Travel

5 Cruise Amenities That Might Surprise You

Every year, more than 20 million people worldwide take to the high seas to enjoy a vacation. Whether you’re one of those vacationers or are just starting to plan your first cruise, odds are you already have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

But with cruise ships themselves and their amenities changing and evolving every year, you may not be as familiar with their offerings as you might think. Here are five cruise amenities that might surprise you.

1. Festivals at Sea

One of the best parts about taking a cruise is the opportunity to experience a variety of different cultures, even on a short trip. But did you know you might get to experience these cultures before arriving at the first port of call and ever stepping foot on land?

Festivals of the World, one of many onboard activities offered by Princess, brings the celebrations of international cultures right to the deck of your ship. Dance the night away at Rio’s Carnival, light your glass at Oktoberfest, or laugh and sing through a Mardi Gras parade.

2. Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are one of the hottest trends in entertainment right now. But they’re just about the last thing you’d expect to find in the middle of the ocean.

On select cruises, though, you can experience “Unlock the Phantom Bridge,” a brand new escape room that combines an interactive experience with tests of skills and creative thinking. With just 30 percent to 50 percent of people making it out of the average escape room, you’ll need to put your brains and teamwork to the test to see if you can break out!

3. Behind-the-Scenes Tours

Cruise ships are massive, floating cities. And just like cities, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes to keep the ship running, guests fed and entertainment flowing. Want to see it all first hand? If you’re interested in seeing what goes into catering to the every whims of thousands of people at sea around the clock, make sure to take a behind-the-scenes tour of your ship.

You’ll see all the work that goes into even the tiniest details, like who created the towel animal on your bed or made that dish you enjoyed at lunch. You might also get to learn some incredible statistics. For instance, a small cruise ship carrying less than 1,000 people will still go through 5,000 eggs and 4,000 cups of tea in a single day.

4. World-Class Shows

If you think cruise ship shows are the equivalent of community theater or subpar stand-up comedians, think again. Today’s cruise ships offer world-class shows that rival Broadway productions. For instance, you might get to take in the music of composer Stephen Schwartz, choreography straight off Broadway, professional magic shows or any number of other productions.

5. Glacier Tours

Not all cruise ship amenities are necessarily enjoyed on the ship. If you hear the words “shore excursions” and think of laying on the beach or taking a city tour on a bus, you’re in for a surprise. When you cruise to Alaska, you can get up close and personal with a glacier, go on a wildlife tour, see the unexplored wilderness by plane, or even take a Gold Rush-era train into the Yukon.

Booking Your Next Cruise

After becoming better acquainted with just a few of the countless amenities cruise ships have to offer, it’s time to start thinking about your next cruise. While amenities are important, so are the destinations you’ll experience at different ports of call. And with a cruise to Alaska, you get both.

Incredible views surround you and adventures await at every port. But after a long day of exploring, you can relax in the spa, take in a show and dine in style. Just make sure to check out any number of Alaskan cruises prices offered by Princess before booking your next vacation!