Princess Cruises is adding several of the innovative new signature venues that debuted on Crown and Emerald Princess (and will appear on Ruby Princess when it is launched in the fall) to older ships in the fleet. Star Princess, which goes into dry dock in September, and Caribbean Princess, which gets a refurbishment in January 2009, will emerge with new features. These include:
Atriums will be transformed with the now-signature Piazza, an energetic space that blends colorful entertainment, on-site bakery, Internet cafe, and wine and sushi bar, that has become a must-visit place on Crown and Emerald Princess.
You'll be able to hide from crowds in the Sanctuary, the top-of-the-ship, adults-only area that boasts padded lounges, shady and sunny areas, "Serenity Stewards" on call to provide beverages and snacks, available MP3 rentals, and spaces for massages (for an additional fee, of course). FYI, the addition of the Sanctuary won't be limited to just Star and
Caribbean Princess. Earlier this month Princess announced that it would introduce the adults-only concept fleetwide by 2010.
The for-fee Crown Grill, whose menu blends seafood and steakhouse fare in an elegant mahagony ambience -- complete with open kitchen -- will replace the existing steakhouses on Star and Caribbean Princess.
Seven new suites are being added to Deck 6. The odd thing about the new suites is that they will be large oceanview accommodations without balconies. Similar to Vista suites (sans balcony), the new accommodations
will feature a sitting room, walk-in closet and shower/tub combo.
The casino is being relocated to Deck 7 (up one deck) in order to better integrate the gaming area with the ship's main entertainment venues.
--by Dan Askin, Assistant Editor
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Princess Adds Piazza, Crown Grill to Star, Caribbean Princess
May 7, 2008