How to Watch the Super Bowl on a Cruise

Taking a cruise during the Super Bowl and wondering about watching the game? The good news is that you’ll have no issue catching the show while on your vacation. Even if you are in the middle of the ocean, you can still watch the Super Bowl aboard the ship. 

Football stadium packed before a game.
Just because you are on a cruise doesn’t mean you have to miss the game.

In fact, watching on a cruise may end up being more fun than you’d have watching back home. However, the experience may be a little different than you are used to on land. 

February Means Super Bowl… And a Cheap Time to Sail

You likely already know that the Super Bowl is one of the most-watched events in the world. Each year 100 million people in America — and millions more around the world — watch the NFL’s championship game. It’s become a must-see with seemingly as many people watching for the commercials or the halftime show as for the actual game itself.

And while some people think that Super Bowl Sunday should be a national holiday, that doesn’t stop the cruise lines from sailing. In fact, the time around the game, which is held in February each year, is usually one of the cheapest times of year to cruise. So if you take advantage of these low fares, then you’ll likely be wondering how you can watch the game while you are on your cruise.

Catching the Big Game at Sea

Each year the Super Bowl is broadcast in the United States on one of the major networks like CBS, NBC, or Fox. Now, you should know that cruise lines are notorious for having a limited number of TV stations on your cabin television. In fact, the major networks are often not available. 

Still, this doesn’t mean you have to worry about watching the game. The ship receives its TV stations via satellite feeds.

The Super Bowl is a massive event streamed via broadcast partners around the world. Even if the ship doesn’t receive the specific network from the United States, it won’t matter — it will have an international stream of the game coming in via satellite that is shown for passengers.

Given the importance of the game to guests, every cruise line will have a place to watch the game live on the ship.

Where You Can Watch the Super Bowl on the Ship

Football screen on a cruise ship
Football games — including the Super Bowl — are shown around the ship, including bars, cabins, and big screens like this one.

Where you can watch the game on the ship will vary, depending on the cruise line. For major games like this one, the ship’s sports-themed bars will always have the channel up. Cruise lines will also likely play the game on the outdoor screen in the pool area. Pull up a chair, relax, and watch in comfort.

You will likely (though not always) be able to watch the Super Bowl in your cabin. This varies by cruise line, which station the game is broadcast, and if that feed is then routed to your cabin. So if you’re the sort of person who really likes to focus on the game without the “party” atmosphere of watching with a ton of other people, then you might have to grin and bear it. 

If you are the type that likes to watch the game is a social setting, however, then you’re in luck.

All the ships will make the Super Bowl an event. Many like to put on “tailgates” at sea with prizes, as well as drink and food specials to entertain guests. For example, Carnival has a big Super Bowl party for the game. It includes a “Sailgate Party,” showing the game around the ship, and more.

Details on what’s happening during your cruise will be featured in the daily calendar you receive on Super Bowl Sunday.

One Drawback? Be Ready to Miss Super Bowl Commercials

SkyBox sports bar
SkyBox Sport Bar on Carnival is a great place to watch, but know commercials may be different than the regular broadcast.

The experience of watching the Super Bowl on a cruise ship is fairly unique. Even in the middle of the ocean you can stay up with one of the biggest sporting events in the world. 

Are you one of the millions of people that watches the Super Bowl for the commercials? On a cruise, you might be disappointed. As we said earlier, you most likely won’t be getting the traditional broadcast you are used to when viewing the game from home. Instead, it will likely be an international feed of the game. That means the same commercials shown stateside aren’t always shown on your cruise.

In fact, Carnival has even said the following on its website:

“Please note that commercials aired during the Super Bowl will be those targeted to the areas the ship is sailing and may differ from those aired at home.”

Don’t fear if you can’t watch the commercials. These days many companies release them early, and every commercial will be available on YouTube the following day. You can always catch up later.

The bottom line is that yes, you can watch the Super Bowl on your cruise and it will be as big an event at sea as it is on land. You may or may not be able to watch in your cabin. You likely won’t be able to see the commercials as they air.

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