We jump onboard the largest and most luxurious ocean liner to ever hit our shores.
Star Princess was built in Italy and launched in 2002. She left Los Angeles on November 1, 2003, on her history-making voyage to Australia.
The ship is the seventh-largest currently cruising. It towers 18 storeys high, is more than a quarter of a kilometre long and is twice the size of the Titanic. It is also bigger than the world's largest aircraft carrier, the 100,000-ton USS Nimitz, and one of its six engines weighs around the equivalent of 57 African elephants.
The Star Princess has many standout features, including a fully-fledged wedding chapel. Renewal-of-vows ceremonies are popular and a webcam allows friends and relatives to watch live from home!
There are nine places to dine, including three large restaurants, 24-hour bistro, Western and Italian-themed restaurants and a poolside pizzeria and barbecue grill. One hundred and fifty galley staff work day and night to prepare more than 45,000 courses a day for passengers and crew.
The ship's five pools include a whale-shaped pool for children, a swim-against-the-current pool and another with a retractable dome. There are nine jacuzzis/whirlpool spas. The gymnasium is state of the art, with ocean views, a health spa and jogging track, as well as a nine-hole putting green and computerised golf course.
The 12 bars and three show lounges have the latest in sound and lighting equipment. That's before you venture to the glass-walled disco suspended 15 storeys above the sea, accessed by a moving skywalk and resembling a sports car rear-spoiler. There is an Internet café and a library, a dedicated art gallery, in-house movies, CNN news, sports and documentaries on televisions in all cabins. Of course, it wouldn't be a luxury cruise ship without a casino and Star Princess's is enormous.
When you are ready to go to your cabin, it will be one of 1300. Three quarters offer harbour views, 710 cabins have private balconies, which is 80 percent of all outside cabins. Many balconies overhang the hull and several face the wake of the ship.
There is an entire deck of suites, with the largest featuring indoor/outdoor hot tub, lounge with fireplace, bar and three televisions.
All at sea …
Ph: 13 24 69www.pocruises.com.au
Visits to Australian ports:
Sydney: November 26 and December 20, 2003
January 17 and February 14, 2004
Melbourne: November 28, December 18 and 22, 2003
January 15 and 19, February 12, 2004
Adelaide: December 24, 2003
January 13 and 21, February 10, 2004
Hobart: November 30, December 16 and 26, 2003
January 11 and 23 and February 8, 2004
Whitsundays: February 17, 2004
Cairns: February 18, 2004
Darwin: February 21, 2004
Qantas: 13 13 13