Princess Cruises is not known for making drastic changes. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that Sun Princess, its upcoming new ship, is not dramatically different from the 15 other ships in the fleet.
There are still many unfinished tasks on Sun Princess, which need another 10 months of work before it is ready to sail. Richard Parker, Princess’ director for newbuild guest experience and product development, gave a group of cruise reporters a nearly three-hour tour of the ship’s main public areas, and this is what they got to see firsthand.
The exterior of the Sun Princess and the scaffolding for the interiors are largely complete, as is usual at this stage in the construction of a new ship, but more work is needed. There were many empty space hulls with only partially completed installations and wiring.
Finally, some appreciation for suite guests
Princess lags decades behind its competitors when it comes to offering a premium selection of suites aboard its ships and all the associated amenities that suite-loving cruisers appreciate – from dedicated restaurants for suite guests to private sundecks. But as the saying goes, better late than never.
New Cabana mini-suites
Sun Princess offers a unique new cabin type with a built-in “cabana” as part of the room amenities, in addition to a wider selection of suites. It also has exclusive access to a shared private sundeck located just beyond the balcony, as well as a separate private balcony space.
No more buffet on the pool deck
Sun Princess will be the first Princess ship (and one of the few ships of any line) without a buffet restaurant on its main pool deck.
Fear not, fans of buffets: Sun Princess will also have a place that resembles a buffet. It’s just eight floors below the pool deck, putting it closer to the ship’s central piazza and other interior amenities.
“There’s many reasons why we did it,” Parker said of moving the location. “One is the [greater] amount of space [available], but also it gives us instant access to the promenade deck,” Parker said.
The buffet-style restaurant, called World Fresh Market, will be located on Deck 9, where the ship’s outdoor promenade is also located. The dining area may therefore overflow onto the promenade deck.
“Outside, we will have additional food outlets, details to come in the future,” Parker said.
Adding the outdoor venues, which have yet to be disclosed, it will be a massive space with numerous separate “storefronts” offering various dining options. Parker suggested
“One of the feedbacks that we got from our guests is that they want more choice. They want more options. We’re going to give them more choice and more options,” he said.