The Dr. Seuss waterpark on Carnival's new Horizon

Cruising Guide: 2018’s New Cruise Ships

By AMA Staff

AMA Travel cruise specialists get early access to new ship launches, so they can share insider info with you. Here, cruise specialist Shawnda Beaudoin previews six new ocean liners that you can book now for 2018.

The latest launch from Carnival carries nearly 4,000 passengers and is bound to make a big splash. Dr. Suess WaterWorks, the ship’s onboard aqua park, features twisting slides and loads of Suessical silliness. The family focus continues with IMAX and 3D movie theatres, and a Lip Sync Battle stage show. Grownups can slip away to the Havana Bar & Pool for chilled mojitos, and relax at the adult-only Serenity retreat, with plush loungers and spa-worthy cuisine. The ship sets sail in March 2018.

The world’s largest cruise ship, weighing a whopping 230,000 tons, sets sail to Europe this spring and the Caribbean next fall. Every room comes with a view: Inside cabins feature virtual balconies: floor-to-ceiling HD screens that display real-time images of the ocean and ports. The balconies mean you don’t have to sacrifice a view for the affordability of an inner stateroom. Another cost-saving innovation: more single-occupancy cabins. Sailings begin in May 2018.

How to choose the cruise that’s right for you

Purpose-built for cruising Alaska and the Caribbean, the ship features a 1,860-square-metre observation lounge to soak in stunning 180-degree views. Curl up in a cozy armchair or sofa to do some whale watching in Alaska or see dolphins frolic in the warm waters of the Caribbean. The ship offers a large selection of single cabins, which cater to the needs and comfort of solo adventurers during these bucket-list sailings. There’s also an exclusive solo-travellers’ lounge. The Bliss launches in May 2018.

new cruise ships 2018 holland america nieuw statendam
A high-tech theatre on the Nieuw Statendam

The line’s latest mid-size ship accommodates 2,650 passengers, with staterooms designed to suit an array of travellers. You’ll find everything from single cabins to typical two-person staterooms to family suites accommodating up to five guests. To appeal to younger passengers and multi-generation groups, Holland America designers created contemporary interiors and family-friendly amenities, like basketball courts and a digital workshop. Sailings commence in December.

As its name suggests, the mission of MSC’s newest ship is to give passengers as many sea views as possible—courtesy of a glass-railed promenade circling the perimeter of the ship. The view is also paramount at restaurants, bars and lounges, which have been specially designed to face out onto the open sea. While it may sound like an adult playground, the ship is perfect for families too, with its onboard water park and sports courts. Italy-based MSC will launch the ship primarily from Miami, starting in June 2018.

Four hot cruising destinations for 2018

Dubbed the most innovative new cruise ship, it was engineered and built using 3D imaging. Among its many high-tech features are infinity veranda staterooms, in which a fully retractable glass wall opens to turn the cabin into an open-air living space. Another cutting-edge design is the “magic carpet,” a deck that extends over water to host pop-up restaurants, bars and themed parties. It can also be used on lower decks to increase accessibility in port. Launching December 2018.