There are certain things that you’re going to expect on a cruise ship as standard.
- Swimming pool, check.
- Casino, check.
- Loud-mouthed dinner guest who spends the whole time talking about the zillion past cruises he’s been on, check.
Throw in some fantastic excursions, amazing food and the use of a sunlounger with sea views and you might think you’ve got the cruise ship experience down. Not so!
The beauty of cruising is that these mysterious floating resorts are constantly evolving, updating and moving the cruise ship experience on to the next level – which means that you’ll find at least one or two surprises onboard each time you go – and that’s assuming you use the same ship each time as well!
Here are our top ten unexpected things that you could find on a cruise ship – SURPRISE!!!!
A Robot Bartender
One thing you would expect to see on a cruise ship is a bar where you can get your favourite cocktail at any point during the day. But, one thing you may not expect is your bartender to be a robot! Onboard Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the seas you can visit their one-of-a-kind Bionic Bar where you simply order your tipple from an ipad and then let the dynamic robotic arms whip up your delicious order. And if you don’t fancy and alcoholic beverage, why not order a mocktail just to see your new bartender in action?
Whilst we’re on the subject of drinks, lets take the temperature down, right down to freezing and enter NCL’s Svedka/Inniskillin Ice Bar onboard Norwegian Breakaway, Getaway or Epic.
The bars are made intirely from ice and are illuminated by coloured bulbs to give you an ellusion of the northern lights. Now, don’t worry, you don’t need to pack your ski wear to enjoy this cold bar; you’ll be provided with hooded coat and gloves to keep your hands and body warm.
A Virtual Balcony
So you fancied yourself some glorious sea views from a balcony cabin – then you saw the price. Don’t resign yourself to a windowless box in the bowels of the ship; go for a ‘virtual balcony’ cabin on Royal Caribbean’s Anthem, Quantum, Ovation, Navigator, Harmony and Voyager of the Seas.
Ok, so technically you’re still in a windowless box in the bowels of the ship but thanks to the latest technology you have a real time view from the ship projected onto an 80 inch LED screen complete with curtains.
If the kids ask, you can’t hook your Xbox up to them though – trust us we’ve checked!
A ‘Magic Carpet’
Ok so a little different to the one you saw Jasmine and Aladdin flying over the dessert but still amazing that this is actually on a ship.
On Celebrity Cruises’ Edge Class ships prepare to be amazed by their outward-facing venue that moves up and down to different decks whilst also offering different experience depending on which deck you enter on.
Options include dining, drinking or simply relaxing as close to the sea as you can possible get. Even if you dont sail with Celebrity Cruises, I think we can all admit that this is still a pretty phenominal feature for a cruise ship.
A Bird’s Eye View
You can’t beat looking out to sea from your balcony cabin or a spot on a sun lounger……….or can you? Well Royal Caribbean’s Anthem, Quantum and Ovation of the Seas go one better with their amazing North Star observation capsules which lift you up above the top deck of the ship for a 15 minute opportunity to drink in the most amazing sea views.
If you’re more of a thrill-seeker than a gentle observer then the SeaWalk on Princess Cruises’s Majestic, Royal and Regal Pricess ships which will have even the most blasé cruiser clinging to the handrail. This glass-bottomed walkways hangs over the side of the ship and creates the illusion that there’s nothing but air between you and the sea far, far below.
Not one to try after a heavy night in the cocktail bar.
Get Your Ice Skates On
Yes that’s right you can sail to the Caribbean and go ice skating! On a select number of Royal Caribbean ships you’ll be able to borrow so skates and wizz around their onboard ice rink. Make sure you pack some long trousers though as you won’t be allowed on without them. And who knows, you may become the next Torvill and Dean.
Race your mates on the track
Fancy yourself as the next Lewis Hamilton? Well you can practices your driving skills onboard NCL’s Encore with the biggest race track at sea, Encore Speedway.
With 1100 feet of pedal-to-the-metal action to wizz around with your friends and family you’ll be able to see a ship like you never have before.
Your Strictly Stars
If, in the battle of X Factor versus Strictly, Strictly wins in your house every time then you’ll be excited to find some of the shows stars onboard select P&O Cruises sailings.
Professional dancers will lead you in your lessons and if you’ve got a flair for the foxtrot or a talent for the tango then you can dance on the main stage in a live finale.
Ok so maybe not quite a mountain but you can climb a rock wall on some Royal Caribbean or Norwegian Cruise liners.
Make sure you bring your head for heights as these walls stand at over 40 feet tall. With several routes to the top you can have fun timing your climbs and competing. It’ll give Dad a chance to channel his inner Sly Stallone in Cliffhanger too – that’s one lifelong dream fulfilled!
A Running Track
Fear not – you don’t have to worry about missing your morning run on a cruise. Liners now boast running tracks so that you can keep up your fitness programme while on holiday (how thoughtful of them). On the bright side, a few laps around the track is a great excuse for that second trip to the desert table.
Cruise ships are full of surprises, so set your sights higher than a few laps of the pool followed by a game of table tennis.
Whatever you’re into you’ll find a cruise ship that has it or something similar – or you might even discover a hidden talent for rock climbing /ballroom dancing/eating obscene amounts of Michelin standard food! So throw caution overboard and give something new and exciting a go!// END - About the Author ?>