The 10 Best Cruise Ship Water slides

The 10 Best Cruise Ship Water slides
The 10 Best Cruise Ship Waterslides
PHOTO: The AquaDuck water slide aboard the Disney Fantasy. (Photo courtesy of Disney Cruise Line)

AquaDuck ~ Disney Cruise Line

Probably the most elaborate water slide on a cruise ship today is the AquaDuck aboard the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. Not only is it a single or tandem raft slide, it’s also a full-blown water coaster with exciting dips and turns cantilevered out over the side of the ship leading to uphill sections before a leisurely return to the deck below.

AquaDunk ~ Disney Cruise Line

Like the AquaDuck, the similarly named AquaDunk tells the story of Donald being subjected to the water slide experimentation of his mischievous nephews – Huey, Dewey and Louie. Only this time on the Disney Magic, the raft variety has been replaced with a free-fall one where the floor drops out from under riders before a speedy descent.

Aqua Racer ~ Norwegian Cruise Line

Photo credit Dave Jones. Aqua Racer

As raft water slides go, most only accommodate one set of riders at a time. However, the Aqua Racer aboard the Norwegian Escape can accept two as the tube widens out in sections to see if one might pass the other. All the while, a translucent portion overlooks the ocean below while lit coloured patterns activate the rest.

Free Fall ~ Norwegian Cruise Line

Also on the Norwegian Escape, as well as the Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway, are two side-by-side Free Fall water slides, not entirely dissimilar to the AquaDunk on Disney. Except, this time there is so much momentum gained that riders are catapulted uphill for a portion of the loop before finishing off in a dramatic trough splashdown.

Green Thunder ~ Carnival Cruise Line

The last free-fall variety on this list is Carnival’s Green Thunder on the Carnival Legend, Carnival Pride and Carnival Spirit, which is nearly identical to the AquaDunk on Disney, making it a thrilling but quick seven-second or so ride.

Kaleid-O-Slide ~ Carnival Cruise Line

More unique to Carnival is the Kaleid-O-Slide aboard the Carnival Vista. This raft water slide features an enclosed section with translucent colored stripes that are illuminated by the sun and create a chromatic strobing effect as riders approach a final open-air stretch before coming to the finish line.

Slideboarding ~ MSC Cruises

Image result for slideboarding msc poesia

While not yet sailing, the Slideboarding water slide anticipated aboard the MSC Seaside will be a very unique attraction that will combine a board riders sit in with video game-like controllers. As riders traverse the wet path, lighting effects will prompt them to respond with the onboard buttons, and scores will be ranked upon each guests arrival below.

Tidal Wave ~ Royal Caribbean International

As dramatic water slides go, Royal Caribbean International features the Tidal Wave as part of its Perfect Storm trio aboard the Liberty of the Seas. This raft slide starts out in a tube that slingshots riders down a fast descent prior to opening up to a half-pipe-like structure that boomerangs riders up and down the sides before levelling off.

Ultimate Abyss ~ Royal Caribbean International

While not technically a water slide, the Ultimate Abyss aboard the Harmony of the Seas must be included as an impressive addition on a cruise ship. This dry slide has riders sit in burlap bags to avoid rug burn as they spiral swiftly down an astounding 10 decks from the FlowRiders above to the Boardwalk district below.

Vertigo ~ MSC Cruises

One final entry aboard the MSC Preziosa is what the line touts as the longest single-rider body water slide at sea. It measures in at 394 feet long and 42 feet high after all, complete with a translucent 30-foot pass suspended over the side of the ship for even more thrills.

Disney Magic renovation aims for ‘something for everybody’

Disney Magic renovation aims for ‘something for everybody’

By Tom Stieghorst
Disney Magic AquaDunk renderingGALVESTON, Texas — The 15-year-old Disney Magic will get new water features and more exciting slides in a September refurbishment that will be the biggest in the ship’s history.

The tone is set by the AquaDunk, a thrill slide in which riders step into a chamber, a door closes, the bottom falls out, and a plunge of 40 feet ensues before riders loop out over the ocean in an enclosed tube.

Also new will be “Twist N’ Spout,” which Disney executives describe as a family slide.

It will replace the tamer slide that goes into the Mickey Pool, which will be reborn as AquaLab after the renovations.

The general idea is to make the pool and water areas on the Disney Magic less age-specific, said Joe Lanzisero, senior creative vice president at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Lanzisero, the ship’s chief designer, led a preview tour of upgrades for a handful of journalists during a recent turnaround, using iPads to display renderings of the new features.

He said families on Disney ships prefer to stay together rather than be broken up into smaller units (although the Quiet Cove pool remains adults-only).

“We think now, between the family slide, the AquaLab, the thrill slide, that there should be something for everybody out there,” Lanzisero said.

Disney Magic Andys Room renderingCurrently sailing from Galveston, the Disney Magic will spend the summer in the Mediterranean before its six-week drydock in Cadiz, Spain. Afterward, it will head to Miami to replace the Disney Wonder for the rest of 2013.

The pool deck will get the most noticeable makeover, but Disney is making changes throughout the ship to freshen it, change the predominant color scheme and replace some of the more dated concepts.

One area in need of an update, Lanzisero said, is the casual restaurant now called Parrot Cay, which has a quasi-tiki design. Under its new name, Carioca’s, it will get a more contemporary and “timeless” look, he said.

The children’s play areas will be redone, in part to accommodate Disney’s $4 billion acquisition of Marvel Entertainment, whose stable of superheroes, including the Avengers, will be represented for the first time at sea on the Disney Magic, Lanzisero said.

“We definitely wanted to do something with Marvel, especially for boys,” Lanzisero said.

Disney Magic Cabanas renderingAnother big change will be additional space for Topsider, the upper-deck buffet restaurant, which will gain seats by enclosing some walkways and adjacent exterior deck areas. It will be rechristened Cabanas, given an Australian beach theme and have serving stations rather than cafeteria-style lines.

Two areas that won’t change much are Animator’s Palette and the adult restaurant Palo’s, which are both so popular that Disney plans to leave them essentially as they are.

The Magic will keep its art deco design elements but have a lighter, more aquatic color scheme.

The pool changes include building stairs beside the ship’s forward funnel to access the AquaDunk, a follow-on to the bigger AquaDuck water coaster developed for the Disney Dream and Fantasy.

The Disney Magic’s pool changes will also include adding waterplay features from newer Disney ships, such as bucket dumps and, for children under 3, an interactive Nephew’s Splash Zone with pop jets and bubblers similar to Nemo’s Reef on the Disney Dream.