Princess Cruises will welcome the new Sun Princess ship to its fleet in early 2024, the cruise line announced Thursday.
The ship, the first of her new Sphere class, is Princess’ largest ship to date, accommodating over 4,000 guests, and marks both a new chapter for the line and a nod to its past. .
“What we’re really looking for with Princess is to push the future, to push innovation, to push things further and further for our customers, but at the same time to embrace our heritage,” said Princess President John Padgett tells USA TODAY in an interview.
This is evident in both the familiar design aesthetic and the ship’s name. Princess previously operated two other Sun Princess ships, selling the newest – which was introduced in 1995 – in 2020.
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But the ship also includes a number of innovations and new features from the line. Here’s what guests can expect.
Where will Sun Princess sail?
The vessel, which is currently under construction at Italian shipyard Fincantieri, will spend its inaugural spring and summer season in the Mediterranean, according to a press release. In fall 2024, Sun Princess will operate Eastern and Western Caribbean voyages from Port Everglades, Florida.
What can passengers expect on board the Sun Princess?
As many cruise ships get bigger, Padgett said Princess holds a unique place in the industry, in part because of how it personalizes the guest experience.
“…We’re in a unique position to have our cake and eat it too,” he said, “having great ships, all the amenities our customers want, while having that personalized service that’s really historically unique to small ships and mid-size ships.”
The 21-deck ship will have 2,157 cabins, including 50 suites. There will also be 100 connecting rooms and more balcony space than on previous Princess ships. The line will also launch the Signature Collection on Sun Princess, a new level of en-suite accommodation with premium cabin amenities and access to its own restaurant, lounge and more.
Club Class will also become the reserve collection – mini-suites in prime locations – a change that will roll out to all other Princess ships, although Padgett said the line has no specific timeline for this.
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And although the ship was designed with the line’s heritage in mind, the ship features some striking innovations including The Dome, a glass dome and a multi-level covered deck. You can swim in its indoor-outdoor pool during the day and return for the nighttime festivities when the pool turns into a stage. The space can also host aerial performances, according to the statement.
There are also other entertainment areas, including the Piazza of the Line and the Princess Theatre.
Food and beverage options include the new Coffee Currents cafe, Bellini Cocktail Bar, Alfredo’s Pizzeria and Crooners Bar.
What else should travelers know?
Sun Princess has been designed with accessibility in mind, which Padgett says will feature in “every nuance of gates and doors, thresholds and levels, handles and placements”, although the line has no no definitive number of cabins accessible on board yet.
The ship is also the first dual-fuel Princess ship powered primarily by cleaner-burning liquefied natural gas. Travelers can purchase tickets for the ship’s first three voyages beginning Sept. 16 at 3 p.m. EST, and a special booking window for Princess Elite members runs from Sept. 15 at 5:30 p.m. September 16 at 3 p.m. EST.
Prices for a round trip from Rome in February 2024 start at $1,999 for an interior room based on double occupancy with the Princess Standard package. This includes “lodging, dining and entertainment,” according to the line’s website.