A transformed Golden Princess has emerged from the most extensive drydock ever undertaken by Princess Cruises, one that was followed closely by thousands of cruise aficionados around the world. Throughout the three-week makeover, a daily online photo journal offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the dramatic amount of work needed to add such signature Princess features to the ship as a new piazza-style atrium, an adults-only Sanctuary, a Movies Under the Stars poolside movie screen, and a new Crown Grill steak and seafood restaurant.
The online journal, which was updated each day on www.princess.com as well as on popular social networking sites Twitter and Facebook, featured more than 180 photos giving viewers a front-row seat as the immense project was undertaken at Victoria Shipyards in British Columbia.
The full transformation is available for viewing at www.princess.com/goldendrydock, and features such rare scenes as the hull of the ship and propellers out of the water with the new silicone underwater paint being applied, to hundreds of pieces of furniture being re-upholstered, to key public areas being demolished and re-configured into new spaces.
“Based on the many comments we received, I think it’s safe to say that our passengers were amazed at being able to watch Golden Princess’ makeover as it happened,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “We heard that they have a new appreciation for the dramatic amount of work that goes into a project like this, as well as how much care and effort we put into our ships every day.” Swartz added that a complex project like this drydock was a prime example of the teamwork and dedication for which Princess is known.
During a short sampler sailing to Ketchikan and then back to Seattle, the new features were unveiled to passengers, and the ship is now cruising on its first Alaska voyage of the season. Golden Princess will continue to offer weekly departures from Seattle on roundtrip Inside Passage voyages through September 12.
Now that the transformation is nearly complete, Golden Princess’ atrium features a new Piazza with an inviting street café atmosphere and two new dining options. The International Café serves up specialty coffees, fresh baked cookies, pastries, panini sandwiches and tapas, while wine bar Vines offers a selection of more than 30 wines by the glass, plus a selection of seafood, artisan meats and cheeses, and a wine shop where passengers can purchase their favorite bottle.
Adult passengers looking to get away from can now relax in the tranquility of The Sanctuary, Princess’ signature retreat featuring plush padded lounge chairs and the services of dedicated Serenity Stewards. Visitors to this exclusive space can enjoy refreshing beverages and light snacks, or receive a massage in one of the private cabanas.
And a new 300-square-foot Movies Under the Stars poolside LED screen now features evening movies and a variety of daytime programming, comparable to the best shoreside movie theater. In addition to family cinema and first run hits, it showcases major sporting events, concerts and other can’t-miss programming – up to 50 different offerings per week.
The ship also now features a brand-new relocated casino on deck 7, a new sports court, a new Internet café and library, and a refurbished fitness center. And all passenger cabins were also fitted with new flat screen televisions.
With such an ambitious project list to accomplish in just three weeks time, some spaces are still in the final phases of completion. This includes the new Crown Grill restaurant, newly constructed suites, and the relocated shore excursions desk and wedding chapel.
“This massive drydock clearly demonstrates Princess’ commitment to ensuring our passengers experience our signature features and amenities no matter which ship they sail,” added Swartz.