24 Things You Can Find Only on Sun Princess

As an evolution to the existing Princess fleet, Sun Princess is familiar yet different. Here's what you can find only on Sun Princess.

What Makes Sun Princess Different from the Rest of the Fleet

The newest ship in the Princess Cruises fleet has recently debuted. At nearly 178K gross tons, with a passenger capacity of 4,300 at double occupancy, Sun Princess is the cruise line’s largest ship to date. With several new features and many returning favorites, it’s certainly an evolution for the brand and the most elegant Love Boat to set sail. This new Sphere-Class vessel is more modern and sophisticated with more connections to the ocean; yet, it’s still distinctly Princess.

Loyal Princess cruisers will recognize familiar favorites like the centrally-located Piazza, as well as Crown Grill and Sabatini’s specialty restaurants. Other returning favorites include Crooners, Bellini’s, Good Spirits at Sea, Alfredo’s Pizzeria, and the International Cafe to name a few. However, there are several new features and amenities that are found ONLY on Sun Princess. So, we share what makes Sun Princess different from the rest of the fleet.

24 Things You Can Find Only on Sun Princess

What Makes Sun Princess Different from the Rest of the Fleet

Largest Ship in the Fleet

We are big fans of mega-ships, so it’s no surprise that we really liked many aspects of this new Princess ship. As the largest ship in the fleet, Sun Princess features 21 total decks with more open spaces, 2,157 total staterooms, and several new venues and amenities appealing to multi-generational groups. It is also the first LNG ship in the Princess fleet.

The additional size allowed the brand to completely redesign interior and exterior spaces to modernize and enhance existing Princess favorites as well as introduce new concepts for the cruise line.

Spellbound by Magic Castle

Speaking of new concepts, perhaps our favorite addition to Sun Princess is Spellbound by Magic Castle. This immersive and mystifying experience, open to only 90 guests each night, includes a special dinner and entrance through the oddly out-of-place black door found midship on Deck 8.

We won’t spoil all the fun, but behind this innocent-looking door is perhaps one of the best-themed experiences at sea with unique cocktails, illusions, sleight of hand, and even a potential ghost sighting. All of this magic and mystery costs $149 per person.

Smart Elevators

While many hotels on land feature intelligent elevators, this innovation has just recently debuted on cruise ships and we’ve had mixed experiences. Thankfully, the technology works seamlessly on Sun Princess. All guests need to do is select a deck and an elevator will be assigned to them.

When the elevator arrives, it will take you (and the other guests also assigned to the elevator) to your desired destinations without any fumbling with elevator buttons. During our sailing on Sun Princess, this process was quick and efficient, often giving us an express ride with few stops.

Three-Story Dining Room

One area on Sun Princess that saw a grand redesign was the main dining room. Now, the separate dining rooms are merged into one elegant, 3-story venue. This new Horizons dining room features stunning aft views and a three-story sculpture.

Aside from the dining rooms being combined into one multi-story venue on Sun Princess, each deck does offer a different dining setup. The largest of the three dining rooms is on Deck 6. This restaurant is reserved for guests who prefer traditional dining. Deck 7 is for guests who opt for flexible dining and can make reservations in the app between 5 PM and 9 PM. 

Regardless of whether you choose traditional or flexible dining, guests can enjoy the same new main dining room menus

Where Sun Princess Shines and Fell Short

Americana Diner

The third level of the main dining room is a unique experience that you won’t find on most contemporary cruise lines. Americana Diner is a casual restaurant that has an entirely new all-day menu, serving breakfast items all day. Open for brunch and dinner, the menu features classic comfort food, like ribs, chicken wings, and sandwiches, along with omelets, pancakes, and more. You won’t want to miss the chicken and waffles cocktail here, either.

No reservations are needed to dine here; however, the menu does stay the same for the duration of the cruise.

While Princess Cruises is rolling out fleetwide dining changes starting in September, it’s unclear if the “walk-in”-designated restaurant will feature a similar all-day menu or not.

Next-Level Piazza

Princess Cruises’ iconic Piazza has been taken to the next level on Sun Princess with the introduction of the Sphere. This 9-story glass structure allows for more natural light and a more inviting space. The floor-to-ceiling glass offers amazing ocean views on all three decks of the Piazza, and even includes the SeaWalk on Deck 9 on the starboard side.

With new terraced seating, guests can enjoy several events, parties, and live music throughout the cruise here. Other popular venues, like the Crooners Bar, Bellini’s, Alfredo’s Pizzeria, and the International Cafe, blend seamlessly into this central hub of activity as well.

24 Things You Can Find Only on Sun Princess

Transformational Theater

The traditional cruise ship theater has also been completely transformed on Sun Princess. The Princess Arena is the most technologically advanced Princess Theater design, featuring three different configurations.

The new design somewhat resembles that of Celebrity’s Edge Class with a circular, central stage. However, this in-the-round theater takes it one step further with a semi-moveable seat design to maximize sightlines for the different stage setups similar to Virgin Voyages.

Unfortunately, the shows weren’t ready during our sailing. But they include: Vallora, A Pirate Quest; Stage Struck; Viva La Música; and Fiera!.

The Dome

Another innovative new entertainment space that you will find only on Sun Princess is the Dome. This one-of-a-kind glass-enclosed structure, perched at the top of the ship all the way forward, transforms throughout the day. During the day, its a solarium of sorts with terraced seating and an indoor-outdoor pool extending into the beautiful forward-facing Sea View Terrace.

At night, the space comes alive with entertainment featuring acrobatic performances created in partnership with Cirque Éloize. Again, these shows weren’t ready for our sailing but include: Blue, Come Fly Away, and Artbeat.

You also won’t want to miss the cascading waterfall with special lighting effects either.

New Shows

As mentioned above, the Princess Arena and the Dome will both eventually feature several unique and/or reimagined production shows not found on any other ships in the Princess fleet.

Three shows in the Princess Arena are completely new productions. Vallora, A Pirate Quest follows the heroine ‘Vallora’ through a pirate adventure set to an 80’s soundtrack. Stage Struck celebrates musical theater and Viva La Música is a Latin concert with plenty of Latin hits and dancing.

Additionally, there’s three specially created shows in the Dome featuring acts such as aerial hoops, aerial poles, bungees, Cyr wheel, silks, and more.

New Buffet – The Eatery

On Sun Princess, you won’t find the typical cruise ship buffet. Instead of the usual World Fresh Marketplace (or Horizon Court) located near the pool deck, Sun Princess shifts this dining space down to Deck 9. The Eatery is the new buffet which connects to the outdoor promenade deck. Don’t worry– there’s still food options up on the Lido.

Not only does the Eatery have a new location, the concept has been enhanced as well. It is now a full-service food hall where guests are served all selections. We liken this to the Galley on Virgin Voyages.

While it gets mixed reviews, we personally like not having to touch utensils that thousands of other hands have also touched prior to eating. Though, the venue itself is rather small for a ship of this size.

Reimagined Outdoor Spaces

What can’t be debated is that Sun Princess features several elegant and inviting outdoor spaces. Some new, some reimagined, but there’s definitely more space to soak up the sun and ocean breezes.

On Deck 9, there is the Promenade, which is similar to NCL’s Waterfront but it doesn’t circle the whole deck. Still, there’s outdoor seating for the Eatery and Alfredo’s, along with other comfortable seating options to just relax. There’s also quick-service counter stations to grab some food and drinks.

The Wake View Terrace on Deck 8 exudes beach club vibes with a stunning infinity pool. But perhaps our favorite outdoor space is the Sea View Terrace. Forward of the Dome on Deck 17, this partially-protected space has everything you need for the ultimate sea day— whirlpools, an indoor-outdoor pool, several comfy loungers, a bar, and fantastic forward-facing views.

First Sanctuary with a Pool

The Sanctuary is another exclusive space that has been elevated on Sun Princess. In fact, it is the first Sanctuary in the fleet to feature a pool. This large and inviting space also includes a bar, plenty of loungers and seating options, and whirlpools.

Actually, Sun Princess is also ushering in the brand-new Sanctuary Collection. Guests reserving Sanctuary Collection accommodations, including the designated 80 Signature Collection Suites, 123 Mini-Suites, or 12 Premium Deluxe Balconies can enjoy exclusive access to the ship’s top-deck retreat area. These guests will also receive the Princess Premier bundle.

We liken this to Princess Cruises’ attempt at a ship-within-a-ship concept like NCL’s The Haven or MSC’s The Yacht Club, yet not as cohesive.

New Teppanyaki and Hot Pot Experiences

In the name of keeping up with the competition, Sun Princess is also the first ship in the fleet to debut a Teppanyaki experience. Umai Teppanyaki is available only on Sun Princess. As fans of these Japanese-style steakhouses, we can confirm that this version at sea is just as delicious and entertaining.

However, what’s unique and completely new in the cruise industry is the Umai Hot Pot experience. This cooking approach allows guests to prepare their own Asian-inspired delicacies. With boiling broth, cruisers combine veggies, meat, and noodles for a filling and fun communal meal. Our friends vouched that it was top-notch as well.

Of course, both the teppanyaki and hot pot dining experiences do come with an up-charge like any specialty restaurant does.

Additional Specialty Dining

Speaking of specialty restaurants, loyal Princess guests will be happy to hear that they can enjoy even more options on Sun Princess. With the most celebrity collaborations to date, this ship features the brand-new Makoto Ocean, Love by Britto, and The Butcher’s Block by Dario.

The Butcher’s Block by Dario is an 8-course meal featuring several signature cuts of beef, including a tomahawk and t-bone. Makoto Ocean is in partnership with Makoto Okuwa, Master of Edomae-style sushi. And, Love by Britto will be an intimate dining experience aft on Deck 17 offering fantastic wake views alongside an “artistically-presented” 7-course meal created by Rudi Sodamin.

These new additions, in conjuction with favorites like Crown Grill, Sabatini’s, and The Catch by Rudi, are sure to please all the foodies out there.

Sea Breeze Rollglider

The Sea Breeze rollglider is another innovation that you will find only on Sun Princess. Not only is this attraction a first for Princess Cruises, but it’s also a first in the cruise industry as a whole. Unfortunately, it wasn’t open yet for us to experience during our March 2024 sailing on the ship.

Sea Breeze is inspired by hand gliding and will take guests high above the ship to enjoy panoramic views. With an overheard track that spans a good length of the ship, guests can soar above the open ocean or a port of call in this electric ride that reaches up to 11 miles per hour.

While we were told that this activity will be complimentary, it’s still unclear if it will be first-come first-served or use a reservation system once the ride finally opens.

Other Park19 Firsts

Sea Breeze isn’t the only new attraction in Park19 on Sun Princess. This sports deck is definitely geared towards attracting more families and multigenerational groups with a ropes course, splash pad, and more in additon to the typical sports court.

The Net is a 2-story ropes course designed to challenge guests with elements like cargo nets and balance beams. Coastal Climb is a climbing structure for kids with a small slide and a lookout area from the top. There’s also the Splash Zone for the little ones located in this same area.

Not to mention, kids and adults alike will love the hammock grove! This makes a great spot for mom and dad to chill while the kids are enjoying the other elements of Park19. Or perhaps, a place to rest after an invigorating jog around the track.

24 Things You Can Find Only on Sun Princess

Cabana Deck and Staterooms

Similar to the Havana Deck on some Carnival cruise ships, Sun Princess debuts the Cabana Deck. Located on Deck 9 midship, this exclusive lounge space is reserved for those staying in select Cabana staterooms (Cabana Deck Mini Suites). Here, guests have exclusive access to comfy lounge furniture and whirlpools away from the crowds.

Now, the Cabana staterooms are also completely new and found only on Sun Princess. These mini-suites feature a similar interior setup to other staterooms on the ship but have a unique private cabana that leads out to the balcony. The cabana area features a patio-style sofa and its own television, providing the perfect transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces.

24 Things You Can Find Only on Sun Princess

Other Stateroom Enhancements

Besides the new Cabana staterooms, Sun Princess offers several other stateroom enhancements. Among the 2100+ staterooms are 80 Signature Collection Suites. Along with the premium accommodations, these guests can enjoy an exclusive restaurant, lounge, and sun deck.

Sun Princess is also the first in the Princess fleet to offer no obstructed view cabins and more connecting cabins than any other Princess ship.

Not to mention, the entry-level balcony staterooms are all deluxe balcony cabins, which means more space, storage, and a sofa. These cabins also have a new and improved bathroom, with modern finishes and a brand-new shower design. This square shower setup features a glass door and no more shower curtain! We really appreciated the new layout and decor of the cabins on Sun Princess.

Where Sun Princess Shines and Fell Short

Largest Casino in the Fleet

The casino on Sun Princess is the largest in the fleet. To be exact, it has 50% more space and 30% more machines than the line’s Royal Class ships. To enhance the “Vegas-feel”, the height of the ceilings in this Deck 8 venue are taller. The nearly 9,000 square foot space features 10’ ceilings, 227 slot machines, and 13 live tables.

This extra vertical space certainly makes the casino feel larger and more glamorous than the typical casinos on other cruise ships. However, we were completely surprised that the casino allowed smoking. Although the ship had only been sailing for a few weeks, the smoke smell was already apparent during our voyage. This is true even outside the casino itself, especially in the forward elevator bank.

First Two-Story Spa

For those seeking some rejuvenation during their vacation, Sun Princess is the first ship in the Princess fleet to feature a two-story Lotus Spa. Of course, the spa features your typical treatments and services like massages, facials, manicures, and more. There’s also the Enclave thermal suite, fitness classes, and a salon.

Other firsts for Princess include a sea salt room in the Enclave, along with the typical hydrotherapy pool, sauna, steam room, experiental showers, and heated stone loungers. There’s also the first IV Lounge which offers various IV treatments for hydration, energy, detox, and more.

24 Things You Can Find Only on Sun Princess

New Youth Areas

While Princess Cruises has always had youth areas on its ships, Sun Princess features completely redesigned spaces for kids and teens that are the largest in the fleet. Firefly Park Kids Club is for those ages 3-7. Neon Grove Tweens Club is for those ages 8-12, and The Underground Teen Lounge is for those ages 13-17.

These expanded youth areas provide plenty of space for kids of all ages to socialize and engage in age-appropriate activities and events. With arts and crafts, video game consoles, and several other games like air hockey and foosball, this is just another area where its evident that Sun Princess is trying to appeal to families and multi-gen travelers.

First Guest Services Not in the Piazza

While we really do love Sun Princess, some of the design and navigational changes do have us wondering what were they thinking. Similar to other Princess Cruises ships, there are very few decks where you can walk from one end to the other on both sides of the ship and finding some locations can be tricky.

One of these instances is the relocation of Guest Services, which is no longer in the Piazza. It’s now located on Deck 6 right outside the forward bank of elevators. While this might sound good in theory as more and more situations can be handled via the app, it does create confusion and congestion in the area interfering with guests accessing staterooms and Firefly Park.

New Propulsion Technology

Another first for Princess, Sun Princess has two Azipods for forward and backward movements and the four largest bow thrusters on the market for sideways navigation. These features provide better maneuverability and help to save fuel. So, while the ship is the largest in the Princess fleet, it has the best maneuverability and is the most energy efficient.

It was actually surprising to hear this from the Captain during our bridge tour, as other cruise lines like Royal Caribbean have had this propulsion technology on its ships for years.

24 Things You Can Find Only on Sun Princess

25 New-to-Sea Retail Brands

Finally, Sun Princess also ups the ante when it comes to shopping on Sun Princess. This new cruise ship features 25 new-to-sea retail brands. The ship has nearly 6,000 square feet of dedicated retail space spread over two decks.

The cruise line boasts a line-up of more than 200 premium brands with products ranging from jewelry and watches to cosmetics, clothing, accessories, and the first Princess-branded merchandise boutique. Some popular brands that guests will find onboard include Chanel No. 1, Pinko handbags, Breitling, TAG Heuer, Clinique, and Pandora Jewelry.


Do you have an upcoming cruise on Sun Princess? Which of these features found only on Sun Princess are you the most eager to check out? Drop us an anchor below to share your thoughts on this latest Princess Cruises’ ship?

Heidi is a physical therapist by profession, cruise enthusiast at heart, and Princess all the time! She is a self-confessed thrill seeker, obsessive planner, and over-packer. She is always looking for the latest and greatest adventures onboard and ashore, enjoys researching top things to do in ports of call, and loves dressing up for formal nights.
Heidi Bucolo
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24 Things You Can Find Only on Sun Princess

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