Create your perfect day at sea aboard new Sky Princess cruise ship
by Kathy Witt
One of the newest (and most anticipated) cruise ships sailing the seas – Princess Cruises’ timelessly elegant Sky Princess – offers tantalizing options for voyagers seeking a single goal: achieving their perfect day at sea.
Princess – all about the royal treatment
Princess knows how to craft perfect. The ingredients are simple but sublime: a private cabana in The Sanctuary, replete with cushy loungers, comfy sofa and flatscreen TV, a Bento box of yummy like Fattoush salad with grilled chicken, guest’s choice of wine and spirits, cookies and scones and a view almost excruciatingly beautiful.
Located on Deck 18, the adults-only Sanctuary offers shaded and sun-centric cabanas with ceiling fans paddling around a light breeze and nearby hot tubs bubbling up relaxation. Loll atop a plump chaise, robe tucked round your legs and your chosen movie playing in the background.
It is a coveted, come-hither haven aboard a ship that has a number of equally alluring spaces, including the first-ever-at-sea escape room. Hidden in plain sight on the same deck is the world’s first interactive, fully immersive MediaScape game, Phantom Bridge, described by Princess as “a real-world, gamified experience with more than 700 different outcomes.”
Of course there is a brilliant scientist (horologist by trade), a pipe-chomping captain and a squawking parrot, as well as a ship’s wheel to turn, constellation maps to study and lots of touch screens to explore as gamers travel through time and try to avert certain disaster. This is a game that will really connect with multigenerational groups that want to have fun playing together.
Another gaming concept (and Princess first) – this one with all the theatricality of a splashy Broadway production combined with the irresistible enticement of entering the increasingly intricate levels of a virtual world – is 5-SKIES. A bit edgier than what Princess audiences have seen in the past, it is nonetheless mesmerizing.
The show follows the character, Gamer 1, into a land of digitally-enhanced wonder on a quest to ultimately save the princess. Setting, special effects, costumes, acrobatics and performances are nothing short of dazzling (not surprising as one of show choreographers has worked with Grammy Award-winning artists Carrie Underwood and Kelly Clarkson, among other musician powerhouses) and the show overall is fresh and contemporary.
Creating perfect days at sea relies on a combination of favorites and firsts. Dreamy dining spots like Sabatini’s draw with its upscale comfort food menu. The cosseting enclave of Lotus Spa nurtures body and soul (particularly the facial/hot stone massage combo). A quiet corner in the Piazza on Deck 5 charms for conversation accompanied by a glass of wine and small bites from the International Café while light music plays in the background.
Then there are new draws like the entertainment experience Take 5, the only jazz theater at sea; the gastronomical goodies in Bistro Sur La Mer created by Chef Emmanuel Renaut of three Michelin star fame; and two suites supersized to hold up to five, with two bedrooms, living room with pull-out sofa, dining space and wraparound balcony. Bill the latter as the best seat in the house for watching a movie on Princess’ epic LED screen; as a perk, suite guests get to choose whatever movie they want to watch one night of their trip. (Which means everyone watches it.)
Additionally, Sky Princess is Princess’ first ship built from the ground up with integrated Medallion technology. Once accessorized with the complimentary OceanMedallion device, guests may order drinks delivered to them wherever they are on the ship, find their friends wherever they are on the ship, have their cabin doors magically opened and plan a full day of perfect from their smartphone.
The 3,660-passenger Sky Princess, a Royal-class ship and the 18th cruise ship in the Princess fleet, departs from Fort Lauderdale for seven-night cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean.
<cabana2>A spa-like lunch is served at The Sanctuary.
<cabana-tea>Teatime takes place afternoons at The Sanctuary.<goodspirits>Craft cocktails accompanied by menu cards and videos are the stock-in-trade at Princess’ Good Spirits bar.<movies>Princess’ ginormous LED movie screen<phantom>The Phantom Screen is an at-sea first in escapes rooms on a cruise ship.<sabatins>Sabatini’s
All photos by Kathy Witt