Adventures & Sunsets

Yacht vs Cruise Ship Travel: Pros and Cons of Two Sailing Types

Posted on Last updated: March 15, 2024

When it comes to sea travel, deciding on going on a Yacht vs Cruise Ship can be a huge decision! After all, ahh, life on the open ocean. The salty wind whipping through your hair, the sun bronzing your skin, the endless blue horizon beckoning you forward.

It’s no wonder vacation dreams often involve the sea, but deciding how to conquer it can be the real challenge. 

Do you chart your own course aboard a luxurious yacht, or join the bustling community of a cruise ship? Both options offer thrilling escapes, but navigating Yacht vs Cruise Ship pros and cons is crucial for reaching your ideal vacation paradise. Let’s hop aboard to learn more!

Yachts vs Cruise Ships: Yacht Travel 101

yacht vs cruise ship, pros of yacht travel, freedom to travel and visit anywhere.

Sailing on a yacht usually involves a certain level of privacy and a much smaller size than a cruise ship. Yachts may range in size from about 10 to 40+ people with space for a lot of crew, too. Whether you purchase or charter a yacht, plenty of luxury is included.

Imagine waking up to the gentle lullaby of waves lapping against your private sun deck. A sleek yacht is your vessel, not a vessel to you. Its size grants access to hidden coves and secluded beaches inaccessible to larger ships like cruise ships.

Imagine anchoring by a pristine coral reef, diving into teeming marine life, then returning to a gourmet spread prepared by your personal chef.

Pros Of Yacht Travel

The following are the pros of yacht travel, like YACHTZOO :

  • Unparalleled Privacy: You set the pace, choose the destinations, and bask in the exclusivity of your own floating sanctuary with yacht travel. No crowded buffets, no jostling for poolside loungers, just you and your chosen companions.
  • Customization Galore: Design your itinerary around hidden gems, off-the-beaten-path adventures, and personal whims around your destination. 
  • Luxury Personified: From plush cabins with ocean views to private Jacuzzis and dedicated spa therapists, yachts pamper you with five-star service and amenities that redefine indulgence. Many services offer different sizes and kinds of yachts to choose from.
  • Unforgettable Experiences: Yacht traveling unlocks unique adventures no sea travel option can offer on a more private level.

There are some types of yacht travel that are not private, such as Croatia sailing tours on large or small-size yachts, where you’ll book a place on a set itinerary with others. Even in non-private yacht travel, the groups are much smaller and more personalized.

Cons Of Yacht Travel

The following are the cons of yacht travel:

  • Eye-watering Price Tag: Owning or chartering a yacht is a luxury reserved for the elite. Costs can soar into the millions of dollars, depending on the yacht’s size, amenities, and destination.
  • Limited Space: While offering intimacy, yachts lack the expansive decks and bustling social scene of cruise ships. For those seeking lots of socialization with fellow travelers, the yacht experience might feel too secluded.
  • Logistical Hurdles: From navigating unfamiliar waters to handling maintenance and provisioning, yacht life can be demanding, especially if you charter one yourself. Unless you have a seasoned crew at your disposal, be prepared for some hands-on work.
  • Limited Entertainment: While the ocean itself provides endless entertainment, yachts lack the onboard casino, theaters, and diverse activity options found on cruise ships. Consider your desire for onboard thrills when making your choice.
  • Seasickness: Smaller boats often rock more and have more potential for seasickness. Bigger boats are generally more stable.

Yachts vs Cruise Ships: Cruise Ship Travel 101

the pros and cons of travel on a yacht vs cruise ship, shot of cruise ship on the open ocean

Sailing on a cruise ship always involves larger crowds, but more things to do. There are up to thousands of people on cruise ships with bustling buffets and events. But, there are still private rooms and ways to make your cruise experience more exclusive.

Picture towering decks teeming with life, the aroma of international cuisine wafting from a dozen restaurants, and the thrumming excitement of high-end live shows.

Cruise ships are microcosms of vibrant worlds, offering an abundance of activities, destinations, and social connections. When it comes to comparing travel on a yacht vs cruise ship, let’s now talk cruise life!

Pros Of Cruise Ship Travel

The following are the pros of traveling via cruise ship:

  • Value-Packed Vacations: Compared to yachts, cruises offer a surprisingly affordable way to experience luxury travel. All-inclusive packages cover meals, accommodation, entertainment, and often shore excursions, making budgeting a breeze. There are also many epic last-minute deals.
  • Endless Entertainment: From exhilarating water slides and onboard casinos to world-class theater productions and themed parties, cruise ships cater to every taste and age group. Boredom is simply not an option on these bustling behemoths, and it’s effortless to make friends.
  • Diverse Destinations: Cruise itineraries whisk you away to the best of exotic locations. Each port of call unveils new cultures, cuisines, and adventures, all within the comfort of your floating home.
  • Cover More Distance: Cruise ships have a largce size and tons of power. If you want to cover more distance and visit more islands, countries or ports during your vacation time, cruises can cover more ground than yachts can.
  • A Dream Come True For The Social Butterfly: From cocktail mixers to poolside chats and organized shore excursions, cruise ships provide ample opportunities to mingle with fellow travelers. Most cruisers end up forging new friendships and having a great time at the parties and events.

Cons Of Cruise Ship Travel

The following are the cons of cruise ship travel:

  • Crowded Quarters: Brace yourself for busy decks, overflowing buffets, and limited personal space. There are lots of people packed into smaller spaces on cruise ships, with smaller rooms and lots of chairs packed onto the sun decks.
  • Fixed Itineraries: Cruise ships follow predetermined routes, leaving little room for spontaneity or off-the-beaten-path exploration. If you crave a flexible adventure, the rigid schedule might feel restrictive. Even if you explore on your own at each port of call, the ship will always leave within about half a day of arriving, leaving you time to choose only one tour or activity.
  • Potential Seasickness: For those prone to motion sickness, the gentle sway of the ocean can also lead to seasickness. Consult your doctor beforehand if you have concerns.
  • Environmental Impact: The sheer size and energy consumption of cruise ships raise environmental concerns. Consider choosing eco-conscious companies and shore excursions to minimize your footprint.

Hidden Costs Of Yacht And Cruise Ship Travel

shot of a cruise ship deck with pool, pros of cruise ship travel

Just like there are pros and cons of traveling on yachts vs cruise chips, hidden costs are also something to consider when choosing to sail on a yacht or a cruise, as the true cost extends beyond the initial price tag.

For yacht adventures, expenses such as fuel, provisions, marina fees, and crew gratuities can add up quickly. 

Cruise ships, nevertheless, present their own hidden costs. Shore excursions, specialty dining, onboard spa treatments, and premium beverage packages can easily inflate the initial price. Be conscious of add-ons that can inflate your vacation’s budget.

Additionally, factor in the cost of travel to and from embarkation points, which can be significant depending on your location and the cruise vacation itinerary. Consider choosing sailing trips that leave from an easily accessible place or somewhere with a bigger airport.

Embracing Sustainability In Yacht And Cruise Ship Vacations

While both yachts and cruise ships present potential sustainability concerns, responsible choices can mitigate carbon footprint. Look into sustainable sailing ship options to minimize your footprint.

For yacht enthusiasts, opting for smaller, fuel-efficient vessels and prioritizing eco-friendly marinas can make a difference. To add, supporting locally-sourced provisions and minimizing onboard waste contribute to a more sustainable yachting experience.

Cruise lines, as well, are making strides towards eco-friendliness. Selecting companies committed to alternative fuels, water conservation technologies, and responsible waste management practices goes a long way.

Plus, opting for shore excursions focused on environmental conservation and supporting local communities allows you to connect with your destinations in a sustainable way.

Choosing Your Mode Of Travel: Weighing in on theYacht vs Cruise Ship Pros and Cons

woman swimming in the ocean of a yacht, one of the pros of yacht vs cruise travel

Ultimately, the ‘yacht vs. cruise ship’ debate boils down to your personal preferences and priorities. 

For those seeking unparalleled privacy, bespoke adventures, and unbridled luxury, yachts are the best choice. But for those who crave meeting fellow travelers and enjoying new travel experiences and itineraries with others and so on, cruise ships might be the options for you.

Bon Voyage!

Ultimately, the best course of sea travel lies in embracing the unique benefits of each vessel, as the pros and cons of yachts vs cruises comes down to the individual.

Whether you chart your own course on a sleek yacht or join the vibrant community of a majestic cruise ship, it’s best that you enjoy the precious moments at sea with your loved ones. Go forward – set your sails, raise your anchor, and embark on your own personal sea vacation travel.

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Yacht vs Cruise Ship (4 Basic Differences)

Are you wondering what the difference is between a yacht and a cruise ship? Here’s a quick rundown of the key differences between these two types of vessels.

In simple words, Yachts are smaller , privately owned vessels. Cruise ships are large, publicly owned vessels.

Yachts typically have a small crew and can accommodate a limited number of passengers. Cruise ships have a large crews and can carry thousands of passengers.

Yachts are used for pleasure cruising, racing, or chartering. Cruise ships are used for passenger transportation, vacationing, or business purposes.

Further reading the article will give you detailed answers to your queries.

Table of Contents

Yacht vs Cruise Ship

For starters, yachts are generally much smaller than cruise ships. Yachts also tend to be more luxurious, and they often have a more intimate atmosphere onboard.

Cruise ships, on the other hand, are typically large vessels that can accommodate hundreds or even thousands of passengers.

They also tend to be more budget-friendly, and they offer a wide variety of activities and amenities for guests to enjoy.

When it comes to size, yachts definitely have the upper hand. The average yacht is around 100 feet long, while the average cruise ship is roughly three times that size.

This means that yachts are much more maneuverable than cruise ships, and they can often dock in places that larger vessels simply cannot.

Yachts also tend to be more luxurious than cruise ships. They usually have fewer passengers onboard, so there is more space for each guest to enjoy.

Yachts also often have nicer staterooms and suites, and they may offer more upscale amenities like private balconies and butler service.

Cruise ships, on the other hand, are typically more budget-friendly than yachts. They can accommodate more passengers, so they can spread the cost of the voyage over a larger number of people.

Cruise ships also often have a wider variety of activities and amenities available for guests to enjoy.

When it comes to privacy, yacht vs cruise ship, there are some important considerations to take into account. First and foremost, cruises tend to be much more crowded than yachts.

This means that you’ll likely have less privacy on a cruise ship than you would on a yacht. Additionally, cruises typically offer fewer amenities and activities than yachts.

This means that you’ll likely have to spend more time in your cabin or suite on a cruise ship than you would on a yacht.

Finally, cruises typically have stricter rules and regulations than yachts. This means that you’ll need to be more mindful of your behavior and actions on a cruise ship than you would on a yacht.

The debate between yacht and cruise ship safety is one that has been around for years. Both have their pros and cons, but which one is really the safest?

Let’s start with yachts. Yachts are typically much smaller than cruise ships, so they have less surface area for waves to hit.

They also have a lower center of gravity, which makes them less likely to tip over in high winds. And because they’re not as tall, they’re less likely to be damaged by large waves.

However, yachts do have some safety concerns. They’re not as stable as cruise ships, so they can roll more easily in rough seas.

And because they’re smaller, they can be more easily capsized by large waves. Now let’s look at cruise ships.

Cruise ships are much larger than yachts, so they have more surface area for waves to hit. They also have a higher center of gravity, which makes them more likely to tip over in high winds.

And because they’re taller, they’re more likely to be damaged by large waves. However, cruise ships also have some safety concerns.

They’re not as maneuverable as yachts, so they can’t avoid waves as easily. And because they’re so big, they can take longer to stop in an emergency situation.

It all comes down to the specific situation. If you’re concerned about rolling in rough seas, then a yacht is probably the better choice.

But if you’re worried about being capsized by a large wave, then a cruise ship is probably the safer option.

Of course, the best way to stay safe on the water is to be prepared for both scenarios. Make sure you know how to swim, and always wear a life jacket.

And be sure to check the weather forecast before you set sail . That way, you can be sure to avoid any dangerous conditions.

Itinerary Flexibility & Customization

One of the key advantages that a yacht has over a cruise ship is itinerary flexibility and customization. Yacht charters offer a much more personalized vacation experience.

Allowing you to tailor your trip to suit your specific needs and interests. You can choose to explore secluded coves and anchorages, visit remote islands, or sail to popular tourist destinations.

There is no set itinerary, so you are free to go at your own pace and spend as much or as little time in each location as you wish.

Another advantage of chartering a yacht is that you can often customize the onboard experience to suit your group’s preferences.

For example, if you are interested in watersports, you can charter a yacht with equipment and staff specifically for this purpose.

Or, if you prefer a more relaxed vacation, you can charter a yacht with a spa and onboard chef. There is no need to compromise on your dream vacation when you charter a yacht.

Finally, chartering a yacht gives you the opportunity to enjoy a luxurious vacation without the crowds and hassles often associated with cruise ships.

You will have your own private vessel to enjoy, complete with everything you need for a relaxing and enjoyable trip.

Whether you are looking for an intimate getaway or a grand adventure, a charter yacht vacation is a perfect way to escape the ordinary and experience something truly unforgettable.

If you are interested in exploring the world on your own terms, a yacht charter vacation may be the perfect option for you.

With so many advantages over cruise ships, it is easy to see why this type of vacation is becoming increasingly popular.

Amazing Food & Drink

When it comes to food and drink, there are some big differences between yacht and cruise ship vacations.

On a yacht, you’ll have access to much better food and drink options, as well as the opportunity to dine in more intimate settings.

And of course, you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful views from your yacht while you enjoy your meal. On a cruise ship, the food and drink options are more limited.

And you’ll likely be stuck eating in the buffet line with everyone else. Another big difference between yacht and cruise ship vacations is the size of the accommodations.

Yachts tend to be much smaller than cruise ships, so you’ll have a more intimate experience on board. You’ll also have more privacy on a yacht since there are fewer people on board.

And of course, you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful views from your yacht while you relax in your cabin. On a cruise ship, the accommodations are typically larger.

So you’ll have less privacy and more noise. And of course, you’ll be stuck on a cruise ship with hundreds or even thousands of other people.

If you want a more intimate and luxurious experience, then a yacht is probably the better option. However, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly vacation with plenty of activities and amenities, then a cruise ship is probably a better choice.

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Yacht vs Cruise Ship: Key Differences Explained

  • November 1, 2023

Many travelers look at luxury yacht rentals and cruise ships when planning a vacation at sea. But there are some major distinctions between these two options. Understanding the key differences can help you choose the best one to suit your needs and expectations.

Size and Capacity

The most obvious difference is size and guest capacity. Cruise ships are massive, housing 2000-6000 passengers.

Even small ships carry 600+ people. In contrast, chartered yachts max out around 12 guests, with typical capacities of 6-10. The intimate scale ensures an exclusive escape.

Aerial view comparing the massive scale of a crowded 3,000 passenger cruise liner versus an intimate 50-foot luxury yacht with guests sunbathing on the deck

Itineraries and Flexibility

Cruises sail along fixed routes and strict schedules, whereas yacht charters offer total itinerary flexibility. Craft your own custom route with a captain. Spend more time in spots you love and bypass others. The only fixed elements are your start/end ports.

Onboard Experience

The onboard ambiance varies dramatically between the two. Cruise ships feel like floating cities with crowds everywhere. You’ll share amenities with thousands of fellow passengers. Chartered yachts provide a private, peaceful retreat catered to you. No queues or sharing.

Activities and Entertainment

Both offer plenty of amenities, but the vibe is different. Cruises offer fun activities like casinos and shows, while yachts provide relaxation and adventures like snorkeling and fishing. The choice depends on your interests.

People crowded together playing slot machines and table games inside a colorful neon-lit cruise ship casino and A couple snorkeling in clear blue waters, wearing masks and fins while viewing tropical fish and coral.

Service and Cuisine

With thousands of guests, cruise staff and dining cannot provide truly personalized service. You get more staff interaction on a yacht, including a captain dedicated to your charter. Included in the experience is fine dining with customized menus and premium alcohol.

For an exclusive getaway on your terms, a private yacht charter reigns supreme. But mass market cruises suit travelers who enjoy crowds and scripted entertainment. Evaluate your priorities to choose the best seafaring vacation.

Crowded cruise ship dining room filled with long tables of guests and waiters during dinnertime.

Booking and Costs

Booking a cruise is relatively simple through major cruise lines or agencies, while yacht charters require researching reputable brokers and charter companies, of which there are many. Cruise fares per person are lower, but a fully crewed yacht divided among guests can still be competitive. Keep costs variable by booking a bareboat yacht charter.

Laptop displaying cruise line website with advertised prices to book a vacation on a large cruise ship.

Destinations and Departure Ports

Cruise ships certainly provide a wide variety of itineraries, but their large size limits them to major cruise ports. Yachts can access small coves, secluded islands, and exotic locales that mega-ships can’t reach. Many more departure ports are accessible for yacht charters too.

Massive cruise ship docked at a large busy cruise port unable to access small exotic destinations like smaller charter yachts can

Onboard Accommodations

Staterooms on a cruise provide basic comfort, often with an ocean view. Yachts feature lavish staterooms and master suites with hotel-style amenities. You’ll get complete privacy, often with en-suite bathrooms. Some large charter yachts rival small boutique hotels in luxury. .

Health and Safety

Mass gatherings on cruises can enable the rapid spread of illnesses like COVID or norovirus. Yachts provide isolation from crowds and allow immunocompromised guests to vacation safely. Strict protocols keep private yachts disinfected, and both options mandate safety drills and procedures.

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Yacht vs Cruise Ship: A Comprehensive Comparison

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What is a Yacht?

A yacht is a private, luxury watercraft designed for leisure use. They range from smaller vessels that can be sailed or driven by the owner, to superyachts that require a professional crew to operate. Yachts are known for their luxury amenities and personalized services.

What is a Cruise Ship?

A cruise ship, on the other hand, is a large passenger ship used for pleasure voyages. Cruise ships are essentially floating resorts, offering a wide range of amenities and activities. They can accommodate hundreds or even thousands of passengers.

Yacht vs Cruise Ship: The Key Differences

There are several key differences between a yacht and a cruise ship, including size, amenities, travel experience, and privacy.

The most obvious difference is size. While yachts can be quite large—superyachts often exceed 100 feet in length—cruise ships are significantly larger. Some of the biggest cruise ships can carry more than 6,000 passengers and 2,000 crew members.

Both yachts and cruise ships offer luxury amenities, but the scope differs greatly. Cruise ships often feature multiple dining venues, bars, pools, fitness centers, spas, theatres, and even shopping malls. Yachts, while smaller, offer high-end, personalized amenities like private chefs, hot tubs, and custom entertainment systems.

Travel Experience

The travel experience also differs significantly. Cruise ships follow set itineraries with scheduled stops at various ports. Yacht charters, on the other hand, offer more flexibility, allowing you to customize your itinerary and explore less crowded, off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Privacy is another critical difference. On a yacht, you share the space with only your chosen guests and crew. On a cruise ship, you’re traveling with a large number of other passengers, which can affect your privacy.

Superyacht vs Ship: A Unique Comparison

A superyacht is a large, privately-owned yacht that is professionally crewed. But how does it compare to a ship?

Size and Capability

While superyachts are smaller than cruise ships, they are often more technologically advanced. They are designed to deliver a luxurious, personalized experience and can navigate areas that larger ships can’t access.

Luxury and Exclusivity

Superyachts are synonymous with luxury and exclusivity. From high-end finishes and bespoke interiors to personalized service and gourmet dining, superyachts offer a level of luxury that even the most upscale cruise ships struggle to match.

Cruise Ship vs Yacht Vacations: Which One to Choose?

The choice between a cruise ship vacation and a yacht charter depends on your preferences and expectations.

If you’re traveling with a large group or want to meet new people, a cruise ship might be a better option. If you prefer a more intimate, private experience with family or friends, a yacht charter would be ideal.

Cruise ships offer fixed itineraries and pre-planned activities, which can be great for those who prefer a structured vacation. Yacht charters offer more flexibility and freedom to explore at your own pace.

Cruise ship vacations are generally more affordable, with costs spread out among many passengers. Yacht charters can be more expensive, but they offer a unique, personalized experience that many find worth the higher price tag.

How Charters Deliver a Truly 5-Star Experience

Yacht charters are known for delivering a truly 5-star experience, offering unparalleled luxury, privacy, and flexibility.

Personalized Service

With a professional crew at your disposal, you can expect personalized service tailored to your preferences. This can include everything from custom menus prepared by your private chef to itinerary planning based on your interests.

Luxury Amenities

Yacht charters offer high-end, luxury amenities. From plush accommodations and private dining areas to onboard entertainment systems and water sports equipment, everything is designed for your comfort and enjoyment.


One of the biggest advantages of yacht charters is the flexibility they offer. You can set your own pace, choose your destinations, and change your itinerary as you wish.

In conclusion, while both yachts and cruise ships offer luxurious water travel experiences, they cater to different needs and preferences. Whether you prefer the intimate luxury of a yacht charter or the extensive amenities and social opportunities of a cruise ship, there’s a perfect option out there for your next vacation.

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Boat vs. Ship vs Yacht: What’s the Difference?

A couple looking at the sunset as they ride on their sailboat | Sebastus Sailing

Language is a tricky thing, and picking out the differences between similar terms can be confusing. This is especially true when some of the definitions overlap. This is the case with the case of boat vs. ship vs. yacht . What’s the difference? We know in our gut that there are differences between these three seafaring vessels, but unless you’re a harbor master do you really know what counts as what?

Let’s get into some definitions, and we’re going to start with the easiest to explain: What is a yacht? What is a ship? And what is a boat?

Yacht vs. Ship vs. Boat

What is a yacht.

A yacht, I think everyone would agree, is fancier than a ship or a boat. “Yacht” infers some amount of luxury , and definitely recreation. There’s also something to be said about size. A yacht tends to be anywhere between 35 feet up to 160 feet. And some yachts, known as superyachts, go even beyond that. (Jeff Bezos just built a 417 foot yacht, but that’s really breaking yacht records.)

Because of the size, yachts tend to operate in larger bodies of water–generally the ocean. Yachts are able to handle rougher ocean waves, and they are also equipped with more advanced navigation and guidance instruments than smaller boats. Likewise, a yacht tends to have a full crew to help with the navigation, engineering, repairs, as well as having stewards that serve the yacht’s guests. This can be anywhere from a crew of four or five up to a crew of a few dozen on large yachts. 

One interesting thing to note is that outside of the United States, a yacht refers to a sailboat , and a motorized yacht is called a “motor yacht”. 

So, is a yacht a boat? Yes, technically a yacht is a boat. But a yacht is a very specific kind of boat.

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What is a Ship?

The term ship is most commonly associated with a very large boat, and something that is not as fancy as a yacht (one exception is that cruise ships can still be very fancy, but are referred to as ships because of their size and power.)

Ships are generally so large that they would never be found in a lake, with some exceptions for the Great Lakes, and are made for navigating the high seas of the open ocean. An ship can refer to a cruise ship, a naval ship, a tanker, a container ship, and many other commercial vessels.

Ships tend to have advanced navigation and technology, but much more advanced than that of a yacht due to the size, the speed, and the routes that a ship will take. They are meant to be traversing the open ocean for very long periods of time, from one continent to the next, while a yacht may only rarely set across the ocean and most often stays somewhat near land. 

A ship will also have a much larger crew than a yacht or a boat. Ships are typically so large that they need not only one trained navigator but a set of navigators, plus an entire engineering team, and includes many more positions. 

Finally, a ship is meant to carry things. This may be passengers, yes (in reference to cruise ships and some navy ships) but most ships are for carrying cargo–or even carrying equipment to do work on other ships including repair work or refueling. 

What is a Boat?

Well, a boat is harder to define, because a yacht is technically a boat, and a ship is technically a boat. But when people refer to boats, they are almost always referring to something smaller than either a yacht or a ship. Boats may be motorized, like a speed boat, or they may sail, or they may be man-powered, like a rowboat or a kayak. Really, anything up to and including a liferaft, can be called a boat.

(As a side note that will just muddy the waters even further, submarine captains are adamant that their subs are boats. They are not ships.)

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So, Boat vs. Ship Vs. Yacht?

Ultimately it comes down to this: all three of them are boats, but yachts are fancier, larger, and used for recreation, and ships are even larger, used commercially or by the navy, and are meant to cross oceans. The dividing line is sometimes thin, but generally speaking, when it comes to boats vs. ships.vs. yachts you can go by the adage “ I know it when I see it .”

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The Four Seasons Yacht Launching in 2025 Will Be an Ultra-Luxe, Invitation-Only Cruise Ship

By Jessica Puckett

The Four Seasons Yacht Launching in 2025 Will Be an UltraLuxe InvitationOnly Cruise Ship

When it was first announced last year , the Four Seasons Yacht generated a lot of excitement among cruisers and loyal fans of the hotel brand alike. But few details on what would be aboard the 14-deck luxury yacht, which is slated to launch at the end of 2025, have been available—until now.

Earlier this week, Four Seasons released the first renderings of the yacht’s decks and interiors—and there’s plenty to get even more excited about.

The vessel will be built around “immersive luxury experiences,” Four Seasons’ president and CEO Alejandro Reynal said in a statement . “The inaugural yacht is a manifestation of this vision, offering a world-class Four Seasons experience, at sea and on land, marked by the genuine, personalized service that our guests know and love.”

On board, there will be a total of 95 suites, the crown jewel of which will be The Funnel Suite: an expansive, four-story penthouse space that is set to be one of the largest suites available on any cruise ship. Across its four levels and its huge outdoor terrace, it will offer more than 9,500 square feet of private space for up to six guests. The Funnel Suite will be located on the ship’s highest decks—where a traditional “funnel” or smokestack would be on a steamship—ensuring optimal privacy and solitude.

The suite’s defining design feature is its curved, wraparound glass windows that will stretch from floor to ceiling and offer sweeping 280-degree views of the sea. The curved glass is a “one-of-a-kind engineering innovation [that] is nothing short of remarkable, from its steel web frame support structure to its double glass thermal performance,” says a company statement. (Four Seasons says it’s the largest piece of contiguous glass at sea and cost $4.5 million to build and install.)

The penthouse suite will also offer a private wading pool on the terrace and a private area dedicated to in-suite spa treatments.

Elsewhere on the yacht, the suites might not be as colossal, but they’re no less luxurious. Each one offers an average of about 580 square feet of space and comes with its own private veranda, measuring at least 100 square feet. No matter where guests stay there's sure to be plenty of pampering, with crew set to outnumber the amount of passengers on the ship.

The Four Seasons Yacht Launching in 2025 Will Be an UltraLuxe InvitationOnly Cruise Ship

Sure to be just as stunning are the public spaces throughout the yacht. On the vessel’s aft deck will be a pool area, featuring lounge chairs and a large 66-foot pool, which is modeled after Aristotle Onassis’ iconic yacht Christina O . The pool’s design means that its saltwater can be quickly filled or emptied and its floor raised to be level with the deck and provide a multi-purpose space for events like parties or weddings on board.

For passengers who prefer swimming in the ocean, the Four Seasons Yacht will have an innovative marina, built especially for swimming and water sports. Activities like private sailing, snorkeling, and windsurfing will be offered, as well as “rentable custom crafted sea limousines designed for transfers and coastal grand touring.” There will be dedicated marina crew to tend to guests’ every need, and beach ladders for direct dips in the ocean when the ship is on anchorage.

In a first-of-its-kind design, the marina area will stretch the entire width of the ship and include large platforms and tiered lounging decks for relaxing in the sun after splashing in the water. Overlooking the marina will be a sophisticated lounge with al fresco seating, the perfect place for a glass of Champagne at sundown.

The Four Seasons Yacht Launching in 2025 Will Be an UltraLuxe InvitationOnly Cruise Ship

As far as itineraries, Four Seasons will prioritize exploring destinations traditionally popular with private yachts, including the Caribbean and the Mediterranean .

When reservations for the first voyages open in January 2024, they will first be available on an invitation-only basis for loyal Four Seasons guests and other travel partners. The exclusivity is “driven by the need to manage extraordinary demand” with scarce inventory, according to the Four Seasons statement. But don’t worry, the yacht will also have an online waitlist that cruisers can join in hopes of being part of the glamor.

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The intimate yachts of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection are purposefully designed to explore the world’s celebrated cities and island hideaways. The sleek lines of the exteriors come together with fluid grace, evoking the relaxed freedom of the yachting lifestyle. The interiors have been thoughtfully crafted to fuse the refined residential feel of The Ritz-Carlton ashore with the innovative design quality of the world’s most stylish yachts. As guests of The Ritz-Carlton have come to expect, each yacht features unparalleled personalized service and luxurious amenities as well as world-class specialty restaurants and spacious suites, each with a private terrace.

Join just 298 guests aboard Evrima , taking in the view from your suite’s private terrace as you drop anchor off a scenic shoreline. From the aft Marina, you can explore by kayak or paddle board before heading ashore. Five restaurants and six lounges offer an array of culinary delights, while legendary service and luxurious amenities complete the onboard experience.

Capacity: 298 guests Tonnage: 25,400 Year Built: 2021

With the highest ratio of space per guest at sea, Ilma features just 224 airy, light-filled suites, all with private terraces. Five restaurants, six bars and a wine vault offer culinary experiences to please every palate. The yacht’s aft Marina includes expansive spaces where you can dine alfresco while admiring the seascapes or enjoy watersports directly from the yacht.

Capacity: 448 Guests Tonnage: 46,750 Year Built: 2024

A beacon of modern elegance inspired by light’s allure embarks on inaugural Mediterranean voyages in 2025. Luminara, our next superyacht, features 226 suites with private terraces and unrivaled space ratios for guests at sea, while two new upper suite categories deliver 1,000 square feet of uplifting ambiance. Savor moments in five restaurants, six bars, and a wine vault. The expanded marina makes the sea your playground, and The Ritz-Carlton Spa® your haven for transformation.   Capacity: 452 guests Tonnage: 46,750 Year Built: 2025

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Sleek and sophisticated, the intimate yachts of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection fuse the refined residential feel and legendary service of The Ritz-Carlton with the relaxed freedom of the yachting lifestyle.

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We never forget that curiosity, awe and adventure are what make travel so transformative, both on land and at sea. At every opportunity, we’ve designed immersive experiences with The Ritz-Carlton sensibility in mind, whether that’s an evening of unexpected entertainment, a truly memorable meal, or a bespoke excursion ashore in one of the world’s most captivating destinations.

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Each Ritz-Carlton yacht has been thoughtfully designed to marry a spacious, residential feel with the innovative design of the world’s most stylish yacht interiors. Our Ladies and Gentlemen ensure that your every need is met with genuine care and the legendary service that The Ritz-Carlton is known for. With every detail considered, you’re free to enjoy each moment of your all-inclusive journey.

Evrima was named for a word of Greek origin that means “discovery.” Explore five restaurants and six lounges; schedule a treatment at The Ritz-Carlton Spa; enjoy a day on the water from the aft marina; or dance under the stars in The Observation Lounge. 

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Our newest yacht, Ilma — slated to set sail for its inaugural season in 2024 — takes its name from the Maltese word for “water.” Connect with the sea on your private terrace, in open-air lounges or via the yacht’s expanded marina. Savor new flavors in one of five restaurants, and indulge in rejuvenating treatments at The Ritz-Carlton Spa.

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First look: Emerald Azzurra, the first oceangoing yacht from Emerald Cruises

Eric Rosen

A cruise ship isn't my typical travel habitat. Instead, you'll usually find me trying to score award flights in Singapore Suites or figuring out when whale sharks will next be passing through La Paz for a friendly snorkel.

That's not to say I'm not intrigued by the ever-evolving panoply of amenities and activities cruise lines now offer, such as shipboard tattoo parlors , luxury spas and surf simulators . I just haven't gone out of my way to experience them.

However, when the opportunity arose to sail on Emerald Azzurra — the first oceangoing vessel from Emerald Cruises — I was on board, so to speak.

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To start, I was intrigued by the itinerary , running from Aqaba, Jordan, to Athens, Greece, which would take me to see several wonders of the ancient world.

Plus, the ship's small size (it accommodates just 100 passengers) and sleek design made it seem more like a high-tech yacht than a crowd-pleasing megaship. It even has a marina platform so passengers can snorkel, kayak and paddleboard right off the ship in certain destinations. Basically, it felt like my kind of cruise.

Here's what else my experience aboard Emerald Azzurra's second voyage entailed and what passengers can expect on future sailings.

A little background: From rivers to seas

Emerald Azzurra marks a new chapter for Emerald Cruises, which has been primarily a river cruise line since its founding in 2014. Emerald Cruises is part of Glen Moroney's Scenic Group, which also operates Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours.

My sailing was just the second for Emerald Azzurra, which was constructed in Vietnam's Ha Long Shipyard and delivered to Emerald in February of this year. Its maiden voyage took place in March on an itinerary titled, "Best of the Red Sea," ending in Aqaba where my fellow passengers and I would board.

Designed for an intimate guest experience, Emerald Azzurra is petite at 360 feet long, with six passenger decks and just 50 cabins. The scale, as well as its pronounced, aquadynamic prow, reminded me of nothing so much as a Russian oligarch's impounded yacht … minus the geopolitical implications, of course.

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Emerald Azzurra is also representative of a new wave of luxurious yacht-like and expedition vessels that multiple lines are launching, including Silversea Cruises and the much-anticipated Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection . Emerald Azzurra and its forthcoming sister ship, Emerald Sakara, will carry just 100 passengers at most, however, which is around half the capacity of competitors' ships.

What's more, Emerald's sailings are priced more attractively than those on comparable vessels, starting below $4,000 per person on some itineraries. That's versus Mediterranean cruises from $6,800 per person with the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, for instance. Emerald's fares even include most excursions (there are a few optional DiscoverMORE experiences that require an extra fee). While you might not enjoy over-the-top amenities like butler service or on-demand caviar that some other luxury lines proffer, that price differential is likely to entice a fair number of prospective passengers who are price conscious but still desire a high-end experience.

Emerald Azzurra: Deck by deck

Although I enjoy fantastic flight experiences like Qatar Qsuites or Qantas business class , I still tend to see airplanes as simply a mode of transportation that gets you to your final destination.

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On the other hand, a cruise ship feels more like a destination unto itself, sort of like a floating hotel, and I was eager to explore Emerald Azzurra's many features.

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The guest decks run from levels 2 to 7, with the cabins spread across decks 3 to 6. Deck 3 is the "ground floor" of sorts, from which we would disembark and re-board at each port of call. It's where my fellow passengers and I were first welcomed aboard. We were shepherded past the reception desk and toward the bow into the bar and lounge area for COVID-19 tests and sparkling pineapple cocktails.

As we awaited our results, I scoped out the room, which was fitted with large booths and low tables on both sides for convivial gatherings over pre-dinner cocktails. Through the center, a hodgepodge of Saarinen-like tulip chairs, velvet ottomans and rounded loveseats were arranged in casual groupings around chrome-legged, marble-topped tables. Toward the far end, high Monarch-style stools flanked the cocktail bar.

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The understated palette of silver and charcoal grays, limestone and taupe, along with the mirrored pillars and ceiling panels, gave the space a sophisticated but unstuffy ambiance that blended art deco and midcentury modern aesthetics with a splash of '70s glam thrown in.

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Because some of the artwork and plants meant to decorate the walls had not arrived by our sailing, the room did look a little stark, but I imagine it felt a little livelier when those final touches arrived after my disembarkation.

Once we had our negative results, we were free to check into our cabins, enjoy a light buffet lunch at the main restaurant at the stern of Deck 3, La Cucina, or simply explore the ship.

Related: A beginner's guide to picking a cruise line

I took the opportunity to roam the decks for pictures while other passengers were settling in. I started at the Sky Deck on level 7, where there is a small outdoor bar and a jacuzzi at the front and various lounging and seating areas running along either side of deck. Other travelers were soon up here enjoying glasses of wine and beer while taking advantage of the sunshine.

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Like the lounge, this area seemed a little bare, but it should be outfitted with a lush assortment of plants before long to give it a more garden-like feel.

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From there, I took a set of stairs down to the pool deck at the back of level 6. There is a small infinity pool facing the stern with sun loungers, two round day beds and padded deep benches. Because the weather was not very warm during my trip and the crew actually had to drain the pool for some of the rougher parts of the sailing, I didn't actually use it, though I can imagine it'll be the place to hang on hot days this summer.

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Just in front of the pool is the Aqua Café, which serves light bites, pastries and coffee throughout the day. We had lunch out here one sunny afternoon and it was delightfully warm and breezy.

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Deck 5 comprises cabins (including the one I occupied). One level down from that, at the front of Deck 4, is an observation lounge that's kind of like a living room and library in one. Guests can serve themselves cappuccinos and other hot drinks from an espresso machine or fill up a glass with still or sparkling water, then settle into one of the cozy chairs with a travel or history book from the shelves. There are various games at the table, too, including chess and tic-tac-toe.

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Back on Deck 3, I stopped by the reception desk to hand over my passport to the agents so they could take care of customs formalities at our upcoming ports. Heading toward the stern, I peeked into the small boutique that opens in international waters to sell items like Ray-Ban sunglasses, Frey Wille jewelry and Johnstons of Elgin cashmere scarves.

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From there, it was a quick turn to the central axis of the ship, with a bank of two elevators and a stunning bifurcated staircase with glass balustrades, chrome railings and floating steps that hearkened to the grand staircases of golden age ocean liners.

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The back half of this deck is taken up by the main restaurant, La Cucina, which serves buffet breakfast and lunch and a la carte dinner. Though our voyage was too cold and windy to take advantage of it, the restaurant has an expansive outdoor deck that should hopefully be open for dining under the stars while at anchor in the summer months, or for enjoying an early-morning coffee while steaming into port. You might also notice that the dining room looks slightly bare-bones, but more art and permanent tables are on the way (the crew reportedly raided the Amman Ikea store for temporary furnishings, including dining room tables, for this sailing).

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For a ship this size, it felt like there were plenty of public areas in which to spend time, whether it was quietly reading in the observation lounge, sharing drinks with fellow travelers in the lounge, or finding a sheltered corner of the Sky Deck to take in the coastline as we approached various ports.

The cabin: Spare but elegant

Emerald Azzurra has 50 cabins, 44 of which have balconies .

Ocean-view rooms start at a mere 182 square feet and only have windows, while Balcony Suites, of which there are 36, range from a more sizable 285-306 square feet and have private balconies.

There are two larger Deluxe Balcony Suites with separate bedroom and living areas, two Terrace Suites with both a balcony and a private terrace, two Yacht Suites with their own large private terraces and two Owner's Suites, which measure up at 1,162-1,192 square feet including both indoor bedroom and living areas as well as large outdoor decks.

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The specialty suites come with extra amenities that vary by category but include items like a welcome fruit platter and bottle of sparkling wine, a full minibar that's restocked daily, in-room coffee and tea-making accouterments and complimentary daily laundry.

I was lucky enough to be assigned one of the Terrace Suites and was immediately impressed by the size of both the interior space as well as the outdoor deck and the amount of natural light filtering in through the floor-to-ceiling glass doors on two sides of the cabin.

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The outdoor furniture and pillows had not all arrived by the time of our sailing, so I stuck mostly to the lounge chair when enjoying the fresh air, but luckily the cabin itself was quite comfortable. I thought this was the biggest drawback of an early sailing — not being able to fully use the suite's terrace other than for a few minutes of sunshine here or there.

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However, it appears that the outdoor furnishings arrived after my departure, and the line sent TPG an updated photo of the other Terrace Suite's deck to show what it should look like going forward.

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You might notice a sloping wall to the side of the deck. That shields the terrace from a public staircase down to the third deck, which does cut down on the privacy, but I didn't see any passengers use it during our cruise, so I don't think that should dissuade anyone from booking this suite.

Much of the indoor footprint is taken up by the bed, which can be split into two twins, and is dressed in the same soft white, 600 thread-count linens you'll find on other Emerald and Scenic ships. You can also use a control to raise and lower the top portion of the mattress on either side.

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To either side is a built-in set of shelves in light-colored timber for small items. There are also USB ports and power plugs plus a small, flip-out reading light. You'll notice a large empty space with a mirrored wall behind it between the bed and the balcony. After I disembarked, the crew met a shipment of furniture that included swivel chairs and footrests for the space, though it remained empty for my sojourn.

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There is a work desk across from the bed, which also houses the minibar. The crew had left me a fruit platter with a dramatic glass cover plus a bottle of prosecco, though I was more interested in the electric kettle and the Illy espresso machine, which looked harder to use than it actually was. The cabin's phone, audio sets for our guided tours, carafes of water and two metal water bottles took up the rest of the desk.

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Though small, the closet had enough space for all our hanging clothes and had several drawers for other apparel plus two bathrobes, two large umbrellas and a safe.

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Across from it, the bathroom lies behind a mirrored door. Like many ship restrooms, this one is compact but efficiently laid out .

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In addition to the toilet, there is a single sink, above which is a vanity that opens into a large cupboard and a smaller one for toiletries. Below it are drawers and shelves for more belongings as well as a provided hairdryer. The glass walk-in shower had both an enormous overhead rainfall showerhead and a higher-pressure hand-held one by Hansgrohe.

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The tiling, which is made to look like deeply veined Calacatta marble, feels bright and clean and contrasts nicely with the colorfully patterned Missoni towels. What I appreciated most, however, were the upscale ESPA bath and skincare products the line stocks for guests to use, which are light on the skin and aromatic without being overpowering.

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Although I wasn't able to snap photos of another passenger cabin , one traveler showed me hers in the Balcony Suite category. The interior felt just as large as the Terrace Suite thanks to some slightly different furnishings and placements, and the bathroom looked like my suite's, though the shower had just a single handheld shower head mounted on the wall.

Onboard amenities: Massages and a marina

I've already mentioned a few of Emerald Azzurra's amenities, like the top-deck jacuzzi and the rear-facing infinity pool. There is also a guest laundry where passengers can clean their own clothes, so passengers can pack light without worrying about running out of attire.

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Deck 2 houses the ship's wellness area , which includes a gym equipped with Technogym cardio machines, some free weights and a multiuse weight machine. Passengers can also reserve private sessions for personal training, yoga, meditation and Pilates, ranging from $55 to $105.

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There is a single-seat salon where guests can book manicures, waxes, eyebrow grooming, cuts and styling using Kitoko Arte products.

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The spa has two treatment rooms and offers a range of treatments with ESPA products, such as the 60-minute intense regeneration facial for $175 and the 60-minute hot stone massage for $205, among other possibilities.

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Though I did not personally indulge, my travel companion booked a combination massage and facial and practically melted into bed when he returned to the cabin that afternoon. I woke him up for an hour-long yoga session with the ship's personal trainer later that day (complimentary classes were available on several days of the sailing). After, we headed back to the spa for a 20-minute sit in the infrared sauna to loosen up.

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One of Emerald Azzurra's main selling points, at least in my estimation, is that it has an onboard water sports marina of sorts.

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Passengers will be able to enjoy more active pursuits such as snorkeling and kayaking in certain ports such as Korcula in Croatia and Parga in Greece (pending weather and final approval of the harbormaster, of course).

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Though the itinerary I was on would not allow for this, I still got a tour of the equipment stowed down there, and some guests were able to borrow the complimentary Gocycle electric bikes in Kusadasi, Turkey. There was an active cycling tour offered in Rhodes, too, but that was after I had disembarked.

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For travelers who, like me, need to keep up with a bit of work while on board, the ship offers free Wi-Fi and will eventually also feature premium, higher-speed packages for sale. The free version worked decently for things like emailing and internet browsing, but not quite well enough for uploading photos or videos. It also caused the television reception to cut out frequently, so hopefully, that will be fixed when the faster service comes online.

Dining and drinking: You won't go hungry

One of the elements of my cruise I was most impressed with was the culinary program . Although there is only one main restaurant plus the poolside cafe, the kitchen team kept things interesting throughout the cruise, with few repeats in the lunch buffets and the Mediterranean-inspired dinner menus.

Each day's breakfast buffet featured a variety of hot options including scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, different kinds of sausage and roasted mushrooms and tomatoes, plus a plethora of pastries, fresh fruit and various kinds of juices and smoothies.

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Since I was in one of the specialty suites , I was also entitled to order breakfast as room service and took advantage of that on a few of the days when excursions started earlier. Like the buffet, the choices were extensive and included things like omelets, pancakes, waffles, bagels with smoked salmon and different coffee and tea selections.

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At lunchtime, the servers would set out another wide-ranging buffet with mains such as seared filet of rockfish with beurre blanc; beef-lamb kofte with grilled halloumi; and herb-grilled chicken breast and shrimps in a creamy pumpkin sauce. There was also a small salad bar plus plenty of desserts like sorbet, ice cream, chocolate cake with raspberry drizzle and enormous cookies, including some excellent caramel toffee ones.

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After a morning spent snorkeling in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, I spent the afternoon at Aqua Café and sampled some of the healthy flatbreads, including a Greek version with tomato, feta, onions and olive and another with lemon, ricotta and artichoke, both of which were flavorful and satisfying.

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Dinner menus in La Cucina changed each evening and began with small dishes such as octopus-potato salad; tuna ceviche with mango, mint and lime; and shredded baked beets with apple and horseradish. Next would come a soup course, with choices such as sweet corn potage, hearty German lentil and smoked eggplant cream. There was always a pasta or risotto dish to share followed by a choice of a main course.

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The standouts I tried included a succulent duck breast and leg confit with red cabbage praline; grilled beef tenderloin with black truffle butter and fondant potatoes; and filet of sole with tangy lemon-caper Sicilian sauce and ratatouille cream.

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Even after all that food, I was always game for desserts like chocolate-passionfruit cake, a creamy deconstructed chocolate millefeuille and tiramisu.

yacht is cruise ship

For guests who favor consistency over novelty, there is also a roster of "always available" dishes that includes shrimp cocktail, Caesar salad, spaghetti Bolognese, grilled salmon, chicken, steak and breaded eggplant.

The wines rotated each lunch and evening, too, with options like a Picpoul Blanc from the south of France, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Tempranillo from Spain's Ribera del Duero and a French Cote du Rhone.

I was on the premium spirits package, so drinks at the lounge and the Sky Bar were included as well, and the bartending team made a delicious old fashioned and great Negronis. We would drop by for a nightcap after dinner to hear the ship's guitarist play.

The one food-related downside to cruising is that you don't get many opportunities to sample the cuisine of the various destinations you visit. And while the menus on board the ship were excellent, I would love to see the kitchen team incorporate more "local" dishes onto the menu, such as falafel after a day in Jerusalem, for instance, or ful medames for breakfast before a visit to the pyramids in Egypt.

Itinerary highlights: Petra and the pyramids

Of course, I didn't spend all my time poking around the ship, especially on an itinerary as action-packed with sightseeing as this one.

Among the most rewarding days of the journey was the first full one, during which we remained docked in Aqaba. From there, we took buses two hours in each direction to visit the ancient Nabatean desert city of Petra, with its famous treasury building carved into a red rock face.

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Two days later (with a stop in Sharm El-Sheikh in the meantime), we docked in Ain Sokhna, Egypt, and boarded buses for the trek around the outskirts of Cairo to see the pyramids at Giza and the Sphinx before a riverfront lunch in the city.

Cruising through the Suez Canal was an interesting experience that also provided some much-needed downtime, since we remained on the ship, and the next day brought us to Ashdod, Israel, from which we set off to explore the Old City of Jerusalem.

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We spent another afternoon visiting ancient settlements along Cyprus's south coast before disembarking in Antalya, Turkey, which has a beautiful, pedestrianized old city chock full of Ottoman villas. The cruise went on to visit Kusadasi, Turkey, as well as Rhodes, Santorini and Athens in Greece.

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Although many of the excursions required a substantial amount of time in transit, it felt more than worthwhile for the opportunity to see breathtaking wonders like Petra and the pyramids as well as to visit new (to me) places like Cyprus.

Being in the care of the ship's activities team also meant that customs processes, COVID-19 testing (in Israel) and my early disembarkation were all handled smoothly, with little to no effort on my part. Plus, since the excursions were included in the cruise fare, venturing out was that much more enjoyable.

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One note on sailing for folks who are a little more motion-sensitive: Given Emerald Azzurra's relatively small size, you could feel the movement of the ship and some significant pitching in heavier seas. So, if you have issues with seasickness, you might want to consider whether a larger vessel might suit you better. This was also the reason the crew had to drain the infinity pool at one point since, otherwise, the water would have sloshed over onto the deck.

Working out the kinks

As you might expect from any early sailing on a new ship, there were a few kinks that Emerald will have to work out.

First and foremost was the fact that the ship didn't have all its permanent furnishings aboard when we embarked, including chairs and tables for the cabins' balconies, which, understandably, upset several of my fellow sailors. The crew's uniforms only arrived a day before I disembarked, too.

However, my contacts at the cruise line have told me that all the furniture is now aboard, assembled and set out, as is all the artwork and much of the greenery, so hopefully the experience on sailings going forward will feel more comfortable and consistent.

Although the Wi-Fi worked fine for my needs, hopefully, faster service will soon be available so that it will be easier to keep up with things back home or to research upcoming ports of call in detail by going online.

The excursions on my specific itinerary required a lot of time in tour buses and some fairly complicated logistics, some of which was related to COVID-19, and some of which was not. For instance, passengers were woken at 5 a.m. for COVID-19 tests to enter Israel on that day of the cruise due to changing conditions. A few days earlier, we sat on buses waiting to exit the port in Ain Sokhna en route to the pyramids for nearly 90 minutes as some snafu was ironed out. Both instances curtailed our time visiting the sights and certain activities had to be excised from the schedule. As the ship visits various ports again and again, though, hopefully, some of these rough patches will resolve into smoother sailing.

Finally, a few crew members tested positive for COVID-19 just two days into the sailing. They were isolated in the crew quarters, the crew was required to wear masks at all times after that, and passengers were asked to monitor their own health for any symptoms. Luckily, the crew members recovered, no one else fell ill and it did not impact our itinerary, but it could have been much worse had more people been exposed.

Though this is not unique to Emerald, it's something to be aware of if you intend to cruise with any line in the coming months.

Why I'd sail again

Logistical whitecaps aside, I wouldn't hesitate to cruise with Emerald again for a few reasons.

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Even without all its furnishings, Emerald Azzurra was a stunner, with spacious, comfortable cabins, beautiful public areas and high-end touches like the full-service spa, Missoni textiles and ESPA products that made the experience feel luxurious .

My itinerary from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean included stops at fascinating sites. I'd be curious what some of the ship's Mediterranean itineraries — especially those that allow for use of the marina deck — are like.

More than anything, though, the service was truly excellent. Every crew member we interacted with was a pleasure to see and speak with every day, from the friendly staff at reception to the assiduous servers in the lounge and restaurant (as well as the ones who carefully toted our in-room breakfast to us), not to mention Martina, our cabin steward, who took care of everything from cleaning the stateroom to refilling our water carafes and stowing our luggage.

Many of them accompanied us on excursions and we enjoyed chatting with them at the sights and attractions we visited. Each of them knew all the passengers by name within a day or two, which also gave the experience a friendlier, more casual feel. I heard from many of my other passengers how impressed they were by the crew — so it wasn't just my experience.

The uniqueness of Emerald Azzurra, its intimate size and high-end amenities, the intriguing itinerary and the friendliness of the crew all combined to make this a memorable sailing, and one I would have no trouble recommending to others.

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Bigger ship, better views: 3 takeaways from Princess Cruises' newest vessel

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I was rushing to make my dinner reservation on Princess Cruises’ new ship. But when I arrived at the restaurant, the view made me stop.

From the windows at the sushi eatery Makoto Ocean – part of a sphere-shaped structure near the middle of the vessel – I saw the sun sinking below the horizon, a reddish-orange dot on the Mediterranean Sea. The Sun Princess facilitates scenes like that by design.

“We wanted to make sure that within how we designed the (venues) and placed the furniture, we gave maximum opportunity for our guests to be able to celebrate those outward views,” Denise Saviss, Princess’ vice president of entertainment experience, told USA TODAY. “It is really, really unique to have so much glass on the ship.”

That was one of several striking features during a recent sailing (the ship is now cruising the Mediterranean before it moves to the Caribbean in October). Here are three takeaways from the first in the line’s aptly named Sphere Class.

1. The design showcases views at sea and in port

Makoto isn’t the only venue that offers that kind of view.

Other spaces inside the Sphere – which also houses lobby-slash-entertainment venue The Piazza – feature similarly sweeping vistas across decks 7, 8 and 9. I watched the light sparkle on the water while I sipped coffee one morning at International Café, and patrons dining at Alfredo’s Pizzeria can take in the scenery during their meal from many seats.

That’s also true elsewhere on the ship. At Horizons Dining Room, floor-to-ceiling windows face the ship’s wake. At the other end of the vessel, the Dome, a geodesic structure that Princess has said was inspired by the hills of Santorini, is like a massive solarium.

The space – which will also host shows including acrobatics – has multiple tiers of loungers, an indoor-outdoor pool and the Cascade Bar (which comes in handy for cooling off, as it felt a bit muggy in the Dome at one point on a sunny sea day).

The overall effect helped to bring the outside in.

2. The ship is bigger but still intimate

Sun Princess is the largest ship in the Princess fleet, and the 21-deck vessel can accommodate 4,300 guests. But that doesn’t mean everything is huge.

Given the scale of the offerings, a number of spaces on board feel notably intimate. One night, I walked to Good Spirits at Sea, a cocktail bar crafted in partnership with mixologist Rob Floyd that also hosts classes, and thought I was lost before stumbling upon it tucked around a corner on Deck 7. Inside, the 40-person venue offered a laid-back alternative to other more boisterous nightlife options.

On Deck 9, the ship’s buffet-like venue, The Eatery, gives way to narrower hallways toward the aft with backlit wood paneling and benches. At the end, they open back up to reveal specialty restaurants The Catch by Rudi and The Butcher’s Block by Dario (from Princess’ head of culinary arts, Rudi Sodamin, and in partnership with famed butcher Dario Cecchini, respectively).

Even the multi-configuration Princess Arena felt cozier than its near-1,000-guest capacity would suggest. I sat in the second-to-last row of my section for a performance by the vocal group ODY·C and was still close enough to see clearly.

3. The line leans into family-friendly activities

Part of Sun Princess’ expanded footprint has been used to broaden the line’s family offerings.

Park19, a new space on the ship’s top decks, features a variety of activities in an open-air setting. Saviss said the line worked to balance the interests of core customers and a growing family market “and make sure we're prioritizing spaces that everybody can enjoy.”

“There are some attractions that I think naturally, at first blush, people would say, ‘Oh, it's just for kids,’ but actually, the space is really comprehensive,” she said. “Our attractions are available for many different levels of ability and mobility.”

Those include Coastal Climb, an obstacle course that culminates in 360-degree views from The Lookout observation deck (the highest point accessible to guests on the ship, also reachable via elevator) and The Net ropes course.

On Sea Breeze, billed as the first Rollglider on a cruise ship, passengers will glide along the outer edges of the ship on an electric track (the ride will also be ADA-accessible, though Saviss said some mobility is required for maneuvering into the seat).

It’s as close as the ship gets to an amusement park (Princess’ version). “We're not running the rat race, if you will, of like, who can do it bigger, better,” Saviss said. “If you want to just have a really incredible bird's-eye view of Sun Princess, and in and around where the ship is sailing, you can do that. But there is an option to push a little lever while you're riding it and dial up the speed a bit faster, and then it does become a bit more thrilling.”

The ride was not yet available when I was on board, as the line moved through a testing, certification and training process, but is expected to open on April 27. Sun Princess’ original launch was delayed with the cruise line citing “additional technical work” needed at the shipyard, which pushed back the opening of some onboard amenities.

When is the best time to take a cruise?: We broke it down by region.

There is also a hammock area to chill when guests need a break, a recreational court that can host activities from pingpong to morning meditation, a jogging track and more. Elsewhere on board, guests will find the Firefly Park kids club and hangout spaces Neon Grove and The Underground for tweens and teens, respectively.

The reporter on this story received access to this sailing from Princess Cruises. USA TODAY maintains editorial control of content.  

Nathan Diller is a consumer travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Nashville. You can reach him at [email protected].

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Princess cruises just unveiled its most impressive ‘love boat’ ever.

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Sun Princess cruise ship

As the weather inches toward warmer and the months flow into spring, we’re thinking about one thing and one thing only: vacations .

The notion of setting sail in opulent blue seas aboard a massive, state-of-the-line ship simply sounds incredible. Better yet, cruises are becoming more and more luxury leaning, with massive silhouettes and all-inclusive amenities that are newfound additions to signature fleets.

Enter the newly debuted Sun Princess . Dubbed the next-level “Love Boat,” this gorgeous new ship has joined the namesake of Princess Cruises and has made her maiden voyage on Feb. 28.

RELATED : Best cruise lines we reviewed

“ Princess Cruises became a household name as the setting and ocean-going co-star of ‘The Love Boat’ that featured over 950 celebrity guest stars,” John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises, exclusively told the New York Post. “The show has been widely credited with introducing millions of viewers to the concept of contemporary cruise vacations and leading to the dramatic expansion of the industry and its global success.”

Since that infamous TV show’s opening sequence with a timeless theme song that to this day precisely describes the Princess brand DNA, Princess Cruises has been connected to and is synonymous with “The Love Boat.”

Sun Princess

Sun Princess

“ Sun Princess offers the greatest assembly of culinary experiences from celebrated chefs and celebrity collaborators, as well as ingredients from high-end purveyors and a lineup of exciting new experiences,” Padgett told The Post.

Standout options include Spellbound by Magic Castle, which blends the captivating world of magic with the art of culinary and mixology to create an immersive dining experience, and Makoto Ocean, which reshapes traditional sushi with a creative approach by James Beard Honoree Makoto Okuwa.

“Beyond the setting of the show, the original cast members have participated in the Princess brand to this day, including two ship christenings – Dawn Princess (1997) and Regal Princess (2014), appearing on the cruise line’s Rose Parade float and sailing on a throwback cruise in 2015 all celebrating the lines 50 th anniversary,” Padgett explained.

“In May 2018, the six original cast members of ‘The Love Boat’ and Princess Cruises received an honorary star plaque on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in recognition of their contributions to the history of television and support of the preservation of the Walk of Fame.”

An overview of the food and dining experiences on the Sun Princess

Ahead, find a premium assortment of dining options aboard the Sun Princess . Upon booking, you’ll have unlimited access to both buffet and sit-down dining, while some additional dining destinations are offered on an a la carte fee:

  • The Butcher’s Block by Dario : This is a specialty restaurant from the world’s most famous butcher, Dario Checchini, grilling up perfectly prepared beef and steak, including Cecchini’s signature cuts.
  • The Catch by Rudi : This is a luxe exceptional dinner concept from renowned chef Rudi Sodamin showcasing treasures from the sea.
  • Love by Britto : a first-of-its-kind collaboration, Princess partnered with world-renowned artist Romero Britto to create Love by Britto, an artistic-inspired dining experience celebrating the essence of “Love” aboard Sun Princess.
  • Kai Sushi by Makoto : Here, the Master of Edomae-style sushi, Chef Makoto Okuwa, presents a new concept of crafting playful, exquisitely presented dishes paying tribute to Japanese traditions. After showcasing his skills on Food Network’s popular “Iron Chef,” Chef Okuwa has been recognized by the prestigious James Beard Foundation. He also spearheads popular restaurants in Miami, Brazil, Mexico City and Panama.

Sabatini's Restaurant on Princess Cruises

One of the most unique experiences the ship offers is The Dome, a geodesic, glass-enclosed structure at the top of the ship inspired by the terraces of Santorini. “The Dome is also the backdrop for the incredible artistry of one of the biggest names in entertainment – Cirque Éloize – coming to life by presenting three original, contemporary acrobatic performances,” Padgett said.

Another unique feature is the outward and suspended Sphere. “The namesake of this new class of ship takes the central Piazza hub of the ship into a new dimension,” he highlighted. “Here guests can take in expansive ocean views, sunrises and sunsets.  Being a premium global cruise line, guests are able to see some of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders including glaciers and icebergs while drinking coffee, having a meal or enjoying entertainment.”

Speaking of entertainment , Sun Princess boasts the pinnacle of technological innovation in the world of cruise ship entertainment with the configurable Princess Arena that supports shows in the round, in a 270-degree keyhole configuration, as well as via a traditional proscenium theater.

“Additionally, guests can enjoy our largest casino in the fleet, a two-story Lotus Spa, and an expanded retail environment with over 200 premium brands,” Padgett pinpointed. “The retail space also includes several firsts at sea including an upscale showroom dedicated to luxury horology showcasing TAG Heuer and Breitling and more than 25 new brands available to cruise guests like Italian handbag brand, Pinko and athleisure favorites Beyond Yoga and Varley.”

How does Princess differ from other cruise lines?

A standout feature of Princess at large is its implementation and use of its MedallionClass service , which began in 2017 and was completed fleet-wide in 2022.

“ MedallionClass service is enabled by patented and proprietary technology that gives Princess completely unique capabilities to deliver an individualized and personalized service at a big ship scale,” Padgett detailed. “There have been other vacation brands including cruise, theme parks, all-inclusive options and casinos that have attempted to replicate these unique contactless on-demand real-time dynamic location-based service capabilities, but none have succeeded.”

MedallionClass service is available on every ship in the Princess fleet because the Princess service promise is universal and not dependent on any physical ship vintage or configuration. “When it comes to exceptional service, Princess guests never have to worry about what ship they are sailing on within the fleet or where that ship is in the world because all ships are guaranteed to offer the exclusive Princess MedallionClass experience,” he noted.

Cabana Deck on Princess Cruises

If you’re a frequent cruiser, you know the *struggle* of traditional credit card-style IDs. With the Medallion, you can cruise a bit more conveniently, whether accessing your ocean-view stateroom or buying a watermelon martini at the bar.

What other Princess cruises should I consider?

Princess has a fleet of 16 ships that sail to 330 ports around the world , including sailings to the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera, Hawaii, and two World Cruises, one that leaves from Australia and one from the United States.

“This April, we are celebrating our 55th year sailing to Alaska and bringing more people to experience this extraordinary land,” Padgett said. “And for our guests in North America, we have sailings from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Galveston, Port Canaveral (Orlando), Ft. Lauderdale, Boston and New York providing exciting new voyage options that guests can conveniently access from major drive markets.”

What’s more, we’ll be sailing on the Discovery Princess in April 2024, a Pacific Wine Country tour to San Diego; San Francisco; Astoria, OR; Victoria, Canada and Vancouver, Canada.

What to know as a first-time cruiser, according to an expert

“First-time cruisers need to know that cruising is an easy, convenient way to travel,” Padgett said. “You unpack once and experience the best of the region you are visiting in one cruise vacation.” Simply put, there is nothing easier than simply waking up in the morning in the world’s most exciting and interesting cities.

On top of that a cruise vacation provides an incredible value. “Your cruise fare includes accommodations, dining, entertainment and an endless array of activities and ‘transportation’ to a variety of destinations featured on each itinerary,” Padgett added. “With packages like Princess’ Plus and Premiere, guests have maximum options and superior value with the inclusion of drinks, daily gratuity, Wi-Fi, fitness class, specialty desserts and specialty dining.”

Not to mention, the Sun Princess is the newest and already highly adored ship worth considering for your next vacation.

Hunting for a headline-worthy haul? Keep shopping with Post Wanted.

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Set sail on the waterways of Tampa Bay and Clearwater with Yacht StarShip and delight in a different kind of dining experience, with many cruises featuring an open bar that’s free at sea! When you come aboard our yachts, you can expect unmatched service, exquisite views and a delicious meal aboard America’s first 3-Diamond rated dining yacht. Experience stunning Clearwater sunsets or the bright city lights of Downtown Tampa as you sip and savor your way through our upscale cuisine and cocktails.

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Sun Princess Fact Sheet

Sun Princess is the most impressive, luxurious and stunning Love Boat ever created and introduces an innovative ship platform designed exclusively for the world’s most iconic cruise brand.

With spacious yet intimate venues with more room to explore, Sun Princess debuts new eye-catching architectural elements including The Dome, a groundbreaking geodesic, glass-enclosed structure at the top of the ship inspired by the terraces of Santorini. The outward and suspended Sphere, the namesake of this new class of ship, takes the central Piazza hub of the ship into a new dimension. Guests are enveloped with expansive ocean views and an open concept, inspired to deliver the desired lifestyle of relaxed indoor and outdoor living.

Class:  Sphere-Class

Guest Capacity: 4,300 (lower berths)

Crew:  1,600

Tonnage:  177,882

Builder:  Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani, Monfalcone

Length: 1,133 feet

Height:  200 feet

Breadth:  139 feet

Maximum Speed:   22 knots

Number of Decks:   21

Guest Staterooms:  2,157 total, featuring 80 suites

Accessible Staterooms:  51

Connecting Staterooms:  100

Showstopping entertainment in Technically Advance Spaces

Mesmerizing shows and engaging activities are found all over the ship, highlighted by transformational entertainment venues. The Princess Arena, the most technologically advanced Princess Theater design, has three configurations to maximize sight lines and deliver a truly captivating experience. With a pool by sunlight and a stage for shows by starlight, the glass-enclosed Dome, inspired by the hills of Santorini, features acrobatic performances created in partnership with the renowned Cirque Éloize.

  • Princess Arena (Capacity: 990)
  • Princess Casino
  • Princess Live! (Capacity: 200)
  • The Dome (Capacity: 250)
  • The Piazza (Capacity: 300)

Extraordinary Experience

Following the successful debut of the first extraordinary experience with 360 onboard Discovery Princess and Enchanted Princess, the next in the series is Spellbound by Magic Castle , in partnership with the famed Hollywood icon. The newest extraordinary experience blends the captivating world of magic with the art of mixology. The unique venue features incredible feats of magic from talented magicians, surprises in themed rooms and theatrical cocktails.

The Greatest Foodie Destination at Sea

Sun Princess serves up 30 inviting restaurant and bar venues with an unprecedented collection of celebrity collaborators, high-end ingredients and culinary experiences. Highlights include Love by Britto, an artistic-inspired dining experience celebrating love, in partnership with Romero Britto; The Butcher’s Block by Dario, in partnership with the world’s most famous butcher, Dario Cecchini; Makoto Ocean, in partnership with Master of Edomae-style sushi Makoto Okuwa; and Umai Teppanyaki, where world-class cuisine intertwines with captivating performance.

Celebrity Collaborations

  • Good Spirits at Sea – Rob Floyd, celebrity mixologist
  • Makoto Ocean – Makoto Okuwa, Master of Edomae-style sushi
  • Love by Britto – Romero Britto, world-renowned artist
  • Master Winemaker Wine Tasting – Gerard Bertrand, Master Winemaker of the Year
  • Royal Afternoon Tea – Darren McGrady, Royal Chef
  • SMiZE Cream – Tyra Banks, supermodel and businesswoman
  • The Butcher’s Block by Dario – Dario Cecchini, the world’s most famous butcher
  • The Catch by Rudi – Rudi Sodamin, Head of Culinary Arts for Princess Cruises

Main & Casual Dining (included in cruise fare):

  • The Eatery (Capacity: 742)
  • Deck 6, traditional dining (Capacity: 941)
  • Deck 7, anytime dining (Capacity: 664)
  • American Diner, Deck 8 (Capacity: 326)
  • International Café (Capacity: 20)
  • Lido Greens
  • Lido Coffee & Cones
  • Promenade Grill
  • Promenade Ice Cream
  • Promenade Slice

Specialty Dining* - includes a fee – some are complimentary with Princess Plus or Premier Package :

  • Alfredo’s Pizzeria (Capacity: 88)
  • Crown Grill (Capacity: 132)
  • Love by Britto (Capacity: 68)
  • Makoto Ocean (Capacity: 70)
  • O’Malley’s Irish Pub (Capacity: 86)
  • Sabatini’s (Capacity: 116)
  • The Butchers Table by Dario (Capacity: 88)
  • The Catch by Rudi (Capacity: 88)
  • Umai Hot Pot (Capacity: 57 – shared with Teppanyaki)
  • Umai Teppanyaki (Capacity: 57 – shared with Hot Pot)

Signature & Reserve Collection:

  • Reserve Collection Restaurant (Capacity: 180)
  • Signature Lounge (Capacity: Flexible)
  • Signature Restaurant (Capacity: 124)

Bar Offerings:

  • Bellini’s Cocktail Bar (Capacity: 55)
  • Cascade Bar
  • Coffee & Cones (Capacity: 150)
  • Coffee Currents (Capacity: 55)
  • Crooners (Capacity: 86)
  • Good Spirits at Sea (Capacity: 40)
  • Lido Bar (Capacity: 150)
  • Sea View Bar (Capacity: 60)
  • Sun Bar (Capacity: 150)
  • The MIX (Capacity:150)
  • The Promenade Bars
  • Wheelhouse Bar (Capacity: 70)

Room Service*:

  • 24-hour Room Service (*carries a one-time delivery fee or complimentary with Princess Plus or Premier Package)

Family & Kids

Park19, the most engaging family activity zone ever featured on a Princess ship, features nine activities for the entire family to enjoy in a newly envisioned space perfect for fun and sun for all generations.

  • Coastal Climb
  • The Lookout
  • Infinite Horizon
  • Hammock Area
  • Splash Zone
  • Recreational Court
  • Jogging Track

Age-appropriate activities abound in the Youth & Teen Centers, designed for guests ages six months to 17.

  • Firefly Park Kids Club - ages 3-7 (Capacity: 70) *Parents with children six months to 2 years may enjoy the play area under their supervision
  • Movies Under the Stars
  • Neon Grove Tweens Club - ages 8-12 (Capacity: 100)
  • The Underground Teen Lounge - ages 13-17 (Capacity: 100)

Relaxation and Wellness

In these all-new spaces, guests can recharge by simply taking in the ocean vistas around them. The Sea View Terrace sets the tone at the front of the ship, while the new Wake View Terrace features an infinity pool and unparalleled views. The two-story Lotus Spa and Lotus Salon offer relaxing treatments and services for guests to enjoy any time during their voyage.

Outdoor Spaces for Relaxation:

  • Sea View Terrace (Capacity: 206)
  • Signature Sun Deck
  • The Sanctuary* (Capacity: 200)
  • Wake View Terrace (Capacity: 100)

Pools & Hot Tubs:

  • 5 Pools – 2 Lido-Deck Pools, Dome (indoor/outdoor), Sanctuary Pool and WakeView Pool
  • Fitness Center
  • Fitness Studio
  • Lotus Salon
  • Wellness Studio

Guests will experience an extraordinary retail journey in a transformed space that will include over 25 brands available to cruise guests for the first time at sea. Within the more than 5,800 square feet of retail space, spread over two decks, will be a line-up of more than 200 premium brands from fine jewelry and watches to fashion, fused with an evolving blend of lifestyle and experiential activations.

  • Deck 8 features The Breitling Boutique , featuring the first-at-sea Breitling Lounge concept and the latest TAG Heuer boutique design, as well as The Fine Timepieces Boutique , which features a selection of signature timepieces for both men and women from Longines, Rado, Tissot, Hamilton, in addition to pre-owned Rolex watches.
  • Within The Beauty & Wellness Boutique on Deck 8 guests will find the world’s top cosmetic and skincare brands, such as Chanel, Dior, Lancôme, Estee Lauder, Clinique, and a curated range of sustainable and organic skincare brands including Comfort Zone, Neom Organics, This Works, Rituals and unisex clean skincare by REN Skincare.

For more information visit: Sun Princess

Media Contacts

Contact information for members of the media

Media Relations Department, Princess Cruises 24305 Town Center Drive Santa Clarita, CA 91355

Phone : 1 661 753 1530 Email :  [email protected]

Not a member of the media? 

Contact us at: 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237) or 1-661-753-0000

More contact information is available on our Contact Us page

yacht is cruise ship

Everything you need to know about MSC Cruises cabins and suites

A relative newcomer in the North American market, MSC Cruises is equal parts elegant and kitschy. The line tends to appeal to a wide swath of cruisers, from Europeans who like to party into the wee hours of the morning to American families who book because of affordable fares and "kids sail free" pricing.

To satisfy its diverse passenger base, MSC offers accommodations to fit all types of travelers. Rooms include inexpensive inside cabins that sleep two people, midlevel staterooms with windows and balconies, and high-end suites that offer cruisers with larger budgets a private oasis in the form of the MSC Yacht Club .

A variety of connecting rooms and cabins with extra bunks accommodate larger groups and families who wish to share space.

Because your cruise cabin will be your home away from home for several days, it's important to book one that fits your needs. That's especially true if you're sharing it with several people.

Whether you're looking at an inside cabin for a cruise with friends, balcony accommodations for you and your significant other or a suite for your family, here TPG breaks down what you can expect when you book a room on one of MSC's ships.

For more cruise news, reviews and tips, sign up for TPG's cruise newsletter .

MSC Cruises cabin primer

MSC Cruises has become one of the fastest-growing lines in the cruise industry, with about two dozen ships in its fleet. The vessels fall into six classes : Lirica, Musica, Fantasia, Meraviglia, Seaside and World.

Although cabin offerings can vary from ship to ship and class to class, the standard types remain the same: inside, outside, balcony and suite.

Additionally, you'll find the same basic amenities in each room, unless otherwise noted below. They include two twin beds that can be joined to form a queen- or king-size bed; an in-cabin bathroom with a shower, a sink, a toilet and basic soap, shower gel and shampoo; a couple of nightstands; a chair or sofa; a desk/vanity; a closet; a safe; a hair dryer; a minifridge; a phone; USB outlets and a selection of both North American and European outlets.

On all ships except MSC Lirica, MSC Opera, MSC Sinfonia and MSC Armonia, you'll also find an interactive TV that allows you to view the daily schedule, check your onboard account and choose from a selection of live TV programs and movies.

Twice-daily room tidying is provided by a room steward assigned to each cabin, and room service is available throughout the day for an added fee.

One confusing aspect of MSC's bookings is that you'll have to select an experience package in addition to a cabin type. Package tiers determine things like your ability to choose a specific cabin and preferred dining time and whether you'll receive welcome amenities in your room. Certain cabin types are only available in conjunction with certain package experiences and vice versa. Those are noted in each respective section below.

Accessible cabins , including accommodations for wheelchair users, are available on every ship in MSC's fleet. In addition to more space, they feature wider doorways and lowered sinks and toilets in the bathrooms, as well as grab bars.

MSC Cruises' experience packages

Here's what you get when you book each of MSC's three experience packages, which determine the perks you'll receive on your sailing.

  • Accommodations
  • Complimentary food in the dining room and buffet
  • Broadway-style theater entertainment
  • Access to the onboard gym, pool and kids club
  • MSC Voyagers Club points
  • One for-fee change to your cruise booking (with some restrictions)
  • Drink package discount at time of booking
  • All Bella perks
  • Choice of specific cabin and location
  • One free change to your cruise booking (with some restrictions)
  • Ability to choose between early and late seating for dinner
  • Room service (complimentary for breakfast, but fees apply for other meals)
  • Discount on pre-cruise specialty dining package
  • All Fantastica and Bella perks
  • Flexible My Choice dining, which lets you eat at any time you choose between set hours
  • Free 24-hour room service delivery
  • Pillow menu
  • A welcome package, including Prosecco and chocolates
  • Complimentary access to your ship's solarium and thermal area
  • A 10% discount on all spa treatments purchased on board
  • Special Balinese massage offer when booked pre-cruise
  • Complimentary use of bathrobe and slippers
  • Priority boarding and luggage drop-off

Inside cabins on MSC Cruises ships

Inside cabins — rooms with no windows — are available on all ships in the MSC fleet. Ranging from 140 to 301 square feet (depending on the ship), they make for great sleeping because they're so dark. They're also ideal for passengers who are on a budget.

In addition to the standard amenities mentioned above, they provide room for anywhere from two to four passengers to sleep. (Rooms that sleep more than two feature bunks that pull down from the ceiling.)

These cabins are available with the line's Bella and Fantastica experiences.

If you're sailing solo, some MSC vessels offer cabins for one outfitted with a twin bed that converts into a couch. These interior studio accommodations are only available with the Bella package on MSC Meraviglia , MSC Bellissima and the line's World Class ships.

Ocean-view cabins on MSC Cruises ships

Ocean-view rooms are similar to insides in that they provide basic amenities — but with a view.

Offering 129 to 269 square feet of space (depending on the specific ship and ocean-view category), these staterooms allow you to see outside through a porthole or a window that doesn't open.

MSC's outside cabins are available to passengers who book Bella and Fantastica packages.

Additionally, if you're traveling with your family or another group, several of MSC Cruises' ships — particularly those in the Meraviglia and Seaside classes — feature space for as many as 10 passengers via a series of connecting rooms. Options are available at the ocean-view and balcony levels.

Balcony cabins on MSC Cruises ships

You might be surprised to discover that most of MSC Cruises' balcony cabins provide less interior square footage than what's available in inside or ocean-view staterooms.

Balcony rooms run anywhere from 129 to 205 square feet, but their key feature is, of course, a private balcony, which does add an extra 32 to 129 square feet, depending on the vessel and specific type of balcony room booked. These cabins are bookable in conjunction with MSC's Bella, Fantastica and Aurea experiences.

Although balcony cabins offer upgraded amenities, including MSC's brand of hand lotion and toiletries, they are largely the same as inside and ocean-view accommodations.

MSC's newest ships — including those in the Meraviglia, Seaside and World Classes — house connecting balcony rooms that can sleep up to 10 in the same group traveling together.

Additionally, on its World Class ships, the line has introduced inward-facing balconies, similar to the ones Royal Caribbean pioneered in 2009 with the debut of its Oasis Class vessels . On World Europa, for example, they overlook the ship's promenade, offering views of the activity below, rather than the ocean.

MSC Cruises suites

All ships in MSC's fleet have suites that can be booked as part of the Fantastica and Aurea packages, but it's Aurea that offers the largest number of perks, as outlined above.

The several types of suites vary by ship in terms of size and amenities. Some come with balconies, while others only offer floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows.

Junior Suites

Although this room type is listed as a suite, it's essentially a balcony cabin with a bit more space — 183 square feet of interior accommodation with a balcony that ranges from 140 to 183 square feet.

Standard suites include rooms with huge balconies larger than the cabin's interior space and ones with private whirlpool tubs. They run from 269 to 355 square feet, with balconies measuring 32 to 409 square feet.

Grand Suites

Coming in between 377 and 420 square feet, with balconies spanning from 32 to 495 square feet, Grand Suites — found on Seaside and World Class ships — come in two types. They include standard one-bedroom Grand Suites, as well as two-bedroom varieties.

The latter has one bedroom with a queen-size bed and another with two twins. It sleeps up to five passengers and offers two bathrooms — one with a shower and the other with a bathtub.

While most suites are designed for double occupancy, some suite accommodations on MSC Bellissima, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Virtuosa and MSC Magnifica can sleep up to five people.

MSC Yacht Club suites on MSC ships

All cabins located in the MSC Yacht Club — an exclusive, gated area on select ships — are called suites, even the smallest and least expensive, which don't have windows or balconies.

Yacht Club suite types range from insides to two-deck duplexes, all of which come with butler and concierge services, luxuriously appointed furnishings (such as real marble finishes, memory foam mattresses and Egyptian cotton sheets) and access to members-only restaurants, bars (alcohol is free there), lounges, pools and sun decks.

The Yacht Club features seven different types of rooms. Ships that have the MSC Yacht Club on board include MSC Bellissima, MSC Divina, MSC Fantasia, MSC Grandiosa, MSC Meraviglia, MSC Preziosa, MSC Seaside, MSC Seascape, MSC Seaview, MSC Seashore, MSC Splendida, MSC Virtuosa and MSC World Europa.

Note: Not all Yacht Clubs have the same suite types available.

MSC Yacht Club Interior Suites

Although these 161- to 226-square-foot cabins don't offer a view or fresh air, they are elegantly decorated and include all the Yacht Club benefits mentioned above.

MSC Yacht Club Deluxe Suites

These Yacht Club digs are the equivalent of a balcony cabin — but in a dedicated area that includes all the exclusive perks. They run 236 to 366 square feet and have balconies ranging from 54 to 86 square feet, so they also come with a bit more space, both inside and outdoors.

MSC Yacht Club Deluxe Grand Suites

Similarly, Deluxe Grand Suites are like the Yacht Club equivalent of booking a Grand Suite with more perks. Depending on the ship, they offer anywhere from 269 to 463 square feet of space, plus 65- to 129-square-foot balconies. Some Grand Suites also have two bedrooms instead of one. Further, these rooms on Seaside Class ships include bathrooms with bathtubs, as well as separate living areas.

MSC Yacht Club Duplex Suites

Rising two decks, MSC's duplex staterooms measure 495 to 635 square feet and come with 65- to 334-square-foot balconies. They feature living rooms with two-person sofa beds downstairs and master bedrooms upstairs, which also sleep two passengers.

Each of these accommodations comes complete with two walk-in closets and two bathrooms — one with a bathtub and one with a shower. Most duplexes on Meraviglia and World Class ships also have their own private whirlpool tubs.

MSC Yacht Club Executive and Family Suites

The line's Executive and Family Suites, available only on Fantasia Class vessels, are an excellent choice for anyone who wants to stay in the Yacht Club with a family or other group of more than two people.

This option, which is one type of suite (despite its confusing name), has space for up to five cruisers via a combination of bunk beds, sofa beds and beds that pull down from the ceiling, depending on the ship. The suites clock in at around 431 to 549 square feet, depending on the vessel.

The only drawback is that these staterooms have no balconies and no in-room dining areas, but they do include all the perks you'd find in Yacht Club cabins.

MSC Yacht Club Royal Suites

Although they only occupy one level, at 388 to 667 square feet, MSC's Yacht Club Royal Suites are right up there with the Duplex Suites in terms of space. They offer the second-largest amount of square footage after the Owner's Suites. They come with huge balconies comprising 355 to 753 square feet of outdoor area.

Additionally, bathrooms in these suites offer bathtubs on Fantasia, Meraviglia, Seaside and World Class ships, and the latter three have private whirlpool tubs, as well. All four classes' Royal Suites also include separate living room areas.

MSC Yacht Club Owner's Suites

The largest and most impressive of all MSC's cabins are the Owner's Suites found in the Yacht Club. Offering an impressive 840 to 1,119 square feet — larger than some land-based apartments — plus 269- to 670-square-foot balconies, they're some of the most luxurious rooms afloat.

Specific amenities vary by ship, but as an example, Owner's Suites on MSC World Europa offer floor-to-ceiling windows and walk-in closets. These accommodations on both the line's Seaside and World Class vessels also feature bathrooms with separate showers and bathtubs, as well as private whirlpool tubs and separate living room areas.

Bottom line

Although MSC Cruises' cabin types are straightforward, the line's add-on experiences can complicate things a bit.

Overall, what's key to remember is that MSC Cruises offers a wide variety of rooms and pricing to meet just about any budget or style of cruising. Each ship will offer accommodation choices from the least expensive, bare-bones interior rooms to the priciest suites, which come with butler and concierge services.

When you sail with MSC Cruises, you can expect function, style and comfort, regardless of the cabin type you book.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

  • The 5 most desirable cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • A beginners guide to picking a cruise line
  • The 8 worst cabin locations on any cruise ship
  • The ultimate guide to what to pack for a cruise
  • A quick guide to the most popular cruise lines
  • 21 tips and tricks that will make your cruise go smoothly
  • Top ways cruisers waste money
  • The ultimate guide to choosing a cruise ship cabin

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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On the world’s largest cruise ship, thrills and space to chill

Onlookers wave as Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas, now the world's largest cruise ship, departs port in Miami.

With room for nearly 8,000 people on Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, there are wild water rides, 40 dining and entertainment choices and, surprisingly, spaces for some actual peace and quiet

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One man got down on his knees and kissed the rug emblazoned with the ship’s logo. Another lifted his wife and swung her around, ecstatic to be among the roughly 5,000 passengers to embark on the inaugural sailing of the world’s largest cruise ship, the Icon of the Seas.

For months, the 250,800-ton ship, which can carry nearly 8,000 people, has been making headlines — including some that have criticized its size and potential to damage the environment. But the passengers who plunked down $1,800 to $100,000 and boarded the ship at Port Miami in Florida on Jan. 27, said nothing could have prepared them for the vessel’s sheer scale.

“It’s stunning,” said Christina Carvalho, a 43-year-old accountant from Oakland, as she stood on the ship’s Royal Promenade, gaping up at “The Pearl,” a gigantic kinetic art installation. “It feels even bigger than I expected.”

Guests pose for photos by a floral display in "Icon" letter shapes on the promenade of Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas.

While Royal Caribbean has packed the ship with amenities to craft “the ultimate family vacation,” the company’s design team has tried to defy negative stereotypes like crowded decks and long lines. Instead of steel walls, the interior is open and airy, with floor-to-ceiling windows to bring passengers closer to the water and make the central thoroughfare feel less like a shopping mall.

“Over the years our customers told us that despite being on the ocean, they did not feel connected to it, so with Icon we wanted to bring water everywhere,” said Jennifer Goswami, the director of product development at Royal Caribbean International.

I was on board the Icon of the Seas for five days of its seven-night inaugural sailing to the eastern Caribbean. Here are some of my takeaways:

Passengers board the ship at the port.


Embarkation starts through Royal Caribbean’s app. After some glitches, it took me 10 minutes to scan identification documents, fill out a health form and pick a time slot for boarding.

On the day of the sailing, I headed to Port Miami expecting chaos, but as I got out of the taxi, I was greeted by a porter who took my bag and ushered me to the terminal. I scanned my app, showed my passport and went through security in less than 10 minutes. I lingered, waiting to see if others had as smooth an experience as I did, but there was just a steady flow of passengers ascending the gangway.

A female passenger gazes out at the view from the deck of The Icon of the Seas.

The ship has the feel of a city, with eight distinct “neighborhoods.” My favorite, Central Park, was filled with more than 33,000 plants; it was the perfect place to stroll or read on a bench. The Royal Promenade, with karaoke and a piano bar, could get crowded and noisy at peak times.

The seven swimming pools are designed for different vibes and demographics: The Hideaway is an adults-only infinity pool, with DJ sets and cocktails; another adult pool has an adjacent children’s splash pool. Empty lounge chairs were plentiful for sunbathers across the ship.

The view from an upper deck of the Icon of the Seas cruise ship’s Central Park neighborhood.

On our first sea day, I was so surprised by the relative absence of crowds that I walked the ship trying to find them. But with so many venues, including 40 restaurants, bars and entertainment spaces, passengers were constantly moving around.

Seeking a quiet space one afternoon, I found the Aquadome , a tranquil lounging area with wraparound windows. Fellow passengers napped there.

Strolling through Central Park, one of the writer’s favorite neighborhoods on the ship.

Entertainment and activities

From a sunrise surf simulator lesson to late-night dancing in the nightclub, the ship seems to offer something for everyone, most of it free. The water park with six slides was a big draw. One ride, the Crown’s Edge, is not complimentary: Starting at $49, it tosses you (in a harness) above the sea, leaving you dangling.

Guests at a swim-up bar aboard Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas.

There is a fitness center, jogging track, a basketball and soccer court, a putt-putt course, pickleball, rock climbing and dancing. A wellness center and spa offers treatments for an additional cost. All can be reserved on the app; for popular attractions like the Crown’s Edge it’s helpful to book ahead because places fill up fast.

A water slide on Thrill Island, the ship’s water park, is one of the main attractions.

For nightly entertainment, “Aqua Action” was a standout, with aquatic entertainers performing under a 55-foot waterfall, as was the comedy club.

A guest takes a spin on the 40-foot-long FlowRider surf simulator.

Not surprisingly, some passengers felt overprogrammed. “There’s almost too much to do,” said Nancy Carter, 54, a nurse from Brighton, England. “It’s hard to plan your day and even when you are busy doing something, you feel like you are missing out on something else.”

At the Surfside neighborhood, there are pools and restaurants for both adults and children so that families can spend time together. For parents wanting alone time, the Adventure Ocean child-care facility has play areas and programs for ages 6 months to 12 years that is included in the fare.

Surfside is the ship’s neighborhood for families, with restaurants, swimming pools and other diversions.

There’s a social center for teenagers, too, with games and music. “It’s a great place to meet new people and make friends,” said Madison Foxx, 14, from Morrisville, N.C. Her mother, Ashley, a 38-year-old federal prosecutor, said the ship kept her two children entertained and allowed her both alone time and quality family time.

“I can relax and the kids are happy and busy all day,” she said. “Then we have many special moments together.”

One of the biggest surprises was the array of dining choices.

The main dining room of the Icon of the Seas.

The Windjammer Cafe and the main dining room were the busiest all-inclusive options. My daily go-to was the Aquadome food hall, with crepes made-to-order and a Greek food stand. Another favorite of mine was Pier 7, a restaurant in Surfside that served raw-tuna Buddha bowls, mango-lime shrimp tostadas and other dishes.

Meals at specialty restaurants, such as Giovanni’s Italian Kitchen and Hooked Seafood, come at an additional cost, or are included in some food and beverages packages that range from $9.99 to $115 per day. Reservations are recommended.

The Empire Supper Club offers an eight-course meal paired with cocktails. At $200, the tasting menu included wagyu rib-eye, rabbit and sea bass topped with parsnip and red beets.

Cabin balconies on Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas.

Cabin prices — which recently increased, because of high demand — range from $2,699 per person for an interior cabin to more than $100,000 for a three-story town house with an indoor slide and backyard. Some family accommodations have connecting rooms and large terraces.

Though only 204 square feet, my ocean balcony room did not feel cramped thanks to minimalist design and the views.


Royal Caribbean says it set a new standard for sustainability with this ship, installing advanced water-treatment and waste systems, among other features. But some environmental groups say that building a vessel this size is not compatible with the cruise industry’s long-term sustainability goals.

On board, I saw staff sorting through the trash to take out misplaced items to recycle, and single-use plastic appeared to be minimal; passengers were given reusable cups at drinking stations.

Passengers ascend a stairway within “The Pearl,” a five-deck-tall functional sculpture.

That the waterslides remained on, even after they were closed to passengers, caught me by surprise. It seemed like an unnecessary waste of energy. (Royal Caribbean did not respond to a request for comment.)

Passengers I spoke to did not seem too concerned about the ship’s potential to harm the environment, with some arguing that land and air travel are not climate-friendly either.

Our seven-night itinerary started with two days at sea. The first stop was on Day 4 at Basseterre, the capital of St. Kitts and Nevis. Excursions ranged from a hike up Mount Liamuiga to a food-and-rum tour, with prices from $39 to $249. I chose a sailing and snorkeling excursion ($155) and enjoyed the secluded bay, but the beach was crowded and touristy.

An anticipated excursion for Foxx, the federal prosecutor, and others was Coco Cay, Royal Caribbean’s private island. When I asked about her visit — I called later, having to disembark before the excursion — Foxx said her children loved the slides and snorkeling.

And would she sail on the Icon of the Seas again?

“Yes, but I might wait a bit,” she replied. “I want everyone to get a chance to try it out.”

Yeğinsu writes for The New York Times.

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Jail Cells? Morgues? Your Cruise Ship Has Some Surprises for You.

Here are five unexpected features on ships, some of which you hopefully won’t discover on your own.

A close-up photograph of three decks of a cruise ship's cabins, each of which has a balcony with a half wall of blue glass and two chairs.

By Ceylan Yeğinsu

Cruise ships have hidden features that many passengers, particularly first-timers, don’t know about. Some ships are as big as small cities, and while it’s relatively easy to familiarize yourself with a seemingly endless number of amenities — water parks, tattoo parlors, multiple restaurants — there is also an entire ecosystem, often below passenger decks, that is shrouded in mystery.

Here are five things that cruisers may not know about cruise ships:

There’s a morgue …

Cruise ships carry millions of passengers each year, and it is not uncommon for deaths to occur on board. Most vessels are required to have a morgue and additional body bags in the event of an emergency.

The morgue, usually a small stainless steel refrigerated room on the ship’s lowest deck, accommodates between two to 10 bodies, depending on the size of the vessel. When a passenger or crew member dies, officials on the ship will notify the authorities on shore and a medical team will assess the body and move it to the morgue, where it is kept until arrangements are made for repatriation. In most cases, the body will be removed at the next port of call, but sometimes will remain on board until the end of the voyage.

…and a jail

There are no police officers on cruise ships, but most vessels have small jails known as the brig, and unruly passengers could find themselves locked up if the ship’s security team determines that they have violated the cruise line’s code of conduct.

The brig, usually a bare-bones room with a bed and bathroom facilities, does not have iron bars like a traditional jail cell. It is used to detain guests who commit serious crimes like assault or possession of illegal substances. Drunk and disorderly passengers may be put under “cabin arrest,” meaning they cannot leave their cabin without a security escort.

Depending on the circumstances, most passengers put in the brig will stay there until they can be handed over to law enforcement officials.

Many ships don’t have a Deck 13

Many cruise ships do not have a Deck 13 because of the widespread superstition in Western culture that the number is unlucky. Ships with a Deck 13 typically use it for public areas, not cabins.

Some ships, like Royal Caribbean’s Quantum class vessels, have a Deck 13 because the vessels are used mainly for the company’s market in Asia, where the number is not considered unlucky. MSC ships also have a Deck 13, but not a Deck 17, because the cruise line’s founder is Italian and 17 is considered unlucky in Italy.

Cruise lines entertain other superstitions, like appointing godmothers to bless new vessels and ensure the safety of passengers and crew. They also hold naming ceremonies in which a bottle of champagne is smashed against the hull of a new ship for good luck. If the bottle fails to break, the vessel will, according to superstition, have bad luck. These days, cruise lines use mechanical devices to ensure that does not happen.

Hidden pools and facilities for the crew

There are typically more than 1,000 crew members on board large cruise ships, and while they spend most of their time serving passengers, there are several areas on the lower decks designated for them to unwind.

The facilities vary from ship to ship, but there are usually small pools in the ship’s bow exclusively for crew members, as well as restaurants, bars and recreational areas like game rooms and gyms. The designated bar, a central social hub for employees after they have finished their shifts, often hosts live music and events in the evening.

Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas, the world’s largest cruise ship, has an entire “neighborhood” dedicated to its 2,300 crew members, with a clubhouse that has massage chairs and virtual balconies — large screens that show real-time views from outside — as well as a restaurant with portholes looking out to the ocean.

Most ships host A.A. meetings

With all-inclusive beverage packages and countless bars, cruise ships can be a tough environment for guests in recovery. Many cruise lines offer daily Alcoholics Anonymous meetings that are usually scheduled as “Friends of Bill W.,” a reference to William Wilson, who co-founded the A.A. program in 1935.

The meetings are usually held in a quiet place like the library, where guests can feel comfortable and maintain their anonymity. They are also open to other support group members, like Women for Sobriety and Narcotics Anonymous.

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

Ceylan Yeginsu is a travel reporter for The Times who frequently writes about the cruise industry and Europe, where she is based. More about Ceylan Yeğinsu

Come Sail Away

Love them or hate them, cruises can provide a unique perspective on travel..

 Icon of the Seas: Our reporter joined thousands of passengers on the inaugural sailing of Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas . The most surprising thing she found? Some actual peace and quiet .

Th ree-Year Cruise, Unraveled:  The Life at Sea cruise was supposed to be the ultimate bucket-list experience : 382 port calls over 1,095 days. Here’s why  those who signed up are seeking fraud charges  instead.

TikTok’s Favorite New ‘Reality Show’:  People on social media have turned the unwitting passengers of a nine-month world cruise  into  “cast members”  overnight.

Dipping Their Toes: Younger generations of travelers are venturing onto ships for the first time . Many are saving money.

Cult Cruisers: These devoted cruise fanatics, most of them retirees, have one main goal: to almost never touch dry land .


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    Sailing on a yacht usually involves a certain level of privacy and a much smaller size than a cruise ship. Yachts may range in size from about 10 to 40+ people with space for a lot of crew, too. Whether you purchase or charter a yacht, plenty of luxury is included. Imagine waking up to the gentle lullaby of waves lapping against your private ...

  3. Yacht vs Cruise Ship (4 Basic Differences)

    In simple words, Yachts are smaller, privately owned vessels. Cruise ships are large, publicly owned vessels. Yachts typically have a small crew and can accommodate a limited number of passengers. Cruise ships have a large crews and can carry thousands of passengers. Yachts are used for pleasure cruising, racing, or chartering.

  4. Yacht vs Cruise Ship: Key Differences Explained

    The most obvious difference is size and guest capacity. Cruise ships are massive, housing 2000-6000 passengers. Even small ships carry 600+ people. In contrast, chartered yachts max out around 12 guests, with typical capacities of 6-10. The intimate scale ensures an exclusive escape. This aerial view drives home the massive difference in scale ...

  5. What's it like On Board Ritz-Carlton's Evrima?

    Big yacht or small cruise ship? Ritz-Carlton certainly wants you to think of Evrima as a yacht (after all, it's in the brand name). Externally the 623-feet-long vessel sports a decidedly yacht ...

  6. Yacht vs Cruise Ship: A Comprehensive Comparison

    Can't decide between a yacht and a cruise ship for your next vacation? Our detailed comparison will help you weigh the pros and cons, covering aspects like privacy, amenities, and cost, to make an informed decision.

  7. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

    Unplug from everyday life when you cross vast oceans, with time to enjoy the laid-back, unhurried life on board. For reservations, contact The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection at (833) 999-7292 or your travel professional. Luxury cruises aboard The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection offer the finest bespoke travel at sea.

  8. Boat vs. Ship vs Yacht: What's the Difference?

    An ship can refer to a cruise ship, a naval ship, a tanker, a container ship, and many other commercial vessels. Ships tend to have advanced navigation and technology, but much more advanced than that of a yacht due to the size, the speed, and the routes that a ship will take.

  9. PONANT cruises: World's leading luxury yacht expeditions cruise line

    Discover the innovatively designed cruise ship Le Boréal and her three sister vessels: L'Austral, Le Soléal and Le Lyrial. Experience Le Ponant, our famous three-masted ship, with her 16 staterooms, each combining traditional authenticity with modern comfort; and enjoy the pleasures of Le Lapérouse, a technologically cutting-edge cruise ...

  10. Ritz Carlton Evrima Cruise Ship Review

    Evrima is the first of three sleek superyachts marking hotel giant Ritz-Carlton's debut in the cruise world as the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Originally due to launch in February 2020, the ...

  11. Yacht vs Cruise Ship: Luxury Travel Choices

    Advantages of a Cruise Ship. While yachts offer exclusivity, cruise ships provide a different kind of luxury - a floating city filled with entertainment, activities, and world-class amenities. With multiple dining options, theaters, casinos, spas, and shopping centers, cruise ships are like mini-resorts on water.

  12. Cruise Ship vs Yacht Vacations

    Safety Precautions. When it comes to safety on a cruise ship vs private yacht, yachts are much safer than cruise ships. On a private yacht vacation, you are on board with family or friends exclusively. Aboard your private yacht vacation there is no chances of someone stealing from your room, spreading diseases, or harming you.

  13. First passengers report Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's new cruise ship

    After eight delays that put its debut nearly three years behind schedule, The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's first vessel, Evrima, finally set sail on Saturday, for a weeklong cruise from Barcelona to Nice, France, that brought stops in Spain's Balearic islands of Alcudia and Palma de Mallorca, plus an overnight in Saint-Tropez, France.. Because the new cruising arm of Ritz-Carlton and its ...

  14. Our Luxury Yachts

    Emerald Cruises specializes in providing a small cruise ship experience. You'll notice how a limited number of guests, an excellent staff-to-guest ratio, and the purpose-driven design and layout of our yachts offer you a comfortable and luxurious yacht cruise experience.

  15. The ultimate guide to The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection

    The 298-passenger Evrima — the first ship in the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection — set sail in October. The all-suite yacht offers six types of accommodations — all with balconies and 24/7 room service. Enjoy fine food aboard: A three-star Michelin chef designed some dining experiences.

  16. Luxury cruises

    The latest new cruise itineraries. Last minute offers. PONANT news and updates. Sign up for the newsletter. Select a luxury cruise with PONANT. We offer a large range of cruises a la française, sailboat cruiseline, all inclusive vacation cruise package. Worldwide destinations : Antarctica, Arctica, Europe, Asia and more….

  17. This New Yacht Is Sailing to Gorgeous, Lesser-known Ports in the

    E merald Cruises' new Emerald Sakara ship brings guests to smaller ports in the Caribbean and Mediterranean, with an onboard marina and the occasional Bravo-lebrity.. With a couple dozen guests ...

  18. This Ultra-Luxe Boutique Cruise Ship Launching in 2025 Will Be

    The Four Seasons Yacht Launching in 2025 Will Be an Ultra-Luxe, Invitation-Only Cruise Ship. The luxury ship will have a four-story penthouse and prioritize reservations for loyal hotel guests.

  19. Yacht

    For reservations, contact The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection at (833) 999-7292 or your travel professional. Enjoy curated dining experiences aboard The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Their yacht dining options raise the bar for cruise cuisine, combining locally-curated flavors and Michelin-star menus for a tantalizing dining experience.

  20. Luxury Yacht Collection

    Our newest yacht, Ilma — slated to set sail for its inaugural season in 2024 — takes its name from the Maltese word for "water.". Connect with the sea on your private terrace, in open-air lounges or via the yacht's expanded marina. Savor new flavors in one of five restaurants, and indulge in rejuvenating treatments at The Ritz-Carlton ...

  21. First look: Emerald Azzurra yacht cruise

    Emerald Azzurra is also representative of a new wave of luxurious yacht-like and expedition vessels that multiple lines are launching, including Silversea Cruises and the much-anticipated Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. Emerald Azzurra and its forthcoming sister ship, Emerald Sakara, will carry just 100 passengers at most, however, which is ...

  22. 3 takeaways from the new Sun Princess cruise ship

    The overall effect helped to bring the outside in. 2. The ship is bigger but still intimate. Sun Princess is the largest ship in the Princess fleet, and the 21-deck vessel can accommodate 4,300 ...

  23. Princess Cruises just unveiled its most impressive 'Love Boat' ever

    Dubbed the next-level "Love Boat," this gorgeous new ship has joined the namesake of Princess Cruises and has made her maiden voyage on Feb. 28. RELATED : Best cruise lines we reviewed

  24. Tampa Bay And Clearwater Premier Cruises

    Premier Dining Cruises. Set sail on the waterways of Tampa Bay and Clearwater with Yacht StarShip and delight in a different kind of dining experience, with many cruises featuring an open bar that's free at sea! When you come aboard our yachts, you can expect unmatched service, exquisite views and a delicious meal aboard America's first 3 ...

  25. Sun Princess Fact Sheet

    The outward and suspended Sphere, the namesake of this new class of ship, takes the central Piazza hub of the ship into a new dimension. Guests are enveloped with expansive ocean views and an open concept, inspired to deliver the desired lifestyle of relaxed indoor and outdoor living. Class: Sphere-Class. Guest Capacity: 4,300 (lower berths ...

  26. 7 Things I Learned On An MSC Cruise Ship

    Things I Learned On An MSC Cruise Ship-EAT ALL THE FOOD! ... On the ship, the Yacht Club experience is designed to give you 360 sea views at all times. In their private area on board, Yacht Club ...

  27. All About Emerald Sakara

    The sister to Emerald Azzurra, which debuted in March 2022, the 100-passenger Emerald Sakara gives you all the amenities of a larger cruise ship with the deluxe vibe of a private yacht. Heading ...

  28. Everything you need to know about MSC Cruises cabins and suites

    MSC Cruises has become one of the fastest-growing lines in the cruise industry, with about two dozen ships in its fleet. The vessels fall into six classes: Lirica, Musica, Fantasia, Meraviglia ...

  29. On the world's largest cruise ship, thrills and space to chill

    Onlookers wave as Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas, now the world's largest cruise ship, departed port in Miami on Jan. 27. For years before it set sail, the Icon was making headlines, both ...

  30. Jail Cells? Morgues? Your Cruise Ship Has Some Surprises for You

    Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas, the world's largest cruise ship, has an entire "neighborhood" dedicated to its 2,300 crew members, with a clubhouse that has massage chairs and virtual ...