Cruise line profile - Princess Cruises - P&O Cruises - Super Grand Class
PROFILE AND REVIEW
SUPER GRAND CLASS
The Super Grand class includes Caribbean Princess,
Crown Princess, Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess of
Princess Cruises and Ventura and Azura, which sail for
sister line P&O Cruises.
When they entered service (between 2004 and 2010), the
Super Grands were considered quite large. Now, on a
relative scale, they are towards the lower end of the large
ship range. Still, they can accommodate more than 3,000
The ships are family-friendly, resort-style ships. Each is
equipped with three main dining rooms . Guests can choose
between traditional dining or flexible dining systems. There
are also extra-tariff specialty restaurants and alternative
casual dining outlets (Some are complimentary and some
are extra charge). The ships also have several
entertainment venues as well as bars and lounges thus giving
guests a number of options. Along the same lines, there are
three small pools and a large spa area.
The Super Grand class ships are based on a design that
first premiered with Grand Princess. However, they are
somewhat larger than the original Grand class ships with an
additional deck. All of the Super Grand class were built by
Fincantieri in Italy.
Caribbean Princess was ordered when Princess Cruises
was owned by P&O. Pleased with the success of the
Grand class ships that it had built for Princess, P&O wanted
a Grand class for itself to serve the British market.
However, after further thought, P&O decided that the new
ship would be better situated with Princess. In exchange for
the new build, it transferred two smaller ships from the
Princess fleet into the P&O fleet.
In a number of ways, Caribbean Princess can be viewed
as a transitional ship between the original Grand class and
the Super Grand class. She has the additional deck of the
Super Grands but has the “shopping cart” silhouette of the
original Grands with the nightclub suspended above the
By 2006 when Crown Princess entered service, P&O
had merged with Carnival Corporation and Princess was
under the Carnival umbrella. Crown had a more
sophisticated atmosphere and featured a number of new
features including a Piazza-style atrium. Versions of these
new features were subsequently rolled back through the
existing Princess fleet.
Crown was followed by two identical sister ships,
Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess. Indeed, unless one
saw the name of the ship printed somewhere, it would be
hard for a guest to tell which of the three he or she was on.
The idea was that a guest who had experienced one of the
sisters would have certain expectations coming aboard one
of the sisters and should not be disappointed to find that the
sister was different. Also, the interior décor for Crown
was quite successful so why make significant changes?
In 2008, P&O Cruises finally obtained its long-desired
Grand class ship with Ventura. Slightly larger than the
Princess versions, Ventura was designed for the British
market and so had a different décor and a somewhat
different array of features.
Ventura was followed by Azura, the last of the Super
Grands to be built. While very similar to Ventura, Azura
had some differences. Perhaps the most apparent was that
Azura did not have a retractable roof over one of the pools
like Ventura. Also, unlike any of the previous ships in her
class, Azura came equipped with a group of
single-occupancy cabins. (Single-occupancy cabins were
subsequently retrofitted on to Ventura).
All of the Super Grands have traditional propeller
shafts which are driven by diesel-electric power plants.
As indicated by their somewhat ungainly lines, these ships
were not designed for speed. However, they are
Above: Caribbean Princess.
Above: Crown Princess.
Above: Emerald Princess.
Below: Ruby Princess,
Above: Crown Princess
Right: Emerald Princess.
Above: Caribbean Princess.
Right: Ruby Princess,