By GERRY BARKER
FT. LAUDERDALE -- While storms roamed South Florida all day, in the late afternoon the rain stopped and we could all proclaim, "Here comes the Sun" -- as in, "Sun Princess," the newest, largest, most innovative Princess ship to date.
Top executives from both Princess and its parent company, Carnival, along with Randy Fenoli, host of the TLC show, "Say Yes to the Dress," were on hand here at Terminal 2 at Port Everglades to formally reveal the name of its next generation, Sphere-class ship in a ceremony that included an aerialist suspended below a giant yellow balloon emblazoned with "Sun Princess."
Now under construction at the Fincantieri shipyard, and scheduled to debut in early 2024, it's the largest Princess ship ever built. The 175,500-ton vessel will accommodate over 4,000 guests and feature 21 decks, as well as almost 30 dining venues.
But the feature creating the most excitement for Princess Cruises President John Padgett is the ship's signature Dome. Located on the top deck, it's described as the "first-of-its-kind true glass-enclosed dome ever constructed on a cruise ship." Daytime, it houses a pool and water feature; at night, it becomes an entertainment venue and place for aerial acrobatics.
Along with the Dome, Sun Princess will feature a three-story Piazza, where guests can enjoy ocean views "from every direction" as well as an LED screen for entertainment offerings.
In a press release following the unveiling, another Sun Princess exclusive "will be a new level of suite accommodations, the Signature Collection. In addition to premium stateroom amenities, Signature Collection suites include access to the Signature Restaurant, Signature Lounge, and Signature Sun Deck, a private area of the Sanctuary."
Sun Princess will sail an inaugural spring/summer season of Mediterranean cruises followed by Western and Eastern Caribbean voyages out of Port Everglades in the fall of 2024. A second, Sphere-class ship is set to be delivered in spring, 2025.
Sun Princess renderings, Courtesy of Princess Cruises
Watch the Aerialist Perform at the Event
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