Princess ships plugging into shore power to reduce engine emissions in port

Princess Cruises just unveiled a $7 million investment at their San Francisco port facility. The investment makes it possible for their ships to plug into shore power instead of relying on their diesel engines and generators for power.

San Francisco marks the fourth port in the world with this new technology, after Juneau, Seattle and Vancouver. The savings in diesel and the reduction of harmful emissions is obviously quite considerable, since ships are often docked for days in a port with their engines running.

Once at the port, the ships connect through specially designed 3½-inch cables to the shore power grid. The entire procedure takes about 40 minutes, after which time, the engines can be shut down.

Princess Cruises developed the technology almost ten years ago, and nine of their vessels are outfitted with the equipment for shore power.

Princess Cruises brings back the good old days of saying bon voyage to friends on the ship

Princess Cruises just announced the return of a great nostalgic cruise feature – embarkation day “bon voyage” visits.

With the return of this service, friends and family can come on board with you on departure day to say their goodbyes.

The “Bon Voyage Experience” will roll out to the Princess fleet starting on March 6th on the Sapphire Princess making its way to the other vessels by June 1st.

For just $39, guests can join passengers for the day. Their $39 gets them a lunch with wine, a ship tour and even a souvenir photo. And best of all – the $39 can be applied towards a future Princess cruise.

Seriously – how brilliant is this? You get to entertain your friends or family for a day, and they get to see just how awesome a cruise ship is. Chances are, once they see the fun, they’ll be booking their own cruise as soon as they can.

Passengers can book a Bon Voyage experience beginning 120 days before the cruise, up to six days before departure. Of course, guests will need to go through the same security procedures as the passengers. If you are sailing on a Princess Cruise, you’ll receive an email telling you about the program, and how to make reservations.%Gallery-71848%

Mystery at sea: Italian Chef missing from cruise ship

Colombian maritime authorities are searching the seas for Italian chef Angelo Faliva. Mr. Faliva was working in the galley on the Princess Cruises “Coral Princess” two weeks ago, when he walked out. He was last seen on a deck at 8:30 am the next morning, but that is the last they have seen of him.

A life preserver was also missing, and its nighttime flares were torn off and left on the ship. His family has been notified, and unless he’s hiding on the ship somewhere, chances are something pretty tragic has happened.

The ship was heading to Cartagena, Colombia from Aruba on a two day voyage.The Coral Princess is due in LA today, and the current investigation is being conducted by the FBI and Italian foreign ministry.

Princess cruises holds its first ever “High Seas” talent showcase

I’ll admit that I know very little about the entertainment world, but for some reason, I imagine that being part of a cruise ship entertainment team is a ton of fun. You get to sail around the world, and you get to put on your best act once a night.

Princess Cruises just held its first ever talent showcase at their very own entertainment studio in Santa Clarita. They had it all – from a Beatles tribute band to various comedy and variety acts. The showcase featured nice finalists, chosen from thousands of applicants.

The finalists will compete for a spot on one of the 17 ships in the Princess Cruises fleet. The cruise line puts on over 8000 performances each year, making them one of the largest producers of entertainment in the country. If you have a special talent you’d love to share with the cruising public, head on over to the Princess Cruises entertainment recruitment site.

(The photo posted above is of Ashley Winn from Sarasota, Florida as she performs her act with more than 30 hula hoops!)

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Smoking Bans on Cruise Ships Cost Millions in Cancellations

Regent Seven Seas intends to tighten its smoking rules this December. Although not even in place yet, the plan to ban smoking in cabins and on balconies has already cost the company $3 million in cancellations. And Regent isn’t the only cruise line pouring water on smokers’ fires; Oceania Cruises implemented a zero-tolerance policy the same day a smoldering cigarette killed one person and ruined 79 cabins aboard the Star Princess last year.

Most of the opposition comes from Europeans, who are less accustomed to smoking limitations than Americans. However, many non-smokers are fired up as well because they believe the cruise line’s policies aren’t strict enough.

On Regent’s ships, cruisers can still light up where they’re likely to spend money — in the casino and in designated sections of bars.

[via USA Today]

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