Coronavirus travel bans, quarantines and evacuations: What you need to know

February 16, 2020

by John Larson

Diamond Princess cruise ship (Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

The coronavirus that medical officials say originated in Wuhan, China (in Hubei Province), is still a threat to thousands of people, as of this writing. As the death toll and infections continue to increase, here are some things people need to know about the coronavirus (also known also known as COVID-19) before traveling.

Travel Bans

As of this writing, most countries have banned or severely limited travel to and from China. Check with official travel agencies to find out what the restrictions are for your country.

March 14, 2020 UPDATE: Following the U.S. ban of flights from Europe to the United States, several airlines have been cancelling or reducing flights to and from Europe and the United States. Some airlines have also been decreasing the number of flights to and from the U.S. and South America. Check with individual airlines to find out what their latest policies are.

Quarantines

Since the corona virus outbreak, people have been quarantined if they have traveled from China or areas where there have been a number of infected people. In the United States, people returning from high-risk areas are expected to undergo quarantines for about 14 days after their arrival back in the U.S.

Cruise ships traveling to and from Asia have experienced quarantines, and most have cancelled future trips to and from Asia until further notice. Cruise companies are also cancelling trips to and from other continents. People who have travel plans on a cruise ship need to check directly with the ship’s parent company for the latest updates.

On February 16 2020, about 400 American passengers on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan were expected to disembark and travel back to the United States, according to NBC News. The U.S. Department of State released a statement saying that there were 428 U.S. citizens on the ship.

NBC reported that as of February 14, 2020, of the 771 passengers and crew that have been tested, 218 have tested are positive for the virus, and at least 32 of them are Americans. The infected Americans will be further quarantined at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, according to the report. They will be kept away from the quarantined Americans who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, in the second week of February 2020.

March 8, 2020 UPDATE: There have been more Princess Cruise ships that have been quarantined, including the Grand Princess, which carried 3,500 people and was docked in Oakland, California. The U.S. State Department has now advised against travel on cruise ships. Seniors and people with underlying health issues are especially at risk. In addition, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a statement saying that there is “increased risk of infection of COVID-19 in a cruise ship environment.”

Evacuations

Here are the countries that have done official evacuations for their citizens who were in or near Wuhan, China, during the coronvirus outbreak:

  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Malaysia
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • New Zealand
  • The Philippines
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Vietnam

This article will be updated with any important breaking news.

Princess Cruises’ Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess announces escape-room experience Phantom Bridge

July 16, 2019

Phantom Bridge
Phantom Bridge (Rendering courtesy of Princess Cruises)

The following is a press release from Princess Cruises:

Cruise guests ready to travel through time and space need to look no further than Princess Cruises newest ships – Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess – to experience Phantom Bridge, a world’s first game combining digital and physical elements for the ultimate immersive escape room.

“Phantom Bridge, our newest Discovery at SEA interactive attraction, will offer our guests the exclusive opportunity to live a real-world, gamified experience with more than 700 different outcomes for the ultimate adventure,” said Denise Saviss, Princess Cruises vice president of entertainment experience. “Partnering with Farbound to deliver this unprecedented technology and world’s first interactive Mediascape Room further solidifies our commitment to share innovative and distinctive offerings to our guests.”

On the Phantom Bridge, Princess Cruises guests will face immersive environments and show moments as they race to solve puzzles and travel to endangered time periods. The entire ship will transform and respond to guest actions, enveloping them in the story. Developed exclusively for Princess Cruises by Farbound, the leader in gamified real-life experiences, the debut of Phantom Bridge will feature the first Mediascape Room, the proprietary gaming and show-control system that runs the entire game play.

“As Princess Cruises is committed to delivering a completely different and memorable experience for its guests, we are so honored to be working with them as Farbound’s partner. This new class of entertainment offerings will strengthen and hold Princess Cruises position as the leader in the travel industry.” said Tim Rheault & Steve Trowbridge, Co-Founders of Farbound.

Phantom Bridge offers a range of activities including:

Uncover the clues to solve the mystery – projection mapping, touch screen surfaces and hidden physical elements bring the environment to life as players race to uncover new clues and solve puzzles that will transport them to the next endangered time period.

Blends the physical with the digital with immersive effects – players captain the ship and turn the physical wheel to navigate the vessel and watch as the simulation view changes. Lighting, sound and digital features disguised as physical ones are combined to create an immersive, realistic experience, every step of the way. But, players beware as they’ll never know when a new item could mysteriously appear and be the key to the next puzzle.

Families can play together! – Phantom Bridge tailors the experience to players of all ages, heights and physical abilities so parents, kids and grandparents can all play together. Plus, with so many levels, time periods and puzzles more than 700 different outcomes are possible, which means players can come back and engage in Phantom Bridge time and time again since it’s never the same adventure.

Phantom Bridge will also debut onboard the cruise line’s next ship, Enchanted Princess, summer 2020. Guests can try Phantom Bridge in the new Experience Center located on deck 18. The event lasts 23 minutes and can accommodate up to six people.

For families looking for immersive, enriching and fun experiences while traveling, Princess Cruises has partnered with Discovery Inc. to create Discovery at SEA onboard programming that brings to life destinations and fan-favorite Discovery and Animal Planet shows. Guests can choose from exclusive, family friendly shore excursions and onboard activities like Stargazing at Sea. Younger cruisers, 17 and under, will also enjoy the recently renovated Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Centers.

More details about the robust onboard features and itineraries of Sky Princess and Enchanted Princess can be found at www.princess.com.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel advisor, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.

Princess Cruises debuts curated culinary experiences with new Bon Appétit partnership

March 15, 2018

(Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)
(Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

The following is a press release from Princess Cruises:

Princess Cruises announced a new culinary shore excursion program in collaboration with the number one food lifestyle brand, Bon Appétit, offering guests the opportunity to indulge in culinary experiences inspired by their surroundings while cruising to destinations around the globe.

Through this new partnership, Princess guests will receive a deepened understanding of the destinations visited through a small group, sensory journey of authentic culinary experiences drawing from the life of locals. The shore excursion offerings will immerse explorers in local ingredients and cooking styles, as well as demonstrations and tastings from local chefs and personalities, all with the goal of providing travelers a sense of renewed wonder and an opportunity for immersive destination exploration.

“As a leader in culinary excellence at sea, we seek to offer our guests hands-on, immersive culinary journeys from the destinations we visit,” said Bruce Krumrine, vice president, global shore excursions, Princess Cruises. “From scone making in the countryside of Ireland, to crafting the perfect paella on the knotted streets of medieval Spain, these newly developed experiences are sure to bring the spirit of these destinations to life for our guests.”

Guests can choose from a selection of curated tours developed in partnership with Bon Appétit, hand selected to best demonstrate the brand’s focus of “where food and culture meet.”

  • Exclusive Tours connect travelers to the tastes of the region with Exclusive Tours available only through Princess and Bon Appétit. These tailored excursions offer unparalleled opportunities to truly engage with local life in a small-group setting.
  • Recommended Tours bring the character of the places guests sail to their plate. Participants of these tours will embark on a celebration of gastronomy endorsed by the experts at Bon Appétit.

“There is a clear connection between the love of travel and experiencing food found in cultures around the world,” said Adam Rapoport, editor in chief of Bon Appétit. “Collaborating with a destination leader like Princess Cruises, we’re able to bring the passion of culinary inspired journeys to guests we might not otherwise reach.”

Guests will be able to choose from 30 excursions beginning in 2018. Highlights include:

Bon Appétit Exclusive Tours
Taste of the North – Kristiansand, Norway
Classic Norwegian flavors are made modern by the head chef at Hotel Norge. Savor Norway’s history with moose steak, traditional cookies and regional wine. Then, nourish the moment over a shared lunch with fellow travelers on a tour that visits local stops of note.

Scones from Scratch – Dublin, Ireland
On this excursion, guests will journey to Ireland’s charming countryside for a cozy afternoon of scone making. Participants will learn to prepare these delicate golden treats from Catherine Fulivio*, the acclaimed chef and proprietor of Ballyknocken Cookery School, House and Restaurant. Following the lesson, guests can enjoy their creations amid the charm of a Victorian farmhouse and end the day strolling its sprawling gardens.

*subject to availability

Bon Appétit Recommended Tours
Classic CopenhagenCopenhagen, Denmark
Wind the way through Copenhagen’s reveled sights and flavors in a scenic afternoon adventure. Guests will fuel their appetites at Ferry Café with Smørrebrød, a classic, open-faced sandwich, then sightsee historic Danish palaces and castles. Stepping aboard a modern canal boat, travelers will get a chance to experience 500-year-old step-gabled homes from a new perspective, and end the day with new thrills during a visit to Tivoli Gardens, a famous theme park bursting with color.

Pacific Northwest Pairings – Astoria, Oregon
Savor a pairing the Pacific Northwest has made famous at the locally-loved restaurant, Baked Alaska. Famed for his dishes and storytelling, Chef Chris Holen will gather guests in an open kitchen where they will learn how to bring creativity to seafood dishes while sipping local wines and journeying into Astoria’s past and present.

From Mate to Malbec – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Visit Argentina’s stunning urban hub of Buenos Aires to learn the timeless tradition of empanada making. Once comfortable in the kitchen, participants will taste classic dishes like grilled provoleta cheese, sliced chorizo and steak accompanied by a glass of local Malbec wine. The excursion culminates with the opportunity for guests to make their own mate and dessert, ending the day on a sweet note.

Juneau Foodie Walking Tour – Juneau, Alaska
Travelers to the Great Land will explore their way through Juneau’s most renowned flavors during a walking tour to some of the town’s best restaurants. From award-winning crab bisque, famous fish tacos and smoked pork to tasting local Alaska beer and wine, guests will venture through the Gold Rush town on a culinary journey and stroll through downtown Juneau.

The Perfect Paella – Valencia, Spain
Soak in Valencia’s iconic sights like historic landmarks, green spaces and cathedrals, followed by a savory meal featuring one of its most iconic dishes: paella. Guided by a local chef, guests will study the preparation that brings this saffron-seasoned rice dish to plate.

Roots of RussiaSt. Petersburg, Russia
Indulge in a lesson in Russia’s past by making the classic staple of meat pies called “pelmini” at a local restaurant. Participants will pair their creation with 80-proof vodka, a storied spirit that has evolved over 500 years of history.

More information on the new Bon Appétit shore excursions can be found here.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.

About Bon Appétit:
Bon Appétit is where food and culture meet. The award-winning No. 1 food lifestyle brand covers food through the lens of cooking, fashion, travel, technology, design, and home. Bon Appétit has been named to Advertising Age’s A-List for six consecutive years, including Magazine of the Year 2013 and 2017, and Brand of the Year 2015, and has been named to Adweek’s Hot List every year since 2012, including Hottest Food Magazine in 2013 and 2017. Bon Appétit has also been nominated for 23 National Magazine Awards in the past five years, including wins in 2014 for General Excellence and Photography, and in 2017 for General Excellence.

About Princess Cruises:
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise line and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships renowned for their innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities, all provided with the experience of exceptional customer service. As the world’s largest international premium cruise brand, Princess carries two million guests each year to more than 360 destinations around the globe on more than 150 itineraries ranging in length from three to 114 days. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK).

Princess Cruises offers savings to additional travel guests for Caribbean sailings

July 6, 2017

(Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)
(Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

The following is a press release from Princess Cruises:

Princess Cruises today announced a special offer for third and fourth guests to make it easy to bring family and friends onboard. For all Ocean Medallion Caribbean cruises on Regal Princess® and Royal Princess®, sailing November 2017April 2018, Princess is offering a special $99 price for third and fourth passengers.*

Princess offers a wide range of comfortable accommodations for families or groups traveling together. There is room for up to four guests in all types of staterooms — interior, balcony and mini-suites, many with interconnecting options – and each guest can enjoy the ultimate sleep at sea in the Princess Luxury Bed. Developed in collaboration with board-certified sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus and renowned HGTV designer Candice Olson, the bed combines the science of sleep with the pinnacle of design.

New Interactive Games & Family-Friendly Offerings

For game lovers on these Ocean Medallion Class Ships™, the following interactive games will be available.

  • Tagalong Sprint pits guests’ digital companions in a fast and fun race across the ocean floor. Guests will see who can speed across the finish line first in this rhythm-based group game.
  • This or That is an engaging, light-hearted and addictive experience that can be enjoyed by groups of all sizes. Guests will be presented with two opposing choices and vote on which to choose. Choices range from the absurd (“Pet a dinosaur or ride a shark?”) to the more on-topic (“Parasail or kayak?”), and the vote results will be displayed for all to see.

At the newly launched Camp Discovery youth center – created in partnership with Discovery Consumer Products, the licensing arm of Discovery Communications — Princess offers a wide selection of programs and activities where kids and teens will make memories and create keepsakes while sailing on the Caribbean-bound Regal Princess and Royal Princess.

As part of the cruise line’s Discovery at Sea program, there are three center themes where kids and teens can make new friends and participate in activities specially designed to help them Discover, Play, Create and Huddle, including

  • The Treehouse, ages 3-7 (formerly Pelicans): A bright, whimsical forest and animal-themed center including captivating creatures and hands-on activities for kids to focus on play time, creativity and the world around them.
  • The Lodge, ages 8-12 (formerly Shockwaves): Inspired by the great outdoors, this cozy center is filled with sports activities and fun places for kids to explore, hang out and lounge.
  • The Beach House, for ages 13-17 (formerly Remix): Offers a contemporary surf-themed lounge, featuring a cool place for teens to hang out and socialize.

New youth and teen center programming includes MythBusters science activities with new hands-on challenges, featuring show star Tory Belleci. In addition, new Camp Discovery offers destination-themed programs focusing on the Caribbean to immerse young cruisers into the culture, nature and customs of this region.

Families will also enjoy lively concerts, sporting events and hit blockbuster films at Movies Under the Stars, a giant 300-square foot poolside movie theater. Princess makes this experience even more special with personal touches including comfortable chaise lounges and cozy blankets in the evening.

More information about O·C·E·A·N is available at ocean.com

For additional information on Ocean Medallion vacations on Princess Cruises, please visit www.Princess.Com/Ocean.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS or by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.

*Offer valid on interior, balcony and mini suite cabins on seven-day cruises. Excludes holiday cruises. Third and fourth guests for 10-day cruises start from $199.

Princess Cruises debuts 2018-2019 Exotics sailings

May 25, 2017

(Photo collage courtesy of Princess Cruises)
(Photo collage courtesy of Princess Cruises)

The following is a press release from Princess Cruises:

Princess Cruises has debuted its 2018-2019 Exotics program which will take guests to culturally rich and iconic cruise destinations around the globe. With more than 50 departures, ranging in length from three to 111 days, these worldwide cruise itineraries go on sale today.

The diverse deployment includes six ships sailing on 27 unique itineraries throughout five continents, visiting 93 destinations and 47 countries. Guests can book cruises to South America, Southeast Asia and China. In addition, cruisers will experience less-traveled ports aboard the cruise line’s small ship that will circumvent the globe on a 111-day World Cruise sailings roundtrip from Los Angeles or Ft. Lauderdale.

“Our Exotics program offers our guests the chance to travel to intriguing destinations all over the world, allowing our guests to experience different cultures in places they’ve dreamed of visiting,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We’re proud that these award-winning itineraries make us a destination leader in the cruise industry.”

Exotics deployment highlight include:

  1. OCEAN Medallion-enabled Royal Princess sails her maiden voyage around Cape Horn on a 49-day South America Grand Adventure – the cruise line’s largest ship ever to visit South America. Guests will experience the highly anticipated, wearable device powered by a first-of-its-kind interactive technology platform within the One Cruise Experience Access Network. (O•C•E•A•N), making possible a new level of personalization that delivers an enhanced guest experience not previously available in the global vacation industry.
  • Coral Princess sails a new 60-day Circle North Pacific voyage roundtrip Los Angeles, calling to 22 destinations in 8 countries, including Asia, Alaska and Hawaii.
  • Pacific Princess sails a new route on the 111-day World Cruise circumnavigating the Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.
  • Two new 14- and 15-day Grand Asia voyages on Sapphire Princess sailing out of Shanghai and Singapore, complement the previously announced 14-day Majestic Grand Asia voyages on Princess Cruises’ newest ship, Majestic Princess.
  • MORE ASHORE evening stays and overnights will be offered on select itineraries in 18 ports across 5 continents.
  • Guests will enjoy bucket-list destination to more than 20 UNESCO World Cruise Heritage Sites, including Glacier Bay National Park, Singapore Botanical Gardens, Komodo National Park, Great Barrier Reef, Robben Island in Cape Town and more.

Princess’ 2018-2019 Exotics cruise program includes:

Asia: Coral Princess, Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess

Guests can choose from three ships, sailing 18 itineraries to 34 destinations, from four homeports with 31 departures, ranging from three to 60 days.

Coral Princess debuts an epic 60-day Circle North Pacific voyage (roundtrip Los Angeles) that includes Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Guam and Hawaii, as well as the best of Alaska, including Glacier Bay Scenic Cruising, Juneau, Icy Strait Point and our first call to Kodiak in nearly a decade. Nine ports feature MORE ASHORE evening stays in Juneau, Tokyo (Yokohama), Osaka, Seoul (Incheon), Beijing (Tianjin), Shanghai, Taipei (Keelung), Hong Kong and Honolulu. This voyage will also be offered as the following voyages:

  • 28-day Circle North Pacific: Los Angeles to Shanghai
  • 32-day Circle North Pacific: Shanghai to Los Angeles

Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess both return to homeport in Singapore together for a season of cruises ranging from three to 21 days, with stops in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

For the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holidays, Diamond Princess sails a 10-day Southeast Asia and 11-day Malaysian Peninsula & Indonesia voyage, which can be combined for a 21-day vacation.

Additionally, Sapphire Princess sails a 15-day Grand Asia voyage, featuring an overnight in Hong Kong. For the 2019 Lunar New Year, Sapphire Princess will be sailing a seven-day Vietnam & Thailand voyage (roundtrip Singapore).

South America: Royal Princess and Emerald Princess

In South America, two ships sailing seven itineraries to 25 destinations from 4 homeports, with 15 departures ranging from 14 to 49 days are offered.

OCEAN Medallion-enabled Royal Princess sails her maiden voyage to South America on a 49-day South America Grand Adventure, sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles. In addition, Emerald Princess returns to South America, navigating around Cape Horn on five departures between Santiago (Valparaiso) and Buenos Aires.

Royal Princess and Emerald Princess both feature Peru, Chile and an overland to Machu Picchu on the 16-day Andes & South America cruises between Los Angeles and Santiago (Valparaiso), which can be combined with a 14-day Cape Horn cruise for a 30-day Andes & Cape Horn Grand Adventure.

Both ships also sail 19-day Brazilian Adventure cruises between Fort Lauderdale and Buenos Aires, which can be combined with the 14-day Cape Horn cruises for a 33-day Cape Horn & Brazil Grand Adventure.

World Cruise: Pacific Princess

Pacific Princess offers a 111-day World Cruise voyage roundtrip from Los Angeles or Ft. Lauderdale, with 41 destinations, in 27 countries on 5 continents, featuring a circumnavigation around the Cape of Good Hope with overnights in Cape Town and Singapore.

The cruise includes three maiden ports of call to Stewart Island (New Zealand), the remote island of St. Helena (U.K. territory) and Guadeloupe (Pointe-à-Pitre).

For a shorter world voyage, Pacific Princess offers the opportunity to sail a 96-day World Cruise embarking in Los Angeles and disembarking in Ft. Lauderdale. Princess Cruises also offers the opportunity to join the World Cruise for a portion of the journey including a 72-day South Pacific & Indian Ocean, 43-day Australia & Africa, 39-day Africa, South America & Panama Canal, 29-day Hawaii & South Pacific, 24-day Africa & South America and a choice of two 15-day Panama Canal Connoisseur voyages sailing between Los Angeles and Ft. Lauderdale.

 

Cruisetours 

To further enhance the cruise vacation, Princess Cruises is pleased to offer two cruisetours for South America on Emerald Princess and Royal Princess.

During the Iguazú Falls Adventure cruisetour, guests visit Rio de Janeiro with a full-day sightseeing tour taking them to Sugar Loaf Mountain and Christ the Redeemer statue. The tour continues into the jungle at the border of Brazil and Argentina to incredible Iguazú Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the Machu Picchu Explorer cruisetour, guests ascend into the Andes to magical Machu Picchu, another UNESCO World Heritage Site and visit the historic city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley with sightseeing to Sacsayhuaman, Ollantaytambo and an authentic Pisac Market.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company’s website at princess.com.

Caribbean Princess cruise ship unveils extensive renovations

March 28, 2017

Caribbean Princess multi-million-dollar renovation that will be available when the ship is set to sail again on April 6, 2017. The renovation is Princess Cruises‘ largest food and beverage innovation to ever take place during a drydock. Guests will be offered seven new onboard dining destinations.

According to a Princess press release:

The new dining options aboard Caribbean Princess include:

World Fresh Marketplace World Fresh Marketplace (Rendering courtesy of Princess Cruises)
World Fresh Marketplace (Rendering courtesy of Princess Cruises)

World Fresh Marketplace – Replacing Horizon Court (deck 14), World Fresh Marketplace unveils a completely new look and improved layout, featuring freshly-made regional specialties and well-balanced food choices:

  • Breakfast will include 24-hour cereal stations; a designer pancake station with “pancake of the day” stacks; unique hot cereal offerings such as shrimp & grits and polenta porridge.
  • Lunch serves up signature hand-crafted sandwiches, regionally inspired dishes and soups, as well as carvery selections of specialty sausages, hams and roast meats.
  • Dinner selections include breakfast at night with omelets and chicken & waffles, family kitchen comfort foods and a kid-friendly PB&J bar. Night-time offerings will also include a live-action station with stir-fry and customized pasta, plus composed salad choices.
New Planks BBQ (Rendering courtesy of Princess Cruises)
New Planks BBQ (Rendering courtesy of Princess Cruises)

Two Casual Specialty Restaurants – Café Caribe (deck 14 aft) transforms into two new, casual evening specialty restaurants great for families with kids who want to enjoy a special meal in a nice, yet laid back setting. These options include:

  • Planks BBQ – serving up family-style “Planks” of loaded ribs, beef, sausages and chicken plus all the fixings – fries, chili, coleslaw, charred toast and dill pickles. Dinner is served by wait staff for a cover charge of $12 per person. Complimentary buffet-style breakfast and lunch options include savory customizable breakfast bowls and signature soup, freshly tossed salads and fork & knife sandwiches.
  • Steamers Seafood – offers east coast-style Steamers with regional flair including Black & Blue Mussels, Scallops & Sausage, Classic Clams, Shrimp and Sausage and Broiled Scallops, Shrimp and Crab-stuffed Flounder. Dinner is served by wait staff for a cover charge of $12 per person. A delectable lobster tail and King Crab legs can be added for $10. Complimentary buffet-style breakfast and lunch options include specialty egg dishes and ramen bowls with regionally-inspired broths.
Steamers Seafood (Rendering courtesy of Princess Cruises)
Steamers Seafood (Rendering courtesy of Princess Cruises)

Top-Deck Dining Venues – Four Princess top-deck outdoor dining offerings will be revitalized, renamed and enhanced, including:

  • The Salty Dog Grill (formerly Trident Grill) – guests can indulge in “The Ernesto” burger, voted “#1 Burger at Sea” by Cruise Critic from Chef Ernesto Uchimura, as well as signature Princess burgers grilled up with 100 percent handmade beef patties and buns. In addition, guests can choose new Street Tacos of grilled chipotle-lime chicken or roasted sweet potato-green chile with corn tortillas. Loaded fries in tempting varieties include chili cheese and bacon & cheese. Classic hot dogs round out the menu offerings.
  • Slice (formerly Pizzeria) – featuring west coast and east coast offerings, Princess guests will enjoy award-winning signature classic Neapolitan-style pizza. New menu items include Deep Dish Focaccia layered with marinara, meatballs and cheese, California Artisanal Toast including Cali-Avocado or Caprese, as well as Sliced Stromboli, an east coast take on an Italian calzone filled with deli meats and cheese.
  • Coffee & Cones (formerly Scoops) offering treats of gourmet ice-cream sandwiches, complimentary ice cream cones and now brewing specialty coffee on the top deck, serving New Grounds Crafted Coffee.
  • The Mix (formerly Blackbeard’s Bar) – the poolside bar will be updated and redesigned with vibrant colors (full designs will be completed by fall 2017).

In addition to the food and beverage innovations, Caribbean Princess will emerge from drydock with new offerings appealing to families, including Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Centers, upgraded Movies Under the Stars, Princess Luxury Bed and interconnecting staterooms, just in time for the upcoming Europe summer and fall Caribbean seasons. The cruise ship will also be wired for the Ocean Medallion launch that will be available for the 2018 summer Caribbean season.

Princess Cruises will debut Carnival Corporation’s Ocean Medallion

January 10, 2017

Carnival Corporation
(Photo courtesy of Carnival Corporation)

Princess Cruises will be the first Carnival Corporation brand to feature the Ocean Medallion, a wearable device powered by a first-of-its-kind interactive technology platform within the  O·C·E·A·N, One Cruise Experience Access Network. The Ocean Medallion enables a new level of personalization that delivers an enhanced guest experience previously not available in the global vacation industry.

Ocean Medallion Class will be available November 13, 2017, onboard Regal Princess, followed by Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess in early 2018.

The following is an excerpt from a Carnival Corporation press release:

Medallion Class makes Ocean Vacations more personal, immersive, simple and seamless than previously considered possible. At the heart of this personalized experience is the Ocean Medallion, which enables endless vacation possibilities. The Ocean Medallion has no discernible technology – no on-off switch, no charging, no menu to navigate – and can be worn as a pendant on a wristband in a clip or simply placed in a pocket to reveal enhanced services and personalized experiences without guests having to push a button or take any action. The pre-cruise engage will allow guests to provide preferences that detail their wants, needs and desires so that their onboard experience can be personalized.

Pairing with the Ocean Medallion is the Ocean Compass (for both guests and crew). The Ocean Compass is a personal digital experience concierge accessible by all guests using interactive displays throughout the ship, on stateroom TVs or via guests’ own mobile devices.  For example, guests can find their way to venues around the ship; make reservations at the Lotus Spa, specialty dining restaurant and shore excursions; arrange celebrations; view photographs; learn about the destinations they will visit and activities at each port of call and more. The Ocean Compass via Ocean Concierge will invite guests to experiences based on their individual needs, wants and desires.

Loyal Princess cruisers and potential future cruisers collectively feel having an exceptional vacation occurs when guests’ vacation time is spent doing more of what they love. With Ocean Medallion Class on Princess Cruises, there is endless possibility for personalized attention and the ability to truly relax knowing everything will be handled. Some of the initial service innovations include:

  • Ocean Ready: The Ocean Medallion expedites embarkation as required information is added to the guest profile at home.
  • Stateroom Access: The Ocean Medallion will also unlock a guest’s stateroom door – replacing the key card and its sign and sail functions.
  • HERE and NOW: Guests can place dining orders and have them delivered to their current location. For example, by using the Ocean Compass guests can order select food and beverages from a lounge chair and not miss a moment of Movies Under The Stars. While Stargazing with Discovery at Sea on the top deck, parents can order and surprise the kids with hot chocolate without interrupting a moment of the family fun.
  • THERE and THEN: Guests can place a beverage order and have it delivered to where they plan to be at a designated time.  For example, guests wanting to enjoy a glass of wine at the theater can place an order prior to the show and it will be delivered to them at their seat.
    Crew at Your Service: With the OCEAN Medallion, from the moment you embark, your experiences will be curated in alignment with your preferences allowing the crew to assist at all times. For example, a room attendant or bartender will have the ability to assist a guest with booking Lotus Spa services or specialty dining reservations.
  • Ocean Navigate: Accessed through the Ocean Compass, guests can learn the whereabouts of their family as they enjoy activities throughout the ship and be guided seamlessly in finding their way around the ship. Friends and family will also be able to easily communicate with each other through seamless messaging service.

More announcements surrounding innovations and enhancements from Medallion Class Ocean Vacations will be announced in the months leading up to the first sailing on Regal Princess.