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Jenny and I have cruised with a variety of cruise lines but never with Princess. We have just booked a 12 night cruise on Sky Princess at the end of October 2023 going round trip from Southampton to the Canaries. We have booked a club class mini suite which looks quite nice and got a good deal from out TA that includes drinks, wifi and crew tips. Most of our cruising has been done with P&O but we have been with several other lines as well. 

 

We wondered if anybody on here could tell us about Sky Princess; what she is like for food entertainment etc; how does she handle high seas (the Bay of Biscay at the end of October can be a little on the rough side!!) 

 

Most of our cruising has been done with P&O but we have been with several other lines as well. 

 

Anything that could be passed on to us, good or bad, would be highly appreciated.

 

Peter and Jenny

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Welcome to Princess, have you been on Britannia?  Sky Princess is a Royal Class ship, as is Britannia. She will handle the Bay as well as any other cruise ship.


When sailing from the UK Entertainment will be very similar to P&O offerings.  If we assume Covid isn’t a deciding factor by then, there is a little more emphasis on Passenger participant activities.  Game Shows and the like.  I have never been bored on a Princess Cruises.

 

Princess like to think they offer an Italian menu, but it’s American Italian not Italian Italian, if you know what I mean.  I feel like I have been on a holiday after a Princess cruise because the menu doesn’t feel like a British restaurant. 

 

P&O has the edge cost wise due to included crew incentive and lower drink prices with no Service charge.  However, with the Princess Plus fare, that is the fare you have, they loose that edge.

Personally I prefer Princess.
 

 

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I have mainly cruised P&O and we are also taking our first Princess cruise. It was originally going to be the Med next April but we thought that as it is a new cruise line for us that we would do a 4N from Southampton on the same ship - Sky Princess.

 

So, we do a 4N from 6th September then a 14N next April.

 

I really like the idea of doing a 4N first. It will get us familiar with Princess and with Sky Princess in particular so we can get the most out of the 14N next year.

 

I'll post my thoughts on the differences when I get back.

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1 minute ago, Snaxmuppet said:

I have mainly cruised P&O and we are also taking our first Princess cruise. It was originally going to be the Med next April but we thought that as it is a new cruise line for us that we would do a 4N from Southampton on the same ship - Sky Princess.

 

So, we do a 4N from 6th September then a 14N next April.

 

I really like the idea of doing a 4N first. It will get us familiar with Princess and with Sky Princess in particular so we can get the most out of the 14N next year.

 

I'll post my thoughts on the differences when I get back.

But don’t forget the 4 night will be with the full covid protocols.  I cruised P&O 4 nights on the 27th June, and am doing so again for 7 nights in September.  However, had it been my first cruise I might not have sailed P& O ever again.  The restricted drinks menu and once a day room steward impacted my holiday.  However, I accepted this was due to their protocols, I expect Princess to also be sailing with less then preferable restrictions for its Seacations.

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Sky Princess is a Royal class ship, the first of which being Royal Princess and so too is Britannia.  If you have sailed on Britannia you will have a good idea of the size and layout of the ship.  Princess cruise line is similar to P&O but has a more international passenger base.  Mainly Americans and British ex-Southampton but also Australians and Japanese in smaller numbers.  I have shared a few breakfasts in the Main Dining Room at tables with Japanese people struggling with the language, they even have a Japanese  Breakfast Menu, same stuff in the script. Do not be frightened to ask for stuff not on the menu, Cranberry Juice is never listed for example and main meals can be done as a starter with the main to follow.  Accordingly the entertainment is aimed at a wider audience than P&O "caters" for.

 

Generally speaking the differences are not always having a kettle in the cabin this is dependent on where the ships are sailing and what the cruise line has decided for that area.  In the buffet if you go in and get a snack normally you will find a "Drinks Waiter" will come and ask if you require one.  This is not an exclusive sales pitch for wines etc. as they will go and make you teas and coffees from the station.  My daughter asks for hot chocolate and they go to another area to make that without fuss.  This just about sums up the level of service as excellent.  Princess seem to do sea days with innovative competitions such as Elevator Roulette, The Egg Drop etc.

 

The Alfredo's Pizza place is not chargeable extra and is a good place to start on embarkation day instead of the Buffet where they try to get everybody aimed at.  Generally the atrium is a lot more glitzy than P&O.  Shore excursions are much more widely priced but hopefully by 2023 you can do independent touring.

 

Regards John

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Posted (edited)

Club Class mini suite. You will be able to dine in the club class section on the DR. On the Sky believe this is the Estrella DR, deck 6 mid ship. Open for breakfast & dinner each day and lunch on sea days. It is walk up dining. No reservation required. Normally prompt seating. Menu is the same as other DR's. Service is upgraded. One extra menu item each evening. DR food has always been good. No need to dine in specialty restaurants unless you want the experience. Specialty restaurant food is prepared to order.

The International Cafe is a really nice location, open 24/7. No charge for food items. Specialty coffees as well as other beverages available there. 

Entertainment was always good with production shows, live music in lounges, comedy and other activities day and evening. You should follow posting on these boards to determine how entertainment and on board activities progress as time goes on after the covid shutdown. October 2023 is over two years away. A lot can change.

The ship is a large cruise ship and should handle the Bay of Biscay crossing as well as any other large cruise ship.

You will have the Premier Beverage Package (PBP) which includes up to 15 alcoholic beverages, menu priced US$12 & under, per day and unlimited non alcoholic beverages. Around 95% of all alcoholic beverages offered on the ship are menu priced at under $12. The PBP included the 18% beverage service charge. No extra tipping is billed. If you search for the Princess cruises PBP on line you can read the terms and conditions. Here is a dining guide. Look for Sky Princess in the first column.

https://www.princess.com/downloads/pdf/food-and-dining/dining-options.pdf

Edited by skynight
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I feel that just about everything on Princess is a step up in quality versus P&O.  

Also, as mentioned above, there is a much more cosmopolitan atmosphere on Princess - you feel you have been abroad, rather than spending a fortnight in an Eastbourne hotel. 

The only negatives for me would have been the autotips and the relatively high cost of drinks (especially with the added service charge). By opting for the Princess Plus package, you won't get a shock when you get your final bill at the end of the cruise, even though you have already paid them, to a certain extent. 

  

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Thanks.

 

Yes, We are on a Plus ticket so the price of drinks and auto-tips won't matter so much. We are in a balcony cabin.

 

We have almost exclusively sailed on Britannia so we won't feel totally lost then 🙂

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I love Club Class dining.  It's just an area within a MDR, but it is much more relaxed and has great service.  You can ask for a particular waiter and/or table if available.    International Cafe is great.  If they have the little chocolate mousses, get two!  Alfredo's is wonderful, too.  Excellent menu.

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5 hours ago, Snaxmuppet said:

Yes, We are on a Plus ticket so the price of drinks and auto-tips won't matter so much. We are in a balcony cabin.

No, but you have already paid for them, through the higher cruise cost.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Zombatar said:

We have booked a club class mini suite which looks quite nice and got a good deal from out TA that includes drinks, wifi and crew tips.

 

Just a comment here. Your TA did not get you a good deal. The deal was available to anybody whether they use a TA or not. It seems that far too often a TA will take credit for something - specialty dining, included gratuities, location upgrade, beverage package, etc. that is actually not a "gift" of "bonus" from the TA.

 

I'm not saying you shouldn't have booked the Princess Plus package... Heck, we book it as well. It just annoys me when a TA takes credit for something that is available to everybody even if they book directly with Princess.

Edited by Thrak
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6 minutes ago, Thrak said:

 

Just a comment here. Your TA did not get you a good deal. The deal was available to anybody whether they use a TA or not. It seems that far too often a TA will take credit for something - specialty dining, included gratuities, location upgrade, beverage package, etc. that is actually not a "gift" of "bonus" from the TA.

 

I'm not saying you shouldn't have booked the Princess Plus package... Heck, we book it as well. It just annoys me when a TA takes credit for something that is available to everybody even if they book directly with Princess.

I was trying to be more diplomatic than that,  but you are bang on! The OP paid for  the  package,  not the TA. 

However, I'm not sure if the same applies in the US, but here in the UK, when I see my account from Princess for my future cruises, it shows the individual elements of the Princess  Plus package as being paid for by my TA, whereas I obviously paid for it myself.

Just wondering if there is some tax advantage to Princess/Carnival if the Plus package is not allocated to corporate income, but hidden as a TA incentive?

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6 hours ago, Dar & Bob said:

Is the Club Class dining room open for lunch on embarkation day?  

 

It was when we had a suite on the Royal Princess but closed at 1 or 1:30. 

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13 hours ago, Zombatar said:

Jenny and I have cruised with a variety of cruise lines but never with Princess. We have just booked a 12 night cruise on Sky Princess at the end of October 2023 going round trip from Southampton to the Canaries. We have booked a club class mini suite which looks quite nice and got a good deal from out TA that includes drinks, wifi and crew tips. Most of our cruising has been done with P&O but we have been with several other lines as well. 

 

We wondered if anybody on here could tell us about Sky Princess; what she is like for food entertainment etc; how does she handle high seas (the Bay of Biscay at the end of October can be a little on the rough side!!) 

 

Most of our cruising has been done with P&O but we have been with several other lines as well. 

 

Anything that could be passed on to us, good or bad, would be highly appreciated.

 

Peter and Jenny

Welcome to Princess 

 

if was on the Sky Princess December 2019. She is a beautiful, clean ship, and quite large. I loved it. The food was excellent for the most part. A little disappointed in Sabatinis on that cruise. The cabin had a balcony, midship-aft area and was above Alfredos. Not much noise. 
I am booked on the 12 day Canary Island cruise on the Sky March 28/22. I chose spring in hopes of calm seas. 
I have sailed from Southampton a few times in Spring and early fall. Both seasons we had issues with rough seas and missed ports. 
hoping all by well. 

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10 hours ago, wowzz said:

No, but you have already paid for them, through the higher cruise cost.

Yes, that is true. But as they are already paid for it then ceases to be a factor in the "shall I have another" debate that I often have with myself 🙂 

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1 hour ago, Snaxmuppet said:

Yes, that is true. But as they are already paid for it then ceases to be a factor in the "shall I have another" debate that I often have with myself 🙂 

Absolutely  - we have the package for our next cruises, so no more debates!

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Thanks for all your comments guys, its been both interesting and informative. I never for one moment meant to infer that out TA was responsible for the drinks package etc but that the deal we had involved payment of a much smaller deposit than Princess wanted and given the number of holidays and cruises we have to pay for over the next couple of years meant we didn't have to tie up a big chunk of capital just yet!!

 

Peter and Jenny 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looking forward to our first cruise out of LA at the end of September.  We are first time Princess Cruisers as well; previously we were on Carnival and Royal Caribbean.  Neither of them were what we wanted or expected; the food was usually average but great waiters and stewards.  We have booked six cruises (or rather re-booked several of them due to cancellations) and looking forward to the higher level perks on our last two cruises.  Any suggestions on how to get to 15 cruises/150 cruise nights quickly?  Some of the cruises are shorter to help with the number of cruises.  On most of the cruises we have booked the Club Class Mini-Suite and look forward to the larger cabin/extra perks.  

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1 hour ago, asgoodnow said:

Any suggestions on how to get to 15 cruises/150 cruise nights quickly? 

 

Take longer cruises...

 

Seriously though, the "perks" aren't all that much to get worked up about. I'm boggled by people who brag about getting to Elite status by taking 1-3 night cruises in suites for the added cruise credits. We got to Elite after 13 cruises based on days at sea even though a couple were pretty short due to work. It wasn't the perks that were important. It was the cruising. Our longest to date was 28 days and we loved it. (We were booked last year for a 33 day B2B2B but the stupid virus killed those plans.) I'm actually sometimes jealous of the first time cruisers. You never get to have that first cruise experience again.

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4 hours ago, asgoodnow said:

Looking forward to our first cruise out of LA at the end of September

I hope you are aware of the new requirements for pre-cruise testing!

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9 hours ago, asgoodnow said:

Looking forward to our first cruise out of LA at the end of September.  We are first time Princess Cruisers as well; previously we were on Carnival and Royal Caribbean.  Neither of them were what we wanted or expected; the food was usually average but great waiters and stewards.  We have booked six cruises (or rather re-booked several of them due to cancellations) and looking forward to the higher level perks on our last two cruises.  Any suggestions on how to get to 15 cruises/150 cruise nights quickly?  Some of the cruises are shorter to help with the number of cruises.  On most of the cruises we have booked the Club Class Mini-Suite and look forward to the larger cabin/extra perks.  

For sooner status, book as a solo in a full suite ... 3 cruise credits.  

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9 hours ago, asgoodnow said:

Looking forward to our first cruise out of LA at the end of September.  We are first time Princess Cruisers as well; previously we were on Carnival and Royal Caribbean.  Neither of them were what we wanted or expected; the food was usually average but great waiters and stewards.  We have booked six cruises (or rather re-booked several of them due to cancellations) and looking forward to the higher level perks on our last two cruises.  Any suggestions on how to get to 15 cruises/150 cruise nights quickly?  Some of the cruises are shorter to help with the number of cruises.  On most of the cruises we have booked the Club Class Mini-Suite and look forward to the larger cabin/extra perks.  

Not really worth it to book extra cruises to climb the loyalty level ladder. Book cruise you enjoy and like to go on. We have been at the Elite level for over 10 years. Laundry service is nice as well as priority tender service. The amount you spend on extra cruises will cost way more than paying for laundry service. Other benefits are just there.

Fastest way is to book short cruises. One cruise = 1 cruise credit. Book a full suite and receive 2 cruise credits. Book solo in any cabin and receive 2 cruise credits. Book solo in a full suite receive 3 cruise credits.  You pay double fare when booking solo.

You can also get to Elite level by days on board. 150 days = Elite level. This works for people that book longer cruises. We reached Elite level, 150 days in 12 cruises because we booked long voyages.

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