What's the best way to relieve stress on a cruise?

Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!

Ask a Cruise Question
Post your general cruise questions here.
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
All times are GMT -4.
The time now is 04:44 PM.
Poll: I think the best way to relieve stress on a cruise is _____. (Choose all that apply.)
Poll Results
I think the best way to relieve stress on a cruise is _____. (Choose all that apply.)

Treating myself to a day at the spa

Letting off steam in the fitness center

Eating a nice big meal -- with no guilt over calories!

Dropping my children off at the kids' club

Singing karaoke (after a few cocktails)

Sleeping in, especially on sea days

Reading a good book on my balcony

Doing something adventurous in port

Chilling out by the pool or on the beach

Doing ... absolutely ... nothing!

Something else (which I'll post)

Multiple Choice Poll.

Voters: 251.  You may not vote on this poll.

867 Posts
Joined May 2004
It should come as no surprise that in today's busy world, 72 percent of Americans have not yet found the right balance between work and personal priorities. Or, that one in four Americans is not planning on taking all of their vacation days this year, with 40 percent of those respondents citing work-related reasons. Yet two-thirds of Americans say that if they had more leisure time, they would use it to -- you guessed it! -- travel.

These figures -- revealed today in the Princess Cruises Life Balance Barometer, a national survey commissioned by the cruise line and conducted by third-party pollster Harris Interactive -- are a not-so-gentle reminder to many of us that putting off getting away is not necessarily a good thing.

So what do we have to say on the matter? Take a cruise! And we want to know: What's the best way to let go and relax once onboard? Vote in our poll and be sure to post your opinion below.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Director, Product Development
Cruise Critic
San Diego
1,946 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
I let go as soon as I walk up the gang plank. The rest takes care of itself, especially with the first welcome drink and walking into my stateroom. Purrrrfect!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
03/31/2017 Oceania Marina, 31 days Miami to Lisbon
12/05/2016 Holland America Veendam Panama Canal
12/12/2015 Oceania Riviera Western Caribbean
06/13/2015 Holland America Westerdam, Alaska
04/03/2015 Celebrity Solstice, Sydney to Hawaii
04/19/2014 Oceania Marina, Papeete to Lima
12/06/2013 Celebrity Century, Hawaii
04/15/2013 Celebrity Equinox, Trans Atlantic
04/09/2012 Oceania Nautica, 35 days Hong Kong to Athens
12/31/2011 Celebrity Constellation, So.Caribbean
02/05/2011 Rhapsody of the Seas, Fiji and Vanuatu
01/03/2010 Celebrity Constellation, Panama Canal
01/18/2009 Celebrity Infinity, South America
07/04/2008 Blue Monarch, Egypt,Israel,Turkey
12/24/2007 Carnival Spirit, Mexico
12/24/2006 Carnival Destiny, S. Caribbean
01/03/2006 Carnival Spirit, Mexico
05/11/2003 Carnival Conquest, Caribbean
07/23/2000 Carnival Elation, Mexico
Fredericksburg, va. USA
84,341 Posts
Joined May 2001
Once I'm ON the cruise, I don't have any stress! The phone is off, there's nothing that I HAVE to do, and no way to do it, if there was something!

Getting on the ship means all the stress of getting ready and actually GETTING there is over! (this especially applies if you have to FLY to port---stupid regulations!!!)
7,177 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
I came home from my first cruise absolutly worn out. I tried to do everything. Now I do only what I feel like doing at the time. I don't plan my day around the Capers. I now come home fairly relaxed and ready to hit it and get back to work until the next cruise or land trip.
In the Valley, CA
23,027 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
I think it's more what happens before your cruise that would stress you out. If you get a flight for the day of the cruise, then there's always the chance you won't get on the ship in time. If there's some arrangements you were trying to make for onboard, there could be stress.

Once onboard, there's not much reason to be stressed out. I know when I'm going to eat, I know there should be something I'll like to eat (and I'm a picky eater), I know there'll be activities for me (trivia, reading chick lit books, entertainment). As long as other passengers are behaving (the kids aren't running around, the adults aren't making a fuss, the adults staying off their cell phones around me, the smokers staying in their section and their smoke not drifting toward me), then I'm fine.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Patty the Cruisin' Chick (may all your cruises be smooth sailin')

Hoping for another trip to the land of Aloha!

Carnival Jubilee - Mex. Riv.; Sensation - W. Caribb.; Holiday (2Xs) - Baja; Paradise - E Caribb; Ecstasy - Baja; Star Princess - Mex. Riv.; Sapphire Princess - Alaska; Island Princess - Hawaii; Golden Princess - Hawaii (one of the best cruises ever!!!!); another Golden Princess -- Hawaii

Read about my most recent cruise at
4,982 Posts
Joined Dec 2008
Originally posted by cb at sea
Once I'm ON the cruise, I don't have any stress! The phone is off, there's nothing that I HAVE to do, and no way to do it, if there was something!

Getting on the ship means all the stress of getting ready and actually GETTING there is over! (this especially applies if you have to FLY to port---stupid regulations!!!)
As usual, I agree with cb. The cruise IS my stress reliever. Once I'm on board, my stress melts away automatically. Flying to the port - stressful. Standing in line to board, anxious anticipation. On board...Ahhh...

As the Zac Brown Band says, "You got worries you can drop 'em in the blue ocean, but you gotta get away to where the boat leaves from."
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
77 days at sea...and counting!
2003 - Carnival Sensation
2005 - Carnival Valor (western Caribbean)
2006 - Carnival Inspiration
2006 - Carnival Valor (eastern Caribbean)
2007 - Carnival Destiny
2008 - Carnival Imagination
2008 - Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas
2009 - Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas
2010 - Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas
2011 - Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas
2014 - Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas
2016 - Royal Caribbean Jewel of the Seas

British Columbia
6,348 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Once I am on board I have no stress.

Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
2010SEE THE WORLD. I do my best!

Homeric 1 Quebec 1955.
Windward Pacific Coastal 1996.
Song of America Mexico 1997.
NCL Wind Alaska 1998.
NCL Wind Caribbean 1999.
Westerdam [Ex Homeric 2] Alaska 2000 -- Norway E Caribbean Big Band 2000.
Sun Princess Panama Canal 2001---NCL Sun, Canada, New England 2001.
Dawn Princess Hawaii 2002.
Statendam Sea of Cortez and Pacific Coastal 2003.
Coral Princess Alaska and Coral Princess Alaska 2004.
Mercury Mexico 2005.--- Sea Princess Caribbean ---2005
Statendam Osaka Trans Pacific 19 day 2006.
Star Princess, British Isles and Trans Atlantic 2006.
Coral Princess Panama Canal 2007.
Zaandam, Hawaii, round trip from Vancouver 2008.
Coral Princess Sept 2009 Vancouver Whittier B/B
Coral Princess May 15th 2010 Vancouver Whittier B2B.
Zaandam, Hawaii, round trip, Vancouver, 2011.
Coral Princess May 14th 2012 Vancouver Whittier B2B.
Zaandam Vancouver-Mexico, return, Oct 9th-23rd 2012.
Zaandam Hawaii round trip, April 18th 2013.
Coral Princess,Sept. 11th-25th, 2013. 14 day Alaska, Vancouver return.
Golden Princess, Hawaii, Tahiti, Apr 1st-29th 2014
Grand Princess Van-Hawaii, return Apr 6th to 21st.
Grand Princess April 21st Van. -Pacific, return, 10 days 2015
Sandy Springs, GA
6,559 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
I find the time leading up to the cruise to be extremely stressful. There's everything at work so I can even walk out the door, packing, getting the housesitters settled in, cleaninge, doing the laundry, checking every list 15 times, on top of actually getting to the port and through the embarkation process.

Once the ship begins to sail away, to a large extent the stress begins to dissipate. But my favourite time is when I wake up the first morning and know that I don't have to do anything - no work, no groceries, no cooking, no cleaning, no dishes.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.” Elizabeth Taylor

21 cruises (and counting!) on Royal Caribbean & Celebrity
Planning our next adventure!
4,254 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
"Private" time with DH, with no fear of phone calls, DD suddenly coming in (she's 18- it never ends), MIL calling with an "emergency", Alarm company calling with a false alarm at work, you get the picture, uninterrupted time together is priceless.
Cape Cod MA& Weirton WV
4,419 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
I spend most of my time staring at the incrediby blue sea. I also LISTEN to books on my balcony while looking out to sea. This is the main reason I cruise.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Between the tall pines in Georgia.
1,986 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
[quote=cb at sea;21741902]Once I'm ON the cruise, I don't have any stress! The phone is off, there's nothing that I HAVE to do, and no way to do it, if there was something!


I'm with cb on this one too.... life's great when the biggest decision you have to make is..... creme brulee or banana cream pie!!??
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
3,485 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
my usual world melts away behind me when we make it to the pier. travel is stressful until that moment.

I'm a free spirit at heart. staring out to sea is as good as life gets for me, experiencing the vastness, the history, the wildlife, the possibilities ...
ocean air is therapeutic, bringing the awe and splendor of nature. This is what truly grounds me.

I forget everything but the moment and just Live It. Do Whatever. Being unscheduled relieves stress. I don't want to care what time it is.

falling asleep in a deck chair with a book, exploring ports, losing a few bucks in the casino, eating really well, strolling the decks, getting lost on the ship..., it's all fun and quite different from my Normal Life. Not much for planned activities, not interested in the pools and lounger grabs. Not a fan of crowds at all, we'll be where the masses aren't.

It's fun to dress up and meet people. It's fun to be a tourist, meeting natives of places we've never seen.
Tucson, AZ, USA
1,810 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
My stress relief is the Muster Drill!!!

Okay, time for the explanation.
As the muster drill starts, it hits that I am on vacation. I can no longer get off the ship until the next port. All the junk at home is now behind me and no one can get to me. The phone is off (don't want to pay outrageous seaborne cell charges) so any problems at work will have to wait until I get somewhere where the cell service will work. (I also found out that I cannot even call my voice mail while out of the country ) So I can relax. Period.

But until muster, technically, something could call me away.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Carnival Paradise (2001) when non smoking
Carnival Destiny (2002)
MSC Opera (2004)
RCI Majesty of the Seas (2004)(The Between the Hurricanes Cruise)
Golden Princess (2006)(The Sister Surprise Cruise)
Carnival Spirit to Alaska Aug 22, 2007
MSC Lirica "Carnival Cruise" 1-29-08
Carnival Miracle Jan. 2009 (The bad azipod cruise)
MSC Poesia Jan 2010 (Baseball Cruise)
Celebrity Solstice Jan. 2011 Aqua Class
Carnival Valor Jan. 2012 (asparagus at each meal)
Carnival Valor Jan 2013 (Eggplant at each meal)
Carnival Glory Jan. 2014 (American Feast/American Table Guinea Pig Cruise)
Carnival Breeze Jan 2015. (Facebook "Breezers" Cruise) Lots of good people and probable life long friends, met.
Carnival Triumph, Jan 2016, Journeys Cruise. 20th Wedding Anniversary in Aruba. Otherwise known as the Cruise to the land of large Mannequins!
Gold Coast, Australia
574 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Unfortunatly with mobile (cell) phones, wireless high speed internet and email almost anywhere in the world, those of us who are "married" to our jobs are never far away from the unanticipated problem that will arise while you are away. However that all fades away when you meet new people on a sea day and you spend the day laughing and enjoying the view.

How many days to go is that?
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Orlando, Florida
10,083 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
The best way to relieve work stress??? LEAVE THE LAPTOP AT HOME!!!
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

Dirty Tom Flint

Upcoming Cruises:

Past Cruises:
RCI Monarch of the Seas, November 2016, RCI Freedom of the Seas, October 2015, RCI Freedom of the Seas, January, 2015, Enchantment of the Seas, September, 2014, Enchantment of the Seas, September, 2014, RCI Brilliance of the Seas, November 2013, RCI Freedom of the Seas, September, 2012, RCI Monarch of the Seas, December, 2011, RCI Serenade of the Seas, February 2011, RCI Radiance of the Seas, October 2010, RCI Monarch of the Seas, January 2010, RCI Freedom of the Seas, September, 2009, RCI Monarch of the Seas, January, 2009, RCI Monarch of the Seas, November 2008, RCI Mariner of the Seas, September 2008, RCI Sovereign of the Seas May 2008, RCI Sovereign of the Seas December 2007, RCI Mariner of the Seas, September 2007, RCI Sovereign of the Seas, September 2006, RCI Majesty of the Seas, October 2002, RCI Monarch of the Seas, November 2001, Costa Classica (Asst. Cruise Director) 1991 - 1992, NCL Sunward II, 1985, Paquet Calypso, 1982
Edinburgh, Scotland - UK
705 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
There's no stress as soon as I close my front door and head to the airport.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature

C&A Diamond/Captain's Club Elite
1. Jewel of the Seas - 15th to 23rd December 2007 - Ft Lauderdale, San Juan, St Thomas, St Maarten, Tortola, Nassau, Ft Lauderdale
2. Jewel of the Seas - 4th to 16th June 2008 - Harwich, Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, St Petersburg, Tallin, Harwich
3. Vision of the Seas - 21st to 28th December 2008 - Los Angeles, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Los Angeles
4. Vision of the Seas - 22nd to 29th March 2009 - Santo Domingo, St Maarten, Dominica, Margarita Island, Aruba, Santo Domingo
5. Vision of the Seas - 29th March to 5th April 2009 - Santo Domingo, Antigua, St Kitts, Barbados, St Lucia, Santo Domingo
6.Navigator of the Seas - 12th to 19th July 2009 - Rome, Sicily, Athens, Turkey, Crete, Rome
7. Freedom of the Seas - 13th to 20th Sept 2009 - Port Canaveral, Labadee, Ocho Rios, Grand Caymen, Cozumel, Port Canaveral
8. Freedom of the Seas - 20th to 27th Sept 2009 - Port Canaveral, Coco Cay, St Thomas, St Maarten, Port Canaveral
9. Brilliance of the Seas - 23rd Dec to 4th Jan 2010 - Barcelona, Turkey, Rhodes, Cyprus, Egypt, Sardinia (missed due to storm), Majorca, Barcelona
10. Serenade of the Seas - 16th to 23rd January 2010 - Puerto Rico, Tortola, St Maarten, Antigua, St Lucia, Grenada, Puerto Rico
11. Brilliance of the Seas - 2nd to 14th July 2010 - Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Florence/Pisa, Rome, Naples, Venice, Dubrovnik, Corfu, Barcelona
12. Jewel of the Seas - 16th to 22nd October 2010 - Boston, Portland, Rockland, Saint John, Halifax, Boston
13. Celebrity Eclipse - 18th to 26th Dec 2010 - Miami, Puerto Rico, St Thomas, St Maarten, Labadee, Miami
14. Celebrity Ecllipse - 26th Dec to 2nd Jan 2011 - Miami, Gran Cayman, Cozumel, Roatan, Costa Maya, Miami
5,105 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Looking out at the ocean. Daytime or nightime it's so relaxing.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Happy Cruzin!

Transatlantic, Oceania Riviera, Nov 2018; Norway Eclipse, Aug 2015; W. Cari. Emerald Princess, Apr 2015; Pac Coastal Celebrity Century, May 2014. Western Carib Crown Princess, Mar 2013; Mediterranean, Celebrity Solstice, May 2012; W. Caribbean, Carnival Conquest, Sep 2011; Transatlantic Regatta Oceania, Nov 2010; 7N E. Car., Carnival Fantasy, May 2010; W. Caribbean, Carnival Conquest, Feb 2010; Gulf of Mexico, Carnival Ecstasy, Dec 2008; Transatlantic Regatta Oceania, Mar 2008; Canada/New England Crown Princess, Sep 2007; Midway/Hawaii Regal Princess, May 2007: W. Caribbean, Grand Princess, Feb, 2007 ;So. Car.,Volendam HAL, Nov, 2006; Caribbean,Zuiderdam, HAL, 2005; W Caribbean Galaxy, CCL, 2005;Transatlantic Jewel RCI,2004; W Caribbean Sovereign RCI, 2003; Hawaii Infinity, CCL, 2002; Transatlantic Rotterdam, HAL, 2000; Caribbean Galaxy CCL, 2000; Mexico Harmony, Crystal, 1999; Caribbean Zenith, CCL, 1999; South America Royal, Princess, 1998/9; W Caribbean Noordam, HAL,199?; Caribbean Horizon, CCL, 199?; Caribbean Enchanted Seas, Commodore, 198?; Alaska Regal, Princess, 198?.
12,372 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Do not pretend that you are irreplaceable by staying in touch with your office (or even family). If your job is not really important, your being out of touch will not matter. If you are ireally irreplaceable, you are letting down your team by not training and retaining competent back-up (what if you were hit by a bus and were in a coma for a week?)

Stay out of touch with the land - that is why you cruise - spend a few minutes every morning watching the sea end at the horizon -- that will put anyone's sense of self-importance into proper perspective.
Expand Signature
Collapse Signature
Six US Navy ships,
25+ cruises: Orient (1), Holland America (12), Norwegian (6), Carnival (1), Princess (1), Celebrity (3), Cunard (2), Royal Caribbean (1) - (1996-2017).
Coming up: Royal Caribbean, January 2018