Cruise Water Parks: The Best of the Best Aquatic Attractions

We give you the lowdown on the best cruise water parks and cruise water slides

What better way to spend a day at sea then at one of the unbelievable cruise water parks that major cruise lines love to feature? Of all the extravagant attractions that large cruise ships have, these are the most on-theme for a voyage to sunny, beach locations. After all, if you’ve already got your swimwear packed for a trip to the Caribbean, then you might as well take advantage of these exhilarating attractions on the way! From death-defying cruise water slides, to interactive multimedia adventures, here are some of the best cruise water parks out there.

The Best of the Cruise Water Parks: Carnival WaterWorks

Best cruise water parks and cruise water slides - Carnival WaterWorks
WaterWorks on Carnival Celebration

Arguably the best of all cruise water parks is Carnival’s signature aquatic playground, WaterWorks. You can find one of these parks on every ship in their fleet, although what they have to offer will differ from ship to ship. Carnival has really outdone the competition in cruise water slides with what they call the Twister Waterslides, spiraling enclosed slides that whip around for hundreds of feet. Some ships even have side-by-side racing slides so you can compete with your friends to see who can zip down the fastest.

But that’s not all they’ve got. For a racing themed slide complete with special lighting effects as you zip through, look for the Speedway Splash. For a slide with a major swirl at the finish, check out the aptly named DrainPipe. To get absolutely soaked, stand under the PowerDrencher, which drops an enormous bucket of water on its victims. All together, the park looks like a giant, vibrantly-colored Rube Goldberg machine. Although you will get a great experience on any Carnival ship, the newest ships, Mardi Gras, Carnival Celebration and Carnival Jubilee, are where you find the best of the best cruise water parks.

For the FlowRider: Royal Caribbean

Best cruise water parks and cruise water slides - Royal Caribbean FlowRider

Royal Caribbean is a great option for families for a number of reasons, primarily because some ships feature splash areas and smaller water slides that are great for even the tiniest of tykes. Additionally, their newest ship debuting in January 2024 will feature the largest ever cruise water park with even more attractions that are sure to please family members of all ages. This new and improved park will feature Hurricane Hunter and Storm Surge, two newer raft water slides that the whole family can ride down together. What’s more, family members can race each other on mats down the Storm Chasers slide. 

It’s not just about great cruise water slides with Royal Caribbean though. One of their signature water park attractions is the FlowRider surf simulator, which is available on almost all of their ships excluding a few of the smaller ones. This is a great way to get a little surfing experience without having to brave massive ocean waves crashing down on you. Although if you want to keep it to a traditional water park experience, the primary water slide for Royal Caribbean is the Perfect Storm, a pair of racing slides that are sure to satisfy.

New and Exciting Cruise Water Slides: Norwegian Cruise Line

Best cruise water parks and cruise water slides - The Wave
The Wave on Norwegian Prima

Norwegian may not be known to be quite as bombastic as some other cruise lines in their theme park attractions, but when it comes to cruise water slides, there is no denying that they are top of the line. Aqua Park, their addition to the proud legacy of cruise water parks, has some of the newest and most exciting slides on the sea. For instance, Free Fall on the Breakaway class ships have the honor of being the fastest drop slides out there, boasting a g-force of 4Gs. Not to be out done, the Epic Plunge on Norwegian Epic drops 200 feet through 4 stories before you swirl into an oversized water bowl. The newest ship in the line, Norwegian Prima, features a slide called The Wave that actually whips out over the edge of the ship above the open ocean. Now how’s that for excitement!

#1 in Cruise Water Parks Entertainment: Disney Cruise Line

Best cruise water parks and cruise water slides - Disney Cruise Line
Aquadunk on Disney Magic

Surely, no one is surprised to see Disney on a list of the best cruise water parks, considering that theme parks are kind of their thing. Every Disney cruise ship has its own offering, but you can expect that their “Imagineers” are always seeking to outdo themselves and create more inventive and exciting cruise water slides. On Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, you will find the AquaDuck, a 765 foot “water coaster” with transparent sections that give you intense views of the ocean below you. The AquaMouse on Disney Wish is ridden on 2-seater vehicles and uses animated scenes and special effects to take you on a magical adventure. Disney Magic features drops you into a 212 foot plummet that twists and turns and whips you over the edge of the ship. Disney is always melding storytelling and inventive engineering into their attractions, and you can expect even more magic with each new ship they release!

Themed Cruise Water Parks: MSC Cruises

Best cruise water parks and cruise water slides - MSC themed water parks
Polar Aquapark on MSC Meraviglia

Finally, we have MSC Cruises, which takes the approach of changing up the theme from ship to ship. On the MSC Seascape and Seashore, you will find Pirate’s Cove Aquapark, which has four water slides and uses VR to create a unique interactive experience. MSC Seaside and Seaview have a forest adventure theme and take cruise water slides to another level with five different slides to check out. Then on the MSC Meraviglia, they shift to a snowy theme at the Polar Aquapark, where they have three slides that deposit into wading pools surrounded by statues of polar animals that spout water on guests. While not every MSC ship has a cruise water park of the same caliber, other ships will still have AquaPlay and AquaSpray areas to keep the young ones happy. Just make sure you check which ship you book if you are looking to play in one of these amazing parks!

To get your chance to visit one of these awesome cruise water parks, visit for the largest selection of cruise line deals — we can help you book the smart way! We give you our exclusive bonus offers and all qualifying cruise line offers, plus all of the cruise line loyalty program benefits. Book online at or call 800-288-6006 today.

Related: Cruise Ship Activities for Thrill-Seekers and Adventurous Types

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