by Daniel McCarthy / October 26, 2016Photo: Roger W
Lounging on a deck chair and eating chocolate buffets by moonlight? Please—this is not your mother’s cruise industry any more.
In honor of Plan A Cruise Month, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) yesterday released a list of the top 10 unexpected things to do on today’s cruise ships—and they are hardly about gaining five pounds. In a world of multi-generational, experiential, active and immersive travel, the point is to do something you can write home about. And post on Facebook.
So here’s CLIA’s list of the Top 10 unexpected things you can do on a cruise.
1. Visit the South Pole.
Seabourn Cruises offers cruises to the southernmost point on the globe, where guests can explore and enjoy technical climbs and ski tours.
2. Walk on water.
On MSC Cruises’ MSC Seaside, guests can stroll three catwalks that extend beyond the edge of the ship, so you feel like you have walked on water. And you don’t have to towel off after.
3. Dive with the son of Jacques Cousteau.
On Paul Gaugin Cruises guests can learn from and dive with Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of the most famous oceanographer of all time, Jacques Cousteau.
4. Visit a planetarium at sea.
Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 has the only planetarium at sea, where guests can enjoy the “Cosmic Collisions" and "Stars Over the Atlantic” shows three times a day.
5. Celebrate your passions.
Whether it is food or fitness, music or opera, cruise lines offer experiences that allow guests to fully immerse themselves in their passions. For example, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection will sail its first Jewish Heritage themed cruises next year on all departures of its Rhine-Main Discovery and Munich itineraries.
6. Personalize your cruise experiences and itineraries.
It’s no longer about the cruise line choosing experiences for guests. Guests now are in control of what they’ll see, eat and drink, both onboard and onshore. Azamara Club Cruises, for instance, offers completely customized land tours at all destinations through its Private Journeys program.
7. Attend a concert at sea.
Besides the nightly shows, cruise lines are bringing on top performers in arena-style performances. Pop star Demi Lovato will headline Celebrity Cruises’ first-ever concert series with a one-night show for passengers on each of four Celebrity sailings in December; country music star Sam Hunt, comedian Jim Gaffigan, and others have been added to Carnival Cruise Line’s concert series, Carnival Live; a live production of Tangled will be the highlight on Disney Magic starting November 2017.
8. Get pampered without leaving your cabin.
Spas are getting larger and more innovative, but you don’t even have to leave your cabin to get the full treatment. Regent Seven Seas Cruises, for example, offers a number of in-suite spa services.
9. Ride a bike in the sky.
SkyRide, the aerial attraction offered on a number of Carnival Cruise Line ships, takes guests 150 feet above sea level for a real bird’s-eye view of the sea. Or guests can jump on recumbent-style bikes and travel up to 18 miles an hour on an 800-foot-long track.
10. Challenge your mind and body.
Cruise lines offer more opportunities to engage yourself physically and mentally during your time onboard. Costa Cruises, for instance, lets guests on Costa Diademia practice their spy skills in the Start Laser area, a laser maze that tests your super-spy abilities, while Viking Ocean cruises offers experts to speak about the history and highlights of the regions through which you pass.