1. Rise and shine

Everyone wakes up on a cruise to find themselves floating blissfully somewhere between vast seas and even vaster skies.

While you slumbered, your floating hotel travelled through the night. Come morning, just outside your window is a completely new world and destination waiting for you to discover. What a way to start your day!

2. Breakfast club

Early risers can catch sunrise from the deck with a steaming cup of coffee and warm French pastries before heading to breakfast, while later risers can take in the views and the fresh sea air before heading downstairs to breakfast. Cruise restaurants offer banquets fit for a king. Choose from fresh fruit, omelettes, pancakes and, of course, ­a traditional full English breakfast.

3. Ease into your day

Energise your morning with a gentle yoga class, stretching your body and relaxing your mind on the top deck, or doing a few laps of the pool. For something a little more invigorating, hit the gym. If that sounds like too much action, simply spend your morning lounging by the pool or getting lost in a book, perhaps engrossing yourself in the history, culture and legends of your next port of call.

4. Port action

If it’s a port day, you might want to head out straight after breakfast to fit in all the sights. Maybe you have a tour lined up to see the local attractions; a boat trip to view a coral reef; or a sightseeing tour from high up above a rainforest canopy.

From tropical island paradises of the South Pacific to the majestic ice-scapes of Scandinavia and Alaska and the bustling Mediterranean, where you can take a nostalgic trip back in history and visit ancient monuments and ruins, the world is your oyster as far as cruise travel is concerned.

5. Me time

If you spent the previous day exploring on land, a day on board allows you to unwind and soak in the delights of ship life, such as a day of spa treatments and pampering, sunbathing by the pool, or simply afternoon tea on deck.

For a bit more excitement, try the surfing and skydiving simulators.

Or if you want to learn something, take a cookery class, or learn to dance the tango. Whatever your poison, what is not to be missed is watching the sun going down from the deck with a glass of Happy Hour bubbles in hand.

6. Make a night of it

An array of Broadway shows, cabaret spectaculars and concerts are on offer after dark. And if you want to party like it’s 1999, head to the nightclubs and chic lounges where everyone’s party can carry on late into the night.

This article first appeared in Reader’s Digest. For more of what you love from the world’s best-loved magazine, here’s our best subscription offer.