Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.
MSC Cruises' newest and biggest ship doesn't set sail from Miami until 2017, but we're already getting excited. The 4,140-guest MSC Seaside is being designed as an "ultra-modern" ship with plenty of outdoor bells and whistles, including a two-deck interactive waterslide, a high-speed Aqua Tubes water ride, and a ropes course. On this new class of ships, you can also expect panoramic oceanview elevators, a waterfront "promenade," and more.Fun Ship 2.0 is headed to the Big Apple. Carnival Cruise Line's Carnival Sunshine, after a $155 million remake two years ago following its life as the Carnival Destiny, will be taking passengers from New York to Canada and New England as well as to the Caribbean. June through October of 2016, guests can enjoy the relatively new next-generation additions like the WaterWorks park, a new spa, and a ton of lounges while they're sailing these itineraries.
Broadway on the seas just keeps getting better and better. The next theatrical sensations are coming from Princess Cruises, which has partnered with Stephen Schwartz -- the Oscar winner and composer of hit shows “Wicked,” “Pippin,” and “Godspell” -- to bring four new musicals to the Princess fleet. His first production, “Magic to Do,” will combine magic with some of Schwartz’s most famous songs aboard Crown Princess in the fall.
As Europe's major rivers become more crowded with river cruise ships, itineraries are expanding to new destinations. Luxury line AMA Waterways will be sailing a new Garonne River route through France's Bordeaux region and the Loire Valley in 2016. From late March through autumn, the six-night cruises feature a train ride to port from Paris, wine tastings, cognac excursions, and castle explorations.
Rates start from $2,349 per person.
After last Wednesday's attack at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis, in which 17 cruise ship passengers were gunned down during their shore excursions, the handful of ships that were calling in Tunisia have rerouted for the remainder of the season. Lines that were visiting the destination are MSC Cruises, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line, Star Clippers, and Hapag-Lloyd Cruises. Their port alternatives include Malta, Sardinia, Sicily, and other Mediterranean destinations.