|Above: Princess Cruise
Lines Star Princess Cruise Ship.
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Began service: February, 2001
Guest capacity: 2,590
Total staff: 1,150
Length: 951 feet
Passenger decks: 16
inspection score: 99
Star Princess Overview
The Star Princess cruise ship departs from New York,
NY, Fort Lauderdale, FL, Quebec City, Canada, and London, England. Throughout the year, she offers ocean cruises
to Canada, Caribbean, and Europe.
Check Dates & Prices
for cruises to Canada, Caribbean, and Europe.
Star Princess aims for America's mid-market
passenger. The ship is big and offers a wide variety of
onboard features that appeal to just about anybody. At
the same time, it offers passengers a choice of a traditional
or contemporary cruising experience.
New on this ship is the Lotus Spa, the
Hearts & Minds wedding chapel that
transmits ceremonies on the Internet (so folks at home
can watch), and an expanded youth facility that's currently
the cruise line's largest. One other difference is that
as a result of the expansion of Kids Zone
and Off Limits, there is no virtual reality
center on this vessel.
We found service on Star Princess to be mediocre, fairly
consistently, whether it was the dining room or cabin
stewards. Be prepared for lines, particularly at embarkation
and disembarkation, which were equally horrific in terms
of "hurry up and wait" and rude direction.
The ship's 1,301 cabins are divided
into four categories. Standard inside/outside
cabins number 1,096; of these
711 have balconies. There are 22 suites
with separate sitting areas and sofa beds, 180
mini-suites, 2 family suites
with interconnected doors and one grand suite.
All cabins come with color TV and a variety of channels.
Personal Choice dining is
a big hit on this ship. Capri and Portofino,
two of the three traditional-styled dining rooms, were open seating,
while Amalfi was aimed at those preferring an established
There are two alternative restaurants. Sabatini's
offers a multi-course feast and charges $20. The restaurant is open
for lunch on sea days and dinner everyday. Sterling Steakhouse
is the ship's steakhouse; the cover is $15 per person. And the Promenade
Lounge offers, for an extra fee, caviar.
Much of the Lido deck is consumed by food options.
During the day, the Trident Grill offers hot dogs,
hamburgers, and french fries, as does the pizza-oriented Prego.
Scoops, which has become a Princess tradition, dishes
up Haagen-Dazs ice cream for an additional fee.
The Horizon Court, the buffet eatery, has round-the-clock
dining. Food stations are short and separated by type, so lines tend
to be minimal. Breakfast offers the usual while lunch features various
dishes representing different international cultures. From 10pm -
4am, the Horizon Court transforms itself into a bistro
with menu service. Seating is available inside and on the deck.
Room service, also 24 hours, offers a limited menu of hot and cold
sandwiches along with salads and desserts. At dinnertime you can order
off the evening's menu. Service was prompt and pleasant.
There are a broad range of entertainment options, particularly in
the evening. The big, lavish productions are presented in the Princess
Theater. The Vista Lounge is a cinema and
live performance venue; hosting a variety of "big screen movies"
throughout the week as well as comedians and cabaret performers. The
Explorers' Lounge, with its dance floor, hosts "70's
Night" and dancing to the various onboard orchestras. Skywalker's
Nightclub, sitting high atop the ship, comes alive after
10pm with disco. Those who like more mellow entertainment can choose
from a country-western singer in Tequila's or showtunes
and classic numbers in the Promenade Lounge.
Fitness & Recreation
Despite Star Princess'
huge passenger capacity, pool areas were so varied and plentiful that
none seemed overcrowded.
There are two main pools. Neptune's Reef
and Pool is a festively colored area with tile mosaics.
The two-story Conservatory is equally vibrant but
comes with a retractable crystal dome/roof, which will come in handy
in Alaska. A deck higher is the peaceful, uncrowded, Oasis
Spa and Pool. The Lotus
Spa has its own pool, allowing you to swim-against-the-current,
and two whirlpools.
The Asian-influenced Lotus Spa encompasses a gym,
workout studio, beauty salon and treatment rooms for the usual (massages,
facials) -- and unusual, such as the wild strawberry back cleanse.
Unique to Star Princess is a tropical floral aromatherapy
bath and the Asian Lotus Ritual, a two-hour treatment that includes
Reiki, Thai Massage, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, Chinese Tui and Balinese
Massage. One neat feature is the spa's thermal suite, with aromatherapeutically-oriented
steam rooms. A less appealing feature is the hard sales pitch for
beauty products at the end of a treatment.
Daily programs are varied, including conditioning and aerobics workouts,
as well as yoga, pulse cycling and kick boxing; the latter involve
an extra $10 fee. More specialized services, such as one-on-one conditioning
and Pilates are available as well.
Other sporty activities on Star Princess include a jogging
track on the top deck, paddle tennis court, virtual golf, shuffleboard,
outdoor chess , ping pong, and Princess' Links, a
nine-hole putting course.
The ship's public activity
is designed around two primary areas. The three-story Grand
Plaza Atrium at the center is a pleasant, though not dramatic,
area. Circling the atrium are passenger service areas -- pursers
desks (there are two) and the shore excursion area
-- along with three retail shops, the small Chapter &
Verse Library, the Writing Room,
and Full House, a room filled with card tables (and
stocked with games). Several lounges are tucked into cozy spaces.
Other major shipboard attractions lie just off the atrium, such as
the Hearts & Minds wedding chapel, the Princess
Fine Arts Gallery, the 24-hour Internet Cafe
(which, incidentally, was out of operation for much of the week),
and the Atlantis Casino.
The Promenade is styled as a "boulevard"
that spans the distance between the three main showrooms -- Princess
Theater (forward), the Explorers' Lounge
(center) and the Vista Lounge, it is lined with other
attractions, such as Sabatini's, the ship's Italian-themed
alternative restaurant, the nautically-decorated Wheelhouse
Bar and the photo shop.
Princess' Kids Zone
is divided into two groups. Princess Pelicans
(ages 3 - 7) and Princess Pirateers
(8 - 12) take part in a variety of activities, from arts and crafts
to learning-based projects in conjunction with the ship's relationship
with the California Science Center and the National
Wildlife Federation. There's also an enclosed area with a
mini-basketball setup and a wading pool. Programs typically break
up at mealtimes (to promote family togetherness) though there are
special food-related functions as well.
Expert Star Princess reviews are edited by Michelle, and provided by Ian and Cruise Critic.com,
an award-winning cruise community. This objective information can
help you choose just the right ship for your next cruise vacation.
Check Dates & Prices
for cruises to Canada, Caribbean, and Europe.
Star Princess cruise reviews
Ship Inspection Report
All passenger cruise ships arriving at US ports are subject to unannounced
CDC inspection. Star Princess Score:
Critic: Star Princess
The Cruise Critic gives Princess' Star Princess a 4-ribbon rating.
Request a brochure, or find a travel agent who represents Princess
Cruises at the company's official Web site.