The third in Princess Cruises' groundbreaking Grand-class trio, the 2,600-guest Star Princess debuted in 2002. Along with the Grand Princess and Golden Princess, it was immediately distinguished from other ships by the glass disco atop the stern, which offers ocean views.
Highlights include large stateroom balconies, a whopping four full-sized pools, and acres of open deck space. You'll also find great passenger flow (something that can be a real problem on crowded sea days on other ships) and a selection of moderately sized entertainment venues. The recently revamped Piazza has been transformed into its own city-square-style hot spot with acrobats, magicians, and musicians performing throughout the day.
What We Love
When the Food Is Good, It's Really Good: Although Princess caters to the lower end of the premium cruise market, the food and service can be extraordinary. In recent years, some of the offerings have been scaled back, but the pizza by the slice is some of the best afloat. And dinnertime favorites like the fettuccine Alfredo and chocolate-drenched "Love Boat Dreams" dessert are deservedly legendary.
The International Cafe: At the base of the Piazza, this eatery serves excellent complimentary pastries and sandwiches to accompany the (for-a-fee) specialty coffees.
Quality Service: Despite the ship’s size, the dining and cabin service is almost always friendly and mind-bogglingly efficient.
Best Known For
Movies Under The Stars: With its vast LED screen, the terraced outdoor pool area is transformed into an almost nightly alfresco cinema, with cushioned deck chairs, blankets, milk and cookies, and fresh popcorn.
Entertainment: Princess is known for its wide variety of choices each evening, including quality production shows, musicians, singalong piano bars, live bands, magicians, and solo vocalists. You can wander from venue to venue and never get bored.
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Who It's Best For
Value-Conscious, Active Cruisers: Big ship aficionados flock to this one for good food, quality service, and plenty of entertainment choices.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
The Furnishings Are Dated: The decor is homey but bland and in need of freshening up.
Boarding Can Be Messy: You may encounter long lines at embarkation, and at disembarkation, too.
Peter Knego is a California-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.
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Star Princess at a Glance
- Line: Princess Cruises
- Class: Grand
- Number of Passengers: 2600
- Ship Size: Large
- Launch Date: 2002
- Refurbish Date: 2011