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Old July 5th, 2006, 08:56 PM
Rev22:17 Rev22:17 is offline
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Admiral
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
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Charlotte,

We were on the Tahitian Princess three years ago, and again this past March. I don't think that it needs any TLC, but that might be in the eye of the beholder. Remember that the Pacific Princess is only a Princess ship half the year, then she reverts to P&O, which is also owned by Carnival, for the other half of the year.

My last Princess cruise was aboard MV Tahitian Princess during her inaugural season. I thinght that she needed some major work to bring her up to Princess standards including (1) installation of teak in place of rubber deck matting on the pomenades, (2) provision of the standard teak lounges on the Promenades (which supposedly were on order but had not yet arrived in Papeete), (3) elimiation of the tacky faux display case photos on the doors of storage cabinets in public areas, (4) replacement of the faux wrought iron (painted on glass) on the stairways, (5) serious upgrade of the show lounge, and (6) installation of refrigerators in standard cabins (some passengers need these to store certain medicines). Overall, though, the cruise to "French Polynesian and Samoa" was absolutely wonderful. I'm disappointed that Princess dropped this itienrary.

Remember that the Pacific Princess is only a Princess ship half the year, then she reverts to P&O, which is also owned by Carnival, for the other half of the year.

She actually has been spending the other half of the year with "P&O Cruises Australia," which is a line based in Australia, separate from "P&O Cruises" which is based in the United Kingdom. Both lines are part of Carnival's P&O Princess group, which also includes Swan Hellenic Cruises, Ocean Villiage, and Cunard Lines Limited, all based in the United Kingdom, and Princess Cruises based here in the States. The swap that brought Cunard to the P&O Princess group sent the former P&O Princess German lines, Aida Cruies and A'Rosa Cruises (now merged into Aida), to Carnival's continental European group, which also includes Costa Crociere. I'm not sure if Seaborne remained part of Cunard Lines Limited in the swap or got detached and reassigned elsewhere.

BTW, Swan Hellenic Line is operated mainly for Brits, and has a slightly different configuration; no minisuites like there are on the Tahitian Princess. Swan Hellenic is also owned by Carnival; since it's a one-ship subsidiary, I've been wondering what it will do--obtain another ship, take over one of the older Carnival or Costa ships, or just go into oblivion. Has anybody heard about the future of Swan Hellenic?

Swan Hellenic Cruises was always a specialty/niche product that, as I understand it, focused on educational cruises. The line's web site shows neither cruises beyond March 2007 nor any evidence of plans to acquire another ship, though a letter to past passengers does indicate that the line is "pursuing various alternatives" to acquire another vessel. Based on the content of the letter indicating that the decision to redeploy MV Minerva II with Princess Cruises as MV Royal Princess, I'm more than a little suspicious that the real plan is to shut down the line.

MV R6, MV R7, and MV R8 have a slightly different cabin arrangement than the first five vessels of the R1 class. I doubt that Swan Hellenic Cruises would have done anything to change it.

We're booked on the "new" Royal, departing for the Black Sea from Rome 7/7/07.

That sounds exciting! I'm also eyeing a "Black Sea" cruise for next year, but on Celebrity, because I found one with a fare that I'm willing to pay. I'm waiting until my mext cruise to book aboard, though.

Have a great cruise!

Norm.
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