Introduces A New Ship Class
Atrium, made possible
by Royal Princess'
Cruises has succeeded royally with the introduction of Royal
Princess, the first a new class of
ships for the line. The largest ship in their fleet now measures a
whopping 142,229 gross registered tons and carries 3,560 passengers
in double occupancy. Christened in Southampton by Her Royal Highness the Duchess of
Cambridge in June 2013, following a season of European cruises she
made her North American debut in Fort Lauderdale, Florida this fall
to launch her maiden Caribbean season.
not the world's largest ship these
days, the new Royal Princess is certainly a huge step up in size for
Princess Cruises. Loyal past passengers will be pleased that she contains the
tradition of Princess Cruises' signature features, as well as introduces some innovative
ones that expand the
on board experience to a higher level. The atrium is simply stunning
with its wide open space surrounded by intimate places to dine and
enjoy cocktails and entertainment.
One of the first things most
people notice about any Princess ship is their abundance of balconies.
With Royal Princess the line has gone one step further—all outside accommodations feature balconies,
although they are not stepped out in wedding cake fashion as found
on previous ship classes. Instead of the graceful curve of the
Grand-class vessels, Royal Princess balconies march in a solid wall. My
Deluxe Balcony balcony on Deck 9 (D402, featured a balcony
with clear panels beneath the
railing, but was barely deep enough for two chairs and a tiny table.
Even mini-suites fared no better with balconies diminutive in size.
Princess standard accommodations have traditionally featured
numerous amenities and the line continues to provide Royal Princess
passengers with staples such as hairdryers, small refrigerators,
television, telephone with voice mail, personal safe, large walk-in
closet, and robes for use throughout the cruise. Beds are dressed in
European-style duvets and linens and have posh fluffy pillows. Real
conveniences for passengers who must remain in touch with family or
the office are ship-wide WiFi and cell phone connectivity.
Debuting on Royal Princess is a
new category of stateroom the Deluxe Balcony pictured here—an
extra spacious balcony cabin with a comfortable sofa bed (in place
of a side chair) and some of the upgraded amenities found in
mini-suites, including enhanced bathroom amenities, waffle bathrobe,
and an upgraded duvet. Royal Princess features 358 deluxe balcony
staterooms throughout the ship.
space and comforts are available to mini-suite and suite occupants,
including separate sitting areas, luxury bedding and towels, a
choice of pillow styles, and bathtubs in mini-suites. Additionally,
mini-suites feature a decorative central lighting fixture, a privacy
curtain between the bed and sitting area, and marble-topped
counters. Suites offer larger televisions, two sinks in the
bathroom, accent lighting and a glass-paneled shower. Suite
passengers can also take advantage of Royal Princess’ new Concierge
Lounge, offering an exclusive space to enjoy refreshments, make
reservations for dining, spa services and shore excursions.
wheelchair accessible cabins are available in a variety of
categories, including 22 with balcony, 1 suite, 6 mini-suites, and 7 inside.
Oddly, while there are 780 Upper berths in various accommodations
categories, there are no interconnecting 'family' suites on Royal
Princess, such as those found on earlier ships.
If I had to pick the one
thing I like best about a Princess cruise, it would be the Personal
Choice Dining concept. I prefer the idea of eating when I'm hungry and
not planning my day around a set schedule. Tailoring a cruise
vacation to my lifestyle is high on my list of priorities.
Royal Princess still
offers set seating dining for traditionalists who prefer it,
but also takes choices to a new level for those of us who are a bit
Symphony, Allegro, and
Concerto dining rooms (one traditional seating, two
for personal choice) are elegant and intimate. Each features
sophisticated modern decor, most notable in the aft-facing
Allegro dining room where the Chef's Table Lumiere is surrounded
by a curtain of fiber optic lights that create privacy for the
ultimate dining experience (for an extra charge).
is the casual buffet restaurant with sea views from floor to
ceiling windows. Servers are on hand to provide beverages and
assistance. New on
Royal Princess in the Horizon Court is the Pastry Shop, offering
a variety of specialty treats and a coffee bar. Also new to the
Horizon Court are two specialty dining spots with cover charges—Crab
Shack for seafood lovers
with a wide variety of seafood, including crabs to crack
themselves, and Fondues, where a variety of
cheese fondues highlight the menu.
Cafe is an expansion of the patisserie found on other
Princess ships. Open 24-hours, it features specialty coffees,
pastries, salads, panini sandwiches, and tapas. Aside from some
specialty items, there is no charge.
and seafood bar serves fine wines accompanied by artisan
cheeses, sushi, and other chilled seafood
appetizers, for a modest charge.
Princess' signature Italian trattoria has a central location off
the atrium near Vines. The cover charge that applies is well worth it for the
tasting courses alone, not to mention the entrees and desserts.
Exclusively for full-suite passengers is the opportunity to
start the day with a leisurely breakfast in Sabatini’s.
is paired with Princess Cruises' signature Wheelhouse Bar in a warm,
inviting setting. In addition to steaks and
chops, seafood items such as lobster are available. Cover charges apply.
The location also features a free daily pub lunch.
New to Royal Princess are:
Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar, offers an
array of à la carte treasures of the sea as well as fresh sushi
Alfredo's Pizzeria. offering authentic Italian
pasta dishes and pizza
Gelato, serving frozen gelato confections and
In addition to dining
rooms and restaurants, the b>Trident Grill is a handy poolside
spot to get a burger and fries for lunch. Nearby is the Prego
for pizza and Swirls Ice Cream Bar. Complimentary ice cream is also served in the Horizon Court for a short time every afternoon.
dining choices for passengers with balcony accommodations are the Champagne
Balcony Breakfast and the Ultimate Balcony
Dinner,, served course-by-course. Cover charges apply
If that isn't enough choice, there's 24-hour room service and
you can even order
pizza delivered to your cabin for a nominal service charge.
Princess Preview - Part Two
Cruise Diva's Royal Princess Blogs:
Cruises - Cruise Line Profile
Photos © Linda Coffman