A Quiet Princess Slips into Cruise Waters

If you do Google "Regal Princess" (as we did), you will find that most of the results on the first page are about a ship that "will" make its debut in 2014. Even Wikipedia writes of it in the future tense. So it may surprise you to learn that the Regal Princess is already here…here being the cruise waters of the world.

It happened last week. It happened in Italy. It happened quietly, or so it appears for everybody who couldn't hear the horn's first blast in Venice.

This is the 18th ship in the Princess fleet. It's a full sister to the Royal Princess, which means you can't tell them apart if you don't see the name. Ironically, the Royal Princess made her debut almost a year ago, also in Europe (Southampton), but to much greater fanfare which included the world's most prominent mother-to-be, the Duchess of Cambridge, who is more widely known simply as Princess Kate.

The new ship has everything her elder sister has…SeaWalk over the ocean, a bigger-than-ever atrium, the innovative Chef's Table Lumiere, the Princess Live TV studio, and Regal-WC-Scorcolano copyPhoto courtesy of Wikipedia Commons: Scorcolano

more. It carries 3,560 passengers, which means it takes a back seat there to its Royal sibling, which can handle 40 more passengers.

Together, they're the biggest Princess ships. They are not together these days, but they're at least in the same hemisphere. 

After spending the winter in the Caribbean, the Royal Princess is in Northern Europe for the summer and will return to North America — by way of Iceland and New York (25 days) — in late September. It will dock in Fort Lauderdale on November 4.

The Regal Princess is spending its inaugural months in the Mediterranean and will cross the Atlantic for the first time (Princess is calling this the ship's "Maiden Voyage") in October. This ship will arrive in Fort Lauderdale on November 3…the day before big sister.

At least then she'll be "first" for a day, and you can be sure more will be made of the "new" ship's North American debut.

Today at Phil Reimer's portsandbows.com: The latest in cruise news

Royal Caribbean Explorer of the Seas
5 nights
December 13, 2014
Port Canaveral (return): Coco CayNassauGrand Bahama Island 
Inside: $299
Cost per day: $59

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