Here’s a quick look at what’s new this week in cruising, and how it could impact your next trip…
- In the category of everything that’s old is cool again, luxury line Crystal Cruises is promising to try to bring back a classic: the SS United States, once known as “America’s Flagship” and the fastest ship in the world. The ship has been sitting for years in Philadelphia, more or less rotting, while preservationists have been calling for a savior. Enter Crystal, with a plan that may cost $800 million but, if feasible (a study is underway), it would mean a unique new option to cruise like it’s 1952.
- Ever wonder what happens when a giant cruise ship meets giant waves? You feel it. Sun-seekers heading to the Bahamas on the 4,200-passenger Anthem of the Seas found this out when the ship hit what Royal Caribbean is calling “extreme wind and sea conditions” off Florida’s Port Canaveral this week. Passengers took to social media, posting tales of survival and photos — broken dishes, overturned chairs and, our favorite, a video of a mini vodka bottle sliding across a dresser. Despite “some damage” the ship remained seaworthy, the line said. Still, with weather reports not great for the next few days, Royal Caribbean cut the cruise short and sent Anthem back to New Jersey. Passengers were promised a full refund plus 50 percent off their next cruise. Oh, and the mini-bar was on the house.
- If you like a good mystery, you may want to book a 10-day “surprise” Mediterranean cruise on Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Europa 2, because where the cruise will go won’t be determined until everyone is onboard — and then by democratic vote among passengers. The fun starts in May in Istanbul. We’re thinking Colonel Mustard with the candlestick in Civitavecchia (near Rome).