Cayman checks out cruise life

Members of the Cayman Islands’ public were invited to step aboard the world of cruises Tuesday to get an inside look at what this floating world has to offer them.

Yolanda Smith, travel agent with International Travel, organised the tour on board the Princess Cruises ship Grand Princess, which was in port that day. Around 45 members of the Cayman Islands public were invited on board to experience what a cruise has to offer.

‘Very few I invited on, perhaps about two, had been on a cruise before,’ explained Ms Smith after the three hour trip onboard from 11.30am to 2.30pm.

‘They thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were very impressed with the ship, all it offers and the services they experienced on-board.’

In fact, Ms Smith said most of those that went on the tour have expressed interest in taking a cruise next year.

On approaching the Grand Princess by cruise tender it loomed majestic and imposing. Built in 1998, the ship is 109,000 gross tonnes with a normal passenger capacity of 2,600, normal crew of 1,150 and cruising speed of 22.5 knots.

Crew member Caroline Desbuquois gave the visitors a quick tour of the ship, including the wedding chapel, featuring a wedding-at-sea programme officiated by the ship’s captain, the promenade deck, four pools including one swim-against-the-current pool, full service spa and ocean-view gym, speciality restaurants, a wide variety of bars and entertainment lounges, theatre, casino, nightclub and observation lounge suspended 150 feet above the water.

Following the tour guests enjoyed a three course lunch in one of the main dining rooms on board.

Appetisers included a choice of salads and soups while for entrees guests chose from dishes including pasta, salad nicoise, chicken with Chinese noodles, Italian panini followed by desserts such as ice cream in various flavours, chocolate marquise, seasonal fresh fruit plate or assorted international cheeses.

Once guests had digested the wonderful lunch, they were shown a presentation of cruises available from Princess Cruise Lines.

‘The good thing about cruising is that it is a vacation you can go on with nothing to worry about. You just go on board the ship and everything is there for you,’ said Ms Smith in introducing the presentation.

Shown in the presentation were vast glaciers and towering mountain peaks seen during an Alaskan cruise and the colour and history experienced as part of an Asian cruise.

With time rolling on and the ship due to leave port soon, visitors had to leave their temporary holiday home behind and venture back to Grand Cayman.

There was no time to watch presentations on the other destinations available from Princess Cruises such as Europe, Hawaii and Tahiti, Australia and New Zealand, The Panama Canal, Mexican Riviera and South America and Canada and New England.

Perhaps that’s a whole other day trip!

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