The Disney Wonder transited the Panama Canal on April 29, making it the first passenger vessel to go through the canal’s new set of locks, marking a milestone for the cruise industry.
I transited the original locks just a couple weeks ago and didn’t realize the new locks are just a few hundred feet east. In the above photo you can see a red and white ship in the background preparing to enter the “old” Gatun Locks.
For some background on Disney Wonder, the ship was transformed in late 2016, expanding the length of the Disney Wonder to 984 feet and accommodating 2713 guests. Headlining the ship’s enhancements are new imaginative spaces for children – including areas themed to the Marvel Universe and Disney’s “Frozen” – a jazzy restaurant inspired by Disney’s “Princess and the Frog,” and an authentic neighborhood English pub with subtle nods to classic Disney films.
The Disney Wonder Panama Canal crossing is part of a 14-night voyage from Port Canaveral, Fla., to San Diego, where the ship will sail cruises to Baja, Mexico, before a summer season from Vancouver to Alaska.
March 16, 2017 – Caribbean Princess will undergo an extensive two-week drydock in Freeport, Bahamas, March 26-April 6. She will emerge with new features including Camp Discovery Youth & Teen Center, upgraded Movies Under the Stars, Princess Luxury Bed and interconnecting staterooms. The cruise ship will also be wired for the Ocean Medallion launch that will be available for the 2018 summer Caribbean season.
New Caribbean Princess family-friendly features include:
For cruisers ages 3-17, Caribbean Princess will now offer a reimagined youth center – Camp Discovery – created in partnership with Discovery Consumer Products, the licensing arm of Discovery Communications, as part of the cruise line’s Discovery at Sea program. Catering to specific age groups, there are three themes where kids and teens can make new friends and participate in activities specially designed to help them Discover, Play, Create and Huddle, including:
The Treehouse, ages 3-7 (formerly Pelicans): A bright, whimsical forest and animal-themed center including captivating creatures and hands-on activities for kids to focus on play time, creativity and the world around them.
The Lodge, ages 8-12 (formerly Shockwaves): Inspired by the great outdoors, this cozy center is filled with sports activities and fun places for kids to explore, hang out and lounge.
The Beach House, for ages 13-17 (formerly Remix) offers a contemporary surf-themed lounge, featuring a cool place for teens to hang out and socialize.
New youth and teen center programming includes MythBusters science activities with new hands-on challenges, featuring show star, Tory Belleci. In addition, new Camp Discovery destination-themed programs focusing on Europe and the Caribbean will be offered.
Caribbean Princess debuts 87 interconnecting staterooms, offering more room and comfort for all family members to enjoy.
A new HD Movies Under the Stars outdoor movie screen will offer a higher resolution picture with double the image quality of previous systems.
Caribbean Princess will receive 3,200 new Princess Luxury Beds and linens. Developed in collaboration with board-certified sleep expert, Dr. Michael Breus and HGTV designer Candice Olson, the bed combines the science of sleep with the pinnacle of design.
In addition, Caribbean Princess offers Club Class Mini-Suites, the new premium stateroom category featuring VIP amenities and exclusive dining. This elevated mini-suite category features select perks including new Club Class Dining, a reserved dining area with expedited seating and expanded menu options as well as priority embarkation and disembarkation.
Europe 2017 and 2017 – 2018 Caribbean
The newly renovated Caribbean Princess will start her Europe season with a Transatlantic sailing on April 6th, continuing throughout the summer in the British Isles with sailings featuring ports in Scotland, Ireland, and Iceland.
She will then visit the Panama Canal in October, transiting the new Agua Clara locks, and spending the holiday season in the Caribbean.
Additionally, for the first time in four years, Princess Cruises offers Summer Caribbean cruises, including Panama Canal transits in 2018. The Caribbean Princess returns to sail on a full summer season of voyages ranging from seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean to a 20-day Caribbean and Panama Canal Explorer.
The 2018 April to October summer program features 47 departures, roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, including eight unique itineraries visiting 23 destinations in 22 countries. In addition, four ports offer late night stays so guests have more time to explore the evening offerings these destinations have to offer.