Los Angeles - March 2002
Star Princess is the largest cruise ship to ever visit the Los Angeles harbor.
It is the sister ship to the Grand Princess and the Golden Princess.
One enters the ship on the Plaza Deck; this is
the heart of the ship with a three-story atrium, glass and marble staircases,
glass elevators, and a reception desk. There is a lobby bar where one could get
a drink, sit in comfortable chairs in the foyer area and people watch, as this
area is a hub of activity. Around the foyer you will find the ship Library,
stocked with all new books, CD listening chairs, Card Room stocked with every
board game you can imagine, Writing Room, a cozy place to write "wish you
were here" letters, as well as the Princess Fine Arts Gallery.
I found the ship to have a very open feeling,
there were many nooks and crannies to hide away but mostly an open floor plan on
the public decks with views in all direction to the blue sea, which will be a
wonderful plus in Alaska.
ship is set up for Personal Choice Dining, eat anywhere at any time
program. There are three dining rooms, each seating about 450. The idea is for a
more intimate dining experience moving away from the multi tiered extravaganza
dining rooms which tended to be beautiful to look at but noisy and not conducive
to pleasurable dining. These three dining rooms on different levels of the ship
are like entering an upscale neighborhood restaurant. There are two alternative
restaurants, Sabatini Trattoria that is a small intimate Italian bistro
and Tequila's, a southwestern restaurant with a feel of Santa Fe. There
is the Horizon Court, which is the buffet that one can get lost in. With
so many choices you have to walk the buffet before you start your journey with
plate in hand. Scoops, for ice cream, Prego for pizza, Trident
Grill for lunch at the pool.
The show rooms and lounges were each
spectacular, beautiful décor and not a bad seat in the house. Many bars
scattered over many levels of the ship. The standout with the men in the crowd
being Shooters, a sports bar that broadcasts various sporting events with
a collection of sports memorabilia all over the walls. While the men are
whooping it up in there the woman can visit all the shops onboard. Large
variety, even a shop called Essence, specializing in fragrances.
The trademark of the Princess Grand Class ships
is Skywalkers Disco. You take the elevator, (or stairs to walk off that
nights desserts) to the Sports Deck, and then take an escalator to the Disco.
This place swings at night, and during the day provides expansive views. This is
the place to be on Glacier Day in Alaska.
kids and teen areas are spectacular. The teen room called Off Limits, has
it's own disco, bar where they serve cocktails, computers and many plush
comfortable chairs for the top teen attraction "hanging out." The
kid's areas are divided by age and are decorated in bright cheery colors and
have so many options. Computer rooms, ping pong basketball, pool, Lego tables,
bikes, scooters, little amphitheatre and just about anything one could think of
to provide fun for kids of all ages.
The Lotus Spa areas are gorgeous,
aerobic rooms, gym with a large number of treadmills facing the windows, huge
amount of exercise equipment, many individual treatment rooms with an Asian
flair, swim against he current pool, whirlpools, sauna, and a spacious salon
balconies, so popular and this ship has its fair share. From the Grand Suite to
the balcony staterooms, the décor is very pleasing in color and design. Ample
storage and hanging space in each cabin. I paid special attention to the family
rooms which can sleep eight, great option which most ship do not have. Inside
cabins are very attractive in their color schemes, with ample closet space. All
cabins have refrigerators, which I find a big plus on a cruise.
Overall the Star Princess is a lovely, large
and vibrant ship. A big addition to the cruise opportunities on the West Coast.
She has already proved to be a big seller for the Mexico and summer Alaska
Photographs courtesty of