2015 is already well underway and many cruise ships have already set sail on their first sailings for the year. Each year, the cruise industry opens a new book on the world of travel, ready to record the memories bound to be made across the seven seas (and a few oceans).
- 2015 will see the introduction of 6 new ships, each uniquely designed for their respective cruise line.
- Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas will become the youngest American ship to sail from Asia.
- Princess Cruises will celebrate their 50th anniversary with a special “Love Boat” themed sailing.
- Two Holland America Line ships will transfer to P&O Australia.
- Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas will launch a season of Mediterranean sailings from Barcelona and Rome.
- Celebrity Century will depart the Celebrity Cruises fleet.
- CarnivaLIVE will continue unique concerts throughout the Carnival fleet of ships.
- Norwegian’s Norwegian Epic will begin year round Europe sailings from Southampton and Barcelona.
- MSC Cruise’s MSC Divina will depart Miami to launch Mediterranean sailings geared towards North American cruisers.
- Royal Caribbean relaunches Arabian Gulf sailings from Dubai.
- Holland America Line relaunches sailings to Bermuda from Boston.
What To Expect
- Technology: Technology left an indelible mark on the cruise industry in 2014. From the introduction of multiple apps tailored to specific cruise ships to the launch of the world’s first “smart ship,” Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas, technology is rapidly becoming an integral part of the cruise experience. In 2015, expect to see cruise lines begin implementing such technologies as tablets in restaurants, kiosks in the photo gallery, and interactive guest service systems for dining/entertainment reservations, shore excursion bookings, and so on.
- Choice: While Freestyle, My Time, Your Time, and other time themed dining options have existed for awhile now, cruise lines took choice to a new level in 2014. Cruise line are beginning to inch away from the classic dining room experience, trading in one main restaurant for smaller, more cuisine focused dining spots. 2015 will see this trend continue with the refurbishment of older ships and the introduction of new ships, especially Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas, which will feature the popular Dynamic Dining.
- Departures: Last year, a number of cruise lines announced the departure of smaller, older ships that were quickly falling out of line with their respective fleets. These departures were expected considering many of these smaller ships were instantly replaced in terms of capacity by new ships debuting throughout 2014. 2015 will most likely mark the year many older ships (especially those with newer fleet mates on the way) will officially be designated as “departing soon.”
- Destinations: 2015 will see a number of ships entering new regions and ships returning to former sailing areas. Royal Caribbean will return to Arabia, Holland America will relaunch sailings to Bermuda, and Carnival launches a variety of longer sailings through the Caribbean. 2015 will most likely see announcements of new sailings in increasingly popular areas of the world. Norwegian to Australia or Asia? That’s what I’m putting my money on this year.
What I Wish For
As a cruise writer, I generally become excited to announce new ship features, new destinations, or new ship orders. Even better? Trying out new ship features or sailing new waters and ships. This is my general wish list for 2015. Some of these are far from reasonable, but one can wish, can’t they?
- A comeback for mid-sized ships. (Celebrity Cruises is already answering my prayers.)
- A large, year round Royal Caribbean ship for Miami.
- Can at least one cruise line homeport a ship in Boca Raton? I live here now and would appreciate a convenient weekend sailing option.
- A Love Boat TV reunion aboard Princess’ 50th anniversary sailing.
- Some variation in Caribbean itineraries. I can only visit St. Thomas so many times.
- Increased calls at private islands. Holland America Line: Feel free to launch a week long sailing that only calls at Half Moon Cay. Perfection.
- Speaking of private islands, I miss parasailing. A safe comeback?
- Glass elevators aboard Carnival Vista. Yes, these elevators waste stateroom space, but they’re so awesome!
- For the media to cool it on cruise ships. I mean, we calmed down this past year. If we can do it, they can fight the urge as well.
- For each cruiser to have a great cruising year. May you all be blessed with calm seas and fair winds.
What are you excited for in 2015? Where do you think the industry will go in the new year? What’s on your wish list? Let us know in the comment section below.