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"Discoveries at Sea" Aboard Princess® Cruises
Lucille and Joseph will be leaving on their 18th cruise, mostly cruising with Princess® over the years. Their first cruise together was an Alaskan honeymoon. Joseph, already a seasoned cruiser, instructed his bride, “be sure to pack plenty of cool weather clothes,” and it was in the 80’s every day! In Juneau, Joseph proudly led his bride to a favorite museum, only to find it was closed on Sundays! That was Lucille’s introduction to the world of cruising with her husband! They did enjoy many of the shore excursions but the most memorable was the historic Klondike gold rush era train from Skagway up the White Pass, past alpine lakes towards the magnificent Yukon.
They have cruised the Eastern, the Western, the Southern Caribbean Itineraries, the Panama Canal, and have sailed to Hawaii – 4 days at sea and then a tour of the islands and back to California. One of the best ways to see the islands of Hawaii, they say, is from a cruise ship – rather than packing up and flying to a different island and hotel every couple of days, and they enjoyed the time “at sea.” On every itinerary, Lucille and Joseph highly recommend the shore excursions, and return home with memorable stories of their adventures and experiences on the islands. “The local guides can make all the difference – when they are proud of their country and share their stories – the culture just comes alive” Lucille recounted. For example, Lucille mentioned that Barbados has one of the highest literacy rates in the world – the “kids have to be in school and if they are not in school then they are in jail” – she joked. In addition, all school students wear uniforms – it is the great equalizer – an influence descended from the island’s historical connection to Britain.
And sometimes, while in port, they choose to stay on board the ship and enjoy the vast array of amenities and activities or simply chill. From the gym and the spa, afternoon tea on the Lido deck, or immersed in the world of books with their kindles while enjoying the sea breeze, fresh salt air and a cool refreshing drink. And there is always shopping on board! A cruise should be about exploration, and Princess® has partnered with Discovery Communications to create experiences that the whole family can enjoy. Activities based on the Discovery hit shows such as Myth Busters, Deadliest Catch and Shark Week, and a night time Star Gazing experience, will keep everyone intrigued and wanting more.
Their most recent cruise was the 10-day Panama Canal and Costa Rica. Princess® was the first cruise line to sail the Panama Canal in 1967, and offers sailings on ships specifically designed to traverse those historic locks. And the couple always book their cruise and air through Brandywine Travel. This couple is internet savvy and could easily book their next travel discovery themselves on the web, but they prefer the security of the knowledge, service and support that the Brandywine expert travel professionals provide.
Over the years cruising has evolved; ships getting bigger, an ever increasing variety of activities, shops, and restaurants on board. What they do miss is the formality of traditional cruising – the occasion to dress up in an elegant gown and tuxedo. The cruising style now is much more casual, less formal attire in the elegant restaurants, although passengers are encouraged to continue the tradition of formal night, particularly at the Captain’s Table. For the complimentary main dining, Princess® offers two distinctive options to choose from. "Anytime" dining where you eat with whomever you wish, and whenever you like, just as you would at a fine restaurant. You can have a table for two one evening and join a group for a festive meal the next. The choice is yours. And then there is the "traditional" dining - the classic cruise experience - this option allows you dine at the same time each evening, seated at the same table and enjoy the the same tablemates and waitstaff throughout the voyage.
Loyalty has its privileges and recognition, and for Lucille and Joseph, who are elite members of the Captain's Circle, there is a whole raft of privileges, including priority disembarkation and lounge access, complimentary afternoon tea or canapés served in your room, complimentary wifi and laundry services.
In partnership with Discovery Communications, Princess has developed engaging new youth experiences and wonder-filled centers for cruisers age 3 -17. Camp Discovery at Sea is a program for youth and teens, that keeps the whole family engaged in fascinating ways to explore the world. Joseph mentioned that at the end of one of the cruises they took, the cruise director asked passengers if they knew how many kids were aboard the ship. The question took them by surprise, because they had barely noticed any kids on the ship at all. Imagine their shock when they were told that there were 250 on board. They confessed the only time they ever noticed the kids was when the program staff brought them into the auditorium for a show that was “kids appropriate.” What caught their eye was that they walked in single file, with program teachers at the head and the end of line, such courtesy and respect for other passengers is refreshing!
Lucille and Joseph love the Caribbean and that is to where they frequently return. Princess® introduces their passengers to so many intriguing cultures on the islands; French, Dutch, British and you still see those influences in the language, the cuisine, the dress, and the people of the islands. Activities that embody the spirit of each destination abound on each sailing. From the expert naturalists, historians, and artists who are invited on board ship to present lectures and share their experiences and knowledge, to the regional cuisine, music and dance, Princess® immerses their passengers into the best of each region.
Plan your next cruise with Brandywine Travel!