Grand-class cruise ship
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2008)|
Grand Princess, the first ship in the class.
|Builders:||Fincantieri in Monfalcone
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki
|Preceded by:||Sun class|
|Succeeded by:||Royal class (2013–2015)|
|Length:||951 ft (289.86 m)|
|Beam:||118 ft (35.97 m)|
|Draught:||26 ft (7.92 m)|
|Decks:||Grand and Gem class: 17 total, 13 passenger
Caribbean class: 18 total, 14 passenger
Crown class: 19 total, 15 passenger
Ventura class: 19 total, 14 passenger
The Grand class is a class of cruise ships. Ships in the class are operated by the cruise lines Princess Cruises or P&O Cruises. The class consists of several series (subclasses) of sister ships, most of which were built by Fincantieri in Monfalcone and Trieste, northern Italy. The first vessel of the original Grand class, the Grand Princess, entered service in 1998.
Ships of the later subclasses are based on the Grand class, but have modifications such as additional decks and varied placement of major amenities such as the nightclub and restaurants. The 'Skywalkers' nightclub is a signature element of Princess Cruises' ships in the Grand class and derived classes. The nightclub either overhangs the stern of the ship (Grand and Caribbean classes) or is located just aft of the funnel (Gem and Crown classes).
The Gem class of ships is based primarily on the Grand class, but modifies the placement of the Skywalkers nightclub to be just aft of the funnel and also modifies the number of restaurants. The two Gem class ships were built by Mitsubishi in Nagasaki, Japan in 2004.
The Caribbean class is the third version of the design and has one additional deck. As in the original Grand class design, the Skywalkers nightclub is suspended on the stern. Caribbean class vessels also pioneered in the introduction of 'Movies Under the Stars', a cruise ship poolside theater, which was later added to other Princess ships.
The Crown class is the fourth Princess Cruises version of the Grand class. Crown class ships have returned the placement of the nightclub adjacent to the funnel. Crown class ships also feature 'Movies Under the Stars' like the Caribbean class.
The Ventura class has 19 decks like the Crown class. These ships all owned and operated by P&O Cruises and are marketed as Grand class, although they were given the Ventura class designation because they are not owned by Princess and are totally modified internally and externally. The first ship, MS Ventura, features the 'Cirque Ventura', the world's first circus school at sea. The second Ventura class ship is MS Azura, launched in March 2010. Azura has a modified stern and features amenities designed for the general public as compared to Ventura, which is more family oriented.
This class, for a short time boasting the largest cruise ships in the world, pioneered the design that has been carried through each modified class.
On board the Gem class ships, there are two major design changes. Instead of the three main dining rooms found on all of the other Grand class ships, which consist of two open-seating (Anytime) restaurants and one traditional restaurant, the Anytime restaurants were split up into four smaller, more intimate venues, each offering their own unique atmosphere and food. These four restaurants are Vivaldi, Savoy, Santa Fe, and Pacific Moon. Each ship also has a dining room called the International Dining Room. The International Dining Room offers traditional set dining, where passengers are given a set time and table. The second design difference on these ships is the relocation of Skywalkers nightclub to directly aft of the funnel, rather than suspended over the stern. These ships also offer the Wake View Bar, an intimate lounge which can be accessed from Club Fusion.
The two Gem class ships, Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess, are the only two ships based on the Grand class to be built at Mitsubishi's Nagasaki Yard.
- Caribbean Princess (2004)
The design for the Caribbean Princess derives directly from the original Grand class ships, with none of the Gem class innovations being used. The Caribbean Princess uses the original Grand class design, but with an additional deck. This additional deck ('Riviera') increases the ship's passenger capacity from 2,600 to 3,100. Caribbean Princess has also added 'Cafe Caribe', a buffet-style restaurant aft of Horizon Court which offers Caribbean themed food, in a slightly more upscale environment.
The Caribbean Princess also pioneered 'Movies Under the Stars'. The three ships in the Crown class, the Crown Princess, Emerald Princess, and Ruby Princess were later built with this feature also included. 'Movies Under the Stars' has since been added to the all of the ships in the class.
These ships, which build on the Caribbean Princess' design, also differ slightly. These ships have one more passenger deck than the original Grand class as well as the 'Movies Under the Stars' and Cafe Caribe. The Skywalkers nightclub is aft of the funnel. In this area, Adagio, an intimate lounge, has also been added. Other additions include an updated Piazza-style atrium which now includes Vines (a wine and seafood bar) and the International Cafe (a 24 hour venue offering gelato and baked goods). The Crown Grill replaces the Sterling Steakhouse found on other Princess vessels and "Sabatini's", the Italian for fee restaurant, is relocated towards the stern of the vessel, adjacent to Adagio. Desserts from Sabatini's are also available in Adagio. These ships also include the Chef's Table, an in-kitchen pre-dining experience and VIP dining experience (in the main dining room) which has now gone fleet-wide. Finally, the Crown ships also have The Sanctuary, a for-fee, adults-only area above the spa, where the Sports Courts are located on earlier ships.
Vines, The International Cafe, The Sanctuary, The Crown Grill, and The Piazza will be added to other Princess ships in the next few years.
Ships in the Ventura class are based on the Crown class design. The ships in this class are owned and operated by P&O Cruises. The ship Ventura includes many new features such as 'Cirque School', a circus style acrobatic gymnastics training/demonstration facility. Azura has a modified stern.