And 2014 looks set to be another interesting year for the industry, with experts predicting new trends such as build your own cruise deal, more quick getaways and an increase in popularity for river cruising.
Jane navigates the history of the industry and her research reveals some interesting facts about the industry, including UK passenger trends.
Statistics taken from Cruise Market Watch reveal the average of age of cruise-goers in the UK to be 56, with 36% first-time cruisers and one in eight package holidays taken being a cruise.
Here's a round-up of some of the responses to Jane's story from a selection of top bloggers:
Tom Harding of Tom's Travels
"Personally as the ships get bigger and bigger we are losing the charm from small ship discovery cruises, which means more people, more queuing and lower standards, but this should not be the way. Although prices are coming down, standards are slipping with some cruise lines with what you get included and benefits."
Louise Thompson of Thompson's Dream Cruises
"Survey results showed that only 6% of people asked thought that cruising was suitable for families? Really? That shocked me. With the likes of Royal Caribbean and NCL and their children's facilities, how is this so? The cruise industry has changed a lot since the likes of Titanic. There are now more family-friendly cruise ships out there than there are adults-only- ships."
Clare Guthrie of Clare Cruises
"What shocked me is that still only one in eight people go on a cruise -- doesn't this figure seem strange? With newer ships, lower prices and more gimmicks than ever, you would think this figure would be better. Maybe the industry are still battling the outdated misconceptions that cruising is boring, expensive and only for the privileged!"
John Campion of Cruise with John, on the graph depicting the growth of passengers worldwide:
"Other sectors of the holiday industry must be green with envy when they see this growth. This graph suggests 23,634,000 cruise passengers worldwide by 2017… Happy days."
Whether the future is bigger, better or bespoke boutique our experts seem to agree on one thing -- cruising will become a byword for innovation and looks set to spark debate throughout the year ahead.
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