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8 Best Cruise Ships for Sea Days
When Royal Caribbean's gargantuan and game-changing Oasis of the Seas debuted as the then-world's largest ship in 2009, people wondered if anyone would bother to get off the ship in port, as it could take a week to try out all the onboard activities. With 24 dining options, 21 pools and hot tubs, multiple live performance venues (including an ice rink and AquaTheater for high-diving shows) and seven "neighborhoods," the ship practically guarantees that no one will have trouble finding something to do. But you don't need to sail on a 5,400-passenger ship to get the most from your days at sea. Any ship will do if you're content to spend your onboard time passed out on a sun lounger. But if you want the right mix of activity and relaxation options, it's key to pick the right ship with enough onboard attractions and programming to keep you entertained from sun-up to sun-down. Here's our selection of the best ships for days at sea, chosen based on their variety of indoor and outdoor pursuits, plus plenty of daytime dining options. And if you need more inspiration, check out our companion piece: Top 10 Things to Do on Sea Days.

Featured Destinations

From the pristine beaches and ancient ruins of the Eastern Mediterranean to the artsy and flavorful countries of the Western Mediterranean, this region is easily one of the most diverse in the world. Revel at Spanish and Italian architecture, soak up some sun in Greece, explore antiquities in Istanbul and Malta or get a taste of the French countryside on the outskirts of Nice, Monte Carlo or Cannes. Some Med itineraries dip down into northern Africa; the Canary Islands are also a popular stop for repositioning cruises.
Your biggest difficulty planning a European cruise is narrowing down where you want to go. A Western Mediterranean itinerary usually includes stops in Barcelona and Monaco, as well as ports in Italy. Eastern Mediterranean cruises encompass eastern Italy, Croatia and Greece, and sometimes even Turkey and Israel. A Baltic Sea voyage brings you to Scandinavia and Russia; the Norwegian Fjords carry their own beauty. Don't forget about British Isles cruises, which allow you to visit castles in England, Scotland and London. For sun lovers, it's hard to beat the Canary Islands.

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