On cruises, the journey is the destination

Bowled over: The 200-foot drop on the Norwegian Epic's water slide.

By Rich Mahoney

Traveling by sea has come a long way. For many, the idea of being stuck on a boat for several days was far from appealing. The attractions and activities on today’s cruise lines, however, have turned ocean voyages into resort vacations in transit. Where ship passengers once passed the time playing cards in stuffy cabins, they now enjoy the excitement of table games and slots at onboard casinos. Taking in beautiful ocean views remains a favorite activity, but now you can do so from the top of a rock-climbing wall. From shopping and relaxation to thrills and Vegas-style entertainment, the range of activities on some cruise ships is borderline ridiculous.

In case you were wondering what you might do while sailing from one amazing locale to the next, here is a breakdown of the activities on a few top vessels:

Norwegian Epic
Splash down a 200-foot waterslide, play Nintendo Wii on a two-story screen or unwind with a variety of treatments from the spa on this top NCL ship. She also has an onboard bowling alley, high-quality shows and performances, a casino and a wide range of bars and nightclubs.

Oasis of the Seas
This is a big ship. At 16 decks high, it has more attractions and activities than you could get through in a vacation. It’s also enough space to install a thrilling on-board zip-line course and two FlowRider standing waves that allow you to surf without leaving the boat. Play a round of mini-golf, skate around the ice rink or shop at brand-name and designer stores. The ship also features world-class performances, casino, spa and more.

Celebrity Eclipse
If you want to stay fit at sea, the Eclipse has you covered with a full-service gym and running track. Take wine-tasting classes, watch glass-blowing demonstrations or stimulate your mind at a guest lecture. You can relax on soft grass miles out to sea at the Lawn Club, play a game of bocce or catch a Broadway show. Shops, art galleries and boutique stores are also onboard, and of course, this ship features a casino and spa.

While these are a few leading examples, most cruise ships offer plenty of onboard activities and attractions that appeal to everyone. If it wasn’t for that million-dollar view, you may even forget you’re miles out to sea.

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A copywriter for travel brands, Rich Mahoney gets to apply his experience wandering the globe at work every day.

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