The 141,000-ton, 3,600-passenger Regal Princess will debut in May 2014. The ship, a sister to June 2013's prototypical Royal Princess
, is under construction at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy.
Regal Princess will share many amenities and characteristics with its sister. These include an expanded atrium, known as the Piazza; the SeaWalk, a cantilevered, glass-enclosed walkway that will extend 28 feet beyond the ship's edge and 128 feet over the water; a series of private, for-fee poolside cabanas; an adults-only pool; a pastry shop; and the Princess Live! television studio.
In response to feedback the line received from passengers of Royal Princess, Regal Princess includes two major changes: it will feature a promenade deck and an aft pool.
As with "Royal," "Regal" is a moniker that Princess Cruises has used in the past. When Princess acquired the Sitmar Line in 1988, two still-under-construction ships were part of the deal. One of the two ships ultimately became the first Regal Princess, and sailed with the fleet until it was transferred to P&O Cruises Australia in 2007. It now sails Australia and New Zealand cruises as the Pacific Dawn.
Other features will include:
Eats & Drinks
The Sun Deck
Lotus Spa & Enclave
Princess Sports Central
All outside cabins will have balconies, which translates to 80 percent of the ship's accommodations. Shower heads are hand-held, and beds feature pillow-top mattresses, upholstered headboards. Cabins also will feature key card slots that turn lighting on and off.
Suite passengers will be able to access Regal Princess' Concierge Lounge, where they can get refreshments and make reservations for dining, spa services and shore excursions.
Regal Princess will feature Princess Live!, located just aft of the Piazza. With seating for 280 passengers, the space is a television studio that doubles as an intimate performance venue. The ship's "The Wake Show" will broadcast daily from here with a live studio audience. Game shows, cooking demos, art house films, enrichment programming, murder mystery and trivia games, and acoustic and smaller-scale performances by the ship's musicians will also take place in Princess Live!
The adjacent Princess Live! Cafe will offer specialty coffees and teas, as well as fresh juices and baked goods in the morning. Specialty coffees will incur a fee. The cafe's decor includes wall-mounted screens showing cruise-related information.
Princess Theater will host production shows backed by hi-def screens and a hi-tech lighting system. The smaller Vista Lounge will function as an alternate evening performance venue for musicians, comedians and illusionists. Crooners Lounge & Bar will host a resident entertainer intent on getting passengers to sing. The 50 varieties of martinis could help the cause. The venue will also feature a dueling-glass-piano show.
Club 6 is Regal Princess’ dance club, located on Deck 6 adjacent to the Casino. Nearby, Bellini’s bar will serve a variety of Bellini-inspired drinks.
The Princess Casino will feature a selection of slots and table games, including blackjack, Texas Hold’em and roulette.
Regal Princess Princess' signature Movies Under the Stars concept. The poolside theater will have a variety of movies and concert playing on the big screen. Filmgoers will be able to grab fleece blankets, fee-free fresh-popped popcorn, and cookies and milk. A water and light show will take place nearby.
On Regal Princess, the marble-swathed Piazza -- a central hub for dining, lounging and entertainment found on a half-dozen Princess ships -- is a three-deck space. Venues include a gelateria (extra charge); the aforementioned Bellini's; a gift shop; and a seafood bar, Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar, serving sushi, ceviche and caviar (also extra charge).
Other venues in Regal Princess' Piazza include the International Cafe, with its (for-fee) specialty coffees and (gratis) pastries, panini and salads; the aforementioned Crooner's; and Vines, a wine and tapas bar (wine for fee, tapas free). Alfredo's, a fee-free, stone-oven pizzeria introduced after Grand Princess' 2011 refurbishment and a hit on Royal Princess, appears on Regal Princess as well. Finally, Sabatini's, Princess' hallmark Italian restaurant, will be found in an adjacent "mini-piazza."
More Dining Options
Regal Princess' Horizon Court buffet will have an action-station layout with options food "venues" including a taqueria, rotisserie, a sandwich shop and a Japanese hibachi grill. The ship also has pair of for-fee options in the buffet complex. These include a "crab shack" and a fondue dispensary. A third venue, a dedicated pastry shop (gratis), will be situated adjacent to the main buffet area.
Regal Princess' buffet venue will also 900 indoor seats and 350 outdoor. It will offer a variety of table-styles, including tables for tow and counter-height bistro-style dining tables.
At night the Horizon Buffet will become the ... Horizon Bistro, offering nightly themed dining. Diners might find a Brazilian-style churasscaria one night, a British pub the next. There will be no added fee for the bistro dinners.
Passengers onboard Regal Princess can enjoy the "Chef's Table Lumiere,"in which an executive chef cooks dinner and explains technique to an exclusive group of passengers (for a $115 fee, including wine). The experience includes a "curtain of light," which surrounds the diners and creates a private, softly lit space in the center of the bustling main dining room. Additionally, private dining spaces inspired by wine cellars will be integrated in the main dining room.
Crown Grill ($25 per person), Princess' signature steak and chops house, and Sabatini's ($20 per person), its Northern Italian restaurant, will be found on Regal. This time though, each is paired with a complementary lounge. The Wheelhouse Pub, a popular Princess lounge featuring a British vibe and unobtrusive piano music, will be coupled with the Crown Grill; Sabatini's will be grouped with Vines, the ship's wine bar.
The Retreat pool and bar, an adults-only pool will be situated near the Sanctuary, a signature Princess space (think massage cabanas, ultra-plush loungers and a lot of bathrobed cruisers) that's similarly kid-free. There will be six private for-fee cabanas next to the Retreat pool and two within the Sanctuary.
Two more pools will bump up against a "tropical island" that will transform into a dance club at night, replete with a light show.
Lotus Spa & Enclave
On Regal Princess, the Lotus Spa is located just off the atrium. The fitness center is located at the top of the ship. The spa will cover all the bases with a full-service salon, teeth whitening stations, a barber shop and mani-pedi areas, a relaxation room (for a spot of herbal tea premassage) and 18 treatment rooms, some with windows. Other features include:
The Enclave comes complete with a hydrotherapy pool and accompanying rain shower. Within the suite, passengers can try out heated stone or water beds and sensory showers with mood lighting and therapeutic aromas. Three named rooms offer a variety of heat-based experiences: The Hammam is a Turkish-style bath, featuring a marble slab for mud or salt treatments; the Caldarium, a ceramic chamber infused with herbal aromas; and the Laconium, a dry sauna.
The Scrub & Shine Bar offers sugar and salt scrubs mixed for each passenger individually.
Two Couples Villas are aimed at twosomes looking for side-by-side massages, followed by relaxation in a whirlpool bath or sitting area with ocean views.
Princess Sports Central
Among the usual sweaty suspects, Regal Princess will feature a few fun twists: a portable batting cage, laser shooting range and a different take on the at-sea jogging track. All three activities will be offered in the multi-sport area on Decks 18 and 19, known as Princess Sports Central. Regal Princess' take on the double-lane jogging track features a circuit program with outdoor exercise stations set at intervals.
Regal Princess' Sports Central will feature a golf driving facility and multiuse center court (basketball, volleyball, tennis). On the upper deck, a Lawn Court will have an artificial grassy area for bocce, croquet and lawn bowling. A game lounge will offer up Ping-Pong and virtual options via Kinect for Xbox gaming systems.
One deck below passengers will find the fitness center with an array of equipment, and at the back of the gym the ship will offer a private aerobics studio. Fitness classes will include TRX suspension bodyweight training, body sculpt boot camp sessions and spinning. As on other Princess ships, the fitness center is part of the ship's Lotus Spa.
For toddlers ages 3 and younger, a there's dedicated area within the Princess Pelicans club for parents to play with their little ones.
Princess Pelicans club is for kids ages 3 to 7 and will feature an indoor play structure, a mini air hockey table and arts and crafts. An outdoor playground will include play equipment and space for tricycle riding.
The Shockwaves Club, for kids ages 8 to 12, will also feature a dedicated outside space, this one with lounge chairs and a variety of outdoor games. The indoor lounge will feature a giant TV, DJ booth, and arts and crafts tables with youth counselor-led classes.
The teen program, dubbed Remix, is for ages 13 to 17, and will feature a lounge area complete with foosball, Skee-ball and the latest video games. An outdoor lounge will be added with a teen-only wading pool, comfy seating and space for open-sky parties. In the Princess DJ booth, music-loving teens can create playlists.
Itinerary-wise, Regal Princess' official maiden voyage will depart May 20 with a seven-night cruise from Venice to Athens with stops in Corfu, Mykonos and an overnight call in Istanbul. That will be followed by a six-night cruise from Athens to Venice with calls to Kusadasi, Santorini, Katakolon and Dubrovnik. It will continue to sail the Mediterranean until October 17, when it will make its maiden passage from Venice to its winter home, Fort Lauderdale, with stops in Naples, Rome, Toulon, Barcelona and Madeira.
From Fort Lauderdale, Regal will sail to the Bahamas and the Eastern Caribbean. Port stops will include Princess Cays, St. Thomas and St. Maarten.