12 most thrilling activities to do on a cruise ship

12 most thrilling activities to do on a cruise ship

CRUISE TIPS + 17 PHOTOS & VIDEOS: With the upcoming launch of the Carnival Mardi Gras and its exciting $8 million roller coaster, cruise lines show they’ll continue to create exciting experiences for you to try. Here are the 12 most thrilling activities to do on a cruise ship – a far cry from the skeet shooting and golf ball driving off the aft in the 1990s.

Carnival Mardi Gras Bolt rollercoaster by Maurer

Roller coaster

The Carnival Mardi Gras Bolt roller coaster will be one of the most thrilling activities to do on a cruise ship. It’s a two-person ride on an electric motorbike that zooms along an 800-foot track. The track is about 187 feet above sea level and you can control the speed to a maximum of about 40 mph. If you can look to the sides, you’ll enjoy magnificent, panoramic ocean views – although most riders will likely just grip the handlebars like heck and stare ahead.

Carnival is still determining what the cost will be to ride the roller coaster – although a few years ago they said it would be about $10 – so stay tuned for when the ship launches around July 31, 2021. The roller coaster was built by world renown roller coaster builder Mauer Rides and cost about $8 million.



Simulated skydiving

Another thrilling activity to do on a cruise ship includes Royal Caribbean’s RipCord by iFly skydiving experience. This is a tube-like space with an enormous fan-like machine. When suited up with helmet, goggles and special coveralls, you lean out over the vertical wind tunnel and are soon horizontal and feel like you’re Superman or Superwoman. A crew member stays with you to hold you steady if you like. Make sure a friend takes your picture since these photos capture the funniest of faces thanks to the gale force. This thrilling activity to do on a cruise ship lasts about 60 seconds.

royal caribbean ripcord by ifly

Suspended cycling track

Like to cycle and want to enjoy stunning aerial views of the ship and ocean? Carnival’s SkyRide offers you a thrilling activity to do on a cruise ship on a recumbent bike that’s about 150 feet above sea level. The dual track – so you can ride or race near your friend or family member – is 800 feet long. There are a few downward sections and curves to keep your momentum going, plus a brake to steady your speed.

Carnival cruises Horizon cruise ship skyride track top deck

Simulated surfing

Royal Caribbean’s FlowRider generates a carpet-like wave of water that lets you get the experience of surfing. A crew member will hold your hands to help you stand on the surfboard – or just kneel or ride on your stomach if that suits you better. Ladies need to make sure bikini tops are tight – or wear a shirt overtop – and as the power of the wave has been known to loosen some strings.

Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas Flowrider


Royal Caribbean and MSC Cruises have ziplines for a thrilling ride across an open atrium or open decks. After being fitted with a helmet and harness, the zipline experience lasts about 10 seconds from one platform to the other. Feel free to scream all the way but it’s over quite quickly – and remember to raise your feet to land firmly on the platform so you don’t stumble. But the harness will keep you safe.

Carnival Mardi Gras also has a short zip line as part of their ropes obstacle course.

Carnival Mardi Gras zip line ropes obstacle course


Royal Caribbean Cruises Harmony of the Seas cruise ship Cruiseguru ziplining

Walk the plank

Daredevils and those not afraid of heights can ‘Walk the Plank’ that extends over the side of some Norwegian Cruise Line ships. The plank is about eight feet long, six inches wide and 40 feet above the sea. You’re well harnessed and a crew member will come out and get you if you freeze in fear.

NOrwegian Escape walk the plank



Norwegian Cruise Line created a two-level go-kart track on the top deck of a few of its ships. The track is about 1,000 feet long with nine hairpin turns (on some ships) and short straight-aways so you compare race times with your friends. The go karts go about 30 mph and you can ride as a single or with a friend.

Norwegian Bliss racetrack

norwegian encore cruise ship race track go karts

Simulated race car driving

Want to feel like a Formula One race car driver? Costa Cruises has a professional simulated race car ride that gives you a virtual experience of being on world famous race tracks – with the ability of go mock speeds of about 200 mph. The car moves up and down to enhance the experience and this simulator cost $1 million when it came out years ago.

Costa Cruises racecar simulator

High in the sky observation capsule

While rides such as roller coasters and cycles offer panoramic views, sometimes you’re too busy focusing on staying on that you don’t enjoy the views. So try Royal Caribbean’s Northstar observation capsule. It’s like a glass elevator that rises about 300 feet above the top deck. Take your camera because these views are as if you have a drone. One cruise ship permitted a couple to get married in the Northstar for one of the most unique places to say, “I Do!”

Royal Caribbean Alaska Northstar Hubbard Glacier

High ropes obstacle course

Adults and children can enjoy rope obstacle courses on several cruise lines including Norwegian and Carnival that have them high above the top deck. The goal is simple, walk from one end to the other – along moving ropes and swaying planks by taking careful steps so you don’t lose your footing. Don’t worry though if you do as your harness keeps you safe.

Norwegian cruises escape cruise ship ropes course sky


Carnival offers an indoor trampoline experience called SkyZone which is one of the many thrilling activities you can do on a cruise ship. You can jump around, slam-duck a basketball and jump up a wall. It’s more tiring than it looks and a whole lot of fun for all ages.

Carnival Cruises Panorama cruise ship SkyZone trampolines

Bungee jumping with virtual reality goggles

Royal Caribbean’s SkyPad is a trampoline-style bungee jumping experience where you wear a harness – and virtual reality goggles that take you to another place or planet while you’re bouncing around the ‘world’ that you choose to see.

Royal Caribbean Spectrum of the Seas ifly

If these thrilling activities to do on a cruise ship are more than your fear factor can handle, there are also lots of other activities to do on cruise ships such as long, fast waterslides with loops that go over the side of the ship, tall dry corkscrew slides such as Royal Caribbean’s Ultimate Abyss, ice skating, bumper cars, 4D theatres and much more.

Norwegian Bliss Ocean Look hanging over side of cruise ship


harmony of the seas ultimate abyss slide

Photos and Videos: Cruiseguru, Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Mauer


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