The featured image is resourced from Flickr.
Some facilities are standard on cruise ships today, with fine dining restaurants, bars, casinos, and even swimming pools, jacuzzis and climbing walls considered the norm. However, as cruise ships are continuing to be built bigger and better than ever before, they’re now coming complete with features that either aren’t expected or simply don’t seem possible onboard cruise liners. Here are five unique, awe-inspiring and unexpected amenities on today’s largest vessels:
1. Wine Towers
Celebrity cruise ships are geared up to cater for wine lovers from across the globe, with their Solstice class ships offering the Celebrity Wine Experience. As a part of this experience, these ships have extensive wine collections, dedicated onboard wine bars and, perhaps the most impressive feature, the glass wine towers that hold 1800 bottles and span not one but two stories high. The towers stand in pride of place in the main dining rooms and boast automatic heating and cooling elements, which enable the staff to serve up reds, whites and rosés that are the perfect temperature.
Crystal clear blue ocean views are a given on any luxury cruise – but what about luscious green gardens? They’re certainly a rarity onboard a ship where even artificial turf is uncommon, but one of the up-and-coming features of newer cruise ships is an environment reminiscent of your own garden at home, with a real lawn, BBQs serving up grilled meats, seafood and vegetables, and even jugs of sangria and buckets of chilled beer that can be enjoyed on traditional patio furniture. Gardens provide an alternative and refreshing view, especially during extended periods at sea.
As more and more couples are choosing to have civil ceremonies, the variety of non-religious venues is growing and growing, and now includes cruise ships. A wedding at sea is fully customizable, with flower arrangements, photography and music all the decision of the couple. Dining rooms can also be reserved and decorated for an evening reception, and the luxurious accommodations provide fantastic bridal suites. The ceremony can be performed by the ship’s captain, with the vast ocean as a stunning and flawless backdrop.
4. Ice Rinks
With advanced refrigeration and cooling systems, ice rinks can be kept adequately cool even in the high heats of the Caribbean. Select ships today have taken advantage of this and now offer onboard ice skating opportunities overlooking the ocean. Skating and equipment rental are free of charge and the activity is suitable for all ages and skill levels. Evening entertainment skating performances by some of the best in the industry are a popular alternative to traditional singers and comedy acts synonymous with the cruise experience.
5. Zip Lines
Zip lines appeal to pure adrenaline junkies, but until recently these thrill seekers have had to segregate their love of extreme sports and their love of the sea. Not any more! Some of the world’s newest ocean liners incorporate zip lines into their ships, allowing passengers to fly nine decks above the ground, providing unique and breathtaking views not only of the expansive ocean but also of the state of the art cruise liner too. Activities such as this really demonstrate how modern cruise ships are adapting to cater to a wide range of tastes.