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A Sea-side Resort At Sea

Written by: Kuki

At least in terms of “Caribbean cruising”, the main stream contemporary cruise lines have always felt their #1 competition came from sea-side all inclusive land based resorts.

The most definitive advantage that cruise ships continue to have over land based resorts is they float, and move people from port to port. Passengers on cruise ships travel, whereas resort guests do not.

Yet, particularly over the past decade, within the various cruise line’s new build programs, there has been a rather focused attempt in design work to incorporate dining and entertainment activities which historically have been more commonly found at land based resorts.

Where on ships, a water slide on the ship’s pool deck used to be about the most extreme activity on board, newer ships today have expanded from having one water slide to now having rather extensive water parks on deck. Expanding from there, flow-riders (surf machines), zip-lines, rope courses, aqua-theaters, and aqua ducks (Disney’s roller coaster like device) are being added to new ships as fast as someone can come up with the idea.

This added diversity by including these activities in the ship’s designs, has had some effect; resulting in more guests opting to choose to use the ship, as the destination, and passing on touring in the ship’s various ports of call. I surmise that those people are the ones whose personal experiences are more of the traditional land based resorts, as well as those who have perhaps cruised the Caribbean so many times they feel they have been over-exposed to the island’s tourism options.

Yet, in my mind, the one weakness of all the resort like amenities which have been added to all the new ships is that they are pretty much restricted to being located on the ship’s upper decks, on or above the Lido deck ( the resort/pool decks). The weakness in this type of design is it tends to remove one of the biggest attractions of cruise ships hold for me; one’s connection to the sea.

When all the activity amenities are located 12, 13 or more decks above the sea, one must go to a railing, just to get a glimpse of the waters you’re sailing. Once you’ve left those top decks, on many previous ships, once indoors they feel more like being in a mall than on a ship at sea.

Now, this past past week, when Norwegian Cruise Line revealed some of the details of their newest new build project, Project Breakaway, I’ve become more excited about an upcoming new ship than I have been for years.

The reason – what Norwegian is calling “The Waterfront”. To be located on Promenade Deck, “the Waterfront” will be a length of open to the sea, restaurants and bars, with seating both inside (open to the outside) and out on deck.

Every great sea-side resort in the world has such an area; a length of shops, bars, and restaurants, sitting along the waterway or along the beach; where people can enjoy the views, the smells of the sea, and the action on the nearby beaches, from their seats while dining or enjoying their favorite libations.

And now, with Project Breakaway, this marvelous feature is going to be added to a cruise ship!

Just as at sea-side resorts, I believe this area is going to be buzzing with passenger activity and fun, and is going to set the pace for the heart of the ship. I can’t wait to sail the Breakaway, and experience this for myself; dining on great food, or enjoying some of my favorite fu fu drinks, while still enjoying the connection to the sea that only cruising on a ship at sea can give you.

You can read more specific details about the recent Norwegian announcement here:

http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/feature/norwegian-breakaway-waterfront-120314.cfm

- A View From the Kuki Side of Cruising -

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Comments

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time March 21, 2012 at 5:42 am

Years ago then NCL, not owned by Chinese interests through a Singaporian beard, Star Cruises, the bright idea of building one gigantic mega ship, code named Operation Phoenix, which would have been larger than the newest main stream maga ships today.

The one thing that made this prospect stand out, aside from size, was the boardwalk/cum beach proposal that now seems to have taken flight with the new NCL ships.

Good job, NCL, its been a long time comming.

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