Dining on Sky Princess is excellent and one of the ship's main strengths, with the exception of the buffet, which we found to be only a bit better than average. Food in the main dining room is good to great and is always outstanding at the complimentary Alfredo's Pizzeria.
The new-to-Princess Bistro Sur La Mer is an excellent addition to the lineup of extra-fee options, as is the new gelateria.
Sky Princess can accommodate most dietary restrictions, though to be safe cruisers should let the line know ahead of their sailing. Vegetarian items are marked on menus in all sit-down restaurants.
Families should note: Kids' menus, high chairs and booster seats are available in onboard restaurants.
Soleil (Deck 5), Cielo and Estrella Main Dining Rooms (Deck 6)
Meals: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Dinner (D)
Sky Princess has three main dining rooms, with all three open for dinner to anytime diners (people who have chosen to eat any time between 5 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.). Only the Deck 6 Cielo Dining Room has reserved space for those who enjoy set seating, where you eat at the same time every night (either 5:30 p.m. or 7:45 p.m.), at the same table and with the same people.
Breakfast is only served in the Deck 6 Estrella Dining Room, as is lunch and afternoon tea.
Breakfast has everything you could possibly want in the morning, from pastries, fruit and cereals to several preparations of eggs and griddle items. Lunch features a variety of items including appetizers, sandwiches, full main courses and desserts.
Dinner in the main dining rooms is a grand affair on Sky Princess, with a slew of choices for soup/salad, pastas, appetizers, main entrees, sides and desserts, plus a selection of always-available items (appetizers and entrees) and upcharged Crown Grill steakhouse selections.
Special dietary needs can usually be accommodated, especially if you give the maitre d' or your waiter a heads up each evening for the next day's meals. Always feel free to ask for a second appetizer or entree, or for a half portion if a full portion will be too much.
The menu also offers two wine pairings each night, one white and one red, paired with a specific main course dish.
Club Class Dining, Estrella Dining Room (Deck 6)
Meals: B, L, D
A section of the Estrella Dining Room is reserved for suite and Club Class mini-suite cruisers for breakfast and dinner (and lunch on sea days). The menu here is slightly more upscale than the standard main dining room offerings, though you can also choose to order from the regular menu if you want. A separate entrance means those with access to Club Dining never have to wait in line.
World Fresh Marketplace (Deck 16)
Meals: B, L, D
Sky Princess' buffet restaurant, World Fresh Marketplace, features a wide variety of stand-alone food stations, making it easy and quick to navigate. You'll have to do a full circuit (front to back, not side to side) to ensure you don't miss anything, particularly at lunch.
Breakfast has the usual array of morning items from griddle choices to breakfast meats, eggs (several ways), yogurts, cereals and fruit.
Lunch is a mix of hot dishes, pastas, vegetarian dishes, carving stations, soups and salads; dinner is similar, though with a smaller selection. The food is about average for a buffet, with some selections outstanding and others simply OK.
Pastries (at all meals) and desserts are always located in the Pastry Shop, a special walk-through bakery that connects both sides of the buffet (located more midship than aft). The double chocolate chip cookies are a delight; put two on a plate and then take it over to Swirls for some soft-service ice cream and voila, a delicious ice cream cookie sandwich.
Free self-serve water, lemonade and iced tea, and coffee machines are located throughout the buffet, but you can also ask a waiter to get a glass or cup for you.
Salty Dog Grill (Deck 16)
Meals: L, D
This gourmet, poolside grill offers up a variety of burgers (including veggie burgers), hot dogs, tacos, chili and loaded fries. Everything is free at Salty Dog Grill, except the "Ernesto" burger, a rib eye and short rib patty loaded with pork belly, Gruyere, caramelized kimchi, beer-battered jalapeno and onion aioli.
Slice Pizzeria (Deck 16)
Meals: L, D
The spot to grab an after-swim slice, this pizza counter has a smaller menu than Alfredo's with two options of thin slice pizza (margherita and pepperoni), an Italian deli Stromboli, two choices of California Toast (herbed Ciabatta toast with parmesan and toppings) and a loaded dish called a meatballs and cheese pizza boat.
Swirls (Deck 16)
This small ice cream counter is hidden away in a corner of the pool deck. Here you'll find soft-serve vanilla, chocolate and swirl ice cream available in a cup or cone, along with rainbow or chocolate sprinkles.
Alfredo's Pizzeria (Deck 7)
Meals: L, D
Princess Cruises' popular sit-down pizza joint, Alfredo's offers eight pizza choices (the self-named Sky Princess pizza gets high marks), along with antipasti (including a vegetarian option), soup and salad, and two pasta dishes. Those with a sweet tooth will want to try the tiramisu; it's delicious. For the first time on a Princess ship, Alfredo's also features outdoor seating. Alfredo's is one of the busiest dining spots onboard; be prepared for a 10 to 15 minute wait, particularly during lunch hours.
International Cafe (Deck 5)
Located in the atrium, the International Cafe is one of our favorite grab-and-go spots at sea. Small bites are available all day long and can include sandwiches, parfaits, soup, quiches, salads, pastries, cakes and more, depending on the time of the day.
Meals: B, L, D
A free continental breakfast, along with a single hot item, can be ordered for breakfast by hanging your order form outside your room the night before. Cold items are the usual (fruit, yogurt, cereals and pastries), while the hot choice is an egg, bacon and cheese breakfast muffin. Delivery times are between 6:30 and 10:30 a.m.
Lunch and dinner items include a mix of free and extra-fee items and run the gamut from salads and sandwiches to hot dishes and desserts.
Sabatini's (Deck 5); $25 per person
A Princess staple, Sabatini's on Sky Princess features a trattoria menu from Los Angeles-based chef Angelo Auriana. The menu is divided into five sections (soup/salad, antipasti, pasta, main entree and dessert), with cruisers able to choose one item from each section. We highly recommend the burrata for your appetizer.
The venue is located on Deck 5 across from the guest services desk and is the only restaurant closed off by doors, so it offers the quietest and most intimate dining atmosphere.
Chef's Table Lumiere (Deck 6); $115 per person
A foodie's dream, Chef's Table Lumiere offers the highest level of dining you can find on Sky Princess and is as much of an experience as a dinner. The multicourse meal is selected and prepared by the head chef and served at a beautiful glass table located inside the Cielo Dining Room. Offered several times per cruise (just how many times is based on the length of the sailing and the passenger demand), each meal is limited to about 12 people. Diners with specific food allergies or special needs can be accommodated if they let the ship know when registering for the dinner.
Bistro Sur La Mer (Deck 7); $29 per person
This French bistro, the brainchild of Emmanuel Renaut, is much more casual than you might expect from a three-Michelin star chef. Located in the busy Deck 7 walk-through thoroughfare, it's easy to mistake it for a bar with table seating. It's loud, with music wafting up from the Piazza two decks below and noise from passersby, but that all lends itself to a relaxed sidewalk bistro feel. The vibe is more chill than romantic, and it's a delight. (Anyone who prefers a quiet dining vibe should definitely skip it.)
The food is equally casual, yet excellent, with everything from red snapper, scallops and fish 'n' chips (delicious, by the way) to filet mignon and braised veal shank. Every meal starts with polenta fries and fresh goat cheese "olives," which look exactly like olives (they've actually got a thin olive skin layer on the outside) but are creamy and loaded with taste once you bit into them. After this, diners can choose one appetizer (from seven, divided into sea and land options), one entree (four choices, also divided into sea and land options) and a dessert.
Wine-lovers will want to check out the curated wine list from master sommelier Doug Frost.
Ocean Terrace Sushi Bar (Deck 7); a la carte pricing
Meals: L (sea days), D
This raw bar, located between Alfredo's and Bistro Sur La Mer, serves up a flight of oyster shooters, sushi and sashimi, ahi tuna poke, king crab cocktail, caviar and more. Rolls, sushi and sashimi costs from $3.25 to $11.50, while the four-course Chef's Special is $18. Ocean Terrace is also the spot onboard to get caviar ($50). Even if you're just there for a beverage, you can still have a snack of complimentary edamame, asparagus or cucumber salad.
Crown Grill (Deck 7); $29
Princess' signature steakhouse, Crown Grill features an array of chops, seafood and steaks. It's also got some of the best creamed spinach you can find at sea. The traditional steakhouse has a date-night vibe but is partially open along one side so you can hear the piano or guitar music from the Crown Grill Bar. Diners can select more than one appetizer and sides are served family style, but for more than one entree, you'll need to pay a surcharge.
Gelato (Deck 5); a la carte pricing
Just one of a few venues in the world outside of Italy that is certified as serving authentic gelato, Sky Princess' gelato bar serves 14 flavors including salted caramel, pistachio, tiramisu and stracciatella. Scoops are $1.50 for one, $2.50 for two and $3.50 for three and toppings are free; there are also 10 types of gelato crepes on offer. You'll also find three flavors of sorbet and no-added sugar vanilla and chocolate.