Cruises have come a long way. Many years ago, taking a cruise was more about getting to a destination than enjoying the trip itself. In the last 20 years, however, cruises have become floating resorts, synonymous with luxury and lavishness.
A typical modern cruise has a variety of entertainment options available. From nightclubs to people-watching, there is something for everybody. A cruise usually has different types of entertainment scheduled throughout the day. For example, a Caribbean-bound cruise may have a reggae or salsa band playing poolside, while a winter cruise may offer indoor wine tasting, lectures, or workshops.
At night, most cruises offer a variety of musical entertainment. Aside from background music in the dining room, a cruise usually offers several bars and restaurants where people can sing along in karaoke fashion or enjoy disco dancing or line dancing. Ballroom dancing is a classic on cruises, and many vessels offer lessons before the dancing floor opens up. A warm-weather cruise usually offers deck parties.
Las Vegas-style entertainment is also popular on cruises. Casinos, variety shows, and cabaret acts are featured on some of the larger cruises, and many offer circus performers such as magicians or jugglers. Comedy shows are also common.
For those who prefer a more subdued kind of fun, a cruise usually offers a library and a lounging area, where people can relax to the sound of live piano music. A basic gym is also becoming a staple on the average cruise. While many people choose to play poolside games, some prefer to escape inside for a more traditional workout.
For those with a special interest, there is another type of cruise: a theme cruise. Theme cruises cater to almost every group out there, from aspiring writers to singles to cooking aficionados. On these cruises, most of the activities are based around a single topic. On a weight-loss cruise, for example, exercising and cooking workshops can be the main attraction.
Some companies push the boundaries of what a cruise is all about. The Queen Mary 2, the world's largest and most luxurious cruise ship, features a Canyon Ranch spa, a planetarium, and a basketball court. Such luxuries are becoming more and more common.