Royal Princess Unveiled
With only a brief interlude, Princess Cruises has had a Royal Princess in their fleet since the first one debuted in 1984. Christened by Princess Diana, the original Royal Princess was widely-acknowledged as defining a new era in innovative cruise ship design and experience with one of the largest lap pools afloat, more balconies than any other comparably sized ship, all outside staterooms, and 24-hour dining in the Lido Cafe. After the first Royal Princess left the fleet in 2005, the name was passed to one of Princess’ small ships in 2007. With that vessel being transferred to a sister company at the end of next month, the name Royal Princess is free to be bestowed on the next ship to join the Princess fleet.
When the highly anticipated first steel plate was cut yesterday, marking the official start of construction of Princess Cruises’ next ship, the line revealed the vessel’s profile (shown here in an artist’s rendering), released preliminary details about some of its features, and announced its name—Royal Princess. Debuting in spring of 2013, the new 141,000-ton, 3,600-passenger Royal Princess is the first of two new-generation ships for Princess which are being built by Fincantieri at their Monfalcone, Italy shipyard. The prototype design is an evolution of the line’s classic style of ships, while including some new features and expanded signature spaces.
A new design element revealed for Royal Princess is an over-water SeaWalk, a top-deck glass-bottomed enclosed walkway on the ship’s starboard side extending more than 28 feet beyond the edge of the vessel. From here passengers can enjoy dramatic views, including to the sea 128 feet below. On the ship’s port side, passengers will find a similarly-unique cantilevered SeaView bar, featuring cocktails with unbeatable vistas.
Also on her top decks, Royal Princess will feature a new adults-only pool surrounded by seven plush private cabanas that appear to be floating on the water. Two additional pools will flank a palm-lined tropical island that will offer pool seating by day, and by night will become an outdoor dance club, complete with a dazzling water and light show. Princess’ signature adults-only haven, The Sanctuary, will be expanded both in size and amenities. The popular poolside theater, Movies Under the Stars, will play a starring role mid-ship with an expanded size and high-definition viewing.
Inside the ship, one of the line’s hallmark venues, the Piazza atrium, will be significantly expanded. This area will be the multi-faceted social hub of the vessel, combining always-changing quick bites and light meals, beverages, entertainment, shopping and guest services. Royal Princess will include 260,000 square feet of inside public space with multiple dining and entertainment venues, as well as other special features and amenities which will be revealed over the coming months. As a bonus, all outside staterooms on Royal Princess will have balconies, which means that 80 percent of the ship’s staterooms will include this desirable feature.
“Princess passengers will easily recognize our next ship as a natural progression in our fleet,” said Princess President and CEO Alan Buckelew. “We’re taking the best features of our newest vessels that have been such customer pleasers, and taking them to the next level. Just as the original Royal Princess ushered in a new era for our company with its innovative design, we expect our new Royal Princess to do the same.”
Additional information about Princess Cruises, as well as a video preview of Royal Princess can be found at the company's website, Princess.com. A sister ship to Royal Princess will be launched in spring 2014.