Pacific Princess, with its sister "R-class" ship, Ocean Princess
, offers some of the line's more exotic itineraries in Europe, Asia and South America, including a 107-night World Cruise beginning each January from Ft. Lauderdale to Venice. The 30,277-ton, 680-passenger pair were acquired in 2002 from now-defunct Renaissance Cruises, and are by far the smallest ships in Princess' fleet.
With its dark wood and plush interiors, Pacific Princess resembles a stately manor house or country inn. The more intimate size facilitates friendliness; don't be surprised if the staff knows your name and says hello when you pass by.
Unlike Princess' larger ships, Pacific Princess does not feature a flexible dining option; there are early and late shifts at 6:15 and 8:15 p.m. But the ship does feature the line's two popular alternative restaurants. Sabatini's, the signature Italian venue, asks you to choose your main entree only, and a parade of hot and cold appetizers, salads, and pastas are served automatically. The Sterling Steakhouse offers traditional favorites, focusing on top-quality steaks complemented by an international wine list. (Note: Due to the small size of the ship, the restaurants alternate the nights they are open.)
Accommodation-wise, 92 percent of the ship's cabins are outside, 75 percent of which have verandahs. There are only five categories -- Interior Double, Oceanview Double, Oceanview Double with Balcony, Mini-Suites and Owner's Suites -- but there is significant variety within the categories, so consult deck plans and cabin reviews
Evening entertainment revolves around the Cabaret Lounge, which is equipped with a state-of-the-art sound and lighting system and presents a full schedule of options, including first-run movies, live music, variety shows and more. Live piano music is available at the Casino Bar, and the adjacent casino offers table games and slot machines. Sea days may include destination-specific lectures, and classes on photography and computer technology (all are part of Princess' enrichment-focused ScholarShip@Sea program).