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

Jean-Philippe Delhomme Sea of Change
| Credit: Sea of Change

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.