Last updated: 10:30 AM ET, Mon August 29 2016

Maritime Makeover: 5 Cruise Ship Refurbishment Trends

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Cunard Line | Jason Leppert | August 29, 2016

Maritime Makeover: 5 Cruise Ship Refurbishment Trends

 Rendering courtesy of Royal Caribbean International 

In an effort to sustain interest in their existing fleets, cruise lines are pouring millions of dollars into their older ships to have them stay on par with their newer ones. That means far more options for travelers across the board. Besides the usual basic maintenance and sprucing up, here are a few of the trending improvements rolling back onto the classic vessels.

Additional Dining Options

The most common enhancement made to any ship these days is the addition of new restaurants and bars. New ships are filled to the brim with dining options, so any time a popular new culinary feature can be introduced across the fleet, cruise lines take advantage of the opportunity.

Some additions are free like the great Carinthia Lounge cafe snacks on Cunard Line’s newly remastered Queen Mary 2, and others are of the specialty variety such as Norwegian Cruise Line’s Margaritaville at Sea soon coming to the Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Getaway.

 READ MORE: Inside Norwegian Cruise Line's $400 M Enhancement Program 

More Staterooms

Another frequent addition is extra staterooms, which afford consumers more options while also generating more revenue per sailing for the cruise lines. Sometimes, existing venues are displaced to make space for more cabins, and other times new accommodations are grafted onto upper decks.

For instance, Celebrity Cruises relocated its kids facilities on the Millennium-class ships to add cabins, and Princess Cruises entirely removed a cabaret lounge on its Island Princess for extra staterooms. Plus, the Liberty of the Seas from Royal Caribbean International recently received new family ocean-view cabins with panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows at the forward top of the ship, among others.

Extra Cabin Comfort

As new staterooms are added, so too are existing ones getting more comfortable. Princess Cruises, for example, is introducing 44,000 Princess Luxury Beds across its entire fleet by 2018, so that the partnership between sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus and HGTV designer Candice Olson can be fully appreciated by its guests. We only wish showers could be enlarged on older ships as well.

 READ MORE: Silversea Cruises Reveals Plans for $170 Million Fleet-Wide Refurbishment 

New Water Slides

For greater excitement, cruise lines are also installing more and more water slides onboard. The aforementioned Liberty of the Seas just recently got its own trio of Perfect Storm water slides (rendered above), not unlike those on the line’s newest and biggest Harmony of the Seas, except one on the older ship is a distinct boomeranging raft version new to any cruise ship.

Disney Cruise Line also reinterpreted its popular AquaDuck water coaster as the AquaDunk free-fall variety on the Disney Magic recently, even though it is not expected on the upcoming remodel of the Disney Wonder surprisingly. Meanwhile, other lines like Carnival Cruise Line have added their own thrilling iterations, the Green Thunder on the Carnival Spirit included.

Better Entertainment

Another area where older ships are renewed is entertainment. Royal Caribbean International may have debuted the hit production of “Grease” on its new Harmony of the Seas, but the Independence of the Seas is also getting the show this year. Princess Cruises has even teamed up with Broadway superstar Stephen Schwartz to craft its exclusive “Magic to Do” show aboard the Crown Princess, Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess. Also, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and Oceania Cruises are seeing the benefits of its Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Limited parent company in the form of improved entertainment onboard their ships.


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