Setback for Sun Princess as Inaugural Sailing Delayed Again

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Starboard side of Sun Princess sailing during a test at the Fincantieri shipyard
  • Princess Cruises received delivery of Sun Princess from Fincantieri​​.
  • The cruise line announced a second delay for the inaugural sailing as the ship requires additional shipyard work before the new February 28, 2024, maiden voyage.
  • Passengers affected by the cancellation were offered a full refund, a 50% future cruise credit, and up to $200 per person for flight change fees, with additional support for those already in the region​.

In a significant milestone for Princess Cruises, the cruise line has officially taken delivery of its cruise ship, Sun Princess, from Fincantieri shipyards. The delivery marks a significant milestone as Sun Princess is the first of a new line of Sphere-class vessels.

Princess Cruises Receives Sun Princess

Aft of the Sun Princess cruise ship with a sunset in the backgroundPin

Sun Princess is a 175,500 gross-ton cruise ship with a capacity to host 4,300 guests. The new passenger vessel boasts various new amenities, including the highest number of balconies on a Princess vessel, providing guests with unrivaled views of the Mediterranean and Caribbean seas from the comfort of their staterooms.

Among the ship’s standout attractions are The Dome, an entertainment venue inspired by the iconic terraces of Santorini, and the Arena, which represents the pinnacle of Princess Theater design with its advanced technological capabilities. These additions, alongside a diverse selection of staterooms and suites, promise to offer an unforgettable vacation experience.

Sun Princess Maiden Voyage Delayed For a Second Time

Front of the new Sun Princess Sphere class vessel while sailing during sea trialsPin

In a surprising turn of events, Princess Cruises announced that Sun Princess’ maiden voyage will be delayed for a second time. Sun Princess was scheduled to set sail on February 18. The ship’s maiden voyage has been rescheduled to February 28, departing from Rome.

The delay is attributed to the need for additional technical work to ensure the vessel meets the high standards expected by guests.

Princess Cruises announced the delay in an email to guests, “While we will be taking delivery of our new Sun Princess on February 14, the ship must remain alongside in the shipyard to allow for additional technical work to be completed and we regret to announce that we have no other option than to cancel the February 18 voyage,”

“We share in your deep disappointment and frustration, and sincerely apologize for the extreme disruption the late cancellation of this voyage creates.” The email continued.

Sun Princess was originally scheduled to embark on her maiden voyage on February 8, 2024. However, Princess Cruises delayed the inaugural Sun Princess sailing just two weeks before departure on January 24, 2024.

Compensation For Travelers

Princess Cruises compensates affected guests with a full refund of their cruise fare, including any pre-purchased onboard services and a 50% future cruise credit (FCC) for use on a future voyage. The FCC is valid for bookings made by November 30, 2024, for sailings through December 31, 2025.

The cruise line also extends financial support of up to $200 per person to cover fees for flight cancellations for passengers who have not yet flown. If guests have already arrived in the departure region, they will be compensated the full amount of the round-trip airfare.

a move to support its partners, Princess Cruises also ensures that travel agent commissions are protected.

At this time, Sun Princess’ February 28 sailing is scheduled to proceed as planned. However, guests are understandably hesitant after the previous two cancellations.

It’s been noted that shipyards have struggled with supply chain issues following the pandemic. Over the past year, several cruise ships, including Icon of the Seas and Norwegian Viva, have seen delays.

Guests are advised to keep an eye on their email for future changes as the February 28, 2024 sailing approaches.

Marcello De Lio
Marcello De Lio

Marcello's been cruising since he was 12 years old. He loves the freedom that cruising provides, meeting new people, and exploring amazing new ships. Marcello created High Seas Cruising to share his passion for cruising and travel with readers and grow a community of passionate voyagers.

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