Discovering New Horizons with Princess – A Complete Discovery Princess Review With Photos

In this Discovery Princess review, I share a lot of detailed information about the ship from my personal expereinces on a recent cruise.

Discovery Princess review

Last Updated on 02/16/24 by Rose Palmer

I have recently developed a love for cruising in all forms. Big ships, little ships, ocean, river, or canal, I love being on the water. So, when I had the chance to take part in a travel writer’s conference on the Discovery Princess, I didn’t have to think twice to sign up.

This was just a weeklong cruise from Vancouver to Los Angeles with port stops in Victoria and San Francisco. It was a wine lovers themed cruise and offered a number of special activates related to fine wines and wine tasting.

Enjoying a delicious afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, Canada
Enjoying a delicious afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, Canada
Views of the Golden Gate Bridge from my balcony on the Discovery Princess
Views of the Golden Gate Bridge from my balcony on the Discovery Princess

My Discovery Princess review

Even though I have sailed on three other Princess Royal Class ships, I was still very excited to see the newest ship in this line, the Discovery Princess. As I expected, I found many of the Princess touches that I love along with some new to me experiences that have become Princess favorites.

Glass ceiling sculpture in the Piazza on the Discovery Princess
Glass ceiling sculpture in the Piazza on the Discovery Princess

What I loved about this Princess cruise

I have become quite a fan of Princess cruises in the last couple of years.  I’ve tried many of the Princess ships and have never been disappointed. For me, stepping foot on a Princess ship is like coming home, but better because I don’t have to do any work.

We;come aboard the Discovery Princess
Welcome aboard the Discovery Princess

As I’ve discovered on other Princess cruises, the staff never ceases to impress me. They all work very hard to keep the Princess passengers happy and their service was always delivered with a smile.

My room steward was a magician, keeping my room perfectly made up while being completely unobtrusive. The bed was crisply made, my bathroom was spotless, and the dirty dishes disappeared. He most definitely spoiled me.

Breakfast on the balcony - one of my favorite Princess cruise activities
Breakfast on the balcony – one of my favorite Princess cruise activities

For me, cruising is my “me time”. It’s my time to just relax and do what I want on my schedule. Even on a big ship, I can always find a quiet corner where I can listen to an audiobook, or read, or catch up on writing while looking out at the ocean.

I have some Princess cruising favorites that I now look forward to. I love the bed and bedding – it is the most comfortable I have ever experienced while traveling (and I travel a lot). I love watching a favorite film on Movies Under the Stars. And I look forward to all the goodies at the International Cafe. I also really enjoy the specialty restaurants and the special dining expereinces that Princess puts together.

Yup – a Princess ship is most definitely my happy place.

Mural on the Discovery Princess
Mural on the Discovery Princess

Discovery Princess deluxe balcony room review

One of the hallways with cabins on the Discovery Princess
One of the hallways with cabins on the Discovery Princess

The Discovery Princess had over 1400 balcony style cabins in a variety of sizes so there were many to choose from. I booked a deluxe balcony cabin midship on deck 12, the Aloha deck. This location was very convenient for accessing all the public spaces on board ship.

My balcony on the Discovery Princess
My balcony on the Discovery Princess

As I expected, the cabin décor was very new and modern looking with a very soothing color scheme in shades of taupe and bluish grey set against bright white bedding.

The Princess bed is one of my favorite cruising experiences – big, feather pillows and a comforter covered with high thread count linens. Between the crisp bedding and the gentle rocking of the ship, I always sleep exceptionally well on a Princess cruise.

I personally have more than enough storage in my cabins, especially when traveling solo (I also pack rather light). I think there would certainly be enough space for two guests in one room.

My closet on the Discovery Princess
My closet on the Discovery Princess

Besides the closet with its 35 hangers, there was also a tall storage cabinet with six shelves and a safe. There were two nightstands besides the bed with two drawers. The room also had a desk with three drawers (one with a built in hair dryer), and a credenza with a mini fridge and three shallow open shelves.

Outlets at the desk in my room on the Discovery Princess
Outlets at the desk in my room on the Discovery Princess

To my surprise, I found that on this cruise there were actually enough outlets for charging. Each nightstand had a lamp with a built in USB port and the desk had both American and European style outlets. The bathroom also had an outlet that could take either a European or American style plug (Australians and Brits will need an adapter).

The bathroom was the usual size that I am used to with this cruise line and was also sufficiently roomy for one person. There was a shower with an adjustable height shower head, toilet, one sink, and three shelves. The built in clothesline in the shower came in handy when I needed to dry my swimsuit. My room steward also kept me supplied with clean towels each day which certainly spoiled me.

My bathroom on the Discovery Princess
My bathroom on the Discovery Princess

The details of my bathroom on the Discovery Princess

The Discovery Princess ship details

The stats:

  • Royal class
  • Year inaugurated – 2022
  • Last refurbished –NA
  • Last dry dock – NA
  • Maximum number of passengers –3660
  • Maximum number of crew -1346

The Discovery Princess had a large choice of public spaces with lots of activities going on all day. I am sharing my photos and this list of all the public spaces on the Discovery Princess.

The Discovery Princess
The Discovery Princess

A few things to note:

As with other Royal Class Princess ships, there was no dedicated library space. There was also no open promenade deck that wrapped all around the ship. Parts of the Discovery Princess deck 7 outdoor promenade area had some deck chairs aft and forward, but I could not walk it all around the ship. The lifeboats also hung here so the views were impeded by them. However, the jogging track on deck 17 provided a circular walking area and unhindered ocean views.

Outside on Promenade deck 7
Outside on Promenade deck 7

Deck 5 – Plaza

The Piazza – this was the beautiful, soaring, three story beating heart of the ship. It featured elegant, curving staircases with lots of shiny gold, marble, and sparkly blue and white glass accents. There was often an activity or musical performance happening here throughout the day and at night.

The Piazza on the Discovery
The Piazza on the Discovery
The Piazza on the Discovery
The Piazza on the Discovery
The Piazza on the Discovery
The Piazza on the Discovery

Surrounding the Piazza are:

The International Café – this was one of my favorite places for a quick bite, especially for breakfast, lunch, or a post-excursion snack. It was the only food venue open 24 hours which made it the place to go for a late night bite after a show. This was also the location where I got a cappuccino or other specialty coffee (for a fee without a drinks package).

International Cafe
International Cafe
My favorite almond croissants and other breakfast goodies in the International Cafe on the Discovery Princess
My favorite almond croissants and other breakfast goodies in the International Cafe

Good Spirits at Sea – one of the bars on the ship with great specialty cocktails. This was also a good spot to watch the action or listen to the music in the Piazza.

Good Spirits at Sea on the Discovery Princess
Good Spirits at Sea

Salty Dog Gastropub – one of the casual dining restaurants on the Discovery Princess. It was open for dinner and was also where the pop up Crab Shack was offered at lunch.

Lunch at the pop up Crab Shack at the Salty Dog Gastro Pub
Lunch at the pop up Crab Shack at the Salty Dog Gastropub

Gelato – I had wonderful Italian style ice cream here – my downfall (extra charges applied).

The gelato spot on the Discovery Princess
The gelato spot on the Discovery Princess
Raspberry and mango gelato on the Discovery Princess
My favorite – raspberry and mango gelato on the Discovery Princess

Shops of Princess – the shop had a very minimal selection of necessities if I forgot something, though on the pricey side.

Internet café – a small little corner with desks and computer monitors where I could  catch up on e-mails  or ask for IT help.

Internet cafe on the Discovery Princess
Internet cafe on the Discovery Princess

Aft of the Piazza:

Juneau Dining Roomone of the three main dining rooms which was open for dinner. All three dining rooms serve the same menu each night.

Forward of the Piazza:

Guest Services – the desk where I went for answers or help during the cruise. I found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. There was a kiosk here as well where I could print my folio any time using my medallion. 

Shore Excursions Desk – the place to go to book shore excursions or get answers to questions about shore excursions. I found it just as easy to book a shore excursion via the Princess Cruises app.

Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria – another specialty restaurant on board. I really enjoyed my dinner here one night. (Extra charges applied without a package).

360 Dining experience – this multimedia sensory extravaganza is unique to Princess. I wrote all about it in my story The Princess 360 Experience – A Performance For all the Senses.

the 360 dining experience on the Discovery Princess
The 360 dining experience on the Discovery Princess

Lotus Spa and Salon – besides the usual spa and salon services, I also enjoyed time in the Enclave, an indoor heated space with a small warm water pool, heated loungers, and steam rooms. Access to the enclave was by buying a package for the whole length of the cruise.

Couples massage room in the Lotus Spa
Couples massage room in the Lotus Spa
The Enclave on the Discovery Princess
The Enclave on the Discovery Princess

Deck 6 – Fiesta

Public spaces forward to aft:

Princess Theater lower levela large venue for evening shows,  performances, and enrichment lectures.

Churchill Arcade – replaced what was the cigar lounge.

Take Five -at night this was the jazz music lounge which I really enjoyed. During the day it was a quiet spot that was not very busy.

Princess Casino a variety of gaming options for those that like to gamble. Note that smoking was allowed in this space.

Shops of Princess I had plenty of choices for shopping or window shopping, especially jewelry.

Ocean Terrace Sushi Bar – my favorite casual restaurant on board that served sushi and sashimi.

Ocean Terrace
Ocean Terrace
Eating sushi at Ocean Terrace
Eating sushi at Ocean Terrace

Crooners – this was a very stylish spot for drinks while listening to piano music or listening to the music playing in the Piazza.

Photo gallery – no more pre-printed photos. Instead, there were monitors where I could view and order photos using my medallion.

Photo Gallery on the Discovery Princess
Photo Gallery

Fine Arts Gallery – showing new art for the art auctions at sea. 

Fine Art Gallery on the Discovery Princess
Fine Art Gallery on the Discovery Princess

Future Cruise Planning – I put a deposit on a future Princess cruise which will give me free onboard credit.

Future Cruise Center on the Discovery Princess
Future Cruise Center

Skagway Dining Roomthis dining room was open for all three meals and was also where afternoon tea was served. This is also where Reserve dining was available.

The Juneau Dining Room on the Discovery Princess
Wine Cellar area of the Juneau dining room
In the Juneau dining room on the Discovery Princess
In the Juneau dining room

Ketchikan Dining Roomone of the three dining rooms open for dinner. Note that I could only access this dining room from the aft lift area. This was also where I had the special Chef’s Table Lumiere dinner.

Deck 7 – Promenade

Public spaces moving forward to aft:

Princess Theater upper level – I could also access the theater from this level.

The Shops of Princess another elegant space with lots of shopping and browsing choices.

Bellini’sanother elegant bar space with views looking over the Piazza.

The Catch by Rudi the newest specialty dining restaurant in the fleet with unique presentations of seafood dishes, but also plenty of choices for meat lovers and vegetarians. The Discovery is the fourth ship in the fleet to get The Catch by Rudi (after Sky, Enchanted and Majestic Princess). Loved my meals here!

Gigi’ Pizzeriathis is one of the casual restaurants on board where I had fresh, made to order pizzas. There was a fixed price menu which included appetizer, pizza and dessert. (This was an extra charge without one of the packages). But I could also order individual items off the menu (also for a fee).

Ocean Front – selling all manner of medallion accessories. (I purchased a pretty, black beaded lanyard on Amazon instead).

Princess Live! and Princess Live Cafeone more large venue for daily activities and evening entertainment and of course, drinks.

Crown Grill Bar – a beautiful bar space with lots of seating.

Crown Grill Bar also had piano music
Crown Grill Bar also had piano music

Crown Grillthis was the specialty steakhouse restaurant serving fine steaks and seafood. I had a great fillet steak dinner here one night. (Extra charges apply).

Crown Grill on the Discovery
Crown Grill on the Discovery

Vista Loungeanother large venue at the very back of the ship with activities, evening entertainment, and drinks.

Outside  Gigi’s and The Catch was the Promenade Deck and Alfresco Dining. This outdoor space did not go all around the ship and the forward portion was inaccessible while at sea. The lifeboats hung here so the views were limited. There was also a small area aft with some deck chairs that was usually not busy and had unobstructed views.

The Promenade Deck outside Gigi's pizza
The Promenade Deck outside Gigi’s pizza
Aft deck space on deck 7 with some lounge chairs
Aft deck space on deck 7 with some lounge chairs

Deck 14 – Riviera

Wedding Chapel – Princess can help put together a wedding ceremony or vow renewal.

Concierge Lounge – lounge space with snacks and drinks for suite guests only.

Wedding Chapel and Concierge Lounge on the Discovery Princess
Wedding Chapel and Concierge Lounge on the Discovery Princess

Deck 16 – Lido

Public spaces forward to aft:

Slice Pizza – the Neapolitan style pizza had a thin, crispy crust and each day there was a special that offered different toppings. I could get as many slices as I liked all throughout the day.

The Slice Pizza
The Slice pizza

THE MIX – poolside bar located between the Salty Dog Grill and Slice. Perfect spot to get a drink to go along with my pizza or the burger.

The Salty Dog Grill – great spot to satisfy that burger-and-fries craving; or to get hot dogs, a chicken sandwich, or loaded fries.

The salty Dog Grill on the Lido Deck
The Salty Dog Grill on the Lido Deck

Sky Poolstwo big pools with hot tubs and lots of lounge chairs for sunning and relaxing. Loved the lounge pits in between the two pools. I could also watch Movies-Under-The-Stars here.

Sea walk – a glass walkway on both sides of the deck with views down to water level. I still have a hard time walking on the glass.

Sea Walk on the Discovery Princess
Sea Walk on the Discovery Princess

Sea View Bar – another option for drinks while lounging in the pool or hot tubs.

Swirls Ice Cream– I love this free soft serve chocolate and vanilla ice cream any time of day.

AMy soft serve ice cream cone from Swirls
My soft serve ice cream cone from Swirls

The World Fresh Marketplace – the buffet restaurant was open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and snacks in between. There was a huge variety of food choices at every meal. Each day there was also a different international theme option on the menu.

I also came here to get drinks of water, tea and coffee. I filled up a clean glass with water and then poured that into my personal cup. This minimized any possible contamination.

Water dispenser in the buffet area
Water dispenser in the buffet area
World Fresh Marketplace
World Fresh Marketplace buffet

The Pastry Shop – tucked in the middle of the World Fresh Marketplace, this spot was easy to miss. I came here for dessert options and afternoon tea goodies. This was also where the fresh juice bar was located.

The juice bar on the Discovery Princess
The juice bar on the Discovery Princess
Just a few of the pastries in the Pastry Shop
Just a few of the pastries in the Pastry Shop

Wakeview Bar – This area was just outside the World Fresh Marketplace and had outdoor seating for eating al fresco. There was also an outdoor poolside bar offering a variety of drinks.

Wakeview Pool – small pool on the back end of the ship, perfect for a quick refreshing dip when it was warm enough.

The Wakeview Pool on the Discovery Princess
The Wakeview Pool on the Discovery Princess

Deck 17 – Sun

Public spaces forward to aft:

Retreat pool and bar– this intimate, adults only pool and hot tub area was accessed from a door across from the forward lifts.  On warm, sunny days, this was a popular spot and all the lounge chairs were full.

Midship:

Movies Under the Stars sitting area– Princess’ trademark large screen above the Sky Pools where I could see movies and concerts. This was one of my favorite activities on the ship.

Lounge chairs on deck 17 on the Discovery Princess
Great spot for watching Movies Under the Stars

Hot tubs – there were four more hot tubs on the deck here, two with views of the ocean and two with views of the Movies-Under-The-Stars.

Enjoying the hut tubs on the Discovery Princess
Enjoying the hut tubs

Aft:

Fitness center – the place to go to work off all the calories from all that good food. Walked for miles on a treadmill while looking out over the deep blue sea.

Fitness area on the Discovery Princess
Fitness area on the Discovery Princess

Camp Discovery and the Beach House – dedicated club areas for children. For security reasons, I was not allowed to take photos inside the Kids Club area.

Camp Discovery on the Discovery Princess
Camp Discovery – special activities space for young cruisers

Outdoor deck with seating area over the Wakeview Pool – a very pleasant area to relax and look out over the ocean. This was also a designated smoking spot.

Deck 18 – Sky

Forward – note that these areas could only be accessed from the forward lifts

The Sanctuarythis was a quiet, adult only retreat where I could relax without the crowds. I came here as soon as I boarded to reserve a deck chair for one of the sea days. For a fee, I could pick my lounge chair and reserve it for a full day, or a half day either (morning or afternoon).

Cabanas in the Sanctuary on the Discovery Princess
Cabanas in the Sanctuary
Massage tables in the Sanctuary
Massage tables in the Sanctuary

Retreat pool deck– the upper deck level around the retreat pool with two hot tubs and additional lounge chairs.

Semi-private spaces with lounge chairs on the retreat deck
Semi-private spaces with lounge chairs on the retreat deck

Aft – this area could only be accessed via outside stairs from deck 17.

Movies Under the Stars screen

The Movies Under the Stars screen on the Discovery Princess
The Movies Under the Stars screen

Jogging track – seven times around the track equaled one mile. This was also a nice spot to enjoy unobstructed ocean views in all directions. I also liked the street art murals on the walls of the jogging track.

Center court – very large, netted, basketball court and pickle ball court.

Basketball court and pickle ball court.
Basketball court and pickle ball court.

Deck 19 – Vista

The Greens Mini Golf – small putting green that could only be accessed by stairs from aft area of deck 18.

Laundromats

On decks 8 through 15, Princess provided self service laundry facilities in the aft portion on each floor – another of this cruise lines’ perks.

Using my medallion, I purchased tokens for the washing machines and dryers from the vending machines located in the laundry room. I could also buy detergent, but I brought my own. There were also irons and ironing boards for guests’ use.

This is one of my favorite benefits on a Princess cruise ship. It meant that I could pack lighter and wash a quick load or two midway through a long cruise.

On this sailing we had one formal dress night, and the rest were all smart casual dress.

Discovery Princess food review

With only a week on the ship, it was a little bit of a challenge to try every food venue on board the ship, but I did my best. I wrote a separate post about all the dining experiences on board the Discovery Princess (so that this one would not be unreasonably long).

I especially loved the unique multisensory 360 dining experience which is only available on the Discovery and Enchanted Princess ships.

A Taste of All the Discovery Princess Dining Options, Including the 360 Dining Experience

Lamb chop main entre
Lamb chop main entre

I liked all the food I had a chance to try (and some of it was great). I was especially impressed by the diversity available at every meal. From the ethnic dishes in the buffet to the fresh sushi to the pizza and gelato, I did not lack for choices.

Discovery Princess entertainment review

I always find plenty to do on a Princess cruise if I am looking for distracting activities. I especially like the variety of musical offerings available throughout the day and in the evening.

The performers change from one cruise to another, so I don’t want to spend a lot of time writing about specific shows. During my week on board there were two large scale musical productions in the theater that showcased the excellent vocal and dancing talents of the Princess performers.

My favorite entertainment was listening to jazz in the evenings at Take 5. And listening to the piano player at Crooners while sipping a cocktail was also a treat.

Enjoying a musical performance in the theater on the Discovery Princess
Enjoying a musical performance in the theater on the Discovery Princess

Additional Discovery Princess cruise tips and information

The Medallion 

The Medallion is a waterproof, round electronic button that held all my personal Princess cruise information and also acted as my room key. I prefer to pick up my medallion at check in at the port so I have one less thing to worry about when I pack.  I wore it on a pretty beaded lanyard that I purchased on Amazon, though lots of medallion accessories were available for purchase on board.

The Medallion automatically unlocked my room once I was within about 3-4 feet of my cabin door. I also used it for any on board charges for drinks, excursions, etc. It was also my identification to get back on the ship after getting off in port.

Touchpad outside my stateroom door on the Discovery Princess
Touchpad outside my stateroom door

The Princess Cruises App 

I used the Princess Cruise App to check in before my cruise. I filled out all the necessary information and was in the “blue” check in lane since I chose to pick up my medallion at the port.

Once on board, I used the app to schedule dinner reservations, order room service, order drinks to be delivered to my seat, and look at my bill. I could also track and find members in my cruising party. I have also used the app to easily book a last minute shore excursion the night before we docked in a port.

I also used the medallion to check in to my muster station Once I boarded the ship.

Interactive On Board Screens

Near each elevator, one large interactive screen displayed a map of the ship and another displayed the current activities going on throughout the ship. These touch screens were very easy and intuitive to use.

Digital display on the Discovery Princess with the deck plans
Digital display on the Discovery Princess with the deck plans

MedallionNet WiFi

I had the 4-device package for the full length of the trip so that I could use both my phone and my computer at the same time while on board. Signing up and logging into the Wi-Fi network was easy.

I had an excellent signal throughout the cruise and had no problems accessing and using the network to update this blog or to check emails.

Travel Tip – I make sure to switch my phone to Airplane Mode before I leave port so that I do not incur roaming charges. I make any calls back home via WiFi and WhatsApp while I am at sea.

Princess Patter

On my cruise, my cabin steward dropped off the Princess Patter each night and it listed the following day’s activities.

In room TV

Besides watching movies, TV programs, and listening to music, I was also able to watch the enrichment lectures that had been presented at the theater in the comfort of my cabin.

I also watched the mandatory safety video on the TV in my cabin after boarding.

Bridge Cam

I can see where the Discovery Princess is currently sailing through its bridge cam at https://www.princess.com/bridgecams/

Princess is one of my favorite cruise lines and this ship did not disappoint – I really loved my week on the Discovery Princess. My only complaint is that the cruise was not long enough to really enjoy the ship to the fullest extent. I guess that means I will just have to book another cruise on this beautiful vessel.

The Discovery Princess docked in San Francisco
The Discovery Princess docked in San Francisco

 

Please note that I received a media upgraded cabin from Princess.  All content and opinions in this post are my own.

 

You can find all my cruising content on my Experience-Cruising page.

 

Other Princess cruising stories:

The Princess packages explained: Princess Cruises Drinks Packages and Fare Packages – Which One is Best?

Regal Princess Review: Cruising Like A Princess – A Complete Regal Princess Review With Photos

Detailed Ruby Princess review: Living Like Royalty On a Princess Cruise – A Complete Ruby Princess Review With Photos

Detailed Sky Princess review: Cruising Sky High With Princess – A Complete Sky Princess Review With Photos

 

Thanks for visiting

Rose

 

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