Hello my Cruise Critic friends! I know that there are many questions and a lot of mystery out there about the Sky Princess, and having just returned back from her Inaugural Christmas Cruise, I thought I'd share my thoughts and answer as many questions as I can! Here we go!
THE SHIP: the ship is brand new. like new car new. It was so exciting to be on a ship this new! I really liked the spruced up decor. Everything was very modern and tasteful, stuff I'd like to see in my house. Lots of blues, golds, and light colors. Everything looked very luxurious. I think they did a nice job with the new areas to this ship. The Wake Pool was very pretty, and I have to say I really liked the retreat pool. Not perfect due to the sunlight, but it did a nice job feeling kind of like a Solarium of sorts. Felt different, not just like a random pool labeled "ADULTS." I loved the main pool area. Two huge pools, and the front one (closest to the screen) was HEATED! I think Princess could make the hot tubs a little bigger. They fit only like 4 comfortably. I don't wanna squeeze on top of people in them! I also think that shade thing in the center of the deck looked great, but definitely blocked the screen behind it. Maybe not the best idea to sit back there if you want to watch the movie. I liked the shopping area Deck 7 forward. Looked gorgeous. A much better use of that space than being open to the casino downstairs like on Royal. The new Princess Live worked so well, opening it up really made it inviting and the place to be for all activities. Overall loved all of the new spaces!
THE FOOD: Ok so overall, was the food good? Yes! Could the food have been better? Yes. It's hard not to be happy eating on a Princess cruise. We've cruised Royal Caribbean the bad food on Princess is leagues above the good food on Royal Caribbean. That being said, I wonder if the fact that this is a new ship could explain some of the issues/questions we had about the food. For example, we waited a long time in the MDR for food most nights. Like a long long time. (an hour plus) I'm not being pushy but I also have watched enough cruise documentaries to know how it works on the cruise ship. The waiters go around collecting the dishes to make the order. It's not really made to order as much as we all pretend it is. We thought it was our waiters, but after reading on here it seems others also had this issue. Breakfasts were great in the buffet. Lunches were good, but was basically the same menu every single day. I think whoever the head chef or Maitre'D or whoever is in charge of menus on this ship, is having some growing pains in the new job. Basically the same menu was given 2 nights in a row in the MDR, and they did not do one special cake or anything on the last day in the buffet like they have on other ships. Nothing too huge, but a little disappointing after being so impressed by the food on the Royal Princess last year. (On the last day there, they had a cold seafood buffet at lunch with lobster tails and a whole chocolate themed breakfast) The first half of our cruise, the menu's at dinner were great. The last few nights left more to be desired. Food was still pretty good, but definitely Meh. I liked the Salty Dog Grill and Slice, and loved ordering Cheese Fries and Pizza to our table in the buffet on my app! We did the Crown Grill one night, and loved it. Food and experience was amazing. I have never been so FULL in my life! Did lunch one day in Alfredo's and honestly folks, believe the hype! The food was amazing.
Best things I ate all week and where to find them:
Warm Chocolate Banana Strudel (Pastry Shop in the buffet for lunch one day)
Bacon Cheese Fries (Salty Dog Grill)
Caprese Toast (Slice)
Veal Ravioli (Alfredo's)
Lemon Meringue Cheesecake (MDR)
THE ENTERTAINMENT: Love love loved all the new production shows. 5Skies was great, as was Rock Opera. We also had a great comedian, a husband and wife magic duo which were pretty good. We saw the Jim Henson show on the last night, and while the rest of my family loved it. I was a little bored of it and wouldn't go back to see it again. The entertainment staff were great. Our second time having Alex has a cruise director and he's just awesome. Not too over the top, very approachable, nice, funny guy. His assistant was awesome too! Really liked all of their staff. Felt like they were all genuinely friends, and while it has no impact on the cruise just made it fun to watch things like the Wake Show. Now, my biggest issue with the entertainment all week........ Movies Under the Stars. My family LOVES MUTS. We were so so disappointed this cruise when out of the 7 nights, 4 of them played football instead of movies. We have cruised during Christmas and Football season before and never experienced this. In fact, on the first sea day, they played The Blind Side (while a great movie, a football movie) followed by 3 different football games. This went on throughout the week with various football games during the day and evening. When I asked about this at the front desk I was told the head entertainment guy loves sports and we'd be seeing a lot of it this cruise. I also love sports, but I don't come on a cruise to watch football non stop. On a Christmas cruise with tons of families, they played Aladdin in the Vista Lounge one evening while they played a minor college bowl game (on ESPN2) on MUTS. (It wasn't even crowded upstairs when they played it, not like there was demand for it!) Just doesn't make much sense. Didn't experience this last year on the Royal. They never even played the movies that they said they would on the pre-cruise email. A big disappointment.
A few various comments:
- LOVED the medallion! Made life so easy and awesome. Pro tip- if you feel like your medallion isn't working properly, it could be the battery. Definitely see the Medallion Class team and confirm but it could be the battery on them. Mine was changed halfway through the cruise as the room wouldn't open right away and it was having trouble finding me and once it had a new battery it worked better than intended!
- Was there a shopping person on this ship? Only received a shopping map in one port. No coupons or anything. Might just be a new ship thing.
- Our room steward was AMAZING. Like a ninja, honestly don't know what he looked like he was in and out so quick and so clean. The best I've ever had.
Overall, I LOVE LOVE Princess and still think they lead the pack regarding a luxury experience. We had the best time on this cruise! And can't wait for my next Princess cruise. Let me know if you have any questions about anything and I'll do my best to answer it!