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Old March 12th, 2006, 09:04 PM
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Default New MV Royal Princess...

Everybody,

The new MV Royal Princess, which will enter service in April 2007, is the former MV R8 of defunct Renaissance Cruises. She is now operating as MV Minerva II for sister line Swan Hellenic Cruises in the United Kingdom. She is a sister of MV Pacific Princess (nee MV R3) and MV Tahitian Princess (nee MV R4) also acquired from defunct Renaissance Cruises, though there are some minor differences in cabin configurations that accounts for the slight difference in capacity (684 for MV Pacific Princess and MV Tahitian Princess vs. 680 for the new MV Royal Princess). The smaller ship should allow Princess Cruises to offer a slew of itineraries calling at ports that cannot accommodate larger vessels.

I think that this acquisition is good news, as it indicates that the operation of smaller vessels has been a success for Princess Cruises. Perhaps this indication of success will inspire other lines to acquire vessels of similar size for itineraries that can't support the post-panamax vessels that most lines, including Princess Cruises, are building today.

There's one error in the feature article about this ship (http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/...alprincess.cfm) -- she displaces 30,277 tons rather than the 50,000 tons stated in the article.

Norm.
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Old March 14th, 2006, 09:47 PM
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I was so excited to see that article, I can't believe it!

I've always wanted to do a Med cruise and decided 2007 is the year. I really wasn't keen on going on a big ship so this is just too perfect.

I don't mind the Grand class ships that much but for all the islands, ports in the Med a small ship is so much better.

I'm going to keep my eyes peeled and book as soon as possible as I am sure it will be very popular.
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Old March 15th, 2006, 09:07 AM
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It is about time that some cruise line understands the "value" of smaller ships for the public's cruising enjoyment.

My husband and I LOVE the smaller (more intimate) cruise ships. The food, service, and ambience cannot be matched by the larger mega ships. By the end of a cruise on a smaller ship, you recognize most passengers (by face not necessarily by name) and the crew knows you personally.

No waits for tenders, no long lines at the purser's desk, no competition for seats at the shows or casinos.

Give me the smaller ships ANY DAY!

Slotl
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Old March 20th, 2006, 08:06 AM
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Me, too, me, too!!! I hear the pricing for Summer of '07 will be available March 31st so I am going to keep checking with my TA. I am certain this shi will be a major hit as people do seem to like the smaller ships for
certain itineraries!
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Old March 20th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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Susan,

I don't mind the Grand class ships that much but for all the islands, ports in the Med a small ship is so much better.

In my experience, the size of the ship is much less significant in European ports because the major European ports of call are quite capable of absorbing an extra few thousand people for a day. The only real advantage to a small ship on a cruise to Europe is its ability to get into certain ports like Rosyth (blockec to larger ships by a low bridge across the Firth of Forth) or Hamburg (which requires navigation up a relatively narrow river that might be too narrow for larger ships) that might be inaccessible to larger vessels. For those heading to Europe for the first time, these considerations are not significant because the ports of call that are accessible have plenty -- and I really do mean PLENTY -- to offer. It may be more significant to those who have been to Europe several times and want to visit places where they have not gone before.

That said, the Grand Princess class is not exactly my favorite class of vessels due to several annoying features of their deck plans that I have discussed previously on this board. Unfortunately, the Diamond Princess and {i]Caribbean Princess[/i] classes copy nearly all of those flaws.

Norm.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 08:39 PM
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That's probably true, but the tender process on the bigger ships can be a painstaking process. I experienced it on the Sea Princess last fall when we stopped at Guernsey, a nightmare.

The Royal itinerary has Portofino, which I'd like to see and several other places, the usual Grand itineraries didn't include. I just think cruising with 700 instead of 2,000 sounds better to me.

Sea Princess was fine last year but there were times getting on and off was a challenge and the Sea isn't quite as big as the Grand Class. Plus
the Emerald is going to do the usual itinerary and that's 3,000 people.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 09:38 PM
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Called Princess directly when I saw this on the net and they are absolutely CLUELESS as to any information about this ship...Doesn't give me a good feeling about Princess...but I'm going to a travel s how on Satuirday and will try to get some information.
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Old March 21st, 2006, 07:14 PM
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The travel agents just received their advance information, pricing won't be available until the end of the month for the Europe 2007 season.

The Royal doesn't start sailing for Princess until April 2007 so there won't be much info yet. The latest Princess info I rec'd has the chart ending with April 2007. The ship belongs to Swan H. and two weeks before the Med season starts will be outfitted to be a Princess ship.

The girl I talked to on the phone at Princess was aware of the Royal coming but said she had no pricing or confirmed itineraries she could give me. She knew about the ship, same size as Pacific and Tahitian and said information would be available for 2007 Europe in April.
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Old March 21st, 2006, 09:23 PM
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Susie,

That's probably true, but the tender process on the bigger ships can be a painstaking process. I experienced it on the Sea Princess last fall when we stopped at Guernsey, a nightmare.

I don't recall enough tender ports in Europe for that to be an issue. In fact, the only European port where I recall tendering was Monte Carlo.

BTW, the secret to getting off the ship expeditiously in a tender port is to take a shore excursion. Shore excursions have first priority for tenders at their scheduled times of deperture, so other passengers have to wait whenever a lot of passengers are leaving on excursions.

She knew about the ship, same size as Pacific and Tahitian and said information would be available for 2007 Europe in April.

That's right. It turns out that Renaissance Cruises made some minor changes in the configuration of the balcony cabins and minisuites between the former MV R5 and MV R6, as a result of which the new MV Royal Princess (ex-MV R8 now operating as MV Minerva II for sister line Swan Hellenic Cruises) will carry four fewer passengers than MV Pacific Princess (ex-MV R3) and MV Tahitian Princess (ex-MV R4).

Norm.
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Old March 21st, 2006, 11:30 PM
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I am NOT a fan of mega ships and now it seems c ruise lines just might get the idea that there is a market for smaller and some of theolder ships I'm thrilled.. With big ships and we've been on the RCL BOS and NCL Sky....we feel as if we are just a herd waiting to go from one area to another....Cruising isn't what it was 20 years ago and I don't feel like I'm a snob, but I would like the cruising experience to be more than rock climbing and ice skating. I want to go to sea... I want to have sea days...to read a book, to lie in the sun.. This might be heresy but Baked Alaska dancing in the dining room is tacky....
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Old March 21st, 2006, 11:39 PM
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Travel Agents already have the prices for the new Princess Itineraries. Just give yours a shout.
They're high compared to previous years. 12 days inside starting at around $2,600 ouch!!
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 08:32 AM
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Pricing has been inching its way back to normal for awhile now. Prices reached rock bottom post-911 but could not stay there.

With everything else going up understandably the cruise pricing had to get back to what I would consider normal levels.

Alot of people jumped on the cruise bandwagon the last 5 years, now lets see if they stick with it as pricing goes up!
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susancruzs
Pricing has been inching its way back to normal for awhile now. Prices reached rock bottom post-911 but could not stay there.

With everything else going up understandably the cruise pricing had to get back to what I would consider normal levels.

Alot of people jumped on the cruise bandwagon the last 5 years, now lets see if they stick with it as pricing goes up!
I agree, they're probably back up where they should be. It's just tough when in 2005 we paid that for an FV on Millennium, 12 nights and now that's what Princess wants for an Inside. Makes you think about a land trip!
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 10:14 AM
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so glad to hear that she is back! We sailed on her years ago when she belonged to Princess. We did a 10 day total canal transit that to this day is by far our favorite cruise. She was one classy lady back then hope the same holds true today
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 12:01 PM
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Lisa,

so glad to hear that she is back! We sailed on her years ago when she belonged to Princess. We did a 10 day total canal transit that to this day is by far our favorite cruise. She was one classy lady back then hope the same holds true today

This is not NOT same ship. The former MV Royal Princess, on which you and I have cruised, will continue to operate as MV Artemis for sister line P&O Cruises.

The new MV Royal Princess is a sister to the current MV Pacific Princess and MV Tahitian Princess. She entered service for Renaissance Cruises as MV R8 in 1998 or thereabouts. P&O Princess Cuises Plc., the parent company of Princess Cruises that merged operations with Carnival Corporation in 2003, acquired the vessel out of bankruptcy proceedings in 2002 after Renaissance Cruises went bankrupt in the wake of the "9/11" attack. She has been in service for sister line Swan Hellenic Cruises as MV Minerva II since then.

The new MV Royal Princess has many of the amenities of modern cruising that you will find on Princess's new ships, including two specialty restuarants (Sabatini's and Sterling Steakhouse), that the original MV Royal Princess lacks. She has only one main dining room, though, so she will not offer the "Anytime Dining" option.

Norm.
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Old March 22nd, 2006, 08:14 PM
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I'm sure the name will cause some confusion for awhile! :-) I really enjoyed the former Royal Princess! Early 80's, I sailed with NCL a few times, 1986 went on the Royal P. for a 14 day canal cruise, thought I was in heaven!

In 2001, she was still great, a nice size ship, easy to get around, my
all time favorite really!
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 08:28 AM
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thanks for the clarification, Norm.
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 07:11 PM
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Susie,

I'm sure the name will cause some confusion for awhile!

Probably, but it really should not because it's not exactly the first name that Princess Cruises has recycled. Indeed, there were past ships named Sun Princess, Dawn Princess, Sea Princess, Golden Princess, Star Princess, Island Princess, Pacific Princess, and Crown Princess, too! I don't recall a previous Coral Princess but I can't say for sure that there wasn't also one of those.

I really enjoyed the former Royal Princess!

Yes, she was quite a lady -- truly befitting her both name and her godmother! -- and very innovative for her time. Indeed, many of her innovations are now standard design. She really was the first cruise ship of the modern era.

I must admit that the classic metal room and safe keys and the paper cruise cards did seem rather dated during my cruise to "Scandanavia and Western Europe" in 2001, though.

Norm.
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