The siren song of cruising in 2017: Giant vessels, big bargains, cooking classes, Carrie Underwood and go-karts

Los Angeles Times 

Those are among the siren calls of ocean and river cruises for 2017 that are expected to attract more than 25 million to set sail, an increase of more than a million from last year. Cruise companies such as Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises seem to have found a winning sales formula that goes something like this: Sweeten the pot with value-added itemsf such as free drinks, free Wi-Fi or an on-board spending credit and more people will book. Look for frequent promotions like these, but be aware they may be offered for only a limited time, said Mike Driscoll, the editor of Cruise Week, an industry publication. At-sea cooking classes are all the rage, and Holland America Line has jumped into the mix in collaboration with the public TV show "America's Test Kitchen." A replica of the show's set is already on the Westerdam, cruising this winter from San Diego to Mexico, and it's coming to the rest of the line by July.

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