Cruise vacations have come a long way since the days of retired seniors’ trips. Now cruise lines are looking for new ways to add “the coolest experience at sea” to be able to stand out from the rest of the pack. Families who are looking for a different vacation experience should definitely add a cruise vacation to their list of options to consider as there has never been a better time to try out a cruise. As cool as something is “on land”, there’s something about the experience “at sea” that just makes it even more unique and exclusive!

Royal Caribbean cruises have been the most innovative in adding cool experiences to their ships and continue to set the bar higher for family cruise ship lines to follow. With currently the “largest ships at sea”, the Symphony of the Seas and the Harmony of the Seas leads the list with the highest number of super cool experiences at sea.

Tallest slide at sea  
Or it could also be referred to as the “most thrilling slide at sea”. Aboard the Symphony and Harmony of the Seas, and 187 feet above sea level, the Ultimate Abyss is not for the weak or faint of heart. Plummet down 10 stories into darkness and 216 feet of twisting tunnels, or a thrilling ride into the unknown mysteries of the deep. You can even race to the bottom against a friend.  (No additional cost)

Family Cruise - Waterslides aboard a Norweigan Breakaway Cruises Ship. Photo Courtesy Norweigan Breakaway Cruises

Waterslides aboard a Norweigan Breakaway Cruises Ship. Photo Courtesy Norweigan Breakaway Cruises

Glow in the Dark Laser tag at sea

Glow in the dark laser tag on the Symphony of the Seas.  Join the robot civilization or the alien scouting party to battle against each other for the ultimate face-off to claim the last planet in Battle for Planet Z. (Additional cost)

Largest Open Air Laser Tag at sea

On the Norwegian Bliss, the top deck includes an open air laser tag game with an “abandoned space station” theme for some pretty galactic battles.  (Additional cost)

Escape Rooms on the high seas 

Perfect for sea days, cruise line activities have moved beyond bingo and trivia contests. Puzzle Break offers the first escape room experiences at sea and is ideal for small groups where you and your friends collaborate to find hidden clues, solve puzzles and unravel mysteries and puzzles. “Escape the Future” on the Anthem and Ovation of the Seas, and “Escape the Rubicon” on the Harmony of the Seas for the most fun escape experience at sea! (No additional cost)

Ice Skating at sea

Royal Caribbean was also the first cruise ship to offer ice skating at sea, so guests can strap on a helmet and a pair of skates to go ice skating in the sunny Caribbean waters. The ships with skating rinks also offer world class entertaining skating shows in the evenings with the first ice skating shows at sea! (No additional cost)


Surfing at sea 

With the FlowRider Surf Simulator, guests can now go surfing onboard several Royal Caribbean cruise ships. There’s nothing quite like the experience of surfing “on” the ocean many decks high, rather than “in” the ocean. (No additional cost)

Royal Caribbean FlowRider

Captain of Voyager of the Seas, Charles Teige on FlowRider

Skydiving at sea

Now you can skydive at sea with iFly, available on select Royal Caribbean cruise ships. Experience the exhilaration of skydiving from the comfort of land, but at sea! RipCord by iFly is a skydive simulator where guests can feel what it’s like to skydive and float in the air from the comforts of a simulator. (No additional cost, except on China sailings)

Bionic bar at sea

Where technology creates mixology for the perfect cocktail, the Bionic Bar aboard select Royal Caribbean cruises offers the most technologically advanced drinks you can have at sea! (Age minimum applies)

Largest racetrack at sea

The Norwegian Bliss is one of the newest ships to have entered the seas with the largest racetrack at sea. The sea deck provides a two level competitive racetrack where you can race against others in hairpin turns in the open air of the seas.

Zipline at sea 

Royal Caribbean again offered the first zip line at sea on the Oasis of the Seas, where guests can zip line across the Boardwalk, nine decks high. (No additional cost)


Ride a bicycle up in the air and around a ship f or the ultimate sky high views of the ocean. The Carnival Horizon and Carnival Vista offers Skyride, a pedal-powered ride 150 feet in the air for the first sky high bicycle ride at sea. (No additional cost)

Virtual Reality Bungee Jump on a Trampoline

The SkyPad on Royal Caribbean is not your average trampoline at sea, but also includes a virtual reality experience where you can choose one of three VR experiences while jumping on a trampoline. This is the first of its kind and available on the Independence of the Seas. (No additional cost)


Available on Disney Dream and Fantasy, the AquaDunk is a water coaster on a cruise ship that includes drops and turns that simulates a roller coaster experience.


AquaDunk Water Coaster

Disney Cruise Line introduces a cruise industry innovation on the Disney Fantasy and Disney Dream — the shipboard water coaster, AquaDunk. Guests aboard the ship can get swept away on the exhilarating flume ride that features twists, turns, drops, acceleration and river rapids. Stretching 765 feet in length and spanning four decks in height, AquaDunk uses water blasters to propel guests around the ship’s top deck. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)


Speaking of roller coasters…..

Just announced…coming in 2020 the Carnival Mardi Gras will offer the longest roller coaster at sea! Called the BOLT, the rollercoaster ride will allow two guests to ride a motorcycle-like vehicle on an 800 feet electrical track, providing twists and turns for 380 degree oceanviews 187 feet above sea level. It is the first of its kind and will be ideal for those looking for a most thrilling ride at sea!

Each year, cruise lines are releasing newer ships, with more onboard entertainment and thrilling activities to keep your vacation experience fun and exciting for families of all ages.

Have you experienced any of these activities at sea? Perfect for families with active kids, a cruise vacation can provide you with a wide variety of activities and exclusive “at sea” fun experiences that will create the most unforgettable memories of your family vacation!