8 Things You Must Know Before Going to the Pool on a Cruise Ship - Cruise with Leo

8 Things You Must Know Before Going to the Pool on a Cruise Ship

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Pools on cruise ships

Swimming pools are among the most popular attractions on cruise ships. Everyone loves to go there: children and older people.

However, before you wear your swimsuit and dive in, there are some essential things that I want to share with you and that I want you to know.

Swimming pools are activities, and as such they also have their own rules and risks.

If you arrive prepared, you will be sure not to make any mistakes and to enjoy your vacation right from the start!

1. Pools on cruise ships are different from the one on land

Yacht club pool on MSC Fantasia
Yacht club pool on MSC Fantasia

Cruise ship pools are typically smaller than those on land. They usually are 30-40 feet long and 15-20 feet wide.

There are a few reasons for that:

  1. There’s limited space on a ship, so the pools can’t be as big as the ones you find on land.
  2. Water has a certain weight, and pools should not exceed a certain size so as not to be too heavy for the deck structure.
  3. The water in the pools moves with the ship, and an overly large pool could cause a balance loss.

Depths can vary, and some pools can be quite deep, so pay attention if you can’t swim or if you’re with young children.

Some pools feature sloping entries, mimicking a beach shore, while others maintain a consistent depth.

2. Be mindful of the rules

pool deck on ncl
Pool deck on NCL

Before going to the pool, you should always check the rules for that specific ship.

Lifeguards may not always be present, so it’s essential to keep an eye on your children and follow posted safety guidelines.

In addition, pool areas can be very slippery, so walking instead of running is crucial to avoid accidents.

My advice is to bring a pair of non-slip sandals; they are always on my list of essentials to bring on a cruise.

And don’t forget sunscreen, you wouldn’t want to get sunburned on the first day of vacation!

3. Some pools may be hidden

Aft pool
Aft pool

As soon as they get on the ship, cruisers beginners immediately go to the main pool, the one that is usually the most crowded,

You should know that to accommodate the high number of passengers, modern cruise ships have multiple pool areas spread across different decks.

This helps to manage crowds and provides a variety of atmospheres. For example, some pool areas may be specific for adults, and some others may be specific for families or kids.

Splashaway bay
Splashaway bay

Before boarding, or even when you’re on the ship, look for a deck plan and check where the pool areas are located. I usually go and look at all of them on the first day and then choose the one I like best.

4. Time of year matters

Indoor pool

The overall experience at the pool can vary significantly depending on the time of year.

First of all, not all cruise ships have covered pools, so in case of bad weather, you may not be able to use them.

From this point of view, cruises during warm seasons are perfect for enjoying the sunshine and long days by the pool.

However, at the same time, peak seasons like spring break or summer holidays will likely mean busier pools, and probably a less enjoyable experience.

5. Port day is the perfect day

Empty pool on a cruise
Empty pool on a cruise

If you really want to enjoy a day at the pool, you could choose to go there during a port day.

When the ship docks in a port, most passengers disembark for sightseeing and excursions.

That’s when you can enjoy the pool in peace, with very few people, and with absolute relaxation.

If your cruise stops in a city that you do not particularly like, or that you may have already seen, you can think of doing it.

6. Expect pool maintenance and closures

Water overflows from the pool
Water overflows from the pool

I know it is not a pleasant thing, but sometimes the pools might be closed for maintenance or if the sea is too rough.

In the former case, the pools can be closed for deep cleaning operations. As we said in the article about the cleanest and dirtiest cruise ships, they are regularly inspected, so it is essential to have everything in order at all times.

In addition, pools can be closed for safety reasons when the sea is too rough.

The waves cause excessive movement in the pool, and the water can overflow.

7. Swimwear is not allowed everywhere

Free tables at the buffet
Tables at the buffet

While there isn’t a strict dress code for the pool, appropriate swimwear is expected.

Remember that you can wear a swimsuit at the pool, but you should cover yourself if you wanna eat something at the buffet or at the main restaurant.

Among the things you must never do at the buffet on a cruise, there is also that of not eating shirtless or without shorts.

For this reason, remember to bring a cover-up or shorts and a T-shirt.

8. Watch out for chair hogs

Chair hogs

Who are the chair hogs? They are those people who leave their belongings on sun loungers to reserve them, but then don’t use them for hours and hours!

They usually get up early in the morning and start reserving several chairs, taking away the opportunity for others to use them.

It is quite annoying, which is why I recommend that you look at the article on how to outwit chair hogs on cruise ships.

With those tips, you can enjoy your day at the pool without any problems!


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