Reviewed by Harry Kemble.
The facts: Sky Princess is the fourth Royal-class vessel in Princess Cruises’ fleet. Crucially, it is the first Princess ship to be built with Ocean Medallion technology and Sky Suites, which are designed to elevate the line’s top-end offering for families. The 3,660-passenger ship’s other new features include a jazz bar and escape room. Elsewhere, Crown Bar Grill and the main dining rooms have been redesigned, while Bistro Sur Le Mer now offers alfresco dining.
Wow factor: Ocean Medallion is at the heart of pretty much everything on board Sky Princess. The technology, first trialled in 2017 and now being rolled out across the fleet, comes in two parts: an app called Medallion Class and the physical medallion, a metal disc no bigger than a £2 coin. The app and medallion offer different on-demand services ranging from ordering food and drink to getting around the ship. Passengers can opt in and out of using the technology, but so far, 99.7% have enhanced their sailing by fully embracing it. It certainly made our cruise seamless.
Accommodation: There are 1,830 staterooms and suites, spread across seven grades. But the standouts are the two new Sky Suites, which, at 174sq m, are Princess Cruises’ largest yet. Both have wraparound balconies, which the line claims are the biggest at sea, and sleep up to five people. They have two beds, two bathrooms, a sofa bed and a dining room. Sky Suite guests will also have the services of a suite manager, who will contact passengers before their cruise to discuss their upcoming holiday and assist once on board with everything from booking dining tables to helping arrange in-suite parties. But if passengers are more into relaxing than partying, they can watch the ship’s Movies Under The Stars from the 270-degree balconies.
Entertainment: The programme features two new shows. Rock Opera, a rip-roaring ride through different musical genres, features an eight-piece orchestra and singers who use sign language during their performance. 5-Skies takes passengers into a virtual gaming reality world through acrobatics and digital effects, and will debut when the ship sails in the Caribbean. Jim Henson’s Inspired Silliness show also launched on Sky Princess, celebrating Henson’s work before The Muppets and inviting passengers to try their hand at puppeteering. Elsewhere, there’s escape room Phantom Bridge, a 25-minute experience that requires passengers to crack a code to get out, and jazz bar Take 5, where a three-piece band plays to a different theme each night.
Book it: Sky Princess will sail a 14-day Northern Europe Passage itinerary from Fort Lauderdale on April 11. Prices start at £1,446 per person, based on two sharing an inside stateroom, including meals, entertainment, premium drinks, Wi-Fi and gratuities.