Princess Cruises … MV Diamond Princess

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Please Note: Cruise-Australia and my other related maritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any of the cruise companies nor any travel or cruise agencies, etc! The author has been in the Passenger Shipping industry for a very long time and although now semi-retired, but I am delighted to share all my knowledge with those who love to take their vacation by sea! Thus I continue to write on worthy Cruise Companies and their wonderful Ships in order to better inform cruise and ship enthusiasts for their pleasure, but more so to ensure that you, my wonderful reader will make the best-informed choice possible!

Photograph by & © Hun-Eng Tan

Introduction:

The MV Diamond Princess is a big cruise ship at 115,876 GRT (Gross Registered Tons) and she has a length of 290.2m or 952ft and has a beam of 37.49m - 123.0ft, with a draft of 8.05m - 26.4ft. There is no doubt that she is one of the most recognisable cruise ships around with her two Jet-Like engine pods sitting high up along the sides of her shapely funnel. However, they are more decorative pieces, rather than operational items of machinery.

Besides her grandiose looks and special features, such as her forward raised Promenade Deck that is raised up high, allowing passengers to walk right to the very front of the ship, in fact right up to her bow, yet you will be covered and completely safe and obtain a view that is unparalleled! Thus you also can be the “King (or Queen) of the World” the only difference being, Diamond Princess will actually reach its destination!

Please Note: As the author cruised on the Diamond Princess during September-October 2015, you will find some personal notations on this page as well as many photographs taken by the author or my associate Mr. Hun-Eng Tan and these will be clearly marked, whilst all others were provided by Carnival/Princess Cruises and are not marked.

A spectacular bow shot of the Diamond Princess revealing her Upper forward Promenade

The Diamond Princess offers a host of countless facilities and on this page, you will discover just some that are available, for I do believe that you, yourself need to make some of your own discoveries and receive a few amazing surprises! But be assured, this ship is as I said earlier grandiose to say the least, yet not like some ships sailing our shores that are over the top gaudy and have became almost cheap to the point that they are what some have called a “A cheap and nasty, low class Las Vegas style of ship.” This can never be said for the glamorous 4½ Star Diamond Princess for she has style and offers excellent service, top class entertainment. When it comes to dining on board you will discover that there are eight dining options, with five dining rooms, the Buffet as well as the Pizzeria and the Grill. The aforementioned are all included in your fare, then there are a good number of exciting optional dining venues, all of which are described in the Dining section below. Princess Cruises is well known for offering good food and excellent local and international wines that will make your cruise so memorable, and remember that Princess Cruises is currently celebrating its 50th.Year in 2015!

Life aboard Diamond Princess:

Being a large resort ship that in 2014 has undergone a major refit and refurbishment, the ship now has an on-board entertainment system and facilities that are state-of-the-art. Therefore, you can be assured that this ship is now, more so than ever a destination by itself, for she is one very large floating luxury resort with every possible facility especially designed for your comfort, pleasure and activities that you can possibly imagine! Thus once you board the ship you have reached one of the finest destinations, yet every couple of days, you will arrive at a new and an exciting or exotic destination for you to discover!

MV Diamond Princess seen in Milford Sound, New Zealand

The ship has two full decks of public spaces and fourteen lifts and forward, amidships and aft staircases that make for ease of movement. Although this a kid’s friendly ship, but there is an “adults only” two-deck Sanctuary area with padded sun loungers and pool for delicious solitude. Of course there is a huge screen showing ‘Movies Under the Stars®. During Australian summer cruise scene the Diamond Princess offers experienced cruising with a British background, and she is certain to attract a great deal of attention in the Pacific region. Boarding logistics are very smooth. Tips and gratuities are not required when cruising in Australian waters.

In the heart of the ship, since the recent refit there is a new feature on board the Diamond Princess being the stunning renewed three-deck-high street-cafe-style Piazza, being the grand Atrium. Now it is the ideal place for sipping that perfect cup of Barista coffee whilst enjoying a delicious pastry and as you sit and relax there, possibly one of Princess’ passing performers may be there to entertain you. Or why not stroll around along the galleries and do some duty-free shopping or pick up a souvenir. On Plaza Deck you can head for the relaxing adult only Writing Room and Library and select one of the many books and just relax there. Or you might like to catch up with the family back at home, so next you can check your emails at the delightful Internet Café.

Entertainment:

As for entertainment, there is so much more than can be squeezed into a week. Illuminating the stage of the Princess Theatre offer production shows and with what I will call reasonably talented singers and dancers, although the musicians are superb as are some of the guest artists! Then there are the other show Rooms like the Explorers Lounge that will present concerts, feature artists and cabaret, whilst during the day it is the venue for various events, far aft is Club Fusion which offers various activities during the day, including lectures, bingo, horseracing and arts and crafts, whilst it becomes a nightclub in the evening. Movies first-run feature films are shown either in the Princess Theatre or *Movies Under the Stars. ®

Interior & Exterior Photographs below are by the author; Reuben Goossens & Hun-Eng Tan

The spacious Princess Theatre offering a perfect view no matter where you sit

There are entrances on Decks 6 and 7

Photograph by the author © Reuben Goossens

 

Churchill’s Lounge is located directly aft or the Princess Theatre on Fiesta Deck 6

Photograph by the author © Reuben Goossens

 

The delightful Wheelhouse Bar a great place for a drink and a chat, but a popular dance venue at night

Photograph by the author © Reuben Goossens

 

Crooners is a delightful and very popular Piano Lounge & Bar on Deck 7 with the Piano located aft

Photograph by the author © Reuben Goossens 

 

Here we see the cosy Crooners lounge area with the Bar located forward

Photograph by the author © Reuben Goossens

 

The Explorers Lounge where there is a host of entertainment as well as activities on offer daily!

Photograph by the author © Reuben Goossens

And not to forget the popular nighttimes Club Fusion and Skywalkers Night Club located aft up on Deck 18, and yes for those who like a flutter there is a Casino. The fact is, in all there are 12 bars and lounges with many offering live music and dancing.

Club Fusion located aft on Promenade Deck 7

Photograph by the author © Reuben Goossens

 

The amazing Skywalkers Lounge and Night Club located aft and up on Deck 17

Photograph by the author © Reuben Goossens

 

And yes there is that dreaded Grand Casino on Fiesta Deck 6

Photograph by the author © Reuben Goossens

WARNING: There are 14 cabins that are located directly beside the Grand Casino, these are cabins F301 to F329, and you can take my word for it, the noise will be unbearable, for it will not just be the people, but the never-ending sounds of those poker machines. There is a wall with a narrow hall, but there is an open entry to these 14-cabin from the centre of the casino itself. Do yourself a favour, do not book these!

Movies Under the Stars® is shown on a 300-sq-ft, 69,000-watt, poolside movie theatre, offering passengers the unique opportunity to enjoy blockbuster Hollywood, or British movies, against a backdrop of the sea and the sky, be it during the day or night. The screen is located high up aft on the ship's top deck; Princess makes these experiences even more special with personal touches that include comfortable chaise lounges, complimentary popcorn, warm cookies and milk, and cosy blankets in the evening.

The screen used for day and evening / night movies and music and sporting events

Photograph by the author © Reuben Goossens

Princess on-shore programs are outstanding, and information about shore options is comprehensive. On board, enrichment programs include the ScholarShip@Sea program, which presents six self-improvement programs each day, with a charge for advanced classes. The core subjects are: Culinary Arts, Visual/Creative Arts, Photography, and Computer Technology. There is a pottery studio complete with electric kiln, karaoke, virtual golf, art auctions, and casino gambling. The ship has five pools and there are fun activities surround some of the pool areas, but one of the pools is in the adult only Sanctuary. Of course there is a nine-hole putting course, virtual golf, and various ball games. One can retire to the library and writing room, the adults-only lounge, work out in the gyms, or relax in a spa or hot tub. While passengers are generally older, each young age group has five-star special facilities and programs.

Food and Dining:

“Traditional Dining” is available in the International and the Vivaldi Dining Rooms; they offer both first and second sittings throughout the cruise. However, these must be pre booked upon booking the cruise!

International Dining Room a glamorous dining venue aft of the ship on Deck 6

It offers a open sitting Lunch on sea days only and traditional two seating for diner

On our cruise in Sep/Oct 2015 we had lunch here on all sea days

 

Vivaldi Dining Room on Deck 5 also offers two sittings for dinner

And this was our dining room – the beautiful music of Vivaldi gently wafted throughout the venue

Photograph by the author © Reuben Goossens 

Alternatively you can opt for “Anytime Dining” aboard in one of the other Dining Rooms. This means that you can dine at the time of choice and with whom you choose to dine with. This option is available in the three amidships dining rooms on Plaza Deck 5 and Fiesta Deck 6 amidships, just aft of the Atrium.

Dining Rooms of choice are; The Savoy Dining Room on Deck 5 portside, the Santa Fe Deck 6 starboard, Pacific Moon Deck 6 portside. All serve five course meals, which are changed daily and Princess states that their chefs have been inducted into the prestigious Chaîne des Rôtisseurs gastronomic society.

Pacific Moon Dining Room offers Asian style dinning - Anytime Dining

 

Santa Fe Dining Room a more modern venue - Anytime Dining

For breakfast, lunch and diner, there is a casual option always available at Horizon Court buffet, offering an informal sit-down waiter service at night; there is the poolside Pizza at the Prego Pizzeria, but from my experience, there were simply disgusting! The Trident Grill offers Burgers, Hot Dogs and other goodies and again from experience they did prove to be very good, as I tried the Grill during port days as I never do not go ashore due to me not being able to walk far, thus I remain aboard these days and just enjoy the ship and cruise in my old age! Then there is always the Sundaes Ice Cream bar for delicious ice creams. Each day a delicious traditional Afternoon Tea is offered, and of course all the aforementioned is include in your fare!

Then there are the optional, but sensational Restaurants, such as *Sabatini’s that serves traditional Italian cuisine, *Sterling Steakhouse serving steak and seafood, and there is the all new *Kai Sushi. Dress code is smart casual and on cruises longer than three days there will be a formal night for every week of sailing. *In Room Dining: Continental breakfast can be delivered to your stateroom and there is an in room breakfast menu, however there is also a menu for snacks and meals in your stateroom. In addition guests booked in balcony cabins and suites may order *“An Ultimate Dining Experience,” and experience a romantic meal served restaurant-style right there on your balcony. Of course for those who love that additional Barista style coffee, there is always the *patisserie for coffees and fresh pastries. *Additional charges apply.

This is the delightful Italian Restaurant Sabatini’s

Accommodation:

There are six types of cabin and 35 price categories: insides, outsides (some obstructed), balcony cabins, outside mini-suites (with and without balconies) and balcony suites. Cabins are roomy and nicely appointed, with satellite TV access to major channels. Standard cabins are practical and attractive, many have additional upper berths for children, and some have inter-connecting doors. The larger the stateroom, obviously there will be additional facilities available. All guests receive turndown service, chocolates on pillow at night, bathrobes and amenity kits, and complimentary room service on most items 24 hours a day. There are no single cabins, 28 wheelchair-accessible cabins, and some cabins accommodate families of three and four.

Four types of suites are available, including two family suites, each of which can sleep up to 10 people if four are children – otherwise eight adults. Mid-priced suites compare more than favourably with motel accommodation, amenities and service. Most balconies give privacy, and some can be joined with other balconies when travelling in a group. Suites have a bathtub and second TV. The 28 suites and 186 mini-suites cover a large range of sizes and additional free-bees such as complimentary laundry and shoeshine, a selection of pillows, daily in-room canapés and high tea, free Internet access, and much more. The one Grand Suite has effectively two entertainment areas and a double balcony area, all great for entertaining. There are no butlers for any staterooms.

Grand Suite (2 to 4 beds).

Suite size 30.3m² - Deck 11.

These provide a balcony for entertaining and a sitting room area with a sofa bed, twin beds that make up into a queen-size bed and two 42" flat screen televisions, a refrigerator, spacious closet, separate bathtub and shower, marble floors and countertops, access to the dedicated Concierge Lounge, a choice of three comfortable mattress options, a sound station dock for the iPod, complimentary laundry and professional cleaning services, and web access in the Internet Café.

Suite (2 to 3 beds).

Suite size 30.3m² - Decks 12, 11, 10, 9 and 8.

These provide a balcony for entertaining and a sitting room area with a sofa bed, twin beds that make up into a queen-size bed and two 42" flat screen televisions, a refrigerator, spacious closet, separate bathtub and shower, marble floors and countertops, access to the dedicated Concierge Lounge, a choice of three comfortable mattress options, a sound station dock for the iPod, complimentary laundry and professional cleaning services, and web access in the Internet Café.

Mini Suite (2 to 3 beds).

Suite size 25.5m² - Deck 9.

Substantially larger than a balcony stateroom, a mini-suite includes all the same amenities of a balcony stateroom, plus these added luxuries: welcome glass of champagne, private bedroom with twin beds can be made up into one queen-sized bed, a separate seating area with sofa bed, two flat screen televisions, refrigerator, walk-in closet, marble top furniture, a spacious closet and a bathroom tub and shower.

Balcony Cabin (2, 3 or 4 beds).

Cabin size 15.5m² - Decks 14, 12, 11, 10, 9 and 8.

A balcony stateroom is an oceanview stateroom with a furnished balcony that provides scenic views, natural lighting and more space. The room has two twin beds that make up into a queen-size bed, a refrigerator and television. Other amenities are a spacious closet, a desk and a bathroom with shower.

Oceanview Premium Cabin (2 to 4 berths).

Cabin size 15.0m² - Decks 11, 10.

This is a larger version of an oceanview double stateroom and provides scenic views, natural lighting from a large picture window. The room has two twin beds that make up into a queen-size bed, a refrigerator and television. Other amenities are a spacious closet, a desk and a bathroom with shower.

Oceanview Cabin (2 to 4 berths).

Obstructed View Cabins are also available on decks: 10 and 8.

Cabin size 14.5m² - Decks 11, 10, 8, 5.

These staterooms provides scenic views, natural lighting from a large picture window. The room has two twin beds that make up into a queen-size bed, a refrigerator and television. Other amenities are a spacious closet, a desk and a bathroom with shower.

Interior Cabin (2 to 4 berths).

Cabin size 14.5m² - Decks 14, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8 and 5.

These have no exterior views thus these rooms are reduced in price and value cruising cabins, but Not recommended for more that two persons, as they are relatively small. Many room has a twin bed system that make up into a queen-size bed, other rooms also have upper Pullmans, for additional guest, but Not recommended. There is a refrigerator and television. Other amenities are a spacious closet, a desk and a bathroom with shower.

For those who are Interested in Details:

Diamond Princess is a cruise ship owned and operated by Princess Cruises. She began operation in March 2004 and primarily cruises in Alaska during the summer and Asia in the winter along with Australia cruises. She is a Grand Class ship, which is also known as a Gem Class ship. Diamond Princess and her sister ship, the Sapphire Princes, which will be based in Melbourne during the warmer moths in 2015/16 are the largest subclass of the Grand-class ships. The Shapphire Princess has a huge 37.5m, a 123ft beam, whilst all other Grand Class ships have a beam of 36m, 118ft. Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess were both were built in Nagasaki, Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Photo Album: 

Diamond Princess seen in Sydney

 

This is what I consider the hideous Calypso Pool, but it does have a sliding glass roof

and a conservatory located one deck above

Photograph by my dear friend, Miss. Marcia Kennedy past hostess with Grace Lines USA

 

“The Sanctuary” is a wonderful Adult only retreat

 

Diamond Princess has countless Private Balconies but the lower two decks 9 & 10 have little to no protection to sun

or rain, as I discovered on my cruise, where my Mini-Suite Deck 9 balcony was rendered useless 90% of the time!

I believe that it is important that if you are thinking of taking a vacation of this great big floating resort, then you should really read my Cruise Review which will be online very soon, for it will all the positives as well as the negatives. My biggest issue with this vessel is her overall poor design, but more on this in the review!

 

Children and young people are well taken care off, this is just one section, called he “Fun Zone”

 

Do not miss this massive ship as she head’s off for yet another exciting voyage of my favourite

place just happened to be far aft and up in “Skywalkers: during the day, way up on Deck 17

It was a wonderfully quite place to read a good book! At night it became a Disco and nightclub!

 

The MV Diamond Princess is a BIG Ship - However …

from my Sep/Oct 2015 cruise experience, the service was superb!

 

View Page Two: MV Diamond Princess - Deck Plan

 

Read the all NEW: Diamond Princess Cruise Review

13 night New Zealand cruise ex Sydney September 29, 2015

By the author; Reuben Goossens

 

Visit the Sun Class Ships Feature

Being the MV Sun, Dawn & Sea Princess

 

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