We are long-time Carnival cruisers and are booked to do our first Princess cruise in November. We have done a few behind-the-scenes ships' tours on Carnival and know that you have to ask questions to even find if they are available since they are not really advertised.
Our question now is whether Princess Cruise Lines also offers this type of tour, and, if they do, how do you go about booking such a tour?
Thanks in advance ... Gazelle2
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NCL - Pride of America - May 2011
Carnival Elation - February 2011
Carnival Elation - November 2010
Carnival Dream - October 2010
RCL Oasis of the Seas - May/June 2010
Carnival Fantasy - April 2010
HAL Ryndam - September 2009
Carnival Holiday - May 2009
Carnival Celebration - April 5, 2008
Carnival Liberty - May 2007
Carnival Miracle - April 2006
Windjammer Fantome - 1987
On the last 3 cruises we've been on they have offered a full ships tour. This past January on the Sapphire as soon as I got on board I went to the purser's desk and asked about the tour. They took my name and said that they would be in touch later.
I was notified later in the cruise to confirm a reservation to go, which I did (they said no cameras) cost $125ea.
The last sea day of our Mexican Riviera trip started early outside the Princess Theater. I and I think 12 others were lead by two of the Asst. Cruise Directors and a security type & started out in the theater with a briefing and then on our way to meet the people in charge of each of the departments. Back stage, into the main changing and costume areas, lighting, curtains etc. We saw the area where the performers cabins were (very small inside cabins behind the stage area). The up to the Anchor and line handling compartment to see the anchor winches and line handling equipment. The medical center was next (very impressive) and then down to the long passageway through the middle of the ship (called Broadway I think) that all the crew use to transit the ship. We saw all the luggage rack storage they were reading for the next day. Next stop the Galley and the Head Chief who offered us h'orderves and drinks while he prodly showed off his galley and bakery, where all the breads and rolls come from. Then to the food prep area where we saw the storage coolers and freezers and the prep rooms for each of the types of food (meat, fish, vegetables etc). We then headed for the laundry area, saw how they handled all the stateroom and dinning room linens. Large washers, dryers and folding machines. Next was the print/photo shop where the Patter along with all the other printed materials and photos are produced during the cruise. It was amazing to see how small the area it was. Second to last was the Control center where we talked to the ships engineer. He showed us all the ships controls he used to control and monitor the ship, just the same as on the bridge.
Our final stop was the Bridge where we got to meet (briefly) and toast the Captain with Champagne and more h'orderves were served. We had about 30 minutes on the bridge to ask questions of the bridge crew and look out and see Whales and Dolphin off the side of the ship as we passed close to one of the outer islands off the Mexican Coast.
At the end of the Grand Tour were were told that we would have two gifts delivered to our cabin, A chiefs coat (no hat though) and a very fluffy deluxe Princess Robe. A nice touch. Also at each of the stops, one of the ships photographers took a picture and they were also delivered to the cabin at the same time.
Well worth it (would have preferred a Princess windbreaker to the chiefs coat, my only recomendation).. A couple of us who brought our cameras were able to take pictures, no one said anything, photos were shared at the end of the tour.. I would recommend the tour to anyone who is into ships operations and is able to handle stairs and a bit of walking... GO FOR IT