Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

Princess Cruises
Cruise StylePremium
Ship SizeSmall

Introduced in 1998, Sea Princess was the third and final sister ship in Princess Cruises’ Sun-class. With far-flung destinations all over the world on her schedule, the ship has been updated to include popular features found on her sister ships, such as The Sanctuary, an adults-only retreat.Read More

Refined and graceful, Sun-class ships offer many of the choices attributed to larger Grand-class ships without sacrificing the smaller-ship atmosphere for which they’re noted. The four-story atrium with a circular marble floor, stained-glass dome, and magnificent floating staircase are ideal settings for relaxation, people watching, and making a grand entrance. Only Sea Princess sails Caribbean cruises; Sun and Dawn Princess are deployed in the South Pacific.

Onboard decor is a combination of neutrals and pastels, which are easy on the eyes after a sunny day ashore. The main public rooms are situated in a vertical arrangement on four lower decks, and, with the exception of the promenade deck, cabins are forward and aft. In a nice design twist, the casino is somewhat isolated, and passengers aren’t forced to use it as a passageway to reach dining rooms or the art deco main show lounge. Sea Princess also has an outdoor Movies Under the Stars LED screen.

Princess Cruises may be best known for introducing cruise travel to millions of viewers, when its flagship became the setting for The Love Boat television series in 1977. Since that heady time of small-screen stardom, the Princess fleet has grown both in the number and size of ships. Although most are large in scale, Princess vessels manage to create the illusion of intimacy through the use of color and decor in understated yet lovely public rooms graced by multimillion-dollar art collections.

Princess has also become more flexible; Personal Choice Cruising offers alternatives for open seating dining (when you wish and with whom you please) and entertainment options as diverse as those found in resorts ashore.

Lovely chapels or the wide-open decks are romantic settings for weddings at sea with the captain officiating.

  • 10 passenger decks
  • 2 dining rooms, buffet, ice cream parlor, pizzeria
  • Wi-Fi, safe, refrigerator
  • 3 pools (1 indoor), children’s pool
  • fitness classes, gym, hot tubs, sauna, spa
  • 7 bars, casino, 2 dance clubs, library, 2 showrooms, video game room
  • children’s programs
  • dry cleaning, laundry facilities, laundry service
  • Internet terminal
  • no kids under 6 months, no-smoking cabins

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Pros
Cons
You can always escape the crowds by ducking into the cozy reading room
No matter what flavor is on the menu, dessert soufflés can’t be beat
On Riviera Deck a dramatic, partially shaded pool with two hot tubs appears suspended between two decks
Horizon Court Lido buffet restaurants occupy the far forward space, meaning there is no observatory lounge
There’s nothing about the interior decor that’ll knock your socks off
These are large ships but not large enough to overcome the invasive art auctions

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins

Layout
Amenities
Accessibility

Princess Cruises’ trademark is an abundance of staterooms with private balconies, and even the least expensive inside categories have ample storage and a small seating area with a chair and table. Suites have two TVs, a separate seating area, a dining-height table with chairs, a walk-in closet, double-sink vanities, and a separate shower and whirlpool tub. Minisuites have a separate seating area, two TVs, a walk-in closet, and a separate shower and whirlpool tub. Cabins that sleep third and fourth passengers aren’t as numerous as on other Princess ships, and no staterooms have interconnecting interior doors, although adjacent cabins with balconies can be connected by unlocking balcony divider doors.

Decorated in pastel tones, staterooms typically have mirrored accents, a safe, a refrigerator, a hair dryer, and bathrobes for use during the cruise. Bathrooms have shampoo, lotion, and bath gel.

Nineteen staterooms are designed for wheelchair accessibility and range in size from 213 to 305 square feet, depending on category.

Food & Drink

Food

Sun-class ships have one dining room with two traditional assigned dinner seatings and one open seating dining room for Personal Choice cruisers; breakfast and lunch are open seating. Alternative dinner options are the reservations-only Sterling Steakhouse (a section of the buffet that’s dressed up for the evening and for which there’s a charge) and complimentary traditional Italian dishes in a trattoria-style setting in the pizzeria. With a few breaks in service, Lido buffets on all ships are almost always open. The pizzeria and a grill near the main pool offer casual daytime snack choices. The patisseries and ice cream bars charge for specialty coffee, some pastries, and premium ice cream. Ultimate Balcony Dining is available, as is afternoon tea and 24-hour room service.

Entertainment

Nighttime production shows tend to be Broadway-style revues presented in the main show lounge, and guest performers might include comedians, magicians, jugglers, and acrobats. Live bands play a wide range of musical styles for dancing and listening in the lounges and on each ship even the atrium has a dance floor. The entertainment staff leads lively evenings of fun with passenger participation. Movies Under the Stars with free popcorn is a popular option.

Spa & Fitness

Spas operated by Steiner Leisure offer a menu of massages, body wraps, and facials, including some designed specifically for men and teens as well as couples. Acupuncture is also available. Adults can escape to The Sanctuary, a relaxing outdoor spa-inspired setting for which there is also a fee. There are no thermal suites, but complimentary saunas are available adjacent to men’s and women’s changing rooms.

QUICK FACTS

SHIP STATS
Entered Service
1998
Number of Cabins
975
Passenger Capacity
1,950
Crew Members
900
Passengers to Crew Ratio
2.17
Gross Tons
77000
Width
106 feet
Length
856 feet
CRUISE LINE INFO
661/753–0000 or 800/774–6237

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