DW and I just returned from our Western Caribbean cruise on the Sky Princess. We also did the preceding Eastern Caribbean itinerary to make this our first B2B cruising experience. This was our 21st overall cruise and 14th in a row on Princess. Prior to this cruise we had active and informative roll call threads. It is my belief that roll calls are a great way to plan and prepare for your cruise and to get to know everyone else sailing with you.
For our pre-cruise activities, we stayed at the Hotel Lago Mar in Ft. Lauderdale for two nights. The hotel was quite nice and I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone. For our two day stay, we mainly hung out and just relaxed. I did have a mishap during the stay wherein I tripped over a large boulder and banged up my right leg.
On embarkation day, I hired a private car to take us on our short drive to the cruise terminal. We arrived at the terminal and made our way onboard very quickly. The Medallion is now used for check in (this was a Medallion class voyage). It was extremely efficient as we were actually onboard the Sky less than 30 minutes after arriving at the terminal. Getting off and on the ship on turnaround day was also a breeze.
For both voyages we had Penthouse (PH) suites on the Riviera deck. For the first leg we had R615 and for the second we had R607. The cabins were only three apart from each other so moving on turnaround day was a breeze. For both voyages our cabin steward was Allen from the Philippines. Allen was great and always kept our cabins clean. He always had a smile on his face and did everything he could to ensure we did not go wanting for anything. The location of the cabins were ideal for us as they were close to the aft elevators as well as having a self service laundry and Concierge Lounge right outside our cabin. There was never any noise issues associated with passengers entering/exiting either venue.
Now for the Sky Princess. Overall it is a very beautiful ship. A plus is that it is brand new. One thing I noticed and appreciated was the updated decor in the cabins and some public areas. I really like the way Princess Live and the Vista lounge were redesigned. The Piazza was once again an impressive place to spend some time. I spent a decent amount of time walking around taking a lot of pictures of this big beautiful ship.
As far as service goes, it was excellent. Every crew member I had an intersection with, except an aloof head waiter in the World Fresh Market Place, always had a smile on their face and did everything they could to get my questions answered and any situation resolved.
For nightly dining, I found the quality of the food to be overall good to very good (with an exception listed below); nothing was really great. We dined mostly with other CC friends in anytime dining. We got a beeper each night, but never waited more that thirty minutes to be called. We did try Club Class one time. Service was great. For a couple of meals in the MDR (ATD), I tried a couple of Crown Grill Select items. The first was a ribeye that was pretty bad. The second offering was surf and turf combination (Filet & Lobster). The filet was barely good and the lobster was laughable. It was basically the size of a large shrimp. Lastly we did eat at Sabatini's one night. The service was great but the food was not as good as I remembered it on the Star (2018 with the new menu). We did enjoy Sabatini's for breakfast a number of the times and found both the service and food to be very good. We also ate several times at Alfredo's. This venue continues to be a great free dining experience.
As far as the World Fresh Market Place goes, I was very disappointed with pretty much everything. The layout was sometimes confusing. The overall quality of the food was bad. I have a big thing about hot food being hot and hot dishes in the WFMP were slightly warm at best. The selections were very repetitive as I saw the same items pretty much everyday. I know food is a very subjective issue but these were my personal observations.
I cannot comment on the production shows as we did not attend them. I did hear comments on both sides of the fences from other passengers. I did watch several entertainers in the Piazza. I found one who was a "Steel Pan" musician to be very good.
We did not do many excursions on the two cruises due to my banged up leg. For Princess Cays, I just got off the ship and walked around taking pictures. We did do a ship sponsored sunset sail excursion in St. Thomas. For St. Maarten, I just got off the ship and walked around a bit taking more pictures. I did the same in Grand Cayman, and Roatan. In Belize we both got off the ship and walked around a bit. Did the same also in Cozumel.
In closing, I'd have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. Next up, hopefully is a 14 day R/T to Alaska from Los Angeles (San Pedro) in May on the Golden. Princess, at least for us, continues to provide a great experience for a competitive price. Sure there are some hiccups every now and then but overall it remains our line of choice for the foreseeable future.
Great cabin with nicely update decor.
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