Royal Princess gets upgrade ahead of Los Angeles debut

All Royal Princess accommodations now offer the Princess Luxury Bed, top right. Bottom right shows Cabo San Lucas, one of the ship's destinations on Mexican Riviera cruises All Royal Princess accommodations now offer the Princess Luxury Bed, top right. Bottom right shows Cabo San Lucas, one of the ship's destinations on Mexican Riviera cruises

Princess Luxury Beds, the latest fitness equipment and new shows are in place aboard Royal Princess for the ship's West Coast debut 100 days from today.

Starting March 23, the newly refurbished Royal Princess will sail from the Port of Los Angeles to Mexico, the California coast and Alaska.

Biggest West Coast season

'We've been sailing from the Port of Los Angeles longer than any other cruise line, starting with one ship to Mexico in 1965,' Princess president Jan Swartz said. 'Then, millions of viewers tuned in on Saturday nights to watch "The Love Boat" and its ocean-going co-star, Pacific Princess, sail from Los Angeles offering romance and adventure on the high seas. Now we're beginning a new chapter, more than 50 years later, with the arrival of Royal Princess and our biggest West Coast season yet, featuring one of our newest and most elegant ships in our global fleet.'

The refurbishment installed the Princess Luxury Bed in every stateroom. The Lotus Spa & Fitness Center now has new equipment in salon and treatment rooms and the latest fitness machines.

New production shows

The line's newest production shows will be performed in the Princess Theater, including 'The Secret Silk,' developed in partnership with Stephen Schwartz, the award-winning composer of 'Wicked,' 'Godspell' and 'Pippin.' The show was created and directed by John Tartaglia, a star of Broadway hits such as 'Avenue Q' and includes life-size puppetry from Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

'Encore,' inspired by Princess's top-rated show, 'Bravo!' and accompanied by an onstage orchestra, this production highlights pop, opera and musical theater. It was directed and choreographed by Disney Channel creative director Danny Teeson, with musical direction by Academy Awards arranger Nelson Kole and set design by Emmy award-winner John Iacovelli.

On the ship's top deck, 'Watercolor Fantasy' uses brightly colored lights to illuminate waltzes, pirouettes and fountains shooting water up to 33 feet high, all choreographed to music.

Inaugural spring voyages to Mexican Riviera will visit Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta, with six sailing dates from March 23 to April 27.

Alaska cruises

From Los Angeles, Royal Princess will sail a seven-day Pacific coastal voyage departing May 4 to Vancouver, BC, to begin its maiden Alaska season. Royal Princess will operate 18 'Voyage of the Glaciers' weeklong cruises between Vancouver and Whittier. Destinations are Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway with scenic cruising in Glacier Bay National Park plus an additional glacier viewing at Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord.

A variety of cruise-tour offerings feature stays at Princess Wilderness Lodges and visits to Denali National Park.

Royal Princess will depart Vancouver on Sept. 14 for a three-day coastal cruise, returning to Los Angeles to offer a 12-day round-trip Alaska voyage, including Glacier Bay. Sept. 29 marks the ship's return to Los Angeles for cruises to the Mexican Riviera with several five-, seven- and 10-day options; seven-day California coastal cruises and shorter four-day West Coast 'Getaway voyages,' visiting Catalina Island.

'Anniversary Sale' through Dec. 31

Now through Dec. 31, Princess is offering an 'Anniversary Sale' including cruises and cruise-tours to all destinations sailing from February 2019 to May 2020.

The sale includes prepaid gratuities up to $15.50 per day per passenger for all travelers in a stateroom, up to four and on-board credit of up to $400 for an inside or ocean-view room and up to $800 for a balcony stateroom, mini-suite or suite.

Royal naming memorabilia

Royal Princess debuted in Southampton in June 2013 and was named by Kate (Middleton), duchess of Cambridge. Her mother-in-law, Diana, princess of Wales, named the original Royal Princess in 1984.

A display case on board features memorabilia from the naming ceremony, including the scissors and rope the godmother used to send the ceremonial bottle of Champagne smashing against the ship’s hull, a replica of the bottle, several photos and a copy of the Dalmatian-print dress she wore by British designer Hobbs.

Posted 13 December 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review