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10 Sports You Can Play On A Cruise

8th July 2014

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


Is a cruise your golden ticket to the best sporting events?

26th March 2014

Sporting memories from a none-sporting fan...

When I think about my time at sea, the best memories are not always of the amazing destinations I visited. They are of the people I met from all over the world and the experiences we shared together.

One of my favourite memories is the 2010 World Cup. At the time I was working onboard Oasis of the Seas and every game created an electric atmosphere among the crew and guests, that will forever remain in my memory. I come from a very sporting family but I have never been into sport myself. However when I was surrounded with crew members from 97 different countries all supporting their countries, I too became passionate.

During a cruise to Bermuda I went for a bike ride and noticed crowds of people outside one of the island's golf courses. I went to see what everyone was looking at and saw it was the US Open Championships. The likes of Colin Montgomery were just a fence away from me. I remember thinking how special it would be to take this cruise and couple it with a major event like this.

Cruise lines continue to jump on the idea of combining a cruise with a major sporting event. I can definitely see why these cruises have become so popular and they offer guests an exclusive experience for a non-exclusive price.

From The Grand Prix to The British Open...

From the Monaco Grand Prix to The Ashes, the cruise lines have it covered. Two fantastic experiences in one, you can enjoy an incredible cruise as-well as the sporting event you have always dreamed of going to. People are often put off going to an event in another country because of flights, accommodation and the overall cost, which is why combining it with a cruise creates a hassle-free, valuable experience.

Here are my top picks:

Monaco F1 Grand Prix, Monaco

A place that defines luxury, Monaco is an extravagant playground of prime restaurants, glamorous yachts and celebrity hot-spots.

An indulging cruise combined with this anticipated event is a match made in heaven. Enjoy the thrill of screaming fans and racing tyres joined with elegant wine bars, charming harbours and a lavish nightlife.

Luxury line Azamara Club Cruises are offering an 8 night Grand Prix Voyage that includes two full days and an overnight in Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix. Other stops include Portofino, Saint-Tropez and Cannes.

After four years, Star Clippers are returning to the F1 scene with a 7 night sailing from Cannes calling at Corsica, Lerici and Monte Carlo for the Grand Prix.

2014 FIFA World Cup, Brazil

The event that not only football fanatics are waiting for, but the whole world is anticipating. The 2014 FIFA World Cup is set to be the most memorable sporting event of 2014. Held in the vibrant city of Rio De Janeiro it is expected to attract sporting fans from all over the world.

Lasting a total of 30 days the World Cup sees football teams from around the world compete to take the title of world’s best team. Attracting lots of competitiveness, excitement and a buzzing atmosphere, Rio is the perfect place for it to be held.

There is no where else in the world like Rio De Janeiro with a backdrop of souring mountains combined with towering buildings that line the dramatic beaches. Home to colourful carnivals, exotic cuisine and breathtaking explorations, this city should definitely be one you tick off your wish list.

MSC Cruises are offering two sailings on MSC Divina to and from the World Cup this year. The first an 18 night cruise from Miami and the second a 19 night sailing from Rio De Janeiro.

For those unable to venture across the pond to experience the excitement first hand then P&O Cruises and Cunard have ensured you you won't miss a kick, goal or save as they promise to broadcast live coverage onboard their ships.

The British Open, United Kingdom

The pinnacle of summer tournaments, The British Open sees the world’s best golfers come together to compete on our renowned golf courses. Known as UK’s most spectated event, the iconic St Andrews golf course comes alive with famous golfers, celebrities and enthusiastic spectators.

Azamara Club Cruises have an amazing cruise in July that includes the British Open. Sail during the peak of summer around the iconic British Isles and have the opportunity to play golf at seven renowned courses as-well as watch part of the British Open. Departing Southampton on July 4th 2015 you will sail to the most captivating destinations Britain has to offer including Cork, Dublin, Belfast, Guernsey and Isle Of Skye.

Melbourne Cup, Melbourne

Named 'the race that stops a nation' this thoroughbred horse race held early November is one of Australia’s most significant sporting events. Attracting people from all over the world these famous races take place over three days and offer a phenomenal social experience. From the sophisticated women dressed in spectacular dresses to the groups of tourists enjoying placing bets, the atmosphere is sensational.

Melbourne is an urban jungle of culture, art, fashion and fun Australian locals. An energetic city that invites you to explore its souring architecture, water-side restaurants and vibrant theaters - combining a visit here with the Melbourne Cup is a fantastic opportunity.

This year sees the 45th anniversary of this event and more cruise lines are starting to delve into this part of the world. Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Princess Cruises are just a few of the lines that sail to Australia. P&O Cruises Australia are sending Pacific Jewel on two Melbourne Cup cruises that will include a behind the scene tour of Flemington Race Track.

Pleasing Her + Pleasing Him = Perfect Couple...

Picture yourself sipping an exotic cocktail on the top deck of a state of the art cruise ship before you dock next to one of the most anticipated events of the year…it is a match made in heaven.

With more people realising that cruising gives you the golden ticket to the best sporting events in the world and the exceptional benefits of combining the two, these cruises rapidly sell out. There has never been a better time to combine your two favourite things, she is happy with the cruise and he is happy watching his favourite sport live..winners all around!


By Sally Grimes


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