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Princess Cruises’ newest addition, Sky Princess, takes cruising to loftier heights with luxurious attractions and smart technological upgrades.
The 3,660-passenger liner is the fourth Royal-class ship of the cruise line and comes with its exciting entertainment venues, newest dining choices and award-winning chef partnerships.
The Sky Princess is the first Princess Cruises ship to have the technology-based programme ‘OceanMedallion’ installed right from construction.
The OceanMedallion system gives passengers a small, coin-shaped wearable device – offered complimentary prior to boarding the ship – that acts as a room key, credit card and people locator. It also unlocks a host of features – from hands-free cabin entries and cashless payments to numerous on-demand services.
The technology has been rolled out on several other Princess ships, but the version on Sky Princess features the latest upgrades, making sailing on the line a unique experience.
Arabian Knight was among the first to experience this revolutionary sailing during a four-day shakedown, which sailed from Trieste (Italy) to Athens (Greece), with a stopover in Montenegro in October last year.
Since then, the Sky Princess has been the sailing various Caribbean itineraries from Fort Lauderdale, Florida (US).
Sky Princess is all about innovation and the OceanMedallion is at the heart of this revolution. The wearable device is connected to 8,000 sensors on the ship, allowing for a seamless and personalised experience onboard.
One of its most helpful features is the way it automatically unlocks your cabin door as you approach, which comes in handy when you’re lugging around baggage and can’t be bothered to fiddle around for your room key.
The system also gives guests the ability to locate friends and family on board – a useful feature for parents needing to know exactly where their children are, or just fellow cruisers trying to meet up for dinner.
Guests can also order food from anywhere in the ship at any time and have it delivered to them anywhere on board. This can be done using the OceanNow app – one among the many OceanMedallion apps that promise to personalise your cruise experience.
Using the MedallionClass app on the phone, cruisers can browse through the daily itinerary, navigate their way onboard and even arrange shore excursions. For those who prefer to spend their holiday aboard ‘phone-free’, there are large touchscreens on all decks to help cruisers.
Another star feature of the OceanMedallion system is the fact that cabin stewards now know whether or not passengers are in their cabin, and can better organise visits to make up the rooms – that way the room is made up magically without any disruptions to the passengers.
Princess Cruises also claims to have the best internet at sea, and we 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.
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, we were accommodated in one of the balcony cabins. Measuring 214 to 222 sq ft, the staterooms offer the added indulgence of a balcony and gives you more space than a standard stateroom. Guests can enjoy their own private outdoor space with a relaxing view of the inspiring scenery surrounding them, whether a beautiful sunset over the ocean or a new city to explore.
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, is 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 $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.
Food plays an important part of the cruising experience and Sky Princess doesn’t disappoint, with more than 25 restaurants ranging from speciality to casual eatery options, as well as the main dining rooms, Soleil and Estrella, which offer flexible sittings right up until 10pm.
Dining options include Alfredo’s Pizzeria with handmade Italian-style pizzas and other Italian offerings, as well as other specialty restaurants such as The Crown Grill, Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria and Bistro Sur La Mer from three-star Michelin recipient Chef Emmanuel Renaut. Don’t miss out on quick service venues ‘Slice’ for pizza, ‘The Salty Dog Grill’ for hot dogs and burgers and World Fresh Marketplace buffet.
ENTERTAINMENT AND RELAXATION
There’s never a boring moment on board the Sky Princess given the array of entertainment options. Top of the list is a new stage show called “Rock Opera”, which is Sky Princess’ new Broadway-style production. Featuring incredible costumes inspired by glamorous avant garde fashion with a musical soundtrack spanning classic rock, opera and musical theatre, as well as America’s Got Talent finalist Brian Justin Crum, it truly is a feast for the eyes (and the ears).
Entertainment options include the Take Five jazz bar, the Princess Live programme featuring game shows where audience participation is actively encouraged; and the Princess Theater, which is the place to see the large production shows like Rock Opera and live performances in the piazza.
One star attraction is the Phantom Bridge escape room, which is an immersive interactive experience that combines digital and physical elements to provide guests with 700 different possible outcomes, and Movies under the Stars, where a 300-sq-ft LED screen offers incredible definition.
For those who enjoy spending time by the pool side, the Sky Princess offers two deep-water pools, one infinity-style wake view pool at the aft of the ship and a number of hot tubs.
The ship also features an adults-only area called The Retreat with its own pool, bar and hot tubs, and a for-fee adults-only deck called The Sanctuary. Also on board is the largest fitness centre in the fleet, a sports deck with courts for basketball and tennis, and at the top deck of the ship, a nine-hole miniature golf course.
For even greater relaxation, book a treatment at the Lotus Spa, which offers a variety of treatments and a spa thermal suite and hydrotherapy pool.
- By Nikita Philip
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