The next big gimmicky things
The allure of the ocean, the paradisiacal destinations, free food and posh butlers — it’s just not enough to convince some people to take a holiday a sea. Cruise lines keep trying to outdo each other, or their own fleets, by coming up with the next big, silly thing.
For the past decade, the most intriguing structures on Australian ships were a glassblowing studio and a five-second waterslide. Then along came the Asian cruising boom, which has lured the world’s most creative megalines to our region.
Like go-karting? The new Norwegian Joy promises a top-deck racetrack where passengers can zip around in electric cars. Hovercraft bumper cars, whatever they are, will be the main attraction inside the ship’s virtual reality pavilion. Thrill-seekers can also strap into a simulator that feels like riding a rollercoaster in the dark, or fly through the galaxy with Star Wars Battle Pods.
Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas has robotic bartenders to mix cocktails, a vertical wind tunnel to try skydiving, and an observation capsule inspired by the London Eye.
P & O’s next ship, Pacific Explorer, will have barefoot bowls and waterslides with special effects. Some Princess Cruises’ ships have a glass-floored Sea Walk that juts out over the edge of the ship. Cunard’s QM2 has a planetarium for stargazing.
And then there are all the restaurants dreamt up by