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Teppanyaki at Umai Teppanyaki/Hot Pot, amaebi “sweet shrimp” at Makoto Ocean, authentic made-from-scratch and ready in mere seconds Napolitano pizza at Alfredo’s, crab cake at Crown Grill and the seafaring stew at The Catch by Rudi—that’s just a morsel of the many culinary delights we sampled during our time aboard the Sun Princess, Princess Cruises’ first ship in its Sphere-class fleet and the largest Princess vessel to date. Foodies will be thrilled as around every corner there’s an eatery sure to please their palate.

During our recent sailing on the Sun Princess, we stopped at such ports of call as Kusadasi in Turkey, Crete in Greece and Naples in Italy (the excursions I took to Ephesus, Pompeii and Sorrento were expertly guided), along the way feasting on a grand banquet that Princess has rolled out on board its grandest “Love Boat” ship. The food on board is so good that not even the scents wafting from Mediterranean seaside restaurants drew us in—we eagerly hopped back on the ship to savor the next dish…and enjoy some very creative cocktails.

Sun Princess
Crown Grill. (Photo: James Morgan, Getty Images for Princess Cruises)

Princess Cruises has most definitely upped its culinary prowess with the debut of the 4,300-passenger Sun Princess, where passengers will find 30 restaurant and bar venues, including spaces that come with celebrity cachet—think artist Romero Britto (Love by Britto), mixologist Rob Floyd (Good Spirits at Sea), and butcher Dario Cecchini (The Butcher’s Block by Dario), among others. Even the 3-level main dining room, Horizons, comes with a twist, with Deck 6 set up for traditional dining; Deck 7 for anytime dining; and Deck 8 set up as an American diner (we had breakfast here one morning before heading to a shore excursion and found the options plentiful and the service top-notch). We even stopped in at the Lido Deck one afternoon to sample the tasty shrimp tacos at Lido Taco, where passengers will also find Lido Greens, Lido Grill, Lido Slice (in case Alfredo’s is too busy) and Lido Coffee & Cones. We heard from fellow passengers, although we didn’t have the opportunity to stop in, that The Eatery, the ship’s food hall space that has taken over the traditional buffet-style restaurant, offers some tasty options for when your clients don’t mind a more casual dining setting. And, of course, you can’t talk about food on board a ship without mentioning the morning brew—we always headed to Coffee Currents, located right next to the Piazza, with great coffee and yummy baked goods.

Then there are the whimsical cocktails the F&B crew has come up with, such as the Spritz Tower, a cocktail tower featuring four Spritz cocktails, which can be found at Bellini’s; Watering the Garden, which comes with its own adorable copper watering pot, and is served at Cascade; Revenge of Kraken, with a decorative “Kraken” holding six cocktails that your clients can order at the Wheelhouse; and the stunning Empress Rose, on the menu at Seaview.

Sun Princess
The antechamber at Spellbound. (Photo: Paloma Villaverde de Rico)

That said, the most unique of all the cocktails to be found on board the Sun Princess is Escape from Houdini’s Chest, a smoking cocktail that emerges from a mini chest. This particular cocktail can be ordered during the Spellbound experience, which has debuted on board Sun Princess via a partnership with the Magic Castle in LA, a private club for magicians and their friends. This imaginative happening makes for a charming evening as guests need to find hidden doors, say a magic word for entry into the “mansion” and then and only then are they transported to an enchanting evening with craft cocktails, magical artifacts, curiosities and a show with an amusing cardician. It’s an intimate evening that we highly recommend and includes pre-dinner and craft cocktails. Like the 360 experience on board Discovery Princess and Enchanted Princess, this is an immersive event that makes for one of the most unique offerings on board any ship I’ve sailed. 

Sun Princess
Dome (Photo: James Morgan, Getty Images for Princess Cruises)

More Fun Around the Ship
For more enchantments, recommend clients head to the 2-story Lotus Spa to sample one of the many treatments (we opted for the very unique Ioniethermie Cellulite Reduction Program, after which we skipped throughout the ship feeling light as a feather). And a definite must is some R&R time at The Enclave thermal suite, which feels more spacious than on the Discovery Princess.

Another top spot for kicking back is the glass-enclosed, multi-leveled Dome, which serves as pool space by day and, come evening, turns into an entertainment hub showcasing acrobatic performances created in partnership with Cirque Eloize.

For a very different experience, head to the very top decks to check out Park19, where you’ll find inviting hammocks as well as a ropes course, The Net, with unstable bridges, a z-shaped balance beam and climbing cargo nets (we admired the contraption with our two feet firmly planted on the ground); Sea Breeze, the first Rollglider on a cruise ship for the most amazing of panoramic views; and recreational areas for shuffleboard, ping-pong, fitness classes, etc. It’s one of our favorite spots on the entire ship and tops for families to while away an afternoon.

Sun Princess
Piazza (Photo: James Morgan, Getty Images for Princess Cruises)

And no doubt, the Piazza takes the spotlight every evening, with a live band, lots and lots of dancing and a DJ into the wee hours. By day, there are fun shows and amusing goings-on.

Where to Lay Your Head on Board Sun Princess

Passengers will find 2,157 staterooms, including 80 suites, 100 connecting staterooms and 51 accessible staterooms. Our Deluxe Balcony felt quite spacious at 235 sq. ft., featuring a balcony with two chairs, ample closet/drawer space, an exceedingly comfortable queen bed with high-thread-count linens, a spacious bathroom with plenty of storage space, a mini-fridge, a nice-sized desk and an indoor sitting area.

You’ll want to tell your clients about the Cabana Mini-Suites, which are located on Deck 9 and offer a private cabana and balcony as well as limited entry to an extra-large lounge space with unique outdoor furniture.

Clients with deep pockets will want to know about the Signature Collection suites, which include access to the Signature Restaurant, Signature Lounge and Signature Sun Deck, a private area of the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary, by the way, is a lovely space for outdoor relaxing.

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