With 16 new oceangoing cruise ships coming out in 2018, there's bound to be some confusion. Which one has the go-karts again? Which one has gourmet dining or laser tag? Which will let me indulge my inner adventurer? And, when it comes right down to it, which one is actually the right one for me?
To help you out, Cruise Critic has come up with seven personality types that match with the ships debuting this year. Which personality type represents you? Once you figure that out, we've got some suggestions for which ships might be the best for you.
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Updated July 5, 2018
The Sleep-When-I-Die Doer
Your Personality: If we looked up the acronym FOMO in the Urban Dictionary, your picture (or your family's) would be right there. You can't bear the thought of not being in the hottest bar, at the latest Broadway show or taking a selfie with the robot bartender everyone is talking about. You know there's only 24 hours in a day, and you plan to squeeze every moment of fun out of every single second and there's nothing (or very little) that you're afraid to try at least once.
Your Ship: The Sleep-When-I-Die Doer will love the 24/7 excitement dished out on Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas. From multiple FlowRider surf simulators, the Perfect Storm duo of water slides and the 10-story spiral Ultimate Abyss slide to a laser tag arena experience, robot bartenders, full-scale production of the Broadway show "Hairspray" and arcade-style games on the reimagined Boardwalk, there is plenty to pack into each day onboard what will be the biggest cruise ship in the world. Norwegian Bliss and Carnival Horizon are other options for the Sleep-When-I-Die Doer to check out, though neither has the same frenetic energy as Symphony.
The Laidback Extrovert
Your Personality: You love a good seaside town, one where you can grab a table near the water with your friends or family and catch up over a hearty meal and some beer. You appreciate a good boardwalk ride or two, don't mind being around other families or groups of friends, like having a choice of eateries, delight in a good belly laugh and even enjoy an evening show, so long as it doesn't take much time away from spending quality time with the people who mean the most to you.
Your Ship: Laidback Extroverts will appreciate the come-as-you-are vibe they'll find on Carnival Horizon, as well as the plethora of casual spots to grab a bite and a beer with friends -- especially the all-new Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse | Brewhouse, which not only serves up some hearty grub but also will feature a variety of craft beer brewed onboard. Plus, there's plenty for families with kids (or just groups of friends acting like kids) to do, from the SkyRide and water park during the day to the Punchliner Comedy Club and Playlist Production shows at night.
The 'So Now' Trendsetter
Your Personality: You're a member of the W Hotel loyalty program and you think Brooklyn is cool, not overhyped. You don't know what it means to stay in on a Friday or Saturday night; instead you're at the latest "It" cocktail bar and you wouldn't think of taking a sip from that highball until you've 'gramed it. You've got the latest iPhone (though you're seriously considering switching to the Pixel) and know about the newest apps before most people, but no one would call you a tech geek. You've got a subscription to Vogue, the fiercest boots in your closet and will get your hands on that Dachshund-shaped Thom Browne bag before the year is over.
Your Ship: There's no other ship that the 'So Now' Trendsetter will want to be on in 2018 than Celebrity Edge. The largest of the first-in-class cruise ships debuting in 2018 (all the others are small expedition ships), Celebrity Edge is looking to live up to its "modern luxury" tagline with several first-at-sea innovations, including the whimsically named Magic Carpet -- a tennis court-sized floating deck that hangs off the side of the ship and moves up and down from Deck 2 to Deck 16. At its highest level it will serve as a location for themed happy hours and late-night parties. Edge will have plenty of other Instagrammable features, including two-deck high "martini glass" Jacuzzis, metallic tree sculptures in the Rooftop Garden and the 20-foot-tall Library of Plants from which mixologists will pluck ingredients to make artisanal cocktails in the Eden Bar. Symphony of the Seas is another of 2018's new cruise ships with plenty of activities begging for selfies and social media shares.
The Arts & Humanities Traveler
Your Personality: No one is ever too old to cut a rug, and a great night out for you always has live music, whether at a jazz club, piano bar or the symphony -- throw in a glass of wine and it's perfect. You kill it at trivia because you've either read a lot or lived a lot (or both!). And, travel is about more than ticking off a box on your bucket list. You want to explore the places you go, with behind-the-scenes tours and independent excursions and like to prepare ahead of time by reading up on the places you'll be visiting or attending a lecture or two about the culture. You'll leave armchair travel to others; after all, age is just a number and you don't plan on slowing down any time soon.
Your Ship: With its emphasis on live music, fine dining and onboard enrichment, Holland America's Nieuw Statendam will appeal to the Arts & Humanities Traveler. Among the ship's standout features is the three-venue Music Walk, which offers live music in three distinct styles: blues and jazz at the high-energy B.B. King's Blues Club (the dance floor is always hopping!); 50 years of hits played by dueling piano players at Billboard Onboard; and chamber music, including modern hits played chamber style, at Lincoln Center Stage. Another impressive venue is Explorations Central, located at the top-deck Crow's Nest. This is the spot to learn about the places you're visiting through touch screen tables with articles, a library stocked with relevant titles and a lecture space for classes on everything from food to folklore and language classes. Depending on their budget, Arts & Humanities Travelers might also want to check out Scenic Eclipse (see Adventure Seekers below) or Seabourn Ovation (see the Luxe Wanderer below).
The Something-Different-Every-Day Tripper
Your Personality: No one-trick pony shows for you. You crave choices -- a lot of them. Rather than being frozen in indecision, you live for getting to choose something new each day. Since you might be in the mood for adrenaline-charged fun one day, and the next just looking to relax, the more options you have the better your chance at always finding something to fit your mood. You're not afraid of missing out on all the fun; you simply feel more alive when you've got lots of options to choose from.
Your Ship: The Something-Different-Every-Day Tripper needs a cruise ship that's chockablock with restaurants, theater and outdoor activities, and Norwegian Bliss fits the bill perfectly. From the two-level go-kart racetrack, high-speed Ocean Loops water slide and open-air laser tag to 17 varying dining venue options, 11 bars and lounges, the Broadway show "Jersey Boys" in the theater (along with other song-and-dance shows), the Beatles-inspired Cavern Club for live music and stand-up comedy every night in the Social Comedy & Night Club, there are enough choices to satisfy any mood you might be in. Symphony of the Seas is another ship that would be a good option for a The Something-Different-Every-Day Tripper.
The Luxe Wanderer
Your Personality: You appreciate the finer things in life, whether fancy cars, designer duds or collectable artwork, but you're equally as pleased racking up exclusive experiences. You get many of your bragging rights from the places you've been and the things you've done. You can't imagine a life without travel. But, while you appreciate the finer things, you're willing to rough it occasionally if it means getting to a bucket-list destination; while you'd prefer to get dressed up and dine at a Thomas Keller restaurant, you're absolutely prepared to suit up for a rugged Zodiac tour in Antarctica. At the end of a long day exploring, of course, you've got to share your experiences with others. So, while you must have spacious, well-appointed accommodations, you'd prefer to socialize, Champagne in hand, than hide out in your room.
Your Ship: While suites on Symphony of the Seas and Norwegian Bliss might appeal to some well-heeled cruisers. The Luxe Wanderer will want to check out Seabourn Ovation in 2018. The all-suite ship will provide deluxe accommodations and plenty of Champagne and caviar, while it takes cruisers around the world providing gourmet dining and exclusive experiences in every port. Gourmand Luxe Wanderers, in particular, will love The Grill, created in partnership with chef Thomas Keller, known for his three Michelin-starred restaurants. Another all-new option for the Luxe Wanderer in 2018 (especially the most adventurous of the bunch) is Scenic's luxury expedition yacht, the 228-passenger (200 on Arctic cruises), all-suite Scenic Eclipse. Other all-new choices for Luxe Wanderers in 2018 include Viking's fifth ocean-going ship, Viking Orion, and Azamara Pursuit, a former P&O Cruises ship that Azamara is completely redoing. Neither of the latter two ships will have the water sports marina (think kayaks, pedal boats and windsurfers) at the back that Seabourn Ovation and Scenic Eclipse will. (Eclipse will also have two helicopters and a submarine!)
Your Personality: You've got a serious case of wanderlust but the beaten path holds little attraction. You yearn to explore out-of-the-way places and meet indigenous peoples; your soul soars when you're out in nature. Hiking through the rainforest, kayaking past calving glaciers, listening to locals tell their stories, taking side alley tours of popular cities -- these are the types of activities that excite you. You don't want one-dimensional travel though; just seeing and doing isn't enough. You need the context experts provide. Reading relevant books and attending lectures are essential pieces of your travel experience. But, though you crave far-off places, you don't quite want to rough it. You prefer four solid walls to canvas, favor fine dining over bush grub and appreciate resting tired feet in a hot tub at the end of the day. The first time you heard the word glamping, you thought, "It's about time."
Your Ship: Adventure Seekers actually have several choices in 2018. Which they choose really depends on budget and priorities in terms of onboard amenities. Just need a comfortable place to lay your head, some good food and access to kayaks, inflatable crafts (commonly referred to as Zodiacs) and a staff of well-educated expedition leaders? The 100-passenger National Geographic Venture from Lindblad Expeditions might be the best ship for you, with its variety of cabins with a wide price range, as well as a full array of expedition accoutrements (kayaks, warm- and cold-weather snorkel gear), two dining venues and small fitness room and spa. A bit larger, but offering the same expedition amenities (plus a few more high-tech ones), will be Hurtigruten's 530-passenger Roald Amundsen, a hybrid (powered by both fuel and electricity -- think Toyota Prius), which will also have three restaurants, a sauna, pool deck with infinity pool and two hot tubs, massage room and -- important for wheelchair-bound cruisers -- an elevator to all passenger decks. Adventure Seekers with a larger budget and more luxurious expectations can choose from Ponant's 184-passenger, all-balcony Le Laperouse (or its sister ship Le Champlain) or Scenic Eclipse. Ponant offers a luxury experience with French gourmet dining and a top-deck infinity pool, while Scenic is ultra-luxe, with all suite accommodations, 10 dining venues, six bars and lounges, a heated pool and full spa. Unique to Ponant's ships is the Blue Eye lounge, which will feature underwater views, a hyrdrophone sound system to pipe in underwater sounds and a sofa that vibrates in resonance with the sounds. Scenic Eclipse, on the other hand, will have two six-seat helicopters and a six-seat submarine.