5 Bizarre Cruise Ship Attractions You Won’t Believe Exist

Gone are the days when cruising was all about deck chairs, buffets, and the occasional shuffleboard game.

Today’s cruise ships are floating marvels of entertainment, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible at sea.

These aren’t just vacations; they’re experiences packed with moments that defy expectations and ignite the imagination.

Let’s dive (LOL) into some of the most unique and thrilling attractions you can find on a cruise ship today, proving that the journey can be just as exciting as the destination.

Bizarre Cruise Ship Attractions

Ice Bars

Norwegian Cruise Line Ice Bar
Photo Courtesy: Norwegian Cruise Line

Imagine stepping into a room where everything, from the walls and the bar to the chairs you sit on, is sculpted entirely from ice.

That’s the chilly, enchanting world of ice bars, a concept that seems more at home in a winter wonderland than on a sun-soaked cruise ship sailing across the ocean.

Yet, here you are, wrapped in a provided parka, sipping cocktails from glasses made of pure ice. It’s like stepping into a freezer, but instead of looking for a midnight snack, you’re here for an unforgettable night out.

Cruise ships like Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Getaway, and the Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas offer these frosty drinking holes as a cool (pun intended) escape from the typical tropical temperatures.

Each bar is kept at a crisp, shiver-inducing temperature that ensures the ice doesn’t melt, transforming your drinking experience into something straight out of a fairy tale set in an ice castle.

Now, for those daring enough to venture into the freeze, here’s a bit of friendly advice: first, even though the parkas are a nice touch, consider wearing long pants and closed shoes unless you want to experience the sensation of icicles forming on your legs and toes.

Second, while the novelty of drinking from an ice glass is not to be missed, perhaps steer clear of ordering anything on the rocks – it seems a bit redundant, don’t you think?

Opt instead for vibrant, colorful cocktails that contrast beautifully with the translucent ice surroundings. They’re not only delicious but also make for the perfect photo op, capturing the essence of your cool adventure.

Stepping into an ice bar is like walking into another dimension, where the warmth of your breath becomes a cloud of mist and the clink of ice glasses sets the soundtrack for a night of frosty fun.

Just remember, while it’s tempting to see how long you can withstand the cold, there’s no shame in retreating to the warmth of the ship’s other attractions.

After all, the goal is to say, “That was cool,” not, “I can’t feel my toes.”

Skydiving Simulators

Cruise Ship Skydiving
Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Now, imagine you’re standing on a cruise ship, the ocean breeze is gentle, the sun is shining, and you’re about to jump into the sky — but not into the actual sky.

Welcome to the world of skydiving simulators, where you can experience the heart-pumping thrill of freefall without ever leaving the deck. This is where dreams of flying come to life, and the best part? No need to worry about parachutes or scary heights.

Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean are at the forefront of this high-flying fun, with ships such as the Quantum of the Seas and the Anthem of the Seas boasting state-of-the-art skydiving simulators.

These attractions offer a powerful gust of wind that lifts you into the air, allowing you to float, flip, and soar like a superhero. It’s the closest you can get to skydiving without actually jumping out of a plane.

For those brave souls ready to take the leap (figuratively speaking), here are a few tips to make your simulated skydiving experience a breeze.

First, wear tight-fitting clothes; unless you want to provide a free show, loose clothing is a no-go in a wind tunnel. Also, lace-up shoes are a must — flip-flops flying off your feet and into the instructor’s face is not the kind of memorable moment you want.

As you step into the wind tunnel and the air begins to lift you, remember: relax, spread your arms, and try not to giggle too much at the sensation of your cheeks flapping in the breeze. It’s a bizarre feeling, like being a human kite, but embracing the moment and the wind will have you flying like a pro in no time.

The experience is exhilarating, a bit surreal, and definitely a story to tell back home. Just imagine the bragging rights: “Oh, you went to the ship’s lounge? That’s cute. I went skydiving before lunch.”

Skydiving simulators on cruise ships offer a unique blend of adventure and safety, making it a must-try for anyone looking to add a little excitement to their sea voyage. Who knew you could defy gravity while cruising across the ocean?

Underwater Lounges

Ponant Blue Eye Lounge
Photo Courtesy: Ponant

Dive into the depths without ever donning a diving suit at one of the most mesmerizing attractions you’ll find on a cruise ship: underwater lounges.

These aquatic oases let you sip on your favorite cocktail while being surrounded by the tranquil beauty of the ocean’s depths, all from the comfort of a stylish, submerged lounge. It’s like being in a giant aquarium, except you’re on the inside looking out.

Ponant’s Explorer-class ships, such as Le Laperouse and Le Champlain, have taken the lead in offering this immersive experience with their Blue Eye lounges. These underwater salons are fitted with body-shaped sofas and large windows that peer into the deep, allowing passengers to marvel at the ballet of marine life right outside the glass.

For those eager to explore these underwater lounges, timing is everything. Dusk tends to be the magic hour when the underwater world comes alive.

As the sun sets, many sea creatures start their nocturnal activities, offering a glimpse into the seldom-seen nightlife of the ocean. It’s not uncommon to spot colorful fish darting past, curious sea turtles coming in for a closer look, or even the shadowy outline of a passing dolphin.

To maximize your underwater lounge experience, find a cozy spot near one of the larger windows. Patience is key; the ocean reveals its wonders on its own schedule. You might be sipping on your drink one moment and the next find yourself locking eyes with an inquisitive octopus.

And while it’s tempting to capture every moment on your camera, try to take some time to simply enjoy the serene beauty of this unique environment. After all, how often do you get to lounge underwater without getting a drop of water on you?

Underwater lounges offer an unparalleled way to connect with the marine environment, blending the luxury of a cruise with the awe-inspiring beauty of the sea. It’s an experience that speaks to the heart of what cruising is all about: discovering the extraordinary in the most unexpected places.

Robot Bartenders

Robot Bartenders
Photo Courtesy: Royal Caribbean

Welcome to the future, where your drinks are served not by a person with a flair for cocktail mixing, but by a robot with precision-engineered arms and an endless library of drink recipes.

This isn’t a scene from a sci-fi movie; it’s the reality on some of the most innovative cruise ships sailing today. Robot bartenders are the latest craze in cruising, offering guests a taste of tomorrow with every meticulously mixed drink.

Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class ships, including Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, are pioneers in introducing these mechanical mixologists to their bars.

The Bionic Bar is where you’ll find these robotic bartenders at work, shaking, stirring, and pouring drinks with robotic precision. It’s a spectacle that combines technology with the timeless pleasure of enjoying a well-crafted cocktail.

Interacting with these robot bartenders is part of the fun. Guests use tablets to place their orders, customizing their drinks down to the smallest detail. Watching your drink being made is a performance in itself, as the robotic arms dance and move with a grace you wouldn’t expect from metal and wires.

For those about to meet these robotic drink masters, here’s a tip: Choose a cocktail with a bit of a show. A simple gin and tonic might taste refreshing, but it’s the drinks with layers, blends, or a flashy garnish that truly showcase what these robots can do.

And don’t be shy about creating your own concoction; these robots are programmed to mix virtually any combination you can dream up.

Remember, while the robots might not be able to share a smile or a joke like their human counterparts, there’s something surprisingly entertaining about watching them work. It’s like being in a futuristic movie, only the drinks are real, and the experience is uniquely now.

So, grab your smartphone, order up, and enjoy the show. After all, it’s not every day you get served by a robot.

Zip Line

Royal Caribbean Zip Line

For those who think a cruise is all about leisurely deck chairs and buffet lines, think again. Some cruise ships have turned the thrill dial up to eleven with zip lines that soar above the deck, offering not just a rush of adrenaline but also unparalleled views of the ship and the sparkling ocean below. It’s a unique blend of thrill-seeking and sightseeing, all from the comfort of your floating hotel.

Royal Caribbean leads the pack in this high-flying adventure with its Oasis-class ships, including the Oasis of the Seas and the Allure of the Seas.

These ships feature zip lines that stretch across their open-air atriums, giving daring guests the chance to fly from one end to the other, several stories above the ship’s Central Park area. It’s a perspective of the ship you can’t get any other way, coupled with the exhilarating feeling of flight.

For those ready to strap in and take flight, capturing the moment is a must. But, taking photos while zip-lining can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you’re trying to hold onto your camera and not drop it into the depths of the sea.

Here’s a tip: use a wrist strap for your camera or phone, or better yet, a chest or head mount for a GoPro, if you have one.

This way, you can keep your hands free and focus on the experience while still getting those epic shots. Just imagine the likes you’ll get for a selfie with the ocean blurring by below!

If the thought of stepping off the platform makes your knees weak, you’re not alone. The key to overcoming this fear is to trust in the safety gear and the professionals who operate the zip line. Remember, this is designed to be a fun and safe activity for guests of all ages.

Take a deep breath, focus on the horizon, and embrace the moment. Once you’re gliding through the air, the fear tends to melt away, replaced by a sense of freedom and exhilaration.

Zip-lining across a cruise ship is more than just an activity; it’s a moment of bravery, a new viewpoint, and a story to tell for years to come. So, when you see that zip line stretching out in front of you, take the leap and soar. After all, how often do you get the chance to fly over the ocean on a ship?

Final Thoughts…

Gone are the days when cruise ship entertainment was limited to shuffleboard and sequin-drenched cabaret shows.

As we’ve seen, the modern cruise ship is a marvel of innovation, a place where the thrill of ice bars, the awe of underwater lounges, the excitement of robotic bartenders, and the adventure of zip lines coexist with the rolling waves of the ocean.

These attractions represent more than just ways to pass time; they symbolize the evolution of cruising into a realm where every deck and corridor can lead to an extraordinary experience.

The transformation from classic to cutting-edge entertainment onboard cruise ships reflects a broader shift in what we seek from our vacations.

It’s no longer just about relaxation and escape; it’s about collecting unique experiences that can’t be replicated anywhere else.

Whether you’re sipping a cocktail at a bar made entirely of ice, floating in a wind tunnel as if by magic, enjoying a drink served by a robot, or soaring above the ship on a zip line, each moment is an opportunity to step out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary.

As you contemplate your next cruise, think beyond the destinations you’ll visit. Consider the ship itself as a destination, a place of limitless possibility and adventure.

Embrace the unique experiences that await, knowing that each one is an opportunity to gather stories that will captivate and enchant, stories you’ll recount with a sparkle in your eye, eager to relive every moment.

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