1 Bigger ships andmore refurbishment
As the cruise industry grows in popularity, we can expect to see more "mega ships" in the future. The world's largest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas, made its debut last year - but its title is soon to be usurped. Currently under construction in France, Royal Caribbean's next Oasis Class ship Symphony of the Seas is due to be completed in April 2018. Its first sailings leave from Miami next November - but we'll have to wait and see how long this mammoth can hold the title of world's largest ship.
2 Wearable technology
Next month, Carnival Cruise will launch its highly anticipated Ocean Medallion on the Regal Princess ship. The Medallion is a wearable device containing two microscopic antennas that pair with a digital concierge service called the Ocean Compass. This allows guests to place orders to be delivered to theirlocation, while also replacing the key card and simplifying embarkation and disembarkation. The Ocean Medallion will be introduced on the Royal Princess, Caribbean Princess and Island Princess in 2018. MSC Cruises has also introduced an interactive wristband and app, which debuted on MSC Meraviglia in June this year. MSC for Me allows passengers to access services through a network of up to 16,000 Bluetooth beacons and can provide access to cabins, payments on board and help passengers find their way around the ship - as well as keeping track of the kids.
They're becoming more common in airports and department stores around the world, so it's not surprising these chipper service robots are starting to appear on cruise ships as well. Costa Cruises introduced a humanoid robot named Pepper on its Costa Diadema ship last year, which was first launched in Tokyo in 2014. Since then, Carnival Corporation has implemented 10 more Peppers across four of its ships. Pepper speaks three languages (Italian, English and French) and is designed to provide information and entertain guests.