What is the future of cruise travel in 2008? A recent AP article
sums up some of the trends and predictions regarding the cruise industry for 2008. Cruising has steadily grown over the past few years and cruising has evolved. Now finding cruise ships with rock-climbing walls, bowling alleys and even mechanical waves for surfing is commonplace. Joining these activities will be a chance to play on a lawn while onboard. In December 2008, Celebrity Cruises will launch Celebrity Solstice
which will have a half-acre lawn of real growing grass on the top deck.
More ships are also offering shore trips that range from simple sightseeing to more adventurous excursions such as bike tours. Entertainment and education have also improved on ships. Princess ships will host a film premiere the week of February 11, showing "Bonneville," starring Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates and Joan Allen before the movie is in theaters on February 29. Wine tastings and cooking classes are also common on cruises now as are far more sophisticated spa services than were available even just a couple of years ago.
According to the Cruise Lines International Association an estimated 12.6 million people cruised in 2007 and they predict 12.8 million passengers for 2008. The weakening economy is a concern and so there may be some deals to be had, especially for those who are willing to jump in at the last minute or cruise on one of the older ships in a cruise line. Of course that takes some of the fun out of it. Another more serious concern that really takes the fun out of it is the green factor. A recent post on our sister site Green Daily
asks whether or not cruise ships are "floating eco-bombs?" Some companies are making moves to offset the toll on the environment but the green quotient of your desired cruise is yet another actor to consider when planning your dream vacation.