Cruise ships have a fantastic choice of sports facilities on board. Lots of ships have sports courts for a game of basketball or a kick-around, and some even offer ice skating, zip lines, climbing walls and surf simulators up on the deck. But what about the underrepresented sports that don’t actually exist? Could they have a place on cruise ships?
The Winter Paralympics have got me thinking, specifically the skiing events. Why can’t the cruise sports scientists (I assume there are some) come up with a ski course on the top deck of a cruise ship heading for the Caribbean? Why should you have to go somewhere cold to enjoy thrills, spills and posterior chills?
If we can do epic battle against really fast water on a surf simulator, then surely we should be able to ski or snowboard against a top-deck flurry of ice and snow. Or, if money, logic and sense were no object, what about a man-made mountain rising up from the deck, complete with slalom, pine trees, ski lift and yeti? Having said that though, standing around in the snow on a cruise in the Caribbean would call for an awful lot of suncream…
Jet ski paintball
Alright, so maybe a cruise ship ski mountain was a little bit too far. But surely jet ski paintball isn’t outside the realms of possibility? Just imagine… racing along the waves on a turquoise sea, plugging paintballs at your competitor/prey/loved one. It’d be like Waterworld, but with painful splats of colour.
If paintball sounds a bit too much, how about jet skis fitted with a water cannon on the front? Hours of fun with aquatic cat-and-mouse chases, using ice-cold jets of seawater to provide maximum incentive not to get caught. It’s the classic summer water fight, Hollywood style.
Giant table tennis
Table tennis was first created in the late 1800s as a parlour game for the upper classes, using books as paddles and balls made from champagne corks. All wonderfully ridiculous. Unfortunately common sense has since taken over, and table tennis has become serious business – with actual paddles and its own kind of ball and everything.
But a lot of cruises are far from serious business, and sports should follow suit. What I’m proposing is a return to the ludicrous – I’m talking about giant table tennis. Picture two people wielding giant table tennis paddles bigger than they are. They’re batting a hefty white beach ball over a tennis net, and running around their giant tabletop court on the deck in hilarious fashion. This is what sport should be. Now some may say that the giant version of table tennis is just actual tennis – but to these people I would say ‘…no’.
Personal submarines are very much in existence. There are even private luxury submarines around for couples to take a romantic dive beneath the waves, for a mere £175,000 a night. But the question remains – why aren’t cruises offering small, personal submarines for families to engage in thrilling slow-motion chases beneath the waves?
Aqua scooters are a popular choice for underwater sightseeing on a cruise, but how do they race? There’s only one way to find out. Cruise lines, we’re begging you. Underwater races please, with underwater crowds, cheering their underwater cheers while two wild-eyed mavericks glide slowly on to the underwater finish line.
Trampoline volleyball (bossball)
Sun, sand, and heated combat against the forces of gravity and spherical velocity. Volleyball is summer sport at its finest… but does it have trampolines? Not always. Tragically, some volleyball enthusiasts are slaving away without the added verticality that a trampoline provides. Even volleyball teams at an olympic level have had to toil without trampolines, while olympic trampolinists have had them for years.
The deck of a cruise ship is the perfect place for trampoline volleyball (or ‘bossball’, as it’s known). They already exist on beaches in summery destinations – huge inflatable platforms complete with a trampoline on either side of the net, for competitors to bounce up and spike the ball back in a state of competitive altitude. Trampoline volleyball is fun squared, and therefore perfectly suited for the top deck of a cruise ship.
So, what sports would you love to see on a cruise ship? Did you know that skydiving, for example, is a very real option on a Royal Caribbean cruise? Please leave your comments below – or call our award-winning Cruise Concierge team free on 0808 1234 118 if you’d like to find out more about cruise ship sports facilities, or to make a booking.
Images courtesy of Snecklifter, Wikimedia Commons; Doha Stadium Plus Qatar, Flickr; Allison Marchant/Margaret Chute, Photopin/Flickr; Luis Díaz-Bedia Astor, Wikipedia; Abraham Puthoor, Photopin/Flickr.