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Solar Princess Was Not What I Anticipated: Hits & Misses


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I not too long ago got here again from my first cruise onboard the model new Solar Princess. As we boarded the vessel in Athens, Greece, I wasn’t positive precisely what to anticipate. Would the brand new Solar Princess really feel like a bigger model of previous ships or have her personal distinctive type?

Whereas I’ve cruised with Princess for nearly 20 years, the Solar Princess is a brand new ship design, and sure – she is recreation altering! The primary of Princess’ Sphere Class, Solar Princess is the most important ship within the fleet, and probably the most modern. 

As a very long time Princess cruiser, there have been some acquainted components. Nonetheless, we additionally found new venues, eating choices, and experiences.

We have been onboard for a 5 day media crusing throughout Solar Princess’ inaugural season. This gave us the chance to check out a number of eating places and bars, benefit from the leisure and even spend a while by the pool! 

I liked a rather a lot about this new class of ship, however there are some issues which may take me a while to get used to. On this Solar Princess cruise evaluation, I’m going over the hits and misses. I additionally reply some often requested questions on this model new cruise ship.

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Hits – What I Beloved on Solar Princess

Sun Princess Cruise Ship

Solar Princess Ship Design 

I actually loved Solar Princess’ new ship design. Aside from my very own occasional navigational points (it took me 4 days to get used to my cabin location), many of the ship is nicely laid out to accommodate the 5 swimming pools, 9 sizzling tubs, a number of eating and leisure choices.

Though Solar Princess has 21 decks and a capability of 4300 passengers and 1600 crew, the ship didn’t really feel crowded.

The Piazza and Inside Areas

sun princess

The Solar Princess is a phenomenal ship. Within the middle you’ll discover the three deck Piazza, which serves as a central hub for company to get pleasure from leisure and socializing with outdated and new mates. 

The Solar Princess Piazza is surrounded by the glass home windows on either side of the ship, as a part of the sphere design. This permits for views of the ocean, panorama and sky from the assorted vantage factors throughout decks 7, 8 and 9.

We liked sitting at Crooner’s, a preferred bar, and watching the world go by. 

sun princess good spirits

Past the Piazza, there are a number of venues which are properly embellished and really feel thematic. We liked Good Spirits Bar, O’Malley’s Irish Pub and Princess Reside, which at all times appeared to draw a enjoyable crowd. 

Trendy Staterooms 

Sun Princess Cruise Ship

After I opened the door to my deluxe balcony cabin, I used to be pleasantly shocked. The colours have been vibrant and fashionable, with lovely and tasteful furnishings. This positively felt like like an improve from previous comfy, however extra easy Princess cabin designs. 

I particularly liked having a full measurement couch, which made our balcony stateroom really feel each inviting and opulent. 

sun princess cabin bathroom

The lavatory was spacious, with glass bathe doorways! In the event you’ve ever had a plastic bathe curtain caught to your leg, you’ll admire this extra fashionable design.

There’s additionally a whole lot of storage, from a big hallway closet to a desk/vainness with drawers.

sun princess cabin amenities

You’ll additionally discover a number of electrical retailers within the cabin, in addition to USB and USB-C retailers subsequent to the  mattress.

A pleasant contact is the standard hairdryer offered for cruise passengers. A Drybar blowdryer is certainly not your commonplace lodge model.

I used it when onboard – and it labored nice! In actual fact I’ll depart some hair instruments at house the subsequent time I’m onboard. 

Associated: How one can Pack Gentle for a Cruise

Glorious Eating Choices

There have been so many eating decisions on Solar Princess, from included informal and high quality eating, to specialty eating places and experiences.


sun princess horizons mdr

A brand new idea for Princess, the Horizons eating room gives 3 decisions for company. This 3 deck primary eating room gives conventional eating on deck 6, versatile or anytime eating on deck 7 and a extra informal eating choice on deck 8.

We loved dinner in Horizons on Deck 6 – the wake view can’t be beat! The meals was tasty, as anticipated, however the presentation of every dish was what impressed me probably the most.

sun princess love boat dream dessert

I ended my meal with a basic Princess dessert, the Love Boat Dream and it was pretty much as good because it regarded.

Sadly we didn’t have an opportunity to strive the American Diner restaurant on deck 8 throughout our 5 days onboard. Nonetheless, talking with different passengers, plainly the all day breakfast, lunch and dinner idea is a success!

The Eatery 

Considered one of my favorite components of this model new cruise ship is The Eatery, which is sort of a large buffet, however higher. The Eatery is ready up in stations, and meals are largely served by the crew.

On our embarkation day, we went to the eatery for lunch and loved the Asian stations, Italian stations and Ramen type soup stations. I used to be shocked to see that all through our cruise there was not often a line of greater than two or three individuals at any given station.

Personally, I’m a fan of full serve cruise buffets, so this was a success for me. Most significantly, the meals was scrumptious! 

Lido Deck Informal Eating 

sun princess pizza

The Lido informal eating is bound to be a giant hit with passengers because the climate will get hotter and the ship later sails within the Caribbean.

On the Lido deck, you’ll discover a grill with burgers and hotdogs, tacos, and Shawarma, salads and Princess Cruises well-known pizza.

I’m an enormous fan of cruise ship pizza, and this pizza didn’t disappoint!

Room service

We ordered room service with the Princess app just a few instances throughout our cruise. My son and husband benefit from the basic egg sandwich, and I like the recent fruit plate. Whereas I by no means discover room service a necessity, I do actually admire it when we now have an early tour. 

There’s a supply price for room service. Nonetheless, that is included when you opted for Princess Plus or Princess Premier packages.

I used to be impressed with how shortly our meals and occasional orders have been delivered.

Specialty Eating Eating places (extra cost – some are included within the Princess Plus or Premier Bundle)

Throughout our crusing, we ate at a number of of Solar Princess’ specialty eating eating places, together with the brand new Umai Teppanyaki.

Umai Tepenyaki and Umai Hotpot

sun princess teppenyaki

We had a completely scrumptious meal at Umai Teppenyaki that began with miso soup and a breaded shrimp appetizer. Following this, we dined on tender beef, and flavourful hen, shrimp and scallops together with vegetable fried rice. 

This restaurant additionally encompasses Umai Sizzling Pot, which is a scrumptious and totally different eating choice that you simply gained’t discover on many different cruise ships.

We additionally ate at Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria, Crown Grill, The Catch by Rudy, and one other new restaurant, Butcher’s Block by Dario.

Crown Grill

Crown Grill steakhouse stays a favorite for us. Not solely are the mains, appetizers and desserts scrumptious, however the environment feels such as you’re consuming at a high quality eating institution on land.

Sabatini’s Trattoria

sun princess lamb chop

We additionally loved the Italian fare at Sabatini’s. Whereas my lamb may have been somewhat extra tender, because it has been on previous visits, the opposite meat dishes, pasta and desserts have been great.

The Catch by Rudi

sun princess catch by rudi

Ever since we had dinner at The Catch by Rudy on the Enchanted Princess just a few months in the past, this restaurant stays certainly one of my all-time favorites. Frank and Ethan had filet mignon with lobster tail, a scrumptious surf and turf meal, whereas I had the catch of the day which was king prawns.

The complete meal was scrumptious, together with the Austrian berry soufflé. The eye to element within the meals presentation, together with distinctive serving platters deserve a particular word.

Butcher’s Block by Dario

This household type restaurant is a whole lot of enjoyable! After being given a glass of Chianti (liked this wine), we have been handled to a number of totally different cuts of meat, all cooked to perfection. Whereas the meat was served piece by piece by servers, a white bean dish and crudités have been set in the midst of the desk to share. This was served with a baked potato. 

I did actually benefit from the style of meals. Nonetheless, I did discover myself craving somewhat salad or different vegetable dish to accompany the meal. 

Alfredo’s Pizzeria and O’Malley’s Irish Pub

Two informal eating places which are nice for lunch or quick dinner are Alfredo’s Pizzeria and O’Malley’s Irish Pub. Sadly, there wasn’t sufficient time (or room in my abdomen) to strive these fashionable eating places. I’ve eaten at each on previous cruises and picture it was pretty much as good as ever.

Spellbound by Magic Fort

Sun Princess Cruise Ship Spellbound

Spellbound by Magic Fort, a brand new Princess extraordinary expertise, blew me away. I don’t need to give all of it away, however right here’s somewhat little bit of an concept of what you possibly can anticipate.

We entered the venue for Spellbound, which was in a non-descript location (including to the enjoyable and magic). It was like coming into one other world. Modeled after the well-known Magic Fort in Hollywood, company enter what appears like an unique non-public clubhouse set in an outdated Victorian mansion.

Right here we ordered among the most fantastical drinks. This alone was an expertise! As well as, bartenders and servers carried out magic and card methods for the company.

Following this, we entered into an intimate area for about 30 individuals, the place we have been entertained by a gifted magician.

There’s an extra cost of $149 per individual for Spellbound and areas are prone to replenish early.  A themed dinner is included.

Tip: Spellbound, like the unique Magic Fort has a gown code, so plan accordingly.

Swimming pools and Higher Decks

Sun Princess Cruise Ship

There are 5 swimming pools on Solar Princess, every providing a distinct look and expertise.

We liked the two primary swimming pools, the place you’ll usually discover a band taking part in or actions to affix. That is additionally the place you possibly can get pleasure from Motion pictures Underneath the Stars, a giant display screen on the lido deck.

That is the place you’ll discover outside lido deck informal eating. 

There’s additionally a whole lot of lounge chair seating on the deck area across the two primary swimming pools in addition to the deck above.

sun princess aperol spritz stand

There was even an Aperol Sprirz stand, which slot in completely with the Mediterranean cruise itinerary!

The Dome Pool

sun princess the dome

The Dome is without doubt one of the coolest swimming pools and leisure areas that I’ve ever seen on a cruise ship. You have got an indoor outside pool, which serves as an incredible place to chill out by evening because it transforms into an leisure venue.

The present options acrobatic performances which have been created in partnership with Cirque Eloize. We have been one of many first sailings of Solar, and the solid was working towards, however the present was not but prepared for company.

We noticed an incredible efficiency by two gifted musicians within the early night within the loved it.

The Wake View Pool

sun princess wake pool

It’s arduous to discover a higher view on the ship than Solar Princess’s new Wake View pool. Situated on the very again of the shift on deck 8, you’ll discover an infinity pool and a couple of sizzling tubs, lounge chair seating, and a cocktail bar. 

The Sanctuary Pool

The Sanctuary pool is reserved for suite company and passengers who buy a sanctuary cross. Sanctuary passes are very fashionable on different Princess cruise ships, nevertheless, there are variations on Solar Princess.

I liked the Sanctuary pool and will think about having fun with a leisurely day by this pool on a future Caribbean cruise. There’s an extra price (99$ for sea days and 79$ for port days) and area is proscribed.

Park 19

Park 19 looks as if one of many greatest transformations for this new princess cruise ship.

Situated on deck 19, 20, and 21, Park19 is an out of doors exercise space good for youths, teenagers and adults of all ages. Park19 options Sea Breeze, Coastal Climb, The Internet, The Lookout, Splash Zone, Infinite Horizon, Leisure Courtroom, Hammock Space, and a Jogging Monitor.

This makes Solar Princess  an ideal cruise ship for household and multigenerational journey.


sun princess elevators

Elevators are sometimes crowded on cruise ships, however Solar Princess received this proper. These sensible elevators work by company selecting their deck outdoors the elevator space (versus on). Then, passengers are assigned a corresponding elevator that can take them to their desired deck.

This works so nicely! The elevator ready areas aren’t hectic and there are minimal individuals ready. 

The Cruise Ship Did Not Really feel Crowded 

One factor that actually shocked me about Princess is the truth that regardless of this being a full crusing with 4300 gasoline and 1600 crew, the cruise ship by no means actually felt crowded.

There have been frequent areas the place individuals gathered for a present. Nonetheless, there have been so many alternative venues with a range actions and leisure choices, so company have been dispersed across the cruise ship.

Reveals and Leisure 

Sun Princess Cruise Ship Arena(

Past the Dome and the reimagined Piazza, one venue that’s new for Princess Cruises is The Area. This theater within the spherical is probably the most technologically superior but. As one visitor informed me, there aren’t any unhealthy seats in the home!

Whereas onboard, the solid of Vallora, a Pirates Quest have been rehearsing for upcoming reveals. Judging from what we noticed, I can’t wait to catch the present reside sooner or later.

The Crew 

The crew on board and Princess have been among the many greatest. It was a whole lot of arduous work to arrange the cruise ship and serve all of the company on a model new ship. In spite of everything, this ship design is new for them too.

Nonetheless, they did an incredible job. The crew have been overwhelmingly pleasant, useful and pleasing! 

Princess Medallion

The Princess Medallion isn’t new, however the know-how appeared to work rather well on this new cruise ship.

The Princess Medallion is a quarter-size wearable machine. The Medallion could be worn on a lanyard, a clip, as a bracelet, or as a necklace.

With the Medallion, you possibly can benefit from keyless stateroom entry, contactless boarding, and touchless funds.

Misses – The place Enhancements Might Be Made

There was rather a lot that I liked onboard the model new Solar Princess that I’d positively contemplate hits or house runs. Nonetheless, there have been another issues that I believed may both be improved or that I may must get used to.

Worldwide Cafe

Sun Princess Cruise Ship International Cafe

You’ll discover the Worldwide Café on deck 9 of the Piazza. This fast informal restaurant has at all times been a favourite of mine on previous Princess cruises. 

Nonetheless, I did discover that among the sandwiches and salads that I’ve liked up to now weren’t supplied at this Worldwide Café. I’d like to see just a few extra meals choices and extra selection, each for the daytime and late night snacks.

2 Specialty Eating places (decor & environment)

Whereas many of the specialty eating places on Solar Princess have been fantastically embellished and had a particular environment, this wasn’t the as obvious at The Catch by Rudi and The Butcher’s Block by Dario.

This was for a really useful cause. Throughout breakfast and lunch the specialty restaurant areas have been used as an extension of The Eatery (or buffet). The additional seating positively turns out to be useful throughout these peak instances.

Nonetheless, sadly, when these areas have been used as specialty eating venues, they lacked the environment that’s normally reserved for specialty eating.

No Grownup Pool

I used to be shocked to see that there was no included adult-only pool on Solar Princess. Whereas I admire a cruise ship that’s household pleasant, it’s good to have some child free areas. 

To be honest, this was not a problem on our crusing, as there have been just a few youngsters on board. Nonetheless, I can think about that in vacation and summer season cruises, this would possibly current a problem with some company.

Ship Format (strolling by way of passenger decks)

Total, Princess Cruises did an incredible job with this cruise ship. In spite of everything, they put rather a lot on board Solar Princess, with out having the cruise ship really feel crowded or tight on area. Nonetheless, it was unusual to must stroll by way of a hallway of cabins to achieve The Piazza on Deck 9, quite than the standard public areas.

Possible, that is simply one thing that I, and maybe different cruisers, simply must get used to.

Location of Visitor Companies

In the event you’re on board Solar Princess, in some unspecified time in the future you would possibly end up questioning, “The place is visitor providers?”. I misplaced an merchandise onboard, so I wanted some help.

It seems that visitor providers is situated on deck 6 in a small room off the aspect of the elevator financial institution. The road spilled out into the elevator space, which wasn’t ultimate.

In my thoughts, passenger providers needs to be simple to seek out (like a lodge foyer), so this was one thing I didn’t like as a lot.

That stated, I’ve at hand it to the crew, who have been as pleasant and useful as ever. To handle the queue, there was a crew member going by way of the road, guiding and serving to individuals. I used to be additionally actually pleased that my misplaced tripod/selfie stick was certainly discovered!

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Ultimate Ideas

We had a good time onboard Solar Princess! Whereas there are the same old kinks to work out in the course of the first few weeks of crusing, I anticipate that this new ship will turn into a fan favourite.

There actually is one thing for everybody to get pleasure from!

At simply over 177,000 tons, there’s a lot to see and do. In actual fact, I have already got plans to sail on Solar Princess once more, in an effort to expertise much more!

If you’re reserving your individual cruise on Solar Princess, you’ll positively admire longer sailings (7-10 days) or could even need to contemplate a again to again

Will you be crusing on the brand new Solar Princess? Please let me know within the feedback under.

Comfortable Cruising!


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*I used to be onboard Solar Princess for a 5 day media crusing. As, at all times, all opinions are my very own.