Dining & Dancing On Princess

Expect new, sophisticated dining/entertainment venues on Princess newbuilds post-Crown Princess. Princess VP Rai Caluori tells us that the new nightclubs will host 100 to 125.

"It will be like going to seeing a show at the cafe in the Carlyle in New York," says Caluori. "People will enjoy the entrees, light music, and probably dancing. Then the lights will dim and this fantastic act will come out."

There will be a charge for the experience. "That sort of New York sophisticated dining/entertainment experience comes with a charge, because there are going to be costs ssociated with producing this," says Caluori.

Regarding the charging issue in general, Caluori says, "We're hearing fewer and fewer comments about it. I think there's been a bit of a generational shift. People are much more attuned or at least willing to pay for a premium service or a premium event. As long as you don't mess with your core product--you offer everything that you would have offered before, you're just offering additional stuff for a charge--we don't hear [complaints]."

Onboard revenues are clearly becoming more important than ever, with some sources placing them as high as 30% of total revenues of the mainstream lines.

"It's a major portion of our revenue," says Caluori. "But you have to be careful that you don't cross that line of being invasive in the experience, so we have put into place a number of mechanisms. Instead of plaguing people with flyers in the cabin, we're consolidating them with what we call a passport, so you don't come back to your cabin and find stuff flying out of the letterbox."

Princess also is now restricting the number of announcements to one in the morning and one in the afternoon. "We're not making spontaneous, impromptu announcements about events," says

Caluori. "We hope we're taking away what people don't like about this."