Will my Teenagers enjoy Cruising?
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Teens on Norwegian Epic

Cruising can be a wonderful experience no matter what your age is. This also applies to teenagers and the idea of a holiday on a ship can be enthralling to them.

On some ships, teens are eligible for getting single or double cabins of their own depending on their age. This may increase the price by a small amount but it is well worth it in order for them to have their own personal space.

Dining is easy for teenagers with both exotic and simple tastes onboard the ship. There are many international restaurants onboard that serve a wide variety of food, from Italian pasta to Japanese sushi. However, for those that want a more casual experience, the buffet also offers many different dishes in a more relaxing atmosphere. Stay by the poolside and enjoy the grill nearby that serves up hamburgers, hot dogs and other teen favourites.

I’M BORED!

Theoretically you should never hear the words “I’m bored” onboard as there is an endless amount of activities and entertainment. There are special Teen Clubs as well as vibrant nightclubs and arcades with the latest games. Keep in shape with the exercise room in the spa and the pool is always a popular hangout. Innovative and unique shows are put on at night that are sure to please any age.

Keeping in touch with the outside world is even easier today as the majority of cruise ships not only have internet cafes but have Wi-Fi in the cabin too where you can use laptops, tablets or Smartphone’s. Phone calls can make communication very easy although roaming charges can be quite high depending on the destination.

One of the main appeals for teenagers on a cruise holiday is the idea that they can socialise with others of the same age. Depending on the line and ship chosen, and the right time of year, there is bound to be other teenagers onboard. The holiday months are the best times for this.

The bigger, newer ships will have more teens, more teen facilities and more planned teen activities.

Take a look at what’s on offer for teens with these 3 major cruise lines:

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

Norwegian Epic is one of Norwegians most innovative ships and packs a real punch for teens. Entertainment such as the Blue Man Group and the Second City comedy centre shows prove to be big hits with the teens. Teens need their own space and the Epic also has the ‘Entourage,’ a teens-only centre.

It has the appearance of a trendy club that they would be under aged for back home. However, it is a safe hangout filled with age appropriate gaming such as air hockey. Similar set-ups can be found on the Norwegian Breakaway and sister ship Norwegian Getaway.

PRINCESS CRUISES

Some teens have different ideas for enjoying themselves when onboard. For those with a quest to learn, even whilst on holiday, can take part in one or more of the 40 classes with the ScholarShip@Sea program. Found fleet-wide, these enrichment programmes are available to teenagers aswell. Some examples they may be interested in include pottery classes, designing their own website or exploring the night sky through a telescope.

And for those who prefer to do the normal teen stuff and are aged between 15 and 17, the Ruby Princess for example has an area called Remix. This is a well-appointed teen centre with the latest in Sony Play Station and Nintendo Wii games. There’s also a mini-golf course that will keep teens occupied called Princess Links.

P&O CRUISES

British cruise line P&O Cruises has always been great for families. The Aurora, Azura and Oceana are geared for all ages. However, the Ventura has introduced some great new features including a 3D cinema and a giant virtual “Scalextric at Sea”. These were designed with the teenager in mind and are just the start of what is made available for this age group.

Four bungee trampolines, a rock-music school and teen-only talent shows are some of the features to keep them busy. A first ever circus school is onboard. The Cirque circus school features workshops in which teens and those that are young at heart can learn to trapeze, be a clown, juggle and walk on a tightrope.

Cruises provide a sense of freedom to many teenagers as they can feel free to relax and explore areas on their own. As long as trouble is avoided and boundaries are set, this can be an excellent way to let them unwind, have some independence and explore the world.

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A New Port of Call for Princess Cruises
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Busselton Australia

The Diamond Princess has recently become the first ship to call at Busselton in Western Australia. The guests disembarked on the 27th of November and left very impressive reviews after a full day of sightseeing.

A ‘NEW’ PORT OF CALL

The Princess ship’s guests enjoyed a wide range of tours in the area. Some of the highlights included exploring Ngilgi Cave. Discovered in 1899, it is one of Geographe Bay’s most renowned tourist attractions featuring stunning stalactite and stalagmite formations.

Without getting wet it is possible to head deep below the water’s surface at the Underwater Observatory. Obtain a view that is beaming with a variety of fish species and beautiful corals.

Nature, wine and seafaring adventures can all be found in this port of call.

Apart from walking along the pristine shores passengers can enjoy snorkelling, windsurfing or even sea kayaking. Fishing expeditions can also be arranged.

In recent years, Australian wines have become very popular. Visit the Margaret River wine region and bring back an ideal gift for those back home.

Princess Cruises Australia vice president Stuart Allison said that nine calls to Busselton are scheduled in 2015 and 2016 aboard the Diamond Princess.

The Diamond Princess is one the of the largest cruise ships to be based out of Australia. The ship has just undergone a £17million refurbishment programme and is gearing up for an exciting season down under.

Busselton Pier

DINING

No expense has been spared on the ship to provide the best culinary experiences around. As with most cruise ships these days, there are two ways to enjoy a meal. There is Traditional Dining, which has several formal dining rooms that open at the same time and Freestyle Dining, which allows the passenger to eat at their leisure.

A large amount of speciality restaurants are located on the ship such as the authentic Italian restaurant Sabatini’s, the oriental delight known as Kai Sushi and for meat lovers, there’s the Sterling Steakhouse. Other options include a buffet with international cuisine, a sundae bar and a poolside grill.

CABINS

There are a wide variety of cabins available onboard the Diamond Princess. Everything from a spacious standard inside stateroom to the luxurious interior of the Grand Suite with Balcony. All cabins come equipped with twin beds that can be made into a queen bed, a private bathroom with toiletries, a television, hairdryer, sofa and telephone.

Added amenities in the suites consist of a separate sitting area with a coffee table, a DVD and CD player, luxury towels and bathrobes, a minibar and even a hot tub.Diamond Princess in Sydney

ENTERTAINMENT

You will never be bored on this ship. The enormous casino will have you dabbling with ‘lady luck’. The Grand Casino presents a variety of the gaming selections from blackjack to slot machines to roulette. An enormous theatre offers unique acts from all over the world. It alternates as a cinema and presents feature length films in perfect quality.

Other entertainment is presented at the Skywalkers Nightclub and the Explorers Lounge, both of which offer musical acts of all kinds. During the warmer months, you can also enjoy cinema by the poolside with the Movies Under the Stars programme.

ACTIVITIES

Even when you’re done with all of the entertainment available, there is still an enormous amount of activities to try out. The pool is always a popular choice and there are four of them onboard and that’s not counting the pool in the Lotus Spa. Keep fit with state-of-the-art equipment in the ship’s fitness centre.

Release any stress with one of the many relaxing treatments available in the spa. There is an extensive Japanese bath that has both indoor and outdoor bathing sections.

Culture is also well represented with enrichment programs in fields such as art, cooking and computer classes. The guest lecturers are available to take Q&A’s.

Other activities include an internet cafe and a cosy library that is filled with books for some quiet reading time.

Children of all ages will be thrilled with the underage club on board which is divided into 3 age groups – the Princess Pelicans (ages 3 to 7), the Shockwaves (ages 8-12) and Remix (ages 13-17).

The Diamond Princess has a variety of other itineraries throughout Australia and New Zealand, as well as Southeast Asia, Japan and the Far East.

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Princess Cruises Gear up for A Celebration
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Sailing to all seven continents with stops at 350 different ports of call illustrates what Princess Cruise Lines is all about. Under the umbrella of its parent company, Carnival Corporation, Princess maintains its personality as a leader in the cruise industry. The line is gearing up to celebrate its 50th Anniversary.

Departing on December 3, 2015, the exact day 5 decades ago the line’s first ship, Princess Patricia set sail, a one-time special Mexico itinerary sailing will commemorate the event. Everything is hush-hush since the announcement, but Princess promises that its ship the 670 passenger Pacific Princess being used will be nothing short of a huge celebration.

pacific princess

This nostalgia cruise promises to have a few surprise guests onboard as well as top-named entertainers. Booking for this once-in-a-lifetime cruise holiday begins on the 13th of May.

Modest Beginnings

Stanley B. McDonald started Princess Lines in 1965 by chartering a ship and using it for winter season cruises with paying passengers bound for Mexico out of California. The line could not keep up with the bookings. By adding other ships, this innovative venture created a successful mid-size enterprise and formulated cruising as a holiday concept placing it back on the map once more.

Expansion

Expansion grew further, thanks to the television series, the “Love Boat”. The show utilised Princess’s Pacific Princess in 1977 as the focal point and the storyline, which touched on the trials and tribulations of fictitious guests who sailed on her for the show. This proved to be the best advertising campaign in history and made Princess Cruises a household name. Sales for cruise holidays soared as did the number of ships, and as of today, the line has a total of 17 modern ships in their fleet.

Size and locations

The larger Princess ships offer passengers many of the usual onboard amenities that you would come to expect from a major cruise line together with some of the more standard itineraries. Princess’ smaller ships head to unique areas such as Antarctica, the Amazon and other regions of untouched habitats.

Star Princess in Antarctica

Princess is prominent in Alaska, but it also offers cruises to Mexico, South America, Asia, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, India and Antarctica. Cruises frequently depart during the spring/summer/autumn season from Southampton, Dover, Barcelona and Venice, whilst in the winter Caribbean season ships depart from Fort Lauderdale and New Orleans.

Cruises also originate from Japan, Australia, Canada, Brazil and Chile. Alaskan cruises can be combined with a land tour by train that utilises Princess Wilderness Lodges. Wilderness Lodges are located in Denali, Kenai, Fairbanks, Mount McKinley and Copper River. Glacier hiking, national parks and wildlife watching are highlights of Princess’s Alaskan cruises tours. Princess employ  a naturalist to help guests become acquainted with whales, sea lions, birds, bears and other wildlife.

Sapphire Princess

Recent news

Besides the announcement of the 50th Anniversary cruise, Princess has something else to celebrate with its newest fleet member debuting this May. The Regal Princess’s maiden voyage will start off through the Caribbean out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with plans to head across to Europe later on. This luxurious new ship has set a buzz of excitement in the cruise world as it boasts new and innovative attractions and is going to hold approximately 3,560 passengers.

Regal Princess

The atrium aboard the Regal Princess is going to be similar to the one aboard the Royal Princess and the ship will have plenty of activities available, from taking in some relaxing entertainment at Piazza to enjoying an ice cream at the Italian style Gelato to having a nice relaxing martini at Crooners. There’s something for everyone here and this is a great place to get to know your fellow travellers.

One of the new attractions on the Regal Princess is the SeaWalk, a 28 foot walkway that is surrounded by glass panelling and provides stunning views of the ocean and it lights up at night. Other attractions include The Princess Watercolour Fantasy, a night time amazing light and sound show that takes place on the top deck pool with a series of dancing fountains that shoot water up 33 feet into the air. Club goers can rejoice in the fact that there is a hip, new and happening nightclub called Club 6.

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The Inside Passage Cruise Itinerary
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alaska inside passage

Breathtaking scenery, gleaming glaciers, abundant wildlife, and Native American culture are only a few of the spectacular attractions that draw visitors to Alaska. An Alaska Inside Passage cruise makes for a wonderful escape during the warmer months.

Ships tend to leave from either Seattle in the state of Washington or Vancouver on Canada’s west coast. Either departure port holds many points of interest.

Departing from Seattle

Embarking at the Port at Seattle will offer a plethora of opportunities to see and do. The “Emerald City” as it has been called because of its magnificent evergreens, is charming with a small town feel amongst a bustling city filled with glass skyscrapers and turn-of-the-century buildings.

seattle space needle

The world famous Space Needle has been an icon of the city since its introduction at the 1962 World’s Fair. The city is cycle friendly as well and has a large amount of people commuting to work this way. Its creative architecture mixed with its classic buildings creates a pleasure for the eye. The Pike Place Market is the oldest farmer market in the country and attracts millions of visitors every year.

Departing from Vancouver

Vancouver is a vibrant city and ranked as one of the best to visit in the world. One attraction that visitors can see is the Olympic coal caldron that is still intact from the city’s turn of the Winter Olympics in 2010. The Stanley Park is huge, and the lush green space is popular for activities such as biking or taking a relaxing stroll. The nearby seabed also attracts plenty of kayakers and other water sports.

Vancouver

History buffs can enjoy a lovely trip in the old town dating back to the 1800s when Vancouver was known as Gastown and inhabited by sawmill workers and their families. Vancouver contains the second largest Chinatown in North America after San Francisco.

Princess, Holland America, NCL, Royal Caribbean, Crystal, Silversea and Celebrity can be seen all summer long doing 7 to 10 nights inside passage cruises. Princess, along with Crystal and Silversea tend to do 10 to 13 night itineraries.

Besides enjoying the fabulous amenities onboard your ship, sit back with a front row seat and view the unspoilt nature.

Some highlights featured on the Inside Passage cruise include several interesting ports featured below

Seward

Seward is the haunt of artists because of the natural and scenic beauty surrounding her. Based at the foot of Mt. Marathon, the snow capped peaks rise above the town, exuding a quaintness of a Kinkaid painting. Kenai Fjords National Park is just one of the many that Seward offers.

Moose in Seward

Experience a close up view of fjords and pristine glaciers. Besides standing in awe, wait until you set your sights on over 35 animals in their natural habitat including whales, mooses, otters, puffins, and seals. Shopping for a piece of art makes a lasting memory of Seward. Many art galleries are located within the historic district. Other items sold include gold jewellery, carvings made from jade and ivory and assorted Alaskan products.

Sitka

There’s a little bit of foreign influence in sea-side community of Sitka. Originally part of Russia, Sitka did not become a United States territory until 1867. However, the culture and products of the Russian people still reign here in it is hard to imagine that one is on U.S. land. Nesting dolls quilt works and other Russian artefacts are sold in many shops.

sitka alaska

There’s a Native American side of Sitka too. The Sheldon Jackson Museum offers Alaska Native artefacts on display. The historical events surrounding Sitka and its people can be viewed at the Sitka Historical Society and Museum. Set in a naturalised environment you will be guaranteed a brown bear viewing at the Fortress of the Bear. Arrange a customised tour with a certified naturalist normally available as a ship excursion.

Ketchikan

There are several options to enjoy a visit in Ketchikan. One possibility is to try an audio tour to discover the key sites around town. Or if adventurous, take a flight tour and investigate the Misty Fjords National Monument, which is accessible by plane or boat. See Misty Fjords in a different vein by sea kayaking under cascading waterfalls and granite cliffs.

Ketchikan alaska

The Alaska Rainforest Sanctuary will please any walker and nature lover. You can also gain an overview of the early timber operations that were in Ketchikan after your walk. Authentic Alaska native totem carvings and masks are just a few of the items listed for your shopping journey in Ketchikan.

There is more than enough interest held in the ports of call on an Alaska Inside Passage cruise. There will be something that fits the bill in activities appropriate for each and every passenger regardless of age. Whether single, a family or a senior, there is nothing that surpasses learning new things and seeing new places.

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Princess take Passengers feedback Onboard!
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regal princess

Princess Cruises have recently announced changes to the designs for their latest cruise ship, Regal Princess, which is due to launch in the spring of 2014.

The ship was originally designed to be a twin sister to Royal Princess which debuted in June 2013. Royal Princess features a larger, expanded atrium with more entertainment and dining options, the largest top deck pool ever with a water and light show and balconies on every single outside stateroom.

Royal Princess also has the best children’s programme, entertainment and dedicated children’s and teen’s areas on board of all of its fleet.

Regal Princess will still retain the majority of the popular features that Royal Princess enjoys however Princess Cruises confirmed that they will make certain changes in the design of the new ship after receiving complaints and suggestions from many passengers.

Many people are said to have complained that Royal Princess does not have a promenade deck where passengers can walk around the length of the ship.

Passengers enjoy doing this, especially during days at sea, in order to stretch their legs and get a bit of exercise in the open air. It’s perfect for those who don’t want to get too sweaty in the gym but still want to get a bit of exercise after devouring too many treats on board.

PROMENADE ACCESS WILL NOW BE POSSIBLE FROM DECK SEVEN

The deck plans have been changed so that Deck 7 will now have promenade access enabling passengers to traverse the length of the ship.

Passengers who had been aboard Royal Princess also complained that there was no aft pool on board Princess’s newest ship. On board Regal Princess there will be an aft pool added to an area that is used as additional deck space on Royal Princess.

A spokesperson for Princess Cruises said that ‘designing a prototype ship three years out is not an exact science and there are always opportunities to improve upon original concepts based on real operational experience’.

It’s surely a good sign that Princess are taking advice and complaints from loyal passengers seriously and actually doing something about it. The cruise line have taken the opportunity to learn from the passengers real life experiences and translate these into positive changes for Regal Princess.

The changes that have been made to the deck plans are sure to benefit the cruise company with the launch of their latest ship. Passengers should be pleased that their suggestions have been taken on board (literally!) and the cruise line will use this feedback to improve their fleet in future.

This is definitely a lesson for all cruise lines in listening to your customers and translating the information into positive changes that will keep passengers returning on future cruise holidays.

*Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises and represents sister ship, Royal Princess which may vary slightly for Regal Princess.

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