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MaryBethV

Sky! Feb 8-15 Trip Report & Review

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We’ve only been home for a few days and I’m very much missing the beautiful Sky Princess and the warm Caribbean weather!

 

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Sigh.

 

To help me through the transition back to work, snow, and sub-freezing temps -- this trip report is my post-cruise-therapy-session and you are invited to join me. 😉  

 

A few things about us… 

This is our 4th cruise overall and our 2nd on Princess. We have also cruised on NCL - once as a couple and once with all four of our kids (that was fun, but NUTS). Links to previous trip reports are in my signature for those that are interested. This time we left all the kids at home and we took my husband's parents along to celebrate their 50th anniversary. This was their first cruise and it was so fun to see all the firsts again through their eyes!

 

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I love to cook, grill a fabulous steak, pretend I’m Italian and make fresh pasta, grow my own herbs & veggies in my little backyard garden, etc… SO - food on any vacation is important to us. Food photos will follow with my OPINIONS. Why play food critic? Well, I find it a bit useless when someone says they love or hate the food but give no actual reasons why! Remember, everyone is different and food is nothing if not subjective.

 

Planning, researching, and reading reviews is always half of the fun for me - whether it be a land vacation or a cruise. DH is always happy to let me do my planning thing and just be ‘along for the ride’ when the time comes - however this time I needed to fill my in-laws in a little more along the way to make them feel comfortable and ease any anxiety of the unknown. They have a beautiful motorhome and usually stick pretty close to home, so this trip was going to be a big step out of their comfort zone.

 

Once again, this trip report will likely be long and detailed with a lot of photos, menus, and info. - if that is not your thing, bail now!!! I always say there are two things I am definitely not: a light packer and concise bullet-point-style writer. My *goal* is to add to this trip report a little every day - and I will finish - promise. As I’ve said before - bailing on your own therapy session is frowned upon. :classic_laugh:

 

Friday | February 7, 2020 | Travel Day

We flew South, away from the cold Michigan snow, and arrived in Ft. Lauderdale mid-afternoon. It was overcast, but still nice and warm! As has become tradition, I swapped out my sensible travel shoes for my happy flip flops before leaving the airport. 

 

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Our hotel (Best Western Ft. Lauderdale Airport/Cruise Port) told us to call the hotel shuttle after collecting our bags, which we did - and we had less than a 10 minute wait for our ride. Off to a good start. The BW is a good, basic hotel which I chose once again for it’s walking proximity to food, a grocery store, and a dollar-type store in the case a forgotten item was needed last minute. After settling my MIL in - the rest of us headed to the close-by grocery store for wine & tonic to take onto the ship the next day.

 

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Then we ventured past McDonald’s to Slackers Pub & Grill. It was very busy, but we easily found an available table. Very yummy food, but somewhat slow service (we waited a long time between apps and entrees).

 

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Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds - YUM

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Mahi Mahi Tacos. Fish tacos mean that vacation has officially begun! 

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When we are here for Spring Break with our kids, we will probably just stick with McD's for a quick bite and use the extra time to SLEEP. 😁

 

Saturday | February 8, 2020 | Embarkation Day

 

Snagged some coffee in the breakfast area and waited outdoors for the shuttle to the cruise port.

 

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It was a nice morning with the sun trying to peek out of the clouds.

 

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I spy the Sky!

 

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Edited by MaryBethV

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Embarkation with the medallions was once again a breeze. Love how they have it down to a science. There were the questions on the health form regarding the Corona Virus - asking if we had been to mainland China in the last 14 days. They also asked this again directly to us when scanning our medallions.

What a stunning ship! Welcome aboard! 🥰

 

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We headed straight up to the Sanctuary to see if we could snag spots for my in-laws for an afternoon or two. I told them in advance that even though we were on the ship quite early (11:15am-ish), it might not be possible. Sadly, that was the case. There was already a substantial line and a crew member came back through the line letting everyone know that all sea day spots were already reserved and that they only had one time available on one port day. Oh well, not a big deal - maybe next time.

 

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We decided to pop in anyways and check it out. It IS a prime location - I think the only location, in fact, with a view of the forward area of the ship.

 

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Looking forward to your review and thank you for doing it!! We leave this Saturday on the Sky going to the Eastern Caribbean and these pictures are making me so excited!! 

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Mary Beth, I stumbled upon your Regal Princess trip report several months back amidst reading up on cruises during a wistful time last year. I just wanted to let you know that you really wrote one of the best, most nostalgia-inducing trip reports ever. Such excellent work chronicling your time in the ports and throughout the ship, making all of us reading feel like we were right there along with you. Thank you for doing this again with your cruise on the Sky! Curious to know if you've already booked another cruise for your next adventure! 

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Looking forward to hearing your review.  We will be on the Sky in April.

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The retreat pool and one of the cabanas (extra charge).

 

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We headed to our rooms to drop off our small bags and our rooms were ready. The linens, the color scheme - all just beautiful! We had rooms on deck 12 (Aloha deck) - A508 and A510 - port side, just aft of the central elevator bank.

 

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My MIL found her happy place on her balcony! 😃

 

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I called the dine line and made reservations for Sabatini's for that night and for the Crown Grill on the last evening (Valentine's Day). Then we headed to Alfredo's for lunch. Not a secret any more - seriously LONG LINE. So, we opted to go down one deck to the main dining room for lunch and catch Alfredo's another day! 

 

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Now, my MIL eats SUPER healthy at home. What did she order first? The big plate of french fries with 'lots of' mayo. 🤣Do you see why I love her? 😂

 

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Tuscan-style chick pea soup. Very flavorful. Princess does soup quite well in our experience.

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Spinach & Ricotta Cheese Ravioli - This was mine. Obviously hand-made. Very good! Pomodoro sauce also molto buona!

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DH's avacado and bay shrimp salad was OK.

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My broiled salmon with lemon and dill sauce was quite good - nice sear on the salmon and the sauce had a nice, rich flavor.

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Apple tart - OK, not great.

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Shots of Bailey's with souvenir shot glasses for our after-lunch coffee? Yes please! 

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We had a little time to stroll around before the muster drill...

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Mmm - International Cafe - how we have missed you! Will be back soon!

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Peace! 😉I love crew members with camera radar.

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New Grounds Coffee Menu - 

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30 minutes ago, snoozecrooze said:

Mary Beth, I stumbled upon your Regal Princess trip report several months back amidst reading up on cruises during a wistful time last year. I just wanted to let you know that you really wrote one of the best, most nostalgia-inducing trip reports ever. Such excellent work chronicling your time in the ports and throughout the ship, making all of us reading feel like we were right there along with you. Thank you for doing this again with your cruise on the Sky! Curious to know if you've already booked another cruise for your next adventure! 

Aw, thank you! We will actually be back this April with our two teenagers for Spring Break on the Sky - same itinerary. We love the Eastern Caribbean so much. Our rooms this next time are on deck 17 near the retreat pool, so that will be fun! I already have a new list of "to do's" for that trip as I can never seem to fit everything in. Then... we do have a cruise booked WAY OUT for Alaska, summer of 2021. So much research still needed for that one (and any advice would be much appreciated)!

Edited by MaryBethV

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I have to admit that I do not remember a single captain from our previous cruises. That will not be the case this time however - Captain Tuvo is the BEST. We saw him almost every day out and about, greeting passengers and his 'messages from the captain' were so fun & full of personality. You can tell that he LOVES what he does. 😍If you don't follow him on Instagram already (michele_tuvo_captain_bye_bye) - go do that right away. You're welcome.

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Exploring the promenade (deck 7)...

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Bistro Sur la Mer. We didn't eat here on this trip, but it is lovely - though open to the Piazza. 😞

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More on deck 7...

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Wow, awesome review and pictures, just great!  Following along, I"m on the Sky this summer and now even more excited!

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Thank you for taking the time to do this review!

I love your style!!!  All of the detail, pictures, menus, etc...it’s all great & much appreciated!

I am thoroughly enjoying it so far and am eagerly looking forward to the rest!
We will be on the Sky Princess in 11days, Jan 29th. I have started my packing and am getting very excited. Thanks for helping my excitement build!!!

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Thank you so much for the great review and pictures! We also leave this Saturday and so excited for this trip especially after seeing your pictures.

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Awesome review and pictures.   We board on March 14th and your review has surely raised my excitement level.    THANK YOU VERY MUCH!     Do you by any chance know if Captain Tuvo will still be in the ship in March?     We sailed with him on the Star Princess last year to Alaska and he was fantastic.    I have been hoping he is not on a break in March so we can sail with him again.   

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2 hours ago, tawlaw1526 said:

Do you by any chance know if Captain Tuvo will still be in the ship in March?

Hi! I'm not the OP (and I do apologize for hijacking), but I can help. Captain Tuvo informed me he leaves on March 7th, and that will basically be his 3-month-mark (he took the helm on 12/7/2019). A good measure for captains' schedules are (broadly speaking; all schedules are subject to change for unpredictable circumstances) 3 months on, 3 months off. So Captain Tuvo will not be back until June after his break. Sorry to inform you of this and hope that helped a little!

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4 hours ago, snoozecrooze said:

Hi! I'm not the OP (and I do apologize for hijacking), but I can help. Captain Tuvo informed me he leaves on March 7th, and that will basically be his 3-month-mark (he took the helm on 12/7/2019). A good measure for captains' schedules are (broadly speaking; all schedules are subject to change for unpredictable circumstances) 3 months on, 3 months off. So Captain Tuvo will not be back until June after his break. Sorry to inform you of this and hope that helped a little!

Correct - thank you for chiming in. I'm bummed he won't be the captain for our next cruise. Someone has big shoes to fill! 😉

 

Edited by MaryBethV

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Hi Mary Beth,

 

We were on the Sky with you.  Wasn't it wonderful!  Love your review and photos.  I noticed your photos of the Bistro Sur la Mer.  My DH and I love to play cards morning and/or afternoon and found this to be a great spot for that.  The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating, comfortable tables and chairs and is only open for dinner.

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A quick look into the Vista Lounge...

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...and then it was almost time for the safety assembly (muster) in Princess Live.

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The drink menu on the tables in Princess Live

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And guess who we had for Muster?! It was Kristoff from South Africa! Our teenagers loved him on the Regal last year - he is loads of fun. Sadly, he leaves in 4 weeks, so he won't be on the Sky in April. 

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After muster - we made our way up to our balconies for sail away. I took the stairs and let's just say I was about half unpacked by the time my husband and in-laws made it via the elevators. 😆

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I found my boat! They were going in the wrong direction though! 😂

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I never get tired of a blue water/blue sky view.

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Next up - dinner at Sabatinis...

Edited by MaryBethV

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57 minutes ago, Cruz4Sun said:

We were on the Sky with you.  Wasn't it wonderful!  Love your review and photos.  I noticed your photos of the Bistro Sur la Mer.  My DH and I love to play cards morning and/or afternoon and found this to be a great spot for that.  The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating, comfortable tables and chairs and is only open for dinner.

It WAS wonderful. 🙂 The Bistro area would have been a great area to hang out in during the day - it was so full of light and beautiful decor!

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MaryBethV,  thank you for sharing your Sky review.  I think I would like you MIL.  Who doesn't like fries?  You have taken some great pictures; and they tell us everything about this wonderful ship and your fab cruise.  Have fun out there.

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Great start to your review!  Thanks for taking the time to put it all together.  🙂

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Following along - great review so far! I also followed your Regal Princess review and am looking forward to your continuation of this one ~ I love that you focus on and do such detailed reviews of your meals.

We will be on her on March 7th - our cabin is on 17 by the retreat pool but more under the Sanctuary, I think. We just received our Medallions - so our excitement is building!

I've read so much on here about Captain Bye Bye and have to admit I am really disappointed that he is leaving on the day we get on. Ah well, I'm sure he's looking forward to a much deserved break.

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Love this review so far! We will be sailing on the Enchanted next summer so trying to get an idea of what it could look like. Sky is as close as I can get. Your Aloha deck balcony cabins look like deluxe balcony cabins, with the sofa? And hoping to see some pictures of the buffet, it's probably huge. 

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Enjoyed the beautiful string quartet in the Piazza on our way to dinner.

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Time for dinner! 😋

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House Appetizer (tuscan zonzelle, roasted tomato & pepper sauce, prosciutto). This was YUMMY - I'm going to have to try to recreate the roasted tomato/red bell pepper/garlic sauce at home. 

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More bread. I let everyone else enjoy this. They said it was SO good. I had to save room for what was coming though!!!

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Cheese Fondue soup - so good, I'd come back just for this.

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Escarole & Celery Salad - feedback from my MIL would put this in the 'good, but not memorable' category. Of course she probably wished she ordered the fondue soup (both I and my FIL had the soup) after watching my eyes roll back in my head at the first spoonful. 😉

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Burrata Cheese & Tomato - This classic combo was delicious. I love Burrata! I did wish there was more tomato for balance.

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DH's Grilled Lamb Skewers - I snuck a bite. Quite tasty - tender and seasoned well.

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Linguine Carbonara - the pasta was obviously fresh and perfectly al dente. The sauce was light and tasty, which is a nice take on a dish that is traditionally much heavier/rich. However, the sauce didn't cling to the noodles at all, so I would have preferred it to be a touch more on the creamy/rich side so that you could enjoy the flavors of the sauce ON the noodles. Just my opinion.

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DH's Trattoria Oven-baked Trio - This was probably his favorite of the entire meal. The bolognese in the middle I tasted was full of flavor!

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At this point my FIL is getting used to me taking photos of absolutely everything... so he teases me by saying that his pasta trio is better than DH's... and he proceeds to put his sprig of rosemary on top of his dishes for a photo op. 😂😂😂Dying.

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DH and MIL had the Prosciutto-wrapped Pork Tenderloin (they both said it was very good)

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FIL's Veal Marsala (The veal was tender and the sauce was tasty.)

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My Lemon & Rosemary Chicken Scaloppine. Though it is a basic chicken & potato dish, it was executed very well and I would order it again. Again - their sauces are delicious - seasoned well without being too salty.

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FIL's Vanilla Panna Cotta (he really liked it - and what a fun presentation!)

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DH's Chef's Specialty (a tasting of all four desserts - yum!)

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And my Tiramisu (which my MIL also ordered). Beautifully presented, yes, but... OH. MY. GOODNESS. YUM. pretty much sums up my thoughts on that. 🤤

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Next up -- Take 5 and their Gin cart!

 

Edited by MaryBethV

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13 minutes ago, rocklinmom said:

Love this review so far! We will be sailing on the Enchanted next summer so trying to get an idea of what it could look like. Sky is as close as I can get. Your Aloha deck balcony cabins look like deluxe balcony cabins, with the sofa? And hoping to see some pictures of the buffet, it's probably huge. 

The Enchanted looks like it will be very similar - you will LOVE it! We did have the deluxe balcony cabins this time and it was really nice to have the loveseat/couch. I will miss it - next cruise we are back to basic balcony cabins.

 

You know what - I don't know that I took any photos of the buffet other than of the few meals we ate there! I will try to make up for that when we go in April. It is a HUGE, beautiful buffet with just an overwhelming amount of options. 🙂

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