It’s not all there is to loitering on the pool deck when it comes to cruising. Here we introduce 22 of the crazier things you can do at sea.
There is everything from adrenaline rush options for thrill seekers to quieter options for those who prefer to go a slower pace …
1. Climb a mountain. Rock walls tower over the decks of large Tui ships and gym staff will show you the (safety) ropes so you can learn to climb with ease.
High life: rock walls tower over the decks of large Tui ships, where you can learn to climb with the help of gym staff
On the ships of the Solstice series from Celebrity Cruises, guests can enjoy the lawn club with real lawn
2. Let the grass grow under your feet. On the upper deck of the ships in the Solstice series from Celebrity Cruises there is a “lawn club” with real lawn. Have a picnic, play croquet, or sit back and listen to jazz in the park.
3rd Read all about it in a floating book club. Selected trips with Fred. Olsen sends reading lists in advance (or orders and collects the books when you get in). Then take part in the relaxed discussions on board.
4th Collect a certificate. Start with a wine tasting on a Cunard ship. Then sign up for an internationally recognized wine and spirits qualification on the company’s Queen Mary 2 and other classic liners.
There are ice rinks on Royal Caribbean ships where you can borrow ice skates, gloves and helmets
5. Put on your skates. There are ice rinks on Royal Caribbean ships where you can rent skates, gloves and helmets. Children can take lessons and the whole family can go back to the rink at night to see professional skaters at a show.
6th Start your day with a sunrise yoga class on a Uniworld cruise and ask the fitness staff to reserve a bike or set of Nordic walking sticks for you for an adventure on land. If health is your thing, cut calories with the special Traveling Lite menu.
7th Go the plank. On the upper deck of Norwegian breakaway ships, a narrow eight-foot plank stretches across the ocean. Fans say it’s terrible to walk (especially in choppy seas), but you wear a harness so you don’t fall.
Would you go over the planks on one of Norwegian breakaway ships? The narrow eight-foot plank stretches out over the ocean on the upper deck, but guests who choose to stroll must wear a harness
Call the butler on a small boat cruise with Silversea, Uniworld (pictured) or Avalon
8th. Call the butler on a small cruise with Silversea, Uniworld, or Avalon. These fleets of ultra-luxury liners have the highest staff-to-guest ratios in the industry, and suites have on-call butlers ready to deliver champagne – or something else – 24 hours a day.
9. Say goodbye to your children. On large P&O cruise lines, every age group has its own kids’ club. The groups start with two to four year olds and go all the way up to teenagers who find a pool table, computer games and a retro arcade in a swimming youth club.
10. Race for the sky. Hop on a unique “flying bike” on the double-track course that hangs high above the upper decks of Carnival’s ships Horizon, Panorama and Vista.
Two guests take the unique “flying bicycles” with them on the Carnival Horizon ship. It’s also a feature on Carnival’s Panorama and Vista liners
There are free trapeze and tightrope courses in the three-story sports arenas on large Royal Caribbean ships
11. Run to the circus (school). There are free trapeze and tightrope courses in the three-story sports arenas on large Royal Caribbean ships.
12. Scream ‘in front!’ on the golf driving ranges and putting greens on Saga cruises. Then iron out your recordings in a high-tech simulator.
13. Look at the stars. Light pollution at sea is low and Princess Cruises has partnered with the Discovery Canal to have star talks on the upper decks. Or head to Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 planetarium for an expert-led astronomy show.
Holland America’s croupiers give free lessons if you want to improve your blackjack or poker skills
14th Roll the dice. Most of the big ships have casinos, and Holland America’s croupiers give free lessons if you want to improve your blackjack or poker skills. They also run high stakes poker tournaments if you want to see real players roll.
fifteen. Dine with the best. Take a seat at the “Chef’s Table” or in one of the new private salons on the Scenic ships to learn the culinary secrets of the chef and enjoy exclusive dinners. On P&O ships, you might even see Marco Pierre White in the cooking club.
16. Get snappy. Pose for a family portrait in the Hollywood-style photo studio on Tui ships. Or follow the professional photographer to the deck for relaxed outdoor shots.
The adult-only Serenity Retreat on large celebrity ships has a relaxing, Zen-like atmosphere and a full-service bar
17th Curl up on a sun lounger for two at the adults-only Serenity Retreat on large celebrity ships. There is a relaxing zen-like atmosphere and a full bar.
18th Watch a movie under the moonlight. When the sun goes down on Princess cruises, screens pop up – and hot chocolate and warm biscuits are served alongside the popcorn at the start of the open-air films.
19th Chase the checkered flag in a go-kart race on Norwegian Bliss. There is a covered pit lane, a viewing platform and breathtaking moments when the track shoots over the edge of the ship.
The Norwegian Bliss ship has a go-kart racing track with a covered pit lane and viewing platform
On the huge Grandiosa ship from MSC there is a tailor-made gallery with 26 paintings by the French impressionist Edgar Degas
20th Chill out. A snow grotto complements the spa on the cruise ship Viking Star. The ice-cold room is part of the Nordic-inspired wellness experience. Too cool? You can visit the whirlpool, sauna, steam room or just lie on a heated lounger.
21. Start with some art. MSC’s huge Grandiosa ship has opened a bespoke gallery displaying 26 paintings by the French impressionist Edgar Degas. MSC, Norwegian, Princess and others also hold regular art auctions and Saga Cruises offers art classes.
22nd Get married or renew your vows at sea. Wedding planners can help you design your perfect day on P&O cruises. The captain and other staff can officiate at the ceremony – and you’re in the perfect place for a luxurious honeymoon.