Here’s a quick look at what’s new this week in cruising, and how it could impact your next trip…
Burning up the Internet this week may just be the ultimate bad-boy party cruise -- a fist-pumping, boozy adventure hosted by Gronk (New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski). The beefcake-filled photos and videos are hysterical, but what's funnier is that some Norwegian Pearl passengers apparently innocently booked their Norwegian Cruise Line vacations not knowing that Gronk and 700 of his fans would be onboard.
Carnival Corp., parent company of Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and other brands, is using virtually reality to attract new cruisers. The company signed a deal with AT&T and Samsung that brings a first-of-its-kind virtual cruising experience to a phone store to 133 AT&T stores in 37 states. You put on a Samsung Gear VR headset and set sail. While you're at it, enter a contest to win a free cruise.
Costa Cruises is adding cheese to the Italian cruise experience. The line says it will launch the first gourmet bar at sea dedicated to buffalo mozzarella on the Costa Diadema, by the end of the year (other ships to follow). The cheese will be produced on the spot and served while it's still warm, thanks to machines the cruise line is adapting from the dairy milk industry. Passengers will be able to observe the mozzarella-making process.
Alert for dog lovers: Soon you'll be able to cuddle puppies in the Piazza on Princess Cruises ships. On its Alaska sailings this spring and summer, the cruise line will be hosting some of Skagway's newest sled dogs, brought shipboard by their handlers to interact with passengers and pose for photos. Who knows, you may meet a future Iditarod champion.