Preparing to enjoy every minute of my time onboard Princess Cruise Line’s newest ship.

Royal Princess sails into Southampton.(photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

Royal Princess sails into Southampton.(photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

The world took notice when the Royal Princess was christened on June 13, 2013. While frequent cruisers were anxious to discover the newest industry innovations debuting on Princess Cruise Lines’ brand new ship (the first in five years), there was another noteworthy occurrence on that day. As the Royal Princess’ godmother, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge (otherwise known as Kate Middleton to all of us before she got the fancy title) christened the ship in her last official public appearance before giving birth to Prince George Alexander Louis.

So, when Her Royal Highness said “I name this ship Royal Princess. May God bless her and all who sail in her,” I was thrilled to be a part of the international excitement surrounding this newest ship, knowing I’d be sailing on her just a month and a half after she left Southampton.

I’m looking forward to sharing my journey, one that starts in Venice, Italy and continues on to Istanbul, Turkey.  While I’ll be visiting ports that I’ve never been to before, such as Athens, Greece; Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; and Istanbul, I’m more excited about exploring this brand new ship with so many firsts, for both Princess Cruise Lines, as well as the entire cruising industry.

A visit to the spa is already booked, carving out a morning to enjoy the new spa cabanas with ocean views and picnic baskets delivered to your private spot. While we’re there, I’m sure to make time to enjoy the Enclave, too, a haven of thermal pools, saunas and experiential rain rooms, complete with the option to make your own body scrub at the build-your-own ingredients bar.

The dining is perhaps one of the highlights of my time onboard, too. I’m already wondering how I could possibly fit in a visit to try every dining experience on board, while not gaining 10 pounds trying to do it. A dinner at Sabatini’s, Princess’ popular Italian restaurant, is a must. As is a Winemaker’s Dinner.

The Royal Princess has quite the collection of wines at sea, and I’ll be fortunate enough to take a wine pairing class with a winemaker during my sailing. I’m partial to the bubbly stuff, though, so it would be a surprise if I didn’t have at least one visit to Bellini’s, the Royal Princess’ champagne cocktail bar named after the famous drink said to be created in Venice.

There is a lot to do onboard, and a lot to do in port. Quite honestly, I feel a little stressed wondering how I can possible see everything and still just relax. That’s the whole point, though. There’s more to see and do than could ever be done in just one sailing. That is why you’ll keep coming back. So perhaps this will be my inaugural sailing on the Royal Princess, with more to come. Who knows? I am positive, though, that I will enjoy every minute of my time onboard Princess Cruise Line’s newest ship.

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