Cruise ships have quickly evolved into something similar to a floating city with everything imaginable at your fingertips! On board waterparks are particularly popular with travellers of all ages and are a huge advantage when you're travelling as a family. Take a look at some of our top picks of on board waterparks for you to consider when you're choosing your next cruise!
Carnival got it right with the evolution of its waterpark on board the Carnival Magic.
On the top deck sits two ingenious water-slides; The Twister and The Drainpipe. The Twister is a 300 foot long corkscrew which will keep you screaming at sea. The Drainpipe gives you a steep, sharp ride with a surprise spiralling ending. You can tell that the Carnival Magic WaterWorks area was made with kids in mind featuring endless amounts of water guns, splash pools and a gigantic 300 gallon dump bucket – so watch your head while you’re walking in the area!
Disney Cruise Line
For the ultimate family waterpark experience, Disney is top of the list. On board the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy ships, you’ll find the AquaDuck; a tall funnel of fun where you will manoeuvre up, down, around and off the side of the ship on an inflatable raft for 765 feet. At the end of the plunge, you’ll drift off into a lazy river around the perimeter of the ship, with views of the pools and decks below.
Of course, a Disney cruise is perfect for families with young children. You’ll find Mickey’s Pool Midship, featuring Mickey Mouse’s smiling face at the pool bottom with a depth of 2 feet. Next to that is Mickey’s Pool Slide, suspended by a Mickey Mouse hand; this timid one deck tall slide is perfect for the youngest members of the family. Donald’s Pool is deeper at 5 feet maximum depth, catering to the whole family.
From Norwegian Cruise Line, this ship is a mecca for the best water-slides! From a small family and spiral slides to ‘The Whip’, there is something to cater for the entire family.
The Whip slides are a highlight, beginning with a vertical start and a countdown to get your heart rate going, the trapdoor opens and you’re heading downwards, turning you into a high speed sliding machine. In seconds, you’re on an uphill slope, around an angled loop then down again into the splashdown. A short but sharp ride sure to entertain!
Once your adrenaline supply is worn, enjoy the two pools, four hot tubs and numerous interactive water features. Pay a little extra and explore the Vibe Beach Club on Deck 17; a secluded adults only area with its own bar and two whirlpools.
Not a typical feature of their fleet, Royal Caribbean have developed something to attract the family cruisers; waterparks! Onboard Radiance of the Seas, you’ll find water-slides, side-by-side racing slides, pools for all ages, whirlpools and Jacuzzi's. The solarium pool, which is adults only (16 years and over) has two whirlpools and a pool bar, while the kids can be supervised at Adventure Beach with a splash area, slides, and interactive water features. Relax with a drink and wade in the pool while you enjoy a movie on the outdoor, poolside movie screen showing first-run movies day and night.
Alternatively, Oasis of the Seas is the largest cruise ship in the world and is almost overflowing with activity! Amongst the action is the ships H20 Zone kids waterpark with multiple pools, water curtains, wading pools, interactive water fountains, water cannons and sprayers. You’ll be hooked on the FlowRider Surf Simulators where you can try your hand at surfing without leaving the ship. With five swimming pools and multiple Jacuzzi's, it’s no wonder the Oasis is one of the most recommended for families.
The Aqua Park aboard the Norwegian Epic is a major draw-card with the best bowl slide at sea. There are three multi-story water-slides to enjoy, five hot tubs, two main pools and a kids pool. The highlight being the bowl slide; aptly named ‘The Epic Plunge’, which features a 200-foot long tube with a heart stopping drop.
For a break away from the kids, explore the adults-only Ibiza inspired beach club, Spice H20. During the day, it’s the perfect place to lounge in the sun and splash in the pool while in the evening the pool floor rises to evolve into a dance floor while the giant screen projects a hypnotic light show.
Cruise the Mediterranean onboard the MSC Preziosa and discover its newly refurbished water features.
The kids will be in heaven in the Doremi Castle Aqua Park with sprays, fountains, water pistols and valves, as well as a huge drenching bucket which will drop on unsuspecting heads sporadically. For those who meet the height requirements, you can zip your way through 394 feet of crazy twists and turns around the ship on the Vertigo water-slide - with an average speed of 20 feet per second you might feel like you’re flying over the water as you drift above the ocean below.
For a slower pace, you’re spoiled for choice with 12 whirlpools and four swimming pools including an infinity pool. Weather needn’t come in between you and a soak; there’s an indoor pool with a retractable glass roof to keep the rain off.
With its recent multi-million dollar renovation, the Carnival Legend is one not to miss! Along with its beautiful new interior, the deck has had a makeover too. With a 187 foot-long slide and 34 foot-long drop, you’ll reach up to 25 miles per hour on the fastest and steepest water-slide at sea; The Green Thunder. The ship also boasts the Twister water-slide, with hundreds of feet of spiralling tubes, it gives you the heart stopping illusion you’re about to slide straight off the side!
For those wanting a less heart palpitating experience, check out the side-by-side racing slides. There's even a Carnival Legend based in Australia, so you don’t have to travel too far to sample the slides.
The experts at Flight Centre can recommend a cruise to suit any requirement! For more information on cruise holidays, please contact a Flight Centre cruise specialist or call 0800 22 11 00.