Last updated: 01:00 AM ET, Thu October 29 2015

Opinion Home | Captain’s Blog: Cruise Tips and Advice

  • Amber Nolan | October 29, 2015 1:00 AM ET

    11 Cool Cruise Ship Pools

    11 Cool Cruise Ship Pools

    PHOTO: Viking Star's pool. (photo by James Shillinglaw)

    One popular place for cruise passengers to gather — particularly during days at sea — is the pool deck. Every ship’s pool area has a unique design, and though they have become commonplace on oceangoing ships, river vessels are starting to offer smaller versions as well. Here are 11 “cool pools” to take a dip in.

    Emerald Waterways’ Pool/Cinema

    Emerald Waterways, a new river cruise company, uses an innovative approach to utilize space. Each ship has a heated swimming pool complete with a retractable roof and poolside bar. In the evenings, the room transforms into a cinema for both classic and new-release film showings.

    Viking Star’s Cantilevered Pool

    One of the “wow” factors of Viking’s first oceangoing vessel, the Viking Star, is its gorgeous infinity pool. The cruise line takes a popular hotel trend to a new level by creating a glass-backed pool that “drips” over the stern of the ship. Guests can feel like they are swimming in the ocean below.

    Indoor Soak Pool on the SS Catherine

    Uniworld’s stunning SS Catherine is one of the latest river cruise vessels to debut from the boutique company, and its Bar Du Leopard, a multifunctional space that features a glass-enclosed indoor soak pool, is a highlight. The lounge has a rainforest theme with green mood lighting in the pool that creates a speakeasy-meets-jungle ambiance.

    Princess Cruises Royal Princess

    The retreat pool on Royal Princess is downright pretty in the evenings with illuminated fountains and poolside movies on the jumbo television. There are plenty of lounge chairs to curl up in to grab some rays during the day, as well as whirlpool tubs in which to unwind.

    Sprawling Indoor Pool on the Century Legend

    Passengers cruising on the Yangtze River aboard the Century Legend are in for a treat: it features a beautiful, keyhole-shaped indoor pool on the lower level. Soothing lighting and comfortable lounge chairs add a spa-like element to the 2,000-square-foot pool.

    MSC Cruises’ Infinity Pool

    The MSC Divina is dedicated for the North American market and sails year round from Miami. The ship is fitted with five pools, one of which is its garden infinity pool with sweeping views of the ship’s wake. The pool gives a sense of endless ocean, and with Caribbean itineraries, there are some spectacular views to be had.

    Sun Deck Pool on Sun Boat III

    Cruise the Nile in style on Sanctuary Retreats’ Sun Boat III and unwind in a spacious cabana on the sun deck. The truly unique pool features a curved, stone design that brings the outdoors onboard. Plants and relaxation chairs surround the pool, which feels like a secret desert oasis.

    Aqua Mekong’s Forward-Facing Pool

    Aqua Expeditions’ newest ship, the Aqua Mekong, is fitted with a dazzling plunge pool with private cabanas. The outdoor pool is located on the top deck facing the bow of the vessel, and is enclosed by shade structures.

    Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas

    For a tranquil, adults-only retreat, the Solarium on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas has a pool, whirlpools, lounge chairs, and its own bar and café. Fountains and a safari theme add to the whimsical atmosphere.

    Europa 2’s Swanky Pool Area

    Hapag Lloyd’s newest jewel, the luxurious Europa 2, showcases an airy and stylish pool area with a retractable glass roof. There are plenty of different lounge options, the pool itself is long enough for some laps and in the evening the entire space transforms into a lively entertainment area.

    Ama Waterways Swim Up Bar

    Several of Ama Waterways’ ships are fitted with the ultimate pool convenience: a swim-up bar. The river cruise provider offers this amenity to complement the heated pool on the AmaReina, AmaSerena, AmaSonata, AmaViola and AmaStella.


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Amber Nolan Captain’s Blog: Cruise Tips and Advice

Amber Nolan Amber Nolan loves to be on the water, and although she enjoys the fun and excitement of larger cruise ships, she prefers setting sail on smaller vessels to unique destinations. Originally from western New York, this restless traveler has a knack for finding creative ways to travel and befriending interesting characters along the way. On her most recent adventure, she hitchhiked on private aircraft across the United States. She previously served as the cruise editor at Sherman’s Travel but her work can also be found on and USA Today Travel. She current resides in South Florida.
Finding Your Transportation at the Cancun Airport

Vacation Packages