Mega-sized cruises seem to be the new hot form of vacation, according to AAA Travel.
Bookings for trips on the massive ships, that can carry upwards of 5,000 passengers, have jumped over the last year; in some cases, AAA Travel says, the percentage of vacationers who book a cruise has gone up by double-digits.
Next year, the North American cruise market can expect its capacity to grow by about one million passengers. The Cruise Lines International Association says about 26.7 million people took cruises internationally in 2017. And that number could be about 28 million this year.
So what's causing this trend?
“Many cruise ships today are like resorts, holding thousands of passengers and offering countless opportunities for entertainment and places to dine,” says Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of AAA Travel. “Whether opting for an upgraded suite class on a large cruise ship, or increasingly, splurging for all-inclusive luxury on a small riverboat, travelers are seeking special opportunities to elevate their cruise vacation experience.”
But better offerings are not all.
AAA Travel also says new and changing destinations are drawing more travelers. New technology on ships like high-speed Wi-Fi, interactive signage and smartphone apps also help attract new passengers.
The agency also says if you plan to book a cruise, you should look into booking through an agent, make sure to consider the extra costs of the cruise including on-board entertainment, food and on-shore excursions. And you should make sure to book well in advance.