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momrox1

Sky Princess Sanctuary

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Is this the same as other Princess ships where if I want to book it for the week I have to arrive early on embarkation day to secure a spot or is there somewhere online I can book it before departure ?  thanks!

Oh, and does anyone know why on cc where it says more about a ship and has a drop down menu, Sky Princess is not listed?

Judy

Edited by momrox1

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There is no on line reservations system for the Sanctuary on any Princess ship.  The process is first come, first reserved on embarkation day.

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Yep, one of the first things we do is make our way to the Sanctuary area and put our names down for our pre-chosen day/s. Make sure your itinerary is suitable though, we pre-booked for our first day from SFO to Alaska, and it was so windy and cold, they refunded half a day back to us!

 

Generally though it does get crowded quick, so it is a good idea to think what day/s you would like before hand and book it as soon as you can.

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They need to update this and some other things such as swapping out mini bar to an online format.  You can get run over when they start letting people on the ship with the number of people that are rushing to the sanctuary to book their desires.

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2 hours ago, momrox1 said:

Is this the same as other Princess ships where if I want to book it for the week I have to arrive early on embarkation day to secure a spot or is there somewhere online I can book it before departure ?  thanks!

Oh, and does anyone know why on cc where it says more about a ship and has a drop down menu, Sky Princess is not listed?

Judy

It is the same as other Princess ships.

No pre booking thank goodness.

First come first served.

I would imagine since the Sky is so new the drop down have not been updated yet.

I posted pictures of the sanctuary in my live thread in Nov

 

 

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As others have said, first come first served. Be warned though, the back-to-backers will have had an advantage and will probably have taken up most of the spots. That was our experience a couple weeks ago. We boarded with the very first group of people allowed on board, literally ran straight up to the Sanctuary and there was already a long line. We waited in line for an hour just to get on the waiting list.  I have to say that, while it would be nice to book in advance online, I don't know that that would necessarily be much better. Either way, it's an extremely limited commodity and there will be people who lose out.  That said, we did end up getting in by being vigilent (and nice) and the staff was absolutely fantastic; every single one of them.  Best of luck.

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It is unfortunate that in order to obtain a peaceful, adult poolside experience, we are all put on a ship to rush to reserve The Sanctuary. Has anyone on Princess figured out there is a need here? Yes and it generates money!

I am sure it is lovely and if it was possible to have a fair system to reserve, we would do this.

I agree the B2B passengers had early opportunities to register for week two.

We are just off Regal and the main pool deck was a mass occupation of every square inch. The hot tubs had 8+ in them. There were 4,000 on the ship with hundreds of children.

We will not join this type of scene but it is disappointing that The Sanctuary is a competition of who can reserve first.

No need to reply; just my observations.

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On 12/29/2019 at 10:47 AM, 5:00_Somewhere said:

As others have said, first come first served. Be warned though, the back-to-backers will have had an advantage and will probably have taken up most of the spots. That was our experience a couple weeks ago. We boarded with the very first group of people allowed on board, literally ran straight up to the Sanctuary and there was already a long line. We waited in line for an hour just to get on the waiting list.  I have to say that, while it would be nice to book in advance online, I don't know that that would necessarily be much better. Either way, it's an extremely limited commodity and there will be people who lose out.  That said, we did end up getting in by being vigilent (and nice) and the staff was absolutely fantastic; every single one of them.  Best of luck.

I am going to guess you were on a Caribbean itinerary.  We boarded CROWN on Nov 7 and I was expecting a certain impact from B2B'ers, but hardly any impact.  I think it depends a lot on when you are sailing.  It was early in the season and probably less B2B on board in any case.  If you were truly in the first group to board (ELITE "A"), then I am not sure how there was a long line, considering you ran.  The B2B'ers are taken care of before new pax board.  I was literally the first person on board Nov 7 and I and my friend were #1 and #2 up there to book loungers.  Results can certainly vary and I have a tough time on certain cruises in the past, but was pleasantly surprised at that situation.  Tip:  you don't both need to go from a cabin - one person can book two loungers.

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On 12/29/2019 at 10:47 AM, 5:00_Somewhere said:

As others have said, first come first served. Be warned though, the back-to-backers will have had an advantage and will probably have taken up most of the spots. That was our experience a couple weeks ago. We boarded with the very first group of people allowed on board, literally ran straight up to the Sanctuary and there was already a long line. We waited in line for an hour just to get on the waiting list.  I have to say that, while it would be nice to book in advance online, I don't know that that would necessarily be much better. Either way, it's an extremely limited commodity and there will be people who lose out.  That said, we did end up getting in by being vigilent (and nice) and the staff was absolutely fantastic; every single one of them.  Best of luck.

The Cabanas at Retreat Pool can be booked as well with the same perks as Sanctuary.  We've done it a few times and really liked being right at pool side to dip in and cool off....

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On 12/29/2019 at 8:00 AM, momrox1 said:

Is this the same as other Princess ships where if I want to book it for the week I have to arrive early on embarkation day to secure a spot or is there somewhere online I can book it before departure ?

You have to be priority and trample other guests in a rush to get up there if you want your spot.  This needs to move to an online booking ASAP.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, kywildcatfanone said:

You have to be priority and trample other guests in a rush to get up there if you want your spot.  This needs to move to an online booking ASAP.

 

Out of curiosity how would you structure on-line booking?

 

Elites get early booking when the booking period opens for cruises.  Then people would complain that there was no lounge availability when the normal booking period opened.

 

More problematic, how would you structure reservations and how would lounges be picked or assigned?  Now you get to pick out your specific lounges after seeing the set up. Some people want sun, some want shade, some want a mixture.  That is easier to ascertain when on board than on a diagram that may or not be current and doesn't include shade structures.  Princess can't even tell us if a balcony is fully covered, partially covered or fully exposed!  I know we have considered one location but changed our mind upon seeing the lounge set up on a 10 day cruise. As I've read here on cruise critic, when you reserve a bungalow on Princess Cays they are assigned; choice does not enter into the equation.  If the assignment of lounges was similar I predict absolute chaos when shade lovers are assigned to sun lounges and vice versa.

Edited by capriccio

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28 minutes ago, New Cruiser Girl 2 said:

The Cabanas at Retreat Pool can be booked as well with the same perks as Sanctuary.  We've done it a few times and really liked being right at pool side to dip in and cool off....

 

That is a good point, although I would note that on the Sky Princess, unlike on the Royal and Regal, the Retreat cabanas are one deck up from the pool and do not have a solid roof covering so don't really offer any shade if that's what a person is looking for.

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14 minutes ago, 5:00_Somewhere said:

 

That is a good point, although I would note that on the Sky Princess, unlike on the Royal and Regal, the Retreat cabanas are one deck up from the pool and do not have a solid roof covering so don't really offer any shade if that's what a person is looking for.

Oh is that right? Good to know...thanks ~

I will be on Sky 2021 

I did love the retreat pool just the way it was on Regal/Royal 

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3 minutes ago, New Cruiser Girl 2 said:

Oh is that right? Good to know...thanks ~

I will be on Sky 2021 

I did love the retreat pool just the way it was on Regal/Royal 

 

Yes, and also, unfortunately, the retreat pool is only a little more than 3 feet deep.. 😒

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17 minutes ago, 5:00_Somewhere said:

 

Yes, and also, unfortunately, the retreat pool is only a little more than 3 feet deep.. 😒

YIKES !  That water will really heat up fast ! more like a giant hot tub ! not refreshing at all ~

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1 hour ago, New Cruiser Girl 2 said:

The Cabanas at Retreat Pool can be booked as well with the same perks as Sanctuary.  We've done it a few times and really liked being right at pool side to dip in and cool off....

You won't be able to do that on the newer ships unfortunately.  Will have to use the stairs.

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1 hour ago, capriccio said:

Out of curiosity how would you structure on-line booking?

I would think it would work similar to airlines, you have a diagram and pick your seat.  You might be in shade or not if you select a chair that is open to the sun and not covered completely. 

Yes, elites would still have the same advantage they have today, so not sure why it's different.  However, it would give those who are not elite an opportunity they likely don't have to day.

 

And for full disclosure, I don't care, I don't use that space so it's of no concern to me other than the aforementioned trampling that might occur from Princess making it a horserace to the sanctuary.

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37 minutes ago, New Cruiser Girl 2 said:

YIKES !  That water will really heat up fast ! more like a giant hot tub ! not refreshing at all ~

It wasn't as warm as I thought it might be.  Stayed fairly refreshing.  Not warm, and not too cool.  We never had an issue.

 

 

Now on the Caribbean Princess this past summer, the wake pool was hot, like in hottub hot, and not refreshing at all.

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On the Dec 7 sailing there were 2 loungers out of 26 available for booking for the cruise.  And a couple of loungers available for half day on various days.  Sky has far fewer loungers than other ships of that class, and no shade anywhere except sometimes on the sides depending on sun direction.  No gazebo.  Three times as many cabanas at $220.  Cabana price does include some alcohol/wine and 10 sodas.  Great staff, though.

 

The Retreat pool was not heavily used, and quite a few loungers in there (recessed area since surrounded by cabins on this ship).  Hot, because it was a recessed area, and the heat blows into the elevator lobby.  Seating aft of the MUTS screen actually worked better - just had to pick the side with shade.

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I'm new to Princess. What is the difference between the sanctuary and the Enclave at Lotus Spa. Also, can someone tell me about the Thelassotherapy pool?

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1 hour ago, LeeW said:

On the Dec 7 sailing there were 2 loungers out of 26 available for booking for the cruise.  And a couple of loungers available for half day on various days.  Sky has far fewer loungers than other ships of that class, and no shade anywhere except sometimes on the sides depending on sun direction.  No gazebo.  Three times as many cabanas at $220.  Cabana price does include some alcohol/wine and 10 sodas.  Great staff, though.

 

The Retreat pool was not heavily used, and quite a few loungers in there (recessed area since surrounded by cabins on this ship).  Hot, because it was a recessed area, and the heat blows into the elevator lobby.  Seating aft of the MUTS screen actually worked better - just had to pick the side with shade.

I had a bad feeling about Sanctuary on the Sky before reading your post (yes, I am a SW fan).  It is sad that they put in even more cabanas that few have seemed to book in the past, and also cut back on loungers.  I don't particularly like the setup of the Royal Class Sanctuary anyway, as shade has been quite limited in my experience and so I just avoid.  Too bad the new ship sounds even worse for a nice sea day experience.  We have done same as you in picking an alternate spot. 

 

Still think Crown/Caribbean/Emerald/Ruby have the best options for being shaded.

 

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, LeeW said:

On the Dec 7 sailing there were 2 loungers out of 26 available for booking for the cruise.  And a couple of loungers available for half day on various days.  Sky has far fewer loungers than other ships of that class, and no shade anywhere except sometimes on the sides depending on sun direction.  No gazebo.  Three times as many cabanas at $220.  Cabana price does include some alcohol/wine and 10 sodas.  Great staff, though.

 

The Retreat pool was not heavily used, and quite a few loungers in there (recessed area since surrounded by cabins on this ship).  Hot, because it was a recessed area, and the heat blows into the elevator lobby.  Seating aft of the MUTS screen actually worked better - just had to pick the side with shade.

 

I could not agree more about the staff: they were fantastic, every single one.  That's part of the reason we ended up purchasing cabanas for 3 days. At the outset we had no intention of paying for a cabana and had no need for one. But, we really wanted to be in the sanctuary. We were wait listed for loungers, and then they had a cancellation for a cabana and we decided, what the heck, we'd never done one before and really wanted to enjoy a sea day in the Sanctuary (we asked every day, btw, and they never had loungers available).  Then they had another cabana come available, and we enjoyed the Sanctuary and the staff so much, we bit the bullet and did it again. I doubt I'll do it on a future cruise, but for us - this one time - it was worth it.

 

As for the number of loungers, as I've mentioned elsewhere, they were definitely lacking, and there certainly seemed to be space for more - though some space was taken by these odd couch constructs that were virtually never used and, of course, the hot tub takes some space that could be used for loungers. I overheard other passengers asking about the lack of loungers and a couple of the staff commenting that they were expecting to get more in the future, but did not know when that would be. 

 

10 hours ago, rsail203 said:

I'm new to Princess. What is the difference between the sanctuary and the Enclave at Lotus Spa. Also, can someone tell me about the Thelassotherapy pool?

 

The sanctuary is a calm adults-only space with cushy loungers, on the Sky Deck forward, above the bridge. As discussed above, there are also a number of cabanas in the Sanctuary, and there is a dedicated staff to take care of your every need. There is a charge of $40/half day or $80/full day for a lounger and $220/day for a cabana (which includes some beverages, and can accommodate up to 4 people).

 

The Enclave is a "thermal spa" that is part of the larger Lotus Spa on Deck 5. It is essentially a large room, at the center of which is a good sized Thelassotherapy pool with various bubbling areas, a rain shower area, etc.  In The Enclave there is also 1 dry sauna and 2 different aromatherapy steam rooms, 4 showers with different features (e.g., mist, rainforest, etc.) and approximabely a dozen tiled, contoured and heated lounging beds.  There is also a fee for this space, which can be purchased by the day or for the entire cruise; although I understand you are also granted access for a day if you purchase another spa service.  If you go to the Sky Princess description on Princess.com you can see pictures and a short video.  I hope that's helpful

Edited by 5:00_Somewhere

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We will be aboard the Sky Feb 1 .

10 cruises on Princess since the 90's but many more on other lines.

Consistant early reports on the Sky indicate excessive Chair Hogging on Sea Days  and mad scramble to book the Sanctuary (with less loungers than other ships) , has me disappointed already.

 

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12 minutes ago, MCC retired said:

Consistant early reports on the Sky indicate excessive Chair Hogging on Sea Days  and mad scramble to book the Sanctuary (with less loungers than other ships) , has me disappointed already.

I think this is every princess ship, probably every cruise ship in general though.  Not unique to the Sky.

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1 hour ago, 5:00_Somewhere said:

 

The sanctuary is a calm adults-only space with cushy loungers, on the Sky Deck forward, above the bridge. As discussed above, there are also a number of cabanas in the Sanctuary, and there is a dedicated staff to take care of your every need. There is a charge of $40/half day or $80/full day for a lounger and $220/day for a cabana (which includes some beverages, and can accommodate up to 4 people).

Did the price for Sanctuary loungers double on the Sky Princess or across the fleet or is that a typo?  As of this time last year, the charge on the Crown Princess was $20 half day, $40 full day or, if reserving for the entire cruise $30 a day.

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