Seatrade Cruise News is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Next-gen Sun Princess embarks on its maiden cruise

The Sphere Atrium lets light into The Piazza with its retractable stage
Sun Princess embarked on its maiden voyage from Civitavecchia (Rome) Wednesday, what Princess Cruises President John Padgett called a 'historic day.'

The 177,882gt ship introduces the new LNG-powered Sphere class with many novel features.

Besides being the largest Love Boat and the largest ship built in Italy, Sun Princess sports distinctive features like The Dome, a geodesic, glass-enclosed structure on top; and the Sphere Atrium, which lets light into the central Piazza hub.

'The ship is a magnificent showcase of advanced design, technology and craftsmanship, with elevated spaces and experiences, all focused on taking the Princess vacation experience to a new level,' Padgett said.


Princess President John Padgett and Sun Princess Capt. Craig Street welcome first passengers Andrea Mackenzie and Victor Vitartas of Marina Del Rey, California, and Richard Mackenzie and Debra Czajkowski of Boston

He was on hand to welcome the first passengers to the 10-day inaugural 'grand Mediterranean' cruise, a Rome round-trip calling at Naples, Crete, Kusadasi, Piraeus, Sicily, Mallorca and Barcelona.

'The architecture is unbelievable and the amenities on board are next level, especially the glass dome at the front of the ship, which is incredibly stunning.' said Monika Best of Nova Scotia, the most traveled passenger on the inaugural voyage who is sailing for the 141st time with Princess.

30 restaurants and bars

Sun Princess offers 30 restaurants and bars.

They include 'Spellbound by The Magic Castle,' combining dining, mixology and close-up magic; Kai Sushi by Makoto Okuwa and 'Love by Britto,' a high-end boutique restaurant in partnership with artist Romero Britto.

The Butcher's Block by Dario is a pop-up restaurant from famed Tuscan butcher Dario Cecchini, while master chef Rudi Sodamin presents The Catch by Rudi, a dinner seafood restaurant.

The three-story, main Horizons Dining Room with big aft views will have inaugural season menus created in collaboration with the Culinary Institute of America.

And Good Spirits at Sea will pour destination-inspired cocktails by celebrity mixologist Rob Floyd.

Returning Princess favorites include the Crown Grill steak house, Sabatini's for Italian dishes and Crooners, a popular bar.


The Dome, high atop Sun Princess, will host acrobatic Cirque Éloize performances at night


The Princess Arena will stage production shows in a room with three configurations including theater in the round. At night, The Dome will host acrobatic Cirque Éloize performances while The Piazza has a retractable stage for shows and a Champagne waterfall.

Expanded casino, spa, retail

Sun Princess also features the line's largest casino, the two-story Lotus Spa and expanded retail with more than 200 premium brands and several firsts at sea. These include a showroom dedicated to luxury horology showcasing TAG Heuer and Breitling, plus more than 25 new brands available to cruisers such as Italian handbags by Pinko and athleisure favorites Beyond Yoga and Varley.

Princess Cruises' first family activity zone, Park19, offers multigenerational fun up high. Within decks 19, 20 and 21 are experiences like the Sea Breeze, a glider ride, and Coastal Climb, a climbing structure.

More diverse accommodations

Sun Princess provides more diverse accommodations than any other Love Boat. More than 1,500 cabins have balconies, and there are reimagined suites and new cabana mini-suites with extra space for secluded outdoor relaxation.

Seatrade Cruise News will be reporting from the second cruise of Sun Princess, starting March 9