- Viking Cruises was the first cruise line to offer a snow grotto at sea: a frosty room set at -10C in its spectacular spa, where snow flakes fall from the ceiling. The Snow Grotto, on Viking Star, allows guests to partake in the Scandinavian ritual of going from hot to cold temperature extremes (also known as contrast bathing). Nordic bathing traditions dictate that you sit in the sauna for as long as possible before rolling around in the snow or pouring a bucket of ice-cold water over yourself, all in the name of giving your circulatory system a boost. Ice bucket 'plunges,' which hang from the ceiling, are also available.
- Passengers on the world's largest cruise ship can brave the tallest slide at sea on the hair-raising, ten-storey Ultimate Abyss. Located aboard Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, the slide has been dubbed "possibly the most thrilling manmade adventure a sea" and stands 150ft above sea level as a pair of side-by-side slides that release adrenalin junkies into a chilling 100ft drop which twists and turns in a snake-like movement as they slide nine miles an hour from Deck 16 to 6.
- The Spa on Viking Cruises' Viking Star is an 870 square-metre spa and the first of its kind in the world. It features eight treatment rooms, including a spa suite with a whirlpool, and the space to carry out couples' treatments. There is a wet area with a thermal pool, a hot tub, a steam room and the Snow Grotto, as well as a salon with seven hair stations and three manicure/pedicure chairs. The spa also has two changing areas, each with a sauna and plunge pool. Treatments on the spa menu include three different types of Swedish massage: a mindful, a deep tissue and detox Swedish massage.
Now this is as cool as it gets! Inspired by the original ice hotels in Scandinavia, the SVEDKA Ice Bar on board Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Epic is one of only a few in the world and was the first true ice bar at sea. The 17-degree arctic chamber features bars, walls, seats and glasses all made from ice and drinkers are given a thermal cloak on arrival to keep them warm. Some of the drinks on offer include Northern Lights, which is a mixture of SVEDKA Citron Vodka, Cointreau and Blue Curacao Liqueur, and Polaris, which combined SVEDKA Citron Vodka, Inniskillin Icewine and Lemon-Lime Soda.
On MSC Cruises' ships, including MSC Meraviglia, you can put your racing skills to the test in the high-tech Formula 1 simulators. Just step into a sleek, powerful Formula 1 car to live out the thrills of a fast-paced race while at sea. 'Drivers' race around a series of tracks on the screen in front and can also experience a 5D cinema, a flight simulator and fun arcade games in the Super Amusement Park which houses the latest in entertainment.
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Seven Seas Explorer has one of the largest suites at sea at over 3,875 square feet. The Regent Suite is as luxurious as a cruise cabin gets, with two plush bedrooms and an in-room spa retreat (a first at sea) which combines a personal sauna, steam room and treatment area. The suite also features an outdoor, glass-enclosed sitting area aptly named the Vista Garden where you can enjoy magnificent, unobstructed 270-degree views over the ship’s bow and towards the horizon.
- The Bionic Bar on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas is a bar tender like no other. A bar run by bionic mixologists, the exciting drinking experience allows you to watch as the bionic bartenders get to work, shaking, stirring and straining two drinks in just one-minute. There is even a resident DJ playing upbeat and contemporary music, and you can order favourites, such as martinis and mojitos, from the e-menu before sipping on your creative drink.
- Viking Cruises' Viking Star features one of the only infinity pools at sea, allowing you to swim surrounded by your location in a glass-backed pool cantilevered off the stern. The Infinity Pool was designed to give you a sense of swimming right into your destination and that it does! In the evening, the space transforms into the Aquavit Terrace, where you can dine to music playing and watch the world unfold.
- Love astronomy? Cunard's Queen Mary 2 features a Planetarium which hosts daily shows such as 'Cosmic Collisions' and 'Stars Over the Atlantic' to space fans. It is located in the art deco-inspired Illuminations theatre and converts into the only planetarium at sea, which seats 150 guests and has four shows a day. The seats are built so that guests can lean back and look comfortably upwards, while computerised projectors located around the theatre combine to project an image of the night sky or of outer space onto the dome. Because the dome is curved, the views projected appear to be three-dimensional.
- Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Vista takes cruising to new heights with its SkyRide, a first-of-its-kind aerial attraction where adventure seekers pedal hanging recumbent-like cycles at speeds of up to 18 miles an hour across an elevated 800-foot-long track. The SkyRide is completely unlike riding a bike and allows you to zip safely around a two-lane suspended course in the pedal-powered go-mobile, in search of your biggest racing victory, lowest lap time or simply the most amazing view.
- The first IMAX Theatre at sea includes a three-deck-high screen that offers an immersive cinema experience featuring the latest Hollywood blockbusters, family favourites and IMAX documentary content. Located on Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Vista, the 187-seat IMAX Theatre is part of the Carnival Multiplex, which also includes the Thrill Theatre, a multi-dimensional experience where seats move back and forth and side to side and viewers are sprayed with water and bubbles to make them feel like they’re part of the feature. Available only on Carnival Vista, Thrillogy is a scary-yet-fun multi-sensory horror movie experience within the Thrill Theatre that is designed for passengers aged 17 and older.
Celebrity Cruises has the largest wine collection at sea, offering over 400 varieties including choices from every major wine-producing region from South America, Spain, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Portugal and South Africa. The remarkably tall Wine Tower, which is a two-story structure of glass and steel, created by renowned designer Adam Tihany holds 1,800 bottles of wine at the perfect serving temperature. All Solstice Class ships have the tower, as well as Sommeliers, Servers and Cellar Masters who are readily available to make suggestions and assist with wine pairing.