When you book a cruise holiday, you largely know what you are going to be getting when it comes to things to do.

Across the industry, you can expect to see things like casinos, stage shows, live music and games arcades, but what if you are looking for something a little bit different to the norm?

Well wonder no more as we’ve pulled together ten of the more surprising things you can do that you might not have considered…

Channel your inner Lewis Hamilton

You wouldn’t think that a ship in the middle of the ocean was the best place to satisfy your need for speed, but that is exactly what you can do on selected ships in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet…

The Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Joy and the all-new Norwegian Encore feature impressive karting tracks on deck where you can race against friends at speeds of up to 30mph.

The track on the new Encore in particular is set to impress, being more than 1,100 feet in length and including a section that is suspended 13 feet off the side of the ship!

MSC Cruises meanwhile take a different approach, with special F1 simulators that allow you to go head-to-head with others in a virtual environment.

Sample a Snow Grotto

The Snow Grotto is a feature of the spa facilities onboard the ships in the Viking Cruises fleet and provides something a little bit different to what you would normally expect from your spa treatments.

The grotto is a small room that is filled with man-made snow and which is kept freezing cold – making sure that the snow doesn’t melt.

The idea is that you visit the grotto to try your hand at Nordic Bathing, an old ritual that involves mixing together hot and cold therapies.

Start off in a steam sauna to warm up and then head for the grotto before repeating the process, or mix in a dip in a cold plunge pool if you want to mix things up a little.

If a grotto filled with snow is a step too far however, why not head for an Ice Bar instead for a drink in a bar inspired the famous Scandinavia ice hotels – which are a feature of a number of ships in the Norwegian Cruise Line fleet.

Let’s go ride a bike…

Okay so you can’t actually go for a bike ride whilst away on a cruise holiday but it is possible to do the next best thing – and we don’t just mean jumping on an exercise bike in the gym….

Skyride is available on the Carnival Vista and the Carnival Horizon and is a two-lane suspended course that sits above the deck, with riders pedaling around the track in special pods.

Soaring above the ship, it provides unique views over the surrounding landscapes and is a fun-filled way in which to burn off some of the extra calories that you’ve consumed whilst embracing the dining onboard!  

Enjoy an adventure under stars

Whichever ship you choose to sail on, you’ll always be able to head onto the deck when the sun goes down on an evening to marvel at the stars lighting up the night sky.

However, if you are cruising with Cunard on the Queen Mary 2, you don’t need even need to go outside - because you can head for the only planetarium at sea instead...

Lie back and marvel at the sight of the solar system illuminating the huge dome above you, learn about the stars that light up the sky and go on a unique voyage around the solar system.

With 3D films and concerts also held within the planetarium, it’s a special place to spend time on a cruise.

Walk the plank

Not one for the faint of heat, Norwegian Cruise Line offers those travelling on Breakaway Class ships – the Breakaway and the Getaway – the opportunity to walk the plank.

Stretching out 8 feet over the ship of the ship and just six inches wide, it’s an adrenaline fuelled experience like no other that will thrill even the most adventurous of cruise goers.

Don’t worry about heading overboard however, as you’ll be safely hooked onto a line at all times just in case you lose your footing – making sure you don’t join those pirates through the years who were forced to take a dip…

Make your escape

You might be familiar with the concept of escape rooms, which have become increasingly popular in recent years.

Whilst you might not find actual escape rooms at sea, Norwegian Cruise Line provides guests with the chance to have a taste of what escape rooms are all about thanks to the ‘Escape the Big Top’ show.

In the show, a circus act goes wrong and it’s down to the audience to break the curse put on them by the magician carrying out the show by solving clues in teams against the clock.

It’s fast-paced action that it sure to be fun for all ages!

Sink a few balls

A game of pool might not sound like the most exciting activity to enjoy during your holiday at sea but when you actually think about it, it’s certainly not the easiest thing to do.

If the ship moves at all, then there is a good chance that balls on a pool table will follow suit but that isn’t the case if you are cruising with Royal Caribbean.

That’s because the cruise line has developed a special gyroscopic pool table that moves with the ship and will always stay level.

So even if the ship starts to roll with the waves a little bit, you game will continue undisturbed…

Zip Line thrills

One thing that probably doesn’t spring to mind when it comes to a cruise ship is zip lines – which you might be more accustomed to seeing in disused quarries in Wales or flying between trees in the middle of a forest.

However, Royal Caribbean operates zip lines on a number of its ships, running across the main boardwalk area and allowing guests to take a ride for around 80 feet from one end of the boardwalk to the other.

Royal Caribbean also operates the private resort of Labadee on the island of Haiti, where adrenaline junkies can ride an even bigger zip-line that will satisfy their need for speed!

Enter the Abyss

Another activity that has been pioneered by Royal Caribbean is the Ultimate Abyss, a slide that features on a number of the lines largest ships.

Now slides are nothing new and can be found on a number of cruise ships, but the Abyss takes things to a new level – dropping some ten storeys.

It’s the tallest slide that is available at sea but are you brave enough to take the plunge and try it for yourself?

Sample skydiving – but without taking to the sky

If you fancy giving skydiving a go but have a fear of heights, then you can do it without even leaving your ship!

Royal Caribbean operates the Ripcord by iFly on a number of ships, giving guests as young as three chance to soar in a special simulator that is unique to the cruise line.

The 23 foot high tunnel sits on deck which means that you can defy gravity and take in some of the best views of the ocean at the same time.

What’s not to love?

And that’s not all…

Alongside the ten things we’ve touched on, you could also try ice-skating or surfing, embrace the challenge of a high rope course or enjoy the excitement of a full-scale water park.

With more sedate options like wine tasting and cookery classes, there really is something for everyone when you take a holiday at sea so get in touch with our experts today and make your next dream break come true!