We live in a country surrounded by sport. If we are not playing it, we are in front of the television watching it. From football, cricket and hockey to golf, swimming and croquet, sport is a key part of our lives.

So what happens when we go on holiday...how do we get our daily sport fix? Watching is not a problem as most resorts, hotels and cruise ships boast large screens and licensing to broadcast the latest games.

When it comes to playing your favourite sports, a cruise has you more than covered. With full sized basketball courts, mini golf courses and even ice rinks, there will be no complaining about missing out on your much-loved activities. 

Basketball

Although basketball is typically known as an American sport, it has become increasingly trendy for our younger generation to play. This high-energy game is a team sport that has strict rules.

Most cruise lines boast a full sized basketball court that will be the place for games, tournaments and competitions. Hosted by the sports or activity staff there will be organised games that offer hours of fun. Some cruise lines will even pair fun teams such as dads against sons or girls against boys!

Cruise lines with a basketball court: Carnival Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Princess Cruises

Golf

Golf at sea? Yes that’s right. A selection of modern day cruise ships are home to 9-hole mini golf courses as well as golf simulators.

It was Royal Caribbean who introduced this innovation but other lines have also brought this to their ships including Disney Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises.

Playing golf surrounded by the ocean is a once in a lifetime experience and fun for the whole family. Whether you are competitive, teaching the little ones or just having some fun, it is definitely an activity worth doing.

Cruise lines with mini golf: Princess Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Disney Cruise Line 

Volleyball

Water volleyball is a sport guaranteed to put everyone in a holiday mood. Best played in the sun with a group of friends, it is the perfect combination of competitive and fun.

With cruise ships showcasing multiple swimming pools, there is likely to be one dedicated to water sports with volleyball often being the most popular game. Even if you do not understand the rules, there will be staff to show you and commentate the game.

If you do not want to get involved, just watching from the pool side is as much fun.

Cruise lines with volleyball: P&O Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Carnival Cruises, Princess Cruises

Football

England’s iconic game, we are known around the world for our strong passion for football. I read recently that 65% of British males will not go on holiday anywhere that doesn’t show their team's football games. Good news is that most cruise ships have permission to broadcast popular games and even better news that you can play onboard too.

Normally the basketball court will be used as a football pitch and the markings set up accordingly. There will be dedicated staff to arrange matches, tournaments and fun competitions so be sure to pack your training shoes!

Cruise lines that have a football pitch: Royal Caribbean Cruises, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line

Ping Pong

Are you that one person on holiday who shows everyone up at ping pong? There is always a Ping-Pong champion somewhere!

A fun game that has become very competitive, ping pong will test both your skills and patience.

Normally found on the sports deck or the activities centre, most cruise lines have a selection of ping pong tables for you to enjoy as well as paticipate in mini tornaments.

Cruise lines with ping-pong tables: Royal Caribbean Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Disney Cruise Line

Boxing

Another industry revolution, Royal Caribbean are the only cruise line to offer boxing rinks at sea. Introduced on Freedom of the Seas, they are full sized boxing rinks that come fully equipped with punch bags, railings and boxing gloves.

Guests using the gym can use the rink as part of their exercise routine as well as enter fun boxing competitions orgainsed by the crew.

Cruise lines with a boxing ring: Royal Caribbean Cruises 

Swimming

When on holiday, some people like to use the pool to swim lengths as part of their exercise regime and others use it as a place to have fun or play games.

Swimming is a sport everyone can take part in and whether you want to practice lengths by yourself or compete in mini swimming galas, you will be able to swim to your hearts content on a cruise.

Cruise lines with a swimming pool: All cruise lines

Croquet

The traditionally English sport of croquet is a historic game that dates back to the 1850’s. Normally played in village playing fields, it has now come to the high seas by Celebrity Cruises.

The Lawn Club on their Solstice class ships offer the ultimate setting for a joyous game of croquet. With real grass, the sun shining and the ocean swaying around you, everyone is welcome to join in this game, whether you know the rules or not.

Equipment will be provided onboard and staff on hand to help.

Cruise lines with croquet: Celebrity Cruises 

Pool

The first thing that comes to mind when having a pool table onboard is how does it work with the movement of the ship? Rest assure the pool tables found at sea are self-leveling and stabilized, just like the ships themselves.

Even for those who do not play pool, these revolutionary tables have to be seen to be believed. As the ship moves, so does the table and the balls stay perfectly in place.

The opportunity to play a game of pool with new found friends and a beer will bring a home comfort to your cruise.

Cruise lines with pool tables: Royal Caribbean Cruises

Ice-skating

Just when you thought there was no other sport to be played onboard, Royal Caribbean introduced ice-rinks. Ice-skating in the middle of the ocean, now that’s impressive!

When the rink is not being used by the cast to perform a show, you can don a pair of skates with protective wear and hit the ice.Whether you are an expert skater or never tried it before, the professional skaters will be there to guide you.

Ice hockey games are not yet arranged..but watch this space.

Cruise lines with ice rinks: Royal Caribbean Cruises

By Sally Grimes