No, we didn’t put the wrong photo here. That’s not a villa or a resort — it’s a cruise ship, and on the other side of that infinity pool is really the ocean. It’s time to set sail. Here are some of the coolest new offerings in the cruise world for 2016.
1. NEW OVERNIGHTS: Celebrity Cruises
Typically, cruising means no happy hours, sunsets or even dinners on dry land. Starting January 2016, Celebrity Cruises will give guests aboard 43 Caribbean itineraries, each 10 nights or longer, the chance to overnight in ports such as Aruba, Barbados, Cozumel, Curaçao, St. Maarten and Cartagena, Colombia. So go ahead — make a dinner reservation at Yemanja Woodfired Grill on Aruba, and keep the party going on St. Maarten, stopping by Kali’s Beach Bar for a shot of local-fruit-infused rum.
2. NEW SPA: Canyon Ranch SpaClub
The newest ship in the Regent Seven Seas Cruises‘ fleet, the 750-passenger Explorer — setting sail July 20, 2016, from Monte Carlo — will debut a Canyon Ranch SpaClub, hailed by company president Jason Montague as “the most luxurious at sea.” On deck five, it will feature an infrared sauna, aromatic steam room, a cold room designed to re-create the effect of icy swims, eight treatment rooms and an outdoor infinity-edge plunge pool. The new menu takes inspiration from across the globe: Atlantic Ocean sea salts are used in an exfoliating treatment, and a body cleanse features Moroccan mint tea and silt for detoxifying. These treatments will premiere on Explorer before transitioning to other ships in the fleet.
3. NEW PORT: Montserrat
Since the 1995 volcanic eruption, no cruise ship has returned to the Lesser Antilles island of Montserrat … until now. Starting Dec. 5, 2015, Windstar Cruises‘ Star Legend, which debuted in May,will stop at the new capital and port, Little Bay, which can welcome small ships only. Choose the Insights of Montserrat excursion, part of the San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands itinerary, to tour local villages and witness the long reach of the lava.
4. NEW PORT: Martinique
In early 2016, Disney Wonder, leaving from San Juan, Puerto Rico, will tour the Southern Caribbean, introducing a new stop at the French island of Martinique. Hailed as the “Flower of the Caribbean,” Martinique offers rainforest hikes and waterfall pool swims. The all-new itinerary will visit Barbados, Grenada, Antigua and St. Kitts.
5. NEW SHIP: Norwegian Escape
It’s home to the first at-sea Margaritaville bar and the new Waterfront, an open-air promenade leading to the Food Republic; order Asian-fusion cuisine via iPads. (Not to mention, you can choose from 120 bottles of wine.)
6. NEW SHIP: Encore
Seabourn’s newest ship sails Dec. 4, 2016, and it will be the largest in the small-ship fleet. Restaurateur Thomas Keller, of California’s The French Laundry, brings his famed fare on board.