2018 cruise update: What’s new? What’s exciting? Which ship is for you? If your idea of a cruise is simply lounging on a deck chair and eating endless buffets, time to get up to speed.
Just a few facts, ma’am…
There’s no doubt that cruising continues to be one of the most popular ways to vacation. Worldwide, over 25 million people set sail each year, and that number is expected to grow. A few facts for your consideration from the Cruise Lines International Association:
- 80% of cruisers think a cruise is the ideal way to sample a destination
- 92% probably or definitely book another cruise for their next trip
- Cruisers who travel with family or friends have more fun than solos
- Millennials and Gen-Xers prefer cruises more than any other type of travel
- The average cruiser has taken more than five cruises
- Americans prefer to cruise either in the Caribbean and east coast of Mexico or in Alaska
While there is a definite appeal in unpacking once, fans also like the relaxing atmosphere of a cruise, the feeling of being pampered; the range of ship activities; and the dining and entertainment options.
2018 Cruise Update: New ships, bigger ships, family ships
- The ship itself is the vacation. No need to get off for excursions as a way to escape boredom–there’s plenty to do onboard all day, every day.
- Ships are being built for specific destinations. The Norwegian Bliss (launching Summer 2018) is designed for cruising in Alaska, with two observation decks. Over 4,000 passengers can drive on the sea’s largest racetrack, play laser tag, and watch “Jersey Boys.” It’s also geared for multi-generational travel, one of the hottest travel trends.
- Technology is the star on the Celebrity Edge, which goes into service December 2018. The upscale ship will feature facial recognition. Passengers can use a phone app to unlock the cabin door and adjust temperature or lighting. The Edge is being promoted as “the single more innovative and revolutionary ship to enter the ocean.”
- Other cruise lines with new ships in 2018: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas (March) will be the world’s largest cruise ship, with 6,860 passengers and 2,200 crew members. MSC with launch the Seaview in June, with itineraries in the Mediterranean and South America.
- While the cruise industry is finally realizing that solo travel is a growing trend, it’s slow to make single passengers want to hop on board. Newer ships have cabins for one, but they’re not in ideal locations…and there is still a single supplement. Grrrrrrrr……. Read my rant about how solo travelers are punished.
Next time, we’ll look at how to get the most from your investment. Cruises can be economical, but there are hidden costs. I’ll explain ways to stay within your budget.
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