New Cruise Experiences put the Focus on Family

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The Marvel Super Hero Academy aboard the Disney Wonder (Photo Credit: Illustration, Disney)
The Marvel Super Hero Academy aboard the Disney Wonder. (Photo Credit: Illustration, Disney)

Carnival, Disney and Norwegian have unveiled new family-friendly amenities including open-air cycling, private island ziplining and Marvel super hero training.

Carnival Vista, currently on its maiden voyage after debuting in May 2016, has announced a range of new features perfect for family entertainment, including the cruise industry’s first IMAX Theatre at Sea. The 187-seat cinema experience includes a three-deck-high screen showing the latest Hollywood blockbusters, family movies and IMAX documentaries. Also aboard is the Thrill Theater, an immersive multi-sensory cinema experience where seats move back and forward, and viewers are sprayed with water and bubbles during the show.

Other new features aboard the Carnival Vista include SkyRide, an open-air cycling experience suspended high above the ship’s top deck where guests pedal at speeds of up to 18 miles an hour across an elevated 800-ft.-long track. The Kaleid-O-Slide is a new 455-ft.-long water tube slide with corkscrew turns enhanced by music and kaleidoscopic effects; and for guests seeking a more sedate experience, the 2-deck Cloud 9 Spa offers the cruise line’s first infrared sauna, Ottoman-style Hammam chamber and an elaborate Thermal Suite with different areas for different needs such as a steam chamber and dry heat chamber. For more information, visit carnival.com.

Renderring of the private party room at Norwegian's private island, Great Stirrup Cay. (Photo credit: Norwegian Cruise Line)
Renderring of the private party room at Norwegian’s private island, Great Stirrup Cay. (Photo credit: Norwegian Cruise Line)

Norwegian Cruise Line is enhancing its 250-acre private island Great Stirrup Cay this summer with a range of new amenities and activities ideal for families.

Located in the Bahamas, the island will receive upgrades as part of Norwegian’s $400 million investment program The Norwegian Edge, including a new half-mile oceanside boardwalk offering easy access to the island’s 10-acre white-sand beach. A new 10-acre entertainment and activity complex will include a stage for live music, basket and volleyball courts, ping-pong tables and a shaded picnic area. More adventurous families can enjoy a new ziplining course featuring more than 1,000 feet of zipline that soars high over the island and includes two parallel ziplines for high-flying races. An underwater sculpture garden provides snorkeling adventure, and using a waterproof map as a guide, guests can discover the abundant marine life found off the island. For more information, call (888) 625-2784, or visit ncl.com.

Disney Cruise Line is transforming its Disney Wonder vessel this fall with many family-friendly enhancements. Exclusive to Disney Wonder, the Marvel Universe comes to life with the new Marvel Super Hero Academy; and Spider-Man appears in person to help children hone their web-slinging skills and participate in fun activities that improve their reflexes and speed. At the end of the activity they even get to see themselves in the pages of the Daily Bugle.

The Disney Oceaneer Club is also expanding with more in-person interactions than ever before, including special appearances by Anna and Elsa from “Frozen,” and Doc McStuffins. The Disney Wonder will also feature the exclusive Tiana’s Place restaurant, inspired by “The Princess and the Frog.” The restaurant transports guests to old New Orleans, with lively jazz and a menu influenced by Southern cuisine. For more information, call (888) DCL-2500 or visit disneycruise.com.