Sky Princess might be Princess Cruises' fourth Royal-class ship, but the line is still finding ways to perfect the model and add new amenities to get you excited for its October 2019 debut. The 3,560-passenger ship will include fan favorites, such as Movies Under the Stars, the Salty Dog Grill (with its famous Ernesto Burger), multi-story Piazza, Princess Live! entertainment venue and kids clubs created in partnership with Discovery.
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Sponsored by Princess Cruise Line Alaska: It's home to majestic mountain peaks, calving glaciers and exotic wildlife as well as a culturally rich history that began with the settling of Alaskan Natives. Then there was the Klondike Gold Rush and, today, port towns -- large and small -- are attracting new waves of settlers. This time, they're naturalists, adventurers, entrepreneurs and artisans. If you haven't cruised Alaska yet, it's time. In this day-by-day report from an Alaska cruise, we invite you to come along with us as we share our seven best reasons (one for each day in port) and then some about why this is a trip you must take. We sailed aboard Princess Cruises' Star Princess, on its seven-night Voyage of the Glaciers itinerary. What's unique about Voyage of the Glaciers is that you get to see the Inside Passage's trio of marquee ports, Skagway, Ketchikan and Juneau, and you also get two days of glacier spotting --both at Glacier Bay and at College Fjord -- along with a trip through Prince William Sound. We started out from Vancouver and our cruise disembarked in Whittier, a port city that serves Anchorage (this itinerary is also offered in the reverse direction). Join us!
Princess is known for its understated elegance, but as the cruise line began designing for the Royal Class, which debuted in 2014 with Regal Princess, it looked for new ways to wow passengers. As a result, all four of the Princess Royal-class ships are the largest in the fleet, carrying more than 3,500 passengers each, and they all come packed with new features.
Princess Cruises' fleet consists of 17 ships (with an 18th coming at the end of 2019) spread across five physical ship classes, plus an additional class -- MedallionClass -- tied to the use of next-generation tech. Classes tend to be more similar than dissimilar, with the most noticeable
Cruise travelers with disabilities have concerns that others might never consider. Can they open their stateroom door and smoothly roll in on a wheelchair? Can they easily take a shower? Is it possible to get off the ship in port or hear the evening show? The best cruise lines have already thought through these questions. They aim to give these passengers extra peace of mind and a relaxing vacation. While all cruise ships (even foreign-flagged ones) sailing in U.S. waters should be compliant with the U.S. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), there aren't standards specifically addressing cruise ships, which means that some lines do more than others. To help you find the best ship for your needs, we're highlighting the vessels that excel in physical accessibility and also accommodate passengers with hearing and visual impairments. In most cases, we recommend the cruise lines' newest ships, which have the most cabins for disabled users and incorporate the latest designs that take into account limitations faced by those traveling with handicaps. We also call out a few fleetmates, older ships that get consistently positive reviews from travelers with disabilities.
The total price of a cruise is rarely just the ticket price and some government fees. While accommodations, most meals and tons of activities are included in your fare, you will have to pay extra for an array of tempting amenities and activities, like spa treatments, shore excursions and cocktails. If you're on a budget, it can be tricky to figure out just what your total vacation cost will be and what kind of extra charges to anticipate. While a $7 pina colada likely won't break the bank, you might be surprised to discover how quickly an exercise class here and a round of bingo there can add up. To help you figure out how much you might actually spend on a cruise vacation, we've culled and tallied the prices of common extra charges found on weeklong Caribbean cruises and listed them for eight popular -- and amenity-laden -- cruise ships. We've also added in the daily gratuities for each passenger in a standard cabin. (Tips for suite passengers might be higher.) Use these numbers as a guide to help you calculate the total price of a cruise. Editor's Note: Prices may vary by ships within the same cruise line, as well as by itinerary, and they're subject to change at any time, without notice; these prices were accurate as of July 2018. We realize that travelers will not rack up every one of these charges every day, but we have presented both the prices and a sample a la carte cost for one day to make the point that onboard charges can accumulate rapidly.
Even the healthiest cruisers sometimes crave the juicy beef and tasty toppings afforded by a great hamburger. That's why we've decided to call out cruise lines that boast the best burgers the industry has to offer. Some are free, and some require you to hand over a bit of extra dough, but all are superb. (Don't worry, vegetarians; there are some options for you, too.)
It's no secret that a dissatisfied teen on vacation can create a messy imbalance among an otherwise happy family. Parents are wise to seriously consider their teen's personality and input when choosing a cruise ship for their next family cruise. Today's cruise ships cater to teens more than ever before with increasingly larger teen clubs (some of which have discos, lounges and outdoor sun decks), spa treatments for adolescents and casual and flexible dining options. The smartest cruise lines also separate out tweens (generally ages 12 to 14) from older teens. Speaking from experience, here are our editors' picks of the best cruises for teens.
Although many people think that Australia and New Zealand are the same, the island nations coexist in the South Pacific as close neighbors with completely different personalities. Aussies and Kiwis enjoy a healthy sibling rivalry on the sporting field, but New Zealand has its own distinct offerings that cannot be compared to Australia's. The Maori culture is one of the strongest in all of Polynesia, and if you've seen the breathtaking, sweeping vistas portrayed in blockbuster movies like "Lord of the Rings," you won't be disappointed; this is where they were filmed. The early Polynesian inhabitants called New Zealand "Aotearoa," which means "The Land of the Long White Cloud." Ever since European traders and whalers arrived in the late eighteenth century, it has retained a reputation for being ruggedly beautiful and mysterious, a land of geysers and glaciers that's a fusion of Maori and British. The country is neatly packaged up in two halves. The North and South islands are separated by the Cook Strait, which is just more than 19 kilometers wide at its narrowest point. The North Island is more heavily populated, featuring bigger cities that include Auckland and the nation's capital, Wellington. The South Island is the true star of the show, with its wide-open spaces, spectacular mountains, lakes and glaciers. From the Bay of Islands at the top of the North Island to dramatic Fiordland in the far south, cruising New Zealand opens up a world of natural wonders and reveals a vibrant culture. It's also one of the safest countries in which to travel, with efficient airline networks, generally good roads, and excellent healthcare, and emergency and hospital facilities.
You've just signed up for your first Princess Cruise featuring Ocean Medallion technology, but you're not feeling confident about using it. Just how is a casino chip-sized disc supposed to enhance your cruise experience? After testing out the technology ourselves, we've compiled eight tips to help
When Royal Caribbean's gargantuan and game-changing Oasis of the Seas debuted as the then-world's largest ship in 2009, people wondered if anyone would bother to get off the ship in port, as it could take a week to try out all the onboard activities. With 24 dining options, 21 pools and hot tubs, multiple live performance venues (including an ice rink and AquaTheater for high-diving shows) and seven "neighborhoods," the ship practically guarantees that no one will have trouble finding something to do. But you don't need to sail on a 5,400-passenger ship to get the most from your days at sea. Any ship will do if you're content to spend your onboard time passed out on a sun lounger. But if you want the right mix of activity and relaxation options, it's key to pick the right ship with enough onboard attractions and programming to keep you entertained from sun-up to sun-down. Here's our selection of the best ships for days at sea, chosen based on their variety of indoor and outdoor pursuits, plus plenty of daytime dining options. And if you need more inspiration, check out our companion piece: Top 10 Things to Do on Sea Days.