Craziest things you can do on a cruise ship

There are a lot more things to do on a cruise than most people realize, especially if you’re a first time cruiser. In the past, it might’ve been that all you could do is hang out on the pool deck and have a drink. These days there is no end to the fun you can have on a cruise, and there are activities around the clock. In a bid to one up each other, now almost every cruise line has its own wild and crazy activity and many of them are included in your cruise fare. From sky diving simulators to bumper cars, here’s a list of craziest things you can do on a cruise!

Practice Surfing!

Many Royal Caribbean ships have a water feature on the top deck that’s called the Flowrider. With the FlowRider, you can give surfing or Boogie boarding a try for free as many times as you like. Those looking to perfect their skills can schedule a private, hour-long lesson.

Ziplining… on a ship!

How big are cruise ships these days? So big that you can zipline across them. Several ships, including those from Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises have zipline rides that will sail from one end of the ship to the other.  Or, get the same thrill at the Sports Complex on Norwegian’s Breakaway Class ships, where there are also 40 other activities including a ropes course and “walking the plank.” Select MSC and Carnival ships also offer similar suspended ropes courses that tests your balance!

Photo by Royal Caribbean

Take a Turn on a Waterslide!

While older ships might not have them, most newer ships come with waterslides onboard. And before you think these are simple slides that make a turn or two and let you out, that’s normally not the case. Almost every new mega ships these days comes with a large water park onboard. They usually have 2 or 3 waterslides, from racing slides to slides that hang over the side of the ship. Some of them even have a transparent part so you can see the water below!

SkyDiving at sea!

Those that are feeling adventurous can cross this one off the bucket list on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class ships on RipCord by iFly, a skydiving simulator that propels wind at speeds over 100 mph. And, since it’s located on the aft end of the ship, you can look out at the ocean (and the surfers at the simulator below). I’m not a really adventurous person but I would love to try this, especially because it costs quite a lot on land!

Have Some Fun in Bumper Cars!

Another Royal Caribbean activity on Quantum class ships, you can ride bumper cars while at sea. Passengers need to be at least five years old to ride tandem, but eight years old and above can drive their own car. Don’t worry, you won’t go fast enough to get hurt, but the bumps can come suddenly! You will find the bumper cars in the space called the Sportsplex!

Robotic bartenders?

One of the more unique things you’ll find a cruise, some Royal Caribbean ships have the “Bionic Bar.” What makes this special is that it’s a robotic arm that grabs all the ingredients and makes your entire drink without human interaction (you even order from an electronic pad). While it might not replace the traditional bar anytime soon, it is something unique to try on your cruise.

Grab a drink in an Ice Bar

On Norwegian Epic, Breakaway and Getaway you can chill out in the ice bar inspired by the original ice hotels in Scandinavia. The ice bar is a fun and photo-worthy cruise activity. The bars, glasses, walls, and benches are all made of ice, just as they are in authentic Scandinavian ice bars.

Virtual reality if cruise reality isn’t good enough for you!

Norwegian has a place called the Galaxy Pavilion on some of its newer cruise ships like the Joy and Encore. If you have kids, they will likely beg you to go, I would too!

The area features a ton of virtual reality games. From a Jeep ride that moves as the virtual reality headset takes you on a run from chasing dinosaurs to walking a balance beam high above a city to rescue a kitten, the experience can make you feel like you are really there. The Galaxy Pavilion does cost extra, but from what I’ve heard it’s a pretty memorable thing to do on a cruise and the entire family will have fun.

Trampoline fun!

Yet ANOTHER Royal Caribbean feature, they really are leading the way when it comes to unique onboard features! On a couple of ships they have this new attraction called the Sky Pad. It’s huge sphere that sits high atop the ship. The massive ball contains the Sky Pad. It’s a thrill where you are attached to bungee cords via a harness and then start jumping on a trampoline. You can choose to free jump, or there are also virtual reality headsets that allow you to play games as you jump. Either ways, it’s unique to be jumping so high while you are on top of a cruise ship. You will find this attraction on a couple of Voyager, Freedom and Quantum-ultra class ships!


If you feel the need for speed, you can burn rubber at the go-kart racetrack found on select Norwegian Cruise Line ships. The two-level track is designed for speed, and drivers take full advantage, zipping around the S-shaped track at top speed. The go-karts on Norwegian Cruise Line are electric-powered racecars. They are not bumper cars. No more than 10 cars can be on the track at once, and while drivers race around the curves, trying to pass each other, there is no official race occurring.

F1 Simulators

If you love to race and you already know some ships have go-kart tracks. But what if you want to go faster? Some ships, including those from Norwegian and MSC have F1 simulators. This includes a full-sized car replica that you sit in and wide screens to make you feel like you really are driving around the course.

Rock climbing

These days you can climb while you float, as several Royal Caribbean ships are now outfitted with full-sized rock climbing walls. If you’re the sporty type, seek out cruises on a Freedom Class, Voyager Class, Radiance Class or Vision Class ship to practice your skills. Royal Caribbean was the first company to offer on-board rock climbing walls, and the options vary in size and challenge level. What doesn’t vary, though, is the price, as all the walls are free to climb. The cruise line even provides the equipment you need.

Ride a roller coaster

Carnival is making waves with its new Mardi Gras. Not only is it a completely different ship compared to the rest of Carnival’s fleet, but it also features the first and only roller coaster at sea. The sea coaster named BOLT will stretch 240 metres of track, kitted out with twists, turns, swerves and drops, sending thrill-seeking cruise guests through the sky at speeds of up to 56 kilometres per hour. It’s a ride that just a few years ago wouldn’t even be imagined, but the cruise line has made it a reality and one of the more memorable things you can do on a cruise ship.


If this favorite pastime strikes your fancy, head to the lanes on a couple of Norwegian ships. You can also knock down pins on MSC ships. Now I cannot guarantee it’ll improve your skills but it is just as fun as on land.

Biking in the air!

Carnival Vista, Horizon and Panorama are home to the SkyRide. To “ride,” you’ll get strapped into a recumbent bike pod that’s suspended 150 feet above deck and then pedal your way around the two-lane course, which offers a 360-degree view of the ocean. You can choose between racing another pod or going at the pace of your choice.

Explore the galaxies far far away in the only planetarium at sea!

Queen Mary 2 is the home to the only planetarium at sea, which is housed in the Illuminations theater, spectators sit beneath a giant dome that lights up with out of this world glitter and orbs. On a seven-day voyage, you can explore galaxies far, far away with three different shows. Bonus: Members of the Royal Astronomical Society are available on select voyages, so you can ask the experts for assistance in locating the North Star, in case you feel lost at sea!

Cirque du Soleil dinner shows

MSC puts its own spin on dinner and a show through the line’s partnership with Cirque du Soleil. A three-course meal (or simply cocktails) is paired with one of two shows both featuring Cirque-trained performers and high-tech special effects. Adding to the “wow” factor, the experience takes place in a room built specifically for Cirque du Soleil (the first at sea), complete with a 180-degree circular glass wall and massive LED screen wrapped around the ceiling. This experience is only available on Meraviglia class ships.

Ice skating at sea – yup, that’s possible!

I saved the best for last! In my opinion there’s nothing that sounds crazier than ice skating while sailing the Caribbean or the Mediterranean sea. Yet on many Royal Caribbean ships they have an ice rink. While it’s used for performances put on by the entertainment crew, there is also a chance for passengers to skate as well.

Some of these activities so hard to imagine on a cruise ship, like go karts or ice skating… but that just shows you how big these ships are! To go on some of these you really need to be at least a little bit adventurous. I know that I wouldn’t go on that roller coaster on Mardi Gras, I’m not much of a roller coaster person! What about you, what is your favorite “crazy” ship feature and which one would you love to give a try?

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