SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — Most cruise ship passengers are aware that activity is bustling behind the scenes of their relaxing cruise vacation, but few have gotten an up-close look at these inner workings.
This will change in November with the debut of Ruby Princess as Princess Cruises introduces an industry first, The Ultimate Ship Tour, an exclusive opportunity to experience an array of “back of house” areas — including the laundry — that are key to a ship’s daily operations.
This concept will give passengers the unique opportunity to explore beyond the public areas with visits to the ship’s engine control room, medical center, print shop, laundry, photo lab, bridge and other spaces for a rare insider’s view of many areas typically seen only by the ship’s crew. Participants will also receive a variety of themed mementos at many of the stops along the route.
The Ultimate Ship Tour will last approximately three hours, and will be offered once or twice per cruise on a sea day. Space is limited for the tour, which will be available for $150 per person, and can be reserved onboard. Following its debut aboard Ruby Princess, the program will be introduced aboard all Princess ships.
“This tour is really the ultimate opportunity for some of our passengers to get a very unique view of the new Ruby Princess, and meet some of the ship’s senior officers in their working environment,” says Jan Swartz, Princess senior vice president. “I’m sure people will be amazed at what goes into running a city at sea, particularly since our onboard staff makes it appear so easy.”
Ruby Princess’ onboard laundries operate 24 hours a day to wash tons of passenger and crew linens, towels and clothing — including more than 20,000 towels a day alone. Visitors will meet the laundry master and will see this impressive operation in action. Participants will also receive a luxurious bathrobe usually reserved for suite passengers.
Ruby Princess is due to set sail Nov. 8 beginning an inaugural season of Western Caribbean cruises roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Fla.