When Princess Cruises launched this 3,560-passenger ship (its largest ever) in 2013, fans of the line's traditional style held their breath. They need not have worried. The updated ship adds just a touch of contemporary but is still classically Princess.
What We Love
The Piazza: By adding a bit of dazzle — including grand staircases, theatrical balconies, live entertainment, and new places to grab a drink — Princess turned the ship's atrium into the can't-miss hangout spot.
Alfredo's: The best pizza at sea is at this complimentary pizzeria in the Piazza. You can even watch the chefs hand-toss the wonderfully thin-crusted pies and apply your choice of toppings, including prosciutto and buffalo mozzarella.
Best Known For
The Views: The ship has a walkway with see-through floors on the upper deck — you can look down at the sea some 128 feet below. And, at the SeaView Bar, there's the fun distraction of bottle-tossing bartending demonstrations.
Romance: This "Love Boat" offers plenty of opportunity for together time. You can book couples massages in special villas in the Lotus Spa or in the cushy adults-only sunning area, the Sanctuary. Or, order up a steak and lobster dinner served on your private stateroom balcony.
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Who It's Best For
Couples and Singles: The ship has plenty of spaces indoors and out to hang out and relax. There's also a nightlife scene that will appeal to all ages — as long as you don't expect anything too frenetic.
Families: Youth facilities attractions include video games and outdoor play areas (teens even get their own wading pool). On-deck Movies Under the Stars is another family favorite.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Expect Lots of Upcharges: There are many attractive additions on Royal Princess, but they carry extra fees — whether for gelato or oyster shooters at the Piazza's seafood bar. Budget accordingly.
There's Not Much Whiz-Bang: You won't find such activities as rock-climbing walls or water slides on this ship.
Fran Golden is a Cleveland-based contributor to ShermansCruise who also writes for USA Today.
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Royal Princess at a Glance
- Line: Princess Cruises
- Class: Royal
- Number of Passengers: 3560
- Ship Size: Mega
- Launch Date: 2013