Some 19 new ships will join North American fleets between now and 2007,
which means you must be digging the cruise vacation. Among this season’s debuts:

LAUNCH: Carnival Miracle, Carnival

BERTHS: 2,667

ROUTES: Caribbean, Bahamas

IN-DEPTH:Spiral water slide, four swimming pools, 11-story atrium, 16 lounges and bars named after famous fictional folks, from Jay Gatsby and Jeeves to Jerry Maguire

ON THE SURFACE: Let the good times roll

LAUNCH:Caribbean Princess
Princess (800-774-6237,


ROUTES: Caribbean

IN-DEPTH:Movies under the stars, spa, programs for kids and teens, and weddings galore (the fictional daughter of Captain Stubing on The Love Boat will tie the knot on the inaugural cruise)

ON THE SURFACE: Sun-seeking people-pleaser

LAUNCH:Mariner of the Seas
Royal Caribbean (800-327-6700,

BERTHS: 3,114

ROUTES: Caribbean

IN-DEPTH: Ice and in-line skating, rock climbing, pool-deck-turned-gallery with colorful works by pop artist Romero Britto, teen-only lounge and sun deck, unlimited Sprinkles soft serve ice cream

ON THE SURFACE: Never-ending family adventure

LAUNCH:Crystal Serenity
Crystal Cruises (800-804-1500,

BERTHS: 1,080

ROUTES: Mexico, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Europe

IN-DEPTH: Feng-shui spa, sushi restaurant from chef Nobu Matsuhisa, 280-plus veranda staterooms, 146 penthouse accommodations

ON THE SURFACE: The chic, because-you’re-worth-it splurge

LAUNCH:Queen Mary 2 (pictured)
Cunard (800-728-6273,

BERTHS: 2,620

ROUTES: Transatlantic, Caribbean, South America, Europe, Canada-New England

IN-DEPTH: Spa by Canyon Ranch, golf simulator, planetar­ium, casino, cases of caviar, champagne by the magnum

ON THE SURFACE: Blow-’em-out-of-the-water luxury