Going on a cruise can be an extreme luxury, and knowing that people expect to be indulged, many cruise liners push the limits of what they can offer. Entertaining passengers with live shows or spoiling them rotten with attention-to-detail service is now the norm, which means cruise lines have had to really raise the stakes in order to make sure their cruisers have the best, most unique time possible.
The result? Insane cruise lines with even more insane on-board features.
Here are five of our favorites from around the world.
1) Disney Dream
Boasting the world’s first-ever 765 foot long water coaster, which is at times suspended over the open ocean, the third ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet definitely has some over-the-top features. The ship’s other features include several theatres playing live Broadway style shows, first-run movies and digital 3-D films; five different nightclubs and lounges for adults; and a youth center. Keeping with a Disney tradition, travelers are also treated to spectacular firework shows right at sea.
2) The Queen Mary 2
The QM2’s Cunrad ocean liner is one for those looking to indulge their intellect. The ship has book clubs and regular presentations on contemporary and historical issues as part of its offerings. In addition, it boasts the only planetarium at sea and also offers a 108 day World Voyage.
3) Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas
At a 6,296 passenger capacity, this is the largest cruise ship in the world. It has its own first-ever features, including a Boardwalk and Central Park at sea. Passengers can enjoy activities such as zip-lining nine decks up in the air, rock-climbing, catching waves on a surf simulator, carousel riding, mini-golfing, ice skating, and even catch a performance of the Tony Award-winning Broadway show Hairspray.
4) Emerald Princess
Although the Emerald Princess offers many of the same features that can be found on other cruise-lines, its real claim to fame is its Atrium and Piazza. This three-story activity hub is displayed with dizzying, shimmering opulence and offers cruisers entertainment in the form of “street performers” on deck 5 of the piazza. These performers include mimes, acrobats, stilt-walkers, pianists, violinists, and comedians. It is also connected to an art gallery, an internet café, and a bar.
5) Silverseas Silver Whisper
The most over-the-top cruise on our list comes courtesy of Six Star Cruises, that has come up with a package that includes a 124-day voyage to 28 countries spanning from the U.S. to New Zealand and takes place on Silverseas’ Silver Whisper Ship. The price tag on this most expensive package is a mind-boggling– $1.6 million, per couple. For those willing to shell out the big bucks, the experience starts well before passengers hit the ship.
Cruise goers are first picked up in a Sikorsky helicopter, treated to Beluga caviar, 1,000-year-old tea and Dom Perignon Rosé, flown to Los Angeles, and then driven to the ship in a Rolls Royce Phantom. While onboard, passengers enjoy, among many other things, a stay in the Royal Suite, lounges that provide 360 views of the ocean, casinos, retail shops and a cruise-ship spa. In addition to all this, the trip comes with a pre-cruise 4-day stay at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA and wraps up with a 4-day post-cruise stay in a private Miami villa.
Primary & Tertiary Image: Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Sea
Secondary Image: Disney Dream