Royal Princess Ship Review

Royal-Princess-Daytime-PUBJoining the fleet of Princess cruise ships in June of 2013 will be the newest and largest Princess ship to date.  The ship will be christened the Royal Princess.

Ship Facts and Specifications:

The Royal Princess will have a capacity of 3,600 passengers and weigh in at a whopping 141,000 tons.  This might not be an impressive statistic for most princesses but for a cruise ship it’s definitely acceptable!  It will take a crew of 1,346 to service this princess including bartenders, cooks, housekeepers, wait staff, entertainment, bellmen, photographers, shopkeepers, massage therapists, wine steward, managers and captains.

At a height of 217 feet and a length of 1,083 feet, the Royal Princess makes the distinction of being the largest ship in the Princess cruise line.  Her beam is 155 feet long including the SeaWalk.  The SeaWalk itself is an exciting new industry- first addition which is a glass bottomed walkway that will extend 30 feet off the side of the ship and enable guests to walk out over the ocean.  This same ship will feature a bar that extends off the port side of the same deck called the SeaView bar.  In addition, the Royal Princess features 17 separate decks that can be enjoyed by guests.

There are 1,780 passenger cabins on the Royal Princess.  Of these 1,780 cabins, 1,438 are outside cabins and 342 are inside cabins.  There are 40 suites that feature private balconies.  There are 360 mini suites, 360 deluxe cabins with balconies, 732 balcony cabins, and the remaining 342 inside cabins which do not have the balcony feature.  Additional upper berths are featured in 780 of these cabins while there are 36 wheelchair accessible cabins including 29 that have balconies and 7 that do not.  In total, there are 1,438 cabins that feature private balconies, over 80% of the outside cabins.

Ship Features:

In addition to the SeaWalk and the SeaView bar there are many exciting features on the Royal Princess.  To begin with she features a larger updated Atrium with expanded casual dining options and entertainment.  Aboard the Royal Princess, guests will find the largest pool deck in the entire fleet featuring a light and water show that shoots fountains over 30 feet into the sky.

Entertainment:

You can watch movies on the Royal Princess under the stars right next to the pool on a screen that is 30% larger than any screen on previous ships.

The Princess Theater and Princess Live!  both feature daily entertainment with the latter being the first at-sea television studio which will offer a number of shows including live concerts, game shows, comedy and cooking shows.

In addition to the SeaView bar this ship will feature four other lounges and bars including the Vista Lounge which is a show lounge, Bellini’s which is an Italian-inspired cocktail bar, Crooner’s Lounge and Bar which will offer an extensive menu of 75 martinis and entertainers  at dueling glass pianos and finally, Wheelhouse Bar which features a  club-like ambiance.

Activities:

The top deck of the Royal Princess features freshwater pools and hot tubs.  The Lotus Spa, located near the main atrium, is a relaxing space where you can receive treatments and relax in the Enclave which features heated stone beds, a Turkish steam room, a hydro-therapy pool with a cascading rain shower, a dry heat sauna, and an herbal steam room.  End your visit with a hot to cold shower experience featuring aromatherapy for an invigorating finish to your treatment.

The Sanctuary together with the Retreat pool have been upgraded and combined to provide a more relaxing experience than ever with private cabanas.  Here you can pamper yourself with a massage or a gourmet picnic in this tranquil adult-only oasis.

There are many opportunities for sports and fitness aboard the Royal Princes including the Fitness Center featuring treadmills, recumbent bicycles, and strength training equipment.  There is a private aerobics studio offering classes in spinning, pilates and yoga.  If outdoors activities are more your speed, try the putting green, bocce ball or croquet courts, the outdoor jogging track, outdoor exercise circuit or play basketball, tennis or volleyball at Center Court.  There is also an indoor driving range, a laser shooting range and last but not least, table tennis.

Dining:

There are many dining options aboard the Royal Princess.  You can choose from traditional dining room with set dining times and assigned seating or choose the flexible anytime dining option available in the two forward dining rooms.

There are also a couple of specialty restaurants available.  Sabatini’s is an Italian restaurant while the Crown Grill is a steak and seafood restaurant.  Here you order off a menu like you would in any typical restaurant.

Casual dining options include Horizon Court which is a buffet, The Pastry Shop which features desserts and coffee,  Alfredo’s Pizzeria , Ocean Terrace featuring fresh seafood, the Gelateria, International Café featuring  fresh pastries and paninis and Vines featuring wine, sushi and tapas.

2013 Itinerary:

Royal Princess will arrive at the Ocean Terminal in Southampton, which is located approximately 75 miles southwest of London, England on Friday, June 7.   Here she will be featured in numerous events for both customers and travel agents before embarking on her maiden voyage at the end of the week on Sunday, June 16th.

Thursday June, 13th will be an especially exciting day for this craft and for Princess Cruise lines as a whole, as Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge will be present  to name Royal Princess, this newest edition to the fleet, in a special ceremony that will actually begin with a gala the previous evening.   This naming ceremony will be the crown jewel in the series of inaugural celebrations that will last an entire week welcoming the vessel into service with Princess Cruise Lines.

Alan Buckelew, president and CEO of Princess Cruise Lines had this to say about the momentous occasion: “It is a great honor for Princess Cruises that Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has accepted our invitation to become the Godmother to Royal Princess. We are delighted that the Duchess will launch our new ship and can think of no better way to celebrate our company’s British heritage and our commitment to the country.”

The naming ceremony will include such grand British traditions as a performance by the Royal Marines Band and the pipers of the Irish Guards and a blessing as well as some more modern aspects of celebration. The Duchess Kate Middleton will be known as the ship’s godmother and will complete the traditional act of smashing a bottle of champagne on the hull of the vessel.

Cruises for 2013 will include a 7-Day Maiden Voyage to Iberia including stops in Lisbon and Gibraltar, a 12-Day Grand Mediterranean including stops in Florence, Rome, Mykonos, Istanbul, Venice and Barcelona.  There will also be an 18-Day Maiden Voyage thru the Venetian Passage including stops in Venice, Monte Carlo and Sicily, a 5-Day Maiden Caribbean Voyage including stops at Princess Cays and Grand Turk.

The Royal Princess promises some exciting adventures and experiences both on and off the ship.

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