Jean-Philippe Delhomme Sea of Change
Sea of Change

Cruise lines are always trying to outdo one another with innovative new services. Here’s what’s on our radar in Europe.

Private Access

Stay in a Queens or Princess Grill suite on Cunard Line’s new Queen Victoria and you’ll have access to Decks 11 and 12, with exclusive terraces, lounge areas, and two private dining rooms. A private key-card–operated elevator will whisk you right there. 800/728-6273;; Grill suites from $6,575 on the 14-day Mediterranean Delights cruise.

Over-the-Top Villas

The two 5,000-square-foot Garden Villas aboard the Norwegian Gem, Norwegian Cruise Line’s latest endeavor, are like floating penthouses, each with a whirlpool, a butler, and a special room-service menu. 800/327-7030;; Garden Villas from $26,000 for the seven-day Western Mediterranean cruise.

Special Sundecks

On Princess Cruises’s Crown Princess and Emerald Princess, it costs only $10 to enter one of the outdoor lounges they call “sanctuaries.” Once there, “serenity stewards” pass out chilled towels and MP3 players with 10 themed playlists (from classical to reggae). 800/774-6237;; 10-day itineraries through Scandinavia and Russia from $1,790.

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