Here’s a quick look at what’s new this week in cruising and how it could impact your next trip…
- China’s becoming hot, hot, hot. Caribbean-centric Carnival Cruise Line announced it would cruise from China year-round beginning in spring 2017. A “Fun Ship" (officials aren't yet saying which one) will be retrofitted for Chinese tastes across the board, from dining to entertainment. Likewise, Norwegian Cruise Line will be entering the market with the 4,200-passenger "Freestyle Cruising" Norwegian Bliss, currently under construction in Germany. Once complete, the ship will head straight to China, also in 2017 and with tailored dining and luxury shopping. (Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises are just two lines beefing up their existing presence in the country.)
- In the Trends We Like category, Regent Seven Seas Cruises is adding free unlimited WiFi to its list of all-inclusive perks for all guests beginning next year. (Previously only guests in the fanciest suites got the freebie). And they’re not the only ones who know travelers like to stay connected; Viking Ocean also offers free unlimited access, among other upscale and luxury lines dabbling in the arena.
- Tina Turner, Elton John, and Madonna will be popping by the Norwegian Pearl, sort of. The cruise ship is adding the iconic Las Vegas tribute show "Legends in Concert" -- featuring live-singing lookalikes -- to its entertainment lineup. Catch the act in the Panama Canal this winter or Alaska next summer.