It’s fair to say the demand for cruises is greater than ever and this is, in part, fuelled by the excitement around the imminent launch of state-of-the-art ships including Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas (late November) and Anthem of the Seas (spring 2015). With ships getting ever larger and offering ever more possibilities with multiple pools, entertainment areas and dining options, it’s little wonder that these floating hotels are so popular and more and more of us are choosing to cruise. Cruises also allow you to enjoy a multi-destination getaway without the hassle of re-packing and moving luggage from one place to another. What’s not to love?
Portrayed as 'the world's most futuristic and advanced ship', Quantum of the Seas is certainly high-tech and features robot bartenders, electronic wristbands that serve as room keys and the fastest internet speeds at sea. Add bumper cars and roller skating (both cruise ship firsts), a solarium, a rock climbing wall and surf and skydiving simulators into the mix and there’s really no reason to ever leave this floating resort. The ship’s showpiece however is North Star, a glass observation capsule suspended from a giant arm which lift passengers 300ft above sea level. The passenger pod, similar to the capsules on the London Eye, offers 360-degree panoramic views of the ocean. Join us on a voyage and be one of the first passengers on board Quantum of the Seas sailing from the ship's home port at Cape Liberty, New Jersey via Florida and the Bahamas with some all-important time in New York for Christmas shopping.
Unsurprisingly, there’s a dizzying array of swimming pools at sea but our favourites can be found on Princess Cruises where you can enjoy a refreshing dip while watching your favourite flick. Although you’ll find their “Movies Under the Stars” poolside cinemas on most ships, Royal Princess and Regal Princess have the biggest screens.
Watch out for Viking Cruises' upcoming trio of oceangoing vessels debuting in 2015 and 2016. The Viking Star, Viking Sky, and Viking Sea, will feature on-board infinity pools over the ships' stern, allowing passengers to fully immerse themselves in the ocean and port-side scenery.
If a floating palace is more to your liking, then Cunard’s ships should appeal. You’ll no doubt be familiar with some of the fleet already including Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth. Unsurprisingly the ships are synonymous with luxury and impeccable White Star service. Enjoy civilised pursuits at sea on the Queen Elizabeth including ballroom-dancing, croquet, lawn bowls and afternoon tea.
Meanwhile Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas promises a circus school complete with a flying trapeze, virtual balconies for inside cabins and family-connected staterooms.
Fancy learning a new skill or five while you cruise? Celebrity cruises offer themed sailings and hugely popular is the Immersive Wine Cruise – a journey of wine tasting and flavour matching, leaving you a fully-fledged wine connoisseur. Or how about releasing your inner Picasso in an art class, learning to do the tango or mastering the art of cocktail making? Just make sure you leave time to enjoy a shore excursion - with guided hikes and exciting days out there’s plenty to see and do. As always, we’re on deck to inspire your next nautical adventure.