During the past 10 years or so, a towering new feature has appeared on the top decks of quite a few cruise ships. Big waterslides have been added to or integrated into the original design of some popular, family-oriented cruise ships; and they provide all the thrills of the tallest waterslides at land-based resorts, with the bonus of stunning sea views.
Several Royal Caribbean ships feature The Perfect Storm, twin “racer” slides that let you and a friend (or a perfect stranger) race each other down intertwining chutes. Oasis-class ships also have champagne-bowl slides – you’ll spin around the “bowl” before descending into a plunge pool (no champagne is actually present in the bowl, just water). The Liberty of the Seas has a unique Tidal Wave slide, where you’ll ride an inner tube down a steep, watery slope. Then, there’s The Blaster on the Navigator of the Seas – the longest water slide (or, more correctly, water coaster) at sea, with two-person inner tubes so you can slide with a companion. Right next to it is the Riptide, a head-first slide with ocean views through a translucent tube.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s investment in waterparks began with the Epic, which offers three huge waterslides – the Epic Plunge is especially thrilling. NCL’s waterparks vary from one ship to another, but have as many as five multistory waterslides. For an intense thrill, try the side-by-side Free Fall slides on the Breakaway and Getaway, some of the fastest waterslides at sea.
Disney Cruise Line’s Fantasy and Dream feature the AquaDuck, a family-friendly water coaster that’s almost as long as Royal Caribbean’s Blaster. There’s lots of clear tubing for ocean views as you slide down to a lazy river. For younger kids, these ships also have Mickey’s Slide, a smaller water slide held up by a giant Mickey Mouse hand.
More than half of MSC Cruises’ ships have at least one waterslide, and the newest have full-blown waterparks on the top deck. The Seaside and Seaview have multistory waterparks that include two racer slides with clear tubing that extend over the sides of the ship. There’s also the Slideboard, which is more than a slide – it’s an interactive game on which sliders can earn points for pressing buttons in time to music and flashing lights.
To try out some exciting waterslides on your next cruise, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.
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