My Detailed Princess Cruises Review of an Unforgettable Trip Aboard The Discovery
I recently returned from an incredible voyage on Princess Cruises’ flagship vessel, the Discovery. In this detailed Princess Cruises review, I will highlight the features of Princess Discovery that will make your voyage truly unforgettable. I’m here with all the insider tips and what to expect on your cruise.
With its fleet of elegant ships and an unwavering commitment to exceptional service, Princess Cruises ensures that every moment on board is nothing short of extraordinary. From the moment I stepped on board, I felt like royalty. I wasn’t hosted nor was this trip gifted to me by Princess.
Whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or embarking on your first voyage, Princess Cruises promises a world of wonder and enchantment. For me, this was my ninth cruise and it just might have been my favourite so far. It was my first cruise as an adult without my family so it was a very different experience.
Princess Cruises Review Verdict
Want me to skip to the point and tell you if I recommend a Princess cruise? I sure do! This Princess Cruises review will explain in detail why I recommend Princess Cruises, but spoiler alert, they’re amazing.
A Day in the Life on a Princess Cruises Ship
A day on a Princess Cruises ship is filled with as much excitement or relaxation as you want. I was onboard for a travel writer’s conference and my boyfriend joined me for fun. Needless to say, our days were drastically different. We spent the afternoon doing different things and then spent our evenings together.
I started every day by going to the World Fresh Marketplace and grabbing a fresh fruit juice or smoothie and a Honey Lavender Latté. Side note: this latte is amazing and I highly recommend it! We upgraded to the Princess Plus Package, which I will get into later, so these drinks were included.
Onboard Princess cruise ships you wear or carry a medallion with you. This identifies you and is also how you pay for things like drinks or shopping. You never have to show a card or pay, everything is automatic. It’s very convenient and it truly makes Princess Cruises stand out from the crowd.
Princess Cruises Review – Amenities and Activities
Princess Cruises takes pride in providing its guests with a wide range of amenities and activities to ensure a memorable and enjoyable voyage. When you step on board, you’ll be greeted by luxurious surroundings and attentive staff. Every staff member we encountered was happy and friendly.
If you’re feeling active, you can head to the ship’s fitness center for a workout. This is what my boyfriend did on most days. They offer a wide variety of group fitness classes if you’d rather work out in a group setting than on your own.
One of the days there was even a whale sighting from the gym windows. My boyfriend was lucky enough to see it. Now that’s not something you see every day!
Discovery Princess Pools
For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, it’s easy to find a cozy spot on deck. There are tons of deck chairs where you can soak up the sun while enjoying a good book or simply taking in the breathtaking views.
One of my favourite activities was to take a refreshing dip in one of the ship’s pools. There are several pools on The Discovery Princess and I made my way to most of them. The one pictured above is one of the main pools. I snapped this picture right after embarkation, which is why it’s empty.
The Spa and The Sanctuary
If you’re looking to relax and unwind, the onboard Spa is the perfect oasis. Indulge in a range of rejuvenating treatments, from massages and facials to body wraps and aromatherapy.
The spa also features an area called The Sanctuary. You can book a time to use the facilities and truly relax and unwind. I never used it, but I did hear from other guests that it was lovely.
When I go on another cruise, because I definitely will, I’ll be sure to make time for the spa so I can write a detailed Princess Cruises review about it. Stay tuned for that…
Pickleball, Basketball and More
Aside from its many pools, The Princess Discovery also has a jogging track along the top deck, a pickleball court, a mini golf course, and basketball courts.
One afternoon, we were treated to a cooking demonstration with Head Chef Rudi. It was highly entertaining! He is a riot and so much fun to watch. He and his team cooked up a storm while the rest of us watched.
Princess Cruises Review – The Food
When it comes to dining, Princess Cruises offers a culinary experience like no other. With a variety of dining options available, guests are spoiled for choice when it comes to satisfying their taste buds. And I truly mean it.
Discovery Princess Buffet and Main Dining Restaurants
Most days, we enjoyed lunch at the buffet. I typically enjoyed a salad made at one of their salad bars and the options were endless. Every day, the buffet had a different theme and the food options were always incredible. I don’t think I ate the same thing twice.
When it comes to food, cruises are all-inclusive. Included in every cruise is all of your meals served in one of the two main dining rooms. Here, guests can enjoy a multi-course meal prepared by world-class chefs, all while being treated to exceptional service and stunning ocean views. These main dining rooms are anything but basic.
The menu changes daily, offering a variety of options to suit every palate. On our first night, we ate dinner in one of the main dining rooms and our 3-course meal was fabulous. Two of those courses are shown above. As you can see, even the main dining room offers incredible fine dining.
Discovery Princess Specialty Restaurants
For those seeking a more intimate dining experience, The Discovery also offers specialty restaurants that cater to a range of cuisines. These are an additional fee unless you have upgraded to the Princess Plus or Premier packages.
Note that specialty restaurants require reservations, so be sure to plan to secure your spot before your cruise begins. Yes, before! Had we not made our reservations before our cruise, we likely would have missed out on these specialty restaurants.
We dined at both specialty dining restaurants onboard The Discover, Sabatini’s Italian Grill and Crowne Grill. Both were excellent! I prefer the specialty restaurants over the main dining room because of their cozy ambiance. They give you the feeling of dining in a fancy restaurant, which I love.
Pictured below is my dinner from Sabatini’s and yes, it was delicious. Since we had the Princess Plus package, this dinner was included with our cruise. If you upgrade to the Plus package, you get two specialty dinners per cruise. On a longer cruise, you may get more, I’m not sure.
Unlike in the main dining rooms, you will be seated as a couple or with just your group. In the main dining room, you may end up sharing a table with others. This can be a great way to meet other cruise guests and I do occasionally like this set-up.
We chose to dine just the two of us because, by the time the evening rolled around, I wanted time with just my partner. With the cruise being a work conference, I didn’t see my partner much during the day and evenings were our time together.
If you’re fortunate enough to be on The Discovery, or another one of the Princess cruise ships that offers the 360 dining experience, I highly recommend it! I’ll be writing a blog post specifically talking about it and whether or not 360: Extraordinary Dining is worth the money.
Other Dining Opportunities onboard Discovery Princess
There are more restaurants than I had time to enjoy onboard the Discovery Princess! I think you would need at least two weeks to sample them all. I only wish I had another week onboard.
There is no shortage of dining locations and opportunities. One worth mentioning is their certified Italian gelato. Yes, it’s officially certified -check out their framed certification below.
I sampled the pistachio flavour because it’s my favourite gelato flavour. It’s what I always get whenever I have gelato. I’ll admit that I’m not much of an ice cream, dessert, or gelato person, but this was very yummy.
I also highly recommend you check out their poolside pizza. It is also Italian and it was delicious. I also loved that I could get my pizza right by the pool without having to dry off and get dressed to go inside.
Ocean Now Delivery
This reminds me of another amazing feature onboard Princess Cruises and I must include it in this review. In their app, you can order food and drinks to wherever you are on the ship. Yup, that’s right, they don’t just offer room service, they offer Ocean Now delivery.
If you have upgraded to their Plus or Premier package, you can ignore the prices you see here as you won’t be charged. But if you don’t wish to pay the extra for the entire trip, you can order the items you wish and pay at the end of your cruise. $10 for a glass of bubbles is pretty darn reasonable 🥂
Princess Plus and Premier
Okay, it’s time to explain what Princess Plus and Premier are. Princess Cruises are not all-inclusive. They include your room, all of your meals and the onboard activities and shows. Drinks like pop and alcoholic beverages are extra, as are the specialty drinks like the smoothies and fancy coffees I mentioned earlier.
If you want to be able to enjoy all of the drinks, you can upgrade to a Plus or Premier package. With these, for a set price you can eat anywhere you like and drink specialty drinks and alcohol.
These packages also include WiFi, tips and so much more. I truly believe they are a great value. We loved having the Plus package. When you’ve pre-paid for your drinks and tips, there’s no stressing about a final bill when you disembark the cruise ship.
Princess Plus costs an additional $60 per person per day. Princess Premier costs an additional $80 per person per day. For all of the details on what these include, please visit the Princess website.
Princess Cruises Review – Our Stateroom
We booked a Queen stateroom with a balcony. It was the first time I had ever had a balcony cabin and I loved it! I don’t think we’d ever book one without a balcony now that we’ve had one. We didn’t upgrade to the Queen Deluxe with a sofa because we knew we wouldn’t be spending much time in our room.
The balcony was worth it for us because we loved our balcony time. There’s nothing like ending the day staring out at the endless ocean. I love falling asleep to the sound of the waves crashing along the side of the ship.
The stateroom on The Discovery Princess was pretty standard as far as rooms go on cruise ships. When you walked in the door, there was a large closet with ample space to hang our clothes and place our suitcases underneath. There was also a floor-to-ceiling shelf where you could place folded clothes.
The bathroom was small but sufficient for a week on a cruise ship. We didn’t have a bathtub, just a shower, but I doubt we would have ever used the tub so that was fine with us. I’d much rather be up on the top deck soaking in one of the ship’s hot tubs under the stars.
The queen-sized bed was comfortable and had a nightstand on either side. There was a small desk and then the balcony. The balcony had a small table and two chairs on it. We were outside on our balcony every single evening.
This was my ninth cruise and I enjoyed our room and have zero complaints about it whatsoever. On a cruise, I’m pretty much only ever in my room to get ready for the day, or to go to sleep for the night.
Princess Cruises Review – Entertainment and Nightlife
When the sun sets, the fun doesn’t stop on a Princess Cruises ship. From Broadway-style shows to live music performances, there is always something happening to keep you entertained. However, if you are looking for a party cruise, this isn’t it.
The Discovery Princess does not have a nightclub. They do have a DJ who spins in one of the theatres at night, but it never gets very busy. We danced the night away a few times with our 12 friends, lol! I am a firm believer that it’s not where you are, but who you’re with.
Movies under the stars
One of our favourite evening activities was to grab a drink, a snack, and a blanket and score a poolside lounge chair to enjoy a movie under the stars. It’s so much fun! I snapped this pic just before the movie began one night. The views are pretty incredible, aren’t they?
The evening entertainment is located in the Princess Theater. Here, you can catch a variety of live shows, including Broadway-style productions, comedy acts, magicians, and musical performances. The theatre boasts state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, ensuring an unforgettable experience for all guests.
Pro tip: if you enjoy the theatre shows, I recommend that you plan your dinner times accordingly. There were a few nights that we could only get reservations at the specialty restaurants during times that meant we would miss the show in the theatre.
We didn’t mind missing certain shows in the theatre so it was okay for us. We preferred to be outside watching a movie under the stars. But if you want to see the evening shows, be sure to plan your dinner reservation times accordingly.
The Bar Scene
For those seeking a more laid-back atmosphere, head to one of the ship’s lounges or bars. We enjoyed drinks at the jazz bar Take Five as well as Crooners Bar. Who am I kidding, we enjoyed drinks at every bar, lol!
Every single bar had a very different vibe and we loved checking them all out. Sometimes, they had live singers, while other times it was jazz. They have piano players at some bars and ambient music at others.
Shore Excursions and Exploring the Destinations
While the onboard experience is incredible, one of the highlights of a Princess Cruises vacation is the opportunity to explore the ports of call. Princess Cruises offers a wide range of shore excursions. These allow guests to fully immerse themselves in the local culture and experience the best each destination has to offer.
Whether you’re interested in history, adventure, or simply soaking up the sun on a picturesque beach, there is a shore excursion to suit every interest. The possibilities are endless, and Princess Cruises ensures that every excursion is carefully curated to provide an unforgettable experience.
Should you prefer to organize your shore excursions, you are welcome to do so. I will however caution you to triple-check when you need to be back on the ship. If you are on one of the excursions organized by the ship, they will wait for you.
However, if you are on your own – you are truly on your own. Don’t miss the boat, literally! We almost missed the boat when our whale-watching tour went overtime. They knew that we had to be back by 3pm since the ship was going to leave at 3:30pm.
We were not going to make it so they dropped us off right at the cruise ship port at 3:20 and we ran to ensure we made it. It was a tad stressful but we did make it back onboard. Always make sure you are aware of the time, and that if you’re on an excursion they know what time you need to be back.
The Top Destinations Offered by Princess Cruises
While I have only cruised from Vancouver to Los Angeles aboard Princess Cruises, they offer an extensive range of destinations that cater to every type of traveller. From the sun-soaked beaches of the Caribbean to the majestic fjords of Scandinavia, there is a destination to suit every taste.
Princess Cruises announced that its current flagship vessel – Discovery Princess – will make Sydney her home port in the 2025/26 summer Australia season. If you have the chance to sail this route, I bet it’ll be amazing! I already know the Discovery Princess ship is incredible.
One of the most popular destinations offered by Princess Cruises is the Caribbean. With its crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and vibrant culture, the Caribbean is a tropical paradise that never fails to captivate travellers.
Another must-visit destination is Alaska. Many years ago I cruised to Alaska with my grandparents aboard Celebrity Cruises. I would recommend them as well as Princess for this dream trip. With its breathtaking glaciers, towering mountains, and abundant wildlife, Alaska is a nature lover’s dream come true. I was in awe of Alaska’s beauty and would love to return.
How to Plan and Book Your Princess Cruises Vacation
Planning and booking your Princess Cruises vacation is a breeze. The Princess Cruises website provides all the information you need to make an informed decision about your dream voyage. Browse the available destinations, ships, and itineraries to find the perfect fit for your travel preferences.
Once you’ve chosen your cruise, simply follow the booking process on the website or contact a Princess Cruises representative for assistance. Be sure to check for any promotions or special offers that may be available, as Princess Cruises often provides discounts and added perks for early bookings or specific sailings.
I can attest to the amazing service that Princess provides. I contacted their team with a few questions during my booking process (yes, I paid for my cruise, this wasn’t a free trip) and their responses were always fast and thorough.
Conclusion: Princess Cruises Review – Why Princess Cruises is the Ultimate Choice for Unforgettable Vacations
Princess Cruises offers a world of wonder and enchantment for travellers seeking unforgettable destinations. From the top-notch service and luxurious amenities on board to the breathtaking destinations and immersive shore excursions, every aspect of a Princess Cruises vacation is designed to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or embarking on your first voyage, Princess Cruises promises an experience like no other. So pack your bags, step on board, and let Princess Cruises take you on a journey of a lifetime.
Have I convinced you that Princess Cruises are amazing? I hope so! Book your unforgettable adventure today and embark on the voyage of a lifetime.