Princess Cruises reveals the name of fifth Royal-class ship

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Princess Cruises has revealed its fifth Royal-class ship will be named Enchanted Princess.

Due to launch on June 15 2020, Enchanted Princess will operate European voyages and will be a sister ship to Royal Princess, Regal Princess, Majestic Princess and Sky Princess.

Enchanted Princess’ maiden season sailings will be available to book from November 8 this year.

Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises’ president, said: “The name Enchanted Princess is captivating and conveys the elegance and grace of our new ship which will introduce more travellers to the pleasures and value of cruising.

“We are certain Enchanted Princess will exceed the expectations of our guests, ensuring they have the most memorable cruise.”

Enchanted Princess will be followed by the debut of the sixth Royal-Class ship for Princess Cruises in 2021.

The cruise line also has two new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) powered ships on order to be delivered in late 2023 and spring 2025, bringing its new ship order to five ships in six years.

Construction of the 143,700-tonne, 3,660-guest Enchanted Princess will take place in the Fincantieri Monfalcone shipyard with the ship set to feature an evolution of the design platform used for the cruise line’s existing Royal-Class ships.

Princess Cruises currently operates a fleet of 17 modern cruise ships, sailing to more than 380 destinations across every continent.

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Carnival Corp. demonstrates Medallion’s bandwidth potential

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Carnival Corp. staged a live teleconference from the decks of the Regal Princess, demonstrating the new Medallion technology’s bandwidth and connectivity.

The ship is the first to implement Medallion, part of which is a faster and more reliable internet connection.

During the demonstration in the Bahamas, Carnival attempted to harness 1.5 gigabytes per second of bandwidth to show that connectivity is a rapidly fading concern on ships. Carnival showed that games and video streaming ran adequately on the Medallion internet.

John Padgett, Carnival’s chief experience and innovation officer, presided over the demonstration and said that the largest bandwidth reported to date by a cruise ship had been 580 megabytes per second.

Unlike homes, cell phones or most hospitality venues, cruise ships at sea are out of touch with the usual transmission networks for Internet signals and must rely on satellites. Until recently that service has suffered from slowness, unreliability and expense.

“There’s always been a liability associated with cruising and that has been connectivity,” Padgett said.

He said he hoped the stress test would prove that cruise ships now have the same technical capacity as land resorts for connectivity.

“Once we dispel the myth that connectivity is a problem, we’ll open up the cruise market to new demand,” Padgett said.

To gain better connectivity, Carnival has partnered with SES Networks, which has an array of high and mid-earth orbit satellites, which can shorten the time that signals travel back and forth in the atmosphere, improving connectivity.

Steve Collar, CEO of SES Networks, said on the conference call that the quality of Internet service is affected by the distance to the satellite and by the amount of bandwidth devoted to the transmission.

He compared earlier service on cruise ships to a four-lane highway, and said the bandwidth in the demonstration is more like a 50 or 100 lane highway. The precise amount of bandwidth in use during the call will be subject to later verification.

“Now it’s about making that bandwidth affordable, and seamless and efficient,” Collar said.

Padgett said the super-fast Internet for now is available only on the Regal Princess and he declined to give a timetable for its implementation on other Princess or Carnival Corp. ships. But he said there’s been much progress in making the Internet service faster and more reliable.

“All of our ships have connectivity, and we’ve made a dramatic improvement across the fleet over the past few years,” Padgett said.

Princess ship due in 2019 to be called Sky Princess

Princess Cruises’ fourth Royal-class ship, scheduled to debut in October 2019, will be named the Sky Princess.

The cruise line had a Sky Princess once before.

“Sky Princess continues a Princess Cruises legacy and honours one of our previous ships,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “When Princess merged with Sitmar Cruises in 1988, Sky Princess joined our fleet and sailed with us for 12 years. Now more than 30 years later, a new Sky Princess will join the fleet featuring our modern design platform and contemporary innovations offered to exceed our guests’ expectations.”

The 3,660-passenger ship is the sister to Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess. A fifth Royal-class ship is under construction and will debut in 2020.

Sky Princess will have a number of features found on its sister ships, like a soaring Piazza-style atrium, an adults-only area, a Princess Live! Entertainment venue and youth and teen centres.

Among the ship’s dining venues will be the Salty Dog Grill, Alfredo’s Pizzeria, Vines Wine Bar, Chef’s Table Lumiere and World Fresh Marketplace.

Princess said 80% of staterooms will feature balconies.

Sky Princess will sail Mediterranean cruises in October and November 2019, beginning with a seven-day roundtrip Rome voyage and culminating with a 14-day transatlantic cruise from Barcelona to Fort Lauderdale.

Bookings open Dec. 14. Those with elite status in the Captain’s Circle loyalty program can begin booking a day earlier. Princess is offering reduced deposits of 10% on bookings made by Aug. 31, 2018.