With two brands debuting their first ships ever and enhancements that include the first tattoo parlor and the first real roller coaster at sea, 2020 promises to be a jaw-dropping year for fans of cruise vacations.
Here are six new ships destined to make a splash on the cruise scene, starting with the two newest entrants to the cruise game: Virgin Voyages and Ritz-Carlton.
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Virgin Voyages: Scarlet Lady
Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection: Evrima
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection debuts its first ship in June, with the goal of bringing a very high-end hotel milieu to sea. On the sleek ship, its 298 guests will stay in 149 suites with balconies and enjoy such amenities as free beverages and Wi-Fi.
Carnival: Mardi Gras
Carnival Cruise Line’s largest ship ever, the 5,282-passenger Mardi Gras debuts Bolt, a roller coaster that circles around the top deck. New too is Family Feud Live! – an ocean-going version of the hit TV game show.
Royal Caribbean: Odyssey of the Seas
The teched-out, 4,198-passenger Odyssey of the Seas debuts in November as the first ship in Royal Caribbean’s Quantum Ultra Class in North America (it has a sister ship, Spectrum of the Seas, in Asia).
The top-deck SeaPlex is billed as the largest indoor activity space at sea and packed with fun stuff that includes virtual reality games, augmented reality gaming walls, bumper cars, a sports bar and glow-in-the-dark laser tag.
Celebrity Cruises: Apex
The 2,918-passenger Celebrity Edge, one of this year’s most talked-about ships gets a sister vessel in April. Celebrity Apex shares features such as the Magic Carpet, an open-air platform that rides a track outside the ship providing extraordinary views as it attaches at various levels – at the waterline, passengers can walk right off onto tenders headed to shore.
Crystal Cruises: Endeavor
This 200-passenger Polar-class, luxury mega-yacht Endeavour claims status as the largest, most spacious expedition ship purpose-built for Arctic climates.
All guests stay in big suites with verandahs that are serviced by butlers. And once you’ve returned from your latest outdoor adventure, you can head to Endeavour’s casino, the only such facility on an expedition ship.
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