The most exciting time for any cruise line has got to be the launch of a new ship. For Princess Cruises, it’s been five years since a new vessel has entered service … but the wait is almost over! Set to debut June 2013 is the brand new Royal Princess — a 3,600-passenger new-generation ship with all of the best signature features from previous Princess ships, along with some amazing new innovations. Royal Princess will be the largest ship in the Princess fleet, sailing her inaugural season in Europe with a series of Mediterranean cruises before coming to the U.S. for 7-day Caribbean itinerary from Ft. Lauderdale.
Here’s a sneak peek at Royal Princess’ stunning new features:
Royal Princess Atrium
Royal Princess’ expanded atrium is designed to enhance the lively street-cafe atmosphere passengers have become accustomed to on current Princess ships. With more open space for viewing live entertainment in the Piazza, as well as new venues that appear to float mid-air, this new atrium represents a prototype design that builds on the line’s classic style.
Royal Princess SeaWalk
Extending 28 feet beyond the starboard side of the ship, the SeaWalk will be one of the ship’s most striking features. At 60 feet long and hovering 128 feet above the ocean, this dramatic glass-bottomed walkway offers unparalleled views available on no other ship. Just as the captain on the bridge can look through glass panels in the floor of the bridge to get a look at the sea conditions below, passengers will now have that same sense of stepping out from the side of the ship for a breathtaking experience. Across the ship the SeaView Bar also extends over the waves for cocktails with unbeatable vistas.
Royal Princess Pools
Directly adjacent to the SeaWalk on the ship’s expansive top deck area passengers will find a host of lounging options, beautiful palm trees, and two fresh water pools flanking an island area between them. During the day passengers can relax and rejuvenate poolside in a variety of seating options, including circular loungers, garden-style furniture, bar-height tables and stools, and chaise lounges. In the pool areas, entertainment options will include games and live music inspired by the ship’s ports of call.
Royal Princess Water & Light Show
At night, the top deck of Royal Princess will transform with architectural lighting effects to set the mood. The island area between the two pools will become a stage showcasing an interactive sound and light show featuring dancing fountains. With a sophisticated lighting and sound system, and a computerized fountain featuring 85 water jets, passengers will marvel as streams of water shoot 33 feet into the night sky.
Royal Princess Sanctuary
This oasis of tranquility will feature all the special touches that have made The Sanctuary so popular since it was first introduced on Crown Princess in 2006, plus a number of new features. With a 20 percent larger space than on the line’s other ships, The Sanctuary adds four private Sanctuary Cabanas for more luxurious experience, plus two Lotus Spa Cabanas offering an elegant private space for a range of spa treatments. Featuring the air of a romantic hideaway under its distinctive white canopy cover, The Sanctuary design includes strategically placed rock gardens and special topiary planting with atmospheric lighting. These new elements create an inviting path leading to a new central pavilion. Passengers can relax on luxurious plush lounge chairs or circular daybeds, while Serenity Stewards provide healthy refreshments and music players with peaceful music.
Royal Princess Center Court
The multi-sport area is designed to offer a collection of fun options, including court games, lawn activities and even a lounge for virtual gaming. The Center Court can be used for basketball, tennis, volleyball and badminton, while baseball fans can even practice their swing at the portable batting cage. Golfers will find a driving range facility, while the simulated laser shooting range offers a new onboard activity. On the upper level, the Lawn Court offers a grassy area for putting, bocce ball, croquet and lawn bowling. The Game Lounge will offer a comfortable space to meet up for games, including table tennis and virtual gaming with Kinect systems.
Royal Princess Lotus Spa
Lotus Spa will offer the ultimate in rejuvenation for passengers cruising the new Royal Princess. New features will include private Couples Villas and The Enclave – a thermal suite that is triple the size of any existing Lotus Spa — where passengers will be able to totally decompress with new relaxing options such as the Hammam (a Turkish-style steam room), the Caldarium (an herbal steam room), the Laconium (a dry heat sauna) and the line’s first-ever hydro-therapy pool.
Royal Princess Fitness Center
The Fitness Center pairs a state-of-the-art gym with spectacular ocean views. This multi-tiered facility will offer something for all fitness levels, so everyone from beginner to expert will find challenging exercise options. Passengers will find the latest in exercise equipment like treadmills, recumbent bicycles, elliptical machines, strength equipment, as well as a selection of free weights. Most equipment will feature personal TV screens, and some will even offer an interactive, virtual experience that makes exercising a bit more fun and engaging. New to Royal Princess at the back of the gym is a private aerobics studio that will host a selection of fitness classes, including: TRX, MyRide, Body Sculpt Boot Camp, and Chi Ball Yoga.
Royal Princess Kids Center - Pelicans (ages 3-7)
The youngest age group will enjoy a great space for group activities like movie nights, a new mini air hockey table, a special area for arts and crafts programs, and a new indoor play structure. In addition, they’ll have a new outdoor play area, which includes toys, games, tricycles, and a new playground. These features add to the lineup of popular activities that kids love on Princess ships, including the Jr. Chef@Sea program, educational workshops, pajama and ice cream parties, and a Kid’s Fun Fair.
Royal Princess Kids Center – Shockwaves (ages 8-12)
Junior passengers in the middle group will now have their own dedicated outside area complete with lounge chairs and a variety of fun games. Shockwaves kids will really get into activities geared for their age – like air hockey, skeeball, and exciting game stations. They’ll also find their own lounge with a giant TV, a DJ Booth, and arts and crafts tables with activities led by Princess’ youth counselors. Plus they can hang out and enjoy their own pizza and ice cream parties or kids-only dinners.
Royal Princess Teen Center – Remix (ages 13-17)
The Remix area for teens will feature a Princess DJ booth loaded with cutting-edge tracks where music lovers can create their own playlist, kick back, relax, or dance to the latest club mix. In addition, there’s a new lounge area, perfect for meeting new friends, with games like foosball, skeeball and the latest video games. A brand new outdoor lounge fulfills a request from teens, and offers cool club lighting, contemporary seating, a great new wading pool, and of course music perfect for parties under the stars. Teens will also enjoy activities specially designed for their age group, including sports competitions, late-night movies, hip hop dance classes, teens-only “mocktail” parties, formal dinners, and the always-popular video game tournaments.
Royal Princess Princess Live!
The Princess Live! studio will also host a variety of events, including game shows, interactive cooking shows, art house films, enrichment classes, murder mysteries, trivia, and “Meet the Experts” presentations from the crew. Additionally, Princess Live! will serve as a more intimate performance venue for onboard musicians who will offer “unplugged” shows, providing an opportunity for entertainers to connect with the audience in a unique environment.
Stayed tuned for more “Sneak Peek” posts, including a look at the staterooms (almost all balconies!) and the numerous dining options on Royal Princess.
Are you excited about Princess Cruises’ new ship, Royal Princess?
All photos © Princess Cruises