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Entertainment on-board luxury cruise ships

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In 2019, almost thirty million people took to the oceans for their vacations and between ports rely on the onboard entertainment to keep them busy.

Cruise ships are the luxury holiday of choice for many millions of passengers every year. The largest measure over 300 metres from bow to stern and are capable of transporting up to 7000 passengers in hotel luxury.

In 2019, almost thirty million people took to the oceans for their vacations and between ports rely on the onboard entertainment to keep them busy. Thankfully, luxury cruise ships have more amusements than most city centres, so passengers are never short of something to
do. The range of activities available might surprise you:

Swimming Pools
An onboard swimming pool might not be a new addition to cruise ships, but they’ve come a long way from the customary rectangle on the pool deck. From transparent water slides that take riders momentarily over the open sea or span across several decks, to indoor pools and hot tubs, modern cruise ship swimming pools have more in common with a water park than your local swimming centre.

We’ve seen jumbo screens installed above the pool so you can watch movies from your deckchair or even the shallow end. Royal Caribbean recently rolled out the inclusion of the Flow Rider surf simulator on their ships. The 40-foot machine pumps 100,000 litres of water along a cushioned surface where holidaymakers can test their balance atop a boogie board.

Night-time Entertainment
Perhaps most synonymous with cruise ship entertainment are the nightly shows from headline acts. From comedy stand-up acts to glamorous singers to Broadway hits and everything in between.

Royal Caribbean passengers can enjoy the Abba singalong production, Mamma Mia, while those onboard a Norwegian Cruise Line vessel can catch the Tony Award winning hit, Jersey Boys.

Majority of cruise ships include night-time entertainment, including themed singalong productions.

Majority of cruise ships include night-time entertainment, including themed singalong productions.

Cruise Ship Casinos
With the popularity of smartphones and online casinos, an increasing number of people have taken to casino gaming as a hobby. Attracted by signup bonuses like free spins and deposit matching it’s a convenient alternative to travelling to the bright lights of a physical casino.

Aboard a luxury cruise liner, however, you don’t need to travel far. High end passenger ships have fully featured gaming floors that give the Las Vegas Strip a run for its money.

All gaming options are catered for from traditional and video slots, to card games, like blackjack, baccarat and poker, and of course the roulette and craps tables. High rollers are synonymous with luxury and no high-end cruise vessel would be complete without one.

Fine Dining
High end restaurants are the cornerstone of any luxury cruise ship’s repertoire. Your choice of where to eat is of course limited to what the cruise line provides, so can be the difference between a successful trip and a bad review.

For this reason, companies pull out all the stops to put on a gastronomic feast for their passengers. Eleven course degustation menus might have you tasting something you’ve never tried before.

Oceania and Viking cruise ships have opted to include fresh local produce that is collected from each destination en-route, so the menu reflects the route taken. Celebrity Cruise’s flagship Edge features 29 different restaurants to choose from.

For the real foodies, customers aboard the Hapag-Lloyd cruise ship Europa 2 can even attend a Miele culinary school. Instructed by the chef de cuisine, the course teaches groups of eight the cooking and preparation of a multi-course meal.

Luxury cruise ships will offer their guests a fine dining experience.

Luxury cruise ships will offer their guests a fine dining experience.

The best of the rest:

  • Mini golf - grab your putters and take to the greens. The Jewel of the Seas and Ruby Princess have elaborate 18 hole mini golf courses; great fun for big and little kids alike.
  • Golf simulators - if mini golf is too miniature for you and you want to give your driving a workout, try out one of the driving cages or golf simulators. Sensors track the speed and direction of each shot and determine where your ball will land. The video screen updates, showing your current lie and distance to the pin and you can enjoy a full round of virtual golf without having to carry your golf bag a single step.
  • Fencing - choose your weapon and en garde! With guidance from a qualified instructor, learn the basic techniques of the epee, foil and sabre and have a swashbuckling adventure on the high seas.
  • Artificial rock climbing - Slip into a harness and scale a 30-meter purpose built artificial rock climbing wall. It’s not often you can say you’ve been rock climbing in the middle of the sea.
  • Laser Tag - Royal Caribbean cruises have recently added their themed laser tag game called Clash for the Crystal City, for kids ages five and above.
  • Archery - channel your inner Robin Hood and line up the bullseye on an archery course.

There are several different types of cruise ships to choose from when booking your cruise - from mainstream to mega and from ocean cruise ships to luxury ships. Each offers different varieties and levels of onboard entertainment. These options are an important - sometimes deciding - factor in who passengers choose to travel with. Everyone’s ideal cruise experience is unique. Some might want to soak up the unparalleled sun and take things easy while others look to pack their itineraries from dawn until dusk. The great thing about modern luxury cruise ships is with the variety of entertainment available, you can do as much or as little as you want.

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