A look at new ships and trends in cruising for 2018

NEW YORK — What's new in cruising for 2018? There's the usual razzle-dazzle — laser tag, water slides, zip lines and massive LED screens — along with a continued emphasis on healthy lifestyles, from dining options to fitness.

New ships offer more outdoor spaces and views of the sea, with boardwalk-style decks, glass walls and observation areas.

Alaska is very popular, along with itineraries on smaller ships to other cold-water destinations like Iceland, Greenland and the polar regions.

Millennials are a factor, too. Royal Caribbean says shorter cruises are popular with 20-somethings. In Europe, U by Uniworld river cruises are for ages 21-45 only.

The Cruise Lines International Association says "skip-gen" cruising is a new phenomenon, when grandparents cruise with grandkids, but skip a generation by leaving mom and dad home.

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