Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 377 out of 500
Accommodation: 148 out of 200
Food: 247 out of 400
Service: 278 out of 400
Entertainment: 77 out of 100
Cruise: 287 out of 400
Overall Score: 1414 out of 2000
Sea Princess Statistics
Size: Large Resort Ship
Cruise Line: Princess Cruises
Former Names: Adonia, Sea Princess
IMO Number: 9150913
Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)
Original Cost: $300 million
Entered Service: Dec 1998/Apr 2005
Registry: Great Britain
Length (ft/m): 857.2/261.3
Beam (ft/m): 105.6/32.2
Draft (ft/m): 26.5/8.1
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (46,080kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 10
Total Crew: 850
Passengers (lower beds): 2,016
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 39.3
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.2
Cabins (total): 1,008
Size Range (sq ft/m): 158.2-610.3/14.7-56.7
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 411
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 19
Wheelchair accessibility: Good
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 3
Hot Tubs (on deck): 5
Self-Service Launderette: Yes
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: US$
This large, family-friendly ship has relaxing decor
Overview. Sea Princess spends most of its time cruising in Australasian and South Pacific waters. As is the case aboard most large ships, you will be well attended if you live in the top-grade cabins; otherwise, you’ll be one of a very large number of passengers.
The Ship. This all-white ship (sister ships: Dawn Princess, Sun Princess) has a profile balanced by a large, swept-back funnel that, in its sheltered base aft contains a deck-tennis/basketball/volleyball court. There is a wide, teak walk-around promenade deck outdoors, some real teak steamer-style deck chairs with cushioned pads, and 93,000 sq ft (8,640 sq m) of outdoors space. A large glazed area on the upper decks provides plenty of light and connection with the outside world.
Sea Princess absorbs passengers well and has a decent passenger/space ratio for a large ship. Some areas even have an intimate feel to them, which is what the interior designers intended. The interiors are attractive and welcoming with pastel colors and decor that includes countless wall murals and other artwork. There is a wide range of public rooms, including 13 bars, with several intimate rooms and spaces so that you aren’t overwhelmed. A large, four-deck-high atrium lobby has winding, double stairways and two panoramic glass-walled elevators.
There is a library, a warm room with ocean-view windows and large buttery leather chairs for listening to CDs and audio books, a card room and reading room. The artwork collection is good, particularly on the stairways, and helps make the ship feel smaller than it is. The Grand Casino is slightly out of the main passenger flow and so doesn’t generate the ‘walk-through’ factor found aboard so many ships. Cyberspace is a lounge and Internet-connect room close to the pools on Riviera Deck.
Perhaps the most popular drinking venue is the Wheelhouse Bar, with decor that is a pleasing mix of traditional and modern, a bandstand and dance floor; it’s like a gentleman’s club, with its wood paneling and comfortable seating. For families with children, plenty of space is provided in The Fun Zone children’s center, on the starboard side of the Riviera Deck.
One nice feature is the fact that the captain’s cocktail party is normally held in the four-deck-high open-flow main atrium, so you can come and go as you please. In the quest for increased onboard revenue, even birthday cakes are now an extra-cost item, as are espressos and cappuccinos in the lobby café, though fake ones, made from instant coffee, are available in the dining rooms. Also at extra cost are ice cream, except in the restaurant, and bottled water; these can add up to a considerable amount on a long cruise.
There are a number of dead ends in the interior layout, so it could be more user-friendly. The swimming pools are quite small for the number of passengers carried, and the pool deck is cluttered with plastic sunloungers. The digital voice announcing lift deck stops is annoying for many.
Accommodation. There are numerous different cabin price grades, designated as suites with private balcony, mini-suites with private balcony, outside-view twin-bedded cabins with balcony, outside-view twin-bedded cabins, and interior twin-bedded cabins. Although the standard outside-view and interior cabins are a little small, they are functional, and have earth tone colors accentuated by splashes of color from the bedspreads. Proportionately, there are quite a lot of interior cabins.
Many outside-view cabins have private balconies, and all seem to be quite well soundproofed, although the balcony partition is not of the floor-to-ceiling type, so you can hear your neighbors. The balconies are very narrow - just big enough for two small chairs - and there is no outdoor balcony light. Some cabins have third- and fourth-person upper bunk beds - good for families with children.
There is a reasonable amount of closet space and abundant drawer and other storage space in the cabins; although adequate for a seven-night cruise, it can prove challenging for longer cruises. Also provided are a TV set and refrigerator, and each night a chocolate will appear on your pillow. The cabin bathrooms are practical units, and come complete with all the facilities one needs - although, again, they really are tight spaces. Fortunately, they have a shower enclosure of a decent size, real glasses, a hairdryer, and a small amount of shelving for toiletries.
Suites. The largest cabins are six suites, two on each of three decks at the stern, each with its own large private balcony. These suites are well laid-out, and the large bathrooms have two washbasins, a Jacuzzi tub, and separate shower enclosure. The bedroom has generous amounts of wood accenting and detailing, indented ceilings, TV sets in the bedroom and lounge areas, and a dining table and four chairs.
Mini-Suites. These typically have two lower beds that convert into a queen-size bed. There is a separate bedroom/sleeping area with vanity desk, and a lounge with sofa and coffee table, indented ceilings, generous amounts of wood accenting and detailing, walk-in closet; the bathroom has a Jacuzzi tub and separate shower enclosure.
Standard outside-view/interior cabins. The cabin bathrooms are practical, but compact. They do, however, have a decent shower enclosure, real glasses, a hairdryer, and a small amount of shelving for toiletries.
The cabin numbering system is quite illogical, with numbers going through several hundred series on the same deck. The room service menu is very limited.
Dining. Rigoletto and Traviata are the two main, asymmetrically designed dining rooms, each seating about 500 and adjacent to the two lower levels of the four-deck-high atrium lobby. Your cabin location determines which you are assigned to. Each has its own galley and each is split into multi-tier sections that help create a feeling of intimacy, although there is a lot of noise from the waiter stations. Breakfast and lunch have open seating, and dinner is in two seatings. The wine list is quite reasonable; 15 percent is added to all beverage bills, including wines.
Other dining options. Horizon Court is the ship’s 24-hour casual, self-serve buffet. At night, this large room, which resembles a food court, can be transformed into an informal bistro dinner setting with waiter service. Reservations are necessary and there may be a cover charge.
Outdoors on deck, with a sheltered view over the Riviera Pool, the Terrace Grill serves fast-food items to those who don’t want to change from sunbathing attire. In the evening, the grill offers steaks, seafood, and a ‘white sisters’ mixed grill. There’s a cover charge for dining under the stars.
For informal eats, Verdi’s, on the uppermost level of the atrium lobby, serves steaks and seafood at extra cost. In addition, there’s a patisserie for cappuccino/espresso coffees and pastries opposite the reception desk on the atrium’s lowest deck, and a wine/caviar bar, Rendezvous, on Promenade Deck. Coffee or tea from any of the bars costs extra.
Entertainment. The Princess Theater, located forward, is a 550-seat, theater-style showlounge, where the main production shows are staged and movies can be shown. The second theater, Vista Lounge, located aft, is a 480-seat lounge and bar for cabaret entertainment and lectures.
In addition, the ship has an array of cabaret acts. Although many are not what you would call headliners, they regularly travel the cruise ship circuit. Classical concerts are scheduled for many cruises throughout the year.
Spa/Fitness. The Lotus Spa has facilities that are contained in a glass-walled complex located on Lido Deck - one of the highest decks, at the aft section of the ship. It includes a gymnasium with ocean views aft and to port, with all the associated high-tech muscle-pumping and body-toning equipment, a combination aerobics/exercise room, sauna and steam room, and several wellbeing treatment rooms. Some fitness and exercise classes may cost extra.
Forming part of the outside area of the spa complex, one swimming pool is ‘suspended’ aft between two decks. Two other pools are located in another area in the center of the ship, although they are not large for the size of the vessel. Sports facilities are located in an open-air sports deck positioned inside the funnel and adaptable for basketball, volleyball, badminton, or paddle tennis.
Joggers can exercise on the wraparound open Promenade Deck. There’s also an electronic golf simulator - no need to bring your own clubs.