Margaret Backenheimer and J.D. Brown
ALTHOUGH THE UNITED STATES ELIMINATED its cruise travel to Cuba in June, affecting some 800,000 passengers, travel by sea shows no sign of slowing worldwide, and cruise lines are expanding their fleets and destinations for 2020, expected to be a record year. North Americans will make up nearly half of the expected 30 million passengers in the coming year, an increase spurred on by the continuing popularity of cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, along with the rising tide of river cruises and expedition-style sailing.
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POP ICONS ADD ZEST TO ANY CRUISE, so it’s no wonder cruises with popular-culture themes are proliferating. In fact, pop culture now rules the deck on every voyage with Disney Cruises and its roaming crew of stars from Pixar, Marvel, Disney and Star Wars productions. Disney’s deck parties, 3-D movies and Broadway-style shows are designed for families, as are the staterooms, which feature split baths and extra space and storage. On select 2020 itineraries in the Caribbean, passengers can enjoy a Star Wars Day at Sea featuring a throng of Star Wars characters; and on many five-night cruises from Miami, a Marvel Day at Sea brings aboard stunt shows, movie marathons and a chance to cavort with the likes of Spider-Man, Iron Man and Captain America. Disney Cruises to Alaska are headlined by Pixar Pals at Sea programs put on by the characters of Toy Story, The Incredibles and Monsters, Inc. and highlighted by an all-hands-on-deck Super Hero Shuffle.