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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!


When the MV Sun Princess was built in 1995 she was one of the largest Cruise Ships in the world and she was soon followed by her sisters the; Dawn Princess two years later, Sea Princess in 1998 with the last of the quartet the MV Ocean Princess, which was transferred to P&O UK just a few years after entering service and became the much loved cruise ship MV Oceana.

From the spectacular central atrium with its floating staircase, a domed glass ceiling and two glass elevators shooting up and down, then there is the spectacular Riviera, Lido and Sun Decks with their pools, whirlpool spas, bars and casual dining areas, including the first 24-hour restaurant, the Horizon Court, and the Adult only “The Sanctuary” makes these three ships perfect to cruise the South Pacific, New Zealand as well as Asia!

The Sun, Dawn and Sea Princess have certainly been cruise ship pioneers in so many ways, for they have set the bar for having such a high percentage of the 410 outside cabins, in fact 70% of these are balcony Staterooms, Mini Suites or Suites thus all are perfect places to view the countless exotic destinations of the world. All three ships have been extensively been refitted with new and exiting features, such as The Sanctuary up on Sun Deck and it even has its own pool, it is a serene haven for adults only. Then there is the huge screen located aft, just in front of the funnel showing “Movies Under the Stars®” and other features!

Three ships, the Sun, Sea and Dawn Princess are based fulltime in Australia and are based in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle. Therefore all three ships feature Australian power points throughout and all ships will only use Australian currency onboard!

The Atrium on the MV Sun Princess is seen from the floating floor

The Passenger Services Desk is on the right & the International Café on the left

As far as interior décor is concerned, all three ships are very much the same and there are just a very few minor differences, thus below there the photo gallery below covers all three ships major venues and where there are differences it will be noted. Enjoy what these three excellent Princess Ships have to offer!

Photo Gallery

Photographs on this page were provided by & © Princess Cruises, unless where otherwise specified


A fine view of the MV Dawn Princess at anchor at Bora Bora Tahiti during my world voyage in 2009

Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens


Looking aft we see the lower level of the Atrium and we can see the Passenger Services on the left (starboard)


On the portside is the just renovated International Café on the Sun Princess


The spectacular four level Atrium

Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens


One of the two Restaurants located amidships on Plaza Deck 5 & Emerald Deck 6

Princess Cruises offers two formal Dining Rooms, one offering Traditional Dining at First or Second Sittings for you main meal, thus receiving attentive service provided by your very own stewards throughout the cruise. Or you may choose the other Dining Rooms where you may opt to dine “Anytime Dining.” Here you can dine with whomever you wish and when you wish, between 5.30 p.m., and 10 p.m.

The spacious two level Princess Theatre has excellent sight levels from every seat!



Above & below: The delightful Maritime inspired Wheelhouse Bar, with models and paintings of P&O ships


Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens


Heading out on Deck 7, the three Sun Class Princess ships offer spacious Promenade Decks with ample seating


Atrium Crooners & Champagne Lounge and Bar


Kai Sushi Restaurant

This is a new innovation on the Sun Princess and Diamond Princess, at this stage, but other ships, I am sure will follow! But Kai Sushi Restaurant is a traditional sushi bar that serves up fresh sushi, as well as seafood and other delectable Japanese cuisine. Kai Sushi is open for dinner, but times of operation differ on the two ships.

The chefs at Kai Sushi are preparing some of their specialities, with the head chef looking on


Razzamatazz Night Club and Disco on Sun & Sea Princess


Jammers Night Club and Disco on the Dawn Princess



Above & below: Library and Internet Café


Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens



Above & below: Far aft is the Vista Lounge Show Room and activities lounge during the day!


Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens 


Verdi’s Pizzeria is a wonderful free option, and the food here is simply wonderful

I know, I have spent a great deal of time here, as my cabin was just forward on Dolphin Deck

When you arrive at the superb “Verdi’s,” “La Scala Pizzeria” or “Café Cornice” (name varies per ship) and just wait until you taste this classic treat, for this is a 100% homemade authentic Neapolitan style Pizza! You can also order it per phone and have it delivered to your stateroom during regular Pizzeria hours of operation at a very small optional cost.

Riviera Deck with a Bar located forward and two pools with showers and Jacuzzis as seen from Deck 15

Aft is “Swirls” or “Sundays,” the free Ice Cream Bar and the Youth & Teen Center, Spa Saunas & Gym & Lotus Pool


The Teen and Youth Center


The Fitness Center

Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens


The Lotus pool and hot tubs


Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens 


Above & below: Forward on Lido Deck is the 24-hour Horizon Court Buffet


Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens 


On the aft portside of the Horizon Court is the excellent optional “Sterling Steakhouse”

Horizon Court Buffet offers a tantalizing selection to satisfy the most discriminating palate and does that at most hours. At the Sterling SteakhouseSM. There you can experience a selection of premium, grain-fed beef, like New York Steak, Porterhouse and Filet Mignon. Further aft in view of Riviera Deck is the massive Move Screen for showing “Movies Under the Stars®,” Music Video’s as well as life or recorded Sports programmes. Then far aft of the ship is the Sundowners Bar

Up on Sun Deck far forward is the Adults only “The Sanctuary” with its own bar and pool


MV Sea Princess seen from the air

Entertainment: During the day there is a vast variety of activities available, from quizzes, dance lessons, lectures, cooking classes, a hoist of sports activities, including tournaments, or join organised fitness classes or Yoga sessions, etc. Or join the Arts and Crafts sessions. The truth is, if you have an interest, there will be something to interest you, and remember the library is there if you love to read a good book at sea, or hop onto the internet if you wish to keep in touch with home, roaming is also available!

Nightlife onboard a Princess ship is not just entertainment, for that would be an understatement. Come to the Grand Princess Theatre and suddenly the stage illuminates and a captivating Princess Production Show commences with performers that are some of the most talented musicians, singers and dancers at sea. Whilst in the lounges and bars lounges a host of performers entertain. Or there may well be another show aft in the Vista Show Room with Guest performers from Australia, or from around the world, they may be classical groups or artists, vocalists, musicians, comedians or even illusionists. Or head topside and watch one of the movies under the stars, for those who like a little gamble why head for the Grand Casino on Dolphin Deck 8, and all this is just some of the entertainment options that you can enjoy on the Sun, Dawn or Sea Princess, and I have not even mentioned any of the!


Below I will show images of the Inside Double/Twin Bedded Cabin, an Outside Double/Twin Bedded Stateroom, a Double/Twin Bedded Balcony Stateroom, a Double/Twin Bedded Balcony Mini Suite and finally a Double Bedded Two Roomed balcony Suite.

Inside double bed, or a twin bedded cabin

For those who are budget minded, but still wish to sail on a quality cruise ship, this could be the cabin, however this cabin is better suited for short voyages and not so much for longer voyages as they are not very big! They measure just 14 to 14 Square meters and all the comedians make jokes about these cabins and have a certain name for them! But as I said, for short cruises up to 14 days, it is manageable, for let’s face it, you only sleep there, but some of these cabins are sold as three and four berth rooms, I do NOT recommend this option, for they are far too small for more than two people! This type of cabin is found on all decks with accommodations.

Here we have an outside twin/double Stateroom with a window that is somewhat larger at 19 squares

Of course all Cabins & Staterooms includes refrigerator, hairdryer, TV, wardrobes and ample drawer space, and a bathroom with a shower.

A balcony Stateroom with grand Ocean Views

Besides the superb view through the full width floor to ceiling windows, with a sliding door out to your private Balcony that has two chairs and a table these staterooms are between 19 to 25 square meters.

Mini Suite has a separate bedro0m and a lounge area and are up to 50 square meters

All Mini and full suites are located up on Baja Deck - 7


The De-luxe Suite is a full two room Suite with some having a wrap around balcony and are up to 86 square meters

NOTE: The Suites measurements shown for Balcony Staterooms, Mini-Suites and Suites do include the balconies!

Obviously the Mini and the Suite have additional extras as will be described in each Princess brochure, but all accommodations will feature a wonderful range of Princess Amenities, such as Egyptian cotton linens and duvet, down pillows, as well as other luxurious bathroom items and more!

MV Dawn Princess seen at the Portside Cruise Terminal, Brisbane

Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens

In conclusion:

Having cruised with Princess Cruises many times I have found most of our cruise to be excellent, especially those on the wonderful smaller Pacific Princess. However, our 2009 Around the World cruise on the Dawn Princess was far from being one of our better voyages, in fact I rated our 106 night Sydney to Sydney, with the Sydney to Brisbane add on as a very poor cruise and no more than a 3 star rating at the very best! It is a long story, not worthy to write here, but I have not sailed with Princess again, and prefer the superior cruise lines, such as Holland America, where the cuisine is far superior, as are the accommodations and the ships are perfectly designed with many more public facilities that are not all walk through as is the case on the sun-class ships, with the others being activity centres. Thus not a quiet place to read a book on the ship, except your stateroom!

Yet I am giving it one more go and will be doing a 42 day cruise to China and Japan in April 2015 on the Sun Princess, we have a balcony stateroom on Aloha Deck, but not under the actual pool deck area above, but we are still listed for a further upgrade being an “Elite” passenger.


Visit the Sun Class Ships: DECK PLAN


Also view the: MV Diamond Princess feature


Also 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



A Comment re the; MV Royal & Regal Princess by Johan van Nieuhoff-Nuyts:

This is the towering MV Royal & Regal Princess that has almost 5,000 people onboard at any one time!

Photograph by & © Princess Cruises

PS: Johan is accomplished maritime architect and ship designer and what you will read below is what was sent to sent me. Although it was in Dutch I translated it via “” and made sure to keep it as accurate as he would wish it to be!

“This is my thinking on what is happened in recent times with Princess. I have very much liked ships like the MV Ocean Princess and Pacific Princess, and also the MV Sun, Dawn and the Sea Princess they are the good size ships. But now Carnival PLC/Princess have built two 141,000-ton 3,560 passenger ships, the MV Royal Princess and the Regal Princess and I have being honest, these are far to big for Princess Cruises to maintain good Star rating with this many passengers on board!

I am not surprised, that Princess has these big ships for it is the American thing and we should know that Princess Cruises’ owners are American, being that giant, Carnival Cruises who completely control this company and far too many others! In Europe it is not considered as a good thing. Therefore Princess now have no control on what happens to their company anymore, and yet they are celebrating “50 Years of Excellent Cruising in 2015,” having used small to mid sized ships, but now they are being forced to use these massive floating over the top, Las Vegas style apartment blocks at sea! But people who book on these ships should realise that when on board, they together with the crew, the ship will carry around 5,000 people and that is just far too many!

So if anything happens, where do you go? You say to the Promenade Deck of course, to my lifeboat station! But have you seen the Promenade Deck? Look there is no real Promenade Deck, like above on this, for the Regal and Royal Princess have a long narrow deck that can only be accessed by the crew. Thus are no exterior decks alongside of the ship available to passengers only the very topside ones, where the pool is. The entire superstructure is covered with balconies. Yes, Princess already has a number of ships over 100,000-ton sized ships such as the Sapphire and Diamond Princess to name a few and that is already too big, but now Carnival has gone too far!

The traditional Promenade Deck has been replaced by this sad tragedy, now it is just a crew deck and also your lifeboat boarding station!

Maritime experts and historians have condemned this design! 

The Sun Class trio thankfully retain their excellent wide Promenade Decks! And heaven help all those if there is ever a major abandon ship emergency on the Regal or Royal Princess, It will be on Carnival’s head, but also on those who are silly enough who book on thse ships! Look below and decide!”

Johan van Nieuhoff-Nuyts.

The Netherlands.


Please Note: Cruise-Australia and its associated pages are 100% non-commercial and privately owned cruise sites and are NOT associated with any cruise company or travel agency! Although the author has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960 and is currently semi-retired, but continues to write cruise and ship reviews and articles in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts and provide information for those intending a cruise in the future.



An Important Note on HOW to Book Your Cruise!: First of  all, I highly recommend that go and see a Good and a Long Established fully Registered Travel-Cruise Agency for information, bookings and you will obtain the best possible cruise fares from them as well as service until you are about to depart!

Sadly I have found that booking direct through any of the cruise companies, be it online or per phone that 1. You will not obtain the best fare. 2. And you will not receive any service because the staff on the phone know little to nothing about their own product.

I discovered this personally by having booked with Princess Cruises and believe me, it was a harrowing experience for I only booked it online as there was a special that had to be booked by a certain hour that day, yet I never received it. I find it very sad to sad to say, but the Carnival computer systems and land-based staff are without a doubt the worst I have ever experienced! And I have been in the Passenger Shipping trade since 1960 for heaven’s sake!

I have headed my cruise company and a large staff who were well trained, but these days even the executives have little to no experience of the cruise industry, for they mostly come out of the banking, accounting, hotel and other minor tourist industries, but not passengers shipping, thus they have no actual experience at all. Their job is marketing and selling, placing bums in beds and that is about it. Yet, they forget the important passenger relations, for that will have to be done on the ship and there is will be done very well indeed! In my day, all my staff was fully trained in every aspect and before they could even face a prospective client, they had to know their product top to bottom, or from bow to stern, every single section of the ship and its services and ensure that their contact with the client was an enjoyable experience, for they were about to head of on an oceangoing vacation!

I recall when I was speaking with a young lass at one Carnival company she told me that my mini suite was obstructed, excuse me, how can a balcony suite be obstructed? I asked, but she really believed what she saw on her paperwork said that. I knew the room and that is why I chose it, but she was sure it was obstructed and that is the kind of stupidity you may well encounter if you book direct! See a good Cruise Agent who will look after you well!

Reuben Goossens.

Maritime Historian, Cruise‘n’Ship Reviewer, Author & Lecturer.

Fifty-Five Years in the Passenger/Cruise Shipping Industry.


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