deck. Also bring a nicer jacket if you are cold natured. Inside the ship the temp can get chilly at night on account of the AC and the constant indoor/outdoor doors being opened so frequently as people come and go. I made the mistake of a hoodie and it was far to casual to wear in the evenings so I had to borrow fiancés suit jacket to avoid feeling and looking out of place.
Don’t waste money on “faster to the fun” upgrades, just get up slightly earlier most people aren’t ready as soon as you are in port and it’s your assigned debarking time anyway. You’ll get off the boat to your destinations at about the same time.
Dont bring towels they are provided.
I’ve never gotten sea sick but the crews swear by green apples as a cure, they have them on the buffet) and bring some Dramamine just in case. Also sea bands. Little sweatbands that have a pressure point button in them. I’ve never needed them even after drinking and the boat is slightly moving but I bring them every time. I got use out of them on the road trip to the port though!
Relax, enjoy and have tons of fun!