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Visiting Alaska has long been on my bucket list. In addition to watching ALL the Alaska reality shows, Holly and I both love cruising, whale watching, and crab feasts. An Alaskan cruise has always seemed like an obvious fit.
When we learned the new Discovery Princess was sailing through Alaska’s Inner Passage, we decided to plan our visit and check out a new ship at the same time. As expected, both Alaska and the ship delivered the goods!
In this Discovery Princess review, we’ll explore the the ship’s onboard offerings, explain how to make the most of your experience, and take you on a virtual onboard tour – complete with plenty of pictures, of course! Let’s get to it!
Discovery Princess Review: Princess MedallionClass
The Discovery Princess is one of the newest ships in the Princess Cruises fleet. With a capacity of over 3,600 passengers, it is also one of the line’s largest. The vessel was introduced in 2022 and spent the summer sailing back and forth between Mexico’s Pacific Coast and Alaska’s Inner Passage.
Like nearly all Princess ships, the Discovery Princess is equipped with their MedallionClass technology. This is a free service designed to improve and streamline many of the guest touchpoints both before and during your cruise.
The Medallion itself is pretty cool. It is a wearable device that is about the size of a quarter. It functions similarly to a traditional cruise card with some added benefits.
Your Medallion allows touchless transactions through the ship. Whether you are purchasing something in the gift shop, checking in for dinner, or grabbing a drink at the bar, everything is fast and touchless. It also includes a “GPS” feature.
In combination with the MedallionClass App, this allows you to see the exact location of your travel companions while on the ship. This is especially nice if you get separated from your travel companion and are looking to meet up with them somewhere.
Guests can have their Medallion mailed to them prior to the cruise, or you can pick it up when you check in on the ship. I highly suggest you have it sent to you before your cruise in order to streamline the boarding process.
Princess MedallionClass App
Working in combination with your Medallion is the MedallionClass App. This app offers a host of benefits, both before and during your cruise, and can be downloaded to your smartphone prior to boarding the ship.
To be honest, my first impression of the MedallionClass App wasn’t that great. With that said, I ended up loving it once we actually boarded the ship.
The MedallionClass App allows you to enter your personal information prior to boarding. This is supposed to streamline the boarding process, but the app has a few kinks that need to be worked out. While entering our information, things wouldn’t save correctly, forcing us to enter our info multiple times. This was frustrating, to say the least.
However, I’m super glad we did it.
Once we got everything saved in the app, boarding the ship was an absolute breeze. First, they had a separate (shorter) line for those who had completed the online check in. Then, we waited in line for maybe 10 minutes to complete our check in. Once we made it to the counter – the check in process lasted about 2 minutes. It was awesome. Those who didn’t enter their info prior to boarding looked to have a considerably longer wait.
After boarding the ship, the app worked splendidly. We used it to see dinner menus, check out the entertainment schedule, and more.
My favorite part of the app is that you can order anything you want from anywhere in the ship – food, drinks, Dramamine, shopping…pretty much anything. Using the GPS technology in your Medallion, they deliver it to you – wherever you were – within minutes. It is really cool and super convenient!
Our Cruise Cabin
The Discovery Princess offers 8 different room types ranging from the spacious and spendy Sky Suite to the more affordable Interior cabins. We typically like to have a balcony and felt like we definitely needed one for this trip. We weren’t disappointed!
Balcony cabins on the Discovery Princess measure in at about 220 sq. feet. That doesn’t seem like a lot of room, but the space is very well laid out. The balcony also gives you a little more room to relax. Plus, on a cruise like ours, balcony rooms provide views like this:
One of my favorite things about our cabin was the closet. Rather than taking up space in the main living area, the closet was smartly tucked into a small hall near the bath. There were plenty of hangers, plus there were no doors taking up unnecessary room.
It might not seem like much, but when you’re living in a cruise cabin for a week, every inch counts. I thought it was a really smart use of space!
Another thing we loved about this ship was the free laundry rooms.
Now, not everybody wants to do laundry while they are on vacation. With that said, being able to wash your clothes after a crab feast is wonderful. Additionally, if you’re on an itinerary where you need warmer clothes (like Alaska, Norway, etc.), those sweatshirts and pants tend to take up a lot of space. Being able to do a load of laundry can help you not have to pack as many things to bring with you.
Each floor has its own laundry facility. Simply walk on in, grab a washer, and git ‘r done!
Discovery Princess: Bars and Common Areas
As with any cruise ship, there are plenty of bars and common areas to enjoy. I thought the common areas on the Discovery Princess were comfortably designed and elegant without being gaudy.
One of our favorite places to hang out was at the bar overlooking the Piazza. The Piazza is an open area located in the center of the ship. Throughout the day and evening, you’ll find various acts performing music, acrobatics, dances, and more. It is a lively spot you’ll definitely want to check out.
We also enjoyed chilling in the Wakeview Bar area at the back of the ship. On this particular cruise, this was a great spot for drinks, relaxing, and wildlife viewing. We saw dozens of eagles, several humpback whales, and even a few pods of orcas from back here.
Additionally, you’ll find stage shows each evening in the theater, musical acts in the Vista lounge, jazz music at Crooners, and more. On our cruise, you could find art auctions, live music, and trivia games multiple times per day in the Princess Live! Cafe. And, of course, there is also an onboard casino where you’ll find slots and a variety of table games to enjoy.
Because we were on a cold weather cruise, we didn’t do a lot of swimming in the pools. With that said, the pools on the ship were beautiful.
The main pool area is near the front of the ship and is located on Deck 16. Take a dip to cool off in the pool, or jump in one of several hot tubs to relax. There are bars located on each end of the area. Additionally, they have a huge TV screen where you can enjoy “Movies Under the Stars” several evenings.
As I mentioned earlier, the Wakeview Pool and bar area is another great spot to hangout. It is located in the far aft of the ship, which makes for a great and relaxing view.
I thought the food on the Discovery Princess was very good. As a pescatarian, I never had any trouble finding things I could eat and enjoy.
The main buffet serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are plenty of options for everybody – including carving stations, salad bars, omelette stations, ramen stations, and more. It really is quite good.
The dining room was also very good. You can find the daily menus posted by the dining room entrance or on the MedallionClass App.
We also tried several of the specialty restaurants. They were all delicious, but our favorites were probably Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria and Crown Grill. Of course, these were upgrades and are not included with the price of your cruise.
Can’t find anything you want? Need a late night snack? Craving some nachos or fries with that drink?Don’t forget you can use the MedallionClass App to have almost anything delivered right to your room or table!
Ultimate Balcony Breakfast
The Ultimate Balcony Breakfast is a uniquely special dining experience that is available for an upcharge. I highly recommend it.
We scheduled ours during our scenic cruise through the Endicott Arm. The food was yummy and the views were spectacular. It was a deliciously delightful way to start our day.
Chef’s Table Lumiere
You can also book a meal at the Chef’s Table for an additional charge. This was one of the best dining experiences I can ever remember having on a ship.
The food was spectacular and the experience was incredibly enjoyable. It is a perfect way to celebrate a special anniversary, a big birthday, or to simply indulge yourself in a spectacular meal. I lost track, but there were at least 5 courses…so be sure to bring your appetite!
Discovery Princess Review: The Bottom Line
The Discovery Princess is a beautiful new ship that I would love to sail again. Our cabin was clean and comfortable, the common areas are classy, and the ship was easy to navigate. The staff onboard are all very friendly and well-trained, making the experience even more enjoyable.
I thought the food was very good throughout the ship, particularly at the specialty restaurants. Consider doing the Ultimate Balcony Breakfast and/or the Chef’s Table to celebrate a special event!
The MedallionClass App and Medallion are another plus. Although the app has a few bugs prior to boarding, it works wonderfully once you’re on the ship. Be sure to complete your check in on the app prior to boarding in order to expedite the boarding process.
Overall, we think the Discovery Princess is a huge winner! We loved this ship and think you will too.
Thanks so much for reading! Until next time, happy traveling!