If you’re planning a voyage with Princess Cruises this year, there are quite a few extras to look forward to, including a new arrival to Australia, a new TV channel, luxury beds and new culinary delights. With such a focus on ensuring guests come back from their holiday feeling refreshed and renewed, is it any wonder that the cruise line scooped the pool in the 2015 Cruise Passenger Readers Choice Awards? Princess took home Best Ocean Cruise Line and Best Premium Cruise Line, as well as Best Cruise Line For Food, Best for Wellness/Spa and Best for Onboard Entertainment. Here's what's new with Princess Cruises.
The 3,082-guest Emerald Princess will arrive late this year for its first ever season cruising Down Under. It will be based in Sydney from November 2016 to April 2017, with itineraries to New Zealand, Australia, and the South Pacific (details to be released in March).
Emerald Princess boasts more than 1,500 guest rooms, 13 dining options, eight showrooms and lounges, two nightclubs, four swimming pools, and the Lotus Spa. If you can’t wait for Emerald Princess to arrive, why not sail on its redeployment voyage – the 48-night Four Continents Grand Adventure from Southampton to Sydney, departing on September 16? On the way you will visit Rome, Naples and Messina in Italy; the Suez Canal in Egypt; Petra in Jordan; Dubai in the United Arab Emirates; Cochin in India; Phuket, Koh Samui and Bangkok in Thailand; Singapore; and Bali in Indonesia.
Late last year, the cruise line rolled out a new TV channel on its Australasian-based ships, beaming live sports and local news into your cabin. The Prime Australia channel features full-season coverage of AFL, plus A-League action, bolstering the line’s existing Sports 24 channel in public spaces and bars. Prime also offers ABC news, current affairs, drama and lifestyle programs.
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More than 44,000 new Princess Luxury Beds are being rolled out across the Princess fleet by the end of 2018. Developed in collaboration with sleep expert Dr Michael Breus (aka The Sleep Doctor), the beds feature a five-centimetre-thick mattress topper, 22-centimetre medium-firm mattress, and individually wrapped coils (for less partner disturbance). US TV design star Candice Olson had a hand in the European-inspired doona, 100 per cent cotton linens, and king-sized down pillows.
In April, Curtis Stone’s new speciality restaurant, SHARE, will make its Australian debut on Sun Princess, when the ship returns from dry dock. The restaurant has a menu of signature dishes imagined for sharing at a communal table.
It features dishes such as a charcuterie starter course, composed salads, handmade pastas, premium-quality meats, an array of desserts and more. As well as SHARE, ‘Crafted by Curtis’ menu items will be rolled out in the main dining rooms fleet-wide early this year; and The Chef’s Table experience by Curtis Stone will also make its debut.
Princess’s partnership with master chocolatier Norman Love has borne even sweeter fruit, with an expansion of his chocolate products on board, including breakfast treats and a chocolate cocktail. Also keep an eye out for his new chocolate souffle, chocolate cookie, and 12 new chocolate cakes, including a white chocolate and lemon tart, and an almond chocolate coffee cake.