Quick links: Breaking Election Invest Bitcoin Syria North Korea Startups Scandal
USA Today / Life - Entertain

March route roundup: Where cruise lines are adding sailings

Norwegian Cruise Line, Holland America and Carnival are among the cruise lines that have announced new deployments in recent weeks.


For sheer size and features, it’s tough to beat Royal Caribbean’s new Harmony of the Seas – the largest cruise ship in the world.  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

A veritable floating palace, Harmony of the Seas and its Oasis-class sisters are among the best ships Royal Caribbean has ever built.  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

The scale of Harmony of the Seas and its sisters is reason enough to sail aboard these beauties.  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

Harmony of the Seas sports the same inward-facing “cavern” as its sisters, giving guests more options than ever for accommodations.  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

The ship became the first Oasis-class vessel to have Royal Caribbean’s revolutionary Bionic Bar onboard, following its introduction aboard Quantum of the Seas back in 2014.  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

Harmony also boasts the popular AquaTheater.  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

First introduced in 2009 aboard Oasis of the Seas, the AquaTheater is one of the most unique outdoor entertainment venues afloat.  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

Of course, other changes were in store for Harmony of the Seas, like bigger suites ...  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

... an expanded waterpark ...  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

... and Royal Caribbean’s first true water slides.  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

The line also brought expanded dining options, like the imaginative Wonderland Restaurant ...  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

... and an expanded Solarium to the Oasis Class for the first time.  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas are the largest and most elaborate big ships at sea.  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

Another big ship was equally trendsetting when it set sail, and it still holds its own to this day: Princess Cruises’ Grand Princess.  Princess Cruises

Fullscreen

The ship’s most iconic feature, Skywalkers Lounge, was positioned at the stern, high above the sea.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

Accessed by a windowed bridge with a moving walkway, Skywalkers offered a vantage point never before seen by cruisers aboard a ship.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

Running the full width of the ship, Skywalkers was removed from Grand Princess a few years back, but still exists in this form aboard sister-ships Star Princess, Golden Princess and Caribbean Princess.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

Princess Cruises’ Grand Class ships were so big that even the officers on the Navigation Bridge, shown here, had to use telephones to call from one bridge wing to another, which are situated 158 feet apart.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

Grand Princess and its sisters offer up some pretty impressive attractions, from outdoor swimming pools and deck spaces ...  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

... to an enclosed solarium-style swimming pool and a forward-facing space known as The Sanctuary.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

These ships were also among the first to put special emphasis on alternative dining venues, like Sabbatini’s ...  Princess Cruises

Fullscreen

... and British pub heritage in the Wheelhouse Bar.  Princess Cruises

Fullscreen

Grand Princess still sails some of Princess Cruises' most popular routes ...  Princess Cruises

Fullscreen

... and today it's joined by its newer contemporaries, Royal Princess and Regal Princess.  Princess Cruises

Fullscreen

Like Skywalkers aboard Grand Princess, the big-ticket item aboard Royal Princess and Regal Princess was the Skywalk.  Princess Cruises

Fullscreen

This cantilevered glass walkway swings out over the ocean, providing cruisers with a unique view of the sea (and their ship) below.  Princess Cruises

Fullscreen

Both Regal Princess and Royal Princess are classy, welcoming ships with plenty of public rooms.  Princess Cruises

Fullscreen

These big ships are particularly noteworthy for the small spaces that give them the intimate feeling that was present on the ships of the past, but without sacrificing any amenities or features.  Princess Cruises

Fullscreen

The Fountain Pool is a new take on the traditional Princess Cruises pool deck arrangement, and is one of our favorite features aboard these two ships.  Princess Cruises

Fullscreen

Princess also substantially jazzed up the ship’s main show lounge with new lighting and effects.  Princess Cruises

Fullscreen

The heart of these ships is the fabulous Piazza Atrium. First debuted aboard Crown Princess in 2006, this space was vastly expanded for these two ships.  Princess Cruises

Fullscreen

The Sanctuary aboard these ships also increased in size, providing more space for quiet relaxation.  Princess Cruises

Fullscreen

Spa lovers, rejoice! These two ships offer some of the best spa amenities in the fleet, like Princess Cruises’ first dedicated hydrotherapy pools.  Princess Cruises

Fullscreen

But for sheer size, scale and grandeur, it impossible to beat the allure of Cunard’s grand Queen Mary 2.  Cunard Line

Fullscreen

The only modern ocean liner ever built, Queen Mary 2 – or QM2 as it is affectionately known – exists primarily to cross the Atlantic between New York and Southampton, England.  Cunard Line

Fullscreen

Everything about this ship is superlative, from the Queen’s Lounge (the largest ballroom at sea) ...  Cunard Line

Fullscreen

... to the first and only planetarium at sea.  Cunard Line

Fullscreen

Queen Mary 2’s interior is also unique, with a large central corridor that runs along the centerline of the ship ...  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

... and terminates with a mosaic portrait of Samuel Cunard, founder of Cunard Line.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

Everything about Queen Mary 2 is designed to recall the grace and elegance of the trans-Atlantic liners, from the three-level Britannia Dining Room ...  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

... to the forward-facing Commodore Club Lounge, which gives guests the same view they’d find on the ship’s navigation bridge and is great for storm watchers.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

Like the ocean liners before it, Queen Mary 2 has no shortage of open-deck space.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

It also has a massive promenade deck that completely encircles the ship ...  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

... and provides for great vantage points for admiring the ocean crossing.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

If the weather drives you inside, you can browse QM2’s onboard library, which is the largest at sea.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

Or, you could enjoy some champagne at the Veuve Cliquot Champagne Bar ...  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

... or enjoy a cup of coffee and some light bites at Sir Samuel’s.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

Boredom is never an option aboard this graceful ship.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

Another stunning big ship is Royal Caribbean’s 2014 Quantum of the Seas and its sisters, Anthem of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas.  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

Quantum of the Seas gave the cruising world things it had never before dreamed could be aboard a ship ...  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

... like the North Star: an observation capsule mounted to a hydraulic arm that lifts guests into the air high above their ship.  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

Where else but a Royal Caribbean ship can you go surfing (on the Flowrider simulator) ...  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

... and then immediately try your hand at skydiving in the RipCord by iFly skydiving simulator?  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

You can also test your road skills ...  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

... on the first bumper cars at sea ...  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

... or enjoy the (digital) view from Royal Caribbean’s innovative “Virtual Balcony” staterooms: an inside stateroom with a digital LED screen that mimics the view from an actual balcony.  Royal Caribbean

Fullscreen

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Breakaway and its sisters are similarly feature-laden.  Norwegian Cruise Line

Fullscreen

Norwegian Breakaway was one of the first ships to revitalize the traditional promenade deck concept, outfitting it with outdoor bars and lounges ...  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

... not to mention great viewpoints!  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

Norwegian Breakaway is a classy ship throughout, with plenty of bright colors and elegant touches.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

Food is a big deal on this ship, which boasts more than 25 unique dining experiences.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

The ship also sports a thrilling ropes course ...  Norwegian Cruise Line

Fullscreen

... an authentic Ice Bar ...  Norwegian Cruise Line

Fullscreen

... and plenty of diverse public rooms.  Norwegian Cruise Line

Fullscreen

Of course, that’s if you can pull yourself away from the accommodations, like this luxurious Haven Suite.  Meyer Werft

Fullscreen

The striking Manhattan Dining Room sports an oversized dance floor, proof that some things never go out of style.  Meyer Werft

Fullscreen

Carnival Cruise Line is still as trendsetting as ever, and the brand new Carnival Vista is winning over guests.  Carnival Cruise Line

Fullscreen

Launched last year, Carnival Vista introduced some very cool features, like Cuban-themed staterooms and public areas ...  Carnival Cruise Line

Fullscreen

... the first-ever IMAX theater at sea ...  Carnival Cruise Line

Fullscreen

... a new take on the traditional ropes course, known as SkyRide ...  Carnival Cruise Line

Fullscreen

... and a totally revamped water park on the ship’s upper deck.  Carnival Cruise Line

Fullscreen

But it’s not just the mainstream lines that are changing the big-ship landscape. One of the most popular ships to launch in recent years is Holland America Line’s Koningsdam.  Holland America Line

Fullscreen

The line’s funnel and logo may have changed on Koningsdam ...  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

... but Holland America’s dedication to providing guests with a premium, big-ship experience has not.  Holland America Line

Fullscreen

Koningsdam is the most technologically savvy Holland America ship to date.  Holland America Line

Fullscreen

It’s also one of the most beautiful, with a brand-new décor style for the ship’s accommodations ...  Holland America Line

Fullscreen

... and public rooms.  Holland America Line

Fullscreen

One of the most striking new spaces is the ship’s main dining room, which evokes a futuristic look and feel.  Holland America Line

Fullscreen

Koningsdam also introduces an all-new, two-story Queen’s Lounge that brings Queen Mary 2-esque grandeur to Holland America’s newest ship.  Holland America Line

Fullscreen

Designers have likewise expanded the ship’s Lido Pool, which now spans two decks in height.  Holland America Line

Fullscreen

But one of the most amazing big ships is still under construction.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

When it sets sail this December, MSC Seaside will bring in an entirely new look and style to modern cruise ship design, replicating a stylish, South Beach resort gone to sea.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

Great emphasis will be placed on outdoor dining spots overlooking the ocean ...  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

... and this finalized builder’s model shows how decks will swoop, curve and cascade into one another.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

MSC Seaside will feature waterslides, multiple pools and new features never before seen aboard a cruise ship.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

It's just one of many new ships that are coming out in the next few years, as the big ships get more amazing with each passing season.  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

Happy cruising!  Aaron Saunders

Fullscreen

Like this topic? You may also like these photo galleries:

    Replay

    ADS