For those of you up early enough around Sydney harbour last Sunday you may have witnessed the arrival of Princess Cruises 77,499 gross tonne Sea Princess. This day however the crew here at Cruise1st were privileged to be invited for walk around and lunch on board so we all eagerly arrived at our designated time at Barangaroo Wharf 5 just as the last passengers were piling into taxis. Ahead of use loomed the ship herself, dressed over all in fluttering flags and looking resplendent in the morning sun.
For those not familiar she is the 3rd of four virtually identical sister ships, being Sun Princess, Dawn Princess and Oceana currently serving with sister company P&O Cruises UK. I have sailed on this class of ship before so it was a nice feeling of familiarity as I stepped into her lovely multi level atrium which is amongst the most attractive at sea. One of our Sales Consultants Alison has even worked on this ship in the past and it was indeed a welcome return for her recognizing some of the crew on board.
I have to say that this class of ship continues to hold their own in style over a decade after their introduction. They are easy to navigate and have loads of lovely spaces to be part of the action or really get away from it all. The main public rooms are situated in a vertical arrangement on four lower decks, and, with the exception of promenade deck, cabins are forward and aft. In a nice design twist, the casino is somewhat isolated, and passengers need not use it as a passageway. I personally love the Wheelhouse Bar further forward with its P&O paintings and memorabilia.
We had much fun inspecting the many cabin grades throughout the ship. The lower grade inside cabins are perhaps somewhat ‘bijoux’, however they did fit a surprising number of eager travel agents! For those that do prefer more space over 400 cabins have their own balcony. If space is really your thing you may want to try the enourmous suites. These staterooms are large enough to fit an entire troop of travel agents and then some… and with separate lounge and huge stern facing balcony its likely you may not want to leave.
Upstairs the sun was out and the heat had arrived! As we trooped along I have to say I was rather tempted by one the three pools. Sadly there were no smiling waiters to offer me a drink either but Ill leave that to the paying passengers. Up top we viewed the adults only oasis deck is particularly lovely and a decided step up from a standard deck chair. Its also a child free zone. After a welcome return to air conditioned environs we headed downstairs again to one of the two almost identical dining rooms for lunch.
While we chose from as limited menu just for agents the food was superb. Lisa our Sales Manager and I were rather taken with the excellent Red served, and I highly recommend the Lemon Soufle!
With lunch over it was time to head ashore just as the first passengers were arriving and taking in their first sight of the marble staircases and soaring atrium. I have to say I headed ashore with barely hidden jealousy.
When all is said and done this a one classy lady that will take you anywhere in elegant and comfortable surroundings. Our website is updated regularly with specials on many sailings for all 3 of the Sun class. With prices starting at $999 there should be little reason not to sail with a Princess!