For some people, their idea of a cruise may very well stem from watching the The Love Boat. As the popular 1970s sitcom showed us on a weekly basis, cruises involve spending lots of time sunbathing by the ship’s pool, enjoying delicious meals in the dining room and maybe, just maybe, finding that special someone while on the high seas.

Now that you’re planning your first cruise, you might understandably think your upcoming adventure will include, some, if not all the activities featured on the TV show — primarily warm sun and tasty foods on a large cruise ship.

Fortunately, cruising has come a long way since the days of Captain Stubing and his crew. And while you can still enjoy great meals and relax in style on cruise ships, the amenities and excursions are now otherworldly and something to behold.

Check out some of the activities cruise passengers can enjoy on and off the ship:

From Zip Lining to Sky Diving and More
If you ever thought you had to be in a forest to enjoy zip lining or jump out of a perfectly decent airplane to go skydiving, think again. Some cruise ships offer on-board zip lining that starts on the higher decks, where you’ll be strapped into a harness and then can zip through the air while your friends and family members snap photos.

For those who want to give skydiving a try while at sea, some cruise lines offer a skydiving simulator that gives you the adrenaline rush and sensation of falling through the air. Water slides have also come a long way on cruise ships. While the passengers on Captain Stubing’s ship slid down a classic small pool slide, you can now find huge water slides that go on for hundreds of feet and include lots of speedy and twisty turns.

Amazing Entertainment
You won’t have to sit through cheesy lounge acts on your cruise; instead, head to a full-scale planetarium for an educational form of entertainment. Some cruise lines include enormous, state-of-the-art planetariums that feature fascinating light shows about our solar system. You might also find a 4-D interactive theater experience onboard, with motion seats that move in concert with the movies and make you feel like you’re part of the action.

Relax and Rejuvenate
To help passengers relax as much as possible during their vacation, many cruise lines have upped the relaxation ante a bit by offering a wide variety of extra-special spa services. For instance, you can book an aroma stone therapy appointment after breakfast, followed by a detoxifying ocean wrap. If you prefer a classic mani/pedi, most cruise lines have salons that offer these services as well. You can also try a yoga, tai chi or Zumba class. As a bonus, these activities might help to burn off some of the calories from those extra-tasty meals you’re enjoying onboard.

Off-the-Boat Excursions
Many cruise lines offer a number of ports of call that allow you to see the local sights along your journey. From European castles and ancient ruins in Mexico to other on-shore adventures, cruising typically includes time on land and at sea. Intrepid cruisers can arrange their own on-shore adventures by working with a local vendor who’s offering a desired excursion like snorkeling or fishing.

Get Ready to Book Your Dream Vacation
Now that you have a great idea of what modern-day cruising offers, it’s time to take the plunge and book your vacation at sea. For instance, if you’ve always wanted to see an awe-inspiring glacier up close and snag a photo of an eagle or moose, checking out one of the many Alaska cruise packages from Princess.com might be just the ticket. Known for their great amenities, Alaskan cruises offered by Princess include shore excursions that include salmon fishing, watching a family of bears from a safe distance and/or seeing a Native craftsman carve a totem pole.

Cruises Have Come a Long Way
The manner in which we enjoy and experience cruises has changed quite a bit over the past few decades. In addition to offering plenty of sun worshipping opportunities and delicious meals, modern cruise ships also now offer jaw-dropping amenities, activities and excursions that will help make your cruise a vacation to remember.

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