After much-anticipation and a few unexpected delays, Sun Princess, Princess Cruises’ most ambitious ship to date, has finally embarked on its maiden voyage.

In an atmosphere filled with anticipation and excitement, Sun Princess has officially begun its maiden journey, setting sail from Rome (Civitavecchia) on a Grand Mediterranean adventure on February 28, 2024.

This momentous occasion marks the launch of Princess Cruises’ first Sphere Class vessel, setting a new standard in design, luxury, and guest experience for the cruise line famous for her “Love Boat” ships.

John Padgett, president of Princess Cruises, marked the occasion, saying, “This is an historic day as our new Sun Princess sets sail on her inaugural voyage, and our guests get to experience our sensational, next-level Love Boat firsthand.”

Sun Princess is the first vessel in the Princess Cruises fleet powered by liquefied natural gas (LNG), a fuel used by only six percent of today’s 300 cruise ships.

The journey to the launch of Sun Princess was not without its hurdles, including the cancellation of its scheduled inaugural cruise on February 8, 2024. This early disruption provided guests with two weeks’ notice and the inaugural sailing was rescheduled for February 18, 2024.

Four days before that scheduled departure, Sun Princess canceled again, due to the need for additional undisclosed technical work at the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy.

Sun Princess Interior

Read Also: Another Sailing Cancelled for New Princess Cruises Ship

Following the completion of the necessary adjustments, Sun Princess has finally embarked on a 10-day roundtrip from Rome with calls in some of the Mediterranean’s most enchanting ports, including Naples and Sicily, Italy; Crete and Athens, Greece; Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; and Barcelona and Mallorca, Spain.

Sun Princess, with a gross tonnage of 177,882 and the capacity to hosts 4,300 guests, is a vessel brimming with standout features, including the awe-inspiring glass-enclosed The Dome. Inspired by the terraces of Santorini, Greece, this area offers passengers breathtaking views and transforms at night with acrobatic Cirque Éloize performances.

At the heart of the ship lies the Sphere Atrium, transforming the central Piazza into a new dimension with its expansive ocean vistas and open-concept design. The area promotes relaxed indoor and outdoor living while offering a retractable stage and immersive Champagne Waterfall in the evenings.

“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,” said Padgett.

Sun Princess Interior

As for accommodations, the ship offers more than 1,500 cabins featuring balcony views, reimagined staterooms and suites, and the debut of the Cabana Mini-Suites that offer secluded outdoor relaxation.

Culinary enthusiasts will be delighted by the 30 restaurant and bar venues, including collaborations with celebrity chefs and unique dining concepts.

Noteworthy among these are Spellbound by The Magic Castle, Kai Sushi by Chef Makoto Okuwa, Love by Britto (Romero Britto), Butcher’s Block by Dario Cecchini, and The Catch by Chef Rudi Sodamin, complemented by innovative cocktails from celebrity mixologist Rob Floyd at Good Spirits at Sea.

Further elevating the passenger experience, Sun Princess boasts the cruise line’s largest casino, a two-story Lotus Spa, original productions and performances in the round at the Princess Arena, and an expanded retail environment with more than 200 premium brands.

Sun Princess Interior

For family fun, Park19, the first-ever family activity zone on a Princess Cruise ship, spans decks 19, 20, and 21. It offers everything from the first-of-its-kind Sea Breeze Rollglider to the Coastal Climb.

Monika Best, from Nova Scotia, Canada, the most-traveled passenger on the Sun Princess with 141 Princess Cruises voyages to her name, said, “Princess is evolving and focusing more on families and generational cruises, which I think is absolutely wonderful because more families are cruising together.”

Sun Princess will continue to offer 7 to 21-night Mediterranean cruises through September 14, 2024. As the Mediterranean season concludes, Sun Princess will embark on a journey from Barcelona to Southampton on September 14, 2024.

She will sail on an Iberian coast itinerary before crossing the Atlantic to arrive at her homeport destination, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at Port Everglades, beginning October 9, 2024. Positioned in Fort Lauderdale, Sun Princess will then dedicate the winter season to cruising the eastern and western Caribbean.

As Sun Princess enjoys her first season in the sun, Princess Cruises’ second Sphere Class ship, Star Princess, is underway at Fincantieri shipyard. The sister ship, weighing the same tonnage and accommodating the number of passengers, is slated to debut in 2025.

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