The 9 Best Movie Nights at Sea

by Danielle Contray

The 9 Best Movie Nights at Sea

by Danielle Contray

Some cruise lines take movie night to a whole new level. Picture stretching out on a lounge chair by the pool with a cozy blanket and some fresh-popped popcorn (and maybe a complimentary cocktail or two), or seeing blockbusters in 3-D at an actual IMAX theater. And thanks to partnerships between the lines and major studios, you'll also get to see new releases that just hit the theaters back home. Here are our picks for the coolest ways to catch a flick at sea.

9
Movies Under the Stars on Ruby Princess / Princess Cruises
Movies Under the Stars
1 of 9
1. Princess Cruises: Movies Under the Stars

Princess’s program started the trend of poolside movie screenings. After the sun goes down, Hollywood blockbusters are projected onto a 300-square-foot screen. Get comfy on one of the padded lounge chairs with blankets and a bag of popcorn or milk and cookies.

Princess’s program started the trend of poolside movie screenings. After the sun goes down, Hollywood blockbusters are projected onto a 300-square-foot screen. Get comfy on one of the padded lounge chairs with blankets and a bag of popcorn or milk and cookies.

Disney Dream's Buena Vista Theatre
2 of 9
2. Disney Cruise Line: Buena Vista Theatre

The cruise line not only get dibs on Disney-made movies, but also offers the glamorous art deco Buena Vista Theatre. Reminiscent of Hollywood's Golden Age, the space has Dolby surround sound and 3-D technology. Big releases get special treatment: the first Star Wars Days at Sea on Disney Fantasy in 2016 celebrated the run of "Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens," while the 2017 Marvel Days at Sea on Disney Magic will include showings of "Thor: Ragnarok."

The cruise line not only get dibs on Disney-made movies, but also offers the glamorous art deco Buena Vista Theatre. Reminiscent of Hollywood's Golden Age, the space has Dolby surround sound and 3-D technology. Big releases get special treatment: the first Star Wars Days at Sea on Disney Fantasy in 2016 celebrated the run of "Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens," while the 2017 Marvel Days at Sea on Disney Magic will include showings of "Thor: Ragnarok."

Starlit Movies on SeaDream
3 of 9
3. SeaDream Yacht Club: Starlit Movies

Like Princess, SeaDream Yacht Club hosts intimate screenings under the stars with blankets and popcorn — but it also offers pillows, and the flowing (complimentary) bar is open for orders, even on premium liquors.

Like Princess, SeaDream Yacht Club hosts intimate screenings under the stars with blankets and popcorn — but it also offers pillows, and the flowing (complimentary) bar is open for orders, even on premium liquors.

Thrill Theater on Carnival Breeze
4 of 9
4. Carnival Cruise Line: Thrill Theater

Poolside movies are shown across the fleet, but only Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista have the new 24-seat Thrill Theater. These venues screen 3-D shorts — starring familiar characters like "SpongeBob" — during which the chairs move and you get other fun extras, such as splashing water and bubbles. You can buy individual tickets or a pass for the 10 or so films shown during the sailing.

Poolside movies are shown across the fleet, but only Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista have the new 24-seat Thrill Theater. These venues screen 3-D shorts — starring familiar characters like "SpongeBob" — during which the chairs move and you get other fun extras, such as splashing water and bubbles. You can buy individual tickets or a pass for the 10 or so films shown during the sailing.

IMAX theater on Carnival Vista
5 of 9
5. Carnival Vista: IMAX Theater

Carnival Vista launched in May 2016 with first IMAX theater at sea. A frameless screen and high resolution elevates the experience of watching the latest Hollywood blockbusters, as well as classics and documentaries.

Carnival Vista launched in May 2016 with first IMAX theater at sea. A frameless screen and high resolution elevates the experience of watching the latest Hollywood blockbusters, as well as classics and documentaries.

Outdoor movie screen on Rhapsody of the Seas
6 of 9
6. Royal Caribbean: DreamWorks Partnership

Royal Caribbean International’s partnership with DreamWorks means you can see "How to Train You Dragon," among other animated favorites, in 3-D. Some ships also have a 220-foot poolside theater and, if you prefer to watch movies in bed, DreamWorks films are available on demand in staterooms.

Royal Caribbean International’s partnership with DreamWorks means you can see "How to Train You Dragon," among other animated favorites, in 3-D. Some ships also have a 220-foot poolside theater and, if you prefer to watch movies in bed, DreamWorks films are available on demand in staterooms.

Royal Court Theatre on Queen Victoria
7 of 9
7. Cunard Line: Royal Court and Illuminations Theaters

First-run films are played twice a day in the Royal Court Theatre on Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, while the Queen Mary 2 screens 3-D movies in the Illuminations theater. Known for its guest lecturers, Cunard also invites actors — including Hitchcock heroine Kim Novak, "Star Trek" star George Takei, and funnyman John Cleese — to talk about their work.

First-run films are played twice a day in the Royal Court Theatre on Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth, while the Queen Mary 2 screens 3-D movies in the Illuminations theater. Known for its guest lecturers, Cunard also invites actors — including Hitchcock heroine Kim Novak, "Star Trek" star George Takei, and funnyman John Cleese — to talk about their work.

Wajang Theater on Rotterdam
8 of 9
8. Holland America Line: LED Screens

Movies are shown in onboard theaters fleetwide with hot buttered popcorn, and Rotterdam and Veendam also project flicks onto fancier LED screens by the Retreat pool deck. There's a bar and a restaurant nearby, so you can order cocktails and snacks.

Movies are shown in onboard theaters fleetwide with hot buttered popcorn, and Rotterdam and Veendam also project flicks onto fancier LED screens by the Retreat pool deck. There's a bar and a restaurant nearby, so you can order cocktails and snacks.

Streaming films
9 of 9
9. Silversea Cruises: Streaming

Silversea streams movies on passengers’ tablets and laptops. The selection runs from black-and-white classics to the latest Oscar winners. The service is complimentary, and (best of all) you can borrow an iPad mini if you left your tablet at home.

Silversea streams movies on passengers’ tablets and laptops. The selection runs from black-and-white classics to the latest Oscar winners. The service is complimentary, and (best of all) you can borrow an iPad mini if you left your tablet at home.

Up next...

10 Best Ports for Fun Fall Activities

Koblenz, Germany
Go Back
Find The Best Cruises
Find a cruise

Find the best deals!

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices