Disclaimer: I was invited on board Crown Princess as press.
I was recently lucky enough to be invited on board Crown Princess in sunny Southampton to explore the ship and find out all about Ocean Medallion and Princess Cruises upcoming longest ever UK and European season!
After a slap up gluten free breakfast in Bill’s (seriously, try the garden plate it’s incredible) I headed over to Southampton’s Ocean Terminal – on board I met up with a couple of the Cruise Collective (many of whom I was finally meeting for the first time!) and after a good chinwag we headed into the Princess theatre for some informative talks by Tony Roberts (Vice President for UK & Europe), John Padgett (Chief Experience Innovation Officer at Carnival Corporation) and Arnold Donald (President and Chief Executive Officer Carnival Corporation).
After a brilliant lunch with the Cruise Collective, we went off on a tour of the ship. I’d literally just finished a cruise on sister ship Emerald Princess so seeing the differences was interesting!
Both ships feature beautiful Atriums, perfect for a pre dinner cocktail, light entertainment and of course Princess’s signature balloon drop party. For me it was dissapointing to see a more crowded, older looking Horizon Court – it felt world’s apart from the clean, open World Fresh Market Place.
Another stand out feature of this ship is definitely the Sanctuary area – a haven of calm at the top of the ship. This exclusive adults-only retreat offers a relaxing alternative to the myriad outdoor activities and entertainment available elsewhere on the ship. With signature beverages, light meals, and al fresco massages, Serenity Stewards attend to your every need, whether it’s to be on hand to provide chilled face towels or Evian water atomizers.
Princess’s longest ever UK & European season!
During our press conference, it was announced that 2021 will see Princes Cruises’ longest UK and Europe season ever.
The season will include a total of nearly 500 days cruising from the UK in Southampton across three ships – Grand Princess, Island Princess and Crown Princess. The 2,600-guest Grand Princess will sail the longest ever period for a UK-based ship, from April to November.
Meanwhile, Princess Cruises’ two newest ships, Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess, will additionally be based in northern and southern Europe respectively. This brings the total European cruise days up to almost 1,000!
Grand Princess sailings
Grand Princess will sail for 207 days from Southampton, including six school holiday sailings across the season. The ship will depart for the Mediterranean, northern Europe and Canada & New England, with several new voyages including:
· A 24-day Canada & New England voyage to Boston, Bar Harbour, Halifax, Sydney (Nova Scotia), Quebec (overnight call), Saguenay, Charlottetown and St. Johns (Newfoundland)
· A six-day school half term cruise in May to Guernsey (St. Peter Port), La Rochelle (for Cognac) and Bilbao
· An eight-day Scandinavia voyage to Kristiansand, Aarhus, Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Oslo
Island Princess sailings
The 2,200-guest Island Princess will spend a season sailing out of Southampton from June to October across northern Europe. The ship will similarly will take in a range of new sailings such as:
· A 10-day Oktoberfest European capitals cruise to Hamburg, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Oslo, Rotterdam and Brussels/Bruges (Zeebrugge)
· A 24-day Grand European Explorer cruise to Porto (Leixos), Gibraltar, Mallorca (Palma), Sicily (Messina), Naples, Rome (Civitavecchia), Katakolon, Athens, Kusadasi, Jerusalem/Bethlehem (Ashdod) and Galilee/Nazareth (Haifa), Limassol, Rhodes, Mykonos and Malta (Valetta)
Crown Princess Sailings
The 3,080-guest Crown Princess will sail the British Isles from April to October on 14 Southampton sailings. The ship will travel to destinations including Liverpool, Dublin, Orkney Islands (Kirkwall) and Edinburgh, with select itineraries offering overnight calls in port.
The newest Princesses
The line’s two newest ships, the 3,660-guest Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess, will both be based in Europe in 2021. Sky Princess will spend April to September sailing Scandinavia and Russia roundtrip from Copenhagen, visiting destinations including Tallinn, Oslo, Helsinki and Berlin (Warnemunde), and will offer overnight calls in St Petersburg.
Enchanted Princess – which will be named in Southampton at the end of June next year – will sail across the Mediterranean from April to October via Rome, Athens and Barcelona, taking in the likes of Mykonos, Santorini, Kotor, Florence and Istanbul.
Introducing Ocean Medallion
This exciting programme announcement confirms that very ship based in Europe during 2021 will feature the multi award-winning OceanMedallion. This innovative technology sets out to deliver an entirely new level of service and create a holiday that is more simple, effortless and personalised.
The Ocean Medallion is individual to each guest, and around the size of a 10p piece – it can be worn on a lanyard, clipped onto clothing or on a wrist band – various accessories will be available to style it as you wish!
Some of the features of OceanMedallion include:
- Expedited checkin – Guests who arrive at the terminal OceanReady with travel documents (i.e. passports) uploaded to their profile enjoy a streamlined and expedited check-in process that gets their holiday started even sooner
- Touchless stateroom entry – No need to touch, swipe or insert cards or devices into the door handle to unlock the stateroom. As a guest approaches their stateroom the door automatically unlocks
- On-demand services – Using OceanNow from smart devices, guests have the ability to order drinks, food and retail items such as suntan lotion and have them delivered directly anywhere onboard, including to their stateroom
- Family and friends locator – Accessible on portals throughout the ships and via guests’ smart devices, OceanCompass leverages the OceanMedallion to easily locate and chat with friends and family onboard. OceanCompass is available on portals throughout the ship and from smart devices and guides guests throughout their journey, providing directional information so they can seamlessly navigate to their next point of interest
- Interactive voyage timeline – Available on ship portals and via guests’ smart devices, JourneyView is an interactive timeline that lets guests scroll through all of the events available on board during their voyage and bookmark activities they’re interested in to their own personalized itinerary. Voyage itineraries are available as many as 60 days in advance, allowing guests to start planning before they leave home.
Princess ships also benefit from MedallionNet, which allows guests to stay connected anywhere on the onboard including staterooms. MedallionNet allows guests to share holiday experiences with friends and family back home; stream TV shows, movies and sports events; and make voice and video calls!
All Europe 2021 voyages go on sale on August 14, 2019. Princess’ Elite guests are able to book from August 13, 2019 at 9am.
A low £1 deposit is available to book any of the UK and Europe 2021 sailings on both August 13 and 14.