Princess Cruises Unveils Inaugural Itineraries of New Royal Princess
Courtesy of Princess Cruises.
Princess Cruises marked Valentine’s Day by unveiling the maiden season itineraries of its highly anticipated Royal Princess debuting in June 2013, as well as some additional features of the ship’s signature, and greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship.
Preceding the ship’s inaugural program of 12-day Grand Mediterranean cruises between Barcelona and Venice beginning on June 23, Royal Princess will sail on her inaugural voyage, a seven-day Iberia cruise from Southampton to Barcelona departing June 16.
The Royal Princess maiden season cruises will open for sale on March 15, 2012. There will also be two three-day preview cruises sailing roundtrip from Southampton on June 10 and 13 that will be available for booking at a later date.
“It’s fitting that our new ship will cruise on our most popular Europe itinerary, the Grand Mediterranean,” said Jan Swartz, executive vice president for Princess Cruises. “And the shorter preview cruises prior to the Mediterranean season certainly offer a unique opportunity to sample the new Royal Princess experience our passengers are eagerly awaiting.”
Also revealed today were more details about the ship’s atrium and its vibrant collection of always-changing quick bites and light meals, beverages, entertainment, shopping and guest services. This signature space will be 50 percent larger than on the newest class of Princess ships and will debut a number of brand new features, including Bellini’s Italian cocktail bar, Ocean Terrace seafood bar, a gelateria, and Celebrations, a new gift shop for those marking special occasions onboard.
Favorite passenger spaces also return, many with a new twist, including the International Café, Sabatini’s Trattoria, and Crooners martini bar which will now feature dueling piano entertainment and a dramatic ocean vista. And the stunning Bar Piazza will feature an exclusive twin tea tower with over 300 tea and infusion combinations.
“Many features aboard the new Royal Princess will be exciting evolutions of the popular and successful features found throughout our fleet, and the atrium is no exception,” added Swartz. “The expansion in size of this space provided us an opportunity to add some brand new venues to what is already a favorite passenger area.”
Inaugural Season Cruises
3-day Preview Sailings departing June 10 and 13, 2013
These cruises will sail roundtrip from Southampton with a call at St. Peter Port on the Island of Guernsey in the English Channel. The preview sailings will open for booking at a later date when the inaugural celebrations for the ship are in place.
7-day Maiden Iberia Voyage departing June 16, 2013
The ship’s maiden voyage sails from Southampton to Barcelona with calls at Vigo (for Santiago de Compostela), Lisbon, Gibraltar and Malaga.
12-day Grand Mediterranean Sailings departing June 23 through September 27, 2013
The nine Grand Mediterranean sailings will cruise between Barcelona and Venice, with calls at Toulon (for Provence), Livorno (for Florence and Pisa), Civitavecchia (for Rome), Naples (for Capri and Pompeii), Mykonos, Istanbul, Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Athens and finally an overnight stay in the beautiful Italian city of Venice. Passengers on the seven-day voyage can combine their sailing with the first Grand Mediterranean cruise for a 19-day Grand Adventure.
18-day Maiden Venetian Passage departing October 9, 2013
This cruise begins in Venice with an overnight in this iconic city, and sets sail to Fort Lauderdale with calls at Messina (Sicily), Naples (for Capri and Pompeii), Civitavecchia (for Rome), Cannes (for Monte Carlo), Barcelona and Funchal (Madeira Island).
Royal Princess’ expanded atrium is designed to enhance the lively street-café atmosphere passengers have become accustomed to on current Princess ships. With more open space for viewing live entertainment in the Piazza from decks 6 and 7, as well as new venues that appear to float mid-air, this new atrium represents a prototype design that builds on the line’s classic style. Atrium features include:
As on most Princess ships, the International Café will be serving fresh-baked pastries, panini sandwiches, salads, fresh-baked cookies specialty coffees, and sweet desserts, but aboard Royal Princess this favorite venue will have an expanded seating area and an eye-catching new lighting feature, making it the perfect area to grab a light meal, meet friends for coffee or enjoy an a snack while watching the array of Piazza entertainers.
Celebrations Gift Shop
A new shopping stop, Celebrations will offer gifts especially for passengers celebrating a special occasion, or those looking for a well-deserved indulgence. Passengers will find premium chocolates, colorful flower arrangements, and other gift items perfect for someone enjoying a special day.
For a delicious dessert or afternoon delight, Royal Princess’ gelateria will serve up a variety of tempting treats such as designer sundaes, sweet crespelle (Italian crepes), creamy fruit smoothies, frosty shakes, and delightful homemade waffle ice cream cones.
A Princess passenger favorite, Vines wine bar will be pouring as many as 30 different wines by the glass, plus serving up an selection of tapas or sushi to accompany the many vintages. Passengers can also find favorite bottles for purchase or a gift for their favorite wine lover at Vines shop.
Bar Piazza and Tea Tower
This classic cocktail bar complements the Piazza vibe by offering an endless array of “anything you can think of” libations, complemented by a twin tea tower of artisan-crafted varieties and infusions for custom creations with over 300 possibilities.
Mini-Piazza with Water Feature
Just adjacent to the Piazza, a sparkling water feature will set off an extension area featuring the Passenger Services Desk and Shore Excursion Desk. This dazzling Mini-Piazza will provide a special atmosphere for passengers making a visit to ask questions of Princess’ gracious crew members.
Also located in the Mini-Piazza will be Princess’ signature Tuscan-inspired specialty restaurant, Sabatini’s. Known for its celebrated pastas, seafood and Italian specialties, Sabatini’s will feature a fresh menu of sophisticated Italian favorites with an a la carte experience. With a refined yet casual Italian ambiance, Sabatini’s offers attentive personal service and the feeling of having just stepped into a ristorante in the heart of Tuscany.
This brand new Italian-inspired cocktail venue is a perfect place to enjoy the lively atmosphere of the atrium’s activities, while indulging in a Bellini-inspired drink. Passengers will also enjoy views of the Piazza below in this “floating” space.
After quickly becoming a passenger favorite since its debut aboard Grand Princess, Alfredo’s Pizzeria has kept up Princess’ reputation for serving the best pizza at sea. Aboard Royal Princess the sit-down restaurant will feature an expanded menu and more spacious seating, perfect for enjoying the fresh toppings and crisp crusts of a personal pizza right from the eatery’s stone oven.
Photo and Video Gallery
Now conveniently located in the atrium, the Photo and Video Gallery will offer new high-tech digital photo stations to help passengers easily find their images.
The new Ocean Terrace seafood bar will offer pearls of the ocean, fresh from the sea. Seafood lovers can indulge in an array of treats, including sushi, sashimi, ceviche and caviar in a space that seems to be floating over the atrium levels below.
An expanded Crooners Bar will not only offer the venue’s famous menu of 75 different martinis and classic 1960s-style “Rat Pack” atmosphere, but also a new entertainment option with dueling glass pianos for a lively show to go with the breathtaking views.
Additional information about other ship features will be released in the coming months.
The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is the first of two new-generation ships for Princess which are being built by Fincantieri at their Monfalcone, Italy shipyard. Some additional new features found aboard will be an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed enclosed walkway on the ship’s starboard side extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel, and the similarly-unique cantilevered SeaView bar, featuring cocktails with unbeatable vistas. Also on her top decks, Royal Princess will feature a new adults-only pool surrounded by seven plush private cabanas that appear to be floating on the water, two additional pools, a dazzling water and light show, an expanded version of Princess’ signature adults-only haven, The Sanctuary, and the popular poolside theater, Movies Under the Stars.