Tag-Archive for » Cruise Fever «

Christmas Trifecta for Princess Cruises

Three reasons for Princess Cruises to feel like Christmas has already arrived this year, which happens to be the cruise line’s 50th anniversary…


The Ruby Princess left Vancouver yesterday. No big deal…the Ruby Princess has been cruising in and out of the Canadian West Coast city all year. But December 15 is the latest Rubydate any Princess ship — maybe any cruise ship — has finished the season in Vancouver. If it were sports, you’d call this making the playoffs.

In a year that started earlier and ended later, Vancouver welcomed 32 ships and 800,000 cruise passengers. In addition to the annual Alaska cruises, there were some to Hawaii or the California coast by Princess ships. What happened yesterday was a winner for both Vancouver and Princess.


Cruise Fever fans picked Princess for “best Alaska cruise” for the second year in a row. Considering that Cruise Fever has only been polling its readers for three years, this is significant.

Having been on an Alaska cruise this year on the Star Princess, it’s easy to understand why the voters feel the way they do. With seven ships going to Alaska from three ports (Seattle and San Francisco are the others), Princess has developed a reputation for quality of not just cruises but also the cruisetours that feature lodges owned by Princess.


This one’s a sleeper. Literally.

{01bb855c-e9ba-430a-b5bb-4fc192d6dafb}_se5ms116_luxurybed_hdr_ta_v5Princess ships will have 44,000 new beds for heads to relax in, starting in February on the Coral Princess, Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess. The beds have been developed in conjunction with a certified sleep expert (did YOU know there were certified sleep experts?) and utilize the latest in mattress technology.

It will take about two years to outfit all 44,000, turning staterooms into sleep sanctuaries with a “sleep-friendly sensory experience” with “luxurious linens to soothing ocean sounds and relaxing aromas” — you get the idea.

Now if the Princess Luxury Beds are as comfortable as Westin’s Heavenly Beds

Hmm, a sleep-off?

In the news…

• Norwegian unveils ship deployments for summer of 2017
• Cruises on sale for MSC’s new Seaside, two years before sailing
• Extensive refurbishing for Emerald Princess early in 2016

Today at portsandbows.com: A taste of Ho Chi Minh City, port of the future

Carnival Triumph
7 nights
February 6, 2016
Galveston (return): Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Cozumel
Inside: $469
Cost per day: $67

Carnival Dealing With Long Line-ups

Hands up, now…which of you cruise passengers has never waited in line to board a ship? Specifically, in a long line that snakes around a cruise terminal, for the legitimate reason that cruise lines have to board upwards of 2,500 passengers in four hours or less.

So do the math.

Speaking of math, Carnival’s changing the process. Yes, we’ve all heard these theories before, but this one really has a chance of changing how we get on ships…or how long.

Staggered embarkation.

No, you don’t have to be three sheets to the wind BEFORE you get on board, but you do have to make an appointment. Sometime after New Year’s, Carnival will give passengers a boarding time, according to Cruise Fever, which first reported the successful pilot project held on three ships in Galveston weeks ago.

Here’s how it works:

After completing much of the documentation online, passengers will be given an embarkation window of time. They check in at one of six allotted times from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. They must be there 30 minutes before their time. If they come before that, they’re not allowed inside the terminal and are told to come back. If they miss their time (although nobody’s saying this), they go to the back of the bus…last on board.

In the terminal, all that’s left is one document to fill out and security to clear.

The process mirrors boarding a plane by row, a far smaller model. And just like airlines, Carnival will give priority to priority passengers…frequent cruisers and passengers who pay for priority (it’s called FTTF, or Faster To The Fun).

In any case, it beats the long line-ups.

Without a doubt!

In the news…

• Daughter of Jacques Pepin, Claudine, to be Godmother of Oceania’s new Sirena
• Royal Caribbean adds Independence of the Seas as a home for the musical Grease
• Cunard “re-designing” buffet dining experience during Queen Mary 2 refurbishment

Today at portsandbows.comNorth America to get a look at Viking Star

Celebrity Reflection
7 nights
January 9, 2016
Miami (return): San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten
Inside: $649
Cost per day: $92

Frequency of lightning at sea

Friends and cruise writing colleagues of ours, Harry and Joan Shattuck of Houston, just returned from two weeks on the Nieuw Amsterdam, Holland America’s flagship. During their cruise, the ship was hit by lightning, which you would think happens about as often as planes are hit by lightning.

Almost never, right?

Yesterday, Cruise Fever reported that the Disney Magic lost power in the Gulf of Mexico and was “dead in the water” after a passenger reported a huge puff of smoke near the bow preceded the power failure.

Again, it doesn’t  happen often.

However, we were surprised when our friends the Shattucks discovered while talking to the Holland America captain that this was “only the second time” this had happened when he was on a ship.


Perhaps these things happen more often than we think!

Today at portsandbows.com: All the latest cruise news

Carnival Victory
5 nights
February 5, 2015
Miami (return): Freeport, Little Stirrup Cay, Nassau 
Inside: $179
Cost per day: $35

  • Categories

  • Archives