On June 9th 2013, Cruise Cotterill had the great honour and privilege of visiting the brand new Royal Princess in Southampton during the vessel’s inaugural celebrations. The visit took place just four days before Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge officially named the 141,000 tonne ship.
Princess Cruises extended an invitation to Harry Cotterill, President & Managing Director, Dream Designs Colchester and a guest of his choice to join the group of visitors on media and press visit aboard Royal Princess, whilst berthed alongside Ocean Terminal in Southampton.
This invitation was received after Princess Cruises became aware of our especially assigned drawing of Royal Princess, which we requested to present to the Master of Royal Princess, Captain Tony Draper.
Joining Harry on the visit was Gavin Pamment, Chief Photographer, Dream Designs Colchester. Harry and Gavin travelled to Southampton one day prior to the visit aboard Royal Princess and stayed overnight in Southampton.
On the morning of June 9th 2013, Harry and Gavin arrived at Ocean Terminal at approximately 09:35 and collected their press and media passes from the Crew Pass Office. A short whilst later Katy Bell, Senior Public Relations Executive, Princess Cruises arrived and introduced herself to the visitors waiting to board Royal Princess.
A short while later, visitors were invited to being embarkation and were also introduced to Peter Van Der Schee, Head of Brand Marketing, Princess Cruises before passing through security.
Upon boarding Royal Princess on Deck 5 (Plaza Deck) visitors were escorted to the new Concierge Lounge on Deck 14 (Riviera Deck) where they were invited to enjoy welcome drinks and light refreshments beforePeter Van Der Schee and Katy Bell officially welcomed them aboard Royal Princess.
At 11:00 visitors were invited to begin their guided tour of the brand new Royal Princess, which began with a look at just some of the many different categories of staterooms aboard the vessel. On this occasion we had the chance to look at the BB Balcony, MB Mini Suite, D4 Deluxe Balcony and S2 Owner’s Suite category staterooms.
Following this exclusive look at the staterooms aboard Royal Princess the tour continued to Deck 16 (Lido Deck), where visitors got to see Horizon Court, Horizon Bistro, The Pastry Shop, Plunge Pool and Fountain Pool, the huge Movies Under The Stars TV Screen and of course the unique glass floored SeaWalk, which extends some 28 feet from the side of the ship!
Continuing up to Deck 17 (Sun Deck) visitors explored the tranquil Retreat Pool and the relaxing Sanctuary with its canopy roof. Following this visitors were taken back down to Deck 16 (Lido Deck) to have a look at the Sea View Bar which is adjacent to the SeaWalk on the opposite side of the vessel, offering equally impressive views for those brave enough!
The tour continued moving down to Deck 5 (Plaza Deck) where visitors were dazzled by the spectacular atrium aboard Royal Princess known as The Piazza, which expands over three decks and is the largest such area in the Princess Cruises fleet.
Visitors explored the surrounding area of The Piazza on Deck 5 (Plaza Deck), Deck 6 (Fiesta Deck) and Deck 7 (Promenade Deck) taking a look at various different venues including the Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar and Bellini’s.
Next on the tour was the Princess Casino on Deck 6 (Fiesta Deck) before arriving back at The Piazza and descending down to Deck 5 (Plaza Deck), then continuing forward past Passenger Services and into the Lotus Spa and Salon. Now located much lower in the ship The Lotus Spa is somewhat evolutionary in its design and offers message room with their own private ocean views.
Approaching 12:00 visitors were swiftly taken up to Deck 6 (Fiesta Deck) to the new Club 6 where they were welcomed by the Master of Royal Princess, Captain Tony Draper. Visitors had the opportunity to speak with the Captain personally and were also invited to enjoy yet more welcome drinks and light refreshments.
At approximately 12:15, Harry Cotterill, President & Managing Director, Dream Designs Colchester was officially welcomed to the group of press and media visiting Royal Princess by Katy Bell, Senior Public Relations Executive, Princess Cruises and invited to officially present his especially assigned drawing ofRoyal Princess to Captain Tony Draper with her.
Princess Cruises had graciously arranged for a professional photographer to capture the officially drawing presentation of our drawing and have promised to send us a selection of the photographs. Our very own Chief Photographer, Gavin Pamment also captured a number of great photos and also took the opportunity to be included in some of the photographs himself.
In return for his drawing of Royal Princess, Harry was presented with an official Royal Princess plaque fromCaptain Tony Draper. Following the official drawing presentation and exchange of gifts Harry chatted with the Captain for some time and took the opportunity to show the Captain his portfolio folder.
Captain Tony Draper, the representatives from Princess Cruises and visitors all seemed very impressed with the drawing and the Captain assured Harry that he will endeavour to find a suitable location to display the drawing aboard Royal Princess, perhaps on the bridge.
Following the welcome from Captain Tony Draper and official drawing presentation in Club 6, visitors were then invited to enjoy lunch aboard Royal Princess in one of her three main dining rooms. Harry and Gavinalong with a few other visitors declined the lunch invitation and instead requested to continuing touring the ship at their leisure, which the Princess Cruises representative and security crew aboard Royal Princess agreed to.
Upon starting their own continued self-guided tour of Royal Princess, whilst in The Piazza on Deck 5 (Plaza Deck) Harry and Gavin had the pleasure of meeting with Rai Caluori, Executive Vice President of Fleet Operations, Princess Cruises. Harry took the opportunity to have a photograph taken with Rai Caluori and informed him about the drawing presentation.
After this brief unexpected meeting Harry and Gavin continued their tour, exploring Deck 5 (Plaza Deck), Deck 6 (Fiesta Deck) and Deck 7 (Promenade Deck) in great detail, being sure to view as many of the sensational venues on these decks as possible.
Venues included the brand new and exciting Princess Live studio, the somewhat famous Wheelhouse Bar and Crown Grill which Princess Cruises’ passengers have grown fond of and not forgetting the spectacular Princess Theater!
After this, Harry and Gavin decided to take a look at the SeaWalk again on Deck 16 (Lido Deck), before exploring the venues which they had not yet seen on Deck 17 (Sun Deck), Deck 18 (Sports Deck) and Deck 19 (Sky Deck).
On these three decks venues included the Fitness Center and the Center Court which is surrounded by various other sporting actives including: table tennis, two putting greens and shooting range. On Deck 17 (Sun Deck) they had the chance to look at the facilities on board for teenagers and younger children too.
Having now explored the remaining venues on the upper decks, Harry and Gavin decided to head to Horizon Court on Deck 16 (Lido Deck) to enjoy a buffet lunch aboard Royal Princess. On the way Harry was recognised by Julie Benson, Vice President, Public Relations, Princess Cruises who introduced herself as well as her colleague Karen Candy, Manager, Media Relations, Princess Cruises.
Both Julie and Karen have offered their help and support on our previous drawing presentation by ourVolunteers @ Sea or website supporters aboard ships in the Princess Cruises fleet, including Grand Princess, Ruby Princess, Sapphire Princess and Golden Princess.
After enjoying a delicious lunch in Horizon Court, Harry and Gavin descended from Deck 16 (Lido Deck) to Deck 5 (Plaza Deck) and Deck 6 (Fiesta Deck) taking the opportunity to explore the last remaining venues aboard Royal Princess before disembarking.
Finally just before 14:45 they both disembarked Royal Princess on Deck 5 (Plaza Deck) via the crew gangway which was also used to embark the vessel earlier. On the quayside both Harry and Gavin took the opportunity to capture some close up photographs of Royal Princess which towered above them.
Making their way alongside the quayside Harry and Gavin entered Ocean Terminal to hand back their passes and collected their passports.
After an awe-inspiring visit aboard Royal Princess, Harry and Gavin decided to watch the vessel depart Southampton on the first of two preview cruises, before the maiden 7 night cruise.
At the well know ships potting point at Calshot up the river from the Port of Southampton Harry and Gavin watched the brand new 141,000 tonne vessel sail pass and out to sea, just hours after they had visited, before making their journey home back to Colchester later that evening.