This Cruise Ship's Family-Friendly Thrills Takes Cruising To A Whole New Level

For people who love to cruise, it's basically a lifestyle. Some people even make the cruise ship their home. One couple retired to live pretty much full-time on one cruise ship or another, according to KATV. There are potential downsides to a cruise, but so long as you weigh the pros and cons, and there's more pros for you and your travel wishes, go for it!

Some of what keeps people coming back to cruises include the opportunity to meet people from around the world as you travel, per Cruise Critic. Cruises also give you the opportunity to visit different places without having to sort out transportation or unpack and repack your suitcase. And the food ... who can forget about the food? There's likely to be round-the-clock dining, and, as The Points Guy explains, you'll have plenty of tasty options that you've already paid for with your cruise fare. And for a touch of whimsy, many cruise lines will have your towels folded into a different animal shape. How often do you get that on vacation? 

While you may choose your cruise based on where it goes, it could be anywhere from Alaska to the Caribbean to the Galapagos, you should think about what there is to do on the ship itself beyond food. And if you want a cruise that has plenty of thrill-seeking options for kids and kids at heart, look no further than the Norwegian Encore.

The CEO's grandkids inspired the go-kart track

Built in 2019, the Norwegian Encore has room for nearly 4,000 passengers. And to keep those passengers entertained, it has some impressive options, starting with a go-kart track. Go-kart fans should thank the Norwegian Cruise Line CEO's grandkids because they were the ones who inspired the idea of adding a go-kart track to the cruise ships, per Norwegian Cruise Line's Travel Blog. The track on the Encore is multi-level and over 1100 feet long, with part of it extending out over the water, with karts that can go up to 30 mph. The fun isn't just for the drivers. If you're watching the race, you can use a laser-tag-style gun to give a surge of speed to the kart of your choice.

Speaking of lasers, the Norwegian Encore has nearly 10,000 feet dedicated to playing laser tag. More than 30 artists worked for months to put together the elaborate Atlantis-themed arena, per the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). And for those who prefer their adventure more virtual, there's the Galaxy Pavilion dedicated to state-of-the-art virtual reality and simulators. How else can you dodge dinosaurs while at sea? Only on the Jurassic Park jeep simulator on the Norwegian Encore, per Cruise Critic.

The gravity-defying Ocean Loops slide takes you out over the ocean

Pools and water slides are a mainstay of many cruise ships, and on the Norwegian Encore, you can get your heart racing on the Ocean Loops slide. You drop into the slide as a trapdoor opens beneath your feet. At two points, you go out over the side of the ship and enjoy the quick glimpse of the water below you through clear sections of the slide, according to The Points Guy. You'll also be defying gravity as the two loops for which the slide is named take you up before another drop. But not to worry, if you happen not to make it up and over the loops, there's a hatch where you can get out, via YouTube. For a less intense but still fun option, the Aqua Racer waterslide takes you down several stories, also including a portion out over the edge. You've got the option to ride it on an inner tube solo or tandem. Freestyle Travelers.

If all the thrills of go-karting and water sliding become too much, stop by the award-winning onboard spa, per Norwegian Cruise Line. It's got a wide range of treatment options as well as a hydrotherapy pool, sauna, and even a snow room, per USA Today.