CRUISING THE PRINCESS WAY
Words by Dallas Sherringham
A Princess Cruise allows Australian travellers to experience luxury cruising at a reasonable cost in familiar surroundings.
The cruise ships are comfortable, friendly, laid back, larger resort style vessels.
They are not “showy”, instead concentrating on creating an ambience that Australians flock to in ever increasing numbers.
I have undertaken Princess cruises in a variety of destinations around the world and always return home refreshed and looking forward to the next one.
Australians have always had an affinity with the cruise line through experiencing the beautiful sister ships Sun Princess, Sea Princess and Dawn Princess. In recent times Diamond Princess provided a larger cruise experience for Aussies, especially those cruising Asia. The reason for their continued success in the crowded Australian market is simple…they deliver.
Let me put it this way: if you choose a Princess cruise you will have a great holiday.
Now Princess is raising the bar even higher.
This summer, Australia can experience the biggest and newest of the biggest Princess Cruises’ fleet to be based Down Under – the 3082-guest Emerald Princess.
She will make her Australian debut in Fremantle on November 8, before visiting Busselton on November 9 and Melbourne on November 13.
Emerald Princess will then sail into Sydney Harbor on November 15 to begin her inaugural five-month season of cruises from Sydney. There will be 13 roundtrip cruises to destinations in the South Pacific, New Zealand and around Australia.
As I said, Princess is very competitive price wise and fares start from $1199 per person twin share for an 11-night South Pacific cruise departing Sydney on January 21, 2017 and visiting five beautiful ports in New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
The superliner will introduce a range of exciting new dining, shopping and entertainment offerings to Australian waters
At 290m long, Emerald Princess’ many highlights include SHARE by Curtis Stone, a stunning 125-seat restaurant overlooking the aft decks and featuring unique dishes from the award-winning internationally known chef.
The restaurant is one of more than a dozen dining options on the superliner, which also features Princess’ new Salty Dog pub, serving up gourmet small dishes developed with renowned US chef Ernesto Uchimura.
Emerald Princess’ arrival will also set the stage for the debut of some great new entertainment offerings in Australia including the much-anticipated onboard musical Magic to Do from famed Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz.
Guests can also enjoy the spectacular new Voice of the Ocean competition, exclusive to Princess, which brings the spectacle of TV's popular international singing competition to the high seas.
Emerald Princess features more than 1500 guest rooms – including 900 balcony staterooms.
Also on board are eight showrooms and lounges, two nightclubs and four swimming pools as well as signature Princess offerings such as the child-free Sanctuary, poolside Movies Under the Stars and the luxurious Lotus Spa. Guests can enjoy great shopping, with options including a stunning EFFY jewellery outlet, a first in the Australian market.
So, what can you expect if you are cruising with Princess for the first time? Well, for starters, Princess passengers seem to be mostly over 40. Most of them have travelled extensively and most have tried other cruise lines.
However this is gradually changing as increasing numbers of young families and younger couples take up the opportunity of a more sophisticated cruise product. Multigenerational cruises also make an increasingly popular segment of the Princess market.
Princess has a very high “return rate” which means people enjoy the product and return year after year.
The dress code is mostly smart casual at night with a couple of “formal” nights which really mean just wearing a tie or a smart shirt.
Finally, Australian travellers can get a taste of cruising on Emerald ahead of her arrival following the release of a new YouTube video from Princess as part of its #EmeraldCountdown campaign.
For more information visit www.princess.com, call 13 24 88 or see a licensed travel agent.