Cruises have long been a popular choice for those wishing to see the world in style; however, Princess Cruises has really pushed the boundaries with their newest ship. Using the latest in technology to create an incredible, seamless cruising experience, as well as all the classic Princess Cruises features, cruising onboard the jaw-dropping Sky Princess is a total delight.
The Sky Princess is the fourth Royal Class ship, which promise to raise the bar to stratospheric heights. I was lucky enough to board the Sky Princess for one of her first voyages and get a sneak peek at all the incredible amenities and features. There is no doubt – if you are looking for a genuinely exceptional cruising experience, you will love the Sky Princess.
Our unique “preview cruise” saw us take in the beauty of the European coast over four amazing nights exploring Trieste, Kotor and Athens. Along with other bloggers and journalists, I was given an exclusive tour of the new ship in all her glory. And let me tell you; she is really glorious.
Getting to the cruise
To get on board the Sky Princess, we first flew to Venice and then drove onto the Trieste Port. As we approached the port, I got my first view of the ship. Despite her enormous size, she looked elegant and graceful – altogether, the Sky Princess is a majestic looking vessel.
We filled out all our personal details in the Cruise Personaliser and then we downloaded the MedallionClass app – the first of the unique Sky Princess features. In a taste of what was to come, the app helped us to become OceanReady, and we could see all of our activities listed. I was immediately impressed and looked forward to finding out more about the app.
After passing through port security, we headed to the cruise check-in counter. It was here that we received our complimentary OceanMedallion™, one of the most exciting features of the Sky Princess. It may only be the size of a coin (and can be worn as a bracelet, pendant or clipped on) but it is very compelling – unlocking a carefree and personalised cruise experience.
While this is available on several Princess Cruises, the Sky Princess is the first to come out of the shipyard totally optimised for the MedallionClass experience.
My room was located on the 15th floor, on the Marina deck. As I approached my room, I could see a screen displaying my photo, so I knew I was in the right place. The door opened automatically. Aboard the Sky Princess, there’s no need for a room key – the door unlocks and opens as you approach with your OceanMedallion™. This makes things so easy, as you don’t need to worry about misplacing your room key, and it’s so genius if you’re carrying bags or drinks.
After so many years at the forefront of cruising, it is incredible how committed to innovation Princess Cruises is. Not content just to rest on their reputation; they are constantly looking at ways to create an even more mindblowing cruise experience.
The Sky Princess is the fourth Royal Class Ship, with Enchanted Princess and Discovery Princess launching over the next two years. These ships will be the jewels in Princess’ crown, offering up a cruising experience with unparalleled luxury, style and plenty of fun as well.
From the moment we boarded the ship, it was clear that every effort had been made to create the ultimate in luxury experiences. Absolutely no corners were cut here, and it was magnificent just to take in all the detail and craftsmanship on board.
One of the most impressive things about the new Sky Princess is how well it utilises Princess Cruise’s OceanMedallion technology. The whole ship has been designed around this, and it integrates seamlessly into the cruise experience.
Once you have your small, coin-sized medallion, the amazing cruise experience is unlocked. Keyless entry to your room is just a drop in the ocean, with so many wonderful features. For example, through OceanNow you can order food, drinks and even gifts – which will all be swiftly delivered to you, wherever you are. It can even keep track of little extra details, like your favourite cocktail. Pretty amazing, right?
Then there’s OceanCompass, which helps you keep track of those you are travelling with, and OceanConcierge which is filled with useful information about the ship.
It also unlocks MedallionNet, the best (and fastest) wi-fi at sea… no more worries about glitchy internet on board! You can even stream Netflix, with no annoying buffering or lagging.
Time spent relaxing poolside is a definite must on any cruise, and you’ll be spoiled for choice aboard the Sky Princess. The ship offers an impressive four pools, so I could try a different one every day!
The lido deck is a popular hangout spot and such a beautiful place to watch the waves and stretch out.
It’s near the lido deck you also find the incredible signature SeaWalk, where you feel like you are walking right over the ocean some 128 feet below.
The heart of the Sky Princess experience is the Piazza, a fantastic Italian-inspired area that is always vibrant and full of life. You’ll feel like you’ve wandered into an old European square, complete with ultra-talented buskers and a dazzling selection of dining and shopping options to choose from.
Feeling lucky? If so, you might want to head over for some fun at the Casino, where everyone from novices to high rollers are warmly welcomed. Casino classics like Blackjack and Texas Hold ‘Em Poker are on offer, with Vegas or American rules.
A cruise aboard the Sky Princess offers a great opportunity to shop up a storm, with gorgeous luxury brands like Chanel, Clinique and Tissot on board. There’s an incredible variety, and with tax- and duty-free prices, there are huge discounts from usual retail prices. What’s not to love?
A unique addition to the Sky Princess is the two jaw-dropping sky suites. Each of the penthouse suites can host up to five guests, who will all be dazzled by the magnificent 270-degree views, and 1,000 square foot balcony (the largest at sea). Then there are the opulent and elegant furnishings, making this the ultimate in luxurious cruise experiences.
I stayed in the Balcony stateroom, on the 15th floor Marina deck. Those who have been on cruises (or researched them) may know that cruise rooms can often be quite small. That’s why I was so delighted to open the doors to my room and see how light, airy and spacious it was.
I especially loved the amazing sea view balcony, as well as the modern contemporary décor. Another highlight was the amazingly comfortable mattress, which was scientifically engineered with help from a board-certified sleep expert. Every day I definitely woke up rested and ready for another amazing day onboard.
If you have any doubts about cruise ship dining, abandon them now! A cruise on board the Sky Princess is a gastronomic journey, with a fantastic variety of dining options on offer. With restaurants that wouldn’t be out of place in the most luxurious destinations like St Tropez or Courchevel, I was so excited to dive in and experience as much as I could.
For our first meal onboard the ship, we stopped by the 24-hour International Café. All-day and all night, chefs put together tasty and informal meals snacks like quiches, sandwiches and pies. At night, there are decadent desserts – while all day and night, you can enjoy a custom blend of coffee beans.
Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria
For dinner, we dined at Sabatini’s. Even onboard a luxury liner like the Sky Princess, you can still feel the love and care in each and every dish. The menu has been inspired by traditional family recipes from world-renowned chef Angelo Auriana, and the pasta was absolutely delicious.
Ocean Terrace Sushi Bar
On the second day, we had lunch at our leisure so a few of us decided to try out the a la carte menu at the Ocean Terrace Sushi Bar. What a delight it was! It was easily some of the best sushi I’ve ever eaten, with an absolutely incredible array of fresh seafood. We indulged in sumptuous oyster shooters, king crab, Balik salmon and, of course, mouth-watering sushi and sashimi.
After the delicious seafood lunch, I was keen to stay on the “from the sea” theme. So, when we paid a visit to the Crown Grill, I just had to try some more delicious seafood. It certainly didn’t disappoint, and I could see why it was named among the best cruise ship steakhouses by USA Today!
The World Fresh Marketplace
After our day of exploring beautiful Kotor in Montenegro, we had dinner at the World Fresh Marketplace. This was a buffet with an incredible global twist, having been inspired by cuisine from all over the world. I loved the variety and being able to sample so many different styles of food.
The Main Dining Room
On our second to last night, we were able to enjoy the menu which was carefully crafted by celebrity chef Curtis Stone. As well as putting together a menu inspired by fresh produce and vibrant flavours, he also put some personal reflections down about each meal. This really shows how well thought out absolutely every aspect of the Princess Cruises experience is, and I again enjoyed a delicious meal.
For lunch on our final day, I had a light and healthy lunch at the Sanctuary, the adults-only retreat on board the Sky Princess.
Bistro Sur La Mer
Our last meal at sea was certainly a show stopper, being at the French bistro, Bistro Sur La Mer. While the emphasis is on casual dining, the foodie credentials here are seriously impressive. The menu was created by Chef Emmanuel Renaut, who has obtained a tremendous three Michelin stars at his restaurant Flocons de Sol. The food certainly was spectacular, and worthy of all the praise it receives!
Regular readers will know how vital a luxurious spa treatment is to any holiday I take, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed on board the Sky Princess. The amazing Lotus Spa has been named the best cruise ship spa by Spafinder, and there is a fantastic selection of treatments available – from aroma stone therapy massages to teeth whitening. I opted for the 50-minute deep tissue massage, which was divine.
Another feature of the spa is the Enclave, Princess’ enormous thermal suite. This is the place to go if you wish to enjoy some relaxing and indulgent hydrotherapy. There’s heated stone beds, a hammam and a light steam chamber – and much more.
I also loved visiting the Sanctuary, which is the part of the ship reserved for adult guests – so perfect if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. We were lucky enough to enjoy a half-day in the Sanctuary, including a light lunch, and it was so relaxing and beautiful. For an even more relaxing experience, you can even rent a cabana and have food delivered there.
Before I went on my first ever cruise, I was a little worried that it might get boring on deck. Boy, was I wrong! That ship was filled with fun activities, but the Sky Princess has managed to raise the bar to stratospheric levels. Plus, it’s all carefully considered so that your days at sea are filled with fun events.
Onboard, you can enjoy the entertainment of a full-on live theatre performance. We saw the incredible Rock Opera, and I could have sworn I was at a West End show! The star is Brian Justin Crum, who was a finalist on America’s Got Talent – but everything from the backing dancers to the costume design was amazing.
Yet another of the amazing entertainment options is Princess Live! And Café. Here, you can enjoy a drink as well as a great selection of live acts. They change frequently, and it’s never the same thing twice – so you can see everything from music to comedy and more, with an emphasis on audience participation.
Just when I thought that the onboard entertainment couldn’t get any more unique and fabulous, I found out about Take 5 – the only jazz theatre at sea! Every night, a live trio of talented musicians perform amazing jazz numbers through the ages. There are also frequent special events, and an impressive cocktail list cooked up by Master Mixologist Rob Floyd. Amazing!
Movie Under the Stars
The Sky Princess makes for a pretty epic movie theatre, and I just loved the experience of catching a flick in the open-air. It’s open throughout the day and night and hosts many special events from screening the latest releases to live sports games. In case you get chilly, there are warm fleece blankets to cosy up under – and popcorn, of course! It’s undoubtedly a unique experience that you won’t want to miss.
Top Deck Parties
One of the amazing things about cruising is gliding through the ocean, the sea breeze in the air and sweeping views around you. There’s such a great atmosphere which is helped by the fact that everyone else is also enjoying a magical holiday. It’s, therefore, no surprise that Princess Cruises play host to some seriously incredible parties – and the Sky Princess was no exception! Enjoy drinks, dance up a storm and maybe make some friends with the always fabulous Top Deck Parties.
It was such a privilege to board the stunning Sky Princess for one of her first voyages. That she is a “Royal” Class ship is certainly fitting – every luxury is provided. From sumptuous food from the world’s top chefs to the unbelievably smart and award-winning OceanMedallion technology, my trip on the Sky Princess was truly incredible. You certainly feel like royalty onboard, and I’ll never forget cruising on the Sky Princess.
Disclaimer: This post has been created as a part of sponsored collaboration with Princess Cruises, but all opinions are 100% mine.