Just because you’re circling around a paradise island in the Caribbean Sea, not so far from the equator, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a spot of ice skating and show off your salchows and waltz jumps. A number of cruise ships from major lines have on-board ice skating rinks, and actively encourage guests to pack their ice skates and whizz around the arenas in their sequinned dresses.
As cruise ships have grown in size, they’ve been able to add more fun-filled amenities and features to their vessels. From rock climbing walls to bumper cars, the amenities inside cruise ships seem to know no bounds – and sure enough, ice rinks made their cruising debuts in the late 90s when included in the design of the revolutionary Voyager Class of vessels from Royal Caribbean.
Always at the front of the pack when it comes to on-board entertainment and futuristic cruise ship activities, it’s no surprise that Royal Caribbean have cornered the market when it comes to on-board ice rinks. In fact, none of the other cruise lines can boast the ice skating facilities offered by Royal Caribbean, with 11 members of their fleet inviting you to get out onto the ice. The members of the Voyager, Freedom and Oasis classes all include ice skating rinks.
So if you’re looking to book a cruise holiday complete with ice skating possibilities, here’s a complete list of all the major cruise ships which feature ice rinks.
The Voyager Class (Voyager, Mariner, Adventure, Navigator and Explorer of the Seas) were the world’s first cruise ships to feature ice skating rinks. The five ships, which entered service one per year between 1999 and 2003, marked a landmark moment in cruise history with a selection of never-before-seen features, including the ice rinks and climbing walls.
The ice rinks can all be found in the Studio B entertainment centres of the ships, located on deck three (except for Adventure of the Seas, which hosts Studio B and the ice rink on deck two).
Of the Voyager Class, the Navigator of the Seas is the one cruising closest to home, currently homeporting in Southampton and completing a selection of itineraries. Voyager and Mariner are completing trips in Asian waters, homeporting in Hong Kong and Shanghai respectively. Adventure of the Seas is completing Caribbean sailings, whilst the Explorer mostly cruises around the northern states of USA and Canada.
As the world’s three largest cruise ships (with a combined maximum occupancy of almost 19,000 guests), the Oasis Class (Oasis, Allure and Harmony of the Seas) vessels need plenty to keep their passengers entertained. The ice skating rinks prove to be ever popular on these amazing ships, which also feature zip-lines, mini golf courses, nightclubs and just about anything else you could wish for on a cruise trip.
Like the Voyager Class ships, the Oasis ships’ ice rinks can be found in the Studio B entertainment complexes. However, unlike the other class, Studio B can be found on deck four of these impressive vessels.
Oasis and Allure of the Seas are both completing itineraries around the Caribbean, the perfect place for a little ice skating we believe. Closer to home, the newest member of the class, Harmony of the Seas, is cruising the Mediterranean from her Barcelona home.
Previously the largest cruise ships in the world (until the Oasis Class took the title in 2009), the Freedom Class brought fun to the waters across their three-strong fleet (Freedom, Liberty and Independence of the Seas). The ice skating rink was just one fun addition included on the ships, which also featured basketball courts, rock climbing walls and (thanks to a dry-dock upgrade) surf simulators.
Like the ships of the Voyager Class, the Freedom Class ships host their ice skating rinks in Studio B on deck three.
Freedom and Liberty of the Seas both also sail through the Caribbean, whilst Independence completes a selection of cruises through Europe, visiting the Canaries and a number of Mediterranean destinations.
Currently, the other classes of ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet (Quantum, Radiance, Vision, Empress and Sovereign) do not offer ice skating facilities for guests. Although with Royal Caribbean’s record of updating and upgrading ships with boundless enthusiasm, some of these ships could soon feature a rink of their own.
Additionally, there are two Oasis Class ships currently being constructed by Royal Caribbean (due to enter service in 2018 and 2021), and both are expected to feature an ice skating rink.
Now you know where to head if you fancy pulling off a few of your favourite ice skating moves in the middle of the Med. Head over to our dedicated Royal Caribbean page or call our friendly sales team on 0808 231 3669 for a great selection of deals.
Image credits: Royal Caribbean Press Center