Princess' main theater is home to two musical productions, as well as guest acts like magicians and comedians.
Both musical productions are high energy, with fabulous costumes and songs you know. "Rock Opera" is a more traditional cruise song-and-dance show with no story line, but has a soundtrack that spans classic rock, musical theater and opera, and costumes inspired by New York City's glamourous Met Gala. It was our favorite show of the cruise.
The highly enjoyable "5-SKIES" has a storyline, which sees "Gamer 1" trying to complete five levels of a virtual reality game in order to save a princess. It features a lot of high-tech special effects (including some pyrotechnics), dazzling costumes and one of the coolest dance sequences we've ever seen feature dancers in bungee cord hookups.
A few times throughout your cruise, Sky Princess also offers a show called "Jim Henson's Inspired Silliness" on the schedule. Presented in the Vista Lounge, it gives a close-up look at the magic of Henson's puppetry. We were worried it would be out of place on a Princess ship, but with narrative videos featuring excerpted Jim Henson interviews and a chronology that follows Henson from his earliest days to the height of his career, it's actually compelling -- and funny. Kids will love it for the puppets and adults, especially Gen Xers and boomers, will catch the subtle (and not subtle) societal commentary.
The level of daytime entertainment on Sky Princess depends on whether it's a port day or a sea day. On sea days the daily schedule (detailed in the daily Princess Patter, on touch screens throughout the ship and on the MedallionClass phone app) is packed with games, trivia, spa seminars, art lectures and auctions, movies and more.
Much of the fun can be found at the Princess Live! recording studio/lounge/secondary theater -- it's that versatile. It's in Princess Live! that the cruise director records his or her morning show every day, but it's also where trivia, Battle of the Sexes, bingo and other interactive games are held, even into the evening. There's lots of seating (lounge style not theater style), but it gets pretty packed during many of the activities.
In a first for Princess, Sky Princess also has an escape room experience called the Phantom Bridge (it's identified as The Experience Center on the ship maps). A mostly digital experience that makes use of touch screens, virtual reality and physical objects that can be manipulated, the time travel-themed Phantom Bridge runs about 25 minutes and can hold three (at the minimum) to six players. What makes Phantom Bridge so different from other escape rooms is that many elements of the game are randomly generated resulting in completely different puzzles to solve every time (up to 700 different combinations).
Additionally, Phantom Bridge can be tailored to the players -- easier for younger players, more difficult for experienced players. It's also fully wheelchair accessible. The cost is $14 per person and $11 for kids 10 and younger. (Registration is on the first day in the Piazza or later at the guest services desk.)
Another spot active during the day is the central Piazza, where you'll often find live music and the occasional music-themed trivia.
Sky Princess is lively at night, with live music found in several spots onboard (we highly recommend spending at least one evening at the Take Five jazz lounge), shows that draw standing-room-only crowds in the theater and an active casino. On top of that, the cruise director or assistant director often hosts some type of interactive game, usually a themed trivia in Princess Live!
Bellini's (Deck 5): The atrium bar, located in the Piazza, offers standard cocktails and is popular for pre-dinner drinks for anyone dining at the Soleil Dining Room.
Vines (Deck 5): Located just off the Piazza, Princess' signature wine bar is a nice place to get a glass and people watch. You'll also find wine tastings here throughout your cruise.
Good Spirits (Deck 6): A small walk-through bar located between the port and starboard sides of the ship, Good Spirits is a cocktail bar, with a specialized menu curated by celebrity mixologist Rob Floyd. At select times, the bartenders "perform," creating select drinks while accompanying videos describe the destination that inspired the drink and go into detail about some of the ingredients. The top drink here is the spicy Sandia en Fuego. For something sweeter, try the Tahiti-inspired Vanilla Sky.
Take Five (Deck 6): A first of its kind for Princess Cruises, Take Five is a live jazz lounge with a talented trio that plays every afternoon and evening. Often the sets are themed (Harlem, the women of jazz, Latin). There's a dance floor but we never saw it used, which is not to say it doesn't get crowded; people on our sailing preferred to sit and listen. The lounge has a Prohibition Era-inspired bar menu and the bartenders all dress up in speakeasy style.
Churchill's (Deck 6): This blink-and-you'll-miss-it lounge is where cigar smokers gather to do their thing. Avoid it if you don't like cigar smoke.
Crown Grill Bar (Deck 7): Located just outside the Crown Grill steakhouse, this lounge is more than just a pre- and post-dinner venue. Every night you'll find live music here, whether it's a piano player, steel drum musician or guitarist. During the day you'll often see people reading or even napping on the comfy chairs that line either side of the Deck 7 walkway that goes right through the bar.
Princess Live! Cafe (Deck 7): One of the two spots onboard to grab a gourmet coffee or tea for an extra fee. Unlike the International Cafe, you won't find any treats here, only drinks for purchase.
Concierge Lounge (Deck 14): This small lounge is only for suite passengers and is manned throughout the day by a concierge who can help with a variety of arrangements from dinner and spa reservations to shore excursions. It has plush armchair and sofa seating and is a quiet spot for anyone who wants something a little more private than all the walkthrough venues on the public decks.
Wake View Bar (Deck 16): Located all the way at the back of Deck 16, this outdoor bar offers lovely views out over the infinity pool and the wake of the ship. It's perfect for those brag-worthy sunset photos.
Sky Princess has an impressive five pools, one of which (more a plunge pool than anything) is located within the Deck 18 extra-fee Sanctuary. The two main pools (both with a capacity of 24 people) are located on Deck 16, while an adults-only pool can be found within the Retreat, all the way forward on Deck 17, and a small infinity-style pool is located all the way at the back of Deck 16. You'll find hot tubs in all of these spots as well.
Flotation jackets are available for kids to borrow by the two main pools; there are no lifeguards. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent at the pool at all times.
For those who want to be active out of doors, Sky Princess offers a tiny -- and very unchallenging -- mini-golf course and a sports court that can be used for basketball, soccer tournaments, tennis and pickleball. There are also two Ping-Pong tables on each side of Deck 17 toward the back of the ship.
A great deal of space is dedicated to outdoor relaxation on Sky Princess, including the deck space immediately surrounding the pools on Deck 16 and overlooking them on Deck 17.
The Deck 16 sun deck area includes Princess' signature Seawalk. Located on both sides of the ship, along the glass windows, Seawalk is a section of glass-floored walkway looking directly down into the ocean. It's one of the most popular photo/video stops on the ship.
The two-level Retreat, also on Deck 17, is an adults-only space with loungers near the pool and also overlooking it. There are also cabana-like structures here for rent for a half day ($50) or a full day ($80), though they simply come with plush loungers and a bottle of water. On our sailing, while the cabanas in the Sanctuary sold out, these did not.
The Sanctuary is Princess' for-fee, adults-only sun deck. Entry passes are for a half day ($20) or full day ($40) and include a plush lounger reservation and access to fruit and ice-cold flavored waters. The Sanctuary also has cabanas for rent. Full-day rentals for two people ($220) come with two welcome drinks (any drink up to $12), two bottles of alcohol, eight cans of soda and four bottles of water (or your preferred ratio of soda to water). Half-day rentals ($140) receive two welcome drinks and half of all the other drink inclusions.
Deck 5 is the main service deck on Sky Princess; here you'll find the guest services and shore excursion desks (both all the way forward). There's also a small retail shop on Deck 5, offering mostly snacks, but also sundries like toothpaste, deodorant and sea sickness pills.
Next to the shop is the ship's Internet Cafe where you'll find several computer stations and a tech guy to help out during scheduled hours. Wi-Fi is $9.95 per day for unlimited access for one device; there is also a package for up to four devices.
Sky Princess is an OceanMedallion-enabled ship. Instead of cruise cards, passengers are given casino chip-sized tokens that they can use to open their doors and pay for things. It also enables a slew of neat tricks, like having drinks delivered to wherever you are on the ship or finding your spouse, kids, parents or friends on the ship. A tutorial on how to use your OceanMedallion is offered in the main theater on embarkation day and you can find videos on how to do different things on your in-cabin TV.
More retail can be found on Decks 6 and 7, with most of the fine jewelry stores located midship on Deck 6 and clothing, watches and branded souvenirs on Deck 7.
The ship's photo center and camera shop is on Deck 6. Photos are displayed digitally on kiosks throughout the space. Just touch your OceanMedallion to the glowing sensor to find your photos. Nearby is the art gallery.
Also on Deck 6 is the Future Cruise Center and loyalty desk, where members of the Princess Captain's Circle can come to ask questions or get help.
Deck 7 is where you'll find OceanFront, one of the most important spots on the ship for anyone who wants to use their OceanMedallion. Here you'll find Navigators who can answer any question you have about the system and can help solve problems. You can also purchase OceanMedallion accessories here, from clip-ons to sporty wristbands to fancy bracelets and necklaces.
Each cabin deck has a DIY launderette. Wash and dry cycles cost $3 a piece and items like detergent and fabric softener are $1.50. You can also pay extra to have your dirty clothes washed and/or pressed for you.
The medical center is on Deck 4, and there's a chapel on Deck 14 for wedding renewal ceremonies.
The Lotus Spa is located on Deck 5. You'll find the entrance off to the side of the guest services desk.
The spa offers a full range of wellness treatments including massages ($159 to $239), facials ($129 to $169 and higher), wraps ($195 to $259) and scrubs ($169 to $219), as well as nail and hair services for women and men. Couples massages are also available and range from $259 to $429, depending on length. If you fancy both a massage and a facial, we recommend the face treatment and body ritual, which costs $299 for a Biotec facial and 50-minute Swedish massage.
The salon offers a full range of nail and hair services, along with brows and lashes, teeth whitening and shaves for men.
Frequent spa goers will want to take advantage of the triple bundle -- Get three signature treatments and you'll receive 10, 20 and 30 percent off, consecutively. Also look for specials on port days. Most spa treatments are only available to passengers 18 or older.
Sky Princess' spa also features the line's largest thermal suite, The Enclave, which comprises a Turkish hammam, hydrotherapy pool with cascading rain shower, aroma steam rooms, a Laconium (heated, dry chamber), sensory showers, saunas, heated benches and stone beds. Passes are required for entry and cost $149 for a full week. On days when the Enclave is not busy, day passes might be available for $40.
Other services include ionithermie, acupuncture, and medi-spa treatments, like Dysport and Restylane fillers.
The gym on Sky Princess is located on Deck 17. It's a good size with lots of Precor treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers and bikes. There's even a recumbent bike that lets you play a game while you pedal. You'll also find weight machines and free weights in 5-pound increments. A smaller section has a TRX setup, heavy ropes, kettlebells, mats and a handful of spin bikes.
A separate exercise room is used for classes. Free classes offered are total body conditioning and stretching. Yoga and cycling classes are $15 per session, while 4D Bungee FIT and Functional HIIT classes are $20 each. Individual training sessions are also available for a fee.
Note there are no locker or changing rooms associated with the fitness center.
Outside on Deck 18 is a jogging track; seven laps is 1 mile.
The gym also offers wellness seminars, but be warned these are mostly elaborate sales pitches for a variety of gadgets and nutritional supplements.
Like most Princess ships, Sky Princess is family friendly and has an excellent kids program, Camp Discovery. Kids, including those always-picky teenagers, will also enjoy the two high-energy musical productions and the high-tech escape room experience.
However, keep in mind that the pool deck lacks any kid-friendly elements and there is no video game arcade onboard. With OceanMedallion, however, kids and parents can enjoy playing games and taking part in a virtual scavenger hunt via the OceanMedallion portals around the ship.
With that said, Camp Discovery is designed to keep kids busy with a full schedule of activities and club rooms that offer a variety of diversions, including Skee-Ball, air hockey, Nintendo games, board games and a jungle gym for the littles ones to climb.
Camp Discovery is divided into three age-specific programs (3 to 7, 8 to 12 and 13 to 17). Each group has its own play area and a host of age-appropriate activities scheduled throughout the day. Programs typically run from morning to night on sea days, with time off for lunch and dinner. Port days offer longer hours and include lunch.
All children aged 3 to 7 years old must be signed in and out of the program by a parent or guardian, and parents of kids under 5 will be issued a pager for easy communication. Children who are not toilet trained are not permitted in the program. On port days, all kids 12 and under must be signed in and out by a parent or guardian; parents may leave their kids in the program and then depart the ship for a shore excursion.
Kids ages 3 to 7 will spend their time in The Treehouse, a brightly colored space, with oversized stickers of animals on the walls. Here they can participate in arts and crafts, watch cartoons, play games, climb on a jungle gym, ride tricycles and learn about animals and the planet through Princess Cruises' partnership with Discovery, Inc. and the Animal Planet TV channel. The space also has an outdoor play area.
The Lodge is similarly brightly colored but has more space for hanging out and video gaming. Here, kids can play foosball, air hockey and computer games, take part in arts and crafts or do science-related activities.
Princess does not offer in-cabin babysitting but does offer evening group sitting for kids 3 to 12 years old, from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. every night (except on the last night when it closes at midnight). The cost is $5 per hour, per child.
Teens, ages 13 to 17, have their own space -- The Beach House. It's a chill place to hang out with a more subdued color scheme and digital jukebox, comfy couches in a variety of configurations and Skee-Ball and air hockey and lots of computers for video gaming. Activities range from scavenger hunts and hip-hop classes to video game tournaments and even a "Rock the Boat" party, complete with a red carpet and mocktails.