Princess Cruises welcomes new Sun Princess, but with a glitch

The next generation for the line has been born and like all newborns, not everything runs completely to plan, as MATT LENNON finds.

Princess Cruises has taken delivery of its new Sun Princess, its first Sphere-class ship and the new flagship for the line’s environmentally focused future.

Taking delivery of the ship this week from the Fincantieri shipyard in Italy, Sun Princess is the first ship for Princess Cruises that runs on Liquefied Natural Gas, which allows the line to take a big step toward its commitment as a CLIA member to reduce its carbon emissions by 40% by 2030.

Sun Princess was crafted from an entirely new ship model designed exclusively for Princess Cruises which sees more balconies than the line has offered in its nearly 60-year history. It’s also the largest ship ever built by Fincantieri in Italy, with a capacity of 4,300 passengers.

But not everything has gone to plan from the start for Sun Princess, with the ship’s maiden voyage on 18 Feb to be cancelled, as Princess opted instead to keep the ship in its technical dock to make some final adjustments and ensure brand standards could be met from the outset.

It’s the second time the maiden sailing – originally on 08 Feb – has been shelved, with the new debut for the ship now hopefully coming 10 days later on 28 Feb.

All guests booked on this second attempt at a maiden sailing will be refunded in full and will also receive a 50% Future Cruise Credit to put towards another sailing on the line.

Princess is also offering financial reimbursement for select travel costs for guests who have already arrived ahead of their sailing, or for those who need to amend travel plans.

The cruise line is also protecting travel agent commissions on cancelled bookings from the first two sailings.

But once Sun Princess eventually sets sail, guests onboard will have a menagerie of innovative entertainment at their disposal, perhaps best headlined by ‘The Dome’, a multipurpose arena inspired by Greek terraces.

The glass-encased space opens up the night sky to create a new natural star-lit environment for audiences as they enjoy musical, acrobatic and theatrical performances.

A second theatre, which will be home to the more elaborate production shows, can be adapted into multiple formations but as a default, will see the stage positioned in the centre of the room to ensure a fully immersive experience for guests.

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