Princess Announces Biggest Australian Deployment

Majestic Princess

Princess Cruises today announced its biggest Australia season ever, with five ships sailing from six homeports for the 2019-2020 Australia cruise season.

Three ships, including the Majestic Princess, will complete itineraries to and from Adelaide over the 2019-2020 Australia season.

Other highlights from Adelaide include an 18-day Fiji cruise on Golden Princess and a new 55-day Indian Ocean and South Africa Odyssey cruise on Sun Princess.

“Princess is gearing up for our largest Australian and New Zealand deployment in history, which will see a record number of people cruising on Princess ships over the 2019/2020 season,” said Senior Vice President Princess Cruises Asia Pacific, Stuart Allison

“Our largest ever deployment will feature five ships sailing from six homeports on over 125 departures across more than 60 itineraries to over 100 destinations in 30 countries. The arrival of Ruby Princess, combined with news of Majestic’s return before she’s completed her maiden season here, means we’ll have two of the four latest Princess ships sailing in this region which speaks to the momentous growth of our market.”

“The cruise industry is integral to South Australia’s $6.3 billion visitor economy,” said Rodney Harrex, Chief Executive, The South Australian Tourism Commission.

“Princess Cruises’ continued commitment to Adelaide demonstrates that South Australia is a key player in the cruise industry. We are delighted to welcome these cruise ships, passengers and crew to our State and look forward to visitors getting a taste of some our world-class experiences so easily accessible from Adelaide.”

The 2019/2020 Australian cruise season will be Princess’ largest in history. The 900+ day Australian deployment will see Princess carry more guests than ever onboard five ships on itineraries from Sydney, Perth (Fremantle), Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Auckland, the company said.

The season is spearheaded by the maiden arrival of the Ruby Princess and the return of the Majestic Princess. Cruising 444 cruise days out of Sydney, Majestic and Ruby will generate a combined landmark capacity of over 100,000 guests, a 25 percent increase on the 2018-2019 season, the company said.

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Princess Cruises reveals next three ships to get Ocean Medallion

Image result for Princess Cruises ocean medallion

The next three Princess Cruises ships to feature wearable Ocean Medallion technology for passengers have been revealed.

Golden Princess (November 2018), Crown Princess (November 2018) and Ruby Princess (January 2019) join four other Princess ships scheduled to use the system.

Regal Princess will be the first from November 13, followed by Royal Princess on January 19, 2018, Caribbean Princess on March 18, 2018 and Island Princess on May 16, 2018.

Golden Princess returns to Melbourne from October 2018 to April 2019 with departures to South Pacific, Tasmania, South Australia and New Zealand.

Crown Princess will feature Ocean Medallion for the autumn 2018 Caribbean season. With this news, all Princess Cruises Caribbean cruisers will experience Ocean Medallion.

Ruby Princess will be sailing from Los Angeles for a season of West Coast cruising in early 2019.

Jan Swartz, group president of Princess Cruises and Carnival Australia, said: “With the addition of Golden Princess to the fleet of Medallion Class ships, we will make available a more personalised holiday to guests sailing in and around Australia.

“And, as we continue to enhance our ships with the Ocean Medallion, we do so to further our commitment in providing our guests the most memorable and relaxing holiday.”

Ocean Medallion goes beyond the growing number of wearables used by theme parks and other holiday companies by leaving behind the required action of ‘tap’ and “ushering in a new paradigm for guest interactions,” Carnival Corporation claims.

Princess passengers on why they booked direct

The number of travelers booking directly with cruise lines keeps growing, despite efforts by cruise lines to direct business to travel agents.

On a recent cruise aboard the Ruby Princess, I surveyed 25 passengers at random about how they bought their cruise. It was an unscientific sample of a fraction of the ship’s 3,000 passengers.

Ten of the 25 passengers I talked with had booked directly with Princess Cruises. Of the 15 that booked with a travel agent, nine had used agents they had some personal relationship with, while six booked through online agencies or non-traditional travel retailers, such as Costco.

So about 40% of my sample group booked direct. That’s a little higher than the most recent CLIA survey data, which suggests about 30% are booking direct, up from a 20-80 split 10 years ago.

In this report, I’ll address the passengers who booked direct and the reasons they gave for doing so. In next week’s follow-up, I’ll discuss the passengers who used a travel agent.

Donald and Erika Smith, of Melbourne, Fla., cited convenience as the reason they booked directly with Princess. “If you want to make a change, it’s easier than going through an agent,” said Donald Smith, who is retired from the aircraft parts industry and was on his 26th cruise.

James Wetherill, from Queensland, Australia, said that agents in Australia are “not knowledgeable” about the details of cruises in North America.

Another passenger said she knows someone who works for Princess and got a friends and family discount.

Mark from Las Vegas, who declined to give his last name, sang the praises of the Princess website. “You can see exactly what’s available very clearly. You can make an informed decision,” he said.

Some passengers said they used travel agents for previous or future trips but decided to book this particular trip with Princess directly. Others expressed an indifference that is remarkable to anyone who sells cruises for a living or knows someone who does.

It was basically six of one, a half-dozen of the other to Karen Brown, of Southern California, who bought the seven-day Mexican Riviera cruise from Princess.com. Brown shrugged and said, “Sometimes we use a travel agent,” citing a past cruise when an agent offered a free gratuities promotion.