Pullmantur

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Pullmantur Highlights

  • Marketed primarily to Spanish speakers
  • Spain-based, owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
  • Spanish influence means early seating dinner is at 8 p.m.
  • Pullmantur News: Update: Engine Room Fire Disables Cruise Ship Near Venice

Pullmantur Fleet (2)

Zenith, which was built for Celebrity Cruises in 1992, joined Pullmantur in 2007. At 47,255 tons and 1,440 passengers, it's the largest ship yet to join the Pullmantur fleet, and like many of its fleetmates, offers larger-than-average cabins. The decor is more modern than most of the company's other ships; it went through a major refurbishment before entering service with Pullmantur. On the other hand, the ship isn't quite as spacious as Holiday Dream or Pacific Sky.

A trio of ships joined the fleet in 2008, replacing older hardware whose time had come.

The 48,563-ton, 1,602-passenger Empress was built in 1990 as Nordic Empress, which later became Royal Caribbean's Empress of the Seas. Cabins are smaller than on most other Pullmantur ships, but there are more balconies, and the ship brings the company its first atrium and first two-deck dining room.

Sovereign, formerly Royal Caribbean's 1988-built Sovereign of the Seas, was transferred to Pullmantur in November 2008. The 73,192-ton, 2,276-passenger ship is widely acknowledged as the world's first mega-ship.

In 2009, Pullmantur introduced the 46,811-ton, 1,875 passenger Pacific Dream, which most recently sailed for the U.K.-based Island Cruises as Island Star. Also joining the fleet in 2008 was Ocean Dream, which formerly sailed as P&O Cruises Australia's 33,250-ton, 1,022-passenger Pacific Star. Built in 1981 as Tropicale, the ship had a massive refit in 2001 when it moved to the Costa fleet as Costa Tropicale, and consequently has unusually modern, stylish interiors for a Pullmantur ship. Large cabins are another feature in common with many of the company's other ships, as is an abundance of open deck space.

Onboard

The Pullmantur ships offer all the trappings of a traditional cruise -- with a Spanish accent. This means two-seating dining: early seating dinner is at 8 p.m. and late seating at 10:15 p.m. (one example of the Spanish preference for evening meals), production shows, a spa and gym, casino, shops, youth programs and pretty much everything else you'd expect of a typical mass-market cruise experience.

Needless to say, the main onboard language is Spanish, but since the ships are also marketed in Northern Europe, printed materials and such do come in English, and international passengers are welcome. That said, non-Spanish speakers are certainly in the minority, so this is a cruise line best for those who speak Spanish or don't mind being around a lot of people with whom they don't share a common language. (The crew, however, speaks English.)

While Pullmantur is certainly not a luxury cruise line, most passengers seem happy with the product and appreciate the good value it represents.

Fellow Passengers

Like most mass-market lines, Pullmantur attracts a wide cross-section of passengers, though naturally on these cruises they're mainly Spanish (or Brazilian during the winter months); nevertheless you'll find passengers of all ages and types. There may also be some non-Spanish-speaking passengers from Northern Europe or Canada, where some tour operators market Pullmantur's cruises.
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