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The Best Pools and Waterslides at Sea

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Waterslides on the new Carnival Vista

Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line/Andy Newman

Waterslides on the new Carnival Vista

These are sure to keep you cool on a summer sail.

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Lots of families are starting to plan fun summer cruises. And if you’re going to be out on the ocean in the heat of summer, you’ll want to take advantage of the new pools, waterslides, and other water features that some of the newest cruise ships have. Here are some of best ways to keep cool at sea:

The Perfect Storm on Harmony of the Seas

The brand-new world’s largest cruise ship is making a splash with a trinity of terror: three three-story water slides. The Cyclone, Monsoon, and Typhoon—together dubbed the Perfect Storm—will descend from high above the ship’s Central Park, an open-air area with live trees and plants. The ship also has a fourth, dry slide, the Ultimate Abyss, which is the tallest slide at sea and consists of two twisting, turning tubes that drop riders down 10 decks while they sit on padded mats.

WaterWorks on Carnival Vista

Carnival Cruise Line’s new ship sports its biggest water park, a colorful maze of slides, water jets, and a 300-gallon tipping bucket. The highlight of the park is Kaleid-o-Slide, the line’s first inner-tube slide. Riders zip down 455 feet of corkscrew turns, and the experience is heightened by music and kaleidoscopic light effects.

Aqua Park on Norwegian Escape

The giant Aqua Park on Norwegian Cruise Line’s biggest ship features the Aqua Racer slide, which lets two passengers race each other on inner tubes. There’s also the Free Fall, side-by-side slides with floors that open up, dropping riders into a thrilling loop. And if you want something less heart pounding, there’s a family-friendly open-flume body slide. 

AquaDuck on Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy

This exhilarating water coaster for all ages has riders hop aboard two-person, inflated rafts that are propelled through a clear acrylic tube by water jets—including out over the edge of the ship, high above the sea. The rafts bob up, down, and around before splashing into a lazy river. Tip: Ride at night, when AquaDuck is ablaze with multicolored lights.

Infinity Pool on MSC Divina

Not all water features have to be rides. The big, beautiful Garden Pool is an infinity pool that appears to flow off the back end of MSC Divina. It is tucked away in an aft section of Deck 15 and provides a sea of tranquility—for adults only. And if you’re traveling with kids? They can be entertained in a supervised play area and a Smurfs-themed water park while parents unwind and watch the mesmerizing view of the ship’s wake.

Snow Grotto on Viking Sea

Another indulgence for adult cruisers is the gorgeous LivNordic Spa on the brand-new Viking Sea. The spa, designed by Raison d’Etre (which runs the spas at properties such as Stockholm’s Grand Hotel), has a sauna, steam room, hot tub, an indoor heated thalassotherapy (saltwater) pool, and a snow “grotto” (a room where snowflakes actually fall through the air). All are available to use for free, a rarity in the cruise world.

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Anne Kalosh doesn’t count the cruises she’s taken, although there have been hundreds—including five years as a shipboard newspaper editor, sailing the world. She loves the experiences sea travel offers. Her byline has appeared in many major publications, and she’s on top of the latest cruise developments as the long-time U.S. editor for Seatrade-Cruise.com and Seatrade Cruise Review. 

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