If you love the amenities of an all-inclusive resort but don’t want to limit yourself to one location, add a cruise to your 2023 bucket list. For those who have stepped aboard a deck on a luxury cruise, they adore the delicious meals, incredible sights, enchanting beach destinations, unique onboard activities, and so much more. Truly, once you finish a cruise vacation, you’ll want to immediately book a reservation on another boat.
However, there are endless options when it comes to cruise vacations, and you might not be sure which is best for you. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of some of the most anticipated cruise ships for 2023 and what each option has to offer.
(We also have included a few tips on what to pack for this dream vacation. Making sure you have the proper wardrobe pieces and essentials will ensure a relaxing and easy trip, so it’s best to double-check your packing list.)
Viking Saturn - Viking Cruises
The Viking Saturn is the ninth ship in the Viking Cruise fleet and offers some of the most up-scale offerings yet. This adult-only vessel has a sophisticated design and caters to a relaxing and luxurious ride. Choose between one of the 465 all-balcony cabins for your stay and enjoy the daily-stocked mini-bar, including alcoholic beverages, sodas, water, and snacks.
Walk through the lounge spaces filled with puzzles, books, and other enrichment activities. Carve out time in your onboard itinerary to join an art lecture, watercolor painting class, or afternoon tea. For a day full of rest and relaxation, enjoy the Nordic-inspired spa onboard.
While there are many route options to choose from, this line will primarily focus on sailing around Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, and Greenland.
Vista - Oceania Cruises
Aiming to represent a new age in travel, this 12–passenger vessel is decked in elegance and grandeur. The sweeping staircases and dramatic crystal pillars will make you forget you are in the middle of the ocean until you soak in the panoramic views offered in the lounge areas.
Choose between 12 different dining experiences on this cruise, including options for American cuisine and health-focused dishes. You will also have various options when it comes to accommodations, with choices ranging from 260 square-foot cabins designed for solo travelers to the 2,400 square-foot Owner’s Suit, styled by Ralph Lauren Home.
The ship will be making rounds through the Mediterranean and French Riviera, sailing through Italy, Greece, Croatia, Turkey, and more.
Resilient Lady - Virgin Voyages
Designed with an ethos of well-being and rejuvenation, the Resilient Lady is an adult-only line that will cater to all of your needs and desires. This new cruise ship emphasizes fitness and relaxation, as evinced by the Training Camp fitness area and private cabanas on the upper deck.
To ensure the nighttime is as relaxing and restful as the daytime, you can enjoy the ocean views, balconies, and seabeds that are found in a vast majority of the rooms. Furthermore, you will find retro furnishings, vinyl turntables, and electric guitars in the special Mega RockStar suites for an exciting addition to your trip.
The first trip scheduled for this cruise will entail a seven-night round-trip journey from Athens to the Greek islands, with trips to Croatia and the Caribbean coming later in the year.
Explora I - Explora Journeys
A ritzy ride designed to take its passengers on a journey of discovery to destinations off the beaten path, the Explora I is sure to offer you an unforgettable ride. Created in collaboration with superyacht and upscale hospitality designers, the interior might top that of any five-star hotel located on land. This cruise offers 461 all-terrace suites that each feature floor-to-ceiling windows that open onto a veranda.
If you can’t wait until you dock at a beach for a swim, you can enjoy any of the four swimming pools located onboard. One pool even features a retractable roof, giving you a chance to take a dip regardless of the weather. Once you have taken a swim, you can enjoy the 64 private cabanas, hot tubs, and LED screens that are used for movie nights.
This cruise also features a top-of-the-line list of dining options: a spa, fitness center, and studio for group fitness classes. Everything you touch onboard will offer you a lavish experience.
Scheduled to set sail in July of 2023, its first journey will be to Northern Europe, with routes covering Iceland, Greenland, USA, Canada, the Caribbean, South America, Alaska, and Hawaii to follow.
MSC Euribia - MSC Cruises
While this cruise ship offers new, exciting qualities, it stays true to the MSC brand and features a 305-foot LED screen that runs along the ceiling of the central indoor promenade. Aside from the light shows and images projected on the screen, this ship commits memorable entertainment offerings. During your stay, you can enjoy the Broadway-style theater and Yacht Club, which holds a game room.
Starting with the traditional neutral color palette, this cruise displays artwork from artists across the globe that depicts the local sea and marine ecosystem.
Partially paving the way for a more renewable future, the MSC Euribia is fueled by liquefied natural gas, which is the cleanest marine fuel. This commitment to a more green fuel option will reduce greenhouse emissions by up to 21 percent compared to traditional fuel options.
Silver Nova - Silversea
You are guaranteed to have a beautiful view when boarding the Silver Nova, considering each room has its own personal balcony. This cruise ship is also the largest in the Silversea fleet, carrying 728 passengers with a 1.3:1 passenger-to-crew ratio.
Featuring an innovative horizontal design, the cabins are located toward the front of the ship, and the public areas are at the back. This design will increase the quiet environment in your cabin since you will be situated far from the engine room.
Unlike traditional swimming pools on cruise ships, which are placed in the middle of the pool deck, the Silver Nova pool is open to one side of the ship to give you unobstructed sea views and an “infinity pool” feel.
It is scheduled to set sail in August of 2023 on a trip from Venice to Croatia.
Icon of the Seas - Royal Caribbean
The size of this ship alone is sure to impress you. Featuring 20 decks, this mega-ship has eight separate neighborhoods for guests to enjoy. The newest neighborhoods include:
- The AquaDome, which provides wraparound ocean views on the ship’s bow
- Thrill Island, a waterpark with six waterslides
- Chill Island, the cruise’s hub for four out of the seven onboard swimming pools
- Surfside, a family-friendly entertainment center with a splash-and-play, whirlpool, bar, carousel, and arcade
There are 2,805 cabins to choose from onboard, with a majority of the accommodation options catering to families.
Also, accounting for the popularity among families, this cruise ship will offer a wide range of dining options. If you are a Royal Caribbean fan, you are sure to find classics like Lime and the Coconut and Chops and Grille.
With its main port staying in Miami, this cruise is scheduled to sail seven-day itineraries in the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
Carnival Jubilee - Carnival Cruise Line
Another mega-ship sure to impress any guest, the Carnival Jubilee is designed around extravagance. It holds 5,400 passengers and will become the largest Carnival ship based at the Galveston, Texas port.
With six different themed indoor areas, this cruise option is perfect for the entire family. Additionally, if your kids are thrill-seekers, they are sure to enjoy BOLT, the first roller coaster at sea. You also won’t have a problem finding accommodation options that fit your entire family’s needs, as you can choose between 20 different cabin categories.
For a beautiful afternoon view or an evening concert, you can enjoy the three-deck atrium overlooking the ocean, which converts into an entertainment venue every night.
Its first trip is scheduled for August of 2023, sailing through the Western Caribbean on a six-night journey.
Seven Seas Grandeur - Regent Seven Seas Cruises
If you are looking for high-quality service, open space, and luxurious offerings, the Seven Seas Grandeur is for you. With one of the highest crew-to-passenger and space-to-passenger ratios in the industry, there’s no chance of you feeling cramped or forgotten on board.
The space of accommodation ranges from 215 to 4,443 square feet, and each suite comes with a balcony, walk-in shower, walk-in closet, sofa, and mini bar.
The Seven Seas Grandeur has a large collection of entertainment and wellness offerings, including a theater, spa, fitness center, putting green, jogging track, casino, library, and more. If you would like a guided activity for the day, you can book yourself in a cooking classroom, lecture, or game night.
Its first scheduled departure is in November 2023, with a voyage from Barcelona to Miami.
Celebrity Ascent - Celebrity Cruises
The Celebrity Ascent strives to offer guests sights and experiences they have never had before on a cruise. One of the most unique attractions of this cruise ship is the Magic Carpet, a movable deck on the side of the ship that moves from decks two to 16. When it comes to a multi-purpose space for dining, drinking, and sightseeing, the Magic Carpet experience is second to none.
This cruise ship is a wonderful option for all types of travelers, with 918 Infinite Veranda cabins that include 16 single-accommodation rooms for solo travelers. The Iconic Suites are the height of luxury, offering the same views as the captain and featuring balconies with private jacuzzis and cabanas.
Some of the ship's highlights include a large pool on the Resort Deck, a rooftop garden, and a dine-in movie theater setup.
The Celebrity Ascent is scheduled to set sail in December of 2023 from Fort Lauderdale, sailing through Philipsburg, St. Maarten, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, and Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
Brilliant Lady - Virgin Voyages
Based on a philosophy of well-being and rejuvenation, Virgin Voyages believes that all you need is a little “Vitamin Sea.” The Brilliant Lady offers a large collection of signature fitness classes that include yoga, meditation, cycling, and more.
You’ll find a rich array of dining options that include healthy options made from fresh ingredients. Forgoing the buffet and main dining room system that is used by most cruise ships, the Brilliant Lady instead offers twenty different sit-down dining venues.
You can choose from 1,408 cabins, with a majority of the options having ocean views and a private balcony. Set to sail in late 2023, the first region of the voyage is still unknown.
What To Pack for a Cruise
Now that you have the best cruises of 2023 on your radar, it’s time to start planning your vacation! After picking your ship and route of choice, all that’s left to do is pack and set sail.
Here is the ultimate packing guide for a multi-day cruise:
No matter how desperately you want to use this vacation as an excuse to “disconnect” from technology, you are probably still going to need a few tech essentials.
First, your friends and family back home will want to ensure you are safe and having a good time, so always keep a fully charged phone to contact them. To be safe, bring two chargers instead of one and an adapter (in case you encounter any foreign outlets).
Pack a high-quality camera to snap some shots of the ocean waves and beachy destinations. While you can rely on your phone camera, it might be nice to have a separate camera to preserve your phone battery and for higher-quality shots.
Perhaps the most important essential for a multi-day cruise is plenty of sun protection. Even if you don’t burn easily, you should be lathered up every day while the sun is still out. Pick a lotion that won’t upset your skin, and try to reapply every two hours.
Beyond sunscreen, a major component of sun protection is clothing. Bring a few fabulous cover-ups that are lightweight and breathable. Things like a matching linen set or a long sleeve rash guard will really come in handy during your sunny activities.
While on the cruise, some people might get a little sick — beyond seasickness. You will be exposed to a lot of people and new environments, and your body might have trouble processing the changes. Bring your go-to cold medicines and pain relievers that you know work well for your body. Pack motion sickness medicine, just in case the waves make you feel nauseous.
Consider packing a first aid kit for any minor emergencies. You might accidentally fall and cut open your knee, burn your hand, or have an unexpected rash. Be sure to pack antibiotic ointment, bandages, aloe vera, and other first-aid essentials.
While there should be a convenience store onboard, add extras of your fav skincare products to your toiletry bag. You don’t want to run out of your favorite face moisturizer or contact solution with three days left in the trip!
Cruises do not have the same four-ounce liquid restrictions as airline travel, so take advantage of the flexibility. Packing your best shampoo for healthy hair and face wash for clear skin will make your trip much more comfortable.
Add in a few extra days of medicine than you think are needed (delays on cruise ships are possible). It’s well worth bringing an extra pack of birth control or an extra bottle of your daily medication.
Variety of Attire
While on a cruise, take advantage of the wide range of activities. While on board, your days could be filled with laps in the pool, shopping at the onboard boutiques, workouts at the fitness center, and more.
Once you dock at your various destinations throughout the voyage, hang out on the beach or explore the local town. Because of this, you will want to pack a selection of outfits.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your packing list, try sticking to a few casual and formal outfits. There is no shame in wearing your favorite pieces, so just a few options can go a long way. Also, it’s important to have a selection of footwear. Flip-flops will be handy for a day walking around the boat, but you might want a more formal pair of sandals for dinner out in town.
Obviously, you cannot go on a cruise vacation without swimwear. You will need a suit for the onboard pools and waterparks as well as the beaches at your docked sites. Because of the many different water activities, you might want to have a few swimsuit options on hand.
Packing a reliable one-piece, like the Amalfi, will come in handy when you are jumping in the waves or riding down a waterslide with your kids. On the other hand, a classic bikini, like the Molokai Top and the Bikini Bottom, will be a comfortable option for sunbathing or reading a book on the pool deck.
Pack whatever swimsuit options make you feel the best and most confident. A cruise vacation provides an exciting and relaxing getaway from your daily life, so you don't need to feel uncomfortable in your swimwear.
Different Bag Sizes
Lastly, an essential that’s often forgotten is a carefully-curated collection of bags.
Naturally, you’ll pack your toiletries and personal belongings in small, water-tight bags. However, you will need to carry a lot of things around with you on the cruise. Especially if you have kids, you’ll need reef-friendly sunscreen, toys, a change of clothes, your room key, and more in a bag simply to get out your door.
When you dock in a town for the day, bring all the essentials with you. Pack a day’s worth of clothes and essentials in a larger-sized tote so you can spend your day exploring rather than running back onto the boat.
No matter which cruise ship you choose for 2023, you are guaranteed to have remarkable ocean views, spectacular onboard entertainment, and the vacation of a lifetime. Just be sure you are prepared with all of your essentials and your Andie Swim bathing suit, and you are ready to go!
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) | Department of Energy
Sun Safety | Skin Cancer | CDC
Make a First Aid Kit | Supplies & Contents | American Red Cross
The 5 Best Mega-ship Ocean Cruise Lines | Travel and Leisure