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Cruise Critic names top cruise trends for 2015

Experts say to expect more deals, faster internet and greater choice onboard. A huge target audience for cruise lines is the new-to-cruise market, and these consumers are used to purchasing a base price hotel room and adding on for extra features they're interested in enjoying.

EWING, N.J. – Cruise Critic, the world’s largest online cruise resource, has released its annual list of the top cruise trends to expect in the upcoming year. Included for 2015 are upgrades in onboard internet, entertainment and culinary options – along with greater opportunities for savings.

“Across all trends, what we’re really seeing is a closer alignment to the traditional land resort business model,” explains Carolyn Spencer Brown, editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic. “A huge target audience for cruise lines is the new-to-cruise market, and these consumers are used to purchasing a base price hotel room and adding on for extra features they’re interested in enjoying. Where cruising has the advantage, is in the number of inclusions already part of the base cruise fare – lodging, meals, entertainment – so it’s exciting to see lines focusing on improving the basics and adding more options.”

The eight trends Cruise Critic expects to see in 2015 include:

  • Greater cruise value and more options for add-ons. While cruise fares today are a better value than ever, there are more add-on fees associated with new features and options. There’s still plenty to enjoy included in the cost of a fare, but special add-on options – like unique dining experiences and private lessons – help to build an even more personalized experience.
  • Easier to score a deal, while saving on more than just cruise fare. It’s no longer necessary to wait until January-March, cruising’s traditional deal season, to get the best bargain; fantastic deals are being offered all year long – everything from Carnival’s tiered packages with perks like onboard credit and cabin upgrades, to Royal Caribbean’s WOW sales.
  • Faster, more reliable onboard internet. With some cruise lines unveiling internet speeds comparable to what’s offered on land, cruisers are now able to not only access faster internet but also to log on at a more reasonable price. Lines are also taking advantage of the new technology to offer more advanced apps to assist prior to the cruise and while onboard.
  • Options abound for those with dietary restrictions. Cruising remains one of the best travel options when it comes to accommodating dietary needs, and cruise lines are paying even closer attention to meeting those requirements. Whether it’s gluten-free, sugar-free, fat-free, vegetarian or vegan, cruise lines are adding more options than ever before for cruisers of various diets.
  • Greater focus on accommodating solo travelers. Cruise lines have been focusing more on how to best meet the needs of solo travelers – whether it’s by building solo-specific cabins, to avoid the long-dreaded “single supplement,” or creating special lounge areas for solo travelers to mingle, like Norwegian’s Studio Lounge.
  • Onboard entertainment evolves and options grow. Entertainment options aboard cruise ships continue to expand with lines now offering everything from Grammy-winning artist performances to Broadway and Cirque-style shows to comedy options geared – Family focus becomes engrained in the cruise experience. Kid-friendly entertainment is now expanding beyond just the kids’ clubs – Carnival’s new “Seuss at Sea” program and MSC’s new LEGO partnership bring brands kids are familiar with throughout the ship, joining the growth of already successful partnerships on lines like Royal Caribbean and Norwegian.
  • Hot Destinations for 2015: Norway and Australia are seeing an increase in sailings, along with a strong resurgence of the Caribbean – current ports are receiving updates and upgrades, alongside investments in new ports and private islands.
Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.