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Inside Cruise Vacations with Chris Owen

Ten Must See Regal Princess Features

 Princess Cruises new 3,560-passenger Regal Princess sets sail this month from Venice, on a seven-day Mediterranean cruise to Athens including stops in Corfu, Mykonos and an overnight call in Istanbul. Throughout the Summer, Regal Princess will sail a series of Mediterranean itineraries before repositioning to Florida for year-round Caribbean sailings. Before all that happens, let’s take a look at the unique features 2014’s Regal Princess will have on hand for cruise travelers.

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  • The Piazza– Expected to be the center of activity on Regal Princess as it is on sister-ship Royal Princess, the Italian-style Piazza has been expanded to enhance the lively street-café atmosphere that is a favorite of Princess passengers. With more open space for viewing live entertainment in the Piazza from decks 6 and 7, as well as new venues that appear to float mid-air, this new atrium represents a prototype design that builds on the line’s classic style.
  • Wine, Wine and more Wine– Featuring nearly all varieties of the popular Super Tuscan wines, all held at an appropriate temperature, Royal Princess may very well have the best collection at sea. Better yet, Wine tastings paired with offerings from Sabatini’s Italian restaurant make for an enjoyable activity for wine lovers.
  • International Café-As on most Princess ships, the International Café serves up fresh-baked pastries, panini sandwiches, salads, fresh-baked cookies specialty coffees, and sweet desserts. On Royal Princess this favorite venue also offers an expanded seating area and an eye-catching new lighting feature, making it the perfect area to grab a light meal, meet friends for coffee or enjoy an a snack while watching the array of Piazza entertainers.
  • Celebrations Gift Shop- A new shopping stop, Celebrations takes the standard cruise line special occasion shop to a new level, offering not only gifts for passengers marking a special occasion, but something those looking for a well-deserved indulgence. Passengers will find premium chocolates, colorful flower arrangements, and other gift items perfect for someone enjoying a special day.
  • Alfredo’s-Alfredo’s pizzeria, named after Princess executive chef Alfredo Marzi, keeps up Princess’ reputation for serving the best pizza at sea. Aboard Royal Princess the sit-down restaurant is huge, features an expanded menu and more spacious seating. Unique here is that the personal pizza is made to order with fresh toppings and crisp crusts in eatery’s stone oven.
  • Prego Pizzeria is like a bonus pizza place, serving up freshly made grab-and-go Italian-style pizza by the slice, featuring classic flavors and a daily special.
  • Princess Live!- The ship’s new television studio, a first for Princess but not the first at sea. Royal Caribbean introduced that first in 1999 on then-new Voyager of the Seas. The Princess version is different though as it features programming throughout the day from 8 am until midnight. Passengers can enjoy live talk shows, demonstrations and performers here, including the daily “Wake Show.” With seating for just under 300, the space gives passengers a more intimate opportunity to meet the ship’s entertainers, play games and enjoy refreshments with the dedicated café.
  • Princess Live! Café- Adjacent to Royal Princess’ unique television studio, the café serves up barista-style coffee and tea selections, accompanied by daily changing quick-bite food selections. After 5 pm, the bar offers up a menu of aperitifs and digestifs. It’s a small space but exactly in the right place, giving passengers coffee drinks and pastries in yet another area of the ship.
  • Smoking Allowed But Quite Restricted– To the delight of non-smokers or former smokers, there will be no walking through smoke filled spaces on the way to someplace else on Royal Princess. Churchills cigar lounge low on deck 6, not far from the casino and an area all the way aft, high on deck 16 are the places for smokers to go. Otherwise, there is no smoking in any part of the ship, including staterooms and balconies
  • The Sanctuary- A Princess original, this one has been copied on a number of lines, all doing a variation of their own in one way or another. On Royal Princess, the Sanctuary offers 20 percent larger space than on Princess’ other ships, adds four private Sanctuary Cabanas for a more luxurious experience, plus two Lotus Spa Cabanas offering an elegant private space for a range of spa treatments.

    Actually, for a relaxing time that truly gives us the ability to “Come Back New” as Princess promotes, skip 1 through 9 and go directly to the Sanctuary. There, passengers can relax on luxurious plush lounge chairs or circular daybeds, while Serenity Stewards provide healthy refreshments and music players with peaceful music. Space in The Sanctuary can be reserved for $15 for a half day/$25 for a full day, per person. Cabanas are available be

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