Cruise lines are responding to the growing diversity of passengers – from millennials to the more intrepid – by providing more options. Many have come about because of special requests.
Here are some of the new options you’ll find:
Larger cruise ships
We’re seeing an emergence of more lines building bigger cruise ships. While Royal Caribbean still leads the charge with the largest ships (their Oasis-class vessels accommodate over 6,000 guests), other lines like MSC Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line are also announcing larger ships.
Or smaller, more boutique ships
Intrepid travellers are also now looking to cruise and lines like Ponant, Crystal Cruises as well as Aurora Expeditions and Scenic are creating small ships that will visit some far off destinations. From polar regions, to smaller estuaries in tropical regions, cruising is not like what it used to be.
More inclusive options
With so many more cruises for you to pick from, lines are now amping up their all-inclusive offerings when you book a cruise. Lines like Celebrity Cruises and Norwegian Cruise Lines occasionally throw things like drink packages and spa treatments to sweeten the deal.
People want to stay connected, even when they’re on holidays and cruise lines are offering their guests better services. Royal Caribbean launched its VOOM internet onboard Quantum of the Seas which paved the way for other lines to also improve their services. Lines like Carnival Cruise Line as well as MSC Cruises offer social internet packages as well so people can post on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.
More power outlets
While this might sound silly, cruise cabins were built with fewer power outlets but now with passengers bringing on items like iPads, iPhones, tablets and much more, power outlets have become vital. Some regular cruisers have advised others to bring onboard power boards but the cruise lines are listening to their guests and installing more sockets.
Longer port stops
Passengers are becoming more immersive and want to experience a country’s culture. Previously, luxury lines like Crystal Cruises as well as premium brand Azamara Club Cruises are known for their overnight stays and longer port calls but more cruise lines are catching onto this style of cruising. Princess Cruises in the US have indicated they will be spending more time in ports in the Caribbean.
Looser dress codes
It’s lovely to get all dolled up for dinner, but passengers have been saying that they want more relaxed evenings. Norwegian Cruise Line and Dream Cruises promote more ‘freestyle options’ including more relaxed dress codes for dining. While it’s nice to don your ball gown on a Cunard, passengers want more informal nights.
More specialty dining
Rather than just offering the main dining rooms, cruise lines are offering smaller restaurants focusing on specialty cuisines – both included in the price, or a little bit extra. For example, you’ll be able to sample a Luke Mangan burger onboard Pacific Explorer for just an extra $5. Or you can feast at over 15 dining venues on Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas. Or try Curtis Stone’s SHARE on Princess Cruises.
Bigger, better and bolder activities
A two-storey race car track, surf simulators, underwater theatres and even an underwater observatory lounge, cruise ships are offering their guests amazing activities. Lines like Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Line are offering some never before seen facilities at sea.