Enhanced Pacific Princess Emerges from Refurbishment

Enhanced Pacific Princess Emerges from Refurbishment
PHOTO: Princess Cruises’ new livery applied to Pacific Princess. (photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

Princess Cruises’ sole small ship—the 670-guest Pacific Princess—has emerged from a two-week dry-dock refurbishment with a number of enhancements befitting the larger fleet.

“We carefully considered how to incorporate modern design elements and comfort while keeping the traditional elements of small ship cruising that have always been the hallmark of Pacific Princess,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president, in a press release.

“The results are incredible and Pacific Princess now offers approachable luxury for the world-class traveler to craft an authentic cruising experience.”

The line’s multi-year “Come Back New Promise” enhancement program kicked off the updates, and among the multi-million-dollar improvements made to Pacific are new interior colors, patterns and textures—plus 178,000 square feet of new carpet—as well as the line’s signature new exterior hull livery. The classic “Sea Witch” logo now dons the bow larger than ever before.

Overall, the ship maintains its existing Beaux-Arts aesthetic while also modernizing it, such as at the atrium. Lighter tones and style take inspiration from Central Park hotels in New York City.

The ship’s four dining venues have also been enhanced, beginning with the pair of specialty ones. Sterling Steakhouse takes its cues from Rush Street Steakhouses of Chicago and Hollywood Brown Derby with black-and-white portraits of classic and modern film stars lining the restaurant. For Italian, Sabatini’s Restaurant has been updated with a contemporary look and a new forward lounge.

The Club Restaurant steps across the pond to make the main dining room reminiscent of Central London.

Rich woods are accented by light jewel-tones, modern furniture and updated carpets, drapes and chairs. The Panorama Buffet was similarly updated with new carpets, paint, tile, furnishings, drapes and awnings.

Also, the pool deck outside the buffet was given a garden-style enhancement a la South Beach hotels thanks to new tile and refinished teak. Outdoor furniture here includes double bed loungers, sofas, lounge chairs and pool chaises.

Meanwhile, 336 private staterooms were refreshed. New amenities include 700 Princess Luxury Beds developed in partnership with sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus and HGTV designer Candice Olson. Additionally, all accommodations received new carpet, upholstered headboards, modern drapes, along with lamps and sconces with incorporated USB ports.

Suites also were improved with new modern furniture such as sofa sleepers, dining room table and chairs, lounge chairs and desks.

Club Class Mini-Suites are also a new category available onboard complete with VIP perks. Special amenities encompass the reserved Club Class Dining area with preferred seating and an expanded menu, in addition to priority embarkation and disembarkation.

Through December 2017, the Pacific Princess is scheduled to sail several European itineraries before embarking on its 111-day World Cruise from Los Angeles on January 20, 2018.


Carnival Ecstasy returns to service following refurbishment

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The Carnival Ecstasy received new restaurants, bars and shops during a two-week dry dock in the Bahamas.

They include installation of a Guy’s Burger Joint and BlueIguana Cantina poolside, the Alchemy Bar and a Cherry On Top candy store.

The upgrades took place from Jan. 10 to 24.

The Ecstasy is now back in Charleston, S.C., where it sails year-round on four- to 10-day departures.

Royal Caribbean curtails Adventure of the Seas renovation

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Adventure of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International is scaling back renovations to the Adventure of the Seas, citing extensive hurricane damage at the Grand Bahamas Shipyard in Freeport, where the work was scheduled to take place.

Freeport suffered the greatest destruction anywhere in the Bahamas from Hurricane Matthew’s pass last month.

Royal Caribbean said the Adventure will still exit drydock on Nov. 14, but without many of the improvements that had been planned. Some will be added on the first few sailings after drydock.

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Grand Bahama Dockyard

In a letter to travel partners, Royal Caribbean said work will continue on the Dual Racer water slides, FlowRider and Splashaway Bay aqua park with a new opening date of Dec. 10.

Royal Caribbean said its premium steakhouse, Chops Grille, won’t open on the Adventure until early next year. In the meantime, Giovanni’s Table will offer select items on the Chops menu.

Plans to add Izumi, a Japanese restaurant, have been shelved.

Also, the introduction of new suites and staterooms “is no longer possible at this time,” the letter said. Royal Caribbean and travel partners will be contacting guests who had booked those rooms to discuss re-accommodation.

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Boleros Latin Lounge

Improvements that will open for the initial sailing after the drydock include Boleros Latin lounge and the two-story mini-golf course.

In addition to storm damage at the shipyard, Royal Caribbean cited the global rerouting of cargo ships carrying equipment and materials as a factor in the modified renovation plan.

Launched in 2001, the Adventure of the Seas is a Voyager-class ship. In 2014, it received “Royal Advantage” upgrades, including an outdoor movie screen, digital signage, ship-wide WiFi, new Concierge and Diamond lounges, and the changeover of the Portofino restaurant to Giovanni’s Table.