We needed a few days away and this was the cruise. We were two adults and one teen. The staff onboard the Sapphire Princess is excellent; the food was fantastic; and we hit the one week without rain.
Embarkation at LA was fast and easy. We were asked to come after 1 pm and arrived at 1:30 -- only hitch was a newbie cab driver who couldn't find the freeway nor the cruise terminal and thank goodness for modern gps technology built into today's phones -- and it took ten minutes to drop off the luggage, fill out the form stating we were not ill, and walk on.
Since we were late-ish arriving, we decided to walk around first before having a cup of tea in the buffet area. The ship is newly refurbished and quite lovely. As we headed down the hall, we met our room steward, who was just wonderful throughout the entire trip.
Mostly we used this trip to recharge and be lazy. We love to dine in the evening and were orginally set for the early seating, but 5:30 was too early for all of us. Switching to the late seating was painless -- and the hotdog grill near the pool kept the teenager happy if he got hungry in the late afternoon. The dining room staff was outstanding, as were our table mates. We can't say enough about the food -- and never felt the need to go to the specialty dining rooms as the food in the main room was so great.
We went to tea a couple of times to meet and talk to people and hear travel stories that made us wish to go other places soon! And the new atrium cafes and pizza area were also terrific for meeting other travelers.
We'd been to all the ports before, so enjoyed a week of being able to amble about and rest. Ensenada was okay -- we'd leave it off the itinerary if we could, but if you have to go somewhere, it's there. San Diego was just great, and we had a fun time on the USS Midway, which is just a very short walk away from the cruise terminal. San Francisco was all kinds of fun -- we'd never just done the touristy shopping thing and so we did, and the sea lions at Pier 39 were a hoot. Santa Barbara was lovely -- the tender rides were the best -- and we simply walked for hours up to State Street, up the street, and then back down. If you are hungry, there are so many restaurants, so take your pick.
The one rough night, we all got a bit queasy, which has never happened before -- but traveling is all about new experiences, right?! Okay, been there now, done that, never doing queasy again.
The teenager was happy with the teen center and enjoyed not being totally supervised -- even though we made him check in with us a few times a day. He liked the late-night parties and the ability to play unlimited video games. The soda card, where he could get milkshakes, was also a big favorite.
The two nits: the first comedian was hilarious the first night in a short, short program, and boring and awful beyond belief the second full show. We left early -- could blame it on the seasickness, but we were glad to leave. The other nit: the spa staff are hmmm, how to put it nicely, not amenable, not competent? I wanted to get my nails redone and phoned one night expecting no openings to be available the next morning. Was given a choice of 6 am or 8 am; took 8 am, then called an hour later to change to 6 am (because my husband wanted to do something at 8 am, not because I just changed my mind willy-nilly) and was told there was no such thing as a 6 am appointment since they didn't open until 7:30 am. So I asked to cancel. At 7:45 the next morning, the phone rang to confirm my 8 am. I ran up there to see what was going on and was told the appointment had been canceled. At least I got some extra exercise.
But if you need a week away to relax, this is the easy cruise to take. We'd do it again in a heartbeat.