Cruise Ship Innovations You Won’t Believe
A century ago, skyscrapers were the marvel of modern architecture. Today, the spotlight has shifted to cruise ships. And as architects continue to build their ships longer, taller, and larger, clever cruise lines are finding some very innovative ways to fill an increasing amount of deck space.
A Lawn in the Atlantic
Celebrity Cruises stunned vacationers across the world when they installed this 15,000-square-foot patch of lawn on their ship, the Solstice. Called the “Lawn Club,” this area of the ship allows for golfing, croquet, and barefoot walks over the springy green grass. And the turf isn’t just set down and rotated out with fresh stuff–it actually grows on deck. Linger long enough, and you may even catch maintenance giving it a mow.
Blowing Away the Competition
Celebrity Solstice is also credited with pioneering onboard glass blowing demonstrations. Passengers get a chance to watch the glass blowing masters of Corning Glass in action as they shape various glassware items. Rumor has it that the best time to watch is at night, with the molten glass glowing bright against the darkness.
As Cool as Cruising Gets
Cruise ships can take you to some pretty chilly places (Alaska, anyone?), but only Norwegian Cruise Line has an ice bar onboard the ship. The brand-new Norwegian Epic boasts a gently-lit ice bar modeled after Scandinavian creations like the Kirkenes Snow Hotel. Sip your favorite cocktail from a chilly ice glass, but make sure you’re bundled up. It’s literally freezing.
Set Sail for Broadway!
The Oasis of the Seas doesn’t stop with being the largest ship in the world. It’s also taking Broadway out to sea with onboard presentations of the hit musical, Hairspray. While the at-sea version will be slightly trimmed to fit a 90-minute show window, the presence of a Broadway-caliber show on a cruise ship is nothing to scoff at. Hairspray will be playing at the ship’s indoor Opal Theatre.
These examples are just a sample of all the cruising innovations that are out there right now. There are ships with rock climbing walls, water slides, English butlers, elaborate dinners, and about a million other perks–depending on who you choose to sail with. Thinking you might want to try out a cruise? Make sure you check out the Cruise Super Sale first, and save your money for the ice bar.
Photo Credits (from top to bottom): Celebrity Solstice Lawn Club by rohrb123; Glass Blowing on a ship! by Avid Cruiser; Stockholm 1st Ice Bar JSS by James FL USA; Oasis of the Seas Aqua Theatre by steamboatsorg.
My name: Kate Beall
How I earn my keep: Writing for Travelocity.
Best meal I've ever had: There are three: the mofongo at Jimmy'z Kitchen in South Beach, the lomito completo at Fuente Alemana in Santiago, and (for the sheer novelty factor) the cuy chactado in Arequipa, Peru.
First thing I do in a new place: Hit the shower. Anything more than an hour in transit gets me fantasizing about soap.
View that took my breath away: Seeing the endless stretch of the Sierras as I flew in to Reno/Tahoe for the first time. In the winter, it's an aching field of white all the way to the horizon, like a world wiped clean. Looking out at it gives you this unmatched feeling of eternity.
Most challenging travel moment: Sharing a pull-out couch in a cramped New York apartment. The heat wave of 2010 was in full, humid swing and the air conditioning was D.O.A. There was nothing to do but soak your clothes in the sink and hope to pass out before they dried. ...then wake up in an hour and do it all again.
Favorite way to get around: On foot. I'm still working on the motorcycle license.