Princess Cruises is bringing back Summer Caribbean voyages, including Panama Canal transits, in 2018. The line hasn’t sailed during that season in four years. The Santa Clarita, California-based cruise line is will offer seven-day Eastern and Western itineraries and 20-day Caribbean/Panama Canal voyage on the 3,192-guest Caribbean Princess. All Summer Caribbean cruises are open for sale Dec. 1.
The 2018 season runs from April to October and features 47 departures, roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale, including eight unique itineraries visiting 23 destinations in 22 countries. In addition, four ports offer late night stays so guests have more time to explore the evening offerings these destinations have to offer. New for 2018, 20-day Caribbean and Panama Explorer voyages combine a 10-day Panama cruise and a 10-day Southern Caribbean Medley or Eastern Caribbean Voyager cruise. Princess Cruises takes more guests through this engineering marvel than any other cruise line.
“Summertime is the prime vacation season for most Americans and we’re happy to offer the Caribbean in 2018,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president. “We have award-winning itineraries of various lengths so families, honeymooners, couples, friends and travelers alike can get away to explore new places, reconnect with one another and ultimately ‘come back new’ with Princess.”
Courtesy of Princess CruisesCoral Princess sails through the Panama Canal. Princess offers more cruises through the canal than any other cruise line.
2018 Caribbean & regional cruise highlights
2018 Caribbean cruise highlights include:
Eastern Caribbean (7 days) – an adventurous week with calls at the ports of Princess Cays, St. Thomas, Grand Turk or Amber Cove with a multitude of water activities to choose from. Sailings depart May 26; June 9, 23; July 7, 21; August 4,18; and September 1, 2018.
Western Caribbean (7 days) – Alternating with the Eastern Caribbean voyages, this itinerary features calls at Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Roatan and Belize highlighting the Mayan culture and history of the region. Caribbean Princess sets sail on this route on May 19; June 2, 16, 30; July 14, 28; and August 11, 25, 2018.
Passengers can combine the popular seven-day Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages, for a 14-day Caribbean East/West Adventure. (Which I highly recommend as you barely get your sea legs in a week). Southern Caribbean (8 days). For a more in-depth experience, one Southern Caribbean cruise will be offered with stops in Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire; departs May 11, 2018.
Eastern Caribbean Voyager (10 days) – just the right amount of time to relax and get oriented, tjhis one visits Princess Cays, St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, St.Kitts. Cruises depart May1 and September 28. Southern Caribbean Medley (10 days) – dive deep into beautiful beaches of the Southern Caribbean, including Princess Cays, St. Thomas, Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire and Curacao. Departures on April 11; September 8 and October 18, 2018.
Panama Canal with Costa Rica (10 days) – I’ve made this trip more than a dozen times and it never gets old, it’s a must-do as you transit the new Agua Clara Locks with a Panama Canal partial transit, including a day of scenic cruising through Gatun Lake, guests will also visit Grand Cayman, Cartagena, Colon, Costa Rica (Límon) and Falmouth (Jamaica). Sailings depart April 1, 21; Sept. 18; and Oct. 8. Guests can combine the cruise line’s signature 10-day Panama Canal voyage with the 10-day Southern Caribbean Medley or Eastern Caribbean Voyager for the ultimate 20-day cruise vacation, 2018.
Captain’s Circle Savings
Captain’s Circle members booking a seven- to 10-day cruise, will receive a savings of $50 per person and those booking a 14- or 20-day cruise will save $100 per guest (does apply to third and fourth berth guests).
Ricardo Espinosa / Courtesy of Mexico Tourism BoardYou can see the Mayan ruins of Tulum, Mexico, on a new Princess cruise itinerary.
More Ashore and Top-Ranked Shore Excursions
Offering guests more time to explore local cultures and culinary offerings, select itineraries in the Caribbean offer extended stays in Aruba, Curacao, Cozumel and St. Maarten with departures of 9 pm or later.
Through the cruise line’s exclusive partnership with Discovery and Animal Planet, guests can choose from immersive excursions for the whole family, including:
- America’s Cup Yacht Race (St. Maarten) – Discovery Recommended
- Antilla Shipwreck Snorkel (Aruba) – Discovery Recommended
- Mayan Ruins at Tulum (Cozumel) – Discovery Recommended
- Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica (Límon) – Animal Planet Exclusive
Locally Inspired Onboard Events
While guests sail aboard Caribbean Princess they will continue to enjoy the destinations they visit with the following offerings:
- Locally inspired cuisine, such as Caribbean island-spiced chicken
- Festivals of the World – live entertainment celebrating Mardi Gras and Festival de Panama (Panama Canal cruises)
- Steel Drum Lessons, Local Crafts, Talk Like a Pirate Day, Rum Tastings
- · Live narratives while sailing through the Gatun Locks (Panama Canal)
- Discovery Encounters – local guest speakers sharing authentic stories and passion for their homelands
New Club Class Mini-Suites
Recently added premium staterooms come with VIP amenities and exclusive dining with the new Club Class Mini-Suite. The elevated mini-suite category provides perks such as a reserved dining area with expedited seating and expanded menu options; priority embarkation and disembarkation; complimentary wine and luxurious bathrobes.