This is a photo of the Golden Princess, a grand-class cruise ship owned by Princess Cruises. This ship was actually in Hilo the day of the March 2011 earthquake in Japan and the tsunami that followed. I wondered if it might have been diverted off course because of that day’s disasters, but I looked up the ship’s itinerary, and it turns out that it is normally in Hawaii.
I had not seen any Princess Cruises ship that I can recall before that day, and the Golden Princess is an impressive one indeed. It is more than 950 feet long, and holds up to 2,600 passengers and 1,100 crew members. It entered service in 2001, and was christened by well-known actress Jane Seymour.
A cruise ship contains more people than many small cities, and the logistics of this have always fascinated me. With all of the food, fuel and staff members to pay, and cruises being so affordable, how do they make any money?