Cruise Ship Boom: New and larger vessels compete for score - Wink News

Fort Myers

The innovative new The Celebrity Edge cruise ship begins its first seven days on Sunday.

It is one of more than a dozen cruise ships launched this year and many more are on the way.

The ship is not your grandparents' cruise ship. At the touch of a button, you can see that the new Celebrity Edge is different.

Many rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows that are halfway open and there is more room inside.

Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, President and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, describes the feeling: "These spaces bring outward or inward, however you want to look at it."

There is also a French bistro with projected animations that turns your table into entertainment.

And you'll find new technologies on the outside of the ship, as Wendy Gillette explains from Fort Lauderdale, something that Celebrity calls a magic carpet: "It's a moving platform at the side of the ship that brings guests to the edge."

It can turn from a restaurant into a launch pad for outings, depending on where it is located. This is Celebrity's first newly designed ship for 10 years, but there is a lot of competition.

Upscale Seabourn Cruise Line launched Ovation in May, Carnival's Horizon debuted in April, and the world's largest cruise ship Caribbean Symphony of the Sea had arrived at its new Miami terminal last month.

The number of cruise passengers rose from nearly 18 million in 2009 to an estimated 30 million next year.

That's the driving demand for more ships, and more are underway, including three of the new adult-owned Virgin Voyages Cruise Line.

The Cruise Lines International Association says it has currently ordered 111 ships between 2027 and 2027.

With only about 3 percent of Americans crossing each year, industry experts see the potential for bookings the more people discover life on the high seas. Only about a quarter of Americans have ever taken a cruise.

Check out more new ships: