We just came off the Sky Princess Inaugural Cruise from Athens to Barcelona (October 20th to the 27th). We then spent two days in Barcelona. This was our second Princess cruise, the first being the Crown Princess in 2007. We have also ... Read More
We just came off the Sky Princess Inaugural Cruise from Athens to Barcelona (October 20th to the 27th). We then spent two days in Barcelona. This was our second Princess cruise, the first being the Crown Princess in 2007. We have also done 3 Carnival (with the children) an RCL to Alaska and Celebrity Reflection about four years ago.
Princess is our favorite cruise line. We have already booked a transatlantic on the Crown Princess in two years.
The Sky Princess is immense, everything seems to be “super-sized” inside it. There are so many bars and places to eat you cannot try them all. What stuck us the most was how friendly and happy the staff was. The Ship decorations are wonderful, but not over the top glitzy.
We had a cabin on the Sun deck. It is the standard Princess Balcony. Serviceable, not a huge amount of space, but how much time do you actually spend in the cabin anyway. Our Cabin Steward, Franco, was good. He always had a smile and a hello for us, even if he was the way down the hallway. If we asked for something (like a couple of extra towels), it was taken care of immediately and we did not have to ask again. Even though our Cabin was on the same deck as the Retreat Pool, we never had a chance to check it out, other than walking through it. Not enough Sea Days, I guess.
We had anytime dining and the most we had to wait was about 5 minutes on maybe two nights. Overall the food was good and better. There were some outstanding things, some average, but generally good. The Beef Wellington was terrific. A few of the main courses for a couple of nights were a bit over cooked and dry on occasion. It is hard to cook for 4,000 people.
We ate at the Crown Grill one night and it was fantastic! Our server, Ygenvey, was tremendous, he really made the experience wonderful. The dishes were excellent. We really enjoyed the dinner.
The World Fresh Market Place (Buffet) was your typical Buffet. Some of the stuff was good, some not. A large selection, but not everything changed every day, so there were a large number of repeats. I thought the scrambled eggs they had for Breakfast were terrible. They were mealy and tasteless; however the made-to-order Omelets were good.
Lunch for us was a combination of the Buffet or the Salty Dog Grill and the Slice Pizzeria. Both were acceptable. One day we ate lunch at Alfredo’s Pizzeria on Deck 7. The service there was a bit slow, but the pizza and the Calzone made up for it.
The International Café was always busy and had some terrific little bites and desserts. My Wife had a Coffee Package and was there at least twice a day!
Our favorite place, however, was Take 5, the Jazz Club on Deck 6. The music was nice, but the real draw were the three bartenders, Emil, Raisa and Wynn. We went there every night after Dinner and if we went to the Show. They became like old friends. We had a wonderful time sitting at the bar talking, drinking and listening to the music (although the musicians talked a little too much).
The Princess Shops were a little disappointing, I thought, compared to what I remember from past cruises.
The Sky Princess is a Medallion Cruise. The Medallions worked well. As you approach your cabin door, it recognizes you and unlocks the door. Otherwise it works like the old cards. You give it to the server, and they scan it when you order a drink or purchase something. We did not try ordering drinks with it at our seat, as everyone was so anxious to get your drink order. Manny, on the pool deck was terrific. He remembered our names, knew what we wanted to drink right away and was so friendly and attentive.
It was nice when we were at Take 5, we never had to show the Medallion. The ship reads it and the staff can see you are there and make the necessary purchases for you. They have also integrated the on-board pictures to the Medallion and have done away with the printed proofs. Now you go to a terminal scan your Medallion and it pulls up all the pictures they have taken of you. Of course, it does not always read the Medallion when the pictures are taken, so a staff member must show you all the “unaffiliated” pictures to tie them into your Medallion. Not a real issue.
A couple of nits to pick, one more annoying than the other. The more annoying one first. It is hard to find the rest room in certain locations. There is of course a sign on the wall, but no door is indicated. Just a plan paneled door. You must know to open that one to find a little alcove with the men’s and women’s rooms inside. It could have more clear signage. The other one is that the ship was so new it did not have everything loaded. I forgot my cuff links for the formal night. In the past, I rented them. This time they had not loaded the formal wear items for rent yet. The second formal night, we say they had everything for rent, but by then I had solved the problem by buying some cuff links in Corfu made of olive wood.
The absolute best element, however, is when the ship is leaving port and blows the ships horn, it is then followed by the horn playing a riff from the Love Boat Theme. Terrific Idea! Each time it sounded there were cheers and applause on the deck.
To sum up, it was a terrific amazing week and the ship is the main reason why. Read Less