Princess Cruises has announced several significant alterations to its Transpacific Cruise scheduled for later this year. These changes result from necessary hull cleaning for the Grand Princess before arriving in New Zealand.
Guests who have booked the Transpacific cruise now have an altered itinerary with the cancellation of two interesting port visits and an extended stay at sea.
Changes to Transpacific Cruise Onboard Grand Princess
Princess Cruises has informed guests booked on the Transpacific cruise it has made several changes to the itinerary of the Grand Princess. The Grand-class cruise ship is scheduled for departure from San Francisco on September 26, 2023
The updated itinerary for the Transpacific cruise for the 107,517 gross ton Grand Princess now includes an overnight stay in Los Angeles, California.
The cruise ship will arrive at 11 PM on September 27, 2023, and depart on September 28 at 8 PM. Unfortunately, guests will not be able to go ashore during this service call for hull cleaning.
Also, Princess Cruises said it had taken the painful decision to cancel the call to Hilo, Hawaii, on October 1 and the call to Moorea, French Polynesia, on October 8.
The letter sent to guests states the following: “Please be advised that Grand Princess must complete a thorough hull cleaning in advance of our calls to New Zealand. As a result, we will now overnight in Los Angeles, California, arriving Wednesday, September 27, 2023, and departing Thursday, September 28.”
“As this will be a service call for hull cleaning only, guests will regretfully be unable to go ashore. Additionally, we will no longer call to Hilo, Hawaii, on Sunday, October 1, or to Moorea, French Polynesia, on Sunday, October 8.”
The arrival and departure times for Papeete have been changed. The ship will now arrive on October 9 at 7 AM and depart on October 9 at 5 PM instead of the original schedule of October 8.
Also, Grand Princess will now arrive in Honolulu on October 3 at 9 AM and depart at 11 PM, instead of the original schedule of October 2, from 7 AM to 11 PM.
To compensate for these changes, guests will receive a $200 onboard credit applied to their shipboard account. Guests who had booked Princess shore excursions for Hilo or Moorea will receive refunds.
Updated shore excursion information will be available in the Cruise Personalizer within the next two weeks for the ports that have seen their timings changed.
Several Cruise Ships Affected by New Zealand Biosecurity Rules
Grand Princess is not the first ship that has been affected by the stringent biosecurity rules in place in New Zealand. Several cruise ships, including Queen Elizabeth, Coral Princess, Viking Orion, and Regent Seven Seas Explorer, were denied entry to New Zealand due to regulations to protect the country’s delicate marine ecosystems.
The Carnival Splendor faced a similar situation, as its hull had to be cleaned before embarking on its 10-day journey to four New Zealand ports on February 13, 2023.
Should Princess Cruises have decided not to undertake the hull cleaning of the 2,590-guest Grand Princess, it would have run the risk of being denied entry to New Zealand.
Not just New Zealand has ramped up its biosecurity protocols; Celebrity Eclipse‘s May 22 sailing to Alaska was canceled due to marine growth on the hull.
The cancellation of the two exciting port calls to Hilo and Moorea may result in some dissatisfaction among guests. However, most of those who book transpacific and transatlantic cruises are used to spending extended periods at sea. Many will even welcome some additional days at sea, which now amount to 14.