Sun Princess: The Best Dining, Amenities and More on Princess Cruises’ Newest Ship

As a travel writer who cruises with all the major lines, I was excited to travel through the Mediterranean on the new Sun Princess cruise ship in May 2024. I traveled with my mother to celebrate her 76th birthday shortly after the new ship’s February debut in Rome. The itinerary we sailed was a unique, one-way offering that departed from Athens, Greece, with visits to ports like Bar, Montenegro; Corfu, Greece; and Messina and Naples, Italy.

A true marvel of modern engineering and ship architecture, Sun Princess boasts a maximum guest capacity of 4,300 and room for 1,600 crew. The Sphere-Class vessel is 1,133 feet long and 200 feet high, with a breadth of 139 feet and 21 total decks. There are 2,157 staterooms, including 80 unique suites with extra space for guests.

Standout features include a three-floor main dining area, the Princess Arena with capacity for 990 guests and a 250-person entertainment space known as The Dome. Read on to learn everything there is to know about the Sun Princess cruise ship, including my own take on the dining and entertainment options available to cruisers.

Sun Princess itineraries for 2024 and 2025

While Sun Princess is scheduled to cruise the Mediterranean through September 2024, the ship will cross the Atlantic on its way to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, by October for the winter cruise season.

From this new homeport, Sun Princess will offer seven-day Caribbean cruises with the stops in Honduras, Belize, Mexico, the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic, and Turks & Caicos through March 2025.

Sun Princess will then embark on a 14-day Spanish Passage voyage in March 2025, which ends in Barcelona, Spain, and repositions the ship for its summer in the Mediterranean. At that point, cruisers can book a range of lengthy Mediterranean options over various dates, which include stops in Turkey, Greece, Montenegro, Italy, France, Spain and more.

Who should sail on Sun Princess?

While most people may think of Princess Cruises as a cruise line for baby boomers, Sun Princess aims to attract a younger, livelier crowd. This is immediately apparent when walking around the ship’s common areas; Sun Princess boasts bold color schemes, endless windows, sparkling lights and a more modern central piazza than other Princess ships.

While my Mediterranean sailing largely consisted of adult travelers, Sun Princess will likely attract more families on its Caribbean itineraries. The ship’s layout is ideal for parents with children of all ages, and amenities geared specifically toward kids abound. It all starts with the ship’s Park19 family area, which features a huge climbing structure, a splash zone, a recreational court, a jogging court and more. Sun Princess also has three dedicated youth clubs: Firefly Park Kids Club (ages 3 to 7, with a separate play area for babies and toddlers 6 months and older), Neon Grove Tweens Club (ages 8 to 12) and The Underground Teen Lounge (ages 13 to 17).

What’s interesting about Sun Princess is that it still has so much to offer more mature travelers, including couples who want to enjoy a romantic, upscale vacation. This is shown in the ship’s elevated dining venues, expansive casino and luxurious spa. Sun Princess also offers the Sanctuary Collection of rooms and suites, which offer more amenities and spaces to relax on the ship.

Travelers who book a room in the Sanctuary Collection get their pick of a nicer selection of rooms, a premium beverage package, access to a private restaurant and pool deck and a more personalized experience overall. Think of the Sanctuary Collection suites as an alternative to MSC Cruises Yacht Club cabins — the biggest difference being that the venues available to cruisers in these cabins are spread throughout the ship.

The stateroom

I stayed in one of the new Cabana Mini-Suites on the Sun Princess, which I would book again in a heartbeat. These rooms are a take on the classic balcony cabin most cruisers expect, but with a twist. In addition to an outdoor balcony, Cabana Mini-Suites have a separate indoor-outdoor cabana-like area with a flat-screen television.

This extra space means the new Cabana Mini-Suites are much longer from one end to the other than a traditional balcony stateroom. The additional space is nice to have whether you want more room for storage or a separate place to read or relax while your cabinmate naps. My mom sat in our cabana area and read several times while I showered and got ready for dinner, and she even took a nap out there while I worked on my computer in our stateroom.

Regardless of the stateroom you book, know that Sun Princess cabins feature soft, neutral tones and plenty of closet space. Power outlets are abundant, and there are all kinds of nooks and crannies for storage. Cabin types on Sun Princess include the following:

Interior Cabins (136 to 145 square feet)

Basic interior rooms offer a queen bed or two small twin beds, a flat-panel television, a refrigerator, and a private bathroom with a shower. These are the most affordable cabins on the ship, and they work best for guests who just want a place to relax and sleep.

Premium Oceanview (212 square feet)

Ocean-view cabins have slightly more space than interior rooms, but they still lack a balcony. These rooms feature a queen bed or two twin configurations, a large flat-screen television, a refrigerator, and more floor and storage space.

Deluxe Balcony (235 square feet, including balcony)

Balcony cabins offer more space than ocean-view rooms due to the addition of a spacious balcony with outdoor seating. Balcony cabins can also come in a queen bed or two twin configuration and have a large flat-screen television, a refrigerator, and more floor and storage space.

Mini-Suite (303 square feet, including balcony)

Mini-Suites are essentially large balcony cabins with more storage space, more closet space and more floor space. These rooms have all the amenities of other cabins but include two flat-screen televisions (one for the bedroom area and another for couch viewing).

Cabana Mini-Suite (329 square feet, including balcony and cabana)

These rooms add the indoor-outdoor space of the cabana adjacent to the outdoor balcony. The cabana area has seating for several people and its own flat-screen television (in addition to the in-room TV).

Signature Suites (304 to 636 square feet, including balcony)

Signature Suites range in size and include larger balconies with premium furniture, two flat-screen televisions, a more spacious bathroom with a separate tub and shower, and dedicated sleeping and living areas.

Signature Sky Suites (1,262 square feet, including balcony)

Princess Cruises Signature Sky Suites are the largest staterooms across all Princess vessels, and they have all the bells and whistles you can imagine. Standout features of Sky Suites include separate living and dining areas; huge, luxurious bathrooms; and Nespresso coffee machines.

(Note: Sanctuary Collection rooms are dotted throughout the ship and consist of balcony-, mini-suite- and suite-category accommodations.)

Best amenities on Sun Princess

Since my itinerary on the Sun Princess cruise ship included multiple port stops, I didn’t get to experience everything the ship had to offer. However, what I did experience was worth it — from the nonstop entertainment in the piazza to over-the-top dining features. Some of my standout experiences include:


Part dinner and part magic show, Spellbound by Magic Castle is bookable for an additional charge. The experience begins with a small group dinner with drink pairings, then moves to a hidden bar area of the ship, where the magic begins. The bar itself features magical artifacts and vintage curiosities, a “ghost” pianist, and an incredible drink menu designed to wow and delight guests. Some drinks were served in cages, golden owls and elaborate chests with dry ice.

Magic came in the form of intriguing card tricks and disappearing acts at the bar, plus a separate stage area where crowd participation helped facilitate the illusions. I don’t want to give anything more than that away — you must simply experience it for yourself. Though I thought Spellbound was slightly cheesy at times, I thoroughly enjoyed the dinner and show and feel it was worth the added cost.

The Dome

The Dome on the Sun Princess is part pool area and part stage. Guests can swim in a unique indoor-outdoor pool by day and watch entertainers dance in the evening, with alluring lighting effects and a cozy, intimate atmosphere.

I watched an acrobatics show in The Dome from the comfort of a padded lounge chair and thought the venue was the place to be.

Princess Arena

The Princess Arena is a circular stage area that holds up to 990 guests. Shows on offer include multifaceted stage productions and acrobatic features with plenty of surprises.

Fitness center

The Sun Princess’ fitness center was huge and featured a range of treadmills, stair climbers, weights and machines to choose from. I never had trouble securing a treadmill at any time, even though I’ve had to wait and fight crowds for machines on other cruise ships.

I also loved the expansive walking track on the ship, which was constantly in use by both serious exercisers and cruisers walking leisurely to enjoy the views. I used the walking track every morning for at least an hour; I found it much more spacious and usable than other ship walking tracks, which are often congested and never quite wide enough.

The ship also features a Fitness Studio with guided classes, but I did not use it during my trip.


Sun Princess features five large pools and nine hot tubs. There are two pools on the lido deck, plus an indoor-outdoor pool in The Dome, a Sanctuary pool (for Sanctuary Collection guests only) and a wake-view infinity pool.

Medallion services

Princess MedallionClass is one of the coolest and most convenient amenities at sea. In place of a traditional cruise card, Princess gives you a small wearable device to bring with you around the ship and on shore. The medallion tracks your physical location on the ship, which allows you to order services and deliveries on board no matter where you are. Medallion delivery options range from food and drinks to extra pillows or bottled water.

I ordered room service through my medallion multiple times and hot, fresh food arrived in my cabin in less than 20 minutes. Meanwhile, drinks were delivered to our cabin and elsewhere on the ship in less than five minutes.


Princess’ Wi-Fi at sea (MedallionNet) is the fastest internet service I have ever used on a cruise ship. The internet was fast and reliable enough for me to complete some work while on board, which is not the norm on cruise ships.

Best dining venues Sun Princess

Sun Princess features 30 dining and bar options, many of which are included in the base cruise fare. Complimentary dining venues on Sun Princess include three traditional dining rooms, The Eatery (a take on the classic buffet, but with staff service), a café for coffee and light bites, The Lido (serving up salads, pizza and more) and the Promenade Dining grill.

Specialty dining options for an extra charge range from O’Malley’s Irish Pub to a sushi spot to steak, seafood and Italian restaurants. For an extra special experience, head to Love by Britto to indulge in fine dining, or opt for Umai hot pot or teppanyaki venues. Meanwhile, bars on Sun Princess include Bellini’s Cocktail Bar, Sea View Bar, The MIX and more.

My personal favorite dining experiences included:


My Spellbound dinner was excellent, even though the menu is fairly brief. I enjoyed a delicious shrimp cocktail and seafood entree, followed by a vegan dessert (I’m allergic to dairy and the ship happily accommodated). What stood out for me with Spellbound, at least food-wise, was the eclectic selection of drink pairings offered with the meal. It started with a caprese salad cocktail that tasted like tomatoes and balsamic vinegar in a strange, delicious way, then moved on to the spooky concoctions offered in the Spellbound bar.

Crown Grill

Crown Grill, a specialty dining venue, is not unique to Sun Princess, but it is the cruise line’s most popular steakhouse brand. My mom and I had a delicious meal here for her birthday that included a Mediterranean-style spiny lobster cake, Chilean sea bass and a huge (surprise) birthday cake delivered to our table.

The Catch by Rudi

The Catch by Rudi is the ship’s specialty dining seafood restaurant. Here, I dined on a delicious shrimp cocktail and the catch of the day (a grilled dorado filet). Everything was fresh and the meal was exceptional from start to finish.

The Eatery

I loved The Eatery, the ship’s buffet-style dining option. The main difference between this venue and more traditional cruise ship buffets is that you’re served by staff instead of serving yourself, which I prefer. The Eatery featured a rotating selection of exceptional main courses (seafood, chicken, beef and ethnic options), salads, appetizers and delicious desserts. It even had a vegan section and an easy-to-find selection of gluten-free offerings.

Best excursions on Sun Princess

The best excursions on Sun Princess vary depending on where you’re going on your cruise — the Caribbean or various Europe destinations. Here’s an overview of some excellent excursions offered aboard Sun Princess, a few of which I did myself.

Corfu, Greece

Catamaran Coastal Cruise & Swim: This easy excursion lets you see Corfu from the sea and get out into the water for some snorkeling and swimming. I picked this excursion so we could relax for one day and avoid a lot of walking, and it delivered. A delicious lunch with an open bar was served on board as we sailed around the island taking in some of Corfu’s most beautiful sights.

Naples, Italy

Sorrento & Amalfi Coast Cruise: No trip to this region of Italy is complete without a stop in the Amalfi Coast. This excursion was a long one (eight to nine hours) with lots of walking and bus time, but the views of this dynamic coast and time spent in Amalfi and Sorrento made the travel time well worth it.

Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos

Island Vibes & Beach Swim: This relatively short excursion includes a narrated bus trip throughout the island of Grand Turk, highlighting some of the island’s top sights. A beach break at picturesque Governor’s Beach is included.

Princess Cays, Bahamas

Princess Cays Coastal Cruise: Princess Cruises’ private island offers a range of bookable activities, from banana boat rides to snorkeling tours. This coastal cruise is another option that takes you along the shores of Eleuthera in a 40-foot Reef Princess boat.

Overall impressions of Sun Princess

If you’re considering a cruise on Sun Princess, you should know that this isn’t your traditional Princess ship. The look and feel of this vessel are younger and livelier compared to other Princess ships I have sailed on. Gone are the hallways filled with cruisers knitting and playing cards; in their place, you’ll find dancing, entertainment, music and activities around the clock.

When it comes to Sun Princess dining, every meal I had on board was either very good or excellent. You don’t even have to opt for an extra-cost specialty dining venue to get a good meal. The Eatery and the regular dining rooms feature fresh, seasonal foods that are more than enough for the average palate to enjoy.

Caribbean itineraries on offer later this year (and into 2025) start at around $660 per person for an interior cabin, and Princess features an endless roster of sales throughout the year. If you’re looking for a new cruising experience and want to give Princess a try (or another chance), Sun Princess is more than worthy of your consideration.

Why Trust U.S. News Travel

Holly Johnson is a travel writer who covers all aspects of family travel, including all-inclusive resorts and cruises with both boutique and major cruise brands. Johnson has traveled to more than 50 countries around the world, and she has cruised in destinations throughout the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe and the Arctic Circle, and the Middle East. Johnson works alongside her husband, Greg, who runs the travel agency Travel Blue Book.

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