Come Sail Away: Great Fall Cruises

October 4, 2010 at 2:44 pm , by

Fall is a fabulous time to take a cruise: The end of hurricane season (in November), fall-only foliage itineraries and shoulder-season prices in hot spots like the Caribbean, Mexico and the Mediterranean make the next few months a prime time to hit the seas. And two of the more recent ships on the water, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas (soon to be joined by sister ship Allure of the Seas, which sets sail in December) and Norwegian’s Epic, are, in a word, insane. Really, they’re monstrous – and awesome. Disney will be launching the Disney Dream, it’s first new ship in 10 years, in January 2011. And despite what you might think, the feedback is that you probably won’t notice the thousands of travelers on board when these colossal ships are full: They’re designed to give you the best big-ship experience with the ease and fun of smaller options.

If it’s been a while (or never!) since the last time you cruised, consider the new features on these super-cool ships. Move over, Love Boat!

You’ve probably heard about the much-hyped Oasis of the Seas, which launched in November 2009. This December, Royal Caribbean will launch the identical Allure of the Seas, which will travel in the Caribbean. These floating cities are broken into distinct “neighborhoods,” including a boardwalk with a carousel and classic carnival games and a pool and sports zone (shown at left), and each has an AquaTheater at the rear of the ship where brave (bonkers?) divers take flight off of 10-meter high-dive platforms into the deepest saltwater pool at sea. One of the ship’s most interesting innovations is the variety of balcony cabins available: Besides the view of the ocean, you can book a room overlooking the boardwalk area, Central Park or the AquaTheater. The ship can hold 5,400 guests at capacity and has about a zillion dining options (and by zillion, I mean 24), most without additional charges.

Read about the Epic and the Dream, and find out how to win a Celebrity cruise, by clicking here. Read more