What's the New Thing Coming to Princess Cruise Ships?

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While they may not have Jenny McCarthy directing films onboard, Princess Cruises announced its newest ship, due in spring 2013, will have the cool new feature of a top-deck, glass-bottomed SeaWalk that cantilevers 28 feet off the side of the ship providing views of the ocean 128 feet below.

A top-deck SeaView bar with about 20 seats will similarly offer glass-bottomed views straight down to the ocean.

The 141,000-ton, 3,600-passenger ship will be named the Royal Princess, a name the company has used before – including on a 1984 ship that was landmark in design for its time and left the Princess fleet in 2005.

The first steel plate for the new ship was cut at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy today, signaling the start of construction, Alan Buckelew, president and CEO of the cruise line, announced at Cruise Shipping Miami, the major cruise shipping conference.

While Princess as a line usually doesn't try to make waves with new features – the line operates on an "evolution not revolution" philosophy, Buckelew said – the new ship also has a new-to-the-fleet adults-only pool area with private cabanas available for rent, in addition to two other pools.

For adults seeking time away from kids there will also be an expanded version of The Sanctuary, an adults-only outdoor lounging area – with entrance for a fee – that's already featured on other Princess ships.


Princess Cruises

The line has gained attention for its Movies Under the Stars giant poolside movie screens, and the Royal Princess will have the biggest one yet, projecting movies in HD, Buckelew said.


Princess Cruises

The unique SeaWalk will be an enclosed, two-story walkway on the ship's starboard side, serving the purpose of a viewing platform -- it's not only glass-bottomed, but also glass-walled. The SeaView bar occupies the same spot on the port side and will add the attraction of cocktails to the vistas.


Princess Cruises

The Royal Princess is the first of two new-generation ships for the line, which last introduced a new ship with the Ruby Princess in 2008. The Royal's sister ship is due in 2014.

Buckelew also said all oceanview cabins – 80% of the cabins on the ship – would have balconies.

The line has not yet said where the new ships will cruise.
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