When new cruise ships are launched, much of the talk about them naturally goes to new, unique features that no other ship has. Cruise travelers want to know what makes one ship a better choice over another and those new features can often make the difference. But new ships are not the exclusive domain of the latest, greatest in maritime advances. Throughout 2013 and beyond, about as many new features will come out on new ships this year as are being added to older ships. Here are some more notable additions.
Surf Like You Never Left Home
Once thought to reside only in the realm of land-based vacation options, high-speed Internet access is coming to sea, but not on a brand new ship. Royal Caribbean International is investing in the future via high-speed internet access on one of the world's largest ships, Oasis of the Seas.
Coming up this summer, passengers aboard the Royal Caribbean ship will be able to enjoy high-speed satellite broadband service powered by global satellite Internet service provider O3b technology that promises connectivity similar to a home or office connection.
Same Ship, Different Features
As cruise lines pass through dry-dock remodeling, a period of time when they are taken out of service to perform maintenance that just can't be done when full of paying passengers, upgrades are added. We saw that first-hand not long ago on Royal Caribbean's Grandeur of the Seas.
Refreshing staterooms with new carpet, furnishings, flat-screen TV's and more gave the ship a like-new feel. Adding a variety of new dining venues made popular on other ship, as well as new technology in the form of touchscreen wayfinders, digital signs, and ship-wide Wi-Fi brought the ship up to speed with much younger ships.
Old Becomes New
This is Carnival Cruise Lines taking older, tried and true Carnival Destiny and changing it so much that a new name, Carnival Sunshine, is appropriate and warranted. The $155 million remodel will add all the elements of Carnival's Funship 2.0 initiative, a $500 million fleet wide update that promises to let the Carnival FunShips continue to earn the title of the "most popular cruise line in the world" well into the future. We will be on board one of Carnival Sunshine's first voyages, a Mediterranean sailing coming up at the end of April, with live reports so stay tuned.
See a virtual tour of the ship, released just this week to get a real feel for the ship or join in the discussion about Carnival Sunshine started with our post, Carnival Sunshine Destined For Success for a side by side view of the ship before and after a heavy coat of the Funship 2.0 paint.
Royal Changes For All
When Princess Cruises debuts new Royal Princess (pictured above), a new-generation ship currently under construction, among the special features will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; a dramatic over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on the water; the new Princess Live! television studio; a pastry shop; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.
We will be traveling to Venice in March for a yard visit to see Royal Princess under construction. Look for live updates via our Royal Princess Pinterest board during the event and a full report on our return.
Want more on Royal Princess? Check Princess Cruises rich video library that offers exclusive sneak peeks.