From its modest beginnings in 1965 with a single ship cruising to Mexico, Princess has grown to become one of the premiere cruise lines in the world. Today, its fleet carries more than a million passengers each year to more worldwide destinations than any other major line. Considered one of the most recognized cruise lines in the world, Princess Cruises was catapulted to stardom in 1977 when Pacific Princess was cast in a starring role on a new television show called “The Love Boat.” The weekly series, which introduced millions of viewers to the still-new concept of a sea-going vacation, was an instant hit and both the company name and its seawitch logo have remained synonymous with cruising ever since.
Affordable Luxury and an Abundance of Balconies
In addition to incorporating a wide range of choices, vessels in the Princess fleet are specifically designed to provide the ultimate in affordable luxury, with an emphasis on “big ship choice with small ship feel.” No matter the size of the ship, public spaces are designed to feel intimate and are decorated in a contemporary style, allowing passengers to enjoy themselves in an informal, relaxed onboard atmosphere that mirrors today’s lifestyles. The company has also long been the leader in building ships specifically designed to accommodate an extensive number of the most sought-after shipboard luxury — the private balcony. In the mid-1980s Princess pioneered the concept of the affordable veranda, once an exclusive feature incorporated in only the most expensive suites. Today, Princess’ fleet offers one of the highest percentages of balcony cabins in the industry, across all cabin categories. The physical design and decor of the ships, coupled with Princess’ hallmark service excellence, creates an onboard atmosphere of relaxed luxury in which passengers can enjoy their perfect vacation experience.
Innovation in Passenger Choices
Building on past success, Princess is continually evolving to meet the needs of the today’s vacationer. In the mid-1990s the company pioneered the concept of putting passengers in control of their own cruise experience with the introduction of its Sun-class ships. These revolutionary vessels gave passengers the freedom to choose from a wide range of flexible onboard facilities, amenities and services in order to create a personal vacation experience that takes the regimentation out of the cruise experience and suits each passenger’s own needs and preferences. Today, the line’s emphasis on choice is apparent across the fleet, with each vessel offering its own unique version of a host of multiple dining options and locations; flexible and varied entertainment selections; renowned customer service; and a full complement of onboard activities including a variety of ScholarShip@Sea enrichment classes featuring computer training, ceramics, culinary arts, finance and photography. Some vessels even sport a giant Times Square-style “Movies Under the Stars” LED screen showing poolside movies and concerts. Often imitated but never duplicated, the Princess concept of cruise vacation customization has since been adopted as the touchstone of new ship design for the entire cruise industry.
Romance at Sea
As befits the cruise line that starred in “The Love Boat,” Princess continues to emphasize romance with a variety of special onboard features designed to help couples celebrate their love. Princess was the first ” and is still currently the only ” major North American cruise line on which passengers can be wed at sea by the ship’s captain. In addition, the line regularly hosts vow renewal ceremonies, anniversaries and even dramatic marriage proposals with the unique “Engagement Under the Stars” program for passengers who want to “pop the question” on the ship’s 300-square-foot LED Movies Under the Stars screen. Special room service packages help passengers enjoy time alone together with all the ingredients for a romantic evening. Princess Cruises is part of Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL and CUK), one of the largest vacation companies in the world.
Princess’ philosophy of choice is also reflected in its sailing schedule. Offering voyages to more worldwide cruise destinations than any other major line, Princess has nearly 100 itineraries ranging from seven to 102 days. The line sails to all seven continents and calls at approximately 280 ports around the world. Princess passengers can enhance their cruise experience through the Adventures Ashore® program featuring more than 2,000 in-port excursions worldwide, and the company’s expanding cruise tour offerings enable passengers to combine their cruise with a full land tour. Destinations include the Caribbean, Alaska, Panama Canal, Europe, Mexican Riviera, South America, Australia/New Zealand, South Pacific, Hawaii, Tahiti/French Polynesia, Asia, India, Africa, Canada/New England, Antarctica and world cruises. Having led the way in Gulf of Alaska cruising, Princess maintains a strong presence in Alaska. Through its Seattle-based Princess Tours division, the company operates a wide variety of spectacular land and sea experiences in the majestic “Land of the Midnight Sun.” The largest cruise and tour operator in the state, Princess operates as many as eight cruise ships, five riverside wilderness lodges, luxury Princess Rail domed rail cars, and a fleet of deluxe motor coaches; allowing cruise passengers to connect seamlessly to a landside tour and experience several distinctly unique facets of the Alaska wilderness in a single trip.