Feel that breeze? It's "wave season" for cruise lines right now, which brings both the best deals of the year and predictions on what to expect in the coming months.
According to a recent Travelzoo survey, 62 percent of U.S. respondents are planning at least one international vacation in 2016, up 32 percent year over year. Of course not everyone is holding an airplane ticket; cruise ships will carry thousands and thousands of Americans to foreign lands this year, and Travelzoo’s deal experts have already identified the three top cruise trends travelers can expect for this year.
Travelzoo notes that already “almost every major cruise line now offers travelers to pick their free perks when booking including unlimited drinks, prepaid gratuities, and onboard ship credits,” but perks won’t stop there in 2016. The launch of Crystal Cruises’ 62-passenger Crystal Esprit, for example, brings with it a two-person submarine and complimentary activities from its own marina deck, which is kitted out with jet skis, kayaks, and snorkeling and fishing equipment.
And it’s not just brand-new ships rising to meet increased demand for a more personalized onboard touch. Cunard’s 12-year-old flagship Queen Mary 2 will undergo renovations this year to do more than just update interiors; the ocean liner will debut 15 single staterooms for solo travelers and expand its popular pet travel program. For the latter, the ship will increase its number of onboard kennels for dogs and cats from 12 to 22 and refresh the pet recreation area (with touches like a fire hydrant and lamp post lawn for the pups).