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April 02, 2017

Hooked on cruising

Some of Princess Cruises’ guests enjoy life on sea so much that they have spent more than a year in total on board

Esther Teo

MR PHANG Peng Wah may be 82, but life has not taken the wind out of his sails.

Since 1995, the frequent traveller has sailed for 382 sea days with Princess Cruises. He recalls his favourite voyage to Scandinavia with child-like excitement.

“I loved sailing near the North Pole; we even saw the Northern Lights!” he says.

This summer, he will be back at it again, embarking on the Alaskan cruise with his grandchildren, followed by the Mediterranean cruise.

At Princess Cruises’ recent Captain’s Circle appreciation event, Mr Phang and eight other cruisers with the highest number of accumulated sea days were honoured with a ship model and US$100 (S$140) onboard credits for future cruises.

The event, held at the Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay, was attended by 400 members of the cruise liner’s loyalty and rewards programme. They had sailed between 30 and 380 days.

Other Captain’s Circle honourees included Mr Low Teck Cheng, 92, and his partner Lili Roseline Tan, 58, who have each clocked 232 sea days with Princess Cruises.

Says Ms Tan: “We love Princess Cruises because there are so many activities on board for us to enjoy and the food is excellent.

“We were initially attracted to Princess Cruises’ Alaskan voyage, which was our first cruise. We became hooked after that — and have never looked back.” Next week, the couple will be setting sail on Majestic Princess’ 28-day maiden voyage from Rome to Singapore.

The Chan family — Mr and Mrs Chan Wah Huat and their son Benjamin, 29 — have a combined 517 sea days with Princess Cruises.

Mr Benjamin Chan, part of the new generation of cruisers, sees cruising as a great way to unplug from his hectic digital life.

The trio will next be sailing on the 7-day Mediterranean itinerary on Majestic Princess.

New adventures

Guests at the event were also privy to updates on Princess Cruises’ array of exciting, new itineraries.

These include the line’s biggest and newest ship Majestic Princess, which is currently cruising the seas of Europe. It will be coming to Asia in June.

Destination booths for Alaska, Japan, Taiwan, South-east Asia and Europe were set up to provide more information to guests and take bookings.

The cruise line also revealed new insights into its new wearable OCEAN Medallion, which is set to revolutionise cruising.

The OCEAN medallion streamlines the boarding process for guests, and helps them to navigate the ship. They also receive personalised invitations to shore excursions and activities onboard, and can perform various tasks such as unlocking their cabin doors as they approach and ordering their favourite drink.

The technology will be introduced in November on board Regal Princess, and rolled out in stages throughout the fleet.

Mr Farriek Tawfik, director of South-east Asia, Princess Cruises, observes that the number of frequent cruisers from Singapore has been on the rise in line with the popularity of fly-cruise holidays.

He plans to organise more such get-togethers for Captain’s Circle members.

He says: “Many of our guests in Singapore have sailed with us over many years. These frequent cruisers sail on Princess Cruises at least once a year on long-haul voyages, and this event gives us the perfect opportunity to thank them for their continuous support.

“We also use these events to gain crucial guest feedback, so that we can continue delivering the services that we are well-known for and give them memorable experiences they will value forever.”

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