$760 million Royal Princess nears completion

After five years, Princess Cruises is nearing completion of its $760 million vessel, the Royal Princess, a new ship that falls under the megaship class of vessels. It will be 25 percent larger than the last ship Princess launched, the Ruby Princess, in 2008.

The ship will introduce a whole new variety of features and amenities, with a profile that will be different due to the SeaWalk, a promenade that extends 28 feet over the side of the ship with a see-through glass floor to the ocean 16 decks below.

The pool area will include a Movies Under the Stars outdoor video screen, measuring 35 feet by 21 feet, approximately 30 percent larger than on previous Princess ships. (An illuminated, jetted, dancing-waters fountain will be the focus of the pool deck.)

The ship’s buffet area, Horizon Court, will seat almost 1,500, and has eliminated beverage stations. Instead; the ship will employ additional wait staff to serve drinks. In the evenings, the Horizon Court will convert to either a seafood or fondue dining venue.

Next to the Horizon Court, there will be a casual-eating, 1,200-square-foot pastry kitchen, the Horizon Bistro.

Above the Horizon Bistro you’ll find a sports area, with a basketball court, batting cages and an indoor laser shooting range. The gym has been doubled in size and moved from Deck 5, adjacent to the spa.

An expanded spa will have 18 treatment rooms, with two Lotus Spa cabana rentals in the adults-only Sanctuary area on Deck 17. These rentals will offer up to four people a day-long session of treatments and pampering for $3,000 per group.

The Sanctuary will have a total of six cabanas and this is the first time they have been offered on a Princess ship.

Of the 1,780 cabins on the Royal Princess, 81 percent will have balconies, and almost half will be suites, mini-suites or deluxe cabins with room for a sofa in addition to the balcony.

For entertainment, the ship will offer Princess Live. The 200-seating area will offer live entertainment between 8 a.m. and midnight, with little or no staging or set up time. The acts could include a lecturer or a solo entertainer, or perhaps a quiz show, among other options.

These shows will also be part of the programming for an in-cabin TV service that will also include on-demand access to hundreds of movies.

These, and many more features will be found when the new Royal Princess joins the Princess fleet in June.