A Twitter follower recently posed me an interesting question that went a little like this: “I am a non-drinker, and I have always shied away from cruises because everybody on board seems to be drinking all the time.
“Is there anything to do on a cruise if you don’t drink?”
The Twitter writer noted that she had a couple of friends who also didn’t drink, and were wary of cruising for the same reason.
Now I do drink, and while I often purchase the all-inclusive drinks packages on cruises, I have been known to be critical of them because they can encourage overconsumption. (See here for example.)
On one cruise I took, a fellow passenger ended up in the brig because he got so drunk he couldn’t find his cabin, and was found collapsed in a corridor on the wrong deck in the wee hours of the morning. (In such cases, I am told, the passenger is first referred to the medical team for assessment.)
But that was a one-off and, until now, I’ve never really considered what life would be like on a cruise ship for a nondrinker. And I think I can say confidently that there is plenty to do on board the average ship without having to prop up a drink at one of the many bars.
The big ships, especially, have a lot of entertainment options: from swimming in one of several pools, relaxing in a hot tub and having a treatment at the spa, to engaging in sports (rock-climbing, simulated wave-riding, basketball, table tennis, video games), and watching movies, musical acts and live shows. Or you can grab a deck chair, or sit on your private balcony, and just watch the ocean go by.
Then, of course, there are the shore excursions. Choose a cruise with plenty of ports and you’ll be free to do what you want to do. (The incident I mentioned earlier happened during a long period at sea.)
As for your time on board, you’re in as much, or as little, danger of running into a drunk outside of the bars are you are anywhere else in the world.