Cruise Guide: Princess onboard retreat a big hit with guests

By Michael Coleman 

Passengers aboard todays modern cruise ships have a host of amenities to choose from but one brand has taken the R and R concept to a whole new, comfortable level.

Prompted by enthusiastic response from its passengers, Princess Cruises’ ground-breaking onboard pocket of tranquility – The Sanctuary – has become such a popular haven for passengers that it will soon be added fleet-wide. 

Since its debut in 2006, aboard Crown Princess, it has been a runaway favorite. Passengers enjoy a private, outdoor spa-inspired setting, massage cabanas, signature beverages, light meals, attentive service and relaxing personal entertainment. 

The exclusive adults-only retreat was recently rolled out Emerald Princess, and will also be available on Ruby Princess, debuting in November. Beginning this summer, the line’s trademark retreat will be added to Island Princess, followed by Grand Princess and Star Princess by the end of the year. Additional ships will have The Sanctuary added through 2010. 

“The Sanctuary has come to personify Princess’ essential philosophy of escape coupled with personal service,” said Princess senior vice president Jan Swartz. 

“Passengers have told us they love this opportunity to completely relax in such a peaceful and pampering environment, so we’re delighted to introduce this special Princess feature on all our vessels,” she said

Guests lounge amidst lush greenery with the presence of gentle breezes, ocean waves, and softly piped-in spa music combining to further insulate the area. Guests can relax on plush outdoor furniture including double loungers for couples, as well as deluxe chaise lounges and chairs. 

Passengers also enjoy the personal attention of Serenity Stewards in The Sanctuary, each on hand to provide everything from a chilled face towel and Evian water atomizers, to a menu of healthy beverages and fare. Serenity Stewards also have personal MP3 players with noise canceling headphones available with themed playlists focused on relaxation.

In addition, look for two outdoor private cabanas where guests can also take advantage of exclusive Lotus Spa Services, including Deep Tissue Muscle Massage, a relaxing Swedish Massage or a Full Body Lotus Massage especially for couples. 

Look also for a variety of special drinks and snacks created exclusively for guests including smoothies, energy drinks, iced flavored waters and freshly made lemonade. A menu featuring a selection of light bites – fruit skewers, lettuce wrapped spring rolls, and spicy tuna pate with baked pita wedges – is available.

Half-day passes are available for $10 per person, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 5 pm. 

Princess, one of the best-known brands in cruising thanks in no small part to the hit 1970s television series Love Boat, operates a fleet of 16 modern ships renowned for their innovative design and array of choices in dining, entertainment and amenities.

The line sails to all seven continents, ranging in length from seven to 107 days.

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