Last Updated on 02/11/24 by Rose Palmer
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 recently cruised on quite a few of the Princess ships 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. I wrote all about the Sky Princess in my post Cruising Sky High With Princess – A Sky Princess Review With Photos.
First, let me write about the included dining options on the Sky Princess. There are many, many choices all throughout the ship.
The Sky Princess dining options – complimentary dining
Main dining rooms – Deks 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
Princess has recently brought out a 7 day rotating vegan menu in the main dining rooms. While I am not vegan, I was curious about this and tried a few dishes. I was quite surprised at how tasty they were. I had to ask the waiter to see the vegan menu because it was not automatically offered to me.
Afternoon tea was offered each sea 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.
International Café – Deck 5
My favorite spot though was the International Café which was open 24 hours. My breakfast go-to was always a yogurt parfait and an almond croissant. I also loved the quiches, the little salads, and the savory pies, and the cookies were fantastic.
The International Café also made specialty coffees (extra charges applied) to satisfy my cappuccino and espresso fix.
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 while docked 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 have not had since my last visit to Germany.
The Pastry Shop and Juice Bar – Deck 16
The Pastry Shop in the buffet was where all the deserts were and also had afternoon tea goodies every 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.
This was also where the juice bar was located. The juice bar menu has a variety of fresh made juices that incorporate different ingredients and have names like “The Antioxidant”, “The Immune Booster” or “The Rejuvenator”.
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 enjoyed 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.
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.
Room Service on the Sky Princess
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.
For breakfast, I filled out the breakfast card the night before and hung it on the door knob before I went to bed. Breakfast was then delivered at the time I indicated. There was no charge for this room service.
For other room service or to have drinks and food ordered and delivered via the app, there was a one time fee. If I ordered room service via the phone, there was an extra delivery fee charged each time I called.
Other included dining opportunities
Guests staying in a full suite, a Reserve mini Suite, or have reached Platinum and Elite loyalty levels, also had other included dining opportunities.
On the Sky Princess, Reserve class dining is in the Estrella dining room. This section is just for guests that were staying in a Reserve Class mini Suite or a full suite. Reserve class dining has a menu with additional choices, a dedicated wait staff, and immediate seating without having to wait.
Platinum and Elite members cocktail hour
This event was for Platinum and Elite Captain’s Circle loyalty members only. Each afternoon, a selections of snacks and small plates were available along with drinks (to purchase). This was usually held in the Vista Lounge.
Captain’s Circle cocktail hour
A special event held once each cruise for Platinum and Elite loyalty members. This includes a selection of free drinks and a talk by the captain. The event also recognized the top three cruisers that had the most cruise days with Princess on our particular sailing.
Concierge lounge – deck 14
This lounge was for suite guests only and provided a variety of food and drink choices all throughout the day.
Breakfast at Sabatini’s
Guests staying in a full suite have the option to eat breakfast in the Sabatini’s restaurant. I have been told that the food is all freshly prepared and is very good.
The Sky Princess Casual dining options
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. I could also get a specialty pizza made to order with only the ingredients I wanted.
Alfredo’s also offered a fixed price set menu that included an appetiser, a pizza or other main course, and a dessert.
There were also tables outside on the deck for al fresco dining.
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.
Again, the Ocean Terrace Seafood bar offered a set menu for a fixed price, which was a good value when I was very hungry. Though I would also just order one roll off the menu as a snack.
This specialty dining spot did not need reservations and was hardly ever very 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.
Vines – Deck 5
While this was primarily the go to spot for trying new wines, Vines also offered a charcuterie plate that made a wonderful light dinner. Even though it did not look like a lot, it was quite a bit of food and surprisingly filling. And the dessert truffles were divine.
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 dessert).
I could also get one of the big, fancy ice cream sundays here made with chocolate or vanilla ice cream. I did not try one because they just looked way too big for me, but they did look appealing.
Note that my Gelato order was an extra charge and was not included in any of the Princess Fare packages.
The Sky Princess specialty dining restaurants
There were 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 there was also The Catch by Rudy.
I made reservation for these restaurant as soon as I got on board the ship and I was fortunate to get in though I had to be flexible with my schedule. Next time I will make reservations ahead of 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 but I did not have time to try the Crown Grill on the Sky Princess. I have eaten at the Crown Grill on the Ruby Princess and the Majestic Princess where I tried different items on the menu each time. I’ve had both the lobster and the beef fillet as my main course and enjoyed both.
Reservations to the Crown Grill seemed to fill up very quickly so for this restaurant I would definitely want to make a reservation before boarding the ship next time.
The Catch by Rudi – Deck 7
The Catch by Rudi replaced the Bistro Sur La Mer which had been in this location until April 2023. The menu for this new restaurant was developed by highly renowned chef Rudi Sodamin, head of the Princess culinary program.
I’ve eaten at the Catch twice, trying different items on the menu and everything was fantastic. From the unique presentations to the flavor combinations, I was impressed with all of it and can’t wait to eat there again.
While this restaurant focused primarily on seafood dishes, there were also plenty of choices in each menu category for meat lovers and vegetarians.
Experiential dining on the Sky Princess
Balcony dining was available for both breakfast and dinner and was a unique way to celebrate a special day or event. I did not do this on the Sky Princess, but did indulge while on the Majestic Princess (I understand the menu offerings are the same fleet wide).
The breakfast came with fruit, smoked salmon and english muffins, small quiches, salad, a basket of pastries, and orange and champagne for mimosas. It was an awful lot of food, part of which became an afternoon snack.
The Sanctuary – deck 18
I always enjoy an afternoon in the adults only Sanctuary retreat when I can book it. I make it a point to go there as soon as I board the ship to reserve and afternoon on one of the sea days.
A reservation in the Sanctuary came with its own menus for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea, all of which were served to my lounge chair.
My Sky Princess Chef’s Table experience
The ultimate specialty dining experience on a Princess ship however was the Chef’s Table. I was told that this was normally offered only a few times each cruise for about 10 guests.
I could only reserve this meal on board and needed to call and request to be put on the reservation list as soon as I got 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.
This meal often includes 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. (As of this update, kitchen tours have resumed again on the Princess ships).
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, lighted 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 offers its own version of the Chef’s Table and even on the same ship, the menu changes over time. I will certainly try to do this special meal as often as I can.
The Caymus Winemaker Dinner
This is a relatively new offering and was not available yet when I sailed on the Sky Princes. Since then I have tried the Caymus Winemaker Dinner on both the Discovery Princess and the Majestic Princess.
This special dining experience is available on all the Royal class ships, and like the Chef’s Table, I needed to book it once I was on board the ship. I called the dining line and expressed my interest as soon as I boarded so that I could get on the list. The menu was the same both times and was absolutely delicious.
This meal was indeed a wine enthusiasts and foodie’s delight. I share all the details in my post A Taste of All the Discovery Princess Dining Options Including the 360 Experience.
Wherever I chose to eat on the Sky Princess, I most definitely had no trouble finding something tasty and satisfying.
I share 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 I Spent a Day in Norway’s Most Popular Cruise Ports
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/.
Links to all my cruising content, including all my other Princess cruises, can be found on my Experience – Cruising page.
Other Princess cruising stories I’ve written:
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
Please note that I received a media upgraded cabin from Princess. All content and opinions in this post are my own.
Thanks for visiting.