Luxury meets hi-tech innovation onboard the newest addition to the Princess Cruises fleet, the Sky Princess.
Being the first Ocean Medallion-enabled new build, the ship is jam packed with the latest technological upgrades to make cruising easier than ever.
From hands-free cabin entries to cashless payments, guests on board will enjoy personalised, seamless and intuitive experiences all throughout the voyage.
TTN was among the first to experience this revolutionary sailing during a four-day shakedown in October, which sailed from Trieste (Italy) to Athens (Greece), with a stopover in Montenegro.
Sky Princess is all about innovation and this was obvious the moment I stepped onto the ship.
The Ocean Medallion, which is a coin-shaped wearable tracker device (offered complimentary), unlocks a host of hi-tech features, some of which are a breakthrough in the cruise industry.
One of my favourite features was how the cabin doors automatically unlocked as I approached and the fact that the staff onboard all greeted me by name and even remembered my favourite dishes (the medallion actually lets the crew know who you are, as your information pops up on their tablet as you pass by).
Another fun feature is the ability to order food from anywhere at anytime and have it delivered to you anywhere on the ship, as well as locate your friends and family on board, thanks to the 8,000 sensors integrated throughout the vessel to pick up the signals emitted by the medallions. This can be done with a tap of a button using the OceanNow and OceanCompass features on the MedallionClass app, which can be downloaded on to your phone.
Princess Cruises claims to have the best internet at sea, and I have to agree. For about $10 per device per day, you can stream your favourite shows on Netflix and connect to all your social media accounts.
Being a first-time cruiser, I wasn't sure what to expect; but the moment I set foot on the ship, I was instantly impressed. Some of the highlights on the Sky Princess are:
• A multi-storey piazza-style atrium with strolling performers, boutiques, and dining
• Princess Live! – featuring comedy, music, and game shows
• Take Five jazz bar
• More than 25 restaurants onboard – from casual to fine dining
• Four pools – two deep-water pools, one infinity-style wake view pool and an adults-only retreat pool
• The Sanctuary - a private, for-fee adults-only deck
• Lotus Spa and Fitness Centre
My favourite spot on the Sky Princess was Deck 15, which housed the multiple pools and hot tubs, as well as the massive ‘Movie under the Stars’ LED screen, which played films during the night.
I also enjoyed many a palate-pleasing meals at the numerous dining outlets on board, from flavourful pizzas at Alfredo’s Pizzeria to a fantastic three-course meal at the Anytime Dining venues, Estrella Restaurant and Soleil Restaurant.
The Sky Princess boasts a staggering 1,830 cabins, ranging from cosy interior staterooms to elegant Sky Suites, which feature the largest balconies in the fleet.
During the shakedown, I was put up in one of the ship’s balcony staterooms and it was the most comfortable stay I’ve had (for something at sea).
One of the newest additions on the Sky Princess are the two massive Sky Suites. Located at the top of the ship (on Deck 18), the two-bedroom suites measure over 1,800-sq-ft each – the biggest suites ever on a Princess vessel.
The suites, which can accommodate up to five guests each, feature a living area and a dining area, with a spacious bedroom on either side complete with attached bathrooms. The stand-out feature, however, are the huge wraparound balconies, which measure over 1,000-sq-ft. Offering a 270-degree panorama, the balconies will serve as the perfect party spot throughout the voyage.
Cruisers staying in a Sky Suite will also enjoy additional services such as a suite manager to look after them throughout their stay, stargazing sessions, a masseur on call and much more. Sky Suite fares start at a whopping $7,000 per person for a seven-night sailing.
The Sky Princess also offers a selection of “accessible cabins” for people with disabilities, complete with all manner of accessible essentials and special facilities.
There’s never a boring moment on board the Sky Princess given the array of entertainment options. I was spoilt for choice, picking from an itinerary that included comedy shows, game nights, musical performances and fitness classes.
On the last night of the cruise, I was left awestruck by Sky Princess’ new Broadway-style production ‘Rock Opera’. Featuring incredible costumes inspired by glamorous avant garde fashion with a musical soundtrack spanning classic rock, opera and musical theatre, it truly was a feast for the eyes (and the ears).
The Sky Princess is currently sailing around the Caribbean till April 4, 2020, and is definitely one to consider for a future group trip.
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