Cruising has considerably risen in popularity over the past few years, possibly because the cruise lines manage to push the envelope in terms of innovation and new ideas. Here are just a few of the biggest trends that the cruise industry has in store for 2014 and beyond.
Cruise ships travel to nearly every continent of the world, but many passengers are requesting the big lines to offer more itineraries away from Europe and the Caribbean. The cruise industry has listened and cruises on the continent of Asia are a top attraction for 2014.
There are over 200 sailings in Asia aboard Crystal, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean ships amongst others this year. The trend will continue and this will see a sizeable increase in cruise tourism in Asia. Shanghai will be the major catalyst of the program.
The official Chinese Cruise Tourism Development Pilot is noting that prospects for cruising in China will rise sharply through advancements being made. Presently under construction are two new development zones through the efforts of the Shanghai International Cruise Industry Development Comprehensive Reform Pilot Area to handle the increase.
There is going to be a series of new entertainment styles to be found on cruise ships. A more fun approach is being taken with a particular emphasis on spectacle.
Everything from show stopping Broadway and West End musicals on Royal Caribbean to the hit reality show ‘Dancing with the Stars’ at Sea on Holland America await passengers.
Carnival has just introduced series of concerts called ‘Carnival Live’ with a line-up of different celebrities performing. There will also be some star gazing taking place on other parts of a ship. A shining example of this is the North Star observatory which can be found on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas.
River Cruises are once again in vogue. The river cruise market has expanded, and is looking to take on more exotic and interesting destinations. One of the major lines is AMA Waterways, who have decided to include locations in Africa and Asia on some of their 2014 cruises.
A great example is their Dicover Africa tour which departs from Cape Town and takes in the legendry Victoria Falls.
Other river cruise lines are beginning to renovate their ships and preparing for their passengers to experience more diverse destinations. This is one experience everyone should try.
Onboard safety procedures are the number one priority and will continue to be consistent throughout the cruise industry. Regulatory changes are in effect and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) “certify that all ships meet all applicable regulatory requirements and standards are met”.
IMO ensures that all ships will comply with relevant laws, regulations and international treaties. A more cohesive standard throughout the cruise industry for all crew and passenger’s safety is anticipated in 2014.
One of the biggest sellers in terms of staterooms for 2014 will be ‘spa cabins’. They are referred to as spa cabins for the simple reason that they are strategically located right next to the spa and just steps away for a rest, relaxation and pampering. Due to this placement, they are often more expensive.
Image courtesy of MSC Cruises
However, they also offer priority appointments and a reduced rate for most spa treatments, so it’s well worth the money. In addition, luxurious robes are provided for maximum enjoyment of the treatment as well as various higher quality lotions and toiletries.
Many passengers just can’t leave home without their Smartphone or tablets. System wide, staying connected is easier than ever as cruise lines have developed Wi-Fi hot spots onboard their ships.
Royal Caribbean’s Splendour of the Seas even supplies every cabin with an iPad for use for the entire duration of a cruise holiday. Silversea Cruises has recently increased their onboard media options to their complimentary digital service.
Passengers of the line can now use their personal Smartphones or tablets and access newspapers and magazines from hundreds of sources.
Each year brings new innovations, amenities and fresh possibilities which makes a cruise holiday nothing short of a positive and memorable experience.
Written by Veronica Shine