Princess Cruises Doubles Admission Fee for Adults-Only Deck

March 12, 2014

(10:30 a.m. EDT) -- Princess Cruises has raised the fee for entry into its adults-only area, The Sanctuary, on all ships in its fleet.

According to Karen Candy, the line's public relations manager, passengers will now be charged $20 for a half-day pass or $40 for a full day -- double the previous fees, which were $10 and $20, respectively.

So, why the sudden and drastic change?

"The price increase was implemented starting in January to help control demand," Candy says.

Cruise Critic members have already started chattering about the changes on our message boards: "I am a huge Sanctuary fan ... but not at that price!" says CRLess.

Apart from the standard fees, Candy says pricing can fluctuate based on demand. "For example, if a ship is positioned in Alaska and demand is not high, the price will go down to $15/half day."

Members mention that, under the old pricing, The Sanctuary's fee for "canal day" on Panama Canal sailings went up to as much as $60.

Regarding "extras," Candy says drinks from The Sanctuary's exclusive menu still carry an added fee, but there's no longer a charge for Evian misters. "The Serenity Stewards come by and mist passengers for free," Candy tells us.

Several other lines -- like Holland America, P&O, Norwegian and Carnival -- also offer adults-only retreats. Most charge for the privilege (anywhere from about $15 to $100, depending on cabana rental), but some, including Carnival, offer free access on a first-come, first-served basis.

--By Ashley Kosciolek, Copy and Ports Editor