Princess Cruises offers many exciting onboard activities. One activity that has caused a big buzz is the “Ultimate Ship Tour.” Passengers wishing to have access to behind-the-scenes areas will love the rare glimpse into the operations of the ship.
Today I was treated by Princess Cruises to the Ultimate Ship Tour on the Coral Princess. Visits to the ship’s engine control room, medical center, print shop, laundry, photo lab, bridge and other spaces for a rare insider’s view of many areas typically seen only by the ship’s crew.
The tour features:
Back Stage Area — Passengers start the tour with a glimpse behind the glitz in the Princess Theater, home to Princess’ sparkling stage productions. They’ll meet the cast and production staff, who will show them all that goes into making sure the show goes on night after night — including costumes and dressing areas, scenery and technical operations such as lighting and sound.
Galley and Food Production Areas — In the galley, guests will meet the executive chef, learn about the process of providing thousands of passengers meals each day, and see the inner workings of the ship’s kitchen areas while enjoying a glass of French champagne, caviar and canapes. In addition, passengers will get a peek into some of Coral Princess’ vast food storage and production areas, each specially equipped and temperature-controlled for a specific type of food. Each guest will also be presented with an official chef’s jacket.
Engine Control Room — At the center of the vessel’s mechanical and electrical systems, the engine control room is where the ship’s technical team monitors everything from the operation of the ship’s propellers to the water supply in each stateroom. Participants will meet the chief technical offer and his staff who will explain the numerous functions overseen by the control room, including the vast amount of power generated to operate Coral Princess.
Print Shop — Passengers will see where their daily Princess Patter, among other things, is produced. The ship’s printer will meet the group and demonstrate the printing equipment and explain which materials passengers see each day are printed right onboard Coral Princess. To mark their visit, each passenger will receive their own set of personalized stationery printed on board.
Photo Laboratory — Princess was the first cruise line to go completely digital, and each ship operates a full photo lab with the latest in digital printing equipment. The group will meet the Coral Princess photo staff and learn how they manage the thousands of pictures taken and printed each day. Participants might even see their own smiling faces print out during their visit.
Medical Center — The ship’s doctor will meet the group to show them the state-of-the-art medical facilities, including treatment rooms, laboratory facilities, intensive care unit, and digital x-ray system. Participants will learn how the ship’s doctors and nurses — all full-time maritime medicine specialists — keep both passengers and crew healthy and handle medical emergencies.
Main Laundry — Coral Princess’ onboard laundries operate 24 hours a day to wash tons of passenger and crew linens, towels, and clothing — including more than 20,000 towels a day alone. Here visitors will meet the laundry master and will see this impressive operation in action. Participants will also receive a luxurious bath robe usually reserved for suite passengers.
Bridge — The tour concludes at the ship’s command center, where passengers will meet the captain and his bridge team and learn about the state-of-the-art navigational equipment and safety systems aboard Coral Princess. Passengers will also take in the dramatic front-of-ship views from the bridge’s wraparound windows, while they enjoy special refreshments and pose with the captain.
The Ultimate Ship Tour lasts approximately three hours, and will be offered once or twice per cruise on a sea day. Space is limited for the tour, which will be available for $150 per person, and can be reserved onboard at the Passenger Services Desk.