The Travel Expert review of Sun Princess cruise ship
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My Review of Sun Princess: Complete Guide to Dining, Entertainment, Facilities & More

Sun Princess is bigger, brighter and bolder, but retains Princess Cruises super service and relaxed atmosphere.

Standing in the Dome on Sun Princess was one of those mind blowing moments. I had stood in the same place just four months ago when I saw her being built in the Fincantieri Shipyard near Venice. The transformation was extraordinary.

Sun Princess Dome

The Dome is just one of the many new features on Sun Princess. She is a brand new class of ship for Princess Cruises, called Sphere Class. This is not due to the impressive glass enclosed Dome at the top of the ship, that happens to be inspired by the terraces of Santorini, but to another fabulous feature – the Sphere, that gives the Piazza, the centrepiece of every Princess Cruise ship, a new dimension.

Piazza on Sun Princess

The atrium is flooded with light from floor to ceiling windows that span over three decks. This area on cruise ships is typically dark, but not anymore. This brighter mid ship area with expansive ocean views epitomises the whole design on Sun Princess, the Sphere Class name was aptly chosen.

Sun Princess is the largest ship in the Princess Cruises fleet and is certainly their most modern and luxurious ship to date. It can hold 4300 passengers and 1600 crew, which is 640 more passengers than Princess’ Royal Class ships.

Sun Princess exterior

I had the pleasure of spending a week cruising on Sky Princess a few years ago, and loved it. While Sun Princess felt a lot bigger than Sky Princess, the superb service and intimate atmosphere remained the same.

Read: My Review of Sky Princess

As well as elevated entertainment and dining options, one of the smaller improvements I enjoyed was the WiFi. Princess Cruises have added Elon Musk’s Starlink high speed internet to its cruise ships, and now Princess Cruises’ claim to have the fastest WiFi at sea could very well be true. I certainly found it the best I have experienced at sea to date.

I have always found the staff extremely helpful and friendly on Princess Cruises, but it is the ground breaking Ocean Medallion technology that is exclusive to Princess Cruises, helps to create a seamless service on board.

Medallion on Sun Princess

ocean medallion on Sun Princess

The Medallion is a coin-like piece of technology that allows staff to pinpoint you anywhere on the ship. It helps provide a more personal service, as the bar and restaurant staff instantly know who you are, as well as your dining and drinks preferences.

You can order drinks or food on the Princess Cruises app and it will be delivered to you, anywhere on the ship, even to your room. I ordered drinks to the pool and to my room and they arrived in minutes.

My children were in their element ordering food too, and as meals, drinks and tips were included in our Princess Premier package (more on that later), there were no additional charges.

breakfast to your cabin on Sky Princess

I can’t stress enough how good the Medallion really is! There is no need to queue for drinks or snacks at the pool, and having pre-dinner drinks on your balcony, without having to trek to a bar, is relaxed cruising at its best.

The Medallion also syncs to your cabin door, which unlocks automatically when you approach, so there is no need to fumble for key cards. You can wear it around your neck in a lanyard, around your wrist like I have pictured above, or put it in your bag or pocket.

The Medallion also allows for speedy embarkation, as you simply tap the Medallion when getting on and off the ship. It can also help you find your partner or children, via the app, on wall portals located around the ship. You can add your children’s room to your medallion too, so their room will open automatically when approached from your Medallion as well as theirs.

Dining on Sun Princess

Outdoor dining on Sun Princess

Princess Cruises are renowned for their superb choice of dining options, and for the quality of the food on board, and Sun Princess was no exception. It has a whopping 30 restaurant and bar venues with plenty of outdoor options, and many restaurants are with celebrity collaborators.

Complimentary Restaurants on Sun Princess

The main buffet has been replaced by The Eatery, which is similar to a traditional buffet, although it is not self service. Whilst I wasn’t overwhelmed with this restaurant in general, (to be fair, I rarely like any buffet restaurant), I liked the Asian counter, where noodle dishes, curries and Beef and Broccoli stir fry were made to order.

I also liked that there are tables outside so you don’t have to hear the constant banging of plates that I usually encounter in buffet restaurants, and that the food is served rather than self service – this cuts down on food waste and is more hygienic.

What really impressed me was the main dining room, Horizons. I found the food and service excellent here on Sky Princess, but on Sun Princess the main dining concept has been elevated up a notch.

Main Dining Room Horizons on Sun Princess

Horizons main dining restaurant is split over three levels with three different types of dining options: Soleil Dining Room on deck 6 offers traditional dining over two sittings, Eclipse Dining Room on deck 7 offers anytime dining with a slightly faster service, and American cuisine is served on deck 8 offering a faster and more casual dining experience.

All day breakfast on Sun Princess

All of these are complimentary to all guests and I particularly liked that you can enjoy a late (All day) breakfast in the American dining room, this is a super alternative to a buffet, or in this case the Eatery dining experience.

I also loved the amount of outdoor dining areas on board. The Promenade offers pizzas, burgers and ice cream with plenty of outdoor seated areas, and Lido by the pool offers similar but also has delicious salads, burritos, tacos and hot dogs.

Poolside food on Sun Princess

We didn’t dine inside for lunch on any day, there was so much outdoor space to enjoy, despite the fact that the ship was completely full during our cruise.

Speciality Dining on Sun Princess

Speciality dining options are elevated on Sun Princess too, with many restaurants having celebrity collaborators.

Teppanyaki, Sun Princess

Highlights include The Butcher’s Block by Dario, in partnership with famous butcher Dario Cecchini, Makoto Ocean, in partnership with Master of Edomae-style sushi Makoto Okuwa; and Umai Teppanyaki, where we enjoyed a delicious food along with an entertaining performance.

Dining on Sun Princess

One of my favourite meals was in The Catch by Rudi, where chef Rudi Sodamin, head of culinary arts for Princess Cruises, designed a superb seafood menu. Princess Cruises fleet favourites, Sabatinis Italian restaurant, and The Crown Grill are also on board.

As well as pizza slices on deck, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Alfredo’s Pizzeria, the pizzas are delicious here, and I’m not surprised that it is considered to have the best pizza at sea! It is complimentary to dine here if you have pre purchased the Princess Plus or Premier package – see more on this below.

Dining on Sun Princess

O Malley’s Irish pub also serves up tasty pub grub, while the International Cafe has light bites, there are also private restaurants for Reserve and Signature guests.

Bars and Entertainment on Sun Princess

Good Spirits Bar on Sun Princess

It is not only in restaurants that Sun Princess collaborates. You can see celebrity mixologist Rob Floyd’s influence in the Good Spirits lounge, where mixologists show you how to make these creative cocktails. 

You can also enjoy cocktails at Bellinis, Cascade bar, Crooners and Wheelhouse Bar, as well as numerous bars on the pool and sun decks.

I rarely visit an Irish Bar on holidays, but O Malley’s on Sun Princess was one of our favourite haunts! The Rambling Rovers played Irish music every night and the atmosphere was electric. 

Irish band on Sun Princess

We were also fortunate to see the first live show in The Dome. This incredible space is a solarium with a pool by day, and a stage with shows by night. We saw an acrobatic performance called Art Beat, which was created in partnership with the renowned Cirque Éloize – it was superb, don’t miss it!

Art Beat Live Show at the Dome, Sun Princess

We also had the pleasure of attending one of the extraordinary experiences on board, Spellbound. This has followed on from the incredible 360 Dining Experience on Enchanted Princess and Discovery Princess, which was one of the best dining experiences I have ever had.

It is hard to sum up in words just how good Spellbound really is. The words Magic Experience don’t really do it justice, but the fact that it is in partnership with Magic Castle, the famed Hollywood Icon, makes it a unique experience at sea.

The experience starts as soon as you walk through the Speakeasy-like door. You can choose from a variety of magical cocktails – specially curated for the experience, followed by a mesmerising display of card tricks, before entering a small room for an intimate theatre experience with 30 people. It was mind blowing!

Spellbound  by Magic Castle on Sun Princess

We still talk about it at home, no one can understand how the magicians did it, but suffice to say, book it! The $149 price tag may seem a bit excessive, but believe me, it is worth it. The price includes dinner and unlimited speciality cocktails too.

Other firm Princess favourites are on board too including the Princess Live Lounge which has daily quiz shows and karaoke, and there are live music venues throughout the ship, the most notable being on the main Piazza, where you can catch game shows during the day and musicians and a DJ playing until 1am. This has a terrific lively vibe, slightly different to the traditional atmosphere on other Princess ships. 

Entertainment on Sun Princess

The theatre wasn’t open during our cruise but I’m told the Princess Arena is the most technologically advanced Princess Theatre to date, and if the shows on Sky Princess are anything to go by, I’m sure you are in for a treat.

There are plenty of day time entertainment options too, including fitness classes, cocktail and food demonstrations, and you will always find something happening on the Piazza. Of course if you simply want to relax, there is always the Lotus Spa, and the casino is open when at sea should you fancy a flutter.

Pools on Sun Princess

Sun Princess has four swimming pools and nine hot tubs, plus an adult-only pool at the Sanctuary (additional cost). Although our cruise was fully booked, there was always plenty of room on the pool decks.

Sarah at pool on Sun Princess

The main pool area has two large pools and plenty of dining options. We spent most of our time here and loved it, although the Aperol Spritz Bar may have had something to do with that… There were no crazy pool games, which suited me perfectly, although I thought the volume on the massive TV screen could do with being lowered.

Wakeview pool on Sun Princess

If you want a quieter vibe, the Wake View infinity pool at the back of the ship might be more your scene. There is also an indoor / outdoor pool at the Dome which offers sheltered bathing and a more relaxed experience, and if you want to be pampered, check out the indoor pool or treatments in the Lotus Spa. 

The Sanctuary

For an adult-only (16+) luxury escape, the Sanctuary is the ultimate treat. I spent a day here on Sky Princess and loved it, and the Sanctuary on Sun Princess is larger and even more luxurious with a separate pool, bar, hot tubs, premium sun loungers and cabanas. However, unlike most Princess Cruises, the Sanctuary on Sun Princess and Star Princess will only be available to guests who book one of the Sanctuary Collection Rooms.

The Sanctuary on Sun Princess

If you fancy spending the week here, think about booking one of the Sanctuary Collection rooms, which will be available to book from October 2024. As well as enjoying exclusive access to the Sanctuary, there will be private dining and relaxation areas on board, and the Princess Premier all-inclusive package is included in your stay.

Children’s activities on Sun Princess 

As well as kids, tweens and kids clubs, there are more children’s activities on Sun Princess than on any other Princess Cruise ship. There are nine different kids activities on the top deck, otherwise known as Park 19 – although some are not in operation yet. There is a high ropes course, a multi sports court, slides, splash park and an innovative roll glider. There are also lots of cool hammocks up there, I imagine kids will hang out on Park 19 for hours. 

Park 19 on Sun Princess

Kids clubs range from ages 3 – 7 and 8 – 12 years and there is teen zone for teenagers aged 13 – 17 years. All kids clubs are free of charge and offer a host of activities under supervision. If you fancy a date night and want to have your child supervised after 10pm, there is a nominal €5 per hour charge. Children from 6 months to 2 years can attend the kids club but must be supervised by a parent.  

I was very impressed with the teen club. It is open until 1 am and the organised activities even include hot tub parties!  You can see videos and more info on kids clubs on my Instagram Highlight of Sun Princess.

family facilities on Sun Princess

Movies are shown every night at the pool deck too. Princess Cruises’ poolside movies are a tradition on all ships, where sun loungers are covered in comfy cushions and popcorn and drinks are provided, as cruisers watch Movies Under The Stars – you can see this on my Instagram highlight too.

Cabins on Sun Princess

The cabins on Sun Princess have been completely reimagined from what I have seen on other Princess cruise ships. Thankfully the signature Princess Luxury Bed remains – voted the Best Bed at Sea by Cruise Critic – the cruise industry’s TripAdvisor.

Balcony cabin on Sun Princess

However, cabins are more spacious, the outdated shower curtains are finally gone, and have been replaced with a modern bathrooms as well as clever closet space. There is a selection of USB and adaptor ports, a powerful hairdryer and a spacious balcony. 

Unfortunately there are still no family cabins for large families (the maximum is 2 adults and 2 children), although if your budget allows there are 100 interconnecting cabins, as well as luxury 2 bedroom Sky Suites.

I loved how the balcony wall slides back so if you do have interconnecting balcony cabins, you can enjoy a shared space.

Princess Cruises Princess Plus and Premier packages  

Princess Cruises drinks packages are some of the best value in the cruise market. There are two offerings Princess Plus is $60 / €58 per person per day, and Princess Premier is $80 / €75 per person per day. I strongly advise purchasing one of these if you are planning on having a few drinks per day, enjoy speciality dining options and want to have WiFi on board. The free room service delivery is a bonus too!

cocktails on Sun Princess

Princess Plus includes:

  • Wi-Fi (1 device per guest)
  • Gratuities
  • Drinks Package (15 drinks per day up to $15 each)
  • Unlimited juice bar
  • Premium desserts (2 per day)
  • Fitness classes (2 per cruise)
  • 2 casual dining meals per guest
  • OceanNow® delivery
  • Room service delivery.

Princess Premier Includes:

  • Wi-Fi (up to 4 devices per guest)
  • Gratuities
  • Drinks Package (15 drinks per day up to $20 each)
  • Unlimited juice bar
  • Premium desserts (unlimited)
  • Fitness classes (unlimited)
  • Photo package (unlimited digital + 3 prints)
  • Princess Prizes
  • 2 Specialty dining meals per guest
  • Reserved theatre seating (for production shows only)
  • Unlimited casual dining meals
  • OceanNow® delivery
  • Room service delivery

Final Thoughts on Sun Princess

I have been very fortunate to experience Sun Princess through its many stages: while it was under construction in the Shipyard, at the naming ceremony in Barcelona, and on a family break at Easter time. While each experience was completely different, I came away extremely impressed each time..

I love the size of Sun Princess, the service and atmosphere on board. Princess always manage to get the balance right – there was a relaxed informal atmosphere, that was neither refined nor rowdy – its just the way I like it, and similar to the atmosphere when I cruised on Sky Princess.

The quality of the food and drinks, and the efficiency with how they are delivered, stood out once again for me. Princess have got the pool areas right too: they are not too crowded and thankfully no loud party games either. 

The addition of the Dome and the Irish Bar brings another dimension to their already extensive entertainment offerings, and with Park 19 on the top deck, older kids will be able to enjoy Princess ships as much as adults.

My children (16 and 13) had a super time, and didn’t want to come home – which is rare at that age! They loved the entertainment and food on board, as well as their new found freedom of being able to order food and drinks any time they wanted from their sun lounger or cabin! I was able to leave them by the pool while I explored Palma for the afternoon – it was a wonderful relaxing experience for all of us. 

Princess Cruises has 16 cruise ships, cruising to 330 destinations across all continents – including Antarctica! It is considered one of the World’s Leading International Premium Cruise Lines, and is continuously recognised as the Best Cruise Line for Itineraries.

I hope my review of Sun Princess will help you plan a cruise holiday soon, and that you enjoy cruising on this beautiful ship as much as I have.

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