After a brief excursion into the fleet of sister company P&O Cruises in the UK, Sea Princess reverted to its original name, rejoined her original brand and is sailing varied itineraries -- including Australia/New Zealand, Hawaii and even a world cruise -- from its Brisbane and Sydney homeports.
The ship, launched in 1998, is mid-sized and offers traditional features that make it a good choice for cruise travellers who want to feel like they're onboard an oceangoing vessel rather than a theme park at sea. The Art Deco-inspired decor is classically elegant and the ship's gracious lines and grand atrium hark back to cruising's golden era, creating a stylish and timeless ambience throughout.
While Sea Princess is one of the line's oldest ships based in Australia, it has been well looked after with thoughtful and regular refurbishments. During the most recent 2017 dry dock, the ship was modernised without changing the onboard mood: every cabin received a Princess Luxury Bed; a new "Movies under the Stars" screen was installed; and the youth facilities received an extensive refit to reflect the line's partnership with the Discovery Channel.
Sea Princess is a cosy, welcoming ship with its atrium area and show venues among the most attractive at sea. Despite its smaller size, there is much to enjoy onboard.
Sea Princess has 1,008 cabins in total, with 603 having sea views and 405 inside staterooms. Seventy percent of outside cabins have a balcony but, overall, the number of balcony cabins is smaller than you will find on newer ships. On the upside, this makes Sea Princess a good option for those who make their cruise dollar go further by staying in an inside stateroom.
Cabins have a traditional feel and are finished in warm tones of beige and cream, with the occasional dove grey accent. With the exception of suites, interior and oceanview cabins are similar in size and make good use of the available space. Not many rooms accommodate a third or fourth person though, so book early if you are travelling with friends or family.
During its dry dock in 2017, each Sea Princess cabin received a new Princess Luxury Bed with a mattress featuring individually wrapped coils, a two-inch topper, fresh linen and an optional musical pillow. A sleep kit containing an eye mask and other accessories is also available on request. With a bed this comfy, it is unlikely you'll need that musical pillow to help you count sheep. Our soft-as-a-cloud bed delivered the best sleep we've had at sea.
Each cabin is equipped with a television, hair dryer, safe and mini-bar and all have individually controllable air-conditioning and (with the exception of some three- and four-berth staterooms) beds that can be arranged either as twins or doubles. Cabins have three styles of electrical power sockets: US, UK and Australian. The bathroom (shower only, save for suites) is compact and features toiletries including soap, body lotion and in-shower dispensers of shampoo/conditioner and shower gel. There is an in-shower retractable clothesline and shelves above the vanity provide storage for personal toiletries.
Interior: These cabins measure 15 to 16 square metres (135 to 148 square feet) and have no natural light, making them a good choice for those who like to sleep in. Some have Pullman beds to accommodate third and fourth passengers; 11 interior cabins are wheelchair accessible.
Oceanview: oceanview cabins range from 15 to 18 square metres (135 to 173 square feet), with 193 available throughout the ship. Some accommodate third and fourth passengers on a Pullman bed. Six oceanview cabins are wheelchair accessible. Obstructed oceanview staterooms are the same size as an oceanview stateroom but the picture window is partially or fully obstructed by tenders or part of the ship.
Balcony: There are 372 balcony cabins, which are 19 square metres (179 square feet) in size, including the balcony. While the outdoor space is not large, it is a lovely spot to enjoy the view and includes two chairs and a table large enough to hold drinks and some snacks. Some balcony cabins can accommodate third and fourth passengers.
Mini-suite: There are 32 minisuites ranging from 34 to 50 square metres (370 to 536 square feet), including the balcony. One minisuite on Deck 10 is wheelchair accessible. Minisuites have a sofa bed that sleeps a third passenger, with a curtain to screen off the area from the main bed, and an additional flat-screen TV. Bathrooms have a tub, massage showerhead and a toilet with its own hand basin. Balconies have two chairs and two deck chairs, plus a small table to hold snacks and drinks. Guests staying in a minisuite receive a welcome glass of Champagne on embarkation day.
Some mini-suites in sought-after locations such as mid-ship or aft-facing have been designated Club Class and come with additional perks. Club Class minisuite guests receive extras such as priority embarkation and disembarkation at the beginning and end of the cruise, priority specialty dining reservations, a half bottle of red wine and a half bottle of white wine on embarkation day, evening canapes and upgraded robes. One of the best benefits is Club Class Dining, featuring expedited seating, dedicated wait staff, and dinner prepared tableside, in an exclusive section of the Traviata dining room. With an impressive array of extras and more room to spread out, these suites are especially appealing for families, and other travellers, seeking additional space.
Suite: Sea Princess has six suites ranging in size from 50 to 65 square metres (538 to 695 square feet), including the balcony, which is aft racing. Suites feature a separate bedroom, queen bed with pillow top mattress, luxurious linens and flat-screen TV. An additional TV is found in the separate seating area which has a sofa bed that can sleep a third person. On the balcony you will find two loungers, two chairs, a table and an ottoman. Suite passengers are offered a wealth of premium amenities including a one-time mini-bar stocked with beverages of their selection, evening hors d'oeuvres, a daily specialty Mimosa breakfast served in-suite, complimentary laundry and shoe polish, complimentary dinner in a specialty restaurant on embarkation day, an upgraded room service menu, priority embarkation and disembarkation at tender ports and Club Class Dining.
While there isn't a vast array of for-a-fee options -- the ship only has one specialty restaurant -- those included in the fare abound and are generally excellent. Enjoy a full breakfast with table service, bistro-style sandwiches and salads, burgers by the pool, tea and scones, fine dining in the evening or cake and coffee at twilight. Or opt for room service, our favourite cruise indulgence, which is still free on Princess. If dining is an important part of your overall cruise experience, you are unlikely to be disappointed.
Rigoletto Dining Room (Deck 5): There are two main dining rooms, with the red-and-gold Rigoletto available for dinner only. Traditional dining (set seating times, same waiters and tablemates) can be found here at 5:30 pm and 7:45 pm daily.
Traviata Dining Room (Deck 6): Traviata has a blue-and-gold colour scheme and a ceiling glamorously studded with twinkling lights. It offers a sit-down option for breakfast, and serves lunch (sea days only), afternoon tea and dinner.
Breakfast is served 7 am to 9 am (or 7:30 am to 9:30 am on sea days) and includes coffee and juice, fresh fruit, cereals, yoghurt, pancakes, eggs a few ways, bacon, sausages, and hash browns. There is also a changing page of two additional options such as French toast or a bowl of poached figs, peaches and pears.
Lunch is served from noon to 1:30 pm with a changing daily menu. Try ricotta and spinach ravioli, roasted beef tenderloin, fish and chips or ham and tomato focaccia. Burgers, soup and salad are also available. Desserts range from bread and butter pudding or vanilla souffle to ice creams, from butterscotch to chocolate and marshmallow or passionfruit frozen yogurt. Afternoon tea is served from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm and includes a selection of tea, scones and sandwiches.
Dinner is a multicourse affair and has enough mainstay and rotating options to please any palate. On the menu's left page are Princess Favourites, such as prawn cocktail and pan-seared herbed chicken breast, which are available every evening. On the right you will find a daily changing menu featuring dishes such as lobster bisque or chicken and sweetcorn soup to start and a baked seafood parcel or roasted beef rib for mains. A nightly dessert selection -- perhaps something from Chef Norman Love's Chocolate Journeys (a partnership with the cruise line) -- is offered, along with a sugar-free option, ice cream and a few more goodies. Coffee and tea are served, but specialty coffees and drinks like wine or soda are additional.
Club Class Dining (Deck 6): Only suite and Club Class Mini-Suite passengers can dine in the small, exclusive Club Class Dining area in the front corner of the Traviata Dining Room. Club Class has its own hostess at the entrance to Traviata and there is never a wait to be seated. Each setting is dressed with grey linen tablecloths, matching monogrammed napkins and a vase with a single orchid. Tables are predominantly for two and spaced so far apart that some diners may find it hard to believe they are in a cruise ship dining room, if it weren't for the ocean view outside the window. The menu is the same as the main dining room, but additional touches, such as a fresh fruit breakfast trolley featuring sliced mango, kiwi fruit and berries, abound. There is also a daily special prepared gueridon-style (on a trolley near the table) by the Club Class maitre 'd for dinner and lunch (sea days only). Sparkling service is provided by a small, dedicated team of waitstaff who take the time to get to know diners' likes and dislikes.
Cafe Corniche (Deck 8): Cafe Corniche offers a good selection of pizzas and, in the evening, a small additional range of Italian antipasti, and desserts in a pleasant setting overlooking the atrium. Unfortunately, the rather lacklustre service we experienced does not live up to the food, which was generally very good whenever we dined here. During lunch, everything on the menu is complimentary. In the evening, some items such as a cheese and charcuterie board (A$4), grilled lamb skewers (A$4) and an excellent prosciutto, pear, gorgonzola and spinach pizza (A$5) are chargeable. However, it is easy to enjoy a delicious dinner at Cafe Corniche without spending any extra. The restaurant is open from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm daily and noon to 2 pm on sea days.
Horizon Court (Deck 14): Like most of Sea Princess' public areas, Horizon Court is beautifully designed, with pleasing light and airy decor and ocean views. However, at peak times, it does get crowded, and tables can be hard to come by. Unlike some cruise ship buffets, this restaurant has food available all day from 5 am to 11 pm with just a short 15-minute closure from 5.15 pm to 5:30 pm so staff can set up for dinner.
Food stations are separated by type and are mirrored on either side of the deck during peak periods. Take a quick peek which side might be less crowded before you take a plate. When things are quieter, one side of the buffet closes. A continental breakfast is served from 5 am to 6 am and regular breakfast from 6 am to 11:30 am, with typical morning fare. Lunch features various dishes representing different international cultures: we saw sauteed bok choy with chicken, garlic and ginger, grilled fish, schnitzel and beef roulade. Sandwiches and salads are also available. A dessert counter is located on the opposite side of the buffet at its own station with an attendant doling out individual-sized portions. Lunch is 11:30 am to 3:30 pm, when many of the dishes are cleared away in favour of a light snack served until 5.15 pm. Dinner is served until 11 pm.
Beverages can be found at two back counters at the rear of the buffet. These counters offer water, iced tea, juice, hot water, regular coffee and decaf 24/7. Waiters come around to take drink orders, including your choice of non-chargeable drinks mentioned above.
Terrace Grill (Deck 14): This large counter on the Lido deck serves complimentary hot dogs, hamburgers, French fries, meat pies and bratwurst and knockwurst from 11:30 am to 8 pm, weather permitting. Seats with a good view are available here so you can dine while watching a movie or live concert.
Room Service: Available 24 hours a day, room service offers a menu of hot and cold sandwiches (club sandwich, turkey breast, etc.); soup of the day with saltines; mixed greens or chef's salads; hamburgers, hot dogs and hot dishes such as lasagne, beef chilli or a Moroccan vegetable stew served in a crockpot with pita bread. You can also order desserts like caramel flan, fudge cake or milk and cookies. Service is consistently prompt and pleasant, and usually correct. Room service breakfast is continental, while suites have access to full breakfasts. One of the few items that attracts a charge is pizza from Cafe Corniche which can be delivered to your cabin for an added fee of A$3.
La Patisserie (Deck 5): Specialty coffees such as iced lattes and cappuccinos can be found at La Patisserie, which opens at 6 am. La Patisserie offers a small selection of snacks such as pastries on a covered tray. Ocean views are available from some tables but this cafe is equally popular for takeaway. Coffee lovers can purchase a Princess Coffee Card, which entitles holders to 15 specialty coffees at a reduced rate. La Patisserie is open from 6 am to 11 pm and also serves alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer.
New Zealand Natural Ice Cream Bar (Deck 12): Satisfy your cravings for something sweet at this for-a-fee ice cream shop where you can buy New Zealand-made ice cream, milkshakes, thick shakes and sundaes.
Amuleto Bar (Deck 14): Located in the Horizon Court, this cafe serves specialty coffees for a fee. Treats in the glass-fronted cabinet are tempting, complimentary and available throughout the day. Amuleto is open from 5 am to 11 pm.
Sterling Steakhouse (Deck 14): A$29 per person, A$21.75 per child aged three to 12 years. Steak and seafood are the main draws at Sterling Steakhouse, the ship's only specialty dining venue. This isn't a standalone restaurant but part of the Horizon Court buffet, which is screened off and dressed with white tablecloths every evening. It is a pity the buffet's bright lights can't be lowered to create a bit more ambience, but otherwise the concept works reasonably well. We were expecting a wide selection of beef cuts, and were not disappointed, although the limited appetiser selection may be too seafood-focussed for some diners. That said, our party loved the black tiger prawns with papaya salpicon and the generous Mediterranean-style lobster cake. Mains include lamb chops from New Zealand, an excellent filet mignon available in two sizes or a pork chop served with delicious caramelised apples. Sides are generous -- served for the table -- and range from grilled asparagus to sauteed wild mushrooms, loaded baked potatoes and mashed potatoes. Four dessert choices follow, including a standout Norman Love milk chocolate and peanut butter bar creation served with honey-roasted peanuts. Really, you could share this rich dessert, but it's too good not to have one each. Sterling Steakhouse is open daily for dinner from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm.
Ultimate Balcony Dining: A$45 per couple (breakfast), A$125 per couple (dinner). If you have a balcony, take advantage of dining on it (and time it well with scenic cruising or a port arrival) with Ultimate Balcony Dining, an upgraded version of room service. Breakfast is served at a time of your choosing, and special and/or dietary requests can be made. Arriving with a tablecloth and many plates, your server will arrange your meal however you choose -- -inside or outside -- along with a small bottle of prosecco on ice (perfect for mimosas). Breakfast consists of juices, cold-smoked salmon with dill cream cheese and lemon brioche, quiche, a plate of muffins, rolls and pastries, fresh fruit and filter coffee or tea.
A romantic balcony dinner is also available and includes a multicourse lobster (or steak) dinner with pre-dinner cocktails, canapes, a flower bouquet as well as a souvenir photo and a half bottle of chilled sparkling wine. Note: 24 hours' notice is required so a staff member can meet with you to confirm menu preferences and any special requests.
This is a somewhat casual ship with a relaxed interpretation of the 'smart casual' dress code onboard with shorts, T-shirts, swimwear and thongs the norm during the day. In the evening, T-shirts, jeans and sandals can be seen in the casual dining areas.
Generally, passengers -- including children -- dress up in the evening for the dining area. Women favour closed-toe shoes or smart sandals, knee-length dresses, pants and blouses, while men don collared shirts and khakis. Shirts, shorts, caps and flip-flops should be confined to the daytime out on deck and are not permitted in the dining room.
Weeklong itineraries of five or six days have one formal night, while cruises between seven and 13 days feature two formal nights. On formal nights, cocktail dresses and suits with or without ties are worn rather than gowns and tuxedos. There are a select few that don full gowns with pearls or tuxedos. Note: Formalwear is available for hire.
The 600-seat Princess Theatre is located on Deck 7 and hosts stage productions performed by the ship's singers and dancers, guest vocalists, and comedians. It is also home to the line's take on the talent show "The Voice" called "The Voice of the Ocean," where passengers who successfully audition get to compete for the winning title. This steeply sloped palladium theatre has excellent sight lines, comfortable theatre seating and small stands for drinks tucked away in the armrest of each chair. During the 2017 refurbishment, a five-metre-high LED wall was added to give the productions added zing and it is used to great effect, particularly during the funky "Blame it on the Boogie" show. There were three production shows during our seven-night cruise and all of them were excellent, with a strong cast, clever staging and plenty of well-known songs ranging from opera right through to '70s disco songs. While there aren't any tunes featured from the 1980s or later, the shows are hugely entertaining and designed to appeal to cruisers of all ages.
On the same deck, the intimate Vista Lounge offers cabaret seating around small tables, a row of stools against the bar and lounges and chairs scattered around the centre stage.
As well as headlining shows, the Vista Lounge hosts game shows, trivia quizzes, bingo, and dancing sessions including line dancing and ballroom dancing. On some nights, popular productions run twice at both venues to allow passengers to alternate between shows.
Seaboard life revolves around the sweeping black and white marble staircases, glass lifts and gently curved contours of the ship's four-deck-high atrium, which lies midship. On sea days, there is plenty of traditional shipboard entertainment to be found around the ship. Make your own fun with a game of shuffleboard or join the staff for activities such as Sudoku or Jenga challenges, table tennis tournaments and soccer shootouts. In the pool, the activities create teams of cruisers for lively volleyball games. Around the ship there are art auctions, hosted wine tastings (for a fee), chefs demonstrating the art of making sushi or carving fruit, a 'Learn about Smartphones' class, cocktail-making competitions, health and wellbeing seminars, photography workshops and lectures by a Princess Destination Expert on the next port. Some activities aim to upsell passengers on shore excursions or spa packages, but there is no need to buy. If you like to shop 'til you drop, Deck 6 holds a parade of stores selling jewellery, perfume, duty free goods, cruising souvenirs, travel essentials and the like.
In the evening, much of the action takes place on Deck 7 which houses the Princess Theatre (forward), Crooners Lounge (midship) and Vista Lounge (aft) as well as the Legends Bar and nautically decorated Wheelhouse Bar. Musical performances by cover bands, piano players, guitarists and other musical acts take place throughout the ship. These are generally good but firmly favour a more mature demographic with few (if any) post-'70s tunes. While an entertaining classical duo was a hit with passengers of all ages -- with standing room only available most nights -- appealing music for those aged under 50 was otherwise slim.
The Vista Lounge does double duty as a cinema and live performance venue, hosting a variety of indoor "big-screen movies" throughout the week, as well as spill-over comedians and cabaret performers from the Princess Theatre. With a dance floor in the corner, Legends Bar has the potential to get lively but it was very quiet during our cruise.
Grand Casino (Deck 8): Located midship, Grand Casino features slot machines that take Australian currency (5 cents, 25 cents, A$1 and A$5) and roulette with A$1 minimum bets, blackjack, craps and Caribbean stud tables. The casino also hosts a raffle draw with big cash prize and a A$1-A$2 no-limit Texas Hold'Em Players Meet.
Movies Under the Stars are available on the Lido Deck (Deck 14) most nights. Passengers can watch brand-new and beloved feature films (as well as news, sports events and other programming throughout the day) on a new wide-angle outdoor screen, which delivers double the image quality of the previous system. Cosy blankets, fresh-popped popcorn, cookies and milk are available to enhance the evening viewing experience.
More low-key than party focused, the bars on Sea Princess are a lovely spot to sit back, relax and enjoy a drink or two. Wherever you are onboard, you won't be far from an outdoor bar or lobby lounge that serves your favourite tipple. Service is friendly and efficient, with many indoor bars offering table service, and waits for a drink are minimal.
La Patisserie (Deck 5): In addition to coffee, this cafe also serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks such as wine, cocktails and soft drinks. It's a good spot to people watch and take in the lively scene around the lobby, especially on formal night.
Vista Lounge Bar (Deck 7): The bar in the corner of the Vista Lounge is a good spot to grab a drink while you're waiting for the show to start. If you aren't sure whether you're going to stay for the entire performance, you can sit and sip then slip out easily.
Legends Sports Bar (Deck 7): Watch AFL and NRL matches along with other Australian sport on this bar's many televisions as you sample over a dozen different beers. We aren't sure the dancefloor works at this sports focused bar -- we never saw anyone on it during our cruise -- but it is seldom busy if you are keen for a drink.
The Nook (Deck 7): With a menu of 60-plus whiskies and knowledgeable bartenders, cocktail lovers will appreciate this bar. It is located beside one of the ship's main thoroughfares, which makes it good for people watching during the day, before the bar opens at 5 pm.
Crooners (Deck 7): Overlooking the Atrium on the Promenade Deck, this is a nice spot to enjoy light music and drinks in the evening. A pianist is typically found tickling the ivories, with string melodies played by a duo. In the evening, the chairs in the centre of this bar are sometimes cleared to provide a space for ballroom dancing.
Wheelhouse Bar (Deck 7): This sophisticated lounge feels like you have stepped into a wealthy seafaring captain's house with dark woods, shiny brass and sturdy leather sofas. At night, a band or duo typically plays in the back of the room, but the volume is relatively subdued if you don't care to listen. Wine, beer and a selection of cocktails paying homage to the Prohibition era is available here.
Grand Casino Bar (Deck 8): Celebrate your winnings or drown your sorrows at the small lounge bar inside the casino.
Riviera Bar (Deck 12): Overlooking the main pool, this bar is a prime choice for sail away. Sip on draft beer, wine and cocktails and enjoy the ocean views or whatever is showing on the big screen at the far end of the pool deck.
Seaview Bar (Deck 14): On the Lido deck (aft), passengers can grab a beverage to enjoy in the hot tub or overlooking the stern of the ship. The hot tub area is 'adults only', which makes it a nice spot to soak while enjoying a chat with other cruisers.
Topsails Bar (Deck 15): Located above the Terrace Grill, this bar is predominantly used by passengers lounging on the Sun Deck or in The Sanctuary. If the Riviera Bar downstairs is busy, this can be a good spot to grab a drink without having to wait.
Two good-sized central pools and two hot tubs are located on Deck 12. When the weather is good, this is the place to come to lounge in the sun, sit in the shade or swim. Sunloungers directly around the pools are snatched up quickly, although singles can still be located. More sunloungers are located directly above on Lido Deck 14. The undercover Lotus Spa Pool located on Deck 12 (aft), adjacent to the fitness centre is for adult use only as are the two hot tubs. Tiered benches encircle the pool for sitting.
Sea Princess has a Promenade deck (Deck 7), which is used by many people for exercise or simply going for a stroll. Aside from a narrower section near the stern, there is plenty of room to enjoy a walk (or run) and the ocean view. You will also find shuffleboard on this deck, with plenty of room to walk around those who are playing. The Sports Court (aft) offers soccer and cricket nets, paddle tennis, and basketball hoops. In the shade on Riviera (Deck 12) there is a Ping-Pong table and gear for free play.
Free deck chairs are available on Deck 15 but for more exclusive lounging, passengers can pay to access The Sanctuary. Covered in an AstroTurf-like lawn with a (very) shallow splash pool and padded loungers and topiaries, this adults-only space is serene, with attendants assisting guests with any request. Passes for the enclosed relaxation space cost $20 for a half-day (8 am to 12:30 pm or 1 pm to 5 pm) or $40 for the full day. Passes for your entire cruise are also available upon request, but prices vary by length of sailing. Order a snack from the complimentary menu (there is a nominal A$3 delivery charge) or unwind with a themed playlist available on Bose noise-cancelling headphones. Massages and healthful drinks are also available for a charge.
On Lido Deck 14 there are lounges along the starboard and port side of the ship, which are a good option during busy times if sunloungers cannot be located.
The wraparound Promenade Deck is wide enough to accommodate traditional wood lounges and tables without obstructing the popular walkway. Soft cushioned lounges invite passengers to enjoy a relaxing read or a cocktail from the Wheelhouse or Crooners bars during inclement weather as the deck is undercover and away from the elements.
In the Atrium on Deck 6 there are shops selling brand-name goods, souvenirs and sundries, alcohol, tobacco and fashion apparel. Fine jewellery, fragrances, cosmetics and watches as well as designer handbags and sunglasses are also available.
The ship's library on Deck 7 offers paperbacks, including novels and a good selection of travel guides, which can be read and returned. Oversize green leather chairs facing picture windows are ideal for a quiet read. Board games are also available for loan.
The internet cafe adjacent to the library on Deck 7 has fixed computers to access the internet or by-the-minute packages that will enable WiFi on personal devices throughout the ship. The most affordable is A$99 for 200 minutes; no flat-rate full voyage package is available. No food or drink is permitted in this area.
On Deck 7 (starboard) the Photo Shop sells passenger portraits and holiday snaps taken by onboard photographers. The Photo Gallery arranges photographs by date for passengers to peruse, with photos starting at A$15 a print.
Self-service laundries are located on Decks 9, 10 and 11 (midship) and Decks 5, 6 and 8 (forward). It costs A$3 for a wash or dry. Simply swipe your passenger card on the machine and collect a token for a washer or dryer.
An onboard doctor is located in the Medical Centre on Deck 4.
The Future Cruise Sales office is located in a small room beside the Wheelhouse Bar entrance.
During the ship's late 2017 refurbishment, Sea Princess received the new Princess kids club offering Camp Discovery, with a complete overhaul of the three youth spaces. The new areas are funky, fun and educational (but don't tell the kids; they'll be having so much fun they will never know). Children are divided into three age-appropriate groups: The Treehouse (ages three to seven, formerly Pelicans), The Lodge (ages eight to 12, formerly Shockwaves) and The Beach House (ages 13 to 17, formerly Remix). Decor in each room is themed around the name of the group. So, for example, the teens' area resembles a funky beach shack.
Daily activities include hands-on science experiments based on the popular TV show MythBusters, themed scavenger hunts, Animal Planet puppet- and mask-making, and cake decorating as part of the JrChef@Sea program. There are also non-Discovery activities such as talent shows, video game play, and paper aeroplane challenges. The Camp Discovery weekly program is placed in your cabin on the first evening so kids (and their parents) can plan activities around what is going on in Camp Discovery. There will likely be some negotiation required as the program throughout the three rooms is excellent. Kids of all ages on our sailing were regularly seen rushing up to Deck 12 at opening time each day.
The Tree House (ages three to seven): This space, reminiscent of a tree-dweller's paradise, offers a cute treehouse with a small padded slide and plenty of seating. Trees are painted around the room, with cheeky animals peeking out from behind some of them. There are lots of small tables set up for arts and crafts and story time is a staple. Children in the Tree House can only be signed into and out of the club by authorised parents or guardians. Pagers are available for parents who would like one.
The Lodge (ages eight to 12): The Lodge is themed after what you might expect the inside of a log cabin to look like, complete with rustic painted 'wooden' walls and faux woodland scenes. There's plenty of seating and table space, as well as Foosball, Skee-Ball, air hockey and computer stations. A large TV and plentiful floor space with cushion seating make for fun movie nights and video game play. Youngsters in this age group are able to sign themselves in and out of the club with parental permission.
The kids' program is open 9 am to noon, 2 pm to 5 pm and 7 pm to 10 pm breaking for lunch and dinner. Kids are welcome to join at any time during these sessions. They can also skip a session or two or get signed out early and hang out with the family. On port days, the kids program is open from 8 am to 5 pm and generally involves free play time -- with video games, art and craft, movies and board games the norm. Parents are able to leave the kids supervised onboard at the kids' club while they explore the port destination.
Private in-room babysitting is not available. Group sitting in one of the two kids club rooms is offered from 10 pm to 1 am and costs A$5 per hour per child.
The Beach House (ages 13 to 17): Although there are some activities scheduled for this age group, it's a more casual hangout, allowing teens to come and go as they please. This space features a beachy theme of teal and grey with surfboard murals lining the walls; computer stations, and video games add to the cool factor. At first look, The Beach House doesn't have the same initial wow factor as The Lodge, with its Skee-ball, air hockey and other attractions, but there is a clever reason behind this. After 10 pm, when the program for the younger children has finished, teens also get to use The Lodge. Two rooms to hang out in rather than one, and 'exclusive' activities that can only be done after 10 pm, kept this hard-to-please group thoroughly engaged and entertained during our cruise.
Because Sea Princess sails primarily from Sydney, most of its passengers are Australian with a mix of those hailing from New Zealand, the UK and the US. You'll find plenty of young families on shorter sailings, but the passenger base on longer itineraries generally comprises those aged between 55 and 70.
Located on Deck 12 (aft), The Lotus Spa, with its attractive, contemporary decor, offers beauty treatments and massage packages. Services include teeth whitening, seaweed wraps, hot stone massages, manis and pedis, hot shaves and facials. Expect to pay A$142 for a 50-minute deep-tissue massage or enjoy a facial from A$182. Specials are often available on port days, or if the spa is not busy on a particular sailing.
The Fitness Centre on Deck 12 has modern machines for resistance training plus dumbbells and benches for weight training. It also features a row of exercise bikes and treadmills with ocean views. Headphones can be plugged into the equipment to listen to TVs.
A separate section is dedicated to classes for complimentary core abs workouts, total body conditioning and stretching classes. Classes where charges apply include Pilates, TRX suspension training, Tour de Cycle, Body Sculpt Bootcamp and yoga. Prices start at A$13 for a 45-minute class.
The gym can get busy in the morning and remain so well into the afternoon, so if you want to enjoy your training session in peace and quiet, get there before 9 am or visit in the late afternoon or early evening. Due to its location in the stern of the ship, you will feel the ship's motion if the ship is riding a heavy swell. If this is the case, take extra care when using the equipment.
The onboard currency is the Australian dollar and there is no automatic tipping required for cruises departing Australia. Envelopes are provided at the front desk for passengers who wish to tip particular crew for exceptional service during the cruise. No surcharge is added to the advertised cost of beverages and bar bills. On rare occasions a receipt is issued for signature, there is a discretionary tipping area that can be filled in or left blank.
Date Refurbished: 2015
Country of Registration: Bermuda
Regular Capacity: 1950
Maximum Capacity: 2000
Number of Crew:830
Crew Nationality: European/Asian
Officer Nationality: British/Italian
Language(s) Spoken:< Multiple Languages
|Not long ago, Sea Princess was updated to include The Sanctuary®, a tranquil haven just for adults, a fitting enhancement for this relaxed, rejuvenating retreat at sea. Whether you're cutting into a juicy steak cooked to order in the dining room, or enjoying the luxury of a special breakfast just for booking a suite, you'll be taken care of on board as you sail to fascinating destinations all over the world with Sea Princess.|
Health and Beauty
No. of Dinner Sittings: 2
No. of Dinner Sittings: 6:30pm & 8:30pm
Special Diet: Available upon request
Dress Code: May vary from Cruise Casual to Formal.Gratuity Policies
Suites $15.50 USD per passenger per day
Club Class $14.50 USD per passenger per day
Regular Staterooms $13.50 USD per passenger per day