Cruisers – brace yourselves – the future of cruising is here. This past week, Celebrity and Norwegian pulled back the curtain on their future fleet plans, perhaps heralding in a new era of cruise ship design. Not only are these ships vastly different in design from their predecessors, they represent a new chapter of cruising that we’re just entering. And Celebrity and Norwegian aren’t the only ones bringing new concepts to the ocean, there are plenty of new ships breaking the mold. Cruising as we know it is changing, and with the next wave of cruise ships on their way, it looks like the future of cruising is here.

Bye Bye Old Bows

A few years back, AIDA debuted a “straight” bow design, one that was traditionally a hallmark of ocean liners from the early days of cruising and sailing. It was a bold choice, a stark departure from the “clipper” bows found aboard almost every single cruise ship currently sailing, however, AIDA was just ahead of the trend. Both Celebrity Edge and Norwegian’s Project Leonardo will sport the straight edge design, providing enhanced stability and maneuvering, while dramatically changing the look of cruising. While this new bow design is far from new, it’s a design from yesteryear that may just be the default going forward. It’s certainly going to take me awhile to adjust to this aesthetic change, but it sounds like the operational benefits far outweigh my purely design based objections.
A Renewed Focus On Outdoors
For years, new ships were designed to focus inward, offering entertainment and activities that could have very well made you think you were in a resort back on land. However, newer ships have renewed their focus on moving guests outside, bringing them back to the heart of cruising – the sea. Aboard Norwegian Breakaway, we were introduced to The Waterfront, offering waterside dining and bars, bringing the life of the ship to the outdoor promenade. We saw Carnival expand the Lanai to include an aft pool, restaurants, and bars that brought guests to the water’s edge. MSC’s upcoming MSC Seaside offers perhaps the most outdoor space, featuring an extra wide promenade around the ship – wide enough to literally ride bikes on. And even this past week, we learned of Celebrity’s new rooftop gardens debuting

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