New Ship: Regal Princess

After a five-year building sabbatical, Princess Cruises conceived two sisters with the arrivals of the Royal Princess (June 2013) and the Regal Princess (May this year). The 17th and 18th ships in the Princess fleet are unlike any others, as new ships usually are, and the people at Fincantieri have made this baby "premature." It's due two weeks ahead of schedule and will sail a pair of Venice-Athens cruises before its original inaugural, a 20-day Mediterranean Escape.

Launch date: May 20

Capacity: 3,560

Sister ships: Royal Princess

Maiden Voyage: Venice to Athens

Home Ports: Venice/Fort Lauderdale

Ships now in Princess fleet: 18

Interesting: All new ships have some kind of signature and, for the Regal Princess and her sister, that was the SeaWalk, a see-through walkway that extends 28 feet over the side, 128 feet above the water. A virtual twin to the Royal Princess, the Regal also has the Princess Live! TV studio and the cruise line's largest top-deck pool. All outside staterooms have balconies. No word yet on who will be the Godmother but "junior Princess" has a tough act to follow…the Duchess of Cambridge did the honors last June just a few weeks before delivering the royal baby and the ceremony was, as the Brits would say, smashing!

Carnival Fascination
5 nights
February 8, 2014
Jacksonville (return): NassauHalf Moon Cay 
Inside: $249
Cost per day: $49
www.carnival.com

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