I boarded the Sea
Princess (on October 14th) in New York on one of the rainiest
Fridays I can remember. Soaked, when I reached the Sea Princess I was
greeted with similes from the staff and immediately was impressed with her
warm atmosphere. Having visited the Golden Princess a few weeks before, I
had noticed a great number of similarities between the two ships. Although
smaller, the Sea Princess has a more intimate feel. Weighing in at 77,000
gross tons and 856 feet in length the ship offers the right combination of
cabins and public spaces. Having a passenger capacity of 1,950, the Sea
Princess offers a spacious, sophisticated, experience to cruise travelers.
Upon boarding the ship, I immediately entered the very impressive
atrium (The Grand Plaza) which is adorned in palm trees, fresh flowers,
tropical vegetation, artwork and marble. The glass elevators and balconies
on four decks, over look this central area of the ship, creating a warm
and impressive space. Surrounding the atrium is a number of bars and
On the lowest level of the atrium is the Purser’s desk. There I was
greeted by staff eager to help. Across from the atrium is the Explorer’s
Bar which is ideal for a drink after a day of exploring on shore. Because
the Explorers Bar opens on the atrium, guest can easily sip their drink
while observing the activities in the Grand Plaza.
I was very impressed with the Promenade deck. The exterior deck wraps
fully around the ship providing the ideal spot for a leisurely walk or a
more secluded space to lounge and take in the beauty of the seascape.
Public rooms on this deck include the smartly decorated Princess Theater,
this expansive lounge is the largest onboard and is used for all of the
major entertainment events onboard. The Princess Theater offers
unobstructed views from any seat.
Located just outside the Princess Theatre is the Wheelhouse Bar which
offers an intimate setting. The bar which is decorated in dark rich woods
offers a relaxing atmosphere of a country manor. The room is decorated
with ship memorabilia including paintings of past P&O (the parent company
of Princess) ships including the famous Chusan. Adding to the nautical
theme are real running lights from a ship, a ships wheel and an engine
telegraph. The room as a modest size dance floor for dancing to live
Located on the Promenade Deck, just forward of the main atrium, is a
smaller atrium. In the smaller atrium, artwork (which is for sale or
auction) is proudly displayed. The rug is decorated with a swirl pattern
which is reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz. This area is very nice, with its
winding staircase, ascending to the casino located on the deck above.
The Sea Princess has two specialty bars. The Crooner’s Martini Bar is
decorated with memorabilia of great singers. Included are photographs of
some famous entertainers like Frank Sinatra. The second, is the intimate
Champaign bar, Premier Cru Bar, decorated with large bottles of Champaign
at it entranceway.
The Razzmatazz disco is also located on the Promenade Deck. The room is
decorated with somewhat modern furniture and is dark in color and
ambience. Although dark by day, the room comes alive at night with
rhythmic sounds and flashing lights.
Located astern, on the Promenade deck, is the Photo gallery, Internet
Cafe (which also doubles as a classroom for computer classes) and the
rich, light wood paneled library. I found the library to be well stocked
and the room comfortable with its sofa and high back chairs.
The Vista Lounge is smartly decorated and bright. The room is decorated
in light colors and its inviting bench seating makes the room a favorite.
The large projection screen at the front of the room is great for movies,
TV or special presentations. Every seat was an excellent view of the
stage. The bar is pleasantly illuminated and stylish, adding to the
ambience of the room. The room has very few stairs making it handicap
Located on the Dolphin Deck is the Monte Carlo Club and Players Lounge.
This area is very unusual. The one room combines the Casino, game room and
lounge into a single room. The casino is one entire side of the room with
of the standard gaming tables and slots. The other side of the room is the
Players (007) Lounge with adequate seating and tables (although slot
machine lined one of the walls). The two areas share the same bar which is
located in the back of the room. In the back corner of the room were games
for passenger’s enjoyment such as Yatzee. In the center of the room is the
upper level of the second, smaller, atrium which overlooks the artwork for
sale/auction below. I found the whole casino area to be somewhat dark and
not fitting the ambience of the ship.
The Café Corniche coffee shop opens on the atrium and is an ideal place
for afternoon pastries and specialty coffee.
The Sea Princess has a number of shops and boutiques (Latitudes and
Reflections Boutiques) located on the Emerald Deck which overlooks the
atrium. All of the shops are well stocked, with high quality items
including liquor, jewelry (watches, gold chains, rings, etc), glass
figurines, electronics, sundries and standard souvenirs. All of the
shopping onboard is duty free providing additional savings.
On each ship I visit, I try to uncover a unique feature. Almost
immediately I noticed the decorative doors that where found throughout the
ships. The doors for the dining rooms, casino and wheel house bars were
intricate and sophisticated, somehow creating anticipation for the décor
of each room.
Located on the rear of the Rivera Deck, is a round outdoor pool with 2
Jacuzzi. The pool is surrounded by the gym and spa. The gym is large in
size and has the standard exercise equipment and machines. The gym has
dramatic views off the stern of the Sea Princess. For those wishing to be
pampered, there is the Lotus Spa which offers such treatments as Ancient
Steam and Sauna Rituals, Bathing Rituals, Facials and Messages. There is a
full hair salon where hair treatments, pedicures and manicures are
available. The Spa and hair salon treatments are available at an
Located in the back of the funnel, high above the sea, is the tennis
and basketball court. These courts are ideal for those passengers wanting
to start up a game with your cruise mates.
In general I am very impressed with the pool areas onboard Princess
ships and the Sea Princess is no different. The Pool area is very well
laid out offering 2 large rectangular pools and a number of Jacuzzis
surrounded by a large sunbathing area. At the end of the pool deck is a
bar for a cool drink on a hot day, ice cream sundae stand, the Rivera
Grill (for casual on deck dining) and a bar. (Unlike ships of other cruise
lines, the Sea Princess does charge for the ice cream.) Perhaps the most
unique feature of the pool area is the “Movies under the Stars”. The Sea
Princess has a large LCD screen where movies and entertainment shows are
played for guests on deck. At first I though this was an odd idea, but
once seeing it and experiencing it, I was very impressed. The day I was on
board they were playing “Tom Jones Live in Concert”. For the days at sea,
guests use a wireless headset to enjoy that day’s programming, so deck
passenger have the choice of watching and listening to the programming or
just enjoying the pool deck. The pool deck is a definite asset to the Sea
Above the bridge of the ship, high above the sea, is located a circular
kids wading pool with about 6-8 inches of water. The area is surrounded
with adequate deck space so adults can lounge nearby the pool while their
kids splash around.
The Sea Princess offers Personal Choice Dining. This program allow
guests to choose who they want to dine with and when. This provides
passengers flexibility and a more relaxing dining experience. This option
is available in addition to the standard 2 seating assigned dining.
Passenger will need to choose which option they want at the start of their
For traditional assigned seating dining, the Sea Princess has the
beautiful Traviata Restaurant. One deck below is located the Rigoletto
Dining Room used for anytime dining. Both Restaurants have the exact same
layout and décor. The warm wood tones, etched glass and layout of the
dining rooms are very inviting. They have the feel of an Italian Manor
House. The walls of the dining rooms are adorned with beautiful murals
depicting Italian country living.
Another option for lunch/dinner is the Horizon’s Court, located high
above the bridge of the ship. The Horizon Court has floor to ceiling
windows on three sides of the room providing dramatic views of the sea.
Unlike most other ships, this room is situated overlooking the bow, while
on other ships the buffet is usually located at the stern of the ship. I
believe this is a great change and provides passengers great views. The
marble top tables and cloth upholstered chairs provide warmth to this
round room. The room has 2 serving stations to facilitate the flow of
passengers through the area. This buffet offers the same menu as the
dining room with the addition of the “Special of the Day”.
For more casual dining there is the Pizzeria and Trattoria which serve
Pizza and Focaccia in addition to a selection of pasta dishes and
The specialty restaurant onboard is the Sterling Steakhouse which has a
menu featuring American Steakhouse favorites. There is an added cover
charge of $15 per person to dine in this restaurant.
While on the Sea Princess, I sampled the luncheon buffet in the Horizon
Court. I found the selection to be appealing. The menu included
traditional Italian favorites, including Ravioli with ricotta cheese and
spinach, Italian sausage, Chicken Cacciatore, fried scallops, Italian cold
cuts, fresh salad and fresh roast beef at the carving station. For a more
American flair they had hotdogs and hamburgers.
For dessert, there was a choice of three cakes/pastries including a
fruit tort and carrot cake.
Just as a side note, the staff of the Sea Princess had each guest clean
their hands with sanitizer before going to the serving stations at the
buffet. This is the first time I had seen this, but is probably a
necessary precaution to prevent the spread of germs and should be done on
I had the opportunity to view a number of cabins on while onboard the
The Sea Princess has inside, outside, balcony and suite cabins. The
inside cabins provide adequate space for storage and are functional.
Cabins are configured with either queen or 2 twin beds.
The standard outside cabin was not much bigger then the inside cabin
but had a large oblong porthole for taking in the sea. The standard
balcony cabin was the same size too, with a balcony large enough for two
upright chairs and a small round table.
The mini-suites on the Baja Deck were very impressive, with their
brightly decorated, but sophisticated sitting room. In the sitting room is
a sofa and wood cabinetry with an archway opening into the master bedroom.
These cabins could easily sleep three people.
Each cabin on the Sea Princess has 24 hour room service, in room safe,
refrigerator, hairdryer, TV, CNN, Discovery Channel, Nickelodeon and ESPN
Sports, multi music channels, telephone and complimentary toiletries pack.
I found the accommodations to be bright, clean and very functional. The
room stewards were very busy dusting, changing sheets and cleaning the
rugs. Each room I visited was immaculate. The bathrooms were the
traditional compact cruise ship bathroom with a sink, shower and mirror.
The Sea Princess has traditional entertainment, including Broadway
style cabaret shows, live music featuring country and western, jazz and
top 40 music. Pianists and guitarists are on board for guest’s dancing and
listening pleasure. There is a disco for your dancing pleasure.
Special entertainment can include singers, comedians and magicians.
Enjoy movies and concerts displayed on a large LCD screen poolside. The
Sea Princess features “Movies under the Stars”. This unique feature
provides ideal, outdoor viewing of the movies and an opportunity for
families to spend time together.
Princess has an extensive kid’s program. The structured children’s /
teen program are divided into 3 groups. The Princess Pelicans (Ages 3-7)
where your young one will partake in Videos, cartoons, kids karaoke and
kids Olympics to name a few of the activities.
The next age group – Ages 8-12 are know as the Princess Pirateers.
These lucky children will enjoy such activities as arts, crafts, sports
tournaments, scavenger hunts and much more.
The last group, called Off-limits, is for kids ages 13-17. The teen
center is packed with video games, movies, giant screen TVs, card games,
board games, ping-pong tables and a Jukebox.
Due to the time of year (school is in session) and the itinerary (New
England/Canada), there was only a few children onboard for this sailing.
This is significantly lower than the 300-600 children that can be found on
Caribbean sailing during times when school is in recess.
In the fall, the Sea Princess conducts one-way 10 Night New England
Canada Cruises alternating departures between New York and Quebec Canada.
During the summer, the Sea Princess will cruise from Southampton, England
to Northern Europe, Spain and the Western Mediterranean. During the winter
months, the Sea Princess conducts Caribbean sailings.
The Sea Princess is one of the cleanest ships I have been aboard. The
public areas, cabins and deck areas are immaculate. The ship has a great
number of similarities between herself and the larger Golden Princess. It
appears that the Sea Princess class ship was the prototype for her larger
The layout of the ship is very straight forward. The public rooms are
attractively decorated and pleasing to the eye. The Casino is sufficient.
The Grand Plaza is the highlight of the public spaces with its grand scale
and combination of marble, palm trees, artwork and glass enclosed
The pool area is impressive and offers sufficient deck space for
passengers. There seems to be an adequate number of Jacuzzis available for
passenger use. The “Movies under the Stars” is a nice touch and adds to
the cruise experience. The gym, Lotus spa and salon offer a wide range of
treatments to keep guests happy. Other guest activities include
shuffleboard, basketball and tennis.
The cabins are neat and functional. The standard inside and outside
cabins are similar in size. They are clean, bright and nicely furnished.
The bathrooms are a standard size and modern. The mini-suites are very
nice with their seating area and separate bedroom.
The Sea Princess has extensive facilities for the children including
dedicated playrooms rooms separated by age groups. The program has plenty
of activities to keep the children busy and entertained. Depending on the
itinerary and the time of year there may be a limited number of children
on board and age groups for activities may be combined.
The entertainment onboard consists of Broadway shows, live music and
other specialty entertainment – appealing to the masses.
The food was good and presented very nicely. Throughout the ship, the
staff was very attentive and greeted everyone with a warm smile.
I was very impressed with the Sea Princess. She does appeal to a more
sophisticated and seasoned traveler by the very nature of her itineraries.
I would definitely consider a cruise onboard the Sea Princess.
The Sea Princess is registered in Bermuda.
Sea Princess (C) copyright
Sea Princess Atrium (C) copyright NYCRUISINFO.com
Sea Princess Personal Choice Dining Room (c)
Sea Princess Pool and Movies Under the Stars
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Sea Princess' Wheelhouse Bar (c) copyright NYCRUISEINFO.com
Rich wood tones of the Sea Princess' Library
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Standard Outside Cabin on the Sea Princess
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Smaller Atrium and Art for Sale onboard the Sea Princess
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|Guest Capacity (Double Occupancy)