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Not Your Grandparents Cruising- New Cruises Changing The Game


When you think of cruising what is the first thing that comes to mind? For me, the image of old people crowding around a huge buffet with mediocre food is the first thing that used to come to mind. The quiet waters with people who appear to be on the verge of croaking, and lots and lots of bingo.


Luckily, those images can be erased from your mind because cruising now has changed for the better for all. We want to change your perception and view of cruising to what it is like in 2024.


Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean has, of course, been around for decades, and they continue to keep upping their game on a yearly basis, especially with their brand-new ship; The Icon of The Seas. This new behemoth from Royal is breaking records with not just the features, but starting with the size which spans 1200 feet, 20 decks tall, and holds 7,600 passengers.



The Icon of The Seas is essentially a city on the water, because of the vast amount of things they have on the ship. For starters, there are 40 dining and drinking outlets to choose from, which means on a 7 day cruise, you can try 3 locations per day, every day, and still have half of the ship to explore. Crazy.




On this newcomer, travelers who have splurged to book suites will have access to the “Surfside Neighborhood” which includes a carousel, arcade, and children’s water park.

For those who are going to be in regular cabins, fear not, because the ship has 7 pools to choose from for all different vibes, and the largest waterpark at sea. You can jump into the thrill with their 6 waterslides, one of which has the record for the tallest at sea.

If you’re going with your S.O. and want to get away from children, Cloud 17 is the perfect adults-only escape for you. All of this, and we haven’t even had a chance to touch on the nightlife.


This ship is going to be magical, and a must do experience for 2024.

 


Virgin Voyages

Speaking of changes in cruising, we cannot mention this without bringing up the most “out there” cruise line; Virgin Voyages. Richard Branson has done it again by bringing us the quintessential adult playground on sea. Instead of long buffet lines, they have opted to skip that entirely and move to a restaurant focused experience, with over 20 high end, incredible dining outlets that will have you coming back for more.


Branson has gone above and beyond the norm to include wi-fi with each sailing – ship wide, while most cruise lines charge an average of $15 - $20 per day for the same service. Also included, group workout classes across the ship, even sodas and coffee are considered “essential drinks” that come included in the cruise fare. Features like this help Virgin Voyages stand out in a crowded industry.


If all of this wasn’t enough to entice you to take a plunge on this, we always have more. Virgin, known for its debauchery, brings that to you on the high seas, and on land. Be sure to bring red-colored attire for their “Scarlet night”, a huge outdoor deck party at sunset which set the tone for the night! The nightly entertainment is made up of Supper club shows, drag entertainment, and raves that aren’t for the faint of heart.  On land, the celebration continues with their own private Bimini Beach Club, and exclusive stop for this traveling from Miami, where the party does not stop. Since its maiden voyage in 2021 Virgin has created a unique experience inline with its brand, and there is a new vessel on the way in 2025 named “Brilliant Lady”.

 

 


Quark Expeditions

Let your inner adventurer loose with Quark expeditions. We are changing course here from one of the largest ships on the sea to some of the smallest out there with the coolest destinations, both literally and figuratively; since they have a focus on Antarctica, Greenland, the North Pole, and most major Arctic destinations.



Size Matters when it comes to cruising and Quark can show you the difference. Their ships are small which gives them access to destinations and locations that are not able to venture into these parts of the world. Size doesn’t only matter for destinations but also for service and attention to detail, which is more prevalent on these small ships, as opposed to the craziness of mass-market ships. This gives them more opportunity to immerse you into the destination, and ensure your experience is truly a cultural one.


 This may be the first time you have heard of Quark Expeditions, but they have been around and serving the regions for the past 3 decades, so they are no strangers to the world of cruisers. On top of that, they staff on the ship are some of the most experienced polar experts on earth, setting foot on land that most won’t dare to touch.

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