Where are the Best water slides? That’s a question many adventure loving travelers will want to take into account when booking their cruise. All cruise lines have wonderful ports of call, on board entertainment, amazing food, and more. But cruise ship water slides and cruise waterparks are a HUGE deal for families who cruise.
We love cruising. A cruise is great value for many types of travel junkies. For the true water lovers out there, like us, it’s important to know the best water slides at sea, especially if you’re headed on a family cruise. After all, water slides add to the on board fun for kids of all ages. Listen, with all the amazing food you will be eating you need to do something active to stay healthy, so the cruise ship water slides get my vote every time.
My daredevil on the Green Thunder water slide Carnival PrideSure there are other ways to stay active on cruise ships, now more than ever. With the zip line and the Flo-Rider and rock wall on board the Harmony of the Seas by Royal Caribbean and so many more activities these days on Norwegian as well, there’s no excuse for gaining weight or lounging about…unless of course that is your sole purpose of cruising.
Here are some of my picks for best cruise ship water slides in the world. Please note this post was written in 2017 and I have since updated with a few new picks and photos too, but the cruise world is dynamic. As soon as this is published and updated there’s another cruise ship water slide ready to launch.
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Best Water Slides on the High Seas
The best water slides are almost always part of the best water parks. That’s right. If you didn’t know it, most cruise lines have top deck water parks these days. They are smaller versions of the land locked ones, of course, but that doesn’t make them any less exciting or fun. And what’s the most fun thing you can do at the water park? That’s right – hit those water slides. So without further discussion here’s my rundown.
The MSC Preziosa vessel is part of the Mediterranean cruise line, MSC. This ship boasts a water slide aptly named Vertigo. Measuring in at an impressive 394 feet long and 42 feet high, the MSC Preziosa Vertigo features a wonderfully terrifying 30-foot transparent stretch of slide that extends over the ship’s side. These slides are always a blast!
For those who are new to the cruise world lately the MSC cruise line has started adjusting their new ships to be a bit more multi-generational in their appeal. Some now have very cool things to do like water slides and other family friendly activities.
The Twister water slide is featured on three ships in the Carnival Fleet. These ginormous things make the list of best water slides, coming in at 312 feet long. True to its name, the Twister features several twists, turns, and a healthy dose of speed.
The newest addition to Carnival’s impressive water slides is featured on one of the more recent of Carnival’s ships. The Carnival Vista launched in 2016. The Carnival Vista Kaleid-O-Slide is an exciting dizzying ride around and down 455 feet of twists and turns on one or two-person rafts. In addition, rafters will be treated to rotating lights and flashy visual effects. They don’t call it Kaleid-O-Slide for nothing!
Green Thunder Water slide
Our first ever cruise was on the Carnival Pride, which was the cruise that hooked us on family cruising. We honestly loved it and it really wasn’t too expensive or large. There were water slides and the food was amazing. Haven’t done a cruise yet? Still debating? Read on about our first ever cruise now and you will have enough information to make up your mind.
The Carnival Pride is one of Carnival’s older ships, not unlike the Carnival Sensation which we vacationed on in 2018, but the size was perfect for us with 1600 staterooms. There are other slides on the ship and they are a lot of fun but the Carnival Pride Green Thunder is a dramatic chute. You stand on a small plastic floor and it counts down, then drops out underneath you. The result is thrilling and refreshing and FAST!! Thrill seekers will love it. My kids sure did!!
Disney of course pulls out all the stops for families on its cruise ships, just as it does in the many waterparks and theme parks. They get family. Featured on both the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy cruise ships, the Disney AquaDuck is 765 foot long water coaster, as Disney calls it. This elevated waterslide may be super long, but it’s totally family friendly. With just the right amount of excitement, it’s one of the best water slides out there for the younger set. DYING to try either the Aquaduck or Aquadunk. Soon, I hope!
AquaDunk is the bad boy older brother of AquaDuck. This three-story slide begins with a trap door popping open under riders’ feet, and it only gets more exciting from there. After the drop, riders will find themselves in a tube extending 20 feet over the ship’s side as they make their way down the twisty thrill ride.
The slides that extend out over the ocean are not new and we have seen them before on a few cruises we have taken. They are kind of novel even still and it adds a bit to the thrill of the ride knowing you are zipping out over the ocean. Sometimes, on other ships, I have seen a transparent bit of tube that allows you to see briefly where you are. I love that.
One of the best water slides at see for adrenaline junkies is the Free Fall, featured on the Norwegian Breakaway, The Escape, (which we cruised on in January 2016) and Getaway. This scream-inducing slide does just what its name says. Riders stand on a trap door as they’re counted down to the opening of the door and a 250-foot thrill ride straight down. The trap door water slide is a clear winner always no matter what ship it is on. Hard to imagine a concept that could be faster, isn’t it?
Found on the Norwegian Epic, this is another water slide that does just what it says. The 200-foot, four-story tall slide takes riders rafting down an enclosed tube before shooting them out into a giant whirlpool-like bowl. From there, riders are sucked down into a hole that drops them into the water below. We loved this boat and we loved the Norwegian Epic Plunge water slide.
Cruise Ship Water Slides height requirements
Although each cruise line has their own rules generally speaking most follow this height rule. For family water slides where you sit on a raft and float down together the height requirement is 42 inches tall. But on the ones you ride alone most are 48 inches. Many cruise ships I have been on are pretty strict following the safety rules.
Always read up on the height requirements for all the rides on board before you commit to cruising. Your cruise should be epic fun for all members and you really don’t want your youngest to feel left out. Plus it’s hard to juggle a range of ages if one can only do water park and the others can all sprint over to the adult water slides. Know before you go and make the best of your time at sea!
Thinking about Cruising?
You should check out my series of posts about cruising and all that is involved. We have cruised often and hope to get back on a cruise soon. It’s hard to explain how much fun cruising is for everyone. The food is pretty much always incredible and the entertainment these days is world class. Just look at any of the Oasis Class ships from Royal Caribbean and you will see there are broadway style shows offered on many ships.
The on board entertainment alone is almost worth the price. Now add to that water slides, great food, incredible service and ports of call!! We find cruises to be great value for our family travel budget.
Before I forget here are some of my Picks for Best Western Caribbean Ports of Call.
The Best Water Slides are Always Evolving
The water slides listed above are the best of the best water slides on the high seas, but they’re not the only ones out there. Remember, this post is all about cruise ship water slides, but each and every one of these impressive water slides belong to equally impressive water parks. These parks feature slides, sprinkler areas, soaking pools, and more to be found on land or sea. So if your family is all about the watery side of cruising fun, start your search with the slides listed above.