Royal Caribbean Sets Return To San Juan and St. Maarten

October 25, 2017.

Royal Caribbean International today announced the cruise line’s return to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Philipsburg, St. Maarten, marking a major milestone towards the revival of these Caribbean islands which were impacted by the recent hurricanes. On Nov. 30, Freedom of the Seas will be the first ship in the fleet to call on San Juan, Puerto Rico, arriving with approximately 3,782 visitors to the island that is renowned for its passionate, welcoming spirit. Grandeur of the Seas will follow suit on Dec. 17 as the first cruise ship to sail into, St. Maarten since Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas arrived to provide humanitarian relief last month. This announcement comes on the heels of Royal Caribbean’s recent news that Adventure of the Seas will be the first ship to call on St. Thomas on Nov. 10.

“Royal Caribbean is encouraged by the commendable progress that has been made by the governments of Puerto Rico and St. Maarten towards the recovery of these destinations and it means a lot to us that we are heading back home. We have been part of the Caribbean community for almost 50 years, and for all of us it has been paramount that we focus on supporting our long-standing partners – who feel more like family after so many years,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Supporting these destinations that are so reliant on tourism is key to the future of the islands and the best thing we – as travelers and businesses – can do for the islands.”

With power and transportation on track to be readily available in San Juan by Nov. 30, guests can tour the city by foot, bike, Segway or bus; explore the fortresses of El Morro and San Cristobal in Old San Juan; spend the day on the beach at VIVO Beach Club; or admire the countryside through Cueva Ventana – the Window Cave – which sits atop an 800-foot limestone cliff.

Similarly, the return of power and water to most of St. Maarten means that a majority of the shops, restaurants and bars, and tour operators around Philipsburg will be fully operational for guests to experience a diverse and extensive array of dining, shopping and activities in the area. The sun and vistas of the region’s best beaches, Great Bay Beach and Kimshaw Beach, will be a beacon for guests wanting to dive into the turquoise blue waters and admire the sea life, whether by boat or catamaran, or from the relaxing comfort of a beach lounger.

As of Nov. 30, all scheduled calls to San Juan and St. Thomas across 10 ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet will operate as planned – including calls from the world’s largest cruise ships each sailing with nearly 6,000 new visitors each week – Oasis of the SeasAllure of the Seas and Harmony of the Seas. The scheduled visits to St. Maarten will operate as planned starting on Dec. 17 with the exception of Oasis of the Seas, which will make its first call to the island on January 1 during her New Year’s Eve cruise.

Additionally, the cruise line will return to St. Croix on January 8 with the arrival of Jewel of the Seas, which will sail from San Juan. All calls to Dominica are cancelled through June 2018 and the cruise line is working closely with the local government on a return date to the destination. For more information on Royal Caribbean’s newly updated Caribbean itineraries, visit RoyalCaribbean.com

Princess Cruises Announces 2018-2019 Americas Season

 May 23, 2017.

 

Princess Cruises has announced its 2018-2019 Americas cruise itineraries including sailings to the Caribbean, Panama Canal, Mexico, Hawaii, the California Coast, and Alaska.

Royal Princess, Regal Princess, Caribbean Princess and Island Princess will be OCEAN Medallion enabled for this fall 2018-spring 2019 season. Guests will experience the highly anticipated, wearable device powered by a first-of-its-kind interactive technology platform within the One Cruise Experience Access Network™ (O·C·E·A·N™), making possible a new level of personalization that delivers an enhanced guest experience.

Americas program highlights of the upcoming 2018-2019 season include:

  • The debut of Royal Princess on the West Coast as the cruise line’s largest ship ever to sail to Mexico.
  • Two new seven-day Pacific Coast itineraries featuring 7-day roundtrip departures from Seattle along the California Coast and 7-day roundtrip San Francisco to British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest.
  • Largest offering of 5-day Cabo San Lucas Getaways with nine all including overnight stays in the most popular port of Mexico.
  • An expanded program of our Caribbean 7-day itineraries, now with departures on both Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Returning season of three ways to see the Panama Canal – from the East Coast, from the West Coast or Ocean to Ocean.
  • More sailings to Alaska roundtrip from Los Angeles with Ruby Princess and Star Princess both sailing on a 12-day itinerary in April 2019.
  • MORE ASHORE evening stays will be offered on select itineraries in the Caribbean, California and Hawaii, including Aruba, Curacao, St. Thomas, Cozumel, San Francisco, San Diego, Long Beach and Honolulu – and overnight stays in Cabo San Lucas on the 5- and 10-day voyages from Los Angeles.
  • UNESCO World Cruise Heritage Site opportunities offered, including the Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park in St. Kitts, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park from Hilo, Casco Viejo in Panama City and Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.

 

Mexico

Royal Princess debuts sailing from Los Angeles as the largest Princess ship to sail the Mexican Riviera on a series of seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises. The ever-popular Mexican Riviera voyages return, and are available as seven-day cruises from Los Angeles visiting the ports of Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas, or as 10-day voyages from San Francisco with the added port of Manzanillo.

The 10-day Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez cruise returns on Star Princess, sailing from Los Angeles to the ports of La Paz, Loreto, Puerto Vallarta with an overnight stay in Cabo San Lucas.

Princess Cruises is offering more 5-day Cabo San Lucas Getaways than ever which include MORE ASHORE evening stays in Cabo San Lucas on Emerald Princess and Star Princess.

California Coast

Royal Princess will sail for the first time along the California Coast from Los Angeles to Vancouver, B.C. on a seven-day Pacific California Coast visiting San Diego, Seattle and San Francisco for a MORE ASHORE evening and overnight.

Ruby Princess sails a brand new seven-day Northern California Coast voyage sailing roundtrip from Seattle with stops in Monterey, Astoria, and MORE ASHORE late evening stays in San Francisco and Victoria, B.C.

Also new for 2018 is a seven-day Pacific Northwest Coast cruise on Grand Princess sailing roundtrip from San Francisco visiting Astoria, Vancouver, B.C. , Victoria, B.C. and a More Ashore late evening stay in Seattle.

The Classic California Coast sailings return with seven-day voyages roundtrip from Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as a 10-day voyage from Vancouver.  Star Princess and Emerald Princess will also sail on select four-day West Coast Getaway voyages from Los Angeles including Santa Barbara or Catalina Island as well as Ensenada, Mexico.

MORE ASHORE longer evening stays are featured on every call to San Francisco on these Coastal itineraries.

Caribbean

The newly renovated Caribbean Princess sails 14-day Circle Caribbean voyages cruising roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, including visits to Martinique, Barbados, Trinidad, Aruba, Curacao, Antigua, St. Thomas, Amber Cove and St. Kitts. Guests can choose a special sailing spanning both Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Small ship Pacific Princess sails a holiday 14-day Caribbean Connoisseur voyage, visiting islands not typically included on other Caribbean itineraries, for an off-the-beaten path exploration including St. Barthelemy, Iles Des Saintes (maiden call), Grenadines, Tobago, and Virgin Gorda.

Crown Princess returns to the popular 10-day Southern Caribbean Medley and 10-day Eastern Caribbean Voyager which can be combined for a 20-day vacation. Seven-day Eastern Caribbean voyages will be offered on Regal Princess, Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess with the choice of Saturday and Sunday departures. Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess will also offer a new 7-day Caribbean Explorer itinerary on select dates visiting San Juan, Amber Cove, Grand Turk and a stop at our private beach resort Princess Cays.

Regal Princess, Royal Princess and Caribbean Princess will all offer seven-day Western Caribbean voyages departing on Saturday or Sunday all visiting Grand Cayman and Cozumel, with two itinerary options including Roatan and Belize City or Jamaica (Falmouth) and Princess Cays.

Ports of calls with MORE ASHORE evening calls include Barbados, St Thomas, Aruba, St. Maarten and Curacao.

Panama Canal

Caribbean Princess and Island Princess both offer a transit through the locks and a day of scenic cruising through Gatun Lake from the Atlantic Ocean roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale on 10-day Panama Canal with Costa Rica & Caribbean voyages.  Caribbean Princess will sail via the expanded Agua Clara locks while Island Princess transits the historic Gatun locks.

Coral Princess, Island Princess and Pacific Princess all sail 15-day Panama Canal – Ocean to Ocean cruises with a full transit through all three sets of the historic locks – Gatun, Pedro Miguel and Miraflores Locks.

Coral Princess sails roundtrip from Los Angeles for transits through the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks for a 19-day Panama Canal Pacific Adventure.

Hawaiian Islands and Tahiti

Every 15-day Hawaiian Islands departure includes the four most popular islands – Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the big island of Hawaii, with roundtrip departures from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver.  Every voyage features a MORE ASHORE evening stay in Honolulu.  (Editor’s Note: Ruby Princess sails from Los Angeles on a 15-night cruise and I am already booked for the March 11, 2019, sailing!)

Emerald Princess and Star Princess will sail on two 28-day departures to Hawaii, Tahiti & Samoa in fall and spring roundtrip from Los Angeles.  Both departures feature MORE ASHORE in Honolulu and Tahiti (Papeete).

Alaska – 12-day Alaska Inside Passage – Roundtrip Los Angeles

Returning due to popular demand, Ruby Princess and Star Princess will sail on 12-day Inside Passage Alaska sailings roundtrip from Los Angeles in April 2019. Port calls include Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria, B.C. with scenic cruising of Glacier Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.