There’s never been a better time to take a cruise from Florida. The cruise lines are continuing to add new vessels and they are getting bigger and more luxurious with each new ship. The new Disney Dream, sailing from Port Canaveral has the first ever on board water coaster that plunges you over the side of the ship and the Allure of the Seas, the biggest ship on the water today, has several ‘neighborhood’ style sections including a Central Park themed area for passengers to enjoy. New cruise cabins are available and prices are good too. Here are the latest, greatest ships sailing to many exotic ports of call.
Marina – Oceania Cruise Line
The Oceania Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Oceania Marina, it is their fourth ship and the first one built from scratch, it’s 782 feet long, accommodates 1,250 passengers and sails from the Port of Miami to Key West, Cozumel, Belize City, Roatan, Puerto Limon, George Town, Grand Turk, St. John’s and, Fort De France.
What makes the Marina special is her elegant but homey feel. The ship has a magnificent Lalique Grand Staircase, yet the furnishings are of the finest residential design. They have a culinary center which is the only hands-on cooking school at sea and an artists-in-residence to teach fine arts in Artists Loft.
Look for her sister ship the Riviera, which is set to debut in April 2012.
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Dream – Disney Cruise Line
Disney’s newest ship the Dream is 1,115 feet long accommodates 4,000 passengers and sails from Port Canaveral to Nassau, Key West, Grand Cayman, Philipsburg/St. Maarten, Saint Thomas and their own private Castaway Cay.
What makes the Dream special is her AquaDuck, the first-ever shipboard water coaster. This trilling flume ride sweeps you along 765 feet that twist, turn and drop you around four decks and even over the side of the ship out on the water. They have special clubs and activities for children and ‘tweens’ but its Disney so you’d expect them to accommodate the kiddies.
Allure of the Seas – Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, the Allure of the Seas is 1,187 feet long, a reported two feet longer that her sister ship the Oasis of the Seas which was formerly the world’s largest cruise ship, accommodates 5,400 passengers and sails from Port Everglades to Labadi,Labadee, Falmouth, Cozumel, Nassau, St. Thomas, Charlotte Amalie and Philipsburg, St. Maarten.
What makes the Allure of the Seas special, aside form her size, is that she hosts DreamWorks Animation characters like Shrek, Po from Kung-Fu Panda and Madagascar’s penguins. The Allure has seven “neighborhoods,” like Central Park, the Boardwalk and the Royal Promenade and her inside staterooms have balconies overlooking the park so you don’t get that ‘closed in’feeling you can get on other ships. They also have an AquaTheater, carousel, ice rink, two surf pools, Zip Line, the first Starbucks on any cruise and the Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center. This ship is HUGE.
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Epic – Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Norwegian Epic is 1,068 feet long accommodates 4,200 passengers and sales from the Port of Miami to Costa Maya, Roatan, Cozumel, Ponta Delgada and Barcelona.
What makes the Epic special is she has 20 different dining options compete with, lounges and bars an Aqua park with three waterslides, a bowling alley, a rock climbing and a rappelling wall. They have a spa and a squash court and a two story Wii, that’ll make the kids day.
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Nieuw Amsterdam – Holland America Cruise Line
Holland America Cruise Line’s newest ship, the ms Nieuw Amsterdam is 936 feet long accommodates 2,106 passengers and sales from the Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale to Grand Turk, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Caymans, George Town, Mahogany Bay Roatan, Costa Maya and Half Moon Cay.
What makes the Nieuw Amsterdam special is they have a culinary arts center by Food and Wine magazine, a Greenhouse spa and salon and a high end Italian restaurant called Canaletto Restaurant; you can enjoy their Showroom at Sea and new private cabanas. For the kids ages three to 12 there is Club HAL, and a teen space called The Loft.
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Silver Spirit – Silversea Cruise Line
Silversea Cruise Line’s newest ship, the Silver Spirit is 642 feet long accommodates 540 passengers and sails from Port Everglades to Key West, Santo Tomas de Castilla, Belize City, Cozumel, St. John’s, Antigua, St. Lucia, Castries, Bequia, St. George’s, Grenada and Barbados.
What makes the Silver Spirit special is an Asian-themed restaurant, Stars Supper Club, an expansive 8,300-square-foot spa, a huge resort pool with four whirlpools and it boast the largest suites of the Silversea fleet, 95% of which have private verandas, very nice when you’re on a cruise.
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Originally Published on May 7th, 2011