Princess Cruises’ latest pride, Sky Princess, offers a host of new onboard tech features and live entertainment
Silence falls across the auditorium as the first notes from the orchestra burst over the rapt audience. A masked ballerina rises out of the stage floor, the jewels on her white tutu mirroring the sparkle of the waves lapping our ship.
It’s a dramatic opening to Sky Princess’s new musical production Rock Opera. “It combines the best of classic rock, musical theatre and opera,” says Tony Roberts, the line’s vice-president, UK and Europe. Songs are performed in English, Spanish and sign language, making the show feel inclusive.
From rock singers to high-tech gadgets, Sky Princess has plenty to offer, as I discover for myself on a preview sailing of the new ship departing from Trieste, calling at Kotor in Montenegro before finishing in Athens.
As I head back to my cabin after the show, I’m in the enviable yet inconvenient position
of having a plate of fresh pizza in one hand and a cold drink in the other. Thanks to wearable tech Ocean Medallion, which I’m sporting as a necklace, I can lean down on the handle to unlock the door hands-free, with no spillages in sight.
Unlocking guest rooms is just one of the handy features of Ocean Medallion, which is the size
of a 10p piece. Clients can also order drinks to anywhere on the ship thanks to location technology and pay for them using the device.
In my balcony stateroom, I enjoy breakfast while looking out across the Mediterranean Sea each morning. My Princess Luxury Bed, a staple in all rooms, is comfortable and a good size. Clients can also opt to stay in a Premium Oceanview stateroom, which features floor-to-ceiling windows rather than a balcony, or they can plump for a Club Class suite, which has a separate living room area complete with a sofa bed and coffee table, a bathroom with a tub and complimentary 24-hour room service.
Sky Princess will end its Mediterranean season in November before commencing a six-month Caribbean season, followed by Scandinavia and Russia sailings from April 2020.
There are plenty more new bells and whistles onboard Sky Princess, including two Sky
Suites, which sit on deck 18 and offer 270-degree views of the ocean. On a tour around the suites, I check out the two double bedrooms, lounge area and the “biggest balcony at sea”.
Dining in French bistro-style restaurant Sur La Mer that evening, I tuck into succulent fillet mignon and crisp white wine while listening to live music drifting up from the piazza below. Created with French chef Emmanuel Renaut, whose Flocons de Sel restaurant has received three Michelin stars, Sur La Mer provides a fine-dining experience while still putting guests at the epicentre of the ship’s social scene. There’s also a relaxed new jazz lounge, Take Five, on deck five.
At the ship’s rear, the infinity-style Wakeview pool and bar let guests look back at the horizon.
For families onboard, recommend catching new puppet-based show Inspired Silliness, which has been created in partnership with the Jim Henson Creature Studio. It plays on one day during each cruise, with three showings throughout that day. It’s also free of charge.
On my final night, as I sip champagne in the piazza, I reflect on all the fun I’ve had onboard. I’m not sure how I’ll cope back on dry land without my Ocean Medallion acting as my very own personal assistant and door opener, either. As one agent puts it: “I can’t imagine going back to a ship without the technology – it’s fundamentally changed cruising.”
Book it: A seven-day Eastern Caribbean sailing is priced from £599pp based on two sharing an inside stateroom including all main meals and entertainment. Departs 22 February 2020. princess.com
Smarter: Advise clients to download the Medallion Class app, fill in their profile and upload their travel documents to get “Ocean Ready” before their voyage. It will save time during embarkation.
Better: Purchasing MedallionNet Wi-Fi is cheaper pre-sailing. Pricing starts from $9.99 per device, per day, or from $14.99 per day for use on four devices when bought pre-cruise. Once onboard the prices are $14.99 per device per day or from $19.99 per day for use on four devices.
Fairer: By the end of 2019, Princess aims to eliminate or replace a range of plastic items and packaging using recycle-friendly alternatives.