Shipyard delays have forced the cancellation of Sun Princess' inaugural cruise. Credit: Princess Cruises

First look at Princess Cruises’ new-gen ship Sun Princess

Author: Vicky Mayer

Published on:

Updated on:

Vicky Mayer donned a hard hat and steel-capped boots to take a shipyard tour of Princess Cruises' Sun Princess, setting sail in February 2024

What can beat the sheer thrill of stepping on board a new ship? Well, what about stepping on board a new ship as she’s being built?

This week I was lucky enough to be invited to take a tour of Princess Cruises’ brand new Sphere class ship Sun Princess. Carrying 4,300 passengers, 1,133 feet in length and measuring in at 21 decks, she will become the largest ship in the Princess fleet. She will also be the first Princess ship to be powered by LNG, marking a path to a more sustainable future for this popular cruise brand.

The ship had been floated out the week I stepped on board so I knew it was sea worthy but nothing could prepare me for what was on board.

World of Cruising's Vicky Mayer was treated to a tour of the ship. Credit: Vicky Mayer

Imagine walking around a giant building site where busy workers are drilling, welding and sorting out miles of electric cables and that will give you a feel of what I found on Sun Princess.

It was thrilling to get a glimpse of the what will be in store for lucky guests on this game-changing ship in early 2024.

With its glass dome up top, nine-deck sphere midships and newly designed Theatre in the round, there are a lot of curves on the newly floated-out Sun Princess.

We were escorted on board by Richard Parker, director of new-build guest experience and product development, who has been working on the ship for the past six years – from concept right up till now.

Find your ideal cruise

Search for the best cruises with Princess Cruises

His enthusiasm for the ship is huge and as he leads us around, I couldn’t help get caught up with his vision, stopping off at points to try and conjure up the nine-deck Sphere space will look like or what fun it will be to take a dip in the infinity pool on the Wave View Terrace at the back of the ship.

"We wanted to look outward, celebrate the views and let the natural light in," he said.

As we duck under cables and avoid sparks, Richard explains that the ship has been designed to make the most of the outside sea view with lots of big windows everywhere on the ship, plus plenty of quiet breakout areas on the ship too where you can stop and take a moment to yourself to relax.

As well as becoming the first Sphere Class ship for Princess Cruises (with another sister ship in the planning) Sun Princess will boast some great new features including:

  • The largest number of balcony cabins in the fleet
  • The Sphere – a nine-deck curved multi-functional space on the ship
  • The Dome – a glass-enclosed day and night resort-style entertainment venue
  • The Wake View Terrace – a Miami-style resort deck with an infinity pool, bars and all-day entertainment
The Piazza is inspired by the vibrant squares of Europe. Credit: Princess Cruises

The Sphere
One of the biggest design changes is the curvy Sphere which you’ll see from the side of the ship. The Sphere will be situated on nine decks of the ship, housing the three-story Piazza and six decks of staterooms.

The Piazza
Like other Princess ships, Sun Princess will feature the ever-popular Piazza on the bottom three decks of the Sphere. Here you’ll find a triple-deck LED screen with a special screen that comes up at night to form a stage where guests can enjoy thrilling flying performances. Look out too for something special behind a mysterious black door on deck eight. The team told us that this will be an immersive experience. We’ll let you know as soon as we hear more….

Suites & Staterooms
Special mention must go to the wide range of staterooms and suites on offer. The ship boasts 70 per cent of staterooms with balconies. None of the staterooms have unrestricted views and they will feel more spacious by being designed without walk-in closets. Even better, there will be no shower curtains on this ship. Hurrah!

The signature Sky Suite provides luxury accommodation for up to five guests, featuring a large balcony, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a seating area and a sofa bed. Along with special suite-only benefits, this stateroom and other Signature suites include access to the Signature Restaurant, Signature Lounge and a private lounge.

Look out too for the debut of the Reserve Collection on Sun Princess with premium Mini-Suites and Cabana suites on either side of the ship. The Cabana suites are bound to be a total sell-out, cleverly designed to give you more space in your cabin plus a private area right outside your stateroom with sun loungers and a Jaccuzzi so you can relax all day in your suite and order drinks and room service on your Medallion. Result.

The Reserve Collection also includes exclusive access to a private restaurant.

During the day, The Dome will be used as a relaxation space with an indoor/outdoor pool. Credit: Princess Cruises

The Dome
On decks 17 and 18, you’ll discover The Dome, a multi-level covered deck with a fully-enclosed glass dome. Temperature-controlled throughout the day, it will feature an indoor/outdoor pool and bar. Then at night, the pool will become a stage and the Dome will transform into a high-end entertainment venue.

Food & Drink
Princess Cruises has always been known for its fantastic food offerings and in the new three-story Horizons Dining Room guests will be able to enjoy stunning sea views and a bold decorative sculpture that stretches from deck six to deck eight.

On Deck nine, you’ll find the International Café and Alfredo’s Pizzeria with an authentic Neopolitan-style pizza oven. Deck nine is also home to the World Fresh Marketplace which promises more food outlets, so less buffet and more food market style.

If you love speciality coffee, look out for Coffee Currents on Deck seven, which is where The Reserve Restaurant, the speciality restaurant for Reserve guests will also be found.

Meanwhile Deck seven will be home to a new sushi restaurant, the new Crooners bar as well as old favourites Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria and the Crown Grill Steakhouse.

Expect more foodie and bar announcements too before Sun Princess makes her debut.

Princess Arena
Forget a ‘theatre’, onboard Sun Princess you’ll find the new Princess Theatre, a cleverly designed entertainment space that has no pillars and boasts three configurations – in the round, a traditional style and quirky keyhole style. Housing 1,050 guests, this space will be very popular.

My verdict
The curvy, light-filled new ship is going to be a real game-changer for Princess Cruises.

Having listened to its passengers and crew, the design team has come up with a fun-filled ship that’s going to look and feel amazing.

You can book a cabin now at but don’t delay – this is going to be a hot cruise ticket.

Most recent articles

About Vicky Mayer

Vicky began her career working on young women’s magazines before moving on to TV and entertainment titles. Her passion, though, has always been travel, so as Editor of World of Cruising, she combines her love of magazines with the chance to shout about cruise holidays around the world.