October 8, 2017: Silver Shadow – 14 Night Southeast Asia from Hong Kong October 17, 2017: Celebrity Millennium – 12 Night China and Philippines from Shanghai, China October 29, 2017: Celebrity Millennium – 14 Night Southeast Asia Immersion from Hong Kong November 3, 2017: Silver Shadow – 14 Night Southeast Asia from Hong Kong December 10, 2017: Celebrity Millennium – 14 Night Southeast Asia Immersion from Singapore
April 25, 2017: Volendam – 16 Night North Pacific Crossing from Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan May 4, 2017: Silver Shadow – 15 Night Transpacific from Tokyo, Japan May 11, 2017: Seabourn Sojourn – 21 Night Kuroshio Route and Alaska from Kobe (Kyoto), Japan July 5, 2017: Diamond Princess – 16 Night Hokkaido and Ryukyu Islands from Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan July 13, 2017: Diamond Princess – 8 Night Circle Hokkaido from Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan
February 17, 2017: MSC Splendida – 7 Night Western Mediterranean from Barcelona, Spain February 20, 2017: MSC Splendida – 7 Night Western Mediterranean from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy February 20, 2017: Costa Diadema – 7 Night Western Mediterranean from Barcelona, Spain February 20, 2017: MSC Magnifica – 11 Night Western Mediterranean from Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy February 24, 2017: MSC Splendida – 7 Night Western Mediterranean from Barcelona, Spain
Many longer Caribbean cruises – 8 days or more – make it as far south as the “ABC Islands” of Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. Curacao is the largest of those islands, sitting 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Cruises to Curacao make port in the town of Willemstad, which is known for its pastel-colored colonial-style architecture.
Insignia – Oceania Cruises 12 Night Radiant Rhythms Departing from: Buenos Aires, Argentina Visiting: Montevideo, Uruguay; Punta Del Este, Uruguay; Rio Grande, Brazil; Porto Belo, Brazil; Santos (Sao Paulo), Brazil; Parati, Brazil; Ilha Grande, Brazil; Buzios, Brazil; Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Celebrity Solstice – Celebrity Cruises 12 Night New Zealand Departing from: Sydney, Australia Visiting: Melbourne, Australia; Cruise Milford Sound; Cruise Doubtful Sound; Cruise Dusky Sound; Port Chalmers (Dunedin), New Zealand; Akaroa (Christchurch), New Zealand; Wellington, New Zealand; Tauranga, New Zealand; Bay Of Islands, New Zealand; Auckland, New Zealand
Zambezi Queen – AmaWaterways 9 Night Discover Africa Departing from: Hotel In Cape Town Visiting: Board Zambezi Queen; Flight From Cape Town To Kasane; Motorcoach Transfer Kasane To Chobe River Landing Site; Cruising Onboard Zambezi Queen; Motorcoach Transfer Chobe River Landing Site To Victoria Falls; Hotel In Victoria Falls; Disembark Zambezi Queen; Flight From Victoria Falls To Johannesburg; End Of Vacation
Radiance of the Seas – Royal Caribbean 11 Night New Zealand Departing from: Sydney, Australia Visiting: Cruise Dusky Sound; Cruise Milford Sound; Cruise Doubtful Sound; Port Chalmers (Dunedin), New Zealand; Akaroa (Christchurch), New Zealand; Auckland, New Zealand; Bay Of Islands, New Zealand
Given the weather systems we’ve seen in the Atlantic Ocean recently, we wish smooth sailing to those who are departing on the Queen Mary 2 from New York today! And to the folks sailing from San Francisco to Hawaii on the Grand Princess in January – we’re just plain envious.
The latest incarnation of Princess Cruise Lines’ Royal Princess set sail on its first voyages in June 2013 after being christened by HRH The Duchess of Cambridge (you know, Prince William’s wife, the former Kate Middleton). It became the line’s biggest ship and featured a new batch of state-of-the-art cruise ship amenities. Unique to Royal Princess is the “Sea Walk” – a glass-enclosed walkway that hangs off the edge of the ship, over 120 feet above the water. The SeaView Bar occupies a similarly scenic spot on the opposite side of the ship.
Royal Princess has the usual variety of staterooms, from the windowless interior rooms to mini-suites to full-size suites. All outside staterooms have balconies. Passengers in suites get sitting areas, an improved level of furniture on the balcony, complimentary mini-bar, luxury linens and bathrobes, fresh flowers, walk-in closet and upgraded bathroom supplies. Some of the highest-end suites have hot tubs, PC’s, wet bars and fireplaces.
Dining onboard is available in both “Traditional” (fixed time, table, waiter, etc.) or “Anytime Dining” (eat whenever and with whomever you’d like). Specialty restaurants include Sabatini’s (featuring – you guessed it – Italian fare) and the Crown Grill steak and seafood restaurant. Horizon Court is the big top-deck buffet. Other casual eateries include Alfredo’s Pizzeria, a pastry shop, the Ocean Terrace seafood bar, the Gelato gelateria, the International Cafe and “Vines” – a wine, sushi and tapas bar (that’s “tapas”, not “topless”).
The top-deck pool on Royal Princess is the cruise line’s largest ever and transforms into a water and light show at night. The Sanctuary and Retreat Pool are also on the top deck, but offer a bit more peace and quiet as “adults only” amenities. The Sanctuary has been enlarged on Royal Princess and features a new design. The pool area is also home to the “Movies Under The Stars” video screen.
In addition to those outdoor movies, other night-time activities include entertainment in the Princess Theater, dancing in Club 6, gambling in the Princess Casino plus drinks and entertainment in the Vista, Bellini’s, Crooner’s and Wheelhouse bars/lounges. A completely new addition to the entertainment line-up is “Princess Live!” – a TV studio-style theater where they’ll be staging cooking shows, concerts, game shows and comedy performances.
When you’re not venturing forth on land when the ship is in port, you’ll find plenty of on-board daytime activities. More than just some great pools, Royal Princess has the Lotus Spa; fitness centers; an aerobics studio; a “lawn” space for putting, bocce or croquet; jogging track; a basketball, volleyball, tennis court; a laser shooting range and an indoor golf driving range.