Cruises

Relaxed Cruising With Delicious Dining and Super Service – My Sky Princess Review

Sarah with Sky Princess

A host of dining options, drinks on demand, and super service – my Sky Princess review has all you need to know about this stylish cruise ship.

Cruise ship press launches offer a great insight into facilities on board, but to be able to cruise the Mediterranean for a week and enjoy the full Princess Cruises experience, made this trip all the more special. I was delighted to be able to see what the true atmosphere was like for my Sky Princess review, what age was the typical clientele, and the all important question – were there enough sun beds at the pool on sea days?

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

Fortunately the answer to that question was yes! And as for the age profile, it was younger than I expected. There was a wide mix of couples, families, and friends on board, and the atmosphere was happy, relaxed and informal. There were no noisy pool games, but it wasn’t too refined either – just the way I like it!
 

 

 
Sky Princess’ interior is stylish too, with a nice mix of classic and contemporary decor. The elegant Piazza is the hub of the ship and is surrounded by shops, bars and speciality dining restaurants.

Piazza on Sky Princess

On the main pool deck you will find two 60-foot long glass walkways, cantilevered 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship, known as the SeaWalk, although short, they are quite dramatic.

SeaWalk on Sky Princess

Sky Princess was built in 2019 and is one of Princess Cruises’ newer cruise ships. It is 330 metres long – around the same height as the Eiffel Tower, and can accommodate 3,660 guests. This may sound massive, but it is remarkably easy to navigate. To put it into perspective, the world’s largest cruise ship can hold almost 7,000 passengers.

Sky Princess at Sea

Although perhaps not a house-hold name in Ireland, you may be surprised to learn that Princess Cruises has 15 cruise ships, cruising to 330 destinations across all continents – including Antarctica! It is considered one of the World’s Leading International Premium Cruise Lines, and is continuously recognised as the Best Cruise Line for Itineraries.

Cinque Terre from the sea

My friend Ita and I joined a 14-night cruise from Southampton, and visited Barcelona, Cinque Terre, Marseille, Rome, Sardinia and Cadiz – I think that itinerary speaks for itself! But before I digress about the stunning destinations I visited, let’s talk about some of my stand out experiences for this Sky Princess review.
 

 

 

Complimentary Dining on Sky Princess

Buffets are good on most cruise ships and Sky Princess certainly delivered on that front. I liked that there was no lengthy queues at the omelette station –  you gave your order and your omelette was delivered to your table.
 

 

 
There was a huge gluten free and vegan section, and a separate aisle for children with character waffles and pancakes. You can see more videos and information on my Sky Princess highlights on Instagram.

Buffet lunch on Sky Princess

The carvery options at lunch were superb, including delicious roast beef, chicken and pork, but my favourite aisle was packed with oriental favourites from Korea, India and China. There is also a dedicated Pastry Shop beside the buffet offering all sorts of delicious treats, most of which are complimentary.
 

 

 
However, as good as the buffet was, it was the choice and quality of the complimentary dining options overall that impressed me the most.

As well as three main dining rooms, you can choose to dine in Alfredo’s Italian Restaurant, which claims the accolade of having the ‘Best Pizza at Sea’ – from my experience I can see why! The pizzas were light, full of flavour and you could design your own, something I always love to do – I’m the type of person that doesn’t scrimp on toppings.

Alfredo's Pizza on Sky Princess

Alfredo’s was so good, we went there twice. Located close to the Piazza, it has a great atmosphere, and also boasts outdoor tables for al fresco dining.
 

 

 
If you prefer to just grab a slice of pizza, there is a fast food option on the pool deck – Slice. There are also tasty options from the Salty Dog American. I expected this to be a stop gap for those who didn’t want to abandon their poolside loungers, but instead we found tasty chicken sandwiches, homemade burgers, and loaded fries.

There is an ice cream scoop parlour at the pool deck too so you can enjoy dessert without leaving your sun lounger as well!

Sky Princess ice cream by the pool

The main dining rooms are where most people tend to dine, and luckily there are three different restaurants to choose from – all offering the same menu. We enjoyed starters of goats cheese salad and a warm mushroom tart, and steak fajitas and guinea fowl for mains. The menus were extremely varied with something to suit all tastes, and the food was of a high quality.

Main Dining on Sky Princess

There is also a 24 hour International Café situated in the Piazza, this has complimentary snacks as well as specialty coffees, which are included in the Princess Plus package – more on that later.
 

 

 

Speciality Dining on Sky Princess

The speciality dining options are superb. The French Restaurant, Bistro Sur La Mer was outstanding. It boasts a super location overlooking the Piazza, and the food is exceptional. It was created in partnership with Chef Emmanuel Renaut, who is one of France’s best known chefs – his Flocons de Sel restaurant in France has three Michelin stars.

lobster bisque at Bistro sur la Mer, Sky Princess
Lobster bisque starter at Bistro sur la Mer

The made -to-order lobster bisque starter was served with a pastry crust and it was sublime! We enjoyed fillet steak and breast of duck for main and I could argue that the filet mignon here was even better than the steak in Crown Grill. Supplement $29 per person.
 

 

 
Princess Cruises’ Crown Grill is one of their flagship restaurants and was named one of the ‘Best Cruise Ship Steakhouses’. We dined here on our first night and loved it. The surf and turf came with half a lobster and copious amounts of sides and sauces. In fact there was probably too much food, although we did our best to try everything! Supplement $29 per person for all courses.

Steak at Crown Grill, Sky Princess
Fillet steak at Crown Grill

We enjoyed another great meal at Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria. The burrata and calamari starters were delicious. The handmade pasta dishes were curated by celebrity chef Angelo Auriana, and the stand out for me was the beef pappardelle. However, the fish parcel lacked any flavour – this was the only dish throughout our cruise that was disappointing.

Burrata at Sabatini's Restaurant
Burrata at Sabatini’s Restaurant

As well as delicious pasta, I would go back to Sabatini’s for their signature dessert – a giant sized Ferrero Rocher like dessert designed by a master chocolatier Norman Love. Supplement $25 per person for five courses.

Famous chocolate dessert at Sabatini's Restaurant

We also enjoyed the Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar. Overlooking the Piazza, this has a lovely casual vibe. There was live music playing throughout our meal. You can order light bites or a more substantial meal. 

Seafood bar on Sky Princess

We opted for the latter, and received delicious plates of sushi and sashimi, along with some torched sushi, and the bill was only $55 for two. You can choose a variety of desserts here or opt for some gelato from the authentic Gelateria nearby.

Food and Wine Magazine voted Princess Cruises the best cruise line for food lovers, and I can understand why.
 

 

 

Princess Cruises Princess Plus and Premier packages  

If you avail of the Princess Plus package you can enjoy unlimited soft drinks and specialty coffees, as well as 15 alcoholic drinks, wines and cocktails up to a $12 value, for just €46 per person per day. Gratuities and WiFi are also included.
 

 

 
This is exceptional value and the package we had throughout our cruise. I loved that if you fancied a glass of champagne for $15, you only had to pay the $3 difference. See more here.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

However, if you prefer champagne to Prosecco, or top shelf spirits and reserve wines, there is a premier drinks package you can choose, which offers drinks up to $18 in value. Price is $70 per person per day, see more here.

cocktails on Sky Princess

Entertainment on Sky Princess

When you have finished wining and dining, you can enjoy some live music at the Piazza, or pop into the Vista Lounge which has a variety of live acts including musicians, comedians and magicians.

After midnight it transforms into a nightclub, with a DJ playing tunes until  2am. It wasn’t exactly raving when we were there, but is a nice place to chill out nonetheless.
 

 

 
The place that was full of action every night was the Princess Live Lounge. Quizzes and interactive games as well as the nightly Karaoke were a big hit, and always attracted a huge crowd. The Princess Live Lounge was the liveliest part of the ship during our cruise. Take 5 Lounge Sky Princess

For a more laid back atmosphere, you can enjoy live music in the Piazza, champagne cocktails at Bellini’s Bar, premium wines at Vines – voted one of the Best Wine Bars at Sea, or Jazz in the Take Five lounge. Regardless of which option you choose,  make time to visit the Princess Theatre.

5-Skies in Sky Princess theatre

There are nightly shows here, some featuring comedians and magicians, but the unique theatre productions are the real show stoppers. Created exclusively for Princess Cruises, 5-Skies was superb.

We watched in awe as the character ‘Gamer 1’ had to complete 5 levels in order to save a princess. It was packed with special effects, amazing costumes, singing, dancing – you name it.
 

 

 
I remember thinking how much my children would have loved this show, but even older clientele could not help but be wowed by the production level, the cheers from the crowd at the end were testament to that. 

Of course no cruise ship experience would be complete without a visit to the casino – Roulette is my guilty pleasure!
 

 

 

Pools on Sky Princess

Pool deck on Sky Princess

The main pool deck has two large swimming pools surrounded by a selection of hot tubs /  jacuzzis. There are also two adults-only pools.Wakevie pool Sky Princess

A small infinity-style Wakeview pool is located at the back of the ship, which is perfect for sundowners, and there is a larger Retreat Pool near the Sanctuary.  
 

 

 

The Sanctuary on Sky Princess

The Sanctuary, Sky Princess

The Sanctuary is a premium adult-only area with luxury loungers and cabanas. I love that anyone can access this – I have seen similar premium areas on other cruise ships, but they are usually for suite-class guests.

For a mere $20 for a half-day or $40 for full day, this is a great way to avoid crowded pool decks on sea days. 

The Travel Expert in the Sanctuary on Sky Princess

The afternoon session 1pm-6pm is probably the better option as you can enjoy the complimentary Afternoon Tea. We loved the Bento Boxes which were served beside our sun loungers, as well as the tasty pastries and sandwiches in the Afternoon Tea.

Afternoon tea at The Sanctuary, Sky Princess

The Serenity Stewards were very attentive, popping by ever so often offering cold face cloths to cool us down, as well as our favourite tipple. Lunch and Afternoon tea are included in the cost to access The Sanctuary.
 

 

 

The Spa on Sky Princess

The Sanctuary is just one of the adult-only oases on board, the Lotus Spa is another. The Enclave boasts a thermal suite with hydrotherapy pool, and built in rain shower, air jets, as well as a hammam, steam room and sauna. 

The Enclave, Sky Princess

There are numerous spa treatments available including massage, facials, teeth whitening, acupuncture and beauty treatments.

I enjoyed a combination package of an Exotic Hand Ritual Manicure and Sole Delight pedicure. This lasted 105 minutes in total and cost just €99. Throughout the pedicure I sat in a fabulous massage chair, so I felt I had a back massage too!

The Enclave, Sky Princess

Ita had an Elemis Biotec facial, €199, and she was equally as impressed. Top Tip: Discounts apply for multiple treatments and watch out for special offers on port days.
 

 

 

Cabins on Sky Princess

80% of the cabins on Sky Princess have balconies, and we were fortunate to have one too. The cabins were spacious with plenty of storage space, and there was no shortage of hangers! I also appreciated the complimentary adapter and how the bedside lamps came with USB ports. 

Balcony cabin on Sky Princess

The beds were extremely comfortable, and it was only when I returned that I learned why. You can actually purchase the Princess Luxury Bed – they are that good! It was also voted the Best Bed at Sea by Cruise Critic – the cruise industry’s TripAdvisor.
 

 

 

Children’s facilities on Sky Princess

Sky Princess may not have massive water parks or climbing walls, but it does offer great activities for children through Camp Discovery kids clubs.
 

 

 
Camp Discovery is divided into three groups 3 – 7yrs, 8 – 12yrs and 13 – 17years. Each group has its own room with activities scheduled throughout the day. Children can stay on board during port days, allowing parents the chance to explore a new city without kids in tow.  

Kids club Sky Princess

The Treehouse for 3-7 year olds is spacious and bright, and has a jungle gym as well as an outdoor play area. The Lodge for 8-12 year olds is similar but also has video games, foosball and air hockey. Group babysitting is available for 3 – 12 year olds from 10pm – 1 am at a cost of $5 per child.
 

 

 
The Beach House is the teens hang out and has lots of comfy couches, as well as video games, air hockey etc.

Additional activities are laid on during sea days and evening activities during port days. These include Foosball tournaments, FIFA 19 Tournaments, scavenger hunts, Just Dance and a Rock the Boat Party.
 

 

 
Through Princess Cruises’ partnership with Discovery and Animal Planet, there is a  ‘Shark Week’ on all Princess Cruise ships. Inspired by Discovery’s popular Shark Week, there are special onboard experiences for adults and kids, including games, crafts, trivia and more.

Shark week on Princess Cruises
Shark week on Princess Cruises

There is also an outdoor sports court that can be used for basketball, football and tennis, as well as a tiny mini-golf course on board for younger children.

Sports court on Sky Princess

A Family Fun Fair takes place once during every cruise, where the Piazza turns into a carnival themed party with entertainers and magicians. There is also a weekly disco for younger children as well as a separate one for teens. 
 

 

 
Something that all the family can enjoy together is the massive movie screen at the pool deck, where movies and big sporting events are shown. At night time blockbusters are shown as part of Sky Princess Movies Under the Stars®. Complimentary popcorn, cookies and milk are provided, as well as cosy blankets if necessary.

Movies under the Stars, Sky Princess )
 The gym on board is also impressive. There are free body conditioning classes as well as fee paying classes such as HIIT and yoga. A jogging / walking track is also available on the top deck.
 

 

 

Shore Excursions with Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises are renowned for their award-winning cruise excursions. They have teamed up with Discovery and Animal Planet who have recommended excursions, but there was one shore excursion that particularly caught my eye!

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

The Cinque Terre was on my bucket list for years, and when I saw that it was possible to visit while we docked in Livorno, I jumped at the chance.
 

 

 
We had an early 7am start and travelled by coach to the first cliff-side village of Manarola. This colourful town was just as beautiful as I expected. We rambled around for a short while before catching the ferry to neighbouring Vernazza and Monterossa, which were even more stunning. 

Vernazza, Cinque Terre

We had lots of free time to explore and enjoy the local cuisine and I loved how we managed to see the Cinque Terre from both land and sea.

We caught the train back from Monterosso to our coach, and arrived back to Sky Princess at 530pm. It was a superbly organised trip and gave me the longing to return – this is exactly what a good shore excursion should do.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

It is also possible to explore cities or regions on your own. When we docked in Marseille we picked up a local guide when we got off the bus. We enjoyed a 2.5 hour walking and driving tour for just €30 per person.

Marseille

Marseille, France’s oldest city, was a pleasant surprise, we loved the old town of Le Panier and Marseille’s massive port. This is another city I would like to return to.
 

 

 
Alghero in Sardinia was another fabulous stop. We anchored off shore and took a tender boat to the harbour. We spent hours wandering around its beautiful old town, which is located just minutes from the harbour.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Sarah Slattery – Travel Expert (@the_travel_expert)

When we docked near Rome, we decided not to take the 50 minute train journey from Civitavecchia to The Eternal City – we enjoyed a quick stroll around the town instead. This allowed us to enjoy a quiet afternoon at the pool, where we had our pick of sun loungers and took advantage of Princess Cruises’ innovative Ocean Medallion technology.
 

 

 

The Ocean Medallion

I was aware of Princess Cruises’ Ocean Medallion, but if truth be told I thought it was a bit of a gimmick… It wasn’t until I used this small casino chip like medallion that I realised how good it really is. 

Ocean Medallion, Princess Cruises

We were given ours when we boarded and as soon as we approached our cabin, the door opened automatically – there was no need for key cards. You can wear it around you neck in a lanyard, or around your wrist like a watch, so you are unlikely to loose them.
 

 

 
The Ocean Medallion allows for speedy embarkation as you simply tap the Ocean Medallion when getting on and off the ship. The Ocean Medallion can also help you find your partner or children, via the app, or wall portals located around the ship. 
 

 

 
One of my favourite benefits is being able to order drinks via the app to anywhere on the ship. While this may not seem necessary on the pool decks or bars – as waiters are always on hand to take your order, it is a game changer when you are in your cabin. 

balcony drinks using Ocean Medallion on Sky Princess

We arrived back from a long shore-excursion and fancied a pre-dinner drink on the balcony. It only took a minute to order drinks via the app – I timed it!

The fact that Princess Cruises claim to have the fastest WiFi at sea probably helped. I usually find WiFi generally poor at sea, but it was mostly good on Sky Princess, especially for sending messages and using the Ocean Medallion technology.
 

 

 
Our drinks were delivered 10 minutes later to our cabin. We also ordered late night snacks and breakfast and found the same super experience. Incidentally there was no charge for this service, as cocktails under $12 and gratuities are included in the Princess Plus package.

breakfast to your cabin on Sky Princess

This was typical of the super service we received throughout our Sky Princess cruise. From the cabin stewards, to the bar and restaurant staff, our every need was anticipated. The Ocean Medallion technology enables the crew members to know your name, which made the service seem all the more personal.

Sky Princess review

If you want waterparks, sky diving simulators, and party trains around the pool – look elsewhere. If you want top class dining, super service, and a relaxed atmosphere, with a little ground breaking technology thrown in, Sky Princess delivers. 

 

This Sky Princess review was sponsored by Princess Cruises but all views, as always, are my own.

 

Pin It on Pinterest