Royal Princess Debuts

Royal Princess Debuts

Princess Cruises' newest and largest ship, Royal Princess, takes off with impressive new features By: Tom Stieghorst
The ship features a glass-bottomed, 60-foot promenade. // © 2013 Princess Cruises
The ship features a glass-bottomed, 60-foot promenade. // © 2013 Princess Cruises

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The Details

Princess Cruises
www.princess.com

Ship Facts

Length: 1,083 feet

Tonnage: 141,000

Passengers: 3,560

Crew: 1,346

Balcony Cabins: 1,438

Wheelchair Accessible Cabins: 36

Princess Cruises is the only major cruise line that feels more feminine than masculine. Its ships seek not so much to wow you as to woo you. So it is fitting that the 3,600-passenger Royal Princess, the line’s largest ship to date, makes an impression with its looks, comfort and class more than its sheer size. Make no mistake, from bow to stern, Royal Princess is more than 1,000 feet long and 19 decks high. But once onboard, what passengers will remember are the finer aspects of its design.

The seduction begins in the Piazza, a three-story atrium adorned in cream and brown marble and bordered by Princess standbys such as Sabatini’s and Alfredo’s, as well as a new bar called Bellini and the Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar.  An expanded version of the Piazza on earlier Princess ships, this one is big enough to have entertainment from noon to midnight, heightening its magnetism for passengers.

New headline features on Royal Princess include the Seawalk, a glass-bottomed 60-foot promenade that extends 28 feet over the side of the ship on Deck 15, and the computer-controlled fountain added to the pool deck. The elevated, circular platform has 85 jets capable of shooting water 33 feet high.

Princess executives cite continuity as one of the line’s distinguishing traits, and past passengers will take familiar refuge in the Wheelhouse Bar, Movies Under the Stars, the Vines bar and the Trident Grill.

Likewise, anyone who has been in the Princess Theater on another ship will recognize the one on Royal Princess, although at 925 seats it is 15 percent bigger than its counterpart on Ruby.  “Colors of the World,” one of four production shows designed for the theater, made great use of its sound and light technology and was in the Princess tradition of tried and true entertainment.

The Royal Princess departs from tradition with the relocation of the Lotus Spa from Deck 15 beneath The Sanctuary to windowless Deck 5, in order to make room for more upper deck staterooms. It now has 18 treatment rooms and a thermal spa triple the size of any existing Lotus Spa.

Cabins on Royal Princess include a new category, deluxe balcony, which affords an extra 10 square feet of room over the average 174-square-foot balcony cabin, along with a small sofa and some suite amenities. Accommodations break down to 36 suites, 314 mini-suites, 364 deluxe balconies, 724 balconies and 342 interior staterooms. A first is the Concierge Lounge for suite passengers, which isn’t equal to the dedicated first-class space on other lines, but gives Princess a response in that discussion.

Each onboard children’s club has a secluded outdoor area, with a jungle gym for ages 3 to 7, and lounge chairs, ping pong, a hot tub and an iPod station for older youths.

Students of any age have a choice of 40 enrichment classes on Royal Princess, ranging from art history to Zumba lessons, along with more traditional ballroom instruction, culinary demonstrations, and the line’s all-passenger pop choirs.

After a summer in the Mediterranean, Royal Princess departs from Venice on Oct. 9 for an 18-day transition cruise arriving in Fort Lauderdale on Oct. 27.

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