Credit: Princess Cruises

Discovery Princess review: What's it like onboard the new Princess Cruises ship?

Author: Rich and Helen Chalu

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Discovery Princess, the latest cruise ship in the Princess Cruises fleet sailed its maiden voyage in March 2022. We headed onboard to review the new vessel.

Walking into the atrium of the Discovery Princess, Princess Cruises’ sixth and final Royal Class ship, guests are immediately welcomed with that familiar shiny glitzy gold decor and twin helix staircases familiar to most of the atriums on Royal Class Princess ships.

Although similar to her sisters, the Discovery Princess has adopted a slightly darker tone throughout the atrium with many of the venues sporting dark woods and deep coloured carpets and furnishings.

This is most notable in the ever-popular Crooners bar on deck six with its rich red carpet and tall chairs offset with grey, beige sofas and occasional chairs.

The three-story atrium exudes opulence and is the heart of the ship with live music and dancing throughout the day and late into the evening in the atrium itself or one of the venues located off of it.

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For cocktail connoisseurs, the Good Spirits bar is an interactive bar offering its patrons the chance to travel around the world using local ingredients to make some unusual cocktails which the skilled mixologists demonstrate whilst a video describing the origin and ingredients in each cocktail ordered is shown on a large screen behind the bar.

If live music is your thing then Discovery Princess will not disappoint, with pianists and live singers regularly entertaining guests as they enjoy a drink in the Piazza, Crooners or the delightful Crown Grill bar located just outside the ever-popular speciality steak house restaurant, Crown Grill, one of three speciality restaurants onboard, the others being the traditional Italian trattoria Sabatini’s and the relatively new addition to the Princess fleet, the French Bistro Sur la Mer with menus designed by Michelin Star chef Emmanuel Renaut.

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Alongside the three main dining rooms, each named after an Alaskan port of call, Discovery Princess sees the addition of an old favourite the Salty Dog gastropub which, for a small cover charge, allows diners to choose two plates from the pub-style tapas menu which includes dishes like lobster Mac and cheese, calamari frites and a variety of gourmet burgers.

Whilst Princess regulars may be shocked to see the demise of the complimentary Alfredo's pizzeria they need not worry because the newly branded Gigi’s pizzeria offers a similar menu and same quality as Alfredo’s.

Discovery Princess sees the addition of an old favourite the Salty Dog gastropub. Credit: Princess Cruises

Up on the top decks, the Discovery Princess is a delightful place to spend a sunny day with any number of places to laze around including the main pool area with its two large main ‘Sky Pools’, an abundance of very warm and exuberant hot tubs, the ever-popular large screen showing movies and sports both day and night, and delicious snacks from the Slice pizza bar, Salty Dog grill and Swirls ice cream booth.

On sea days the view from the wake view infinity pool and bar at the aft of the ship is a popular place to catch some sun while the adult-only retreat pool and bar and the extra charge Sanctuary area offer guests a chance to experience a quieter, more refined day.

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For those who like to be entertained Discovery Princess offers a plethora of activities and shows to keep guests occupied. For quizzers and trivia nuts the popular Princess Live venue usually has two or three entertaining interactive shows each day.

For those with a more jazzy inclination, the wonderful Take Five is the place to be, with sets throughout the early evening until late at night from the talented Larry King Trio.

Discovery Princess is showcasing two new events in the Princess Theatre, the brand new big-budget production show, Spotlight bar, with the local bar backdrop setting the scene for singing and dancing from the entertainment troupe.

Discovery Princess is showcasing two new events in the Princess Theatre (pictured here on Sky Princess). Credit: Princess Cruises

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Every evening the theatre offers a variety of entertainment, from an Elton John tribute to a comedy and illusion to the new audience participation show, Deal or No Deal.

Hosted by the entertainment director, members of the audience are selected to take on the banker in a similar way to the TV show to win a cash prize of up to $1,000. And long after most people have retired for the day there is always the Vista lounge with its resident DJ and dancing into the early hours of the morning.

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And when the day is done and it’s time to get some sleep the renowned, sumptuous Princess bed is waiting for you in the beautiful cabins decorated in calming teals and silver. Whilst the basic balcony cabin is relatively small with no room for a lounge chair or occasional table the space is utilised well with ample storage and desktop space.

The balcony and bathroom are also both quite small but we were pleased to see the balcony decked out with two reclining chairs and a small table to place a glass of fizz on. The redesigned bathroom allowed for a much larger shower and a large sink and vanity unit for keeping toiletries on.

The sumptuous Princess bed is waiting for you in the cabins (pictured here on Royal Princess). Credit: Princess Cruises

One of the things we loved most about the Discovery Princess was the wearable medallion which we wore on a band around our wrists meaning we never forgot to take it with us when we left our room. Conveniently it allows for incredibly easy access to your room as well as making you identifiable to the crew who can charge consumables to your account without you having to lift a finger.

The associated phone app makes ordering drinks and food anywhere on the ship easy and convenient, as well as booking tables as restaurants and finding out where things are on the ship, such as the nearest toilets from where you are or to locate your travel companions. It worked very well, as did the very reasonably priced and super stable wifi.

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Overall we loved the Discovery Princess. It is beautifully designed with an array of venues that you will struggle to get around on a week-long voyage. The rooms are very comfortable and the entertainment is plentiful and varied with something for everyone. Despite its capacity, the ship offers both lively places full of action and entertainment as well as quiet little nooks to get away from the crowds.

There are a number of places to eat, all of which offer good quality delicious food. And for an extra special treat do yourself a favour and book an afternoon in the fabulous Sanctuary, which includes an afternoon tea you won’t forget. It really is worth the small reservation fee.

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