Last Updated on 01/07/23 by quiltripping
There are many reasons to take a cruise, and a never ending supply of good food is certainly one of them. On a recent cruise to Norway, I tried many of the Sky Princess specialty restaurants, along with the included Sky Princess dining options. I also had a chance to try the much sought after Chef’s Table dinner experience.
I have cruised on a few Princess ships over the years including my recent experience on the Sky Princess. This beautiful cruise ship was built in 2019 but due to the long pause during the pandemic it still felt quite new when I cruised with her. You can read all about the Sky Princess in my post Cruising Sky High With Princess – A Sky Princess Review With Photos.
First, let me review the included dining options on the Sky Princess. There are many, many choices all throughout the ship.
The Sky Princess dining options
Main dining rooms – Decks 5 and 6
The three large main dining rooms (Estrella – deck 6, Cielo – deck 6, Soleil – deck 5) served breakfast, lunch and dinner from a menu that had new items each day as well as Princess favorites. Estrella was open for all three meals while Cielo and Soleil were only available for dinner.
I suggest making dinner reservations before you travel if you want to eat at a specific time and if that time is during the prime dinner hours. Definitely make dinner reservations in the dining rooms for formal nights.
Dinner in the main dining room
I especially liked going to the Estrella dining room for lunch as it was normally not as busy – most guests seemed to prefer the buffet for lunch. Plus, there were always breakfast options like eggs benedict and French toast on the lunch menu, so it made for a good brunch option as well.
Lunch in the main dining room
Dessert in the main dining room
Afternoon tea was offered each day in the Estrella dining room as well. Waiters came around with trays of bite sized sandwiches, mini deserts and scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. And of course, tea.
Alternately, the Pastry Shop in the buffet area on deck 16 also offered afternoon tea goodies with all the trimmings.
The Bistro and World Fresh Market Place Buffet – Deck 16
The Bistro and the World Fresh Marketplace buffet was also a good choice when I had less time. I was quite impressed with the huge variety of dishes offered and the freshness of the fruits and veggies.
Even though the ship stocked up with food supplies for 3000 guests for two weeks in Southampton, the watermelon was as fresh and sweet on day 14 as it was on day 1.
Each day the buffet menu also featured authentic dishes from a particular country at lunch and dinner. We had Korean, Mexican, Portuguese, and Brazilian just to name a few. I grew up with German food at home and was pleasantly surprised at the many authentic choices on Bavarian dinner night, including Leberkase, something I had not had since my last visit to Germany.
The Pastry Shop in the buffet was where all the deserts were and also had afternoon tea goodies each day (scones with clotted cream and jam, little sandwiches, and little pastries). This was my choice for a snack if I did not make the 3 o’clock afternoon tea in the main dining room.
I liked that many of the buffet items were not self serve and that they were served to us. I also went up to the buffet to refill my water bottle during the day with ice water or iced tea, and to get hot tea (or coffee for those that drink it).
Slice and Salty Dog Grill – Deck 16
Two other spots I liked for a quick meal was Slice pizza and the Salty Dog Grill on the top deck. Both of these were great options for a quick meal when I came back on board after a long day exploring the ports.
I really like the crispy, Neapolitan style thin crust pizza from Slice, and there was always a different pizza special each day. I liked bringing a couple of slices back to the room for lunch on the balcony. The Salty Dog grill was also good for burgers, pulled pork sandwiches, fries or a hot dog.
Alfredo’s – Deck 7
For a sit-down pizza option, the Sky Princess also had Alfredo’s Pizzeria where I could order a whole 10 inch pizza from a menu of different pizza creations. This was a popular spot and I found it easiest to get a table for dinner early in the evening.
There are also tables outside on the deck for al fresco dining.
Swirls – Deck 16
For a cool – literally – treat, swirls ice cream bar had really good soft serve chocolate and vanilla ice cream, all day, every day.
International Café – Deck 5
My favorite spot though was the International Café which is open 24 hours. My breakfast go-to was always a yogurt parfait and an almond croissant. I also loved the quiches and savory pies, and the cookies were fantastic.
The International Café also makes specialty coffees (extra charges apply) to satisfy all your fancy coffee needs.
Finally, if I didn’t want to leave my room and just wanted to have a lie-in, then there was the ultimate way to get spoiled – room service. The menu choices were limited, but it was such an indulgent experience to have breakfast delivered to my cabin and enjoy it on a sunny balcony as the ocean waves swam by (a small delivery charge is applied).
The Sky Princess specialty restaurants
There were a lot more specialty dining restaurants on the Sky Princess than I had experienced on previous Princess ships. Along with the favorites like Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria and the Crown Grill for steaks and seafood, there was also a sushi bar, a French bistro, and best of all, a gelateria.
You’ll want to make reservations ahead of time if you want to eat at these restaurants on a specific day or time, especially for formal nights.
Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria – Deck 5
I loved the décor in this restaurant. It had lot of ocean views and was accented with interesting glass partitions, reminding me very much of my visits to the island of Murano. I had dinner here one night and enjoyed each choice that I made. I knew it would be a lot of food, so I skipped lunch that day.
I had a choice of a soup or salad, an appetizer, a pasta first course, a main second course and then finally a desert. Like I said – a lot of very good food.
Crown Grill – Deck 7
The Crown Grill is known for its steaks and since I am not a big fan of steak or red meat, I didn’t try the Crown Grill on the Sky Princess. I did eat at the Crown Grill on the Ruby Princess where I had a lobster dinner and a fantastic chocolate desert, both of which I enjoyed.
Reservations to the Crown Grill seem to fill up very quickly so if you want to eat there, make your reservation as early as you can before boarding the ship.
Bistro Sur La Mer – Deck 7
I like to eat at one of the specialty restaurants on the first night on board as a way of celebrating the beginning of a cruise. This time I started with a wonderful meal at Bistro Sur La Mer, the French restaurant.
Three Michelin Star chef Emmanuel Renaut developed the French dishes served at Sur La Mer and I heartily enjoyed every part of my meal.
I highly recommend the lobster bisque which is capped in a dome of puff pastry that the waiter cuts for you with a lot of fanfare. I finished the meal with Ile Flotante, a floating soft meringue shell with a lime and lemon filling floating in a vanilla custard sauce.
Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar – Deck 7
On another night I opted for sushi and sashimi at the Ocean Terrace Sushi Bar. Compared to the prices for sushi and sashimi back home, the cost per item here was very reasonable. It was fun to sit at the bar and watch as the chefs made my sushi roll and my individual sashimi.
This specialty dining spot did not need reservations and was hardly ever busy so it seemed like a good spot for an impromptu meal (especially on formal night). It was also a good location to hear the live music in the Piazza which seemed to be playing non stop.
Gelato – Deck 5
My weakness though was Gelato. This ice cream parlor offered about a dozen different flavors of (as the name says) gelato. I’ve tried gelato many times outside of Italy and was usually very disappointed.
On the Sky Princess though, the gelato tasted like I was back in Rome, eating a cone just steps from the Trevi Fountain. (Note that the menu in the main dining rooms often included a few flavors of gelato for desert).
The Sky Princess Chef’s Table experience
The ultimate specialty dining experience on a Princess ship however is the Chef’s Table. I was told that this is normally offered only once each cruise for about 10 guests.
You can only reserve this meal on board and need to call and request to be put on the reservation list as soon as you get on the ship. I expressed my interest in this as soon as I boarded and found out a few days later that I had a spot at the table.
In the past, this meal included a tour of the kitchens, but this was not possible when I was on the Sky Princess. Instead, the ship’s Executive Chef Naveen explained how the kitchens were set up and what it took to feed over 3000 guests for two weeks.
This unique dinner also had a special, dedicated table in the Cielo dining room. Our group of eleven entered the dining room and were guided to our table in the middle of the room with more than just a little fanfare. Our entrance and our presence certainly generated a few raised eyebrows and quite a few questions.
Once we were seated, a special, flowy, curtain closed around our space which provided a private enclave from the rest of the dining room. As befitting such a distinctive meal, the table was elegantly set with gold rimmed china and gold cutlery.
For each course, Chef Naveen described in detail what we were being served. Then, a group of eleven waiters came with our dishes, each guest being served by their own waiter as the plates were laid out in front of us in synchrony. The presentation with which we were served was as showy and artistic as the beautiful presentation of the food on each plate.
Our dinner started with a collection of little bites and a glass of champagne. Each of these little morsels presented a unique flavor profile yet as a group they melded perfectly together, providing a series of flavors that set off every taste sensor in my mouth – creamy, crunchy, smoky, sweet, salty, soft, spicy, and much more.
Hors D’Oeuvres and Champagne
Japanese Panko Ahi tuna with Sake Wine Soy Dip and Kempe Mayo Wasabi
Foie Gras Lollipop with Port Wine Jelly and Truffle Brioche
Breaded Goat cheese with Beetroot Puree
Hackleback Caviar, Red Potato Crown
Rich Tomato Bisque with Parmesan Bread Stick
I just want to mention that this was the best tomato soup I have ever had – it was made with roasted, smoked tomatoes which made a soup that had a complex and deep, smokey-sweet, taste. (This was actually my favorite dish of the evening).
Next was a:
Ravioli stuffed with Sundried Tomato and Ricotta and a Truffle Cream Reduction
Before the main course, our palettes were cleansed with a:
Lemon Sorbet over Mango Slaw with a Splash of Grey Goose Vodka
By this time, I was starting to get full, but the main course was yet to come – a land and sea combo for all tastes:
Mediterranean Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb with Aceto Balsamioc Reduction
Pancetta Wrapped Sea Scallops on a Lemongrass Skewer
Main Lobster Tail with Lemon butter Reduction
Medallion of Beef with Truffle Port Wine Reduction
Shitake, Assorted Garden Vegetables and Sweet Potato Mousseline
I had just a little bit of room left for dessert:
A chocolate covered chocolate mousse filled with passion fruit mousse and decorated with macaroons, praline nuts and served with a white chocolate mousse decorated with white chocolate swirls
There were also additional small chocolate indulgencies to take back with us to our cabins.
The wines were equally good and complimented each course very well:
Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte – Chouilly, France
Brunello di Montelcino – Tuscany, Italy
Greco di Tufo – Campania, Italy
Errazuriz “Late Harvest” – Sauvignon Blanc, Chili
I had a lot of good food onboard the Sky Princess in all the venues, but the Chef’s Table was indeed quite memorable. Each ship has its own unique version of the Chef’s Table and I highly encourage everyone to try it at least once if they sail on a Princess cruise.
You can find out more about my Norway and Arctic Circle cruise in the posts Beautiful Storybook Norway Photos to Inspire Your Next Trip and Norway Shore Excursions – How to Spend a Day in Norway;s Most Popular Cruise Ports
Wherever you choose to eat on the Sky Princess, I am sure you will find something tasty and satisfying.
I hope you found this Sky Princess dining options review helpful. To book a Princess cruise, find all the upcoming Sky Princess cruises, and to see the most recent cruise line deals go to https://www.princess.com/.
Please note that I received a media upgraded cabin from Princess. All content and opinions in this post are my own.
Other Princess cruising stories you may like:
How I spent my cruise port day in Cartagena, Columbia: One Day in Cartagena, Columbia – A Colorful Independent Cruise Excursion
A unique excursion in Puntarenas, Costa Rica: A Costa Rica Cooking Class – Forging Local Connections On An Atypical Cruise Excursion
Alaska cruise excursion tips: Alaska Cruise Excursion Tips to Inspire Your Best Alaska Trip
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