Royal Princess cruise ship scores royal Princess Kate as godmother
The former Kate Middleton and Prince William smile as they visit Trearddur Bay Lifeboat Station at Anglesey on February 24, 2011 in Trearddur, Wales. Middleton, now known as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is set to perform godmother duties in June 2013 for Princess Cruises' new ship, the Royal Princess. (Phil Noble-WPA Pool, Getty Images / February 24, 2011)
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"It is a great honor for Princess Cruises that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has accepted our invitation to become the Godmother to Royal Princess," said president and CEO Alan Buckelew. "We are delighted that the Duchess will launch our new ship and can think of no better way to celebrate our company’s British heritage and our commitment to the country."
The wife of Prince William will perform her duties in Southampton on Thursday, June 13, the culmination of weeklong events welcoming the line's newest ship. This is the third vessel in the line to carry the name Royal Princess. The first Royal Princess joined the fleet in 1984, and was inaugurated by Prince William's mother Diana, Princess of Wales.
The duchess will be quite far along in her pregnancy, having recently revealed her due date as mid-July.
The christening ceremony will including traditional British ship-naming rites with a blessing, performance by the Royal Marines Band and the pipers of the Irish Guards. The ship arrives in Southampton on Friday, June 7 and will sail on her maiden voyage June 16.
The Royal Princess has been under construction since March 2011 at the Fincantieri shipyards in Monfalcone, Italy. The 3,600-passenger, 141,000-ton vessel is the first of two new ships marking a new design for the line.
"Princess passengers will easily recognize our next ship as a natural progression in our fleet," said Buckelew. "We're taking the best features of our newest vessels that have been such customer pleasers, and taking them to the next level. Just as the original Royal Princess ushered in a new era for our company with its innovative design, we expect our new Royal Princess to do the same."
Some of the new design features worth noting are a see-through, glass-enclosed walkway called the SeaWalk that will venture out over the water from the top deck 128 feet above the water. That starboard-side feature will be coupled with the port-side SeaView bar, also featuring see-through glass flooring that juts out over the open water. The top deck will also be home to an adults-only pool, the highlight of which will be seven private cabanas that appear to float on the water. Two more pools will rest beside a tropical island that will be pool seating by day and an outdoor dance club at night.
The Movies Under the Stars screen popular on other Princess Cruises vessels will be present midship with the largest screen so far for the line and play high-definition features. Several other hallmark features of Princess Cruises will be expanded including The Sanctuary spa and Piazza atrium within the ship. The interior will include 260,000 square feet of public space. Also of note, all of the outside staterooms will have balconies.
The second ship, the Regal Princess, is due in spring 2014. When the Regal Princess debuts, the line will grow to 18 ships in its fleet.
The Royal Princess will sail two short preview crusies followed by Mediterranean cruises in the summer followed by eastern Caribbean cruises from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale beginning in October.