Princess Cruises’ newest ship, Sun Princess, is the first in the cruise line’s new Sphere Class. The ship is currently under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy. This 175,500 gross ton vessel is the largest and most innovative Princess ship ever constructed and is scheduled to debut in early 2024. We were among select media and travel professionals invited to the shipyard for a exclusive sneak peek of Sun Princess and want to share it all with you.
The new 21-deck Sun Princess will accommodate over 4,000 guests and will boast an array of redesigned and elevated amenities and venues while staying true to the cruise line’s heritage. Further, the ship’s design will feature brighter and lighter décor and finishes inspired by rays of sunlight.
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Boasting stunning views, expansive spaces, innovative entertainment venues, multi-story dining rooms, and newly appointed accommodations, Sun Princess will celebrate the romance of the sea and return the “Sun Princess” name back into operation.
Sun Princess is the third ship to boast the name, adding to the legacy of the first ship sailing from 1974 to 1988 and the second ship sailing from 1995 to 2020.
Additionally, the ship is one of 11 new ships in the Carnival Corp. fleet powered by LNG.
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Exclusive Sneak Peek at Princess Cruises Sun Princess
According to Richard Parker, Princess Cruises’ Director of New Builds, designers were given a “blank slate” when conceptualizing this next “evolution” for the cruise line. Thus, loyal Princess cruisers will notice some changes when it comes to the layout of venues on Sun Princess.
First, the cruise line has shifted the Piazza, with the main interior public spaces now residing on decks 7-9 and the outdoor promenade on deck 9. Although, the ship’s iconic sphere, the curved wall of glass conveniently located in the middle of the ship, actually extends from Decks 7 to 16.
Cruisers will also notice a few popular venues in new locations. Most notably, say goodbye to the pool deck buffet. The cruise line’s signature World Fresh Marketplace is now on Deck 9 on Sun Princess.
But, not to worry, there will still be plenty of bites to grab near the pools.
While Parker would not elaborate on those additional dining options, yet, the deck plans reveal some details. For instance, the current deck plans on Princess Cruises’ website show several smaller eateries near the pool including a pizza parlor, a taco stand, a salad bar, and a grill.
These outdoor eateries do resemble similar venues found on Carnival’s Excel Class ships.
Princess Cruises has also reimagined the guest embarkation experience with The Landing on Deck 4. This embarkation point will be utilized for both tendering with Princess luxury transfers and docking pier side. Not to mention, this area can double as a meeting space as well.
This space appears very similar to the Destination Gateway on Celebrity’s Edge Class.
Sun Princess’ Next-Level Piazza
Sun Princess takes Princess Cruises’ signature 3-level Piazza to the next level, with ocean views in every direction, a central LED screen for live entertainment, and plenty of comfortable seating for relaxing and socializing.
Adjacent to the Piazza, guests can find plenty of food and drink offerings. For instance, there’s the new coffee bar, Coffee Currents, along with other Princess favorites like Bellini’s, Crooner’s Bar, and Alfredo’s Pizzeria featuring the “best pizza at sea”.
The Cutting-Edge Dome
New to the Princess Cruises’ fleet is a cutting-edge entertainment space inspired by the terraces of Santorini. The Dome on Sun Princess is a multi-level covered deck and a first-at-sea true glass-enclosed dome.
During the day, the Dome features an indoor/outdoor pool, so guests can enjoy this area no matter the weather outside. There’s also a unique water feature and plenty of comfortable seating.
At night, the Dome completely morphs into an entertainment venue with a South Beach vibe. The pool transforms into the stage with state-of-the-art lighting effects and stunning aerial performances.
3-Story Horizons Dining Room
The newly envisioned Horizons Dining Room is the first 3-story dining space in the Princess fleet. This reimagined venue is open and flexible, featuring dining options to suit every mood. Spanning decks 6 to 8, the highlight of this venue is a decorative sculpture along with stunning wake views and tons of natural light.
The three decks of this dining space will each have their own personalities. They will offer different dining experiences with the most casual deck 8 space leading out to the Wake View Terrace area.
State-of-the-Art Arena Theater
Similarly, the Arena Theater on Sun Princess will be the most technologically advanced in the fleet. The new design somewhat resembles that of Celebrity’s Edge Class or Holland America’s Pinnacle Class ships with a circular, central stage. However, this in-the-round configuration takes the design one step further with a semi-moveable seat design.
While not as morphable as Virgin Voyages or Norwegian Prima, the Arena Theater on Sun Princess will feature three different seating configurations to maximize sightlines and deliver captivating performances.
Newly Appointed Staterooms
Sun Princess will feature 2,157 total staterooms, including 50 suites and 100 connecting rooms. The staterooms boast more balcony space, and all balcony staterooms will now feature an in-room sofa. This was certainly one of our critiques of Princess’ standard balcony cabins.
Likewise, this ship will be the first in the fleet to offer no obstructed view cabins. That’s right, all outward facing staterooms will have uninhibited ocean views. The cruise line was able to accomplish this by strategically placing hardware, like lifeboats, in specific areas of the outdoor promenade to not hinder stateroom views.
However, the staterooms on Sun Princess will not actually be any larger than other ships in the fleet. According to Parker, the new design just better utilizes the space in the cabins.
Further, cruisers can also rejoice that the cabin bathrooms on Sun Princess will no longer feature shower curtains!
Launching on Sun Princess is a new level of suite accommodations, the Signature Collection. Similar to The Haven on NCL and The Retreat on Celebrity, guests staying in these suites will have access to an exclusive restaurant, lounge, and sun deck. However, these spaces will not be centrally-located like other ship-within-a-ship concepts.
Additionally, the Club Class will now be called the Reserve Collection across the entire Princess fleet. These mini-suites are situated in the best locations on the ship and include access to the Reserve Collection restaurant.
Within the Reserve Collection will be Reserve Collection Cabana rooms. These resort-style staterooms offer a balcony and private cabana, an extra-large outdoor lounge space. These cabins will also have access to the exclusive Cabana Deck.
More Dining Options and Venues on Sun Princess
While Sun Princess will feature a number of firsts for the brand, the ship will also include many familiar favorites. Chief among these is Alfredo’s Pizzeria, with an open kitchen and new open-mouth oven that reaches 968 degrees. Alfredo’s Pizzeria will also have outdoor seating on the Promenade deck.
Further, the specialty restaurants, Crown Grill and Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria, will also be modernized. The cruise line’s signature steakhouse, Crown Grill, will feature leather seating, custom artwork, and the largest show galley on a Princess ship. Sabatini’s will feature geometric design, intimate bistro-style nooks, and a pasta room to observe the pasta-making process.
While there will be new dining concepts coming to Sun Princess as well, executives were hush on the details. However, a careful review of the deck plans does provide some initial hints.
For example, the deck plans list a Teppanyaki restaurant on Deck 8. If this is accurate, it will be the first ship in the fleet to offer such a Japanese-style steakhouse.
Also, the deck plans showcase O’Malley’s Irish Pub. We did not receive any details about this new venue, but it is possible that this will replace the Salty Dog Gastro Pub found on several Princess ships.
Finally, tucked around the corner, midship on Deck 8, is a mysterious black door. All Parker would tell us is that this will be the entrance to a brand new, immersive experience. This secret new venue has us very intrigued.
Further, the Wake View Terrace found on Deck 8 will be home to an upgraded outdoor pool deck. With a cantilevered pool overlooking the wake, tiered seating areas, and a bar, this might be the best area for a relaxing sea day.
Overlooking this terrace, there will be a brand new specialty restaurant on Deck 17. While the concept has not been finalized yet, the ship’s designers are referring to this new eatery as “Altitudes”.
Sun Princess will be home to the largest Princess Casino in the fleet as well. Located in the Piazza, this casino will feature over 200 of the newest and most popular slots and video poker games.
The signature Princess Live! on Sun Princess will combine elements of Princess Live! and the guest favorite Explorer’s Lounge in a semi-open space. The venue will offer signature cruise activities like game shows, trivia, and the daily Wake Show, along with full beverage service.
Additional spaces with new designs and décor include The Shops of Princess, Crooner’s, Wheelhouse Bar, International Café, Good Spirits, and the Gelateria.
Of course, guests sailing on the new Sun Princess can expect a MedallionClass experience delivering personalized cruise vacations with the use of a simple wearable device and the MedallionClass app.
From a seamless check-in, to locating your shipmates once onboard, to a point to point wayfinding system, your Princess cruise will be effortless. Plus, there’s also OceanNow, where you can order food and drinks to your exact location on the ship. In addition, MedallionPay, where you can make contactless payments on the ship and ashore in select locations.
Sun Princess Itineraries
After seeing Sun Princess in person, we can’t wait to see all these new concepts come to life.
Sun Princess will sail an inaugural spring/summer season of Mediterranean cruises with departures points in Barcelona, Rome, and Athens. Following a transatlantic crossing, the ship will sail Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages from Fort Lauderdale, FL in the fall of 2024.
In addition, the cruise line has ordered a second Sphere Class ship is also on order, slated to arrive in spring 2025.
What do you think of this sneak peek of Princess Cruises Sun Princess? Do you have plans to sail on this new class of Princess ships? Drop us an anchor below to share what you are most excited to check out on Sun Princess.