Tom Stieghorst
Tom Stieghorst

*InsightThe Royal Princess sailed all night to the Channel Islands, and I woke up to disappointment: Our day ashore in Guernsey had been cancelled. It was a fine, sunny morning, but the winds were over 30 knots. Tendering from the anchorage would be too dangerous.

Now I had unscheduled day at sea.

What to do?

I decided to check out something new to a Princess cruise that, until now, I didn’t think I’d have time for. It was the line's in-cabin, on-demand TV system.*TomStieghorst 

Princess executives are very excited about it. According to Rai Caluori, executive vice president of fleet operations at Princess, the line had been searching for a long time for a system that satisfied all its requirements.

The result is a simple-to-use library of TV shows and movies along with live television channels, music stations and information like local weather and a map of the ship’s position.

It also carries Princess’ own programming, such as "The Wake Show," a rundown of ship and shore activities delivered by cruise director Ron Goodman in an entertaining talk-show format.

TV options include news, sports and dozens of comedies and dramas, but the real treasure is the movie channel. There are 26 entries in the “just added” category alone, and more in the comedy, action, romance, drama and family channels.

I brought up “The Three Stooges” at first, but I didn’t have the patience to get through the opening, so I exited and tried “Searching for Sugar Man,” a documentary about a long-lost musician that hooked me immediately.

Halfway through I paused for lunch. When I came back, I simply hit resume and started watching again.

So for clients who worry about bad weather or unexpected itinerary changes, or simply have extra time on their hands, the Royal Princess has a new answer.

Add it to the list of positive things to say about taking a cruise.

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