Discover 22 amazing activities to do on a cruise, from karting to walking the plank

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It’s not all lazing around the pool deck when it comes to cruising. Here were 22 of the crazier things to do at sea.

There’s everything from adrenaline rush options for thrill seekers to some more serene offerings for those who prefer a slower pace…

1. Climb a mountain. Rock walls rise above the decks of large Tui ships and gym staff can show you the (safety) ropes so you can easily learn to climb.

High life: rock walls rise above the decks of large Tui ships, where you can learn to climb with the help of the gym staff

High life: rock walls rise above the decks of large Tui ships, where you can learn to climb with the help of the gym staff

On Celebrity Cruises' Solstice series ships, guests can enjoy the 'lawn club' with real grass

On Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice series ships, guests can enjoy the ‘lawn club’ with real grass

2. Let the grass grow under your feet. There is a ‘lawn club’ with real grass on the top deck of Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice series of ships. Picnic, play croquet or sit back and listen to jazz in the park.

3. Read all about it in a floating book club. Selected sailings with Fred. Olsen will send reading lists in advance (or order and pick up the books when you board). Then take part in the relaxed discussions on board.

4. Collect a certificate. Start with a wine tasting on a Cunard ship. Then apply for an internationally recognized qualification for wine and spirits on the Queen Mary 2 and other of the company’s classic liners.

There are ice rinks on Royal Caribbean ships where you can rent skates, gloves and helmets

There are ice rinks on Royal Caribbean ships where you can rent skates, gloves and helmets

5. Put on your skates. There are ice rinks on Royal Caribbean ships where you can rent skates, gloves and helmets. Children can take lessons and the whole family can return to the ice rink in the evening to watch professional skaters put on a show.

6. Start your day with a sunrise yoga class on a Uniworld cruise, and ask the fitness staff to reserve a bike or set of Nordic walking poles for you for a land-based adventure. If health is your thing, cut calories with the special Traveling Lite menu.

7. Walk across the plank. A narrow, 8ft long plank stretches out over the ocean on the upper deck of the Norwegian Breakaway ships. Fans say it’s terrifying to walk (especially in choppy seas), but you’ll wear armor so you can’t fall.

Would you walk the plank on one of Norwegian's Breakaway ships?  The narrow, 8ft long plank stretches out over the ocean on the upper deck, but guests who choose to walk on it must wear a harness

Would you walk the plank on one of Norwegian’s Breakaway ships? The narrow, 8ft long plank stretches out over the ocean on the upper deck, but guests who choose to walk on it must wear a harness

Call the butler on a small ship cruise with Silversea, Uniworld (pictured) or Avalon

Call the butler on a small ship cruise with Silversea, Uniworld (pictured) or Avalon

8. Call the butler on a small ship cruise with Silversea, Uniworld or Avalon. These fleets of ultra-luxury liners have the industry’s highest staff-to-guest ratios, and suites offer on-call butlers who can bring champagne or anything else 24 hours a day.

9. Say goodbye to your kids. Each age group has its own kids’ club on large P&O cruise ships. Groups start with two- to four-year-olds and go up to teens, who find a pool table, computer games and a retro arcade in a floating youth club.

10. Race to heaven. Get competitive and climb into a unique ‘flying bike’ on the two-track course that hangs high above the upper decks of Carnival’s Horizon, Panorama and Vista ships.

Two guests will join the unique 'flying bikes' on the Carnival Horizon ship.  It's also a feature on Carnival's Panorama and Vista liners

Two guests will join the unique ‘flying bikes’ on the Carnival Horizon ship. It’s also a feature on Carnival’s Panorama and Vista liners

On large Royal Caribbean ships, there are free trapeze and tightrope walking lessons in the triple sports arenas

On large Royal Caribbean ships, there are free trapeze and tightrope walking lessons in the triple sports arenas

11. Run away to the circus (school). There are free trapeze and tightrope walking lessons in the triple sports arenas on large Royal Caribbean ships.

12. shout ‘for!’ in the golf practice areas and putting greens on Saga cruises. Then smooth your strokes in a high-tech simulator.

13. Look at the stars. There is little light pollution at sea and Princess Cruises has partnered with Discovery Channel to provide stargazing on the upper deck. Or head to the planetarium on Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 for an expert-led astronomy show.

Holland America's croupiers give free lessons if you want to sharpen your blackjack or poker skills skills

Holland America’s croupiers give free lessons if you want to sharpen your blackjack or poker skills skills

14. Throw the dice. Most major ships have casinos and Holland America’s croupiers offer free lessons if you want to hone your blackjack or poker skills. They also run high stakes poker tournaments if you want to see how real gamblers roll.

15. Dine with the best. Take a seat at the chef’s table or one of the new private salons on Scenic ships to hear culinary secrets from the executive chef and enjoy exclusive dining. On HR ships you might even see Marco Pierre White in the cooking club.

16. Get spicy. Pose for a family portrait in the ‘Hollywood-style’ photo studio on Tui ships. Or follow the professional photographer to the deck for relaxed, open-air shots.

The Serenity Retreat for adults on large Celebrity ships has a relaxed, zen-like atmosphere and a full-service bar

The Serenity Retreat for adults on large Celebrity ships has a relaxed, zen-like atmosphere and a full-service bar

17. Snuggle up in a recliner for two at the adults-only Serenity Retreat on large Celebrity ships. It has a relaxed, zen-like atmosphere and a full-service bar.

18. Catch a movie by moonlight. The screens go up as the sun sets on Princess cruises – and hot chocolate and warm cookies are served alongside the popcorn as the al fresco movies begin.

19. Chase the checkered flag during a kart race on Norwegian Bliss. There’s a covered pit lane, viewing platform, and heartbreaking moments as the track shoots over the edge of the ship.

On the ship Norwegian Bliss is a go-kart track complete with a covered pit lane and a viewing platform

On the ship Norwegian Bliss is a go-kart track complete with a covered pit lane and a viewing platform

MSC's huge Grandiosa ship houses a bespoke gallery with 26 paintings by French Impressionist Edgar Degas

MSC’s huge Grandiosa ship houses a bespoke gallery with 26 paintings by French Impressionist Edgar Degas

20. Relax. A snow cave is an addition to the spa on the Viking Star cruise ship. The ice-cold room is part of the Nordic-inspired wellness experience. Too cold? You can go to the hot tub, sauna, steam room or simply lie on a heated lounger.

21. Start with some fine art. MSC’s gigantic Grandiosa ship has opened a custom gallery to showcase 26 paintings by French Impressionist Edgar Degas. MSC, Norwegian, Princess and others also have regular art auctions and Saga Cruises offers art classes.

22. Marry or renew your vows at sea. Wedding planners can help you design your perfect day on P&O cruises. The captain and other staff can conduct the ceremony – and you’re already in the perfect place for a luxurious honeymoon.

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