Regal Princess makes debut for Princess Cruises

(Princess Cruises)

And now we wait. Princess Cruises debuted its newest ship, the Regal Princess, last week with its first sailing out of Venice to begin a summer of cruising in the Mediterranean.

"We’re absolutely delighted to welcome another addition to the Princess family with Regal Princess," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. "This new ship now expands our fleet to 18 vessels that visit worldwide destinations, and guests traveling aboard Regal Princess will truly have a special experience while enjoying her exciting features including the showpiece atrium, exceptional dining, relaxing Lotus Spa and innovative features like the over-water SeaWalk."

The line's newest ship will join sister ship the Royal Princess in Port Everglades in November when the ship will get an official naming ceremony and then begin sailing eastern Caribbean itineraries through spring 2015.

The 3,560-passenger ship's most notable feature is the SeaWalk, a glass-bottom walkway that juts out 28 feet over the starboard side with a view of the ocean 128 feet below. On the port side is a similar outcrop called the SeaView bar.

If you like the color gold, you'll be overwhelmed with the hue of the atrium, which promises to be a lively gathering hub on the ship with several bar and food options including Bellini’s Italian cocktail bar, Ocean Terrace seafood bar, and a gelateria.

Two smaller features are worth noting on the Regal Princess compared to its sister ship. Those are access to the exterior promenade on deck 7, which allows passengers to walk the length of the ship and a second aft pool.

Other features to note on the ship are:
-- Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners with a soft-lit curtain.
-- WaterColor Fantasy in the central pool area, which combines fountains, color and the Movies Under the Stars screen for daily and nightly shows.
-- Princess Live!, a television studio on board with talk shows, game shows, demonstrations like live cooking events, and musical and comedic performances.
-- Horizon Bistro Pastry Shop, which allows passengers to see the pastry chefs doing their thing, and enjoy the fruits of their labor as well.

The ship features either scheduled or anytime dining options, several casual dining destinations and two specialty restaurants, Sabatini's and the Crown Grill. New on Regal for anytime diners will be the option to dine in the ship's private wine cellar rooms.

Both the Royal and Regal Princess feature the larger Sanctuary, an adults-only retreat that also features private VIP cabanas, the Lotus spa, the Center Court sports area, outside running and walking track with an exercise circuit, the Princess Theater for nightly shows, a dance club, casino, lounges, bars and shopping.

The Regal Princess will sail 7-night Sunday-Sunday itineraries starting Nov. 9 and finishing up April 5, 2015 departing Fort Lauderdale with stops at the cruise line's private Bahamas island Princess Cay, St. Thomas, Saint Maarten and three days at sea.

Meanwhile, the Royal Princess will return to Port Everglades to sail mostly 10-night eastern and southern Caribbean voyages beginning in November.

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