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Expect The Unexpected On Your Next Cruise

Cruising today is quite a different experience to what it was in the early days. From fine dining and cinema to skydiving simulators, the traveller can always expect the unexpected.

In the old days of cruising, being able to find a fully equipped gym and an on-board cafe was considered the height of luxury but now these features are pretty standard.

What is taking customers’ breath away is the range of new features that make cruise ships stand out above the rest – offering a taste of excitement and surprise to holidays at sea.

For example the Royal Caribbean’s North Star, Quantum of the Seas, has a glass-encased gondola which holds up to 13 passengers at any one time, offering 360-degree views over the ocean from a 300m vantage point. The launch of this attraction has been so successful the company are considering including the feature on all newer ships in the same class.

Film screens are popular on board but newer cruise ships are offering outdoor movies so the passengers can make the most of the good weather. One of the most spectacular is the ‘Movies under the Stars’ screen on many of the Princess Cruises vessels. With screens measuring 300 square feet they offer the largest outdoor versions in the world, showing up to seven recent Hollywood blockbusters each day, along with sport events and concerts. Technology ensures the films can be seen even in broad daylight.

Balcony cabins have traditionally been an expensive option, but ships are now offering ‘virtual balcony’ cabins where you can see real-time virtual images of the outside both at sea and in port. You can turn the images on and off as you please – unlike the real versions where the view is permanent!

Fine dining is a key element of a cruise, but the bar is constantly being raised and now Marco Pierre White has become the name across a number of P&O vessels – with The White Room aboard Ventura considered by many to be one of the finest speciality dining venues at sea. The menu is varied but has a definitive European theme, with French-inspired chicken coq au vin, Italian risotto, and, of course, the obligatory snail side dish.

Cruising is evolving to a point where it is almost unrecognisable from the days of the 1920s and 30s when simply a good meal at sea was considered to be an amazing feat. As more and more ships are being designed and constructed, we’re starting to see features, activities, and attractions that were once mere pipe dreams now becoming spectacular realities.

Bumper cars, skydiving simulators and the world’s most talented performance artists are just some of the additional features we can expect to see on ships in the near future.

So whatever your views of cruising, even as a regular sea traveller, they will change regularly as the imagination of the travel companies expands ever further.

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