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Sailing: 2/1/20 If we could rate this at 2.5 stars, that would be best. We’re Platinum and if we cruise again it won’t be on Sky Princess, and perhaps not on Princess at all. BOARDING – It was chaotic, but quick. Due to coronavirus, we’d been advised that there would be medical screenings, but there weren’t besides asking if we had traveled in Asia. No checking for fevers. We brought wine, but nobody checked that. We had received an email giving the schedule of boarding times. Sun Deck was to board at 2:30. We arrived at 11:30 and got on with no problem in about 10-15 minutes. SHIP – The décor is too gaudy for us, but it was new and clean. Too much open-ness. Places like Alfredo’s, Princess Live, etc have no walls separating them from the main thoroughfare. It’s a big mish-mosh of people. GYM – Huge with beautiful new equipment and a large window wall. We walked through often, and never saw it being used at more than 25% capacity. THINGS THAT USED TO BE, BUT ARE NO MORE: Library: More retail space has eliminated the Library. Ship Chorus: We’ve enjoyed it on other ships, but didn’t see it on Sky. Small table and regular chair in balcony cabin: All gone. No Pub Lunch on sea days. STAFF – Our steward was as good as he could be considering that he was ridiculously over-worked, poor guy. Our TD waiters for dinner in Cielo were great. Servers of coffee and juice in the buffet for breakfast were good. Random staff throughout the ship seemed to be disengaged from passengers, and little camaraderie among each other. It would be nice if the Captain’s engaging personality could trickle down to all staff, but that didn’t happen. INTERNET CAFÉ - We had questions about settings for wi-fi calling, but the manager didn’t want to be bothered and blew us off. With Princess going high-tech, it’s critical that they employ a couple of Tier 2 I.T. cellular support staff on board. That would require more effort and knowledge than just warming up a chair. ANNOUNCEMENTS – You can’t hear announcements on balconies or in cabins. If you hear a “beep”, you must run to open the cabin door to hear an announcement. MEDICAL SERVICES - Hubby had to use it one day, and the attention and care were top notch! The exam was extremely thorough. We can’t say enough good about the professional service, and the visit laid to rest any questions we’d ever had about “what if” a health issue came up during a cruise. No worries. It wasn’t cheap, but it was fair. Our Medicare supplemental refunded most of the bill to us, and insurance through Princess is supposed to refund the remainder. ELEVATORS - As others have said, the elevator situation is terrible. There aren’t enough of them. It would be nice if some passengers wouldn’t push ahead of people who have been waiting for five or ten minutes already, but how can you teach adults about etiquette? INTERNET / MEDALLIONNET - We got the plan for four devices, but only used two (PC and a smart phone) since wi-fi calling wasn’t working well for us (Verizon). Internet itself was fast and stable. Even though it didn’t come through for us for wi-fi calling, which we were counting on, it still was worth it to be able to go online 24/7 to use WhatsApp. Suggest that before leaving home, have friends and family install this free app on their smart phones as it will provide an extra method of communicating via wi-fi. MEDALLIONCLASS - Attempting to load the Ocean apps was weird. Even though four of us began the process the same way, the following steps were different from each other. Some had to go to the Google Play Store and install separate apps; some didn’t. Some got the chat feature with ship mates, some didn’t. One never did load. There is a space on Deck 7 to support Medallion. We went there, but it’s basically a retail store to sell Medallion-related tchotchke. They must have removed the Library to replace it with yet another revenue-generating venue. There IS a problem with security. When Hubby left the gym he noticed that his Medallion was missing. The side holding the lanyard was intact, but the other side had separated and the Medallion had fallen out. We found it very close to our cabin (using my Medallion). Anyone could have found it, walked by cabins, and our door would have let them in. Maybe run a bead of super glue along that side just to be safe…? OCEAN COMPASS was great when trying to locate others in the group. Chat: There aren’t notifications. If the “chat-EE” doesn’t know the “chat-ER” has sent a message, which they don’t, what’s the point? OCEAN NOW was a mixed bag. Ordering room service was easy, but as far as we could tell, you CAN’T GET COFFEE for your cabin unless it’s for breakfast. We like coffee all day long. ACTIVITIES / ENTERTAINMENT - There was a new Cruise Director on this sailing: Not impressed. Nothing like Cruise Directors 5-10 years ago. There seem to be fewer activities like Trivia, classes, etc., on this sailing. Warning: Cheating occurs. In a Scrabble-like game the facilitator allowed people to use letters in a word that weren’t in the string of letters provided. He also allowed words that aren’t words. So if honest winning is important to you, just be aware that you may be disappointed. COMEDIAN CHRIS BLISS - He was fine. The content would be OK for children. PRODUCTION SHOWS - I’ve never heard such beautiful voices on a cruise ship before, and I think I’ve seen a couple of the stars on other Princess cruises. Completely top-notch professional level. Orchestra was wonderful! ROCK OPERA - If Steampunk and Goth got married, this would be their kid. Dark, dingy, disturbing. Some dancing was beautiful with a ballet look to it. Some was so spastic and hilarious that at one point we burst out laughing. The crowd on the elevator after the show agreed. Being battered with screaming noise might be something millennials enjoy, but these passengers aren’t that crowd. Princess should cater to the demographics of the guests. FIVE SKIES - We considered leaving before the show because the pre-show canned music was so awful, but we stayed. The first five minutes of the show were impressive with projected special effects depicting virtual reality. After that, freakish, dark, and grotesque. Every couple of minutes a couple got up and walked out. Thanks to an equipment malfunction, the show paused and the lights came on. Many people took advantage of this and left the theater, and the four of us sidled in to the exiting parade as it went by. The comments of the people were angry. Again, totally not appropriate for the age demographic. HEIDI KARLSSON, SOLOIST - This concert partially redeemed the awfulness of other shows. She put on an excellent, although short, concert, and we enjoyed every minute of it. OVERALL - We recall Princess shows when you could sit there and be immersed in the awesome beauty of music, costumes, and dancing. We pay for entertainment when we buy cruises and it used to be a wonderful value. Maybe take this stuff to Carnival party ships, and bring back some class. FOOD/DINING - Lunch on embarkation day was a sit-down lunch in the Estrella Dining Room. Delicious! Four of us ordered four different dishes, and all were great. When you board they hand you a card giving places where lunch is available. They never list a dining room, so maybe they like to keep that a secret? When you board, ask the person handing out cards which dining room is serving lunch. We were generally happy with the food in the included venues. Some was outstanding, and some was average. We never attend any of the up-sell specialty restaurants; we can pay for restaurants at home if we want to. We never had a problem finding an empty clean table at the buffet, where we had breakfast daily, and a couple of lunches. Food was fine. Coffee seemed to be much better than on prior Princess ships. We had traditional early seating in Cielo, and arrived at 5:30. We were out by 7:00, in time for the shows. We had a table for four, but met lovely people at nearby tables. SAFETY - Prior cruises were more focused on health safety. Before, at the buffet, a lineup of hand-washing sinks was obvious as you entered, and staff monitored people entering. On Sky a couple of cute sinks were hidden away in little alcoves. They weren’t obvious, there weren’t enough for everyone to use, and most people bypassed them. We never saw buffet staff monitoring or telling people to wash hands. At least when going in to dining rooms there often was someone encouraging people to use the Purell (not that everyone does). Public restrooms on other Princess ships had us enter through a couple of 90-degree turns, eliminating bathroom doors. The doors are back. They have handles so you can’t push with your forearm to open them when you exit. The safer configuration takes up more square footage, so this probably was a cost-cutting decision. CAPTAIN - Same comments as other reviewers. Capt. Tuvo was personable, present, and funny. “Me! Me! Me! in charge of the weather today!” DISEMBARKING - The fastest ever, and impressive. Our group was to be in the dining room at 7:30, but when we got there it was empty. The attendant directed us directly to the gangplank, where there was no line. We looked into the facial recognition gizmo, and walked down to get our luggage. We snagged a porter who took our bags directly to the garage! (He made $40 in 15 minutes.) We exited the port gates before 7:50. Although they told us to have our Passports ready, we didn’t need them, and we didn’t need to see a Customs Agent. (Why weren’t Passports stamped? Inquiring minds want to know.) SUMMARY - We’re looking at other lines. Our first disappointing cruise. Princess ships in order of our favorites: (1) Sapphire, (2) Island, (3) Pacific, (4) Royal, (5) Sky.

Princess going downhill

Sky Princess Cruise Review by ecs66

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2020
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
Sailing: 2/1/20

If we could rate this at 2.5 stars, that would be best. We’re Platinum and if we cruise again it won’t be on Sky Princess, and perhaps not on Princess at all.

BOARDING – It was chaotic, but quick. Due to coronavirus, we’d been advised that there would be medical screenings, but there weren’t besides asking if we had traveled in Asia. No checking for fevers. We brought wine, but nobody checked that. We had received an email giving the schedule of boarding times. Sun Deck was to board at 2:30. We arrived at 11:30 and got on with no problem in about 10-15 minutes.

SHIP – The décor is too gaudy for us, but it was new and clean. Too much open-ness. Places like Alfredo’s, Princess Live, etc have no walls separating them from the main thoroughfare. It’s a big mish-mosh of people.

GYM – Huge with beautiful new equipment and a large window wall. We walked through often, and never saw it being used at more than 25% capacity.

THINGS THAT USED TO BE, BUT ARE NO MORE:

Library: More retail space has eliminated the Library.

Ship Chorus: We’ve enjoyed it on other ships, but didn’t see it on Sky.

Small table and regular chair in balcony cabin: All gone.

No Pub Lunch on sea days.

STAFF – Our steward was as good as he could be considering that he was ridiculously over-worked, poor guy. Our TD waiters for dinner in Cielo were great. Servers of coffee and juice in the buffet for breakfast were good. Random staff throughout the ship seemed to be disengaged from passengers, and little camaraderie among each other. It would be nice if the Captain’s engaging personality could trickle down to all staff, but that didn’t happen.

INTERNET CAFÉ - We had questions about settings for wi-fi calling, but the manager didn’t want to be bothered and blew us off. With Princess going high-tech, it’s critical that they employ a couple of Tier 2 I.T. cellular support staff on board. That would require more effort and knowledge than just warming up a chair.

ANNOUNCEMENTS – You can’t hear announcements on balconies or in cabins. If you hear a “beep”, you must run to open the cabin door to hear an announcement.

MEDICAL SERVICES - Hubby had to use it one day, and the attention and care were top notch! The exam was extremely thorough. We can’t say enough good about the professional service, and the visit laid to rest any questions we’d ever had about “what if” a health issue came up during a cruise. No worries. It wasn’t cheap, but it was fair. Our Medicare supplemental refunded most of the bill to us, and insurance through Princess is supposed to refund the remainder.

ELEVATORS - As others have said, the elevator situation is terrible. There aren’t enough of them. It would be nice if some passengers wouldn’t push ahead of people who have been waiting for five or ten minutes already, but how can you teach adults about etiquette?

INTERNET / MEDALLIONNET - We got the plan for four devices, but only used two (PC and a smart phone) since wi-fi calling wasn’t working well for us (Verizon). Internet itself was fast and stable. Even though it didn’t come through for us for wi-fi calling, which we were counting on, it still was worth it to be able to go online 24/7 to use WhatsApp. Suggest that before leaving home, have friends and family install this free app on their smart phones as it will provide an extra method of communicating via wi-fi.

MEDALLIONCLASS - Attempting to load the Ocean apps was weird. Even though four of us began the process the same way, the following steps were different from each other. Some had to go to the Google Play Store and install separate apps; some didn’t. Some got the chat feature with ship mates, some didn’t. One never did load.

There is a space on Deck 7 to support Medallion. We went there, but it’s basically a retail store to sell Medallion-related tchotchke. They must have removed the Library to replace it with yet another revenue-generating venue.

There IS a problem with security. When Hubby left the gym he noticed that his Medallion was missing. The side holding the lanyard was intact, but the other side had separated and the Medallion had fallen out. We found it very close to our cabin (using my Medallion). Anyone could have found it, walked by cabins, and our door would have let them in. Maybe run a bead of super glue along that side just to be safe…?

OCEAN COMPASS was great when trying to locate others in the group. Chat: There aren’t notifications. If the “chat-EE” doesn’t know the “chat-ER” has sent a message, which they don’t, what’s the point?

OCEAN NOW was a mixed bag. Ordering room service was easy, but as far as we could tell, you CAN’T GET COFFEE for your cabin unless it’s for breakfast. We like coffee all day long.

ACTIVITIES / ENTERTAINMENT - There was a new Cruise Director on this sailing: Not impressed. Nothing like Cruise Directors 5-10 years ago. There seem to be fewer activities like Trivia, classes, etc., on this sailing. Warning: Cheating occurs. In a Scrabble-like game the facilitator allowed people to use letters in a word that weren’t in the string of letters provided. He also allowed words that aren’t words. So if honest winning is important to you, just be aware that you may be disappointed.

COMEDIAN CHRIS BLISS - He was fine. The content would be OK for children.

PRODUCTION SHOWS - I’ve never heard such beautiful voices on a cruise ship before, and I think I’ve seen a couple of the stars on other Princess cruises. Completely top-notch professional level. Orchestra was wonderful!

ROCK OPERA - If Steampunk and Goth got married, this would be their kid. Dark, dingy, disturbing. Some dancing was beautiful with a ballet look to it. Some was so spastic and hilarious that at one point we burst out laughing. The crowd on the elevator after the show agreed. Being battered with screaming noise might be something millennials enjoy, but these passengers aren’t that crowd. Princess should cater to the demographics of the guests.

FIVE SKIES - We considered leaving before the show because the pre-show canned music was so awful, but we stayed. The first five minutes of the show were impressive with projected special effects depicting virtual reality. After that, freakish, dark, and grotesque. Every couple of minutes a couple got up and walked out. Thanks to an equipment malfunction, the show paused and the lights came on. Many people took advantage of this and left the theater, and the four of us sidled in to the exiting parade as it went by. The comments of the people were angry. Again, totally not appropriate for the age demographic.

HEIDI KARLSSON, SOLOIST - This concert partially redeemed the awfulness of other shows. She put on an excellent, although short, concert, and we enjoyed every minute of it.

OVERALL - We recall Princess shows when you could sit there and be immersed in the awesome beauty of music, costumes, and dancing. We pay for entertainment when we buy cruises and it used to be a wonderful value. Maybe take this stuff to Carnival party ships, and bring back some class.

FOOD/DINING - Lunch on embarkation day was a sit-down lunch in the Estrella Dining Room. Delicious! Four of us ordered four different dishes, and all were great. When you board they hand you a card giving places where lunch is available. They never list a dining room, so maybe they like to keep that a secret? When you board, ask the person handing out cards which dining room is serving lunch.

We were generally happy with the food in the included venues. Some was outstanding, and some was average. We never attend any of the up-sell specialty restaurants; we can pay for restaurants at home if we want to.

We never had a problem finding an empty clean table at the buffet, where we had breakfast daily, and a couple of lunches. Food was fine. Coffee seemed to be much better than on prior Princess ships.

We had traditional early seating in Cielo, and arrived at 5:30. We were out by 7:00, in time for the shows. We had a table for four, but met lovely people at nearby tables.

SAFETY - Prior cruises were more focused on health safety. Before, at the buffet, a lineup of hand-washing sinks was obvious as you entered, and staff monitored people entering. On Sky a couple of cute sinks were hidden away in little alcoves. They weren’t obvious, there weren’t enough for everyone to use, and most people bypassed them. We never saw buffet staff monitoring or telling people to wash hands. At least when going in to dining rooms there often was someone encouraging people to use the Purell (not that everyone does).

Public restrooms on other Princess ships had us enter through a couple of 90-degree turns, eliminating bathroom doors. The doors are back. They have handles so you can’t push with your forearm to open them when you exit. The safer configuration takes up more square footage, so this probably was a cost-cutting decision.

CAPTAIN - Same comments as other reviewers. Capt. Tuvo was personable, present, and funny. “Me! Me! Me! in charge of the weather today!”

DISEMBARKING - The fastest ever, and impressive. Our group was to be in the dining room at 7:30, but when we got there it was empty. The attendant directed us directly to the gangplank, where there was no line. We looked into the facial recognition gizmo, and walked down to get our luggage. We snagged a porter who took our bags directly to the garage! (He made $40 in 15 minutes.) We exited the port gates before 7:50. Although they told us to have our Passports ready, we didn’t need them, and we didn’t need to see a Customs Agent. (Why weren’t Passports stamped? Inquiring minds want to know.)

SUMMARY - We’re looking at other lines. Our first disappointing cruise. Princess ships in order of our favorites: (1) Sapphire, (2) Island, (3) Pacific, (4) Royal, (5) Sky.
ecs66’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BC
CABIN - Cabin location was excellent! It was smaller than all other cabins we’ve had. Only one chair and it’s at the desk, so only one person can sit in a chair. It’s hard for two people to get around in such small space. A normal person can’t walk straight ahead between the wall and the bed, and must side-step through the space. Two people can’t pass between the foot of the bed and the wall.

BATHROOM – Smaller than all others before. Shower is excellent. Curtain doesn’t wrap around you. Lotus Spa shampoo/conditioner, body wash, lotion, and hand soap. Water doesn’t splash out on the floor. The TP dispenser is too far from where it’s needed, and short people can’t reach it so we put it on the counter. It’s a problem for passengers who’ve had certain surgeries, as they shouldn’t bend at an angle less than 90 degrees. (Low dispensers in public restrooms are a similar problem; they should be high so you must reach UP and not bend.)

BALCONY - Large balcony. On Royal we had a divider between our balcony and friends’ balcony that opened completely up to provide a large single balcony, but it didn’t on Sky. A portion of the divider opened, but we couldn’t really “hang out” with our family in the adjoining room. Disappointing.
Sun Deck Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews