SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (October 17, 2007) – A white Christmas in the Caribbean … Mexico…Hawaii … or even Brazil? It may seem unlikely, but this holiday season passengers on most Princess ships will find themselves in a winter wonderland as snow magically falls in the ships’ atriums on December cruises. This daily snow flurry is one of several new onboard holiday activities added to celebrate the spirit of the season.
Also new this year, passengers can participate in a “gingerbread challenge” housebuilding competition, test their craft skills by creating a personalized photo ornament, or just relax in front of a traditional burning Yule log … on their stateroom television! And 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.
“The joyful spirit of the holiday season is always evident on our year-end cruises,” said Jan Swartz, Princess’ senior vice president of customer service. “And this year we wanted to add some additional festive touches, including a little winter fun with snow on board.”
The innovative snow-making process will create falling flakes that vanish on contact, letting passengers enjoy the romance of a winter snowfall without the need to bundle up. Princess’ daily snowfall will occur on all ships except for the line’ 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. Trimmed from stem to stern in holiday dÃƒÂ©cor – even including a Christmas tree on the vessels’ masts — the ships reflect the season in a variety of ways. Special events also include a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” by either the captain or cruise director, and strolling carolers fill the air with the sounds of the season. Passengers will additionally enjoy a holiday card from the captain, a stocking turndown gift, and classic holiday films.
Christmas activities include a spectacular display from the ship’s culinary team to delight the senses, and a holiday variety show adds a seasonal element to the ship’s entertainment offerings. Religious services are held as well, and passengers can attend midnight mass or an inter-denominational church service performed by onboard clergy.
On Christmas Eve, passengers will sit down to a dinner of traditional holiday fare, and on Christmas Day passengers can enjoy a cup of eggnog, plus a sumptuous brunch including roast turkey and all the trimmings. This year’s holiday feast will begin with a special Christmas cocktail, and continues with a bang, as each place setting will include a traditional English Christmas cracker. Freshly prepared stolen and Christmas cookies with milk (even some for Santa) round out the seasonal treats.
Christmas For Kids – Christmas is especially festive for junior cruisers. 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 – Passengers celebrating the Festival of Lights, which runs from December 4-12, will also have the opportunity to celebrate and participate in onboard religious services conducted by a rabbi who sails during the holiday period. A special area of the ship is reserved for those participating in these events and ships display menorahs and fresh flower arrangements decorated in the Hanukkah colors of blue, silver and white. Children will enjoy themed arts and crafts pertinent to the holiday.
Ringing in the New Year – Princess ships will welcome 2008 with fun-filled New Year’s Eve parties where passengers can count down to the new year with music, confetti, noise-makers and a balloon drop. Earlier in the evening, passengers will enjoy a special New Year’s Eve menu. And once the new year arrives, football fans will be pleased to know they won’t miss the day’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 screen.
This season, Princess’ 16-ship fleet offers worldwide holiday sailings including festive voyages 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.