Here's a quick look at what's new this week in cruising, and how it could impact your next trip...
- It's official. Carnival Corp.'s social impact-focused Fathom brand is Cuba-bound on May 1. The line's 704-passenger MV Adonia is set to be the first cruise ship to sail from Miami to Havana in 50 years. Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald, speaking from Havana, said some other ships among the company's 10 brands could also add Cuba to itineraries within "months." The announcement coincided with President Barack Obama's historic visit to Cuba.
- Other U.S. cruise lines are also chomping at the bit to get to Cuba, as evidenced during a panel of top cruise line executives at the Seatrade Global Cruise conference last week. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' Cuban-born CEO Frank Del Rio joked he had his entire fleet cruising around the island ready to pounce. There's a message here: Book as soon as you can.
- Luxury line Crystal Cruises will have plenty of new grown-up toys on its new polar-class megayacht Crystal Endeavor. We're talking two submarines, two helicopters, ATVs, scuba equipment, waverunners, kayaks -- even SEABOB water scooters. There's also an ROV so the ship's posh guests can see the ocean depths, such sights as the wreck of the Titanic (for real!). The 200-passenger ship debuts in August 2018.
- In foodie news, acclaimed Chef Roy Yamaguchi (Roy's) will be creating sushi and teppanyaki at his first shipboard restaurant on the MSC Seaside, debuting year-round from Miami in December 2017. And Food Network's Guy Fieri has boosted his relationship with Carnival Cruise Line, adding to his popular shipboard burger joints a complimentary, wood-fired smokehouse BBQ on the Carnival Magic.
- Get yee to Harvest Caye, Norwegian Cruise Line's new pier-equipped port in Belize, and you can zipline off a lighthouse; do drinks at a swim-up Jimmy Buffett (Landshark) bar; sit on a white sand beach; cool off in a sprawling pool; book a fancy cabana; or just veg out in a hammock. We're so there. The fun starts in November.
- You read it here, have ferret can cruise. No joke. As part of the re-mastering of the Queen Mary 2 ocean liner, the ship's kennel is being expanded and will welcome more than just dogs and cats.