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10 adrenaline-pumping things to do on a cruise ship

26 May 2017 | by Keith Maynard
One of the biggest challenges facing cruise companies today is how to attract new younger passengers whilst at the same time keeping those cruise veterans hooked.

These days you can ice skate, flying trapeze and sky dive your way through your cruise without even stepping off the ship … here are some of Keith from Planet Cruise Weekly’s top adrenaline pumping activities you can do on a cruise ship.

1. Skydive

It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and was booked to do it in Honolulu but it got cancelled due to clouds but now thanks to Royal Caribbean you can have a go onboard one of their Quantum Class Vessels. Called RipCord by iFLY®, the action all takes place in a 23-foot-tall glass wind tunnel acts as the flight chamber. After an informal training session an instructor will set you up with a flight suit, goggles and helmet showing you those all-important hand signals. You’ll then be treated to two one-minute flights where if you can stop screaming you’ll enjoy gorgeous ocean views while other guests watch on... As a bonus, the instructor usually puts on a show of flying tricks and sensational flips in the air machine...

2. Zip line

Whats 9 decks high and 82 foot across? Answer… the zip lines onboard Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas. As long as you're not acrophobic you can strap on a harness and speed up through the air on the intra-ship zip line just remember not to wear flip flops otherwise fellow cruisers strolling through the Boardwalk below may end up with them in their ice cream cones.

3. F1 Simulator

Fittingly it’s the land that gave us Ferrari who also gives us the chance to strap in and drive at speeds of up to 200 mph round some of the world’s most famous Grand Prix Race Tracks. Both MSC Cruises and Costa Cruises feature F1 Simulators onboard many of their ships and speaking from experience, it’s an immersive virtual reality experience that really gets the pulse racing. You’ll strap yourself into an actual race car and then take the wheel as you “race” down the track—compliments of the movie screen in front of you. Be warned the car whines, bumps and bounces like the real thing!

4. Walk the plank

After mastering some 40 challenges on the three story ropes courses on board Norwegian Getaway, prepare yourself for The Plank…. This 15-centimetre-wide board extends 2.5 metres over the side of the ship, and a whopping 55 metres above the open ocean and gives you a taste of what mutineers must have faced… The big difference is that you have to wear a safety harness! 

5. Skyride

Keeping things airborne and up high is the SkyRide onboard Carnival Vista. Suspended 150 ft above the top deck this pedal powered sky ride features open sided cabs that can be cycled around the 800 ft track 2 lane course. The views are incredible, it gives your legs a great work out and gives you the chance to do your best Mark Cavendish impersonation and pip the other cab to the finish line first!

6. Circus school

Now’s your chance to learn how to fly through the air on a trapeze on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas. Another experience that's featured as part of the Sea Plex you don a safety harness and become a king of the swingers – a real jungle VIP...

7. Escape room

You may or may not have noticed that escape room's are the 'thing' at the moment so it’s no surprise that the innovative cruise line Royal Caribbean have introduced their very own, 'Escape the Rubicon' onboard Harmony of the Seas

It’s an adventure game in which players are locked in a room and have to solve a series of puzzles to escape. In this particular version, four to 12 people "board" the starship Rubicon, which very quickly experiences a power outage leaving it tumbling in space dangerously close to the sun. You then have 60 minutes to get the power and navigation back up by solving a variety of puzzles and finding necessary props. Interestingly its quite a challenge and only 30 percent of groups actually manage to escape in 60 minutes. It's also a great bonding experience for groups of friends and families, but also an excellent way to get to know new people.

8. Waterparks

Many people might argue that the last thing you want to do onboard a cruise ship is get wet… but if you do then why not do it in style with a whiz, plop and shriek! Disney have the edge here with their innovative AquaDuck, a wily water coaster that twists, turns and torques for 765 feet over and around the pool decks of Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. The ride provides amazing views of the water both onboard and off and at one point the coaster actually protrudes 12 feet off the ship and 150 feet above the ocean!

Plus over on Disney Magic is the AquaDunk waterslide. At three-story-high it includes a plummet through a trap door into a translucent tube that shoots out 20 feet over the ship's side.

Other notable wet and wild water slides include Norwegian Cruise Line's Free Fall. Available on Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Breakaway you can race another guest through "free fall" at speeds of up to 26 mph! The term heart in mouth is appropriate here...

9. Surfing


Nowadays thanks to Royal Caribbean you don’t have to head to Hawaii to learn how to surf. The Flow rider surf and body board simulator has been a permanent feature onboard Royal Caribbean’s ships for several years and it shows no sign of decreasing in popularity. You can try the simulator for free or pay for a private surf lesson. 

10. Rope courses

Go Ape has become a huge phenomenon across the UK and therefore it’s no surprise that those canny cruise companies have brought the idea onboard. Carnival has recently introduced a fantastic rope course onboard the Vista called the Skycourse and as with Go Ape it features two levels of difficulty depending on age and confidence. Naturally, safety harnesses are worn by all ages, but that doesn’t take the challenge out of balancing or dangling on the beams, bridges and wires. It’s a real arial assault course but do make sure you stop to enjoy the sea breezes and views along the way. Also as we mentioned earlier Norwegian Cruise Line also has a challenging ropes course onboard some of their ships!

We hope that this list has inspired you to jump out of your comfort zone on your next cruise! If you haven't booked already, you can check out our top 10 cruise deals here. For more adrenaline pumping activities watch Keith and Jade below as they talk about an extra 10 activities to do onboard.

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