The New Royal Princess Cruise Ship
Princess Cruises, the line featured in the iconic television series “The Love Boat,” has a new ship! Princess Kate, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cambridge, christened the new Royal Princess cruise ship several months ago just before the ship entered service in the Mediterranean.
Three weeks ago, I was on board for the United States inaugural out of Fort Lauderdale. The Royal Princess is truly a beautiful ship. She holds more than 3500 passengers and is nearly 1100 feet long. Every exterior stateroom has a balcony. Verandahs are very popular with the cruising public, so the large number of balconies are a desirable selling feature. The ship also has interior staterooms – rooms without window – available.
The piazza style atrium rising several stories is magnificent – it is ornate while at the same time giving a light and airy feel. The atrium is a gathering place for entertainment and food. Here you can get a Gelato, a drink or graze at the seafood bar.
Passengers can enjoy Movies Under the Stars. When we were on board, the World Series games were presented on the giant screen. You can relax on lounge chairs, munch popcorn and enjoy your favorite beverage in the balmy Caribbean air.
In the same venue, several creative shows are offered combining the ship’s Dancing Fountains with video on the big screen.
A quiet and luxurious area called The Sanctuary provides a wonderful retreat for lounging in the sun or shade, or venturing into an adult-only pool. Treat yourself to pampering in the Lotus Spa.
On the top deck, the Royal Princess has an innovative SeaWalk – a glass-floored promenade that extends 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship.
In addition to traditional dining rooms, the ship ‘s dining venues include the Crown Grill and a British Pub. With the delectable dining available, you may wish to work out in the fitness center or use the Jogging Track!
If you want to get married on board or renew your vows, you can do so in the Wedding Chapel. The Captain will officiate at a candlelit ceremony. You can choose from a variety of amenities. Your travel agent can assist with the included features and costs. Wedding packages are also offered ashore.
Gavin MacLeod, the actor who played the Captain on the “Love Boat” series, is a representative for Princess Cruise Lines, and he was on board. He has written a book called “This is Your Captain Speaking.” I had the pleasure of meeting him, and with his outgoing personality, I can see why he has been a Princess figurehead for many years.
I’ve reported on many ships from a variety of cruise lines on Travel Explorations. The next will come in February when I attend the inaugural of the new NCL ship, the “Getaway.”
On a different subject, airports are going to the dogs! I had a new experience at the Fort Lauderdale Airport where volunteers with Certified Therapy Dogs are allowed to circulate as community ambassadors. Passengers love meeting and petting the dogs. Officials say the animals have a calming effect on people. I met a handsome and huge Shiloh Shepherd! The program is expanding and is now in five airports. In addition to Fort Lauderdale , the program is established in Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego and San Jose.