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Top cruises from Seattle

Planning your next sailing from Seattle

If you’ve visited the Seattle waterfront lately, you probably have noticed that the pier landscape has changed over the last decade.

In addition to the majestic Seattle Great Wheel, Bell Street Cruise Terminal at Pier 66 and Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Terminal 91 now serve some of the top cruise lines in the world. According to the Port of Seattle, in 2015 Seattle will host 192 cruise ships and more than 895,000 passengers. Each time a home-port ship docks, it contributes $2.5 million to the local economy.

Ready to book your first cruise out of Seattle but don’t know where to start? Here’s a look at which cruise lines sail from Seattle, some of the most popular itineraries, and a few great downtown Seattle hotels to extend your stay.

Cruise lines serving Seattle

Today, seven major cruise lines sail from Seattle. These include Holland America Line, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and Royal Caribbean. In 2016, Crystal Cruise Line also will be making stops in Seattle with its “Coastal Vistas,” “Pacific Delights,” and “West Coast Wayfarer” sailings from San Francisco to Vancouver, British Columbia.  

Viewfinder Tip: Make time to extend your stay at a downtown hotel and explore Seattle 

Most travelers from around the world are flocking to Seattle to set sail on one of the many popular cruises to Alaska. According to a spokesperson at the Port of Seattle (which graciously supplied the photos that accompany this piece), the most popular itinerary remains the seven-day Alaska cruise. While there are a few ships that sail mid-week, most sailings to Alaska depart on Saturdays and Sundays.

Extend your stay with a hotel

Once you’ve decided on the perfect ship and itinerary for your cruise from Seattle, don’t forget to plan to spend a few extra days exploring Seattle. Many of Seattle’s downtown hotels roll out the red carpet for cruise passengers looking to extend stays in the city. Some of my favorite downtown Seattle hotels, such as Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco and the Alexis Hotel, offer cruise package deals. Other downtown Seattle hotels to consider are The Four Seasons Seattle, Hotel 1000, and the historic Edgewater Hotel, all within walking distance to the piers. Check out Expedia for additional things to do during your stay in Seattle.   

No matter which itinerary you choose, Seattle now offers a wealth of cruise options and experiences. Get cruising!  

What is your favorite cruise port city and why?

Expedia compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site, such compensation may include travel and other costs.

This author has either a relationship with, or received other compensation (which may include monetary or in-kind compensation) from, the product or service providers that are the subject of this post.


Cruise Ship Cancellations Not Unusual

Home Cruise Safely Cruise Ship Cancellations Not Unusual
Cruise Ship Cancellations

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The height of the cruise ship season here happens to correspond with the height of the Atlantic hurricane season. Even storms that don’t come near the coast of Maine can stir up enough rough weather to force cruise ship captains to cancel planned port visits to Bar Harbor.

“The end of November is the true end of the hurricane season,” harbor pilot Skip Strong said. “We are in theory in the height of the season now, but the water’s starting to cool off all the time.

“The captains ultimately have responsibility for safety of their passengers. What we have always been told is that Bar Harbor is a stop that if at all possible, they want to make it. If they miss Bar Harbor, their comment cards are not good at all.”

On Oct. 9, both Maasdam and Caribbean Princess cancelled their planned stops here, according to Harbormaster Charlie Phippen. The week before, Regal Princess cancelled on Sept. 30 and Crystal Symphony did on Oct. 2. All were due to high winds, heavy rain or both.

The smaller boats operated by American Cruise Lines that tie up to the municipal pier,Independence and American Glory, are much more vulnerable to weather. “They don’t like to be out in the Gulf of Maine with seas higher than about three feet,” Phippen said.

Sending passengers ashore by small tender vessel is often the riskiest part of the operation for captains, Strong said. “The ship has to be able to make a good consistent lee for the tender to operate in.”

Ship operators prefer to tie up to a dock when possible. Plans to build a cruise ship dock on the former international ferry terminal on Eden Street in Bar Harbor depend on the Maine Port Authority purchasing the property from the Canadian government. Negotiations are currently underway, and a transportation bond to help fund the purchase is on the statewide ballot in November.

“The way the ordinance is written, we plan for a certain percentage of cancellations due to weather,” said Phippen. “It’s all just dependent on the size of the ship, the passenger complement and whether or not it’s safe to conduct the operation. We don’t hold them to the port fee unless they actually discharge passengers into the town after they’ve dropped anchor out in the anchorages.”

This year is on track to be in line with the historical averages from the last five years for cancelled reservations, he said. About 33 percent of small ship reservations are cancelled, 4 percent for large ships.

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Source: Cruise Safely

Princess Cruises Awarded "Best Itineraries" by Cruise Critic Editors for Second Consecutive Year

Press Release – 12/01/2014

Industry Experts Honor Cruise Line’s Diverse Worldwide Cruise Vacation Options

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (December 1, 2014) – Princess Cruises has earned top honors for the second consecutive year for its worldwide cruise itineraries in Cruise Critic’s 7th Annual Editors’ Picks Awards. Hand-picked by Cruise Critic’s editorial staff, the award particularly cites Princess’ Alaska cruises and other notable destinations around the globe that inspire guests to cruise with Princess.

“Offering our guests enriching cruise vacation experiences where they can discover new places and learn about other cultures around the world has long been a Princess hallmark, so it’s wonderful to have our itineraries recognized by experts in the field,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president.

Cruise Critic editors said, “In addition to its battery of standard Caribbean, Canada/New England and Europe sailings, Princess is known for offering standout Alaska voyages. Throw in bucket-list destinations like the Panama Canal, Australia/New Zealand and Tahiti, as well as world cruises that last more than 100 days, and you’ll understand why Princess takes 2014’s top honors for itineraries.”

Cruise Critic’s UK editors also voted the line “Best for Romance,” citing the line’s intimate balcony dining, popping the question with a proposal video using the Movies Under the Stars outdoor movie screen and the new online honeymoon registry as a great way for couples to make their cruise vacation filled with romance.

Princess Cruises sails to six continents, offering voyages ranging from three to 111 days, to more than 300 cruise destinations. Approximately 150 itinerary options take passengers on cruises to Africa, Alaska, Asia, Australia & New Zealand, Canada & New England, the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, India, Japan, Mexico, the Panama Canal, South America, the South Pacific, Tahiti/French Polynesia, and around the world. A complete list of Princess’ cruise itineraries is available at

Cruise Critic ( is the world’s largest cruise reviews and information site, attracting more than four million people each month.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel consultant, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS, or by visiting the company’s website at

The contest is one of many special activities planned for Princess’ 50th anniversary celebration. For more information, visit

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel consultant, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by vising the company’s website at

Source: Princess Cruise Lines

Princess Cruises Introduces First-Ever Gift Card Program

Press Release – 11/13/2014

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (November 13, 2014) – Just in time for the holidays, today Princess Cruises announced a brand new gift card program making it easy to give the gift of cruising.

Princess Cruises gift cards can be applied as payment towards the purchase of a Princess cruise, as well as onboard products and services including specialty dining, drinks, Lotus Spa treatments, shore excursions and more.

“Our new gift card offering is customizable, easy to purchase, ideal for any celebration and is the perfect gift for holidays, birthdays and anniversaries,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We hope our new gift cards will inspire new travelers to take a Princess cruise and introduce them to the many worldwide destinations and memorable onboard experiences only a Princess cruise vacation can offer.”

Additional features of the Princess Cruises gift card program allow buyers to choose from various designs, schedule a delivery date to the recipient and even personalize the notification by allowing buyers to record an audio message and add a digital photo.

Cruise gift cards are available in $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 and $2,000 increments and can be customized for a specific dollar amount up to $2,000. Buyers purchasing a gift card for $100 or more will also receive free shipping. Gift cards can be sent electronically or via mail.

Princess Cruises gift cards are available at and can also be purchased through travel consultants, or by calling 1-855-426-0168. Soon, gift cards can additionally be purchased on the Princess Cruises Facebook page. The program is available to all U.S. and Canadian residents.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel consultant, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at

Source: Princess Cruise Lines

Princess Cruises Launches Honeymoon Wishes Online Registry

Press Release – 10/17/2014

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (October 17, 2014) – Princess Cruises is helping newlyweds enjoy the honeymoon of their dreams with a new online Honeymoon Wishes Registry. Couples can easily sign up at the line’s honeymoon registry page, select desired gifts to enhance their cruise vacation and share with family and friends.

This feature allows couples to choose from a list of options they wish to enjoy on their honeymoon, from contributions to the cruise, drinks by the pool, specialty dining, relaxing spa treatments and shore excursions. All gifts are applied as an onboard credit to the couple’s stateroom account to use on board during their honeymoon cruise. Couples can also create a wedding website to share photos and details about how they met, their engagement and wedding, e-mail their friends and family directing them to the registry and print out announcement cards that can be shared.

“Our new online Honeymoon Wishes Registry feature gives newlyweds a simple way to customize their honeymoon cruise and select their desired amenities to enjoy onboard,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “For the last 16 years, we’ve made wedding dreams come true with our unique weddings at sea program and this new offering is a wonderful extension to give couples ease and flexibility in creating their own gift registries.”

When Princess launched its seagoing weddings program in 1998, the cruise line made maritime and marriage history – and turned cruising lore into reality – by having the captain join couples in marriage. Until that point, there had been a common misconception that any ship captain was empowered to join couples in matrimony, but in truth, no such ceremony was ever conducted aboard a major cruise ship.

Today, Princess’ “Tie the Knot” wedding program has grown to not only offer these special at-sea wedding ceremonies on its cruise ships, but also include fleet-wide harborside ceremonies in embarkation ports or weddings ashore in select ports of call. Together these options have created one of the cruise industry’s most diverse and unique wedding programs, offering the convenience of a wedding and honeymoon in one customizable package that makes this milestone celebration easy and hassle-free.

More information about “Tie the Knot” wedding packages can be found at

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

Source: Princess Cruise Lines

Princess Cruises Unveils Hip Night Sky Lounge Aboard Regal Princess

Press Release – 08/26/2014

New Exclusive Nightclub Under the Stars Debuts this Fall on Caribbean Cruise Itineraries

Night Sky Lounge

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (August 26, 2014) – A new, cool nighttime experience will debut on Regal Princess in November, enabling guests to enjoy a chic and contemporary outdoor nightclub under the stars. The new nightclub, Night Sky Lounge, will debut in November when the ship begins her inaugural Caribbean season.

The top-deck Retreat Pool will transform into the new Night Sky Lounge one night during each cruise, inviting guests to enjoy an upbeat and modern, South Miami-style nightclub vibe, including atmospheric pool and furniture lighting, glowing drinks and a DJ spinning tunes on a state-of-the-art audio system. Cruise guests will sip sophisticated cocktails, even in the two Jacuzzis, enjoy a flair bartending demonstration, dance the night away, and can even reserve a cabana with hosted bottle service. 

“The Retreat Pool aboard Regal Princess is such an inviting space, and so transforming it into a cool lounge that offers an entirely new evening experience will be sure to delight our guests,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “We think the lounge’s great location, beautiful lighting, specialty cocktails and music will be a winning entertainment experience.”

Guests will pay a nominal charge to enter the Night Sky Lounge.

Regal Princess begins her Caribbean cruise season on November 6 with a short preview sailing, followed by a schedule of seven-day cruises to ports in the Eastern Caribbean including St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Princess Cays in the Bahamas.

More information about the Regal Princess cruise ship, including nightclubs, restaurants, and other onboard activities, can be found at

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

Source: Princess Cruise Lines

Princess Cruises Introduces Free Mobile App Feature on Regal Princess

Press Release – 09/29/2014

New Princess@Sea Cruise App Allows Guests to Connect Onboard

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (September 29, 2014) – Regal Princess guests will have the opportunity to connect with their fellow cruisers with the debut of Princess@Sea Messenger, a free mobile messenger feature offering guests an easy way to share updates and make plans during their cruise vacation.

The Princess@Sea Messenger is integrated in the complimentary Princess@Sea mobile app, accessed via a smartphone or tablet browser. It debuts on Regal Princess in November and will be rolled out to all cruise ships in the entire fleet by the end of 2015.

“We know it’s important for our guests to be able to stay in touch with their fellow cruisers,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “With the new Princess@Sea Messenger we’re making it even easier for them to share their experiences, stay in touch and even make new friends.”

Guests will be able to download Princess@Sea Messenger for free before sailing at the Apple or Android App Store or on board with the purchase of an internet package. Limited messaging functionality will also be available in Princess@Sea without downloading the app.

The award-winning Princess@Sea mobile app debuted aboard Royal Princess in 2013 giving guests the ability to check the day’s events and activities, review the ship’s itinerary and port guides, browse restaurant menus and even access their stateroom account.

Regal Princess begins her Caribbean cruise season on November 6 with a short preview sailing, followed by a schedule of seven-day Eastern Caribbean cruises to ports including St. Thomas, St. Maarten and Princess Cays in the Bahamas.

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

Source: Princess Cruise Lines

Princess Cruises to Celebrate 50th Anniversary with First-Ever Float in The Rose Parade

Press Release – 09/22/2014

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (September 22, 2014) – Princess Cruises will ring in the new year and its 50th anniversary in an unprecedented way – with its first-ever float in the world-famous Rose Parade on January 1 in Pasadena, Calif. As a special feature the six original cast members of The Love Boat television show will ride on the ship’s bow and “cruise” down the five-and-a-half mile parade route.

In addition to paying tribute to the television show that made Princess Cruises one of the most famous names in cruising, the Rose Parade float will depict the line’s newest ship Regal Princess symbolically sailing through the world’s fascinating destinations and iconic landmarks that guests have experienced with Princess for the past 50 years.

“Since the theme of this year’s Rose Parade is ‘Inspiring Stories,’ we can think of no more perfect opportunity to launch our 50th anniversary year celebrations,” said Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises. “For the last five decades of our guests sailing with us to amazing places, they’ve returned with inspiring memories that have lasted a lifetime, and we want to celebrate this on the very first day of 2015.”

She added that because The Love Boat played such a distinctive part in the company’s history, including the cast members on the Rose Parade float was fun opportunity to pay tribute to the television show that introduced Princess Cruises and modern-day cruising to millions of Americans for ten years from 1977 to 1986.

The Love Boat cast, including Gavin MacLeod (Captain Stubing), Fred Grandy (Chief Purser Gopher), Ted Lange (Bartender Isaac), Bernie Kopell (Doc), Lauren Tewes (Cruise Director Julie) and Jill Whelan (Captain’s daughter Vicki), will have just officially named Regal Princess, having served as the ship’s godparents prior to their appearance in the New Year’s Day parade.

Famous for being held under sunny skies when much of the country is experiencing winter weather, the Rose Parade is viewed by some 700,000 spectators lining the parade route, and by approximately 80 million viewers on television around the globe. It is part of “America’s New Year Celebration®” and includes numerous floral floats, spirited marching bands and high-stepping equestrian units.

The Princess Cruises float, being designed and built by Phoenix Decorating Company, will be 60 feet long and 24 feet high, and will be covered by more than 24,000 thousand flowers and natural materials.

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

Source: Princess Cruise Lines

Princess Cruises Debuts 2016-2017 Exotics Sailings

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (May 8, 2015) – Princess Cruises has debuted its 2016-2017 Exotics program which will take guests to fascinating cruise destinations around the globe. With 58 departures ranging from three to 111 days, these exotic cruise itineraries go on sale May 28.

The diverse deployment includes four cruise ships sailing on 38 unique itineraries throughout six continents, visiting 70 destinations and 40 countries. Guests will be able to book cruises to South America, Southeast Asia, Japan and China. In addition, cruisers will experience less-traveled ports aboard the cruise line’s small ship that will circumvent the globe on 111-day World Cruise sailings roundtrip from Los Angeles or Ft. Lauderdale.

“Our Exotics program will continue to offer our guests the chance to travel to fascinating destinations around the globe resulting in lifelong memories of different cultures and people,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We’re proud that our award-winning itineraries position us as a destination leader in the cruise industry.”

Princess’ 2016-2017 Exotics cruise program includes:

South America

Crown Princess will be Princess’ largest ship ever to sail a full season of cruises to South America, cruising between Santiago (Valparaiso) and either Rio de Janeiro or Buenos Aires on itineraries sailing the southernmost tip of South America and the Chilean Fjords. With nine departures during the season, Crown Princess will offer cruises around Cape Horn on 14- and 33-day itineraries including overnight calls in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Lima (Callao) on select departures. Crown Princess will sail between two continents and cross the Equator on an Andes and South America cruise featuring Peru, Ecuador and Costa Rica with an optional overland tour of Machu Picchu.

Asia – Singapore, Southeast Asia & China

Diamond Princess will homeport for her first time in Singapore for the winter 2016-2017 season, as well as offer the line’s popular Grand Asia departures.

A long-time favorite, the 17-day Grand Asia cruise between Singapore and Beijing (Tianjin) visits many desired Asian destinations including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Thailand. A special highlight on the itinerary will be an overnight and two full days in Hong Kong. Each sailing also offers an optional overland excursion to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor Wat, Cambodia. In fall 2016, Diamond Princess will offer the 17-day Grand Asia from Tokyo (Yokohama) visiting many popular Asian ports, such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City and Osaka. In spring 2017, Diamond Princess will sail from Singapore to Yokohama for a 14-day voyage visiting Vietnam, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan.

For her first full season sailing from Singapore, Diamond Princess will sail on a variety of roundtrip voyages ranging from three to 11 days beginning in November 2016. Destinations include Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Borneo. Diamond Princess will also offer 14 combination voyages ranging from nine to 21 days for an even greater opportunity to explore the Asia region.

Golden Princess will also be in Asia on two special voyages starting or ending in Australia. With cruises ranging from 21 to 25 days sailing between Sydney or Melbourne and Hong Kong or Beijing, these sailings include stops in Darwin, Bali, Singapore and Nha Trang (Vietnam).

For Christmas, New Year’s and Chinese New Year, Princess has a variety of Asian cruises ranging from 10 to 21 days visiting ports in Southeast Asia.

World Cruise

Pacific Princess will sail on the third annual roundtrip World Cruise roundtrip from Los Angeles or Ft. Lauderdale. The 111-day voyage will visit 38 destinations, 30 countries and include overnight stays in Hong Kong, Dubai and Venice, as well as maiden calls to Acajutla (El Savador), Bodrum (Turkey), Yap (Micronesia), Hvar and Sibenik (Croatia).

Guests also have the opportunity to join the World Cruise for a portion of the journey including a 22-day Hawaii and South Pacific, 18-day Australia and New Zealand, 18-day Southeast Asia and India, 18-day Dubai cruise to Europe, 18-day Mediterranean Passage and a choice of a 17-day Panama Canal sailing between Los Angeles and Ft. Lauderdale.

Land & Sea Vacations

To further enhance the cruise vacation experience, Princess is offering land and sea vacations in South America for guests aboard Crown Princess and in Asia for voyages starting or ending in Beijing.

New for South America the Andes & Argentina Wine Experience will allow guests the opportunity to cross the Andes from Santiago, Chile to Argentina and visit three wineries in the acclaimed Mendoza wine region. At the tour’s conclusion, an exciting evening in Buenos Aires features an authentic tango show and dinner. Additionally, the Iguazu Falls Adventure visits Rio de Janeiro with a full-day sightseeing tour taking guests to Sugar Loaf Mountain and the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. The tour continues into the jungle at the border of Brazil and Argentina to incredible Iguazu Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During the Machu Picchu Explorer cruisetour, guests will ascend into the Andes to magical Machu Picchu, another UNESCO treasure. Guests will then visit the historic city of Cusco and the Sacred Valley with sightseeing to Sacsayhuaman, Ollantaytambo and an authentic Pisac Market.

In Asia, guests can visit the Great Wall, Beijing’s Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Xian and the Terra Cotta Warriors on the Best of China land and sea vacation. The Yangtze Experience includes three nights cruising the Yangtze River and visits Beijing and Xian.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel consultant, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at

Source: Princess Cruise Lines

Ruby Princess Receives Special Welcome in Juneau

Press Release – 05/06/2015

Team of Alaska Sled Dogs “Pulls” Cruise Ship into Port

A dog sled team led by Maliko Ubl from the TEMSCO Helicopters Mendenhall Glacier Dog Sledding Tours and Alaska Icefield Expeditions welcomed Ruby Princess to the port of Juneau during her maiden voyage in Southeast Alaska. 

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SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (May 6, 2015) – Guests aboard Ruby Princess received a special welcome today as a team of Alaska sled dogs “pulled” the ship into the port of Juneau, marking the vessel’s maiden voyage in Southeast Alaska.

The four-dog sled team, driven by Maliko Ubl of TEMSCO Helicopters Mendenhall Glacier Dog Sledding Tours and Alaska Icefield Expedition, mushed their way alongside the cruise ship giving guests an official Alaska welcome before they disembarked and enjoyed the day exploring Juneau. Princess guests even got the chance to meet and take photos with the dogs before departing for shore excursions to experience the Great Land.

Princess Cruises, voted the Best Cruise Line in Alaska seven years running by the readers of Travel Weekly, is now making the top vacation experience in Alaska even better with the debut of North to Alaska!  Introduced for the 2015 cruise season and created in partnership with local experts, North to Alaska! features a variety of authentic Alaska culinary, educational and entertainment experiences designed to delve deeper into the fascinating frontier guests are exploring around them. The program includes expanded Alaska seafood offerings, with signature dishes from local chefs and restaurants; unique interactions with Alaskans; and onboard festivals to allow guests to eat like a local, learn from the locals, and celebrate like a local.

Princess’ Alaska cruise season features seven ships offering seven-day itineraries cruising from the ports of Vancouver, Whittier and Seattle; and 10-day sailings from San Francisco.

Additional information about all of the Princess Alaska cruise options and North to Alaska! can be found at

The Historic America Land and Sea Vacation brings guests to iconic sites such as Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate, Colonial Williamsburg, Independence Hall in Philadelphia and Gettysburg Battlefield.   The Maple Explorer Land and Sea Vacation take guests to exciting destinations like the capital of Ottawa and Montreal and includes guided tours of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, dazzling cathedrals and the historic 19th century Rideau Canal – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tour guests are also treated to a cruise through the picturesque Thousand Island during the land portion of their vacation.

Additional information about Princess Cruises is available through a professional travel consultant, by calling 1-800-PRINCESS (1-800-774-6237), or by visiting the company’s website at

Source: Princess Cruise Lines