Cruise Wonderland >> Ship Visits >> Sea Princess


Date: 2012/03/22
Port: Hong Kong
Berth: Ocean Terminal (south berth), Tsim Sha Tsui

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Unless otherwise specified, information in this article was correct at the time of publishing in March 2012.

About Sea Princess

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About the Visit

Sea Princess at Ocean Terminal Visitor Pass Gangway

Cruise lovers around the world should be familiar with Princess Cruises, one of the largest and most well-known cruise lines. Founded in 1965, it does not have a very long history, yet was made famous by the American television series "The Love Boat" in the 1970s. Now it is part of Carnival Corporation and one of the most successful cruise lines in the world. The current 16 ships sail to all the seven continents in the world, featuring many unique itineraries.

Hong Kong has never been a strange place to this company. Their ships have visited our city regularly since many years ago. From the world cruises of the smallest Pacific Princess (Explorer Class), the Round Pacific Cruises of the mid-sized Sun Princess (Sun Class) and the seasonal Asia sailings of the megaship Diamond Princess (Grand Class), we can always see the vessels in these three classes of the fleet coming into Victoria Harbour.

Sun Princess, Dawn Princess and Sea Princess are three sister ships in the Sun Class (with one more that looks the same, Oceana of P&O Cruises, which was also the former Ocean Princess). Now they are all based in Australia and sail on various itineraries to the South Pacific and Asia. After Sun Princess's maiden call to Hong Kong in 2008 and Dawn Princess's in 2009, it is now the turn of Sea Princess to come.

Sea Princess entered service in 1998. In 2003, she and her younger sister Ocean Princess were together transferred to sister company P&O Cruises, as Adonia and Oceana respectively, for replacements in the P&O fleet after Arcadia <III> left. Adonia had visited Hong Kong once in February 2004 in her world cruise. After the new Arcadia <IV> made her debut in 2005, Adonia rejoined Princess Cruises again and gain back her original name Sea Princess.

This week we welcomed this vessel to Hong Kong again under another name. She is currently in a 42-day voyage, roundtrip from Sydney in Australia, to Northeast Asia. After leaving Kota Kinabalu and sailing for two days at sea, she arrived in our city in the morning of 21st March and moored at Ocean Terminal. She would stay here overnight, meaning that passengers could have two days to explore this most breathtaking city in Asia.

Besides Sea Princess, there were also two more Princesses in Hong Kong in these two days. Pacific Princess called at our city on 20th and 21st March, whereas Diamond Princess also arrived this port on 22nd March. However due to limited berths at Ocean Terminal, all of them were unfortunately unable to meet. Pacific Princess berthed at China Merchants Wharf at Kennedy Town and Diamond Princess was at Modern Terminals Limited at Kwai Chung.

Presentation in Vista Lounge

I was honoured to have the opportunity to visit Sea Princess. Although seeing so many vessels of Princess Cruises in the past and knowing so much about this company, this was just my first time to be onboard their ships. The tour was scheduled on 22nd March, the second day of her call. I would like to express my gratitude to Vanessa Chan (Market Development Officer of Cruise Vacations Limited, the General Sale Agency of Princess Cruises in Hong Kong) for inviting me to join the tour.

Together with other visitors, we embarked the ship at 10:30. The programme began with a brief presentation in Vista Lounge about the cruise line, the ship and the upcoming itineraries. After that a number of crew escorted the visitors to walk around the ship. They showed us many public facilities on different decks, from the open-air sport facilities and bars on upper decks to the restaurants and performing venues to lower decks. The tour lasted for around 45 minutes. Since Hong Kong was not a turnaround port for this sailing, almost all the passenger cabins were occupied and we could not have the chance to see the accommodation.

I was particularly impressed by the stunning four-deck-high atrium, even those on the larger Grand Class ships have three decks only. The Riviera pool area is also unusually large in such size of ship. Thank for the good weather today which enabled me to take many nice pictures at outdoor. For the indoor area, the well-designed locations of public rooms help to generate a smoother passenger flow. The introduction of more small rooms, especially for bars and lounges, instead of a single large venue also creates a "big ship choice, small ship feel".

After the tour, all guests went to the Traviata Dining Room on Deck 6 amidships to have some refreshments, which was indeed the famous afternoon tea on Princess Cruises. Scones, finger sandwiches, cookies, pastries and cakes were served. Finally I disembarked at around 14:00. Passengers were all aboard shortly and Sea Princess then departed at 17:00. Her next port of call will be Shanghai in China.

This was just the first chapter of the story. It is exciting that this year I will be able to see all the four sister ships in this class. I have already booked a cruise in Western Europe on P&O Cruises' Oceana in June. Moreover, Dawn Princess will call at Hong Kong in August and Sun Princess in September. If I can also visit these two Princesses, then it will be a wonderful achievement for being onboard all the four Sun Class ships within half a year.

When I saw the P&O Officers' Sword (which can be found on many P&O ships as an official gift in the naming ceremony) of Adonia on Sea Princess, I am very interested in the difference between this vessel and Oceana. Does Sea Princess change a lot when returning from P&O Cruises to Princess Cruises? I am going to find out the answer very soon. An article for the detailed comparison of all the four Sun Class ships is expected to be written later this year.

P&O Officers' Sword of Adonia
Joanna Lumley, Godmother of Sea Princess

Refreshments in Traviata Dining Room Refreshments in Traviata Dining Room Sea Princess Departed from Hong Kong


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