You know it’s true—not only kids love toys. Cruise lines have been upping the ante on ways to delight you. Here are some fine examples.
Five Star Kennels
The Amenity: Cunard’s flagship, the Queen Mary 2, is the only ship that carries pet dogs and cats across the Atlantic, housed in 24 kennels. The Details: The pampered pets have their own uniformed attendant, an exercise area with a lampost from Liverpool and a fire hydrant from New York, and an owners lounge for socializing. the brag: You can make new animal-loving friends, and Fido can say that he too has sailed the ocean blue.
The Amenity: Luxury suites with pools are almost de rigueur on land but a rarity at sea. The duplex Edge Villas on Celebrity’s three newest ships (Beyond, Apex, and Edge) come with private, three-foot-deep plunge pools, giving land resorts a rum for their money. The Details: The pools are not big enough for laps, but they’re ideal for cooling off during Mediterranean and Caribbean sailings. There are six Edge Villas on each ship, and they also include butlers. Pool cocktails, anyone? the brag: Floating in your own “pond” outside your own “villa” while gazing at constantly changing ocean views takes the overwater bungalow concept to a whole new level.
The Amenity: Viking’s ocean fleet of nine identical ships has some of the best spas a sea. with oversize whirlpools, heated loungers, and–listen up, cryotherapy enthusiasts–Snow Grottos. The Details: Embrace Nordic cold-hot therapy in a tiny glass-fronted chamber in which you sit amid rocks and actual snow before warming up in the sauna–and repeating. the brag: You can say with no exaggeration that you’ve thrown a snowball in the middle of the ocean while wearing a bathing suit.
The Amenity: In this age of immersive travel, it’s not enough to see the sights above the water–one wants to plumb the deep. The Seabourn Venture’s sub, as well as Scenic Eclipse’s, both hold six passengers and can dive 900 feet below the surface of the sea—or, in Antarctica, below the ice. The Details: These are no ordinary subs! Both have comfortable leather-upholstered seats set in giant acrylic spheres for 360-degree views. Seabourn’s also has a champagne cooler. the brag: You watched penguins dive-bombing underwater while you sipped bubbly under the polar ice. (What in the world would Shackleton say?)
The Amenity: For those who don’t wish to get wet or use a submarine, the French luxury line Ponant has fitted a multisensory “Blue Eye” lounge below the waterline of its six Explorer ships. The Details: You’ll both see marine life and hear it via hydrophones on the ship’s hull. The Blue Eye can accommodate up to 40 (so you want the front row) and it has a bar. the brag: Describe lying back in rippling blue underwater light watching for the shadowy figures of approaching whales and listening to their haunting song.
Many luxury ships have impressive wine cellars—with markups to match. Silversea’s Connoisseur list, which features more than 160 choice vintages, is sold virtually at cost. Some passengers even buy bottles to take home.
This story appears in the Summer 2022 issue of Town & Country. SUBSCRIBE NOW
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