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What This Year’s New Cruise Ships Offer Your Family

by Holly Riddle

Apr 21, 2018

Opreanu Roberto Sorin | Dreamstime.com


Thinking of heading off on a cruise this year? With nearly every cruise line coming out with a new ship boasting bigger and better attractions, which is right for your travel style? Here are the big four setting sail this year and the main things to consider before setting out into open water.


Norwegian Bliss

With room for 4,000 passengers, Norwegian Bliss debuts later this month, with routes headed to Alaska and the Caribbean through 2020. Top attractions include a two-level, huge electric racetrack, letting you zip around at 30 mph (the first North American-based cruise ship with this amenity); an open-air laser tag arena open both day and night; and a deck-top water park with two slides. For the adults, there are more than a dozen restaurants and bars (some offering outdoor dining), plus Broadway hits with headliner Jersey Boys for the upcoming season.


Celebrity Edge

This 117,000-ton ship holds 2,900 travelers, and is the first in a new series by Celebrity Cruises. It offers an expansive entertainment space dubbed Eden, which hosts a variety of events, from performances to hands-on classes. The Rooftop Garden provides tranquility in the form of a pastoral hideaway, in case you need to get away from it all while you’re onboard. Suite-class passengers expect a private pool with added luxury. For the ultimate in posh cruising, book an Edge Villa, for a two-deck-high suite with magnificent views and your own three-foot plunge pool. Likewise, Iconic Suites provide expansive living spaces, two bedrooms and two full baths, while the Penthouse Suites provide balcony soaking tubs, walk-through showers and walk-in closets.


Carnival Cruise Ship and Bridge

© Thesmid | Dreamstime.com


Carnival Horizon 

Also making waves for the first time this month, Carnival Horizon features SkyRide (a recumbent bike on an 800-foot track set 150 feet above the 12th deck — race or take a leisurely ride around to enjoy the views); a similar ropes course; and an IMAX theater. You can expect all the typical touristy-type restaurants, like a Guy Fieri burger bar and rum and tequila bars. Carnival also adds a few new kinds of dining establishments, including a smokehouse and hibachi restaurant. Carnival Horizon sails the Mediterranean a handful of times before picking up a more permanent route around the Caribbean.


Symphony of the Seas

Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas debuted last month as the largest in the world, at 230,000 tons. You can expect plenty of waterpark fun, a revamped boardwalk, another laser tag arena, an ice rink, an arcade and Hairspray on stage. It also is sailing the Mediterranean before heading off to the Caribbean.


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