Today’s stiff competition between ocean cruise ships rewards passengers with activities and amenities that would have seemed out of the question a couple of decades ago. With cruise lines upping the ante every cruise season, the ships have become destinations unto themselves. No longer do guests go from a tiny stateroom to the pool to the one restaurant. Oh, no … with two-story suites, balconies, private islands, Michelin-starred dining, submarine rides and gigantic waterslides, the sky’s the limit when it comes to your next cruise experience.
Here are 10 of the coolest things you can do on a cruise ship right now:
Hang Out Over the Sea
For those who dare, it’s possible to dangle 300 feet over the ocean’s surface on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum, Anthem and Ovation of the Seas. A huge crane lifts a round capsule called the North Star up, up and up and rotates it around the ship for an unbelievable vantage point.
Have a Barbecue … at Sea
Aboard Celebrity ships, there’s no need to sit down to a fancy, dress-up dinner every night. Instead, pull your family or friends together and head to the open-air restaurant, complete with a lawn, where you can grill up your own steak, chicken or seafood with an expert ship chef by your side. Plus, the Lawn Club Grill provides the best grills you might ever use! Don’t feel like cooking? Enjoy Guy Fieri barbecue at Carnival’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que restaurant aboard five of their ships.
Go to the Planetarium
OK, so the real nighttime sky will put on a show of its own each evening of your cruise, but there is no light pollution whatsoever from the boat when you head into the 150-seat planetarium aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2. Within the Illuminations 3D cinema, you can take a trip across the solar system and watch short films provided by the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium.
For those who feel the need for speed, modern go-carts aboard the Norwegian Bliss are better than anything your kid will drive at his buddy’s birthday party at home. This intense race tops out at 30 miles per hour and features plenty of turns and twists to keep the adrenaline flowing.
Go Below the Waves
If all those days at sea are making you wonder what’s beneath the ocean, see for yourself in Crystal Esprit’s two-person submersible. Or, go nearly 1,000 feet down into the water in the six-passenger submarine on the Scenic Eclipse. And, brand new, try the seven-person submersible on the Crystal Endeavor.
Take a Spin in the Sky
Missing your Peloton? Ride an open-air, pedal-powered “go-mobile” on Carnival’s Vista and Horizon ships. The SkyRide suspends you high above the ship, boasting fabulous sea views … and a legit workout.
Brave a Ropes Course
Not just for team-building anymore, the ropes course on Norwegian Cruise Line’s Breakaway and Breakaway Plus-class ships are composed of more than 40 (and up to 100) hair-raising elements, from ziplines to climbing nets to suspension bridges. Take it one step further and walk (harnessed!) along the narrow Plank, which extends 8 feet over the ledge of the ship.
Have a Frozen Cocktail
Or, at least have a cocktail in a frozen bar. No longer the purview of Montreal or Iceland, the ice bar concept has made it to the Norwegian Getaway. Cool off in a room where the bar and glassware are made of ice – don’t worry, you’ll be offered a warm hooded poncho for your visit.
Zip Down a Mega-Waterslide
This is likely the one the kids will text home about – the Ultimate Abyss aboard Royal Caribbean’s Symphony and Harmony of the Seas. You’ll ride a special mat down 10 decks along a 216-foot-long slide at speeds of up to nine miles per hour! Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas boasts The Blaster, the longest waterslide at sea at 800 feet, with an open-air chute suspended over the water.
Savor the Meal of Your Life
A six-course dinner, with Dom Perignon, at sea? Oceania’s Riviera and Marina ships say, “yes.” You’ll dine at La Reserve by Wine Spectator on such signature dishes at Brittany blue lobster and black truffle risotto, wagyu with caviar and French cheeses. Best part? Every course is paired with a different vintage Dom Perignon.
Ready to set sail? Email me today!
August 4, 2023