Are you looking for a vacation that offers fun, adventure, and relaxation all in one? If so, you might want to consider taking a cruise. Cruise ships are like floating resorts that take you to amazing destinations around the world. But the journey itself is also part of the attraction.
Cruise ships offer a variety of activities for every taste and interest, from thrilling rides and shows to gourmet dining and spa treatments. Whether you want to try something new, have a blast with your family, or just unwind and enjoy the scenery, you can find it on a cruise ship.
In this blog, we will introduce you to 8 exciting activities that you can experience on some of the world’s best cruise lines. These are not your typical cruise activities but rather unique and innovative ways to make your cruise vacation unforgettable.
Related Visual Story: Top 9 Cruise Destinations and Experiences for Every Traveler
Quick Facts About Cruise Lines
Before we dive into the exhilarating activities that await you on your next cruise, let’s set sail with some quick, interesting facts about cruise lines.
Colossal Ships: 2024’s largest cruise ships host over 6,000 passengers, stretching over 1,100 feet with multiple decks, resembling floating cities with diverse neighborhoods.
Ultimate Luxury: Offering multi-level lofts, private balconies, and butler services, cruise cabins now rival high-end hotel suites in opulence.
Adventurous Amenities: Modern cruises feature unique attractions like skydiving simulators, robot bartenders, and surf simulators, appealing to all ages.
Rising Popularity: Cruises have gained popularity among younger travelers, offering themed voyages from culinary to adventure, attracting a diverse demographic.
Prestigious Recognition: Leading cruise lines like Viking Ocean Cruises and Royal Caribbean win awards for outstanding service, reflecting their commitment to excellence.
1. Indoor skydiving
Who said you need to jump out of a plane to feel the thrill of skydiving? Thanks to Royal Caribbean, the rush of freefalling is now just a few decks away on their Quantum class ships. Teaming up with Ripcord by iFly, they’re offering an indoor skydiving experience that’s truly out of this world.
Imagine floating on air, suspended above powerful fans – it’s like defying gravity without the usual leap from 10,000 feet. You’ll gear up, get a quick rundown in a mini-training session, and then it’s your turn to fly. For 60 exhilarating seconds, you’ll hover and glide, and maybe even throw in a trick or two. This cool twist on skydiving is Royal Caribbean’s way of spicing up the cruising game. Who knew a day at sea could have you flying high, indoors?
2. Water Coaster
Meet AquaDuck – the water ride that’s making waves on Disney cruise ships! First making a splash on the Disney Dream in 2011 and then the Disney Fantasy, this isn’t your typical water slide. Think of it as a roller coaster, but with a splash of water and a whole lot of fun.
Perched high on deck 12, AquaDuck stretches an impressive 765 feet, standing tall and proud on its stilts. Ready for the ride of your life? Hop onto an inflatable raft and let the adventure begin. A conveyor belt whisks you 12 feet beyond the ship’s edge, treating you to a breathtaking view from 150 feet up.
Hold on tight as water jets propel you at 20 feet per second. Twists, turns, and a 335-foot-long rapids section await, all culminating in a relaxing float down a lazy river. And the best part? This wild, watery journey wraps up in just over a minute – talk about a quick dip with a twist!
3. Ropes Course
Get ready to climb aboard a whole new level of adventure with Carnival Cruise Line’s special rope courses! This isn’t just any ordinary challenge; it’s a chance to channel your inner ancient mariner and explore the ship from an exhilarating vantage point. Imagine scaling the heights, not of trees, but of a magnificent cruise ship, where the sky is the limit.
Strap into your harness and prepare to conquer a labyrinth of 40 to 100 obstacles. From swaying suspension bridges to heart-racing zip lines, each step is an exciting dance between daring and fun. And don’t worry, you won’t be walking the plank alone! Skilled instructors are there to guide you through every twist and turn, ensuring your journey is as safe as it is thrilling. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or a first-timer looking for a high-seas thrill, these rope courses are a unique way to add some zip (line) to your vacation. All aboard for an adventure that’s sure to lift your spirits – quite literally!
Set sail for an extraordinary experience with Carnival Cruise Line’s SkyRide, a game-changer in sea adventures! This isn’t just another attraction; it’s an award-winning, human-powered marvel, originally crafted for land but now making waves at sea. Picture yourself on a bike, but not just any bike – one that’s part of a monorail-esque track, twisting and turning high above the cruise deck.
As you strap in and start pedaling, prepare for a heart-racing journey that takes you over the edge – literally! The track daringly extends beyond the ship, dangling you a thrilling 150 feet above the ocean. Since its inception, SkyRide has welcomed over 350,000 riders who have collectively pedaled an astounding 67,000 miles. It’s a testament to the innovative spirit of Carnival Cruise Line, consistently pushing the boundaries to offer one-of-a-kind experiences at sea. So, are you ready to pedal your way to breathtaking views and exhilarating moments? SkyRide awaits to add that extra zip to your cruise vacation!
5. Surf Simulator
Cruise ships are like floating cities, and a lot of research and technology goes into making them stable and comfortable at sea. Royal Caribbean, one of the best cruise lines, offers an exciting attraction on several of their ships called the FlowRider. It’s a 40-foot-long surf simulator suitable for everyone, from beginners to pros.
Before hitting the waves, you get an introduction to how it works, how to ride, and even how to fall gracefully. Royal Caribbean is the only cruise company taking these surf simulators out to sea, with 16 of them across their fleet. You can opt for private lessons to perfect your skills or join affordable group lessons. Since the wave strength is adjustable, it’s suitable for all ages, making it a fun and inclusive experience at sea.
6. Go Karts
Cruise adventures reached new levels of excitement with Norwegian Cruise Lines’ introduction of go-kart tracks on the top deck of their ships. Announced in 2019, the Norwegian Encore Speedway on the flagship Encore, and two other ships, offers a thrilling custom-designed track spanning two decks, with 1150 feet of twists and turns, including parts hanging over the ship’s edge.
These electric-powered go-karts, capable of speeds up to 30 miles per hour, accommodate 10 cars at a time. Each ship’s track has unique features, with NCL Joy boasting a Ferrari-themed track. The go-kart tracks quickly became the number one onboard activity, drawing continuous queues of both kids and adults. For an exhilarating cruise experience, Norwegian Cruise Lines stands out as one of the best cruise lines.
7. Roller Coaster
Carnival Cruise Lines has something super cool on their new ship, Mardi Gras – a roller coaster called Bolt! Unlike tiny rides, Bolt is a full-on experience reaching 187 feet above the sea. You ride in motorcycle-like cars, zooming at 40 miles per hour on the top deck track.
It’s not just fast; you get to control the speed too! With awesome views of the ship and ocean, it’s a blast. And after the ride, you can check who’s the bravest on the lap time board. Carnival Cruise Lines makes cruising an adventure with Bolt!
8. North Star
Royal Caribbean, one of the world’s largest cruise operators, has a reputation for adding incredible features to their ships. The Quantum class vessels, launched in 2014 and ranked as the third largest cruise ship globally, showcase an attraction called North Star.
This unique experience involves a glass pod attached to a mechanical arm, lifting guests up and over the side of the ship.
With a capacity for 14 people, the 20-minute ride offers breathtaking views up to 300 feet above sea level, allowing guests to marvel at the ship, the ocean, or the port it’s docked in. Note that there might be an additional fee during peak times, and the best experience is when the ship is at sea with calm waters.