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On Board the New Look Sun Princess

Cruising is on everyone’s lips at the moment. If you haven’t been on a cruise yourself, you know someone who has, someone who is going or someone who is thinking about going on one!

All Aboard the New Look Sun Princess

The Sun Princess berthed in Sydney

I’ve never really thought about cruising but just lately more and more of my friends are considering it. The thought of not moving around, of unpacking only once and being entertained along the way is appealing to many.

Princess Cruises are well known to Australians with the Sun Princess first appearing in Australian waters in 2007. She was the first ship to be based here and now sails from Brisbane, Sydney and sometimes Fremantle to New Zealand, the South Pacific, South East Asia, Papua New Guinea and around Australia.

All Aboard the New Look Sun Princess

The Sun Princess berthed in the shadow of Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sun Princess was also the largest ship to sail under the Sydney Harbour Bridge and still holds this title along with other Princess ships. Docked at Customs House in Sydney, the ship with a height of 49 metres, certainly dominated the nearby buildings.

A New Look for the Sea Princess

It was about to embark on its second voyage since a major refit in Singapore earlier in April this year and we had been invited on board to see the new look, enjoy a culinary experience and a find our a little about shipboard life.
All I can say is that I can now understand the attraction to cruising!

With 14 passenger decks and 975 staterooms for 2010 passengers, I knew the Sun Princess would be big but I didn’t realise just how big until we walked into the four story atrium that sparkled and shone ready for the influx of cruisers.

All Aboard the New Look Sun Princess

The Atrium of the Sun Princess

Chocolate Indulgence

One could easily get lost but the smell of coffee and chocolate had us heading in one direction….to the nearby cafe.

Rocky, the head chef on board the ship, was justifiably proud of his Norman Love chocolates and pastries. I hadn’t heard of Norman Love but soon learnt that he is an internationally recognised chocolatier from Florida who has designed some decadent treats for Princess Cruises and their Chocolate Themed Journeys. Chocolate always wins hearts and these were no exception.

All Aboard the New Look Sun Princess

Norman Love Pastries….which would you chose?

A quick refreshment and then  it was time to explore….

 

The staterooms

With so many activities on board, I’m not sure how much time you would spend in your cabin but the balcony staterooms that we saw were certainly inviting. With room for a couch and work table there was plenty of space to make yourself at home. They were not the largest rooms on the ship…there are also mini suites and staterooms but I can see why the balcony staterooms are very popular.

All Aboard the New Look Sun Princess

The Balcony Stateroom on the Sun Princess

All the beds on board the ship have been ungraded in the recent refit. The New Princess Luxury Beds designed by an famous american sleep expert have been such a success that Gerald, the ship’s English Cruise Director mentioned that people were asking to buy them for home. The pillows too!

The bed did look comfortable…..I could see myself spending a quiet morning there gazing out of the floor to ceiling sliding doors of the balcony and catching up on magazine reading! The view from this cabin was pretty exceptional today!

All Aboard the Sun Princess

Not a bad view from the balcony stateroom on the Sun Princess!

Just in case you are worried that you may suffer a bit of seasickness, I’m told that you should book a room mid ships on a higher floor.

 

Poolside

All Aboard the Sun Princess

Can you see yourself sitting on one of these deck chairs?

Outside, one of the four pools beckoned. Surrounded by empty deck chairs at this time, it wouldn’t be too long before they were filled. This is the idyllic luxury of cruising.

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Restaurants and bars overlook the pool area

Overlooked by the newly renovated Horizon Court dining area, this is where many people would spend the day. Another popular new addition poolside is the New Zealand ice cream bar where 15 cents from the cost of every scoop goes to the New Zealand Earthquake relief fund.

Too many ice creams and you’ll have to check out the gym or you could walk or run around the promenade deck. One circuit is half a kilometre!
Personally I’d forget the gym and head to the spa!

Whilst we were here, we checked out the view from the back of the boat! There really can’t be a better harbour to be docked in.

All Aboard the Sun Princess

What a view!

The permanent cruisers on board agreed having claimed this spot as their own!

All Aboard the Sun Princess

Permanent cruisers!

If you’re looking for me, I’m in the spa…..

The Lotus Spa is a popular place on the Sun Princess.

With so many different treatments available, you’ll be able to try a different one every day. I’m told that you’ll need to make your reservations early for your choice of time.

All Aboard the Sun Princess

Don’t lick the bowl! If you look closely there’s a some chocolate covered legs on the left!

We were treated to a bit of pampering ourselves trying their fabulous chocolate wrap that has been designed for their ‘Indulge in Chocolate Journeys’.  With the promise of soft skin as a result, I succumbed to chocolate being lathered over my body then wrapped in alfoil like a chocolate bar…all I needed was the Cadbury stamp!! My skin was indeed soft and the back and shoulder massage that followed was heaven!

This is where you’d find me on a cruise!

 

The Legends Bar

If relaxing in the spa is not for the men, they can head up to the Legends Bar which lives up to its name showing all the latest sports on large televisions. You won’t miss your favourite footy or rugby team play, the latest formula one championship or Wimbledon! This new addition to the seven bars and lounges on the Sun Princess is sure to be very popular.

 

Restaurants and Cafes

Eating is an important part of cruising! With eight restaurants and cafes on board there are plenty of options as to where to eat on the ship. There are two main dining rooms, a new look Kai Seafood Bar, the Sterling steakhouse, a hot dog and hamburger grill, an International Cafe, the Italian Amuleto Cafe and the fabulous new Curtis Stone restaurant SHARE.

You would not believe the amount of food guests on board the sun Princess consume in seven days: 40 tonnes of food and drink; 10,000 bottles of wine and champagne, 10,000 cans of soft drink, 2500 litres of milk, 2400 bottles of water, 25,000 eggs, 500kg of bacon, 4.6 tonnes of meat, 1.4t of chicken, 500kg of lettuce, 1.3t of rice and 375kg of coffee. All this food comes from the six kitchens on board on decks 5 & 6 that have 120 kitchen staff working in them.

All Aboard the Sun Princess

The new and exciting SHARE Restaurant by Curtis Stone

The recent addition of Curtis Stone’s restaurant, SHARE offers the Australian public the first taste of this highly respected chef’s cooking.

As the name suggests, the restaurants dishes are designed to be shared. You can order from the a la carte menu or choose the degustation menu…a bargain at $39 for 5 courses. It’s a new concept and after tasting the dishes on the menu, I know it will be a winner.

“Sharing food and conversations with family and good friends is the best way to eat. I love the process of passing plates amongst each other and creating meaningful connections, sharing what you like, and reflecting on your adventures during the day. It’s these moments that create memories we treasure forever.”  Curtis Stone

All Aboard the Sun Princess

Welcome to Curtis Stone’s SHARE Restaurant

Our lunch started with a delicious tasty plate of charcuterie and cheese, a tomato, oregano and burrata salad and my favourite, the delicious shrimp salad with lemon gel and radish.

All Aboard the Sun Princess

There were also some wonderful main course dishes to share: Beef cheek pie, roasted crab legs and aioli ( Curtis Stone’s favourite!) and a Turbot with Gruyere crumb and spinach. These were served with a moreish potato gratin and black truffle cream.

All Aboard the Sun Princess

Desert is always a winner and SHARE offered two of the best: A mouth watering warm bread pudding with wonderful toffee sauce and a tarte aux citron with raspberry granola and meringue. I love this sharing idea ..it would have been a tough choice otherwise!

All Aboard the Sun Princess

If you’re about to take a cruise, don’t miss SHARE! It really is exceptional.

Now where was that gym!

 

Thank you to Sun Princess for the invitation to enjoy these wonderful experiences on the new look Sun Princess. I can now understand why cruising is the way to travel!

For more information on the Sun Princess or any of her sister ships, please head to Princess Cruises website

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14 Responses to On Board the New Look Sun Princess

  1. Karen (Back Road Journal) July 4, 2016 at 9:20 pm #

    I’m sure you had a nice day. While the new, bigger and better cruise ships may be appealing to many, I like a more intimate ships without the large number of passengers. I guess I’m just old-fashioned. 🙂

    • Jenny Freedman July 4, 2016 at 9:51 pm #

      Hi Karen. It was real eye opener for me as I have never been on a cruise. I can certainly see the advantage of a smaller ship but there were so many places to go on the Sun Princess, I’m sure you wouldn’t notice the people. Sun Princess may have been one of the biggest ships in her day but today there are so many larger ships on the sea. I definitely wouldn’t want to be on one of those!

  2. Jackie Smith July 4, 2016 at 10:21 pm #

    We love cruising and for all the reasons you’ve noted, as well as for the great introduction we get to places we’ve never thought of traveling to by air – some places are great to visit for a short bit of time that cruising allows, and other times you want to return for more. Great tour of this refurbished ship!!!

    • Jenny Freedman July 4, 2016 at 11:06 pm #

      Thanks Jackie. You’ve been to some amazing places with the cruises you and The Scout have taken. It definitely is a way to find out some the places you would love to return to. It’s the perfect way to see places that are hard to get too. The Sun Princess does week long cruises which would be a perfect length of time to relax and enjoy the break.

  3. Rossana July 4, 2016 at 10:25 pm #

    I have only been on one cruise myself … just recently and it was a smaller ship as well. I loved the experience… the Sun Princess seems to fit in with the size that I think I could handle… looks like they id a wonderful job with the refurb!

    • Jenny Freedman July 4, 2016 at 11:09 pm #

      Yes Rossana, these smaller ships would be what I’d take as well. The refit was great and made some fabulous changes to life on board, none more so than the fabulous Curtis Stone restaurant SHARE where we had our brilliant lunch.

  4. noel July 6, 2016 at 2:19 am #

    Wow, that does look like a wonderful experience the food looks amazing, it must be hard not to be tempted with everything being passed in front of your eyes like this

    • Jenny Freedman July 6, 2016 at 12:34 pm #

      It was a fabulous experience Noel. Not being a cruiser, I now have a little bit more knowledge as to what cruising is all about! I’d have to learn a bit more self control with the foods I ate if I was ever to cruise for any length of time.

  5. Doreen Pendgracs July 6, 2016 at 2:42 am #

    OMG, Jenny! You really lucked out! Norman Love Chocolates (they are fabulous!), a Curtis Stone rest (I love him) AND chocolate spa treatments! This would be a dream trip for me. I’ve done a few cruises, but nothing lately, so maybe it’s time …

    • Jenny Freedman July 6, 2016 at 12:32 pm #

      I certainly did Doreeen. The Chocolate Journey has your name on it! You’d love it. The Curtis Stone Restaurants is fantastic! It sounds as though I’ve given you something to think about!

  6. Irene S. Levine July 7, 2016 at 4:55 am #

    So nice to be invited on a ship like this! We sailed the Princess Sapphire many years ago and had a great cruise~

    • Jenny Freedman July 7, 2016 at 1:16 pm #

      I was looking forward to our day on the ship Irene. Not being a cruiser I wasn’t sure how it would go. Great to hear you had a wonderful cruise on the Princes Sapphire.

  7. Jo July 8, 2016 at 12:38 am #

    So glad you had a great day Jenny! Has it inspired you to cruise?

    • Jenny Freedman July 10, 2016 at 1:59 pm #

      It really was a fabulous introduction Jo. I’m not sure I could cruise for as long as you are but you may one day find me sailing the seas!

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