London’s Heathrowairport continues to expand and remodel to meet current demand and prepare for the future. Heathrow’s Terminal 2 (T2) will be home to the Star Alliance airlines and has United making the inaugural flights in June 2014. But rather than leave the new terminal named simply T2, airport developers took a look at the history of the facility and came up with something better.
Re-naming the facility Terminal 2: The Queen’s Terminal, will honor Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and her long relationship with the airport. The Queen formally inaugurated the airport’s first passenger terminal in 1955. Originally named the Europa Building, it was later named Terminal 2.
Opening in 1946 with just 62,000 passengers passing through, Heathrow was originally known as London Airport and the terminal was a temporary village of tents. Those tents gave way to prefabricated concrete villages prior to the opening of the old Terminal 2 that saw more than 70 million passengers in 2012.At a cost of over $17 billion over the last decade, Heathrow has been transformed to a facility that consistently ranks at the top of passenger satisfaction surveys. When the work is done, Terminal 2 will boast the latest check-in and bag-drop technology to make using the airport a smooth, enjoyable and efficient journey. Similar to the already completed Terminal 5, T2 has been designed with shops and restaurants that will offer air travelers the very best of Britain.
In a similar effort to embrace and honor the past while looking ahead, The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton recently performed the duties of Godmother to Princess Cruises‘ new Royal Princess at a dockside naming ceremony.
The third cruise ship is to be named Royal Princess; the last one was named by the late Diana, Princess of Wales in 1984.
Looking for more of what the new Heathrow Terminal 2 will offer? Check out this video:
Princess Cruises will debut their latest cruise ship, Royal Princess in July of 2013. The new ship promises to be everything fans of “The Love Boat” line have become accustomed to. At the same time, new Royal Princess has a renewed look for Princess Cruises with updated classic and new features that may very well prove appealing to fans of other lines as well.
“Royal Princess will not only be Princess Cruises newest and largest cruise ship, it will be its most distinguished,” cruise expert Stewart Chiron, CEO CruiseGuy.com told Gadling,
Over the past decade, the cruise industry has pumped out new ships like there was no tomorrow. Luxury cruise liners of all shapes and sizes capitalized on the latest technology to bring over-the-top onboard programming and features. We saw Royal Caribbean roll out gigantic Oasis and Allure of the Seas blowing away every ship in the ocean with enough attractions and diversity to occupy 6000 travelers without seeming crowded. Celebrity Cruises focused on and perfected their modern Solstice class series of ships, raising the bar on mainstream luxury. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic heralded a new era in at-sea entertainment and Carnival Cruise Lines paced calculated, steady growth resulting in Carnival Breeze, a flagship like no other.
Princess Cruises too grew during that time, adding several more cruise ships but slowed down growth over the last half of the decade, carefully perusing what they might do next.
Princess Cruises new Royal Princess, due out in June of 2013, looks to be a careful evolution of all of their former work. Rabidly loyal Princess fans will feel quite at home with a ship laid out in typical Princess patterns, with all of the Princess Cruises signature onboard programming, features and staff. The big differences look to be a focused concentration on what made the line of “The Love Boat” popular over the years and keeps travelers coming back for more.
The central atrium Piazza area of Royal Princess looks to be the classic liner hub of activity it always has been with new features and capitalizing on the popularity of tried and true venues. Added to the 50% larger area are new casual dining options that include an Italian gelateria, a seafood bar and expanded seating in the passenger-favorite International Cafe.
Also in the atrium of Royal Princess, Celebrations, a new gift shop has flowers, gifts, chocolates and other items for sale to help celebrate a special occasion. Vines
Wine Bar will feature tapas, sushi and wine by the glass. New to Royal Princess, an adjacent extension takes passengers to the shore excursion and passenger services desks. Next door is signature Italian eatery Sabatinis, featuring a new gourmet a la carte menu.
On upper decks but still in the Piazza area via either of the dual spiral staircases, showcased by a water and light feature, is an Italian-inspired cocktail venue Belinis Bar, Alfredos Pizzeria, the Photo and Video gallery and more.
Like other new cruise ships, a great deal of attention is given to top deck features on Royal Princess.
At one time, a pool or two, a few hot tubs and plenty of lounge chairs made for a good top deck layout. Princess changed all that with their Movies Under The Stars concept years ago and other lines quickly followed.
Royal Princess continues that innovative tradition with new top deck features not before seen at sea.
New features include the first SeaWalk, a glass-floor walkway hovering 128 feet above the ocean, a nighttime interactive sound and light show featuring fountains shooting water 33 feet into the air and a 30% larger screen.
“Princess debuted the outdoor video screen and is the most copied feature on all ships following Caribbean Princess debut in 2004. Royal Princess’ Sea Walk, a previously introduced design on Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas, will take passengers farther out over the ocean in the most unique fashion, providing outstanding views,” added Chiron.
Princess bent over backwards on the Royal Princess design to respect its Love Boat heritage that has served the line so well over the years.
The original Pacific Princess that sailed as TV’s Love Boat was a tiny 19,903 tons. At 141,000 tons, new Royal Princess is obviously a huge ship by comparison and a huge ship by today’s standards as well. But the way Princess has put this one together, it promises to have every bit as big a heart as the original that brought the line so far.
Princess Cruises has a series of videos about the construction and features of new Royal Princess. Here is one released this week about the new top-deck features:
Debuting in the spring of 2013, the first new-generation Princess ship will be named Royal Princess, a name used twice before by the line. The first Royal Princess which debuted in 1984 left the fleet in 2005, passing name to one of Princess’ small ships in 2007 which will be transferred to a sister company at the end of April. The latest rendition will hardly be a small ship and offer some pretty exciting new features.
During a press conference at Cruise Shipping Miami, the line announced Royal Princess as the name for a new 141,000 ton, 3,600 passenger ship that began construction last week as the first steel plate was cut. The prototype design is an evolution of the line’s existing ships with some new features and expanded signature spaces.
“Princess passengers will easily recognize our next ship as a natural progression in our fleet,” said Princess President and CEO Alan Buckelew. “We’re taking the best features of our newest vessels that have been such customer pleasers, and taking them to the next level. Just as the original Royal Princess ushered in a new era for our company with its innovative design, we expect our new Royal Princess to do the same.”
An over-water “SeaWalk” that I will probably try to call a “Skywalk” until the end of time, thinking of former-signature venue Skywalkers Nightclub on Princess Grand Class ships, will extend 28 feet or so out over the side of the ship. The glass-bottomed Seawalk will offer views of the ocean 128 feet below off the ship’s starboard side. On the port side, a SeaView bar will be positioned to offer cocktails and some great views.
Other top-deck features on the new ship include a new adults-only pool surrounded by seven plush private cabanas that appear to be floating on the water. Getting in on the multi-use craze, two additional pools will flank a “tropical island” that will have pool seating by day then become a dance club with a water and light show by night.
Bigger is better for the popular Sanctuary adults-only area too and will be expanded both in size and amenities. Even Movies Under The Stars will increase in screen size and now offer high-definition viewing.