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Princess Cruises – birthplace of “Love Boat” fantasies and now among Carnival Corporation’s 13 distinct brands -- offers nearly 150 itineraries calling at some 260 ports worldwide with itineraries from seven to 72 days. Princess’ original parent company, P&O (Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company), ranks as oldest among the great British shipping concerns, dating to 1822. With decline of trans-ocean crossings after dawn of the jet age, P&O astutely shifted focus toward cruising, acquiring Sitmar Cruises for Princess in 1988. Sitmar’s Italian officers joined forces with P&O's British officers in the expanding Princess fleet. (P&O also ran other cruise interests, combined to form a British-based company listed in 2000 as P&O Princess with the New York and London stock exchanges. Subsequent to Royal Caribbean International’s unsuccessful effort to merge with Princess, parent P&O Princess merged with Carnival Corporation via a dual listed company structure in 2003, forming the world’s largest cruise corporation operating more than 70 vessels. Princess Cruises’ Personal Choice Cruising gives passengers opportunity to customize their cruise experiences with extensive choices in dining, entertainment, amenities and more. By 2006, five more newbuilds will join the Princess fleet for a total of 15 vessels.
Christened by Princess Diana, the elegant Royal Princess caused quite a stir upon her 1984 debut and remains one of the most beautiful ships afloat, with all-outside staterooms, a wrap-around promenade deck, and terraced observation areas enhancing seductive itineraries that include the Orient. As a mid-sized ship, she is easily navigated with most public rooms situated on Riviera Deck (Deck 3). Unparalleled in beauty, Asia is rich in culture and history and makes for an extraordinary cruise experience aboard Royal Princess. In late 2004, Royal Princess sails a variety of seductive itineraries covering Beijing, Xian and the Yangtze; the Far East from Bangkok to Osaka, and more. There’s also a 30-day adventure from Bangkok to Cape Town.
Year entering service: 1984
The elegant Royal Princess, the only ship of its size with all outside staterooms, also has more balconies than any other ship of similar size along with spacious public rooms, and traditional dining along with alternatives. Amenities include four pools including one of the largest lap pools afloat, and two freshwater whirlpools. Also aboard are a lavish casino, charming library, and tubs as well as showers in all baths. With self-service laundries and a cinema for numerous days at sea, the ship lends itself to longer, more exotic itineraries. Royal Princess has an advanced system of engines and generator, and features cutting-edge stabilization, communications, and navigation systems. The founding core between fore and aft bulkheads runs through the ship in a revolutionary design that allows for maintenance without disturbing passengers. Carpets and wall coverings are mostly in muted pastels and neutrals providing a soothing, refined backdrop for pleasant days and spirited evenings aboard.
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