Reviews are great way to paint a picture of the past and present of the cruise world, but they can also help us look into the future. We listened to our members for some insight into what 2017 has in store for cruising:
1. Travelers Flocking to Mega-Ships
MSC Seaside will sail the Caribbean year-round. - Photo by MSC Cruises
Many predicted that mega-ships would come and go, but the success of ships like Harmony of the Seas, Carnival Vista, and Norwegian Escape says otherwise. 2017 will see the launch of Norwegian Bliss and Norwegian Joy, along with the entry of a new player into the mega-ship game as MSC launches Meraviglia and Seaside. While some reviewers are turned away by their size, most cruisers appear to love the sheer variety of activities, dining options, and entertainment these floating resorts offer:
"Once onboard, the ship absorbs all passengers easily (up to nearly 5500 for double occupancy), and one never feels crowded at any time or any place on board. There's so much to do... We rode every slide, including the Abyss on the back during rough seas, and swam in every pool... You've heard the phrase, a kid in a candy store? That's this cruise for adults."JimandKelly, Harmony of the Seas
2. More Branded Experiences On Board
Guy's Burgers has been a smash hit ever since it launched in 2011. - Photo by Carnival
Some may dismiss celebrity-branded efforts on cruise ships as mere publicity stunts, but the vast majority of reviews we’ve seen about the flood of new high-profile restaurants have been glowing with praise. People like a little bit of familiarity at sea, and we expect to see even more recognizable names added already to an already impressive lineup of experiences from celebrities like Guy Fieri, Jose Garces, and Jamie Oliver.
“The addition of Guys Burgers was a great idea, as witnessed by the long lines from [all] directions. Those chefs certainly knew how to pump out the burgers and fries.”jhhyde, Carnival Conquest
3. A Surge in Interactive Fun and Games
Escape the Rubicon is a puzzle room aboard Harmony of the Seas. - Photo by Royal Caribbean
With modern cruise ships regularly featuring Broadway-caliber shows, there’s not much room left for innovation in traditional entertainment. Instead, we predict that cruise lines will double down on interactive experiences (particularly those of the electronic variety) that let cruisers join in on the fun. Norwegian and Celebrity already have collaborations with Wii and Xbox (respectively), but expect lines to augment the traditional gaming experiences with unique additions like Puzzle Break: Escape the Rubicon on Harmony of the Seas, and MSC’s upcoming expansion to their Formula One Racer on Meraviglia along with their new “Slide Boarding” experience on Seaside which turns a typical water slide into an interactive game. 3D game deck anyone?
"Other recommended activities were the water slide and the Formula One race car simulator. Both were fast and exciting. The race car simulator is an added cost, but even if you don't pay to drive it, it's great fun simply to watch."govaluetravel, MSC Divina