Princess Cruises Debuts Largest Balconies at Sea

Princess Cruises Debuts Largest Balconies at Sea

WHY IT RATES: .Measuring 1,012 square feet (starboard side Sky Suite) and 947 square feet (port side Sky Suite), the new balconies provide private vantage of the ship’s Movie Under the Stars screenings and create the ultimate space for entertaining. —Mia Taylor, TravelPulse Senior Writer


Princess Cruises, a pioneer in building cruise ships specifically designed to include an array of the most sought-after shipboard features—the private balcony—continues to innovate by introducing the cruise industry’s largest balconies at sea, available when sailing in the Sky Suites onboard the new Sky Princess, launching in October 2019.

Two Sky Suites accommodations available now for booking onboard Sky Princess, as well as the cruise line’s next new ship, Enchanted Princess, are centrally located on the top decks—the apex of the ship and feature the largest private balconies ever offered by any cruise line.

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Measuring 1,012 square feet (starboard side Sky Suite) and 947 square feet (port side Sky Suite), the furnished balconies will provide a private vantage of the ship’s Movie Under the Stars screen and create the ultimate space for entertaining.

The two suites will also offer 270-degree panorama views and have a sleeping capacity for five guests, and more room for gathering—making them ideal for families.

“We’ve led the way on many innovations in the cruise industry, evolving to meet the needs of today’s vacationer and of all of our new stateroom innovations, we’ve never seen such immediate demand as we are for these Sky Suites,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises president.

“Our global fleet offers one of the highest percentages of balcony staterooms in the industry, across all cabin categories and now we’re eager for the arrival of the industry’s largest balconies at sea, inviting guests to relax privately or host their very own en-suite celebrations in style.”

Sky Suites feature two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a dining area with a skylight to the stars.

Before Sky Suite guests board their cruise ship, they can take advantage of a pre-cruise, shoreside concierge. Once onboard, guests will also enjoy Sanctuary services on their balcony, a private suite experience manager, complimentary access to the Lotus Spa’s Enclave, enhanced ultimate balcony dining and even a deluxe telescope for Discovery Stargazing at Sea. More exclusive Sky Suites services will be announced in the coming months.

Sky Princess debuts in the Mediterranean in October 2019 and Enchanted Princess sets sail in Europe in 2020. Both cruise ships, carrying 3,660 guests, will include the best of the stunning features found on—Royal Princess, Regal Princess, and Majestic Princess—as well as new offerings that represent an evolution of the current ships’ designs.

Additional Sky Princess features include:

Princess MedallionClass making your vacation experience better because it’s easier resulting in an effortless, enjoyable and memorable experiences on the first vessel built from the ground up to deliver a new level of personalized service. Enabled by the OceanMedallion, this complimentary wearable device will elevate the guest experience by allowing guests more time to enjoy doing what they love on a cruise vacation.

Award-winning entertainment offerings, including a new jazz lounge named Take Five, the popular Vista Lounge, an enhanced Princess Theatre, and new exclusive entertainment options.

World-class dining with more than 25 restaurants and bars onboard. From the World Fresh Marketplace to guest favorites like the Crown Grill Steakhouse and Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria, offering the Northern Italian flavors of acclaimed chef, Angelo Auriana.

Contemporary-Designed Sanctuary with eight private cabanas—offering an adults-only area for rest and relaxation.

The Enclave at Lotus Spa. Sky Princess will include Princess’s largest thermal suite at sea—featuring a stunning hydrotherapy pool, heated stone beds, Turkish bath, and dry, steam, and aromatherapy chambers.


SOURCE: Princess Cruises press release

What's New at Crystal River Cruises?

Crystal River Cruises

Crystal River Cruises is sailing into 2019 with a renewed focus on its award-winning product. The line’s four newest vessels (Crystal Bach, Crystal Debussy, Crystal Mahler and Crystal Ravel) have earned a steady stream of accolades since their debut.

The all-suite, all-butler, all-balcony ships feature king-sized beds that face Panoramic Balcony-Windows; walk-in closets; personal IPads, dual bathroom vanities and more.

The ships also feature the highest crew-to-guest ratio in the industry. Some 68 crew members serve 106 guests.

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“The heart of the Crystal River Experience is, like all Crystal Experiences, the genuine warmth and personalized service from the best crew in the industry,” said the line’s Vice President and Managing Director Walter Littlejohn.

According to Littlejohn, the line’s success is all about anticipating what today’s travelers want.

One thing those travelers definitely want is sophisticated dining on board. Crystal has heeded that call, with farm-to-table cuisine in multiple, open-seating eateries. Guests can choose from the elegant Waterside Restaurant, signature Bistro cafés, intimate, exclusive Vintage Room or the Palm Court.

“Menus are designed to reflect both the classic cuisine of the regions explored – with extraordinary wine lists complementing the selections – as well as Crystal’s own take on modern cuisine. Small bites, wines, specialty coffees and other cravings are available 24/7,” said Littlejohn.

The line continues to innovate on the itinerary front, as well. In May 2019, the new Enchanting Moselle itinerary debuts aboard Crystal Bach. The ten-day round-trip from Amsterdam travels through Germany and the Netherlands. It includes five entirely new ports of call, plus the opportunity to explore one of Europe’s most scenic regions. The Moselle is known for its steep hillside vineyards, the source of world-class Rieslings. Guests will not only enjoy wine tastings, they’ll visit historic sites, such as the Roman ruins of Trier and the iconic Reichsburg Castle perched above Cochem.

Most significantly, they’ll visit Bonn and Dusseldorf, new calls for the line. The former is the birthplace of Beethoven, while the latter is one of Germany’s cultural hubs. Additional excursions include the war museums of Arnhem, Netherlands and day trips to Luxembourg.

Littlejohn notes that other changes are coming to the river cruise lineup in 2019.

“We are offering shorter voyages starting at seven days to provide our guests with numerous choices. Due to overwhelming demand, we’ve also added more seven-night cruises on the Rhine River aboard Crystal Bach, sailing between Amsterdam and Basel. These itineraries provide guests with the option to combine sailings with a stay at a five-star hotel in Amsterdam or Paris,” said Littlejohn.

Crystal River Cruises offers a collection of more than 200 shoreside experiences. And nearly every itinerary features an inclusive Signature Event. These are special events that offer rare access and musical performances in iconic landmarks, such as Vienna’s Belvedere Palace, Linz’s St. Florian Monastery, Rüdesheim’s Monastery Eberbach and others. Excursion groups are limited to no more than 15 guests.