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Waves of the Future

Cruise lines are always coming up with fun ways to attract passengers. Here, the hottest new trends.

Get fit while you float
With rock-climbing walls, ice-skating rinks, and surfing simulators, Royal Caribbean pretty much has the lock on recreational innovation. But nearly all cruise lines have bulked up their fitness and spa offerings. You can take Pilates, ride an X-Bike (an indoor bike that mimics outdoor cycling), or book a session with a personal trainer. And improved spa options range from Thai massage to facials to acupuncture—all for a fee, of course.

Enjoy fine dining
On many ships, mealtimes no longer center on a formal restaurant or buffets. Celebrity and Costa have spa cafés with healthy cuisine. On many Royal Caribbean ships, you can eat at Johnny Rockets, a '50s-style diner, for an extra $4 per person. Norwegian Cruise Line serves French fare at Le Bistro, and Holland America Line's Pinnacle Grill focuses on cuisine inspired by the Pacific Northwest. Most of these options impose a surcharge.

Off-road onshore
Shore outings used to be limited to boring narrated bus tours of mainstream attractions, but in the past few years, cruise companies have been dreaming up far more thrilling options. Take advantage of the opportunity to try something new: dogsledding in Alaska, trekking through a rain forest in Puerto Rico, cycling through the jungle in Belize, or tubing through caves in Hawaii.

Choose your own adventure
Cruise concierges will arrange customized private outings, like cliff-top yoga sessions in Santorini or off-hours tours of St. Petersburg's Hermitage museum, which houses more than 3 million works of art. Regent Seven Seas Cruises' Circles of Interest program matches voyagers with experts in fields such as photography, history, and food and wine, and arranges theme-oriented onshore tours for groups.

 
Note: This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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