Princess Special Cruise Line to Brits

Friends of ours were on a Princess cruise ship last year. Before we knew that, we asked which line they'd been on and which ship. They said:

"Coral Princess…P and O."

It happened that we'd just been on the Coral Princess so we knew, first-hand, that she belonged to Princess Cruises. We politely made the correction.

"Princess…P and O…same thing," replied our friend, who is English by birth.

Before Princess was bought by the Carnival Corporation, it was a subsidiary of P&O Cruises. In reality, it was "bought" by Royal Caribbean in a deal that was usurped at the 11th hour, but that's another story. The point is that to people of British origins, Princess is, was and will probably always linked to P&O, which in the beginning was a well-known British shipping and logistics company.

And because it's linked to P&O, cruisers from the UK will always have a soft spot for Princess.

And today, more than ever, Princess hopes that's true.

Its two biggest ships break water this summer and next, and both the Royal Princess and Regal Princess will spend their inaugural summers in Europe (where most Britons vacation) and Princess ships will do more tours of the British Isles than ever. The Royal Princess will begin her career in Southampton and both 3,600-passenger ships will take passengers through the Mediterranean or the North Sea during the pleasant — relatively speaking — summer months.

Meanwhile, three more Princess ships will be staying closer to the "homeland." The Ruby Princess (3,080 passengers) will regularly leave Southampton on 12-day British Isles trips, the Ocean Princess (680) will some 8-day British Isles cruises among her itineraries and the Emerald Princess will patrol the west coast of Europe, also from Southampton.

Next to Cunard, Princess is probably still the favorite — or at least best-known — cruise line for the British.

Either that, or it's just that whole Royal Family thing. After last week's news that the Duchess of Cambridge would be the new ship's Godmother, why would we think otherwise?

Diamond Princess
7 nights
May 25, 2013
Vancouver, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, College Fjord, Anchorage
Inside: $599
Cost per day: $85

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