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Sky Princess

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Sky Princess is an elegant addition to the Princess Cruises fleet. It maintains many of the line's traditions (three main dining rooms, central Piazza, several pools and a demur onboard atmosphere) that cruisers of all ages love and goes all in on a neutral-based decor that gives the ship a timeless look. The ship also layers on more modern features that we believe will attract more Gen Xers and even older Millennials. From USB ports in rooms to a digital escape room experience that changes every time you play, the ship is very much a 21st-century vessel. Evening entertainment, in particular, is fantastically contemporary, with songs that stretch from the 70s to current radio hits, slick dance sequences and over-the-top costumes, and special effects that include laser light shows and pyrotechnics. (With that said, we sat next to a 70-something who was whooping and hollering throughout one of the shows, so it's not just for the younger set.)

Another wonderful addition? Bistro Sur La Mer, a noisy, vibrant, casual extra-fee eatery from a three-Michelin star chef, with some of the best food on the ship. With the exception of its buffet, which is fine but nothing special, dining throughout the ship is wonderful. Even if you never venture outside of the main dining rooms, you'll find enough variety to satisfy all your tastes. (You're doing yourself a disservice if you don't make it to the complimentary Alfredo's Pizzeria!)

Our only area of disappointment on Sky Princess was the service, which wasn't as good as we've come to expect from Princess. We encountered small snafus throughout the cruise and many crew members were not quite as friendly as we expected. The exception were the bartenders who were using the OceanMedallion onboard technology system to surprise cruisers by calling them by name, even when they'd never met before. Overall, Sky Princess does a great job of bridging the gap between the line's more traditional offerings and a much-needed infusion of modern style and entertainment.

Daytime: Daytime dress on Sky Princess is casual and driven more by the destination and the temperature than anything. On warmer weather sailings, shorts and T-shirts are common inside the ship, while bathing suits and cover-ups are the norm on outside decks.

Evening: Smart-casual most evenings: dresses, or nice pants or a skirt paired with a blouse for women, and nice pants and collared or button-up shirts for men. Once or twice per cruise is formal night. Women wear evening gown, cocktail dress or nice trouser suit, while men don dark suit or dinner jacket and slacks. Tuxedos are encouraged but rarely seen.

Not permitted: Swimwear, shorts, ball caps and jeans with fraying and/or holes are not permitted in the dining rooms or fine dining restaurants. Shoes must be worn at all times and in all venues.

Theatre

Princess' main theatre is home to two musical productions, as well as guest acts like magicians and comedians. Both musical productions are high energy, with fabulous costumes and songs you know. "Rock Opera" is a more traditional cruise song-and-dance show with no story line, but has a soundtrack that spans classic rock, musical theatre and opera, and costumes inspired by New York City's glamourous Met Gala. It was our favourite show of the cruise. The highly enjoyable "5-SKIES" has a storyline, which sees "Gamer 1" trying to complete five levels of a virtual reality game in order to save a princess. It features a lot of high-tech special effects (including some pyrotechnics), dazzling costumes and one of the coolest dance sequences we've ever seen feature dancers in bungee cord hookups. A few times throughout your cruise, Sky Princess also offers a show called "Jim Henson's Inspired Silliness" on the schedule. Presented in the Vista Lounge, it gives a close-up look at the magic of Henson's puppetry. We were worried it would be out of place on a Princess ship, but with narrative videos featuring excerpted Jim Henson interviews and a chronology that follows Henson from his earliest days to the height of his career, it's actually compelling -- and funny. Kids will love it for the puppets and adults, especially Gen Xers and boomers, will catch the subtle (and not subtle) societal commentary.

Daily Fun

The level of daytime entertainment on Sky Princess depends on whether it's a port day or a sea day. On sea days the daily schedule (detailed in the daily Princess Patter, on touch screens throughout the ship and on the MedallionClass phone app) is packed with games, trivia, spa seminars, art lectures and auctions, movies and more. Much of the fun can be found at the Princess Live! recording studio/lounge/secondary theatre -- it's that versatile. It's in Princess Live! that the cruise director records his or her morning show every day, but it's also where trivia, Battle of the Sexes, bingo and other interactive games are held, even into the evening. There's lots of seating (lounge style not theatre style), but it gets pretty packed during many of the activities.

In a first for Princess, Sky Princess also has an escape room experience called the Phantom Bridge (it's identified as The Experience Center on the ship maps). A mostly digital experience that makes use of touch screens, virtual reality and physical objects that can be manipulated, the time travel-themed Phantom Bridge runs about 25 minutes and can hold three (at the minimum) to six players. What makes Phantom Bridge so different from other escape rooms is that many elements of the game are randomly generated resulting in completely different puzzles to solve every time (up to 700 different combinations). Additionally, Phantom Bridge can be tailored to the players -- easier for younger players, more difficult for experienced players. It's also fully wheelchair accessible. The cost is $14 per person and $11 for kids 10 and younger. (Registration is on the first day in the Piazza or later at the guest services desk.) Another spot active during the day is the central Piazza, where you'll often find live music and the occasional music-themed trivia.

At Night Sky Princess is lively at night, with live music found in several spots onboard (we highly recommend spending at least one evening at the Take Five jazz lounge), shows that draw standing-room-only crowds in the theatre and an active casino. On top of that, the cruise director or assistant director often hosts some type of interactive game, usually a themed trivia in Princess Live!

 


Sky Princess Bars and Lounges

Highlights include:

Bellini's (Deck 5): The atrium bar, located in the Piazza, offers standard cocktails and is popular for pre-dinner drinks for anyone dining at the Soleil Dining Room.

Vines (Deck 5): Located just off the Piazza, Princess' signature wine bar is a nice place to get a glass and people watch. You'll also find wine tastings here throughout your cruise.

Good Spirits (Deck 6): A small walk-through bar located between the port and starboard sides of the ship, Good Spirits is a cocktail bar, with a specialized menu curated by celebrity mixologist Rob Floyd. At select times, the bartenders "perform," creating select drinks while accompanying videos describe the destination that inspired the drink and go into detail about some of the ingredients. The top drink here is the spicy Sandia en Fuego. For something sweeter, try the Tahiti-inspired Vanilla Sky.

Take Five (Deck 6): A first of its kind for Princess Cruises, Take Five is a live jazz lounge with a talented trio that plays every afternoon and evening. Often the sets are themed (Harlem, the women of jazz, Latin). There's a dance floor but we never saw it used, which is not to say it doesn't get crowded; people on our sailing preferred to sit and listen. The lounge has a Prohibition Era-inspired bar menu and the bartenders all dress up in speakeasy style.

Churchill's (Deck 6): This blink-and-you'll-miss-it lounge is where cigar smokers gather to do their thing. Avoid it if you don't like cigar smoke.

Crown Grill Bar (Deck 7): Located just outside the Crown Grill steakhouse, this lounge is more than just a pre- and post-dinner venue. Every night you'll find live music here, whether it's a piano player, steel drum musician or guitarist. During the day you'll often see people reading or even napping on the comfy chairs that line either side of the Deck 7 walkway that goes right through the bar.

Princess Live! Cafe (Deck 7): One of the two spots onboard to grab a gourmet coffee or tea for an extra fee. Unlike the International Cafe, you won't find any treats here, only drinks for purchase.

Concierge Lounge (Deck 14): This small lounge is only for suite passengers and is manned throughout the day by a concierge who can help with a variety of arrangements from dinner and spa reservations to shore excursions. It has plush armchair and sofa seating and is a quiet spot for anyone who wants something a little more private than all the walkthrough venues on the public decks.

Wake View Bar (Deck 16): Located all the way at the back of Deck 16, this outdoor bar offers lovely views out over the infinity pool and the wake of the ship. It's perfect for those brag-worthy sunset photos.

 


Sky Princess Outside Recreation

Pools

Sky Princess has an impressive five pools, one of which (more a plunge pool than anything) is located within the Deck 18 extra-fee Sanctuary. The two main pools (both with a capacity of 24 people) are located on Deck 16, while an adults-only pool can be found within the Retreat, all the way forward on Deck 17, and a small infinity-style pool is located all the way at the back of Deck 16. You'll find hot tubs in all of these spots as well. Flotation jackets are available for kids to borrow by the two main pools; there are no lifeguards. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent at the pool at all times.

Recreation

For those who want to be active out of doors, Sky Princess offers a tiny -- and very unchallenging -- mini-golf course and a sports court that can be used for basketball, soccer tournaments, tennis and pickleball. There are also two Ping-Pong tables on each side of Deck 17 toward the back of the ship.

Sun Decks

A great deal of space is dedicated to outdoor relaxation on Sky Princess, including the deck space immediately surrounding the pools on Deck 16 and overlooking them on Deck 17. The Deck 16 sun deck area includes Princess' signature Seawalk. Located on both sides of the ship, along the glass windows, Seawalk is a section of glass-floored walkway looking directly down into the ocean. It's one of the most popular photo/video stops on the ship. The two-level Retreat, also on Deck 17, is an adults-only space with loungers near the pool and also overlooking it. There are also cabana-like structures here for rent for a half day ($50) or a full day ($80), though they simply come with plush loungers and a bottle of water. On our sailing, while the cabanas in the Sanctuary sold out, these did not. The Sanctuary is Princess' for-fee, adults-only sun deck. Entry passes are for a half day ($20) or full day ($40) and include a plush lounger reservation and access to fruit and ice-cold flavoured waters. The Sanctuary also has cabanas for rent. Full-day rentals for two people ($220) come with two welcome drinks (any drink up to $12), two bottles of alcohol, eight cans of soda and four bottles of water (or your preferred ratio of soda to water). Half-day rentals ($140) receive two welcome drinks and half of all the other drink inclusions.

 


Sky Princess Services

Deck 5 is the main service deck on Sky Princess; here you'll find the guest services and shore excursion desks (both all the way forward). There's also a small retail shop on Deck 5, offering mostly snacks, but also sundries like toothpaste, deodorant and sea-sickness pills. Next to the shop is the ship's Internet Cafe where you'll find several computer stations and a tech guy to help out during scheduled hours. Wi-Fi is $9.95 per day for unlimited access for one device; there is also a package for up to four devices.

Sky Princess is an OceanMedallion-enabled ship. Instead of cruise cards, passengers are given casino chip-sized tokens that they can use to open their doors and pay for things. It also enables a slew of neat tricks, like having drinks delivered to wherever you are on the ship or finding your spouse, kids, parents or friends on the ship. A tutorial on how to use your OceanMedallion is offered in the main theatre on embarkation day and you can find videos on how to do different things on your in-cabin TV. More retail can be found on Decks 6 and 7, with most of the fine jewellery stores located midship on Deck 6 and clothing, watches and branded souvenirs on Deck 7. The ship's photo centre and camera shop is on Deck 6. Photos are displayed digitally on kiosks throughout the space. Just touch your OceanMedallion to the glowing sensor to find your photos. Nearby is the art gallery. Also on Deck 6 is the Future Cruise Center and loyalty desk, where members of the Princess Captain's Circle can come to ask questions or get help.

Deck 7 is where you'll find OceanFront, one of the most important spots on the ship for anyone who wants to use their OceanMedallion. Here you'll find Navigators who can answer any question you have about the system and can help solve problems. You can also purchase OceanMedallion accessories here, from clip-ons to sporty wristbands to fancy bracelets and necklaces. Each cabin deck has a DIY launderette. Wash and dry cycles cost $3 a piece and items like detergent and fabric softener are $1.50. You can also pay extra to have your dirty clothes washed and/or pressed for you. The medical centre is on Deck 4, and there's a chapel on Deck 14 for wedding renewal ceremonies.

Spa

The Lotus Spa is located on Deck 5\. You'll find the entrance off to the side of the guest services desk. The spa offers a full range of wellness treatments including massages ($159 to $239), facials ($129 to $169 and higher), wraps ($195 to $259) and scrubs ($169 to $219), as well as nail and hair services for women and men. Couples massages are also available and range from $259 to $429, depending on length. If you fancy both a massage and a facial, we recommend the face treatment and body ritual, which costs $299 for a Biotec facial and 50-minute Swedish massage. The salon offers a full range of nail and hair services, along with brows and lashes, teeth whitening and shaves for men. Frequent spa goers will want to take advantage of the triple bundle -- Get three signature treatments and you'll receive 10, 20 and 30 percent off, consecutively. Also look for specials on port days. Most spa treatments are only available to passengers 18 or older. Sky Princess' spa also features the line's largest thermal suite, The Enclave, which comprises a Turkish hammam, hydrotherapy pool with cascading rain shower, aroma steam rooms, a Laconium (heated, dry chamber), sensory showers, saunas, heated benches and stone beds. Passes are required for entry and cost $149 for a full week. On days when the Enclave is not busy, day passes might be available for $40. Other services include ionithermie, acupuncture, and medi-spa treatments, like Dysport and Restylane fillers.

Fitness

The gym on Sky Princess is located on Deck 17\. It's a good size with lots of Precor treadmills, ellipticals, stair climbers and bikes. There's even a recumbent bike that lets you play a game while you pedal. You'll also find weight machines and free weights in 5-pound increments. A smaller section has a TRX setup, heavy ropes, kettlebells, mats and a handful of spin bikes. A separate exercise room is used for classes. Free classes offered are total body conditioning and stretching. Yoga and cycling classes are $15 per session, while 4D Bungee FIT and Functional HIIT classes are $20 each. Individual training sessions are also available for a fee. Note there are no locker or changing rooms associated with the fitness centre. Outside on Deck 18 is a jogging track; seven laps is 1 mile. The gym also offers wellness seminars, but be warned these are mostly elaborate sales pitches for a variety of gadgets and nutritional supplements.

Dining on Sky Princess is excellent and one of the ship's main strengths, with the exception of the buffet, which we found to be only a bit better than average. Food in the main dining room is good to great and is always outstanding at the complimentary Alfredo's Pizzeria. The new-to-Princess Bistro Sur La Mer is an excellent addition to the lineup of extra-fee options, as is the new gelateria. Sky Princess can accommodate most dietary restrictions, though to be safe cruisers should let the line know ahead of their sailing. Vegetarian items are marked on menus in all sit-down restaurants. Families should note: Kids' menus, high chairs and booster seats are available in onboard restaurants.

 


Free Dining

Soleil (Deck 5), Cielo and Estrella Main Dining Rooms (Deck 6)

Meals: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Dinner (D): Sky Princess has three main dining rooms, with all three open for dinner to anytime diners (people who have chosen to eat any time between 5 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.). Only the Deck 6 Cielo Dining Room has reserved space for those who enjoy set seating, where you eat at the same time every night (either 5:30 p.m. or 7:45 p.m.), at the same table and with the same people. Breakfast is only served in the Deck 6 Estrella Dining Room, as is lunch and afternoon tea.

Breakfast has everything you could possibly want in the morning, from pastries, fruit and cereals to several preparations of eggs and griddle items. Lunch features a variety of items including appetizers, sandwiches, full main courses and desserts. Dinner in the main dining rooms is a grand affair on Sky Princess, with a slew of choices for soup/salad, pastas, appetizers, main entrees, sides and desserts, plus a selection of always-available items (appetizers and entrees) and upcharged Crown Grill steakhouse selections.

Special dietary needs can usually be accommodated, especially if you give the maitre d' or your waiter a heads up each evening for the next day's meals. Always feel free to ask for a second appetizer or entree, or for a half portion if a full portion will be too much. The menu also offers two wine pairings each night, one white and one red, paired with a specific main course dish.

Club Class Dining, Estrella Dining Room (Deck 6)

Meals: B, L, D: A section of the Estrella Dining Room is reserved for suite and Club Class mini-suite cruisers for breakfast and dinner (and lunch on sea days). The menu here is slightly more upscale than the standard main dining room offerings, though you can also choose to order from the regular menu if you want. A separate entrance means those with access to Club Dining never have to wait in line.

World Fresh Marketplace (Deck 16)

Meals: B, L, D: Sky Princess' buffet restaurant, World Fresh Marketplace, features a wide variety of stand-alone food stations, making it easy and quick to navigate. You'll have to do a full circuit (front to back, not side to side) to ensure you don't miss anything, particularly at lunch. Breakfast has the usual array of morning items from griddle choices to breakfast meats, eggs (several ways), yoghurts, cereals and fruit. Lunch is a mix of hot dishes, pastas, vegetarian dishes, carving stations, soups and salads; dinner is similar, though with a smaller selection.

The food is about average for a buffet, with some selections outstanding and others simply OK. Pastries (at all meals) and desserts are always located in the Pastry Shop, a special walk-through bakery that connects both sides of the buffet (located more midship than aft). The double chocolate chip cookies are a delight; put two on a plate and then take it over to Swirls for some soft-service ice cream and voila, a delicious ice cream cookie sandwich. Free self-serve water, lemonade and iced tea, and coffee machines are located throughout the buffet, but you can also ask a waiter to get a glass or cup for you.

Salty Dog Grill (Deck 16)

Meals: L, D: This gourmet, poolside grill offers up a variety of burgers (including veggie burgers), hot dogs, tacos, chilli and loaded fries. Everything is free at Salty Dog Grill, except the "Ernesto" burger, a rib eye and short rib patty loaded with pork belly, Gruyere, caramelized kimchi, beer-battered jalapeno and onion aioli.

Slice Pizzeria (Deck 16)

Meals: L, D: The spot to grab an after-swim slice, this pizza counter has a smaller menu than Alfredo's with two options of thin slice pizza (Margherita and pepperoni), an Italian deli Stromboli, two choices of California Toast (herbed Ciabatta toast with parmesan and toppings) and a loaded dish called a meatballs and cheese pizza boat.

Swirls (Deck 16)

Meals: Snacks: This small ice cream counter is hidden away in a corner of the pool deck. Here you'll find soft-serve vanilla, chocolate and swirl ice cream available in a cup or cone, along with rainbow or chocolate sprinkles.

Alfredo's Pizzeria (Deck 7)

Meals: L, D: Princess Cruises' popular sit-down pizza joint, Alfredo's offers eight pizza choices (the self-named Sky Princess pizza gets high marks), along with antipasti (including a vegetarian option), soup and salad, and two pasta dishes. Those with a sweet tooth will want to try the tiramisu; it's delicious. For the first time on a Princess ship, Alfredo's also features outdoor seating. Alfredo's is one of the busiest dining spots onboard; be prepared for a 10 to 15 minute wait, particularly during lunch hours.

International Cafe (Deck 5)

Meals: Snacks: Located in the atrium, the International Cafe is one of our favourite grab-and-go spots at sea. Small bites are available all day long and can include sandwiches, parfaits, soup, quiches, salads, pastries, cakes and more, depending on the time of the day.

Room Service

Meals: B, L, D: A free continental breakfast, along with a single hot item, can be ordered for breakfast by hanging your order form outside your room the night before. Cold items are the usual (fruit, yogurt, cereals and pastries), while the hot choice is an egg, bacon and cheese breakfast muffin. Delivery times are between 6:30 and 10:30 a.m. Lunch and dinner items include a mix of free and extra-fee items and run the gamut from salads and sandwiches to hot dishes and desserts.

 


Fee Dining

Sabatini's (Deck 5); $25 per person

Meals: D: A Princess staple, Sabatini's on Sky Princess features a trattoria menu from Los Angeles-based chef Angelo Auriana. The menu is divided into five sections (soup/salad, antipasti, pasta, main entree and dessert), with cruisers able to choose one item from each section. We highly recommend the burrata for your appetizer. The venue is located on Deck 5 across from the guest services desk and is the only restaurant closed off by doors, so it offers the quietest and most intimate dining atmosphere.

Chef's Table Lumiere (Deck 6); $115 per person

Meals: D: A foodie's dream, Chef's Table Lumiere offers the highest level of dining you can find on Sky Princess and is as much of an experience as a dinner. The multicourse meal is selected and prepared by the head chef and served at a beautiful glass table located inside the Cielo Dining Room. Offered several times per cruise (just how many times is based on the length of the sailing and the passenger demand), each meal is limited to about 12 people. Diners with specific food allergies or special needs can be accommodated if they let the ship know when registering for the dinner.

Bistro Sur La Mer (Deck 7); $29 per person

Meals: D: This French bistro, the brainchild of Emmanuel Renaut, is much more casual than you might expect from a three-Michelin star chef. Located in the busy Deck 7 walk-through thoroughfare, it's easy to mistake it for a bar with table seating. It's loud, with music wafting up from the Piazza two decks below and noise from passersby, but that all lends itself to a relaxed sidewalk bistro feel. The vibe is more chill than romantic, and it's a delight. (Anyone who prefers a quiet dining vibe should definitely skip it.) The food is equally casual, yet excellent, with everything from red snapper, scallops and fish 'n' chips (delicious, by the way) to filet mignon and braised veal shank. Every meal starts with polenta fries and fresh goat cheese "olives," which look exactly like olives (they've actually got a thin olive skin layer on the outside) but are creamy and loaded with taste once you bit into them. After this, diners can choose one appetizer (from seven, divided into sea and land options), one entree (four choices, also divided into sea and land options) and a dessert. Wine-lovers will want to check out the curated wine list from master sommelier Doug Frost.

Ocean Terrace Sushi Bar (Deck 7); a la carte pricing

Meals: L (sea days), D: This raw bar, located between Alfredo's and Bistro Sur La Mer, serves up a flight of oyster shooters, sushi and sashimi, ahi tuna poke, king crab cocktail, caviar and more. Rolls, sushi and sashimi costs from $3.25 to $11.50, while the four-course Chef's Special is $18. Ocean Terrace is also the spot onboard to get caviar ($50). Even if you're just there for a beverage, you can still have a snack of complimentary edamame, asparagus or cucumber salad.

Crown Grill (Deck 7); $29

Meals: D: Princess' signature steakhouse, Crown Grill features an array of chops, seafood and steaks. It's also got some of the best creamed spinach you can find at sea. The traditional steakhouse has a date-night vibe but is partially open along one side so you can hear the piano or guitar music from the Crown Grill Bar. Diners can select more than one appetizer and sides are served family-style, but for more than one entree, you'll need to pay a surcharge.

Gelato (Deck 5); a la carte pricing

Meals: Snacks Just one of a few venues in the world outside of Italy that is certified as serving authentic gelato, Sky Princess' gelato bar serves 14 flavors including salted caramel, pistachio, tiramisu and stracciatella. Scoops are $1.50 for one, $2.50 for two and $3.50 for three and toppings are free; there are also 10 types of gelato crepes on offer. You'll also find three flavors of sorbet and no-added sugar vanilla and chocolate.

Sky Princess' cabins are comfortable (featuring one of our favourite beds at sea), though they run on the small side. A few nice features of Sky Princess' cabins are the bedside lamps with built-in USB chargers, mini-fridges in every room, powerful hair dryers and interactive flat-screen TVs with on-demand movies (for a fee), plus Discovery TV programming, including shows from Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel.

All rooms have two twin beds that can be combined to form a queen, a desk with chair, extra U.S.- and European-style outlets, digital safe in the closet and bathroom amenities that include shower gel and a combo shampoo/conditioner. Closets in standard rooms are open style, with a single bar for hanging items, a long shelf above that (where you'll find your lifejackets) and a tall cupboard with shelves. Ask for extra or bring your own hangers if you and your roommate bring a lot of clothes. Most rooms have limited drawer space and it can be hard to find enough room to store everything you've brought, so you might need to get clever about finding spots.

The bathrooms had better storage space, with six small glass shelves and decent counter space. The showers also have a small ledge, ostensibly for women to use for shaving their legs, but it's perfect for putting shampoo, conditioner, soap and other bath products you might have brought. Water is hot, so always test before getting in, especially in case your room steward changed the setting.

Princess offers accessible cabins in a variety of categories on Sky Princess. These rooms have wider entryways, more space around the bed, and wheel-in showers. In accessible rooms with balconies, the balcony space is also increased. There are no cabins designed specifically with families in mind, but the mini-suites are a good choice as they have enough room for up to four people, a full bathtub and the sleeping space and living area (with sofa bed) can be separated by a curtain. Many cabins also connect to a next-door room -- another good option for families.

Cabin Categories:

Interior: The most basic rooms on Sky Princess are interior cabins, which have no window. Running 166 to 175 square feet, they are a little tight for a couple, and even tighter in those cabins that have room for a third or fourth person. There's not a whole lot of storage room, either, with just bedside tables and desk drawers.

Premium Oceanview: Similarly sized to interior rooms at 172 square feet, these rooms are distinguishable by their wall of massive, slanted floor-to-ceiling glass windows offering plenty of natural light and beautiful views. The rooms are also big enough to have an armchair and small table, but the storage is only slightly better than in the inside rooms.

Balcony: A comfortable 214 to 222 square feet (including the balcony), these cabins have room for two to three people, with just a tiny bit more storage space than inside rooms. Depending on the configuration, you might also have an armchair and small coffee table. The balcony has two blue mesh chairs and a small drinks table.

Deluxe Balcony: These balcony cabins have larger balconies than standard balcony cabins and feature sofa beds. The balconies feature two mesh chairs and a small metal drinks table. Most run about 233 square feet, but aft-view deluxe balconies are slightly larger, ranging from 242 to 312 square feet.

Mini-Suite: Mini-suites are approximately 323 square feet and have a larger balcony and a sitting room with a sofa bed and coffee table separated from the bed area by a curtain. There are two flat-screen TVs (one by the bed and the other in the sitting room). The large balcony has two to four mesh chairs, a small table and an ottoman. Mini-suite bathrooms have bathtubs, making them an ideal choice for families with small kids. Cruisers staying in mini-suites get a complimentary welcome glass of Champagne on embarkation day. Club Class: A selection of the ship's best-located mini-suites are designated as Club Class and come with several perks, including an exclusive Club Class Dining space in the main dining room with expedited seating and expanded menu options, priority embarkation and debarkation, and complimentary half bottles of red and white wines in your room.

Suites: Sky Princess offers cruisers seven different types of suite, ranging in size from 440 to 1,500 square feet (including the balcony). All come with a slew of perks, including priority embarkation and disembarkation at the beginning and end of the cruise; priority disembarkation at tender ports; complimentary laundry; a complimentary dinner in a speciality restaurant on embarkation day; access to the Club Class dining room for breakfast and dinner daily, as well as for lunch on sea days; priority speciality dining and shore excursion reservations; and a complimentary mini-bar setup and free daily bottled water. Other perks include an upgraded priority room service menu with full lunch and dinner offerings and a priority line at the guest services desk.

Regardless of category, all suites feature a sleeping area and a sitting room with sofa bed separated by a curtain, large walk-in closets (with drawers, shelves and hanging space), two flat-screen TVs, at least two arm chairs, upgraded bathroom amenities and a bathroom with a tub and separate shower. Suites with balconies will find at least two loungers, two wooden chairs and a round dining table.

Premium Suite: These 554-square-foot suites (including balcony) are located on the forward corners of Decks 9 through 12\. The rooms have sloping walls because of their forward location.

Penthouse Suite: Penthouse suites range from 587 to 682 square feet (including balcony) and are primarily located on the back corners of Decks 9 through 15\. However, there are also six 440-square-foot penthouse suites on Deck 17 that are located toward the front of the ship but are not corner rooms. Bedrooms have several drawers for storage and are separated from the sitting room by a thick curtain; sitting rooms have a sofa bed, two arm chairs and a coffee table, and just a small amount of storage space. You can reach the balcony from either the bedroom or the sitting room.

Owner's Suite: There are just two of these suites, both located on Deck 8 in prime aft corner positions. They are virtually identical to penthouse suites.

Window Suite: This single 710-square-foot room is essentially a Premium Oceanview cabin on steroids, with a sleeping area and large living space. It's got massive floor-to-ceiling glass windows but no balcony.

Sky Suite: New to Princess Cruises are these two Sky Suites, located at the top of the ship on Deck 18; one is 947 square feet, while the other is 1,012 square feet. The suites' main draw is their 270-degree views, thanks to almost wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling glass windows and massive balconies. The downside of the balconies, however, is that so much space is given over to them that the suite itself feels a bit cramped. There are two bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a living area, plus a dining area with a skylight. The wraparound balcony has room for outdoor dining and sun-worshipping on loungers or in a plush clamshell. Additionally, you'll find a telescope for private stargazing.

Cruisers staying in these suites receive extra perks -- besides the best seats in the house for Movies Under the Stars -- including access to a pre-cruise concierge and a private suite experience manager onboard, complimentary access to the ship's The Enclave at Lotus Spa, enhanced ultimate balcony dining experience, and reserved seating in the theatre (the only category of suite to get reserved seating).

Speaking of the best seats in the house for Movies Under the Stars, each Sky Suite gets to pick one of the movies that will be shown on the big screen during the cruise. Sky Suite residents can arrange for special events, such as a private wine tasting, a violin player to come provide background music at dinner or even a DJ. For those evening soirees, Sky Suite passengers can pay $300 for an hour of open bar with a bartender.

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