Twenty Years of Onboard Innovations

All Decked Out

A look back at 20 years of our favorite onboard innovations.

1996: Carnival Destiny debuted as the first passenger ship ever built to be over 100,000 tons, and boasted a three-deck show lounge and the longest water slide at sea at 214 feet.
1997: Holland America Line introduced Rotterdam, which featured the line’s first signature Neptune Lounge, an exclusive retreat for Neptune and Pinnacle Suite guests.
1998: Disney Magic launched with an innovative rotational dining concept of three restaurants, where guests dine in a different venue each evening accompanied by their same serving team.
1999: Royal Caribbean International’s Voyager of the Seas debuted with unprecedented amenities such as a rock-climbing wall, ice-skating rink, and the Royal Promenade.
2000: Celebrity Millennium debuted with a new specialty restaurant, RMS Olympic, which used original pieces from RMS Olympic, sister ship to Titanic.
2001: Carnival Cruise Line partnered with Miami’s legendary Joe’s Stone Crab to offer the famous claws on board, the first aboard Carnival Spirit.
2002: The World of Residensea launched with 165 ocean residences, making it the first entirely residential cruise ship to continuously sail around the world.
2003: Crystal Serenity debuted with specialty restaurants Silk Road and The Sushi Bar, exclusively featuring menu selections created by Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa.
2004: Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 launched and featured Illuminations, the first (and only) planetarium at sea, which seats 150 guests and shows high-tech astronomy shows and….

2016: Crystal Esprit began its inaugural season, and features a two-passenger submarine that’s available as a new “sea excursion” offered to guests.

This is an excerpt only. To read this article in its entirety, pick up an issue of Porthole Cruise Magazine, or check out our digital edition.

Photo: Crystal Cruises


Now in its 25th year, Porthole Cruise and Travel Magazine is published bi-monthly and available worldwide through digital subscription. It offers the latest news in cruise and travel, with in-depth features on voyages, new ships, the best destinations, readers' picks, onboard cuisine, entertainment, and more!