On a budget? Free things for families to do on a cruise holiday:


Would you like your family’s money to stretch a little further? Worried you haven’t saved up quite enough for your cruise holiday?  Don’t panic: instead, read through our list of free things to do on your cruise holiday!

This guide will help you to keep the whole family entertained for next to nothing!

Onboard Entertainment

Often, cruise ships will put on at least one show in an evening, which is free to attend (or rather, is included in your ticket price!)  Take advantage of this and note down any information you can find about these “free” shows before setting off on your holiday.  If the show changes regularly, that’s a few night’s worth of entertainment sorted out, for free!


There are often one or two free pools aboard cruise ships, and it’s quite lucky that kids LOVE swimming.  You could restrict time in the pool (say, to just mornings) so the kids don’t tire of it, and they to go back each day!


As the kids swim in the pool, you and your partner can soak up the rays while enjoying a good book.  Most cruise liners have places to sunbathe for free!


If you have a cabin with a TV, look through the schedule and see if there’s a good film the whole family would like to watch.  Plan this into a “movie” night: stock up on popcorn, treats and snacks while everyone cuddles up and watches the film on the bed.

Tour the ship

Some ships run free tours that allow you and the family to explore the ship and learn more about it.   This is a great option for young boys and girls who are fascinated by the sheer size and workings of the ship!  Sell this tour to the kids by explaining it’s very cool, like an adventure – this works especially well if the tour allows you into otherwise-restricted areas of the boat!


Spy out all of the ship’s free-to-enter tournaments and put down your names.  Even if you’re rubbish at the sport or activity, it’s the taking part that counts, right?   Some cruise ships even give out prizes at the end of the tournaments, so you may even win something for nothing!

Exhausted the free tournaments?  Entertain the kids by setting up some of your own games.  Perhaps organise a treasure hunt game, led by clues.  Split into two teams (one with each parent) and the person who works out the puzzle in the quickest time wins a small, inexpensive prize!  Why not base your questions on the cruise tour above?


Most ships have free to watch onboard demonstrations.  You can learn a new skill, such as cooking.  Some cookery demonstrations even call on children to take part:  this is a great way to pass an hour or two for free!

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