Older Cruise Ships Get Shipshape

Piazza style Atrium
Piazza style Atrium

It's not easy being an older cruise ship in a sea of modern fleets. Many cruise lines are finding they must modernize older vessels to keep pace with the newer ships' vast offerings and expanded on-board activities.

The cruise industry has always been proactive in responding to the ever-changing vacation styles and wishes of its customers, which usually means numerous enhancements of facilities and amenities. It's no surprise that older ships are undergoing comprehensive stem-to-stern multi-million dollar renovations, which is great news for those looking to take a vacation, whether they desire an Alaska cruise or an ocean tour around Europe. More travelers are also finding it easier to save money on their cruise vacations through booking trips on these remodeled, state of the art ships.

Extreme cruise ship makeovers

The revamping of the older ships makes sense for cruise lines, as it's more cost-effective than building new vessels. By fixing up what they already own, they can add all of the features of the new 'mega-builds' but at a smaller passenger capacity, which many veteran cruisers appreciate. Some vacationers like the quaint comfort that comes with a small populated ship.

Recently, Princess Cruises' upgraded a number of its ships with new dining venues, adults-only Sanctuary areas, Movies Under the Stars screens and new suites. Additionally, on a few ships, the Atrium was transformed into the now-signature Piazza - very popular with Princess enthusiasts. This gives travelers a place to wine and dine in between activities on board.

Some older ships are considered small to mid-sized by today's standards, but many passengers are fans of these ships because they can offer a more personal experience. Old ship fans are frequently delighted when their favorite ship is enhanced and often book a sailing just to see the finished results.

Most cruise lines want to ensure that their existing fleet matches the state-of-the-art standards of their newer additions. Among the many enhancements planned are spa facilities featuring advanced treatment areas, new dining venues, transformed atriums, updated public rooms, computer labs and expansive areas dedicated to children and teens. Many of the world cruises also now have areas specifically catered to adults. These types of renovations make cruise ships the perfect vacation choice for families and newlyweds alike.

In addition to these new facilities, most refurbishments include replacing carpets, furnishings, linens, wall coverings and - perhaps most importantly - updating mechanical, electrical and technical systems, such as fire safety apparatus, navigational equipment and waste treatment facilities. These changes make everything from Canada cruises to adventures to the Far East more enjoyable and comfortable for passengers on board.

Great value

A number of veteran cruisers will tell you that after a major revitalization project, a ship actually becomes more valuable than when it was new. You get all of the benefits of newer ships often at a better rate than recently-built big ships. Itineraries on newly refurbished vessels can run the gamut of more homeland cruising that sail from ports close to home to a whole new world of cruising destinations with unique ports of call.

When it comes to cruise travel, a new ship isn't always better. Most importantly, as cruise lines renovate and even overhaul the structure of older vessels, those mature ships are emerging as refreshed stunners. Whether you intend to take an Australia cruise or a trip to the Mediterranean for your next ocean voyage, you might want to consider a remodeled ship. In addition to saving money, you'll be given the same amenities and opportunities to enjoy all that the high seas have to offer.