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  • Writer's pictureJason Leppert

Nothing New Under The Sun: Which Cruise Ship Features Are Truly Original?

It is often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but to what degree that resonates onboard cruise ships is mixed. With so many new vessels coming out, it’s inevitable that some features, classic or new, will resemble ones that have been seen before, but some are more blatant than others. And originality almost always wins.

To a large degree, cruise ship layouts have remained the same for decades. You can generally expect a main show lounge to be positioned forward in the bow, a main restaurant somewhere amidship or at the stern and a pool deck perched high above. Classically, observation lounges have been positioned forward on the upper deck, but sadly those are less common these days with a few notable exceptions.

To compete, feature innovations and layout reconsiderations have become more mainstream in recent cruise ship designs, however. Royal Caribbean International has been at the forefront of originality for years, adding unprecedented surf and skydiving simulators on deck or more recently its North Star passenger pod ride craned up and over the sides of its Quantum-class ships. These are undoubtedly attractions that stand out and garner great attention.

Royal Caribbean even rethought its signature Viking Crown Lounge on the Quantum of the Seas and its sisters to follow. These ships instead have the alternative Two70 entertainment venue overlooking the stern and w

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