Thursday, May 3, 2012

Great News for West Coast Cruisers in 2013

Grand Princess 
Sailing Year Round 
from San Francisco

For several years, the cruise itineraries have been limited from ports on the West Coast of the United States.The Mexican Riviera cruises continued to diminish and even the California Coastal cruises all but disappeared.

There were of course cruises to  Alaska, but even those were primarily sailing from Seattle or Vancouver instead of San Francisco.

Princess Cruises has just announced that the newly renovated Grand Princess will homeport in San Francisco starting in May, 2013.

San Francisco Departures

10-night Alaska sailings, departing between May 10 and September 7, 2013

10-night Mexico sailings, departing on September 17, 2013, and March 5, 2014, and featuring two new ports for Princess -- Loreto and La Paz

7-night California Coastal sailings, departing on September 27 and October 19, 2013, and March 15 and April 6, 2014

15-night Hawaii sailings, departing between October 4, 2013, and April 28, 2014

Grand Princess Makeover

Last spring, Grand Princess, the 109,000-ton, 2,600-passenger vessel, underwent the most extensive drydock in Princess Cruises history with a 24-day drydock that transformed it from top to bottom and also made the vessel a media star with daily video updates that attracted more than a half million views.

Now that the ship has been transformed, passengers will find a completely new Piazza atrium, several new eateries -- including Alfredo's Pizzeria and the Crown Grill -- and the line's first specialty tea lounge called Leaves. Also included in the renovation were seven new window suites; remodeled casino, boutiques and art gallery; enhancements to the Horizon Court, Lotus Spa, and wedding chapel; and the addition of Crooner's Martini Lounge. A new nightclub, The One5, replaced Skywalkers.

Pre and Post-Cruise Destinations

San Francisco will always have a warm place in our hearts, since we spent a portion of our honeymoon there and have visited the city several times in the years since then.   It makes a perfect destination for extending your cruise vacation either before or after the cruise, depending  on the itinerary.

Recently, interest in San Francisco has been rekindled by the television show Alcatraz that takes place on "The Rock".  Some of the most notorious criminals were incarcerated there.    Of course there are other less sinister locations for you to visit, such as Golden Gate Bridge and the surrounding area, Fisherman's Wharf, Muir Woods and the Petrified Forest, and of course the Wine Country in Napa Valley and Sonoma.  There are many other destinations within an hour or so drive from San Francisco.

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We are glad to see Grand Princess taking up residency in the Port of San Francisco and hope that it is the first of many ships returning to the West Coast.

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