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Cruise ship companies are tripping over themselves to win more passengers

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What cruise ship companies are doing to get you on board

Cruise ship companies have been building more elaborate ships in a bid to win passengers, adding such features as robotic bartenders, go-kart courses and laser tag arenas.

According to a poll by Gallup, 6 in 10 Americans took a vacation in 2017, and cruising is becoming an increasingly popular vacation choice. The global cruise industry is expecting 27 million passengers in 2018, compared with 25.8 million in 2016, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.

To capture that traffic, cruise lines are coming up with unique ways to stand out from one another by building luxury ships with unusual features.

But more features come at a greater cost — most of these ships cost around $1 billion to build. A decade ago, cruise companies spent an average of $530 million to build a new ship, according to data from CruiseMapper.