Sea Princess, Victoria, BC
The Sea Princess was built in 1998 and although that is fairly old for a
cruise ship, it has been well maintained and is in excellent
condition. It has two sister ships, the
Dawn Princess and the Sun Princess. The Princess fleet has 7 ships built in the 1990s and the
age of their ships will result in a need for more than refits in the not
too distant future. The Royal Princess is on the way for 2013, which
means Princess is addressing the issue. Princess maintains a
standardized decor, resulting in a similar feel on all Princess
ships. When you are in the Wheelhouse Bar or the Horizon Court
Buffet on the Sea Princess, the appearance is the same as any other ship
in their fleet. This makes Princess repeat guests feel right at
The Sea Princess has theaters at the bow and stern, plus lounge theaters,
so guests have a wide range of entertainment options each night. The
two large theaters both have completely unobstructed viewing due to the
fact that there are no pillars anywhere. This makes every seat an
excellent one. The Vista Show Lounge has theater seating at the
front and lounge seating at the back centered around a bar, which was both
interesting and inviting.
The pool area on the Riviera and Lido decks has an expansive feel and the
Riviera Grill is strategically positioned at the bow end to oversee this
focal point of the ship.
There are several technology advances on the ship. Movies under the
Stars, a Princess trademark, is installed. Kioks are now
available in the plaza that allow passengers to insert their guest card
and review their account balance. Identity pictures are now taken on
hand held devises that link wirelessly to the ship computer system.
This feature allows attendance checking at life boat drills, which
highlights attention to the importance of ensuring guest safety. The newest
technology feature spreading through the cruise industry is face
recognition on guest photo ID. Expect to insert your guest card in a
reader at the photo gallery soon and the device will tell you where your
photos are in the gallery.
The disadvantage in the Sea Princess comes from constraints of the age in
which it was built. There are significantly fewer balconies available
for guests than on modern ships. The stern of the ship slopes
pyramid style which results in hot tubs and bars at the rear, but guests
miss out on the opportunity for rear facing luxury suites that have become
popular on newer ships. Princess does have refit plans that will
install a Piazza and add a standard highlight of cruising with Princess -
the International Cafe.
In general I found the ship to be in excellent condition. I liked
the smaller passenger size and intimate feel. As always with
Princess, the staff were extremely friendly and welcoming. These
factors out-weighted the lack of the latest modern conveniences, such as a
Piazza, and make the Sea Princess a suitable choice for cruising.