Cruise Ships, Like People, Have Birthdays Too

In case you missed it, Princess Cruises recently celebrated the first birthday of 3,600-passenger Royal Princess, launched a year ago in Southampton, England during a spectacular christening by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge.  As one might expect, that was cause for celebration by parent Princess Cruises, much like the parent of a human baby would be filled with joy.

Party Time On Board Celebration
Guests currently sailing Royal Princess during her birthday week were treated to some special festivities marking the occasion including a “Royal Ball Birthday Party” in the ship’s showpiece atrium with a birthday sing-a-long, balloon drop and celebratory cake.

Marking Milestones
Different from humans, Royal Princess (a cruise ship) has accomplished quite a bit in her first year of life.

Humans babies will hopefully transform from a newborn who is totally dependent on others to a toddler who is starting to walk, talk, and exhibit the first signs of independence.

Royal Princess, apparently a show off, has traveled 120,000 miles, carried 150,000 guests, sailed 44 cruises, and visited 39 ports in 20 countries throughout the Mediterranean and Caribbean.  While most newborns are just getting used to the big, wonderful world, Royal Princess is spending this summer cruising through the waters of Scandinavia and Russia, and Iceland and British Isles before repositioning to New York for its first Canada and New England season this fall.

“Today, we look back with great pride as we celebrate the first birthday of Royal Princess,” said a proud Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president, avoiding alienation of other family members by bragging on her toddler with carefully chosen words.  “She’s been a wonderful addition to our fleet and we’re delighted that she’s been so well received by our guests.”

While parents of human babies would call the first year a win if their child could sit without assistance, get into hands-and-knees position, crawl and/or pull themselves self up to stand. Royal Princess has accomplished a great deal more.

Called one of the “Most Popular Ships at Sea” by Cruise Critic, Royal Princess has already won five prestigious Travel Weekly Magellan Awards, and its innovative SeaWalk® is being hailed as one of the “Top Gee-Whiz Features at Sea” by USA TODAY.

Not long ago, I told one of our daughters to enjoy their family and get the most out of every minute they have with them.  It seems only yesterday when our children were newborns, then I blinked and they are off on their own. Tony Draper, Captain of Royal Princess, had a similar sentiment, noting” I can hardly believe one year has passed since our fantastic inauguration and christening by HRH, The Duchess of Cambridge.

Royal Princess was the first of fraternal twins for the line. Among the special features found on board is a dramatic multi-story atrium serving as the social hub of the ship offering a host of dining and entertainment options; an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed walkway extending 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on water; the Princess Live! television studio; the largest pastry shop at sea; a special Chef’s Table Lumiere, a private dining experience that surrounds diners in a curtain of light; and balconies on all outside staterooms.

It’s been quite a first year for Royal Princess who looks to be in the in the upper percentile of new ships, weighing in at 142,714 tons.  Unlike human parents, the parents of Royal Princess show little concern that her weight has not increased since birth.

Like most parents, Princess Cruises also recorded young Royal Princess’ first words, as we see in this home video:

Flickr photo by sabianmaggy