Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2024

11 A new shining star John Padgett of Princess Cruises shares with Rebecca Gibson how the design innovations and extensive culinary and entertainment offerings onboard Sun Princess will transform the guest experience and position the brand as an industry leader First aired in 1977, ‘The Love Boat’ focused on the lives of fictional crew members working onboard a cruise ship and quickly became one of the highest-rated prime-time TV shows in the USA. It was also widely credited with introducing millions of viewers to the concept of contemporary cruise vacations and made Princess Cruises – whose ships had a starring role – a household name. Today, almost 50 years after the pilot show was filmed onboard its original Sun Princess ship, Princess is inviting travellers to come aboard and set course for a real-life adventure on its new “next-level love boat”. Named in honour of its predecessor, the 4,300-guest Sun Princess is the first of the brand’s 177,882gt Sphere-class ships and began sailing for the first time 28 February 2024 after it was delivered by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri. “Sun Princess is the most impressive, luxurious and stunning love boat ever created, offering an array of exciting new entertainment venues, next-level dining, extraordinary food and beverage experiences, multigenerational activities, and sensational staterooms and suites,” says John Padgett, president of Princess. “The vessel has been specifically designed with the future in mind and will have a transformational impact, as KEYNOTE “Love, exciting and new Come aboard, we’re expecting you… The Love Boat promises something for everyone Set a course for adventure…” John Padgett (front row, left) with the captain (front row, right) of Sun Princess and the first guests to board the new ship. Top: The Piazza will be one of the most popular spaces onboard Sun Princess Photo: James Morgan, Getty Images for Princess Cruises