Sky Princess was launched in 2019, with 19 decks and capacity for 3,660 guests, it’s the largest ship in Princess Cruises’ fleet. Describing it as a “floating hotel” hardly does it justice, It’s more of a classy holiday resort.
The ship’s design is a blend of traditional layout and materials with modern technology. You won’t find waterslides or go-karts but you will find majestic marble and wood, and some of the most innovative tech found at sea.
The stunning centrepiece and essence of elegance is The Piazza – a multi-purpose three-storey atrium, featuring grand glittery gold staircases, bars, restaurants, cafes, shops, live music with dance floor. The beating heart of the ship that’s always buzzing with entertainment, such as the Captain’s Champagne Waterfall at the Captains Welcome Aboard Party. Sip on cocktails and bubbly as you have the chance to meet the captain and get your picture with him, or a picture of yourself pouring the champagne waterfall – that’s always a hit!
If you’re not afraid of heights, another nice touch is the SeaWalk, a long glass walkway that overhangs the ship so you can walk 130-ft above the waves below.
Forget about traditional plastic cruise cards, here you get what they call a Medallion – a smart coin that you wear as a fashion accessory on your wrist or as a necklace. It’s always connected to the ship’s WiFi wherever you go, therefore it can automatically unlock your cabin door as you’re approaching, and lock it after you’ve left. You can even use the app to track and locate your friends around the ship, and if you’ve ordered a drink via the app the bar staff can find you, even if you wander around.
This may all sound a bit creepy and it does surprise you at times, like if you’ve made a request to reserve a restaurant or book a photography session, staff will appear out of nowhere. You can also use the medallion to pay for things – when you order a drink or purchase something in the shops the staff can see your name and photo on their tablet so they can confirm your identity and charge you without needing to give any further details or sign anything.
The medallion is waterproof, heat and sand resistant, and doesn’t contain your personal information so a replacement can be provided if it gets lost. When you’re first given the medallion it’s on a complimentary lanyard but you can purchase one of many accessories in the Princess shop onboard, they even have gold metal bracelets and necklaces. The medallion has very similar dimensions to an Apple Airtag so if you have an accessory already for one of those you can also use it for the Medallion – it fits, we tested it.
Families are welcome and there are plenty of family things to do but the ship is definitely more orientated towards adults only, with big pools, tons of deck space and the largest gym we’ve ever seen on a cruise ship – instead of water slides and other outdoor activities taking up space.
The Lido and Sun decks contain two large and very deep pools midship, Wake View infinity pool at the aft and adults-only Retreat Pool – all of which with bars, hot tubs and sun decks nearby. The pools are not only heated but never seen to close, so you can go for a late-night dip which is lovely as most cruise ship pools close at early evening. Towel stations that are stocked all night too.
There is also a big screen by the centre pools that turns into an outdoor cinema when the sun goes down. Staff add comfy padding to sun loungers and leave blankets for people to cosy up if it gets a bit chilly – or watch while having a swim! And the selection of films shown were excellent, all recent and highly rated.
Sky high shows
Princess Cruises host original, never-before-seen production shows designed specifically for the Princess’ fleet. On Sky Princess we saw Spotlight Bar, Rock Opera and 5-Skies, all three were really impressive Broadway-quality shows, especially 5-Skies which blew us away – we saw it three times during our cruise!
The audience is transported into a virtual reality gaming world through a series of digital effects, acrobatics, elaborate sets, unique costumes and contemporary music from Lady Gaga to Imagine Dragons. It’s definitely an upgrade to the usual shows we saw on other ships in terms of the quality of the production and performance, like using a transparent curtain as a second screen to form a parallax effect.
Dine like a princess
This was our first time on a Princess Cruise, so we did some research in advance on the food and general consensus across social media was that it’s excellent. We’re happy to report that they’re right, it’s some of the best food we’ve had on a cruise.
The World Fresh Marketplace is the usual buffet – apart from breakfast every day it’s different and serves a variety of food from around the world. We loved the breakfast, especially the made-to-order omelettes that were delicious and used a ticketing system where they give you a time and you return to collect, or give your ticket to a staff member who’ll collect it for you, as opposed to waiting in a long queue. Our only criticism was that it got very busy at times and perhaps the buffet would benefit from a one-way system so people aren’t walking into each other.
For dinner most days we ate in one of the three complimentary dining rooms. Like the buffet, the menu would rotate daily but we found there were overall more options than usual for dinner. We always tried the most unusual dishes we could find, like Pina Colada and Mojito Soups, which were amazing.
Other food options around the ship included the Salty Dog Grill for hot dogs, tacos and burgers; Slice for pizza (recommend the four cheese); Swirls for ice cream and the 24-hour International Café, stocked with a variety of cakes, pastries and hot drinks.
If you wish to take things up a notch, there are many speciality dining options. We tried The Catch by Rudi, a seafood restaurant created by award-winning chef Rudi Sodamin. Priced at just $39 per person (plus 18% gratuities), this place will appeal to both seafood aficionados and guests who simply prefer some great surf and turf and unparalleled desserts.
The Love Boat
Princess Cruise ships, namely Pacific Princess, were featured in the TV series The Love Boat, one of the most popular American sitcoms in the 70s. The horn on Princess Ships pays homage to the show by playing the first two lines of The Love Boat theme tune, which is quite an experience as we’ve previously only been on ships with the standard generic horn. It makes you feel special when departing a busy terminal full of other ships and the horn plays.
Every episode of the show is available on the stateroom TV to watch for free. We have to warn you that the romantic and comic tales of the passengers and crew of the cruise ship are almost as addictive as carrot cakes at the main dining.
About our cruise
We had two 7 day back-to-back cruises around East and West Caribbean departing from Fort Lauderdale with Belize city (Belize), Roatan (Honduras), two stops in Mexico (Costa Maya and Cozumel), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Amber Cove (Dominican Republic). Two stops – Princess Cays (Bahamas) and Grand Turk (Turks and Caicos Islands) were sadly cancelled due to high winds.
To give you a deeper understanding of the destinations, specific ports and sightseeing’s and other practical information ahead of your next stop each Princess ship arranges live presentations from local experts. For the passengers’ convenience all presentations are pre-recorded so you can watch them from your stateroom whenever you want. We found some tips from the destination expert very useful.
Cruising is definitely a great way to tick off places on your bucket list in a relatively short space of time although it’s definitely worth checking the weather seasons for the destinations. We did this and still got stung by cloud/rainy weather, which was very unusual but that’s the risk you take. Despite this, we had an excellent cruise and will absolutely be back on Princess Cruises again in future.
More details about Sky Princess and Princess Cruises can be found here.
Image credits: © Princess Cruises