Last, but NOT Least
A Review of Princess Cruises Web Site
by Sharon Jackson
After over two years of clicking on http://www.princess.com/ only to find an 800 number to call, the Princess Cruises web site finally has content. And, it was worth the wait! Perhaps arguably, this is the best of all Official Cruise Line web sites. If you are taking ANY cruise on ANY cruise line, you will benefit greatly from this site's Cruise Answer Page, which covers everything from what to pack and do before leaving home to kids' programs, activities on board, officers and staff.
So far, most visitors to the site seem to be intrigued by the live camera shot from the bridge of the Grand Princess, but the site is divided into other very interesting sections as follows:
Day by day itineraries and short port descriptions
Descriptions and photos of each ship in the fleet along with 360 degree photo tours with the IPIX plug-in which you can download right on the site
Full description of each sailing date on every ship for the balance of 1999. You can choose a sailing, get all the details and then choose from a list of travel agents to contact for further information or to book your cruise. If you want to work through us, just put 20876 in the zip code search box and our agency, Jackson Klarin Travel, will pop up first on the list! Hey, a little "plug" now and then never hurts.
Details the Spa & Fitness, Weddings on board, Love Boat Access (including a 360 degree view of an ADA stateroom with the IPIX plug-in), Love Boat Kids (including activities as well as babysitting hours and prices), Medical facilities and services, and Grand Class Cruising programs.
May We Suggest
Recommendations from Princess Captains and Cruise Directors as to what ship and itinerary to take if you are looking for a certain type of vacation experience. Also contains summaries of preferred choices of Princess past passengers. Don't expect "objectivity" here, folks. You won't find a recommendation for a Holland America Line cruise. This is Princess Cruises's site, remember?
Describes benefits you will earn after you have cruised on a Princess ship and become a member of their repeater's program - Captain's Circle.
This is Princess propaganda but kind of cool, too. You can send a Princess E-Card, a Princess email post card to anyone whose email address you know. You can also download a Princess Fleet Screensaver program and a Princess Desktop Theme for your Windows computer.
Everyone can access recent Princess press releases here and order a Princess Press Kit. If you are credentialed media, you can apply for access to the private media section. Once you are approved, you'll have a password which gets you access to the, by far, BEST media section of any travel supplier on the Internet. There is a massive Photo Gallery with over 300 downloadable images in both JPEG (suitable for on line publications), and TIFF (suitable for print publications) to accompany any articles or reviews you are writing. Another section includes photos and biographies of the top Princess executives and the ability to correspond by email with Princess Cruises' PR department.
Describes the corporate structure and brief history of Princess Cruises. Also contains a link to a form you can fill out to request more information via snail mail or by telephoning 1-800-PRINCESS.
Sorry, folks - you cannot send email to anyone at Princess from the site. Few, if any of the cruise lines are ready for THAT onslaught!
Back to the live camera shot from the bridge of the Grand Princess, the image changes every minute or so, but, if the ship is docked while you are viewing the live cam shot, don't expect to see anything change. Check out the Grand's sailing schedule and, if you are not doing anything important at the time, log on to the live shot site when she's pulling out of port - THAT should be interesting if you can spare the time to watch for 30 minutes or so. This feature gets the only real negative from me - the shot does not tell you where the ship is at the time. You'll have to look up the sailing date and itinerary to see what port your're looking at. I would think it would be a simple thing to add the name of the place to the camera date and time tag.
But, heck, we've waited so long for this site, that we'll patiently wait for any additions. The Princess Cruises web site will be difficult to enhance or improve. It IS that good right now.
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