Every cruise ship has those little-known niches and nooks where you can escape the noise, crowds, and activity to relax and unwind, watch the waves or catch a sunset … those hidden crannies where you can share quiet conversation or stolen moments while still enjoying setting and scenery. Here are some shipboarb secret spaces on some of the world’s most recognized cruise lines that have escaped the radar of the masses.
Carnival Cruise Lines (above)
With a salute to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1925 novel, “The Great Gatsby,” Carnival Cruise Line has designed a “winter garden” hidden away on Deck 3 of its Spirit Class ships: Spirit, Miracle, Legend, and Pride.
Each of the four winter gardens has a different name. which is tied to the ship’s theme. Aboard Miracle, the winter garden has white trellises and a faux-stone floor, garden-themed murals with white statuary, and bright orange flowers splashed across cushioned chairs.
“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars,” Fitzgerald wrote of Jay Gatsby’s gardens. Sounds peaceful. Take a flute of bubbly and a good book – the occasion calls for a classic in American literature – and sink into the solitude of this quiet corridor.
In the secret spaces department, Celebrity’s Reflection, has an embarrassment of riches. One of the cruise line’s Solstice-class ships, Reflection, has plenty of places off the beaten deck, so to speak. Slip into the Alcoves, private cabana-styled havens guests can rent. Set amidst the grass in the Lawn Club, these comfy retreats make a perfect perch for a day or evening of together time. Relax to music preloaded on an iPad, order a picnic basket, cocktails – even spa services – and feel the grass between your toes … at sea. Escape into your own private lounging “nest” in The Hideaway, where you can read, listen to music, do a crossword puzzle, or simply take a breather. The Library offers two floors of quiet contemplation, a hushed and calming environment for browsing your favorite magazines. In the Relaxation Room, sip a glass of cucumber-infused water or an herbal tea while listening to soft music and being lulled by a view of the ocean through floor-to-ceiling glass panels .
People in glass houses should avail themselves of the view, especially when it’s framing miles of deep blue ocean. Aboard the Costa Diadema, a Dream-class cruise ship, six enclosed gazebos extend from the side of the ship to create a feeling of being suspended over the sea.
Hidden in plain sight on the Promenade on deck 5, the gazebos are generally underutilized by passengers so you just may find that you have the place to yourself. Relax over morning coffee and catch the sunrise. Linger over afternoon drinks or a sunset dinner – all comfortably sheltered from the wind.
The Promenade circles the Diadema from stern to bow and features two large glass mosaics named of the Mediterranean coastline by artist Roberto Bixio. It’s a lovely, undiscovered spot to share a quiet moment.