SANTA CLARITA, Calif., March 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As time nears for bookings to open on Princess Cruises' highly anticipated new ship, Royal Princess, the line is holding an unprecedented charity auction for a chance to secure a stateroom aboard the ship's inaugural sailing on June 16, 2013. The auction, which opens on eBay today under the eBay Giving Works program, will enable one lucky bidder to become the very first passenger booked on the ship, while at the same time raising money to support worldwide charitable causes.
The winning bidder will secure a coveted cruise for two on the maiden voyage – a seven-day, four-port Iberia sailing from Southampton to Barcelona with calls at Vigo, Lisbon, Gibraltar and Malaga. The lucky passengers will sail in a new class of accommodation debuting on Royal Princess, a deluxe balcony stateroom offering additional space, a sofa bed and enhanced amenities.
Bidding starts at just $1, and the 10-day auction will close with the highest bid winning the cruise on March 12, 2012. Anyone with an eBay account, regardless of location, may bid on the cruise.
"We don't open the books on Royal Princess until March 15, but we know many passengers are eager to reserve their stateroom," said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. "This auction will give someone the unique opportunity to be the very first passenger booked aboard the ship's maiden voyage while at the same time supporting the worldwide charities that benefit from the work of the Princess Cruises Community Foundation."
Princess today also revealed details about Royal Princess' staterooms and a number of updated features inspired by suggestions made by the line's passengers.
Among the changes are more contemporary decor, larger showers and hand-held shower heads, pillow top mattresses, upholstered headboards, bigger television screens, energy efficient lighting and card readers to help conserve electricity. A slideshow of stateroom images is available at www.princess.com/royalprincessstaterooms.
"Our passengers really did design these stateroom additions, because we've incorporated many small changes that they've requested over the years," noted Swartz. "And often the smallest changes make the biggest difference."
Royal Princess Staterooms and Amenities
Deluxe Balcony – Debuting on Royal Princess, this new category of stateroom is an extra spacious balcony cabin with a comfortable sofa bed and some of the upgraded amenities found in a mini-suite stateroom, including enhanced bathroom amenities, waffle bathrobe and an upgraded duvet. Royal Princess will feature 358 deluxe balcony staterooms throughout the ship.
Royal Princess will be one of the most balcony-rich ships afloat, with 80 percent of all cabins including this popular feature.
Mini-Suite – In addition to featuring the new general stateroom amenities, mini-suites will offer a decorative central lighting fixture, a privacy curtain between the bed and sitting area, and marble-topped counters.
Suite – Suites will feature larger televisions, two sinks in the bathroom, accent lighting and a glass-paneled shower. Suite passengers can also take advantage of Royal Princess' new Concierge Lounge, offering an exclusive space to enjoy refreshments, make reservations for dining, spa services and shore excursions.
Stateroom Amenities – All staterooms will include a variety of subtle changes based on feedback from passengers. Room decor will feature contemporary and rich finishes, modern carpet patterns, and soft, soothing colors. Bathrooms will offer larger shower spaces and hand-held shower heads. Sinks will be square in shape to provide more vanity space, mirrors will feature built-in vanity lighting, and beds will have pillow top mattresses and upholstered headboards. Decorative wall sconces will provide enhanced lighting and televisions will be larger and wall-mounted.
Some changes have also been added to make traveling with technology easier. Electrical sockets have been spaced farther apart to accommodate multiple plugs and now offer a 220-volt socket. Additionally, energy-saving features have been built in to the staterooms, including a card reader that activates the room's lighting, plus low-energy LED lighting fixtures.
Families traveling in more than one cabin can take advantage of another new option with the addition of 50 adjoining staterooms.
The 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is a new-generation ship currently under construction for Princess Cruises. Among the new features found on board will be a greatly expanded atrium, the social hub of the ship; the dramatic over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed enclosed walkway on the ship's starboard side extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel; plush private poolside cabanas that appear to be floating on the water; Alfredo's Pizzeria, a gelateria, Bellini's cocktail bar, Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar, Vines Wine Bar, a dazzling water and light show, and an expanded version of Princess' signature adults-only haven, The Sanctuary, and the popular poolside theater, Movies Under the Stars. More information about the ship is available at www.princess.com/royalprincess.
All proceeds from the eBay auction (http://bit.ly/xQDdJC) will go to the Princess Cruises Community Foundation, a nonprofit public benefit corporation that provides financial and in-kind support to non-profit organizations dedicated to children, education, the environment, disaster relief and community health in ports visited by Princess ships, in regions where Princess seafarers reside, and locales from which Princess operates. More information about the Foundation's work is available at www.princess.com/communityfoundation.
Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel agent, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company's website at www.princess.com.
About Princess Cruises:
One of the best-known names in cruising, Princess Cruises is a global cruise and tour company operating a fleet of 16 modern ships renowned for their innovative design and wide array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities, all provided in an environment of exceptional customer service. A recognized leader in worldwide cruising, Princess carries 1.3 million passengers each year to destinations around the globe ranging in length from seven to 107 days. The company is part of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE:CCL; NYSE: CUK).
Princess Cruises is a proud member of World's Leading Cruise Lines. Our exclusive alliance also includes Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America, Cunard Line, Costa Cruises and Seabourn. Sharing a passion to please each guest and a commitment to quality and value, World's Leading Cruise Lines inspires people to discover their best vacation experience. Together, we offer a variety of exciting and enriching cruise vacations to the world's most desirable destinations. Visit us at www.worldsleadingcruiselines.com.
SOURCE Princess Cruises