The days of all cruise ships being alike are over. Now, it is a race to provide the most luxurious and most impressive. We look at some of the world’s best.
Granted, Celebrity’s newest ship, Edge, has only recently completed its maiden guest voyage, but it boasts some impressive features. Most recognisable is the exterior ‘magic carpet’ – an extraordinary cantilevered platform with multiple moods, functions and locations. Positioned on the side of the ship, this incredible feat of engineering floats to heights of 13 stories above sea level. On one level, it’s a bar, another a restaurant; and on sea level, a breathtaking viewing area. And with space for fun and live music performances, it truly is a reason to get onboard.
Edge also features a three-storey public area featuring restaurants, lounges and bars known as The Eden. Here, guests enjoy enrichment programs and activities such as yoga and cooking classes. By night, the area transforms into an entertainment space which integrates theatre with dining and nightlife.
If you really want to be spoilt, you could upgrade to one of the huge Iconic Suites, which are about as big as a Sydney apartment, or go even more opulent and splash out on a Penthouse Suite or an Edge Villa – both spaces setting the standard for luxury cruising everywhere.
While Edge’s maiden voyage was in the Caribbean, it will call the Mediterranean home for much of the 2019 season.
Australians got to see the Viking Sun up close and personal earlier this year when it stopped in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns and Darwin as part of 141-day around-the-world journey which started in Miami and ended in London. The 930-guest small class ship is kid free and casino free, and features an infinity pool and hot tub in addition to the main pool, a spa, 10 dining venues (indoor and alfresco), two cinemas, a 400-seat theatre, a terrace area and a sports deck.
All rooms on board the Viking Sun are ocean-facing rooms with verandahs. As an adults-only ship, there are design aesthetics including leather railings and pillars, wood finishes and art installations, which would be a rare feature on the mega, family-friendly ships.
Looking at ships that operate exclusively from Australia, it is hard to look past the Majestic Princess. The gigantic ship carries 3560 passengers, spread out over 19 decks, and houses an impressive 38 food and beverage outlets. Most cabins on the Majestic Princess have balconies and outdoor furniture and the views are fantastic.
The most stunning feature of the ship, however, is the dramatic over-the-ocean glass SeaWalk. It affords thrilling vistas of the ever-changing seascape and the SeaView Bar goes one step further with a glass panelled-floor.
How many cruise ships have you been on? Which is your favourite?