We just returned from Cruise Lines International Association's 2014 State of the Industry Report, a mini-conference-of-sorts held in Manhattan's Alexandria Center. Our takeaway: 2014 will be a particularly great year to cruise—for many reasons. Here, a peek at some of the news that really excited us:
Glamorous new ships, including Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas (replete with its own 23-foot sky diving center); Windstar’s 212-guest Star Pride; new sister ships from AMA Waterways, the AmaSonata and AmaReina, cruising the Rhine and Danube rivers; and the Costa Diadema (don’t miss the Bar Bollicine prosecco bar), to name a few.
Port Canaveral, Florida—home to America’s coolest cruise terminal? Soon, it just may be. In 2014, the city is pumping some $85 million into the ultimate cruise complex—complete with a new 1,400-foot-long berth (their eighth). Among its other amenities: three public beaches (including four-acre Rodney S. Ketcham Park, a stop on the Great Florida Birding Trail), a seven-story observation deck, an outdoor crafts market, and waterfront Tiki bars. Now that’s worth cruising to.
Kathryn O'Shea-Evans is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter @ThePluckyOne.
We started out our chat by asking our panel of cruise experts what voyages they were most excited for.
The Cruise Guy's Stewart Chiron, is “most excited to cruise on @RoyalCaribbean['s] brand new #QuantumoftheSeas. Definite #gamechanger.” Cruise Critic is ready for new voyages from “@WindstarCruises [with] Asia and Arabia itineraries.” Rich Beattie wishes he could go back on a past excursion he took, sailing the Amazon with Abercrombie & Kent.
With more than 70 percent of the world covered in water, it’s no surprise the cruise industry is the world's fastest-growing travel sector. But with so many waterways to explore, it's often difficult deciding which cruise—and cruise ship—is the right fit.
From first-timers to seasoned wayfarers, cruisers can now compare ships side by side. Powered by Find The Best, the T+L Cruise Finder makes it easy to search by ports of call, ship size, price point—you name it—and compare features. It's the first platform of its kind.
I’m not an experienced cruiser, but when I heard there was a ship that has Iron Man’s armor, Thor’s hammer, and Captain America’s shield, I knew my kids would be the perfect passengers.
With twin 4-year-old boys in the house, superhero talk starts at 6:30 a.m. and ends at bedtime. Disney’s relaunched Disney Magic has a new Marvels Avengers Academy program to give the short-cape set a sneak peek into the Avengers’ world.
Love cruising? Are you a ship aficionado or novice? We’re discussing the best new destinations, themes, amenities, and insider travel tips for cruise travel this Wednesday, October 30th from 2-3pm EDT.
Our panel of experts will share the best cabins that they’ve ever stayed in, the new lines and voyages that they’re most excited for, and cruise planning tips. Ask them for their insider advice!
After nearly 20 months since Costa Concordia's shipwreck off the coast of Italy, the vessel is finally upright. The above video shows the ship over the course of a 19-hour operation to pull it up from its capsized state.
Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.
Disney became the third cruise line this week to announce new smoking bans on private balconies, following similar moves from Cunard and P&O.
As Travel Weekly's Hollie-Rae Merrick reports, the policy changes are responding to guest feedback and safety concerns. Smokers will still be able to light up in designated areas on open decks according to the cruise lines.
This is the latest in a string of recent smoking bans, such as beach bans in Jamaica and Oahu. All are attempting to make commonly-trafficked tourist areas more appealing to—and healthier for—all visitors.
Peter Schlesinger is a Research Assistant at Travel + Leisure, and a member of the Trip Doctor news team. You can follow him on Twitter at @pschles08.
This week Silversea Cruises announced that for the first time in its 20-year history, one of their ships will have a female captain. Swiss-citizen Margrith Ettlin will be taking the helm of 132-guest Silver Explorer expedition ship.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the beauty of our planet, and its countless different cultures,” Ettlin says. “I thought that spending a life at sea would be the perfect way to explore the world.” Her first stops as captain? The worlds tough-to-navigate, ice floe-filled polar regions.