Nothing beats a cruise ship for providing stunning views of the sea. But sometimes, the most inviting waters you’ll see on a cruise aren’t on the ocean — they’re on board the ship.
Cruise-line swimming pools are getting more luxurious and exciting by the day. Whether you see swimming pools as a place to cool off, sun yourself, or enjoy a fruity cocktail, these are some of the most insane swimming pools at sea.
1. The Disney Dream, Disney Cruise Line
Disney has taken poolside entertainment on the Disney Dream to another level. The boat’s main pool deck sports not just one but three large pools (there’s one for kids, one for families, and one that’s adults-only) and multiple hot tubs, all with bubblers, jets, and fountains for added pizzazz. But what makes this pool area so spectacular is the 765-foot-long AquaDuck water coaster, which takes guests on an exhilarating journey that plunges four decks and through the ship’s forward funnel. At night, the huge poolside screen airs Disney movies for a fun, water-borne cinema experience.
2. Royal Caribbean’s FlowRider
Several of the Royal Caribbean cruise ships have been installed with the thrilling FlowRider surf simulator machine. This exhilarating activity, which is provided free of charge to onboard guests, allows passengers to surf artificial waves produced by water jets flowing over a curved pool floor. With its streams of water rushing towards you at up to 40 mph, the simulator is the closest most cruisers will get to big waves during their seafaring vacation.
3. The Viking Star
Usually known for its river cruises, Viking is launching a new ocean-going cruise line this spring that will sail the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas. The line’s new flagship, the Viking Star, is set to make its maiden voyage in May 2015, and has been kitted out with one groundbreaking new feature never seen before on a cruise liner: an infinity pool. The jaw-dropping pool hangs dramatically over the ship’s stern, giving passengers an uninterrupted, if slightly scary, view of the scenery behind them.
4. Sanctuary Retreats’ Sun Boat III
Sanctuary Retreats’ Sun Boat III takes passengers on a Nile River cruise in the ultimate lap of luxury. Fit for Cleopatra herself, the boat’s incredible pool-deck oasis plunges guests into a Nubian paradise complete with a palm tree-lined pool. Lounge in the shade of one of the curtained cabanas, while sipping a cocktail from the open-air bar. Heaven.
5. Royal Caribbean’s AquaTheater
Allure boasts an incredible onboard pool, officially named the AquaTheater. This insane feat of innovation and engineering features a 600-seat amphitheater surrounding an 18 foot-deep pool, the deepest onboard pool there is. Used during the day for regular swimming activities and scuba lessons, the space transforms at night into the entertainment epicenter of the ship.
Aquatic performances by high divers, aerial acrobats, synchronized swimmers, and 65-foot high water fountains provide guests with an exciting spectacle, all with dramatic ocean views as a backdrop.
6. Celebrity Cruises’ Millennium Class
For the civilized, sophisticated cruiser, Celebrity Cruises’ Millennium Class — whose fleet includes the Infinity, Millennium, Summit, and Constellation — provides guests with the ultimate indoor sun deck. Perfect for the year-round, all weather traveler, the adults-only pool area is enclosed within a beautifully designed, all-glass solarium and includes a large pool and multiple hot tubs.
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