Last updated: 04:58 PM ET, Thu July 16 2015

8 Amenities We'd Love to See on Next Gen Cruise Ships

Features & Advice | Tom Bastek | July 16, 2015

8 Amenities We'd Love to See on Next Gen Cruise Ships

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock.

Recently the world’s largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, floated for the first time, and apart from its size, what really whet the appetite of cruise fans was the dizzying array of amazing amenities. Three deck water slides, bionic bars with robot bartenders, and virtual staterooms with video ocean views are just a few of the many things to do and see.

As the cruise industry continues to grow exponentially, comptetition for the cruiser's dollars gets more intense. We're at a point with every new ship announcement where it's a big game of one-upsmanship for tech upgrades and once-imaginable features. 

Which got us thinking, “What would we like to see on the next generation of cruise ships?”  Here is our over-the-top wish list, most of which we know are highly illogical and borderline illegal. But hey, 25 years ago, the thought of a 5,000-passenger megaship seemed cuckoo, too.

Electric Go Carts

This is one for the kids, and the kids at heart. Imagine one of the decks that closed periodically to any pedestrian traffic, a closed circuit upon which you could jump in a go cart and buzz around the pool, past the buffet and around the mini golf course. If you wanted, you could have the carts pull double duty.  At one of the bigger port stops where everything is within walking distance, you could take them down the gangway and out onto the pier for a few laps around town.


Everyone as a kid loved getting pulled behind a boat in a big tube.  Why not do it on the cruise ship?  You could have ten people go out at a time and have one chase boat to pick up the folks that get dumped. There could be sunset tube pulls, and you could even get crazy and do really large floats that could hold a bunch of people.  While out at sea it would be like renting your own cabana so private you don't even share the same boat as everyone else.


This one goes hand in hand with the tubing off the back of the boat. You could go off the top deck in the back and there would be more than enough wind to keep you afloat. Obviously, the insurance for these things would be a nightmare and that is probably why we are not seeing them now.

Roller Coaster

If you remember the roller coaster that used to be on top of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas, you know exactly what we are going for here. This could be a coaster that hangs off the sides of the ship, goes through the atrium in the middle of the ship or even through a glass tube under the pool. You would probably get corkscrews as opposed to loops due to space constraints, but what a great way to see if your Dramamine has kicked in.

Underwater Observation Chamber

Photo courtesy of

If you watched Shark Week this year, you saw at least one show where they were safely watching the sharks from below the water line on their boat behind safety glass. Why don’t we have this right now? Even if it is just a glass bottom on the ship, this would be an awesome way to see the underwater world.

Underwater Rooms

Taking that idea one step further, why not have accommodations with large glass windows that sit below the water line? You could be living in your own fish tank. This could be done right now in the virtual rooms — instead of showing picturesque views of the ocean; you could show what is going on beneath it.

Captain / Crew for a Day

How about the full immersive experience by allowing guests to serve as a crew member/captain for the day? This would entail getting up early to meet for breakfast, working alongside the crew all day and then having dinner with them at night. This would be limited, so it would have to be booked in advance and would probably have to cost a pretty penny.

Behind the Scenes Tours

Photo courtesy of Eatbaby on Reddit.

We have been asking for this since 2001. There is nothing cooler than knowing what goes on behind the scenes at many places: casinos, amusement parks, and on cruise ships. Cruise ships have increasingly been giving the behind-the-curtain tours, but only so much. Let's go next level. Getting a tour of the crew’s living spaces, their galley, gym and bar area would be awesome. Getting onto the bridge, into the engineering spaces and a tour of the galley and the storage areas for the food would be even better. Someone needs to make this happen!

What else would you want to see on the next generation of cruise ship?  Let me know in the comments below.


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