Not everyone goes on a cruise for rest and relaxation – with cruise ships now colossal in size and brimming with things to do, cruise holidays can just as easily be action packed and full of adventure as they can be about winding down.
If it’s a holiday full of excitement that you’re after, you can do no better than a Royal Caribbean ship. Within its SeaPlex complex, you can learn new skills at the circus school, play basketball on the full-size regulation court (on all ship classes bar Vision), try your hand at table tennis or hop on the bumper cars for some fun-fair excitement at sea. Kids will also go crazy for the H2O Zone Water Park on Oasis and Freedom ships. Packed with fountains, water sprouts and water guns, it’s a great place for the kids to let off steam.
If you’ve always wanted to give ice-skating a go but never had the chance, you’ll love the ice rinks on the Oasis, Freedom and Voyager ships. Whether you’re a couple looking for something different to do or you’re just looking for an enjoyable way to spend quality time with the family, the on board ice rinks are a fantastic way to experience all the thrills of the ice. Voyager ships also have an inline skating track and whether you’re in a couple or you’re bringing the family, you’ll find there’s no better way to meet other cruisers than on wheels where there’s plenty of opportunity for laughter and conversation.
For the more adventurous, there’s Flowrider (on Oasis/Freedom class ships), an incredible surf simulator that allows beginners and advanced surfers to ride the waves without leaving the comfort of the ship. Then there’s RipCord, an insane skydiving simulator that lets you experience the thrills and spills of skydiving in a safe environment. If you’ve still energy to burn, all classes of ship have a challenging rock climbing wall so you can race the rest of your party to the top.
Finally, for couples and cruisers who like to stay in shape, many Royal Caribbean ships have excellent fitness facilities. All classes of ships feature the Vitality day spa and fitness centre where you can work up a sweat before winding down with a relaxing, therapeutic massage. The larger ships also feature a running track and sports court so you can work off a few extra calories to make up for all the delicious food you’ll be eating on board.
For water parks with bigger thrills and spills, Norwegian Cruise Line’s ships are worth a look. On their Breakaway class ships, you could find yourself hurtling down one of five multi-story waterslides, or plummeting down the Norwegian Epic Plunge with or without a tube, a 200 foot long slide that towers four stories above the pool deck. Just when you think it’s all over, you’ll find yourself bursting out into a gigantic one-of-a-kind water bowl before you land with a splash in the water below. There’s also two side-by-side twisting racer slides if you like to make it competitive, or Free Fall if dropping at insane speeds is more your thing. For little cruisers and gentler splashes, there’s a family-friendly aqua park too.
Norwegian’s ships have plenty more activities for when you’re bored of the water. If you’ve always wanted to try climbing, you can choose from the rock climbing walls or the multi-level ropes course on Breakaway class ships. You can also work up a sweat on the basketball court or challenge the family to a gentler game of golf on the mini golf course.
For cruisers that want to stay in shape, Norwegian’s ships also feature state of the art fitness centres with popular classes such as Zumba® and Flywheel Sports® or see if you can pack a punch with boxing at Fight Klub™. For a more relaxed way to stay in shape, try out a Pilates or ocean view yoga class, a relaxing energising experience.
Carnival’s ships are also worth considering if it’s an action-packed holiday you’re after as they have a few different things to try from the other cruise lines. With 23 different ships, activities vary from ship to ship with Carnival Magic and Breeze having most of the more energetic things to do.
A popular on board activity is Dodgeball, a game of throwing and, as you might expect, dodging. It’s perfect for bringing the family together, burning off some energy and meeting other cruisers. If team sports are your thing, you can also try your hand at Volleyball or Basketball.
Carnival ships also have the awesome Sky Course, a ropes challenge that takes you high above the ship with the cool sea breeze in your ears and a stunning view below. You can test your ability at two levels, depending on how adventurous you’re feeling – all in complete safety as you’ll be fully strapped in throughout.
Most of Carnival’s energy burners are located within the Sports Square, where you can also have a leisurely game of mini-golf, play a little soccer, challenge the family to ping pong or show off on the pool table. For keep fit fanatics, there’s a jogging track and an excellent selection of fitness equipment from exercise bikes and elliptical machines to weights and punch bags.
With so much on offer, you might be wondering if you’ll ever catch your breath – but whichever ship you choose, relaxing on board is always no more difficult than stretching out on the nearest sunbed with a margarita never too far away.
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Images sourced via Royal Caribbean Press Center and Flickr Creative Commons. Credits: Zippo S, CK Golf Solutions, Kim