Monday, October 8, 2012

Review of the First Gold Captain Circle Party

Today while sailing on the Star Princess – Oct 8, 2012 -  I had the pleasure of being able to sit in on the Gold Member Only Captain Circle Party.  For those that had sailed at least once prior to their fifth sailing.  With so many Gold Members on board and in the Loyalty Program Princess created a new event for those members only.

The event was scheduled for 4 pm on a sea day on a formal night, however dress code was smart casual.  The event was held in the Princess Theater and the doors opened 15 minutes prior.  Staff welcomed everyone at all access points and collected the invites to be used in a draw at the end of the event.  I would like to personally comment on how impressed I was with the Cruise Director Staff, notably Zara and Brandon who both had a lot of energy and were very helpful in directing people down the stairways to seats they said they had personally picked for them.  Made me smile knowing these people must of felt special.

On the big screen little trivia quotes flashed.  Here are some of the ones I liked:

  •     Princess first set sail in 65 with one ship to Mexico
  •     2007 Princess launched the Department of Romance (kiss the person beside you)
  •     In 2005 Princess celebrated 40 year anniversary, they are looking forward to their 50th anniversary
  •     First transatlantic cruise was 1968
  •     Princess sails to all 7 continents
  •     Princess visits 350 ports worldwide
  •     20,000 crew members work on board Princess ships

The show began at 4:05 and I would say the theater was 90% full.  That is a lot of Gold Members.  The one couple beside me stated this was their third Princess Cruise, the other couple said this was their second Princess Cruise.

It began with a video of loyal Princess passengers talking about why they love Princess, and I have to say I agreed with all the comments and they made me feel good and I was happy to say that I too am a loyal repeat Princess passenger.

After the video ended the Princess Orchestra started playing “When the Saints Go Marching In” and the crowd is clapping and seem to enjoy it.  Martyn Moss our Cruise Director comes out on stage and welcomes everyone to the first every Gold Captain Circle Party.  He then introduces the Star Princess singers who come out and sing a song.  For me personally this was the one area that I didn’t enjoy as much.  Now I love the production shows but this felt out of place as the lights went down and we had to listen to the number they performed. 

Martyn then introduced the latest Royal Princess Video which was all about the Top Deck and the entertainment that will be featured there.  Sure this was nice to see on the big screen but I had seen it online and it is shown on the in cabin tv too, and it sort of felt like a sales pitch.  What felt awkward was after the video Martyn asked “so who is booked for the Royal next year” no one clapped but I did see a few hands.  He then introduced Pippa the Future Cruise Consultant, then he introduced Peter the Captain Circle Host.
Captain McBain was introduced and well, Captain McBain is a natural with the crowds.  He makes us smile with his quick humor and doesn’t mind making fun of himself.  My favorite line he used was “Thank you for coming back home to Princess”.  Love it!  And that is exactly how I feel when I come on board any Princess ship – I feel at home and the crew are like family.

All the invites that were collected are to be drawn, but not everyone handed in their invites so some of the cruise director staff sprint around collecting invites and Martyn is once again quick with a funny about the whole situation.  Once the invites are in two names are drawn for a bottle of champagne.  The last draw is described.  Whoever gets drawn will receive all the elite benefits for the remainder of the voyage, which include laundry, internet, formal night canap├ęs, mini bar set up, priority tendering, 10% off in the boutiques etc.  The name is drawn and Peter rushes over to escort the lucky winner to his desk to get the details.  I have to say that when the prize was announced I heard a lot of comments around me saying ohhh, ahhh, and hope I win.

As soon as the draw is over the event is over and then it is a mad dash by everyone to exit the lounge.  At all the doors staff are there to hand out drink vouchers.  One per person that entitles them to a complimentary beverage compliments of Captain McBain, up to a cost of $7.95 and may not be utilized as an onboard credit, discount for a more expensive product or for any other onboard revenue area.  It is only valid for this current voyage and must be presented at the time of redemption.  Photocopies are not accepted.

My review of the event – well I liked it.  Sure some people are going to be disappointed they don’t have the other cocktail party but as soon as they get to Platinum they will once again attend the other party.  I like the idea of getting to use the coupon for any type of beverage up to $7.95 whenever they want.  The Captain Circle Party is nice but I often don’t care for the drinks they offer and getting your own specific beverage takes a long time.  Also it was also so very very busy and crowded that we often skipped it.  I will be curious to see how crowded the Captain Circle Party on this voyage ends up.


  1. Hi Vickie

    Thanks for taking the time to post, pity your post on CC got deleted, happens to much, enjoy your cruise

    yours Shogun

  2. Thanks Vickie,
    They had to come up with somethings, th numbers just couldn't be handled in the usual way. It has come a long way from the cocktails in the captain's cabin days.
    I am enjoying your blog. Keep it up.

  3. February 2011-did it on the Grand as there were sooooooooo many repeaters! This one is a little different--drink voucher was in our cabin, event was in the morning as I remember. We did see the videos & had the talks plus the Chamnpagne drawing but not for the Elite perks. So sounds like they are tweaking it!

  4. Anonymous... yes they have done something similar on other sailings, but this was just for the Gold Passengers and it is new and they are trying it out. Not sure if it is fleet wide