Here’s a quick look at what’s new this week in cruising and how it could impact your next trip…
- Cruise on Italian brand Costa Cruises and you can have a very unique exchange with an unusual cruise ship greeter: a humanoid robot named "Pepper." He speaks impeccable English, Italian and German, and cruise line officials say he will help improve the guest experience by reading passengers' emotions and needs. There's also an entertainment factor: having already completed an "internship" on German brand AIDA, Pepper will join the crew of the Costa Diadema in Europe in the spring and other ships over the summer.
- Put the Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve on your wish list of ports to visit. MSC Cruises is leasing a 95-acre island in the Bahamas for 100 years to create the new destination where cruisers will step off their ship to zipline, drink piña coladas, hang out at the beach, and watch shows in a 2,000-seat amphitheater. Look for the opening in December 2017.
- We can hear the dares and double dares. Royal Caribbean International revealed a sneak peak at the tallest slide on the high seas and it looks thrilling -- and scary. Just take a peek at the video. The dual slide towers more than 150 feet above sea level and plunges passengers through twists and turns down 10 decks on the 5,500-passenger Harmony of the Seas -- the world's new largest ship, debuting in May.