Princess Cruises celebrates the new cruise season with a ship-naming ceremony at Port Everglades on November 5. The line’s newest ship, Regal Princess, will be honored by a star-studded group including the original cast of television’s “The Love Boat.”
The ship begins 7-day tours of the eastern Caribbean on November 9. Regal Princess, which holds more than 3,500 passengers, debuted in Europe in May. At more than 1,000 feet long, the ship has 17 decks, 16 bars and restaurants, and nearly 1,800 state rooms.
The eighteenth ship in the Princess line, it’s the sister ship to the year-old Royal Princess. Most of the new attributes aboard Regal Princess were first displayed on Royal Princess. The most awe-inspiring feature on either ship is the glass-enclosed walkway that extends nearly 30 feet off the side of either ship. The cantilevered adventure hangs off the side of the ship’s 17th deck, exposing the open ocean below.
The ship’s Princess Theater is the largest theater on any Princess ship. Other fine attributes of Princess’s new prize cruise ship include:
Royal Princess sports an expanded grand atrium like its sister ship. Call the Piazza, this central gathering point features curved glass walls that allow diffused natural light to pour in. The Piazza contains a numerous restaurants, including Alfredo’s Pizarria, which serves Neapolitan-style meals, and International Café, where pastries are free every day. Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar, a favorite on Royal Princess, offers
The Piazza’s amenities are spread over three decks. Refreshment options include Vines, a wine and tapas bar, and Bellini’s, an Italian-style cocktail bar. Crooners, a lounge with more than 75 styles of martinis, features dueling grand pianos to entice cruisers into sing-alongs.
No cruise would be complete without pools, and Royal Princess has three great ones. The main pool area, called Fountain Pool, features a large rectangular pool, a plunge pool and two hot tubs. The top-deck pools are converted at nights into a dazzling display of light and sound, with water-spouting fountains spewing streams three stories into the air.
The Retreat Pool is an adults-only area near the front of the vessel. With private cabanas and a nearby bar, the Retreat Pool features a 28-foot movie screen that displays first-run movies and shows each evening. Popcorn is free at Movies Under the Stars events.
The ship also debuts a new Terrace Pool, which overlooks the back of the ship on the upper deck. It’s directly above the buffet. The new Royal Princess also will feature:
Night Sky Lounge. Coming in November, the Retreat Pool is turned into a South Beach-style club for one night each cruise. The outdoor club features live entertainment delivered via state-of-the art audio and video systems. Bottle service will be available in the pool side cabanas.
Seawitch West Coast IPA. To celebrate its 50th Anniversary, Princess is unveiling a new signature beer line aboard Royal Princess this season. Called Seawitch, the India Pale Ale from San Francisco’s Strike Brewing will be available at bars throughout the ship. Cost: $6.25.
Chocolate Journeys. Fifteen new deserts designed by master chocolatier Norman Love will debut aboard Royal Princess this season. Available in the main dining room on a rotating basis, the treats will include chocolate tart, chocolate pistachio dome and chocolate tiramisu.
Princess Live! With seating for 280 people, this onboard, working television studio will present live performances, culinary shows and late-night entertainment programs during cruises. Available all day, you can watch live in-studio or tune in via your cabin’s cable television.
Here’s the ship’s sailing schedule for the season.