As the holidays draw near, Princess ships are preparing for another festive season at sea, and weather conditions are again pointing to unusual snow flurries onboard. After an extremely popular debut last year, snow will again magically fall in the ship’s atriums, transforming the vessels into a winter wonderland throughout December.
“What’s better than the romance of a white Christmas, especially when it’s an unexpected surprise?” said Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president. “Our snowfalls were such a huge hit last year that this has now become a new tradition on Princess ships.”
The innovative snow-making process creates falling flakes that vanish on contact, letting passengers enjoy the excitement of snow flurries without the need to bundle up. Princess’ daily snowfall will occur on all ships except for the lines’ three small vessels — Pacific Princess, Tahitian Princess and Royal Princess — which do not have large, multi-story atriums.
Even when the snow isn’t coming down, Princess ships will feature a merry atmosphere. Vessels are decked out in holiday décor — even including a Christmas tree on the vessels’ masts — and strolling carolers fill the air with the sounds of the season.
Passengers can once again participate in a “gingerbread challenge,” where teams test their holiday housebuilding skills in a fun-filled competition to construct the most creative gingerbread structure. Or they can test their holiday craft skills by creating a personalized photo ornament. And new this year is a turkey-carving demonstration from the onboard culinary experts to prepare passengers to do the honors at their next holiday feast.
Special events also include a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” by either the captain or cruise director, and a holiday variety show adds a seasonal element to the ship’s entertainment offerings. For those who can’t get enough of Christmas carols, the ships’ Princess Pop Star talent show will feature a holiday edition where competitors can croon their favorite seasonal songs.
Religious services are held as well, and passengers can attend midnight mass or an inter-denominational church service performed by onboard clergy. Passengers will receive a stocking turndown gift and can enjoy classic holiday films or even relax in front of a traditional burning Yule log … on their stateroom television!
Holiday Feasts — Each Princess ship’s culinary team will delight the senses with spectacular holiday displays and will serve up several delicious feasts. A sumptuous Christmas brunch includes complimentary eggnog. On Christmas Day, passengers will sit down to a dinner of traditional holiday fare including roast turkey and all the trimmings. Freshly prepared stolen and Christmas cookies (even some for Santa) round out the seasonal treats.
Christmas For Children — Junior cruisers can count down to the big day with special holiday activities. Santa Claus makes an appearance with his sack full of toys, and a fun-filled holiday fair in the atrium offers youngsters the opportunity to try their hand at Christmas cookie decorating, balloon making, face painting, games and other competitions. The youth centers will host holiday parties for each age group, and kids can make decorations to display on the center’s Christmas tree. Youngsters can get creative with other holiday-themed arts and crafts projects throughout the cruise, and they will have an opportunity to sing Christmas carols for passengers. For parents who want to stay up later to celebrate the holidays, free late-night group kid sitting sessions will be available on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
Hanukkah — Ships will also offer festivities for passengers celebrating the Festival of Lights. A special area of the ship is reserved for those participating in Hanukkah events and ships will display menorahs and fresh flower arrangements decorated in blue, silver and white. Children will enjoy themed arts and crafts pertinent to the holiday.
Happy New Year — Passengers will ring in a fun-filled 2009 with festive New Year’s Eve parties, complete with music, confetti, noise-makers and a balloon drop to count down to the new year. Earlier in the evening, the dinner menu will feature special treats just for New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Day, football fans will be pleased to know they won’t miss the holiday’s traditional college bowl games, as the telecasts will be shown (as available by satellite) in a shipboard lounge or on some vessels’ giant Movies Under the Stars top-deck screen.
The 17-ship Princess fleet will cover the globe this holiday season, with sailings to the Caribbean, Mexico, the Panama Canal, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, South America, Hawaii and the South Pacific.
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company’s website at www.princess.com.
About Princess Cruises: One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise and tour company operating a fleet of 17 modern ships renowned for their innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities, all provided in an environment of exceptional customer service. A recognized leader in worldwide cruising, Princess offers its passengers the opportunity to escape to the top destinations around the globe, with sailings to all seven continents, ranging in length from seven to 107 days. The company is part of Carnival Corporation. Princess Cruises is a proud member of World’s Leading Cruise Lines. Theirr exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest, and a commitment to quality and value, member lines appeal to a wide range of lifestyles and budgets. Together they offer exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world’s most desirable destinations.