The colorful ports of the Caribbean highlight Princess' 2008-09 cruise season as the line's amenity-filled ships offer up fresh itineraries for escapes to these tropical waters, and a new vessel, Ruby Princess, makes her debut.
In total, seven Princess ships will sail on 11 itineraries to all corners of the Caribbean, featuring the youngest fleet of any major cruise line in the region. This array of modern vessels, ranging from 710 to 3,100 passengers, offers the highest percentage of balcony staterooms in the Caribbean - perfect for enjoying the idyllic island scenery and crystal blue waters. The line's wide array of itinerary options includes the opportunity to explore some of the lesser-visited ports in the Caribbean with more 10- and 14-day cruises in the Caribbean than any other line.
Two new itineraries make their debut, including a new Caribbean Collection 14-day itinerary on Grand Princess featuring the best of the Caribbean with nine ports - among them La Romana (Dominican Republic), Curacao, Trinidad and Barbados. Royal Princess offers three special Caribbean Calypso 14-day escapes to several boutique, less-visited ports and sails as far south as Devil's Island in South America. In addition, Crown Princess will sail on an enhanced seven-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary with the added port of Grand Turk, along with passenger favorites Princess Cays, St. Maarten and St. Thomas.
Rounding out the program, the new Ruby Princess makes her debut with a series of seven-day Western Caribbean sailings. Caribbean Princess sails the Southern Caribbean offering alternating Classic and Explorer seven-day itineraries out of San Juan, while Emerald Princess returns with two 10-day roundtrip itineraries from Ft. Lauderdale. And Sea Princess returns with another series of 14-day sailings from Barbados, featuring a new call to Samana, in the Dominican Republic.
"We've found both first-timers and long-time cruisers love to travel with Princess in the Caribbean," said Jan Swartz, Princess' senior vice president of customer service and sales. "Our wealth of itinerary options offers even the most experienced cruisers new Caribbean destinations, particularly on our longer voyages. Combined with our amenity-filled ships, Princess offers perfect escapes to the world's most popular destinations."
Princess' 2008-09 Caribbean options include:
Ruby Princess - The brand-new Ruby Princess will join the Princess fleet for roundtrip seven-day sailings to the Western Caribbean. The vessel, based in Fort Lauderdale, will offer 26 Saturday departures to Caribbean favorites Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Princess' own Princess Cays. The ship's season will run from November 15, 2008 through May 9, 2009.
Crown Princess - Crown Princess, based in Ft. Lauderdale this season, offers round-trip seven-day cruises on a newly Eastern Caribbean itinerary. The ship offers Sunday departures venturing to Princess Cays, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and the added port of Grand Turk. Crown Princess offers 32 sailings between October 5, 2008 and May 10, 2009.
Caribbean Princess - This season, Caribbean Princess moves to San Juan for alternating seven-day itineraries. The Classic Southern Caribbean route features the ports of Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, Tortola and St. Thomas, while the enhanced Southern Caribbean Explorer itinerary journeys to the exotic shores of Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Dominica and St. Thomas. Fourteen departures on each route run between November 2, 2008 and May 10, 2009. In addition, Caribbean Princess will offer a summer season from New York between May 17 and August 15, 2008 on two Eastern Caribbean itineraries. Ports of call on eight of these nine-day roundtrip voyages include Bermuda (West End), San Juan, St. Thomas and Grand Turk. Three sailings will feature calls in San Juan, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Grand Turk.
Emerald Princess - Emerald Princess returns to alternate 10-day sailings roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale - one to the Southern Caribbean and the other to the Eastern Caribbean. The Southern Caribbean Medley itinerary, offered on eleven sailings, includes calls at Princess Cays, St. Thomas, Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire and Aruba. The Eastern Caribbean Voyager itinerary, featured on ten sailings, offers calls at Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Thomas and Princess Cays. Emerald Princess' Caribbean season runs between October 21, 2008 and May 9, 2009.
Grand Princess - Grand Princess debuts the new roundtrip Caribbean Collection itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale. Offering 10 Friday departures, the ship sails on a 14-day cruise to Aruba, Cura?ao, Trinidad, Barbados, St. Vincent, St. Kitts, St. Thomas, La Romana and finally Grand Turk. Grand Princess sails between December 19, 2008 and April 24, 2009.
Sea Princess - Sea Princess will offer a series of enhanced 14-day Caribbean adventures from Barbados, featuring two alternating itineraries. Six sailings of the Grand Caribbean Islander route feature calls at Dominica, Antigua, St. Maarten, Tortola, Samana, Montego Bay, Curaçao, Bonaire, Isla Margarita, Grenada and Trinidad. The ship will also offer seven sailings on a Grand Caribbean Adventurer itinerary that features stops at St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Kitts, Tortola, Samana, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, Aruba, Bonaire, Caracas (La Guaira), and Grenada. To begin her season, Sea Princess has an exclusive sailing of the Exotic Southern Caribbean. Beginning in New York, she will sail to St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Dominica, St. Vincent, Grenada and finally Barbados where she will be based for the remainder of the season. Sea Princess sails between October 23, 2008 and April 18, 2009.
Royal Princess - The intimate Royal Princess also offers a unique holiday season option with a brand new 14-day Caribbean Calypso itinerary. The ship sails roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale visiting the shores of St. Barthélemy, St. Lucia, Tobago, Devil's Island, Barbados, Antigua and Virgin Gorda. These exclusive Caribbean Calypso cruises are only offered for three sailing on Dec. 9 and 23, 2008 and Jan. 6, 2009.
All of these island escapes feature some of the most amenity-filled vessels in the Princess fleet, with such distinctive features as the line's signature Personal Choice Dining, Lotus Spa, extensive children and teen centers, wedding chapels, internet centers, and a diverse array of entertainment options and venues, all in an intimately designed, personalized environment. Ruby Princess, Emerald Princess, Crown Princess and Caribbean Princess also offer features perfect for island cruising, such as the poolside "Movies Under the Stars" movie screen, a Caribbean-themed alternative restaurant, and nearly 900 cabins with balconies -- more than on any other cruise ships sailing year-round in the Caribbean.