The cruise industry is chugging ahead in this new year, with an estimated 24 million passengers setting sail.
That's a significant jump from the 15 million passengers a decade ago, according to Cruise Lines International Assn.
Twenty-seven new ocean, river and small ships will hit the water this year. And it's no surprise that while the Caribbean is by far the top destination for cruisers, Australia and Asia are heating up
1. US river cruises - River cruising has exploded in Europe over the last few years, and now American rivers get their turn.
2. Cuba by ship - With the thawing of U.S.-Cuba relations and reopening of embassies, Americans have been flocking to the island nation
3. All inclusive please - Regent Seven Seas Cruises has led the way for years with all-inclusive sailings, and more lines are following suit.
4. Make room for families - Family cabins, such as Royal Caribbean's family junior suite, are always in high demand.
5. Better Wi-Fi - Cruise lines will be upgrading and perfecting their Wi-Fi, but it won't necessarily be free
Walter Christen's insight:
2016 looks to be a banner year for people to cruise. Here is my take.
1. I am very intrigued about a US river cruise. Really have to look into a Viking River Cruise on the Mississippi river for 2017.
2. Although I would love to cruise to Cuba to experience the culture, I do not see it in my plans for a little while. Maybe next year.
3. I really like what Regent Seven Seas is doing with their all inclusive cruises. One of the reasons I love to cruise is not having to make many money spending decisions while on board. This would make for a even better experience.
4. In the past when we cruises with my children we booked adjoining rooms which worked out well. On my last cruise, my wife an I were booked into a junior suite that had a king size bed, a pull out couch and a separate small room with bunk beds. Room slept 6 even though it was just the 2 of us. Great room and would be great for families with children. There was a lot of extra space and storage areas as well.
5. Great to see that the cruise lines have recognized the importance of high speed internet access. In this day and age, it is hard to disconnect for more than a few days (although I do like being disconnected). Pricing also seems to be getting better.