Star Princess Entertainment
The Promenade is the major focal point for entertainment on Star Princess. Styled as a "boulevard," this area houses the three main showrooms -- Princess Theater (forward), the Explorers' Lounge (midship) and the Vista Lounge, as well as the nautically-decorated Wheelhouse Bar. The variety of entertainment options, particularly in the evening, is head-spinning. The big, lavish productions and major variety shows are presented in the Princess Theater. The Vista Lounge does double duty as cinema and live performance venue, hosting a variety of "big-screen movies" throughout the week, as well as comedians and cabaret performers. The Explorers' Lounge, with its dance floor, is home to more energetic themed evenings, such as "70's Night," and traditional dance evenings lead by the various onboard orchestras.
The casino, on Deck 6, is open on sea days and evenings after the ship sails from its port. Table games and state-of-the-art slots attract crowds, and tournaments are scheduled each cruise for slot and blackjack players. Skywalker's Nightclub, sitting high atop the ship, comes alive only late at night; from 10 p.m. onward it's a disco scene.
In general, public rooms on Star Princess emphasize relatively cozy intimacy as if to de-emphasize the ship's massive size. There are lots of nooks and crannies that passengers can tuck into either to meet with new friends, enjoy a good read or linger over a drink. Those appreciating more mellow entertainment can choose from a country western singer (who was awesome) in Tequila's or showtunes and classic numbers in the Promenade Lounge. Street performers appear all day and into the evening in the Piazza; you might find an Argentinean tango group (complete with lessons for the audience), a Ukrainian string group, stilt walkers or jugglers.
Other daytime activities include ScholarShip@Sea educational programs, trivia games, ceramics, dance classes and port lectures.
Shore excursions range from moderately active bus trips with stops to sightsee to more active hiking or kayaking adventures.
Star Princess Public Rooms
Basically, the ship's public rooms are designed around the centrally located three-story Piazza. The filigree-decorated set of panoramic elevators and graceful sitting areas attract crowds, and serves as the ship's key meeting place. The Internet cafe and Library (well stocked with both computer stations and books), Princess Art Gallery, and the Vines Bar and Shop are situated around the Atrium on Deck 5. On Deck 6, you'll find shops and the Passengers Services desk, and on Deck 7, you'll find the Hearts & Minds wedding chapel (which doubles as the site of religious services) and more shops. Enhanced technological capabilities at the Hearts & Minds wedding chapel enables transmission of special ceremonies on the Internet (so folks at home can watch).
The photo shop is located on the Deck 7 Promenade, and the Medical Center on Deck 4. Self-service launderettes are located on passenger decks.
Star Princess Spa & Fitness
Surprisingly, despite Star Princess' huge passenger capacity, pool areas were so varied and plentiful that none seemed overcrowded (and very few people "reserved" deck chairs). With nine whirlpools sprawled across the top outdoor decks there was usually room for everyone.
There are four pools onboard. Neptune's Reef and Pool is an extravagantly and festively colored area with tile mosaics. Here, you'll find Movies Under the Stars (added during the 2008 refurbishment) -- a 300-square-foot screen that shows movies, concerts, sporting events and other special programming throughout the day and evening. Blankets and free popcorn are available during nighttime screenings.
The two-story Conservatory is equally vibrant, but comes with a retractable crystal dome/roof, which comes in handy in cool or inclement weather. A deck higher is the Oasis Spa and Pool, located at the very back of the ship. It's a very peaceful, uncrowded spot. And The Lotus Spa, the ship's Asian-influenced area for all-things-fitness, has its own pool, this one allowing you to swim-against-the-current, not to mention two whirlpools.
The Asian-influenced Lotus Spa, run by the ubiquitous Steiner, encompasses a gym, workout studio, beauty salon and treatment rooms for the usual (massages, facials) and unusual, such as the wild strawberry back cleanse. Other unique treatments include the tropical floral aromatherapy bath and the Asian Lotus Ritual, a two-hour treatment that includes Reiki, Thai Massage, Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, Chinese Tui and Balinese Massage. One neat feature is the spa's thermal suite, with aromatherapy steam rooms.
The Sanctuary, on the very top deck, was added during the 2008 dry-dock and offers an adults-only retreat. Expect plush-padded lounges, dedicated Serenity stewards, complimentary use of MP3 players loaded with soothing tunes, beverage service and light snacks on request. Fees range from $10 - 20 for half- or all-day passes. Passengers can also book an al fresco massage in a private cabana.
Daily fitness programs are pretty varied; they include conditioning and aerobics workouts as well as trendier classes in areas such as yoga, pulse cycling and kick boxing; the latter involve an extra $10 fee. More specialized services, such as one-on-one conditioning and Pilates are available as well.
Other sporty activities on Star Princess include a jogging track on the top deck, paddle tennis court, virtual golf, shuffleboard, outdoor chess (with huge plastic pieces weighted down by sand), ping pong, and Princess' Links, a nine-hole putting course. A basketball court --- at Deck 17 – is popular with kids and adults alike.