Cruise ships have come a long way in the past few decades. Originally simple ships just designed to carry lots of passengers while also having a pool deck… today’s ships are floating mega resorts with amenities once thought unimaginable.
That’s to say nothing about the fact that these new things have come to light only in the past few years. The cruise industry is in a period of rapid development of the amenities and features designed to get the attention of the cruising public — and their vacation dollars.
With that in mind, we brainstormed what sort of new things cruise lines could offer that would either make headlines as stunningly amazing or simply make the cruise experience much better for the average passenger.
What follows are more than a dozen idea of things we’d love to see the cruise lines implement to make waves in the future.
Bungee Jumping From the Ship
Royal Caribbean offers an activity similar to bungee jumping on some of its ships… but it’s far from the real thing. However, with massive structures that can soar 15 stories, there is plenty of height on a cruise ship to offer real bungee jumping out over the water. Of course, it would have to be done while the ship is in port as it would be difficult to bungee jump on a moving vessel. Still, a platform over the water and the structural support to hold a jumper would give thrill seekers an opportunity to do something they would never forget on a cruise.
Of course, they wouldn’t be called elevators, but you get the idea. Anyone who has taken a cruise knows how often you have to take an elevator to get around the ship. But what if you are wanting to travel from the front of the ship to the back or vice versa? With cruise ships so large, it can take a while to make your way around. What about horizontal shuttles that can take you back and forth without having to walk the nearly 1,000 feet back and forth time and time again?
Ordering Food & Drink On Your Phone
These days anything can be done from your phone, such as getting a ride or ordering your groceries. Why not extend that to the cruise ship? We can envision a feature of the cruise line app that includes the ability to order a drink or get a snack/meal delivered without having to call anyone or travel to a bar and wait. Just click a few buttons and whatever you want is delivered immediately and charged to your onboard account. Cruise lines would love it as people would be more likely to spend greater amounts of money.
Ever been on those underwater submarines? They offer an exciting view of the sea that you don’t get to see every day. What if cruise lines were to offer the same thing? Having an underwater theater would be a neat feature to visit while in port. Imagine several windows that offer a view of the surrounding ocean where you can everything that’s going on around the ship… below the water. Even better, what about one of those “mermaid” shows that were so popular back in the 1950s to entertain guests on the ship?
Waterslides That Run the Entire Ship
Waterslides continue to get larger and larger and more extreme. Today you can find several ships with slides that jut out over the edge of the ship, giving riders a thrill. But these slides are usually confined to the top deck and the ride is only a few seconds long. What about a slide that runs the length of the ship, starting at the top deck and ending on the main promenade deck? With ships coming in over 1,000 feet long, this could be a massive ride that lasts potentially minutes instead of seconds.
Have you ever seen the Stratosphere in Las Vegas? Did you know there are extreme rides at the top of the tower? The rides include a tower drop and a spinning ride that takes you over the edge of the of the 1,000+ foot tower. What about these sort of extreme rides at the top of the cruise ship? They could offer adrenaline junkies a way to get their fix while the ship is sailing.
Sensory Deprivation Tanks
Haven’t heard of sensory deprivation tanks? They’ve been around for a while, but are on the “fringes” of popularity. Put simply, they are a large enclosed tank that’s filled with water and epsom salt and warmed about skin temperature. You get in the tank and lay down. Because the water has so much salt, you float, and it’s at a temperature that matches your body so you are neither hot nor cold. And because the tank is then closed there are no sounds or lights. With all your senses shut off, it is supposed to be extremely relaxing and meditative. We think having these tanks in a cruise ship spa would be a no-brainer.
More Excursions on or at the Ship
It’s no secret that cruise lines like having you on the ship. After all, that means more opportunity for you to spend money with the cruise line. But at the same time, much of the fun of cruising is experiencing things you would never do at home. What we wonder is why the cruise lines don’t offer more excursions in and around the ship. Yes, you can get a “behind the scenes” tour, but offering adventures like snorkeling or diving at the ship seem like a no-brainer.
Text Support While on the Ship
Want to change your dinner reservation? What about inquiring about a charge on your account? Book an excursion? To do any of this you have to stop what you’re doing, and take time to go stand in line at the Guest Services desk, the restaurant, or the shore excursions desk. How 20th century. Instead, why not have the ability to text with the staff to create or change reservations, answer general questions, or clear up billing issues? It would be much more enjoyable to handle these items from the comfort of a pool lounger rather than wasting time standing in line.
Fancier, Spa-Like Showers
The cabin showers leave a lot to be desired. Sure they are perfectly adequate for keeping clean, but not many would call them luxurious. Instead, what about newly designed shower stalls with more luxurious finishes and spa-like nozzles that make showering on your cruise a pleasant experience instead of just being utilitarian? We don’t expect anything too fancy — after all, it’s hard to provide a lot of luxury over thousands of cabins on a cruise ship. But we could definitely see an upgrade that makes the showers a lot nicer than what passengers in the past have been used to seeing.
Parasailing From the Ship
Head into any port and you are bound to see people parasailing (being pulled behind a boat while strapped to a parachute). If it can be offered by a small boat, why not offer parasailing from the back of the cruise ship? This would likely be a popular thing to do on sea days (and a potential revenue source for the cruise line). Plus it would provide spectacular views of the open ocean and the ship while underway.
Next time you take a cruise, take note of the mattress. Chances are it’s thinner than what you have at home, and like the shower, more utilitarian than luxurious. We expect that as time goes on, cruise passengers will continue to demand more luxurious experiences — starting with the bed that they sleep in every night. Don’t be surprised if you start to see thicker mattresses similar to what you see in high-end hotels.
A Return to “All-Inclusive” Eating
If you’re a regular cruiser, then you’ve no doubt noticed the rise of specialty restaurants that charge extra. Instead of being included in your cruise fare, you have to pay and see the charges in your onboard account. Unfortunately, cruise lines seem to be adding these extra-cost restaurants more and more, taking away one of the all-inclusive perks of cruising.
While we don’t think these restaurants are going anywhere, we could see a return to all-inclusive style by allowing passengers to pay a flat fee “food” charge (if they like) and be able to eat at the specialty restaurants as much as they please. This would keep this revenue source for the cruise lines while also getting back to eating without worrying about being nickeled and dimed on the cruise.
Have more ideas for what you’d like to see on a cruise ship? Let us know in the comments below!