|Above: Princess Cruise
Lines Sun Princess Cruise Ship.
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Began service: January 1995
Guest capacity: 1,950
Total staff: 830
Length: 856 feet
Passenger decks: 14
inspection score: 98
Sun Princess Overview
The Sun Princess cruise ship departs from Fort Lauderdale,
FL, San Francisco, CA, and Vancouver,
Canada. Throughout the year, she offers ocean cruises to Alaska,
Caribbean, and Panama Canal.
Check Dates & Prices for cruises to Alaska, Caribbean, and Panama Canal.
When Sun Princess was unveiled in 1995, it was the
largest ship ever.
And while the ship may no longer be a trendsetter, it still offers
a high quality cruise experience, along with varied itineraries. Physically,
the ship is the length of three football fields, 14 stories high,
and contains more than $2 million worth of fine art. Amenities also
include three swimming pools, a fitness center complex, sports deck,
children's and teen programs, and two showrooms.
Personal Choice dining
offers alternatives to the traditional two-seating dinners
in the Marquis and Regency
dining rooms, such as 24-hour room service, a pizzeria,
a day-long grill and the Horizon Court with a late evening
Sun Princess averages a 40 percent repeat passenger
rate, with older travelers preferring the Panama Canal
itinerary. Families and younger passengers opt for Alaska
sailings. Holidays change the demographics as families
-- sometimes three or four generations -- cruise. Passengers
don't mix too much on a ship this size, but first-timers
and veterans all take part in a variety of shore excursions
and daytime activities.
More than 400 cabins have verandahs. All are well-designed,
but unless cruising in a mini-suite or suite, when one
passenger opens a closet door and another wants to get
in or out of the bathroom, it's a tight fit. Closet space
is adequate for two people for a week or 10 days. Amenities
are just about the best at sea. Robes and refrigerators
are available in any category, as are fresh fruit, 24-hour
room service, hair dryers, nightly turndowns, TV's, and
ecologically safe toiletries. Eighteen cabins meet ADA
requirements for physically challenged travelers. No Promenade
Deck cabins have obstructed views. Category BB,
outside with verandah is 153 sq ft., and Category N, an
inside cabin and the ship's best value, is 138 square
The Marquis and Regency
dining rooms are the same except for the the chairs. Soft
murals on the walls add to the romantic feel and gracious
service of these dining rooms. Princess
has done away with formal wine stewards, the waiter now
serves that purpose -- and he is assisted by a junior
waiter or busboy who offer excellent service.
Executive chef Paolo Merio creates wonderful entrees and pastas that
are superb. Vegetarian menus and lighter menus low in salt, fat and
cholesterol are available for each meal. Breakfast is available all
day in the Horizon Court, via room service and in
one of the dining rooms on an open seating basis. Room service meals
are served promptly, food is warm and well prepared. Service in the
Horizon Court is fair. Waiters don't carry trays
and by the time you find all the flatware, choose your food, and get
a drink, you need another hand. Nonetheless it's the most popular
eating place on the ship, as the views are spectacular.
Two Deck 7 showrooms -- Vista Lounge
and Princess Theater -- act as the center for nightly
entertainment, offering everything from award-winning musical productions
to cabaret, magicians, comics, movies and lectures. The rooms have
been designed without poles or dividers, but some of the far side
seats in Vista Lounge offer a poor view. Princess
Theater has theater-style seating and the Lounge
has a variety of banquette-type couches and chairs. Other nightly
entertainment venues are the Deck 7 Wheelhouse Bar
with ongoing music and dancing, Shooting Stars disco,
and Horizon Court where there's music at night. Piano
music is also played in the Atrium Lounge.
Rendez-Vous Bar is an intimate spot for caviar and champagne.
If that's not enough, the Grand Casino on Deck
8 offers slots as well as Poker , Blackjack craps and roulettes.
Fitness & Recreation
Sun Princess has a Sports
Deck for volleyball, basketball and paddle tennis, and an
onboard golf program. The Fitness Center is open
24 hours and contains 8 treadmills 12 Stairmasters, 4 exercycles,
a multi-weight machine, weight bench, free weights, a separate aerobics
room, and a splash pool and Jacuzzi. Three times around the Promenade
Deck jogging track equals one mile
The spa offers the usual beauty and massage treatments focusing
on aromatherapy and a treatment incorporating aromatherapy, reflexology
and massage. The two main pools on Deck 12 tend to
get crowded. Some wonderful secluded areas do exist -- behind the
spa, the area above the pools, and around the Promenade Deck.
A third pool, a splash pool, is located behind the fitness center.
Shore excursions are stressed strongly and guests don't have an easy
time trying to get information to explore on their own. The ship operates
shuttle service to the gates of the terminal whenever possible.
Daytime activities onboard include wine tastings, an innovative cooking
contest, bridge lessons, lectures, bingo, movies, and trivia games.
Internet connection is via the business center and
available at certain times of the day for $7.50 for 15 minutes access
Most of the public rooms are set
on Deck 7, including the Princess Theater
decorated with Broadway musical themes, comfortable theater seats
with built-in tables, and not one bad seat in the house. The soaring
Atrium is where the Captain's cocktail parties are held. Vista
Lounge is at the other end of the Deck. Washers and
dryers are located around the ship, detergent is $1 a load, and operation
"Princess Pelicans" is the activity
program for children 3-12 and Princess Teen Club
is designed for kids 13-17. The supervised programs are offered in
the children's center when the ship in port and in the evening. Charge
for group babysitting is $5 per child per hour. Children's program
notices appear in Princess Patter. A sign-in security
system is used while beepers keep parents of younger kids in touch.
Upwards of 200 youngsters could be in the programs during holiday
sailings, and structured activities are blended with free play periods.
Once each cruise a children's dinner allows parents to dine alone,
but a children's menu is offered daily. Children of all ages seem
to enjoy being together. Diapers and formula are not available onboard.
Make arrangements before boarding, especially for babysitting. Women
who will enter their third trimester of pregnancy during the cruise
Expert Sun 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 Alaska, Caribbean, and Panama
Sun Princess cruise reviews
Ship Inspection Report
All passenger cruise ships arriving at US ports are subject to unannounced
CDC inspection. Sun Princess Score:
Critic: Sun Princess
The Cruise Critic gives Princess' Sun Princess a 3+-ribbon rating.
Request a brochure, or find a travel agent who represents Princess
Cruises at the company's official Web site.