The Crown Princess cruise ship, the newest addition to the Princess Cruises family, made its inaugural visit to Grand Cayman’s shores Monday.
The ship, which cost $700 million to build, holds more than 3,000 passengers and looks forward to a regular visit to Cayman’s shores in the future.
‘We’ll be doing this in 2007 and 2008,’ confirmed Vice-President of Caribbean Affairs Steve Newton. ‘We’ll be here for at least three years to help speed up the slower summer season for the Caribbean areas.’
Mr. Newton lauded Cayman’s residents as welcoming and friendly, and expressed his personal delight at returning to the port on this new ship.
‘This is a particular pleasure because my first trip to Cayman was 35 years ago on our first-ever ship.’
The ship embodies character in every room, from Crooners lounge to Gatsby’s casino. ‘This is a beautiful new ship with lots of new concepts and ideas,’ said Passengers Director Martin Ford.
However, it seems that the character of the ship also comes from other sources. ‘Every new ship has an atmosphere largely developed by the crew,’ said Mr. Ford. ‘They are an extremely talented and able crew on this ship.’
The Piazza is one of the central features of the ship, which has an international café that is open 24 hours as well as street entertainers performing tricks at various points in the day.
Martha Stewart christened the ship last Wednesday at its departure point in New York before it set sail. The cruise is nine days long and visits areas such as Turks and Caicos and Ocho Rios in Jamaica along the way.
At the Plaques Ceremony onboard Monday, several Caymanian community members made presentations to the cruise liner in gratitude to its continued support.
‘After Ivan, Princess Cruises sent a lot of things down to us to help us with supplies,’ said Joseph Woods of the Port Authority. ‘We’d like to publicly thank you for that now.’
Paulette Connolly Taylor of Radio Cayman thanked Princess Cruises for choosing them to come onboard. ‘We are very pleased Radio Cayman has been chosen to view your beautiful ship,’ Mrs. Connolly Taylor stated.
She also encouraged the cruise ship to stream Radio Cayman from its website so that guests and crew can hear the latest news from the Cayman Islands.
The Crown Princess’s official clearance plaque was presented by Jeff Jackson of the Customs Department on behalf of the Collector, who was unable to attend the ceremony.
The ship sets sail in New York and will visit Cayman’s shores every other week during the summer season.