Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ahoy! Two New Cruise Ships Are Sailing For Fort Lauderdale

The newest addition to the Princess fleet, Ruby Princess, was formally delivered to Princess Cruises Thursday, Oct 23rd in Monfalcone, Italy by the ship's builder, Fincantieri. The 3,070-passenger vessel has set sail for Fort Lauderdale where she is scheduled to arrive on Nov 4. The ship will be christened on Nov 6 by celebrity couple Trista and Ryan Sutter from ABC's reality series, The Bachelorette. In keeping with the launch's "romantic milestones" theme, Princess will help the duo celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary. The Cruise Diva will be on board, blogging about the festivities and sharing impressions of the preview cruise from Nov 6-8.

We hope to try out some of the new services and amenities making a debut on board Ruby Princess, including new dining options such as a pub lunch in the Wheelhouse Bar, unique enrichment programs, and the new Ultimate Ship Tour. The vessel also includes a dramatic piazza-style atrium featuring small-bite eateries and an ever-changing array of performing street entertainers, Princess' signature adults-only oasis called The Sanctuary, Sabatini's Italian restaurant, Crown Grill seafood and steak house, "Movies Under the Stars" giant outdoor movie screen, and Hearts & Minds wedding chapel.

On Nov 8, Ruby Princess will set sail on her maiden voyage from Fort Lauderdale, beginning a program of Western Caribbean sailings taking passengers to Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and Princess Cays. Following her inaugural Caribbean season, the ship will offer a program of Mediterranean voyages in summer 2009.

In another ceremony—this one in Emshaven, Netherlands—one of the most anticipated cruise ships to launch this year, Celebrity Cruises' Celebrity Solstice, was delivered on Friday, Oct 24th, marking the formal transfer of the ship—the first in a class of five—from shipbuilder Meyer Werft to Celebrity Cruises. The ship began its transatlantic voyage today, with an anticipated Nov 3rd arrival in Fort Lauderdale.

After its arrival in Fort Lauderdale, Celebrity Solstice will serve as the perfect platform for Celebrity Cruises' first Global Sales Meeting, followed by a series of exclusive, 2-night preview cruises for invited travel agents, press, and other dignitaries. Among them, The Cruise Diva will be sailing on the Nov 12-14 preview cruise and sharing the experience here on the blog.

Celebrity Solstice will then be named in formal ceremonies on Nov 14, and officially embark on its inaugural season Nov 23, on a series of 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale. In spring 2009, the stunning new ship will introduce a series of romantic 10- and 11-night Mediterranean sailings roundtrip from Rome.

For a peek at what is in store aboard the all-new Celebrity Solstice-class ship:
  • Celebrity Solstice — Get an inside preview of what's new, what's not, what's cool, and what's hot on Celebrity Cruises' new class of cruise ships.
  • Celebrity Solstice Dining — Ten of 2008’s hottest new restaurants will open this fall, on board one of the year’s most anticipated new cruise ships.
For a preview of what to expect on Ruby Princess, revisit a review of her sister-ship Crown Princess.

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