First, embarkation was a night mare. By the time we boarded, over an hour after being picked up at LAX, we were made to feel like cattle standing in an area in middle of the building. We received a card telling us ELITE, group C. We were not allowed in Elite lounge, hearded into an area (a corral like area, with fencing). Princess people kept telling us to move forward, and I finally barked back and said, loan me your cattle prod so I can move the 200 a=passengers in front of us. When our group number was called, no one would allow us thru as all said, "we were here before you, and we go first". Princess ladies were very very rude, and to this day, we are not sure where they wanted us to move to so they could heard more into this area.
We were on Sapphire Oct/Nov 2011 for 28 days, and again Feb 2012(Mexico) 14 days (back to back, and we had no complaints other than the casino. Half slot machines were removed, and not enough for all that wanted to play. But this 14 days to Hawaii, very few slots, never slots available to play. A large seating area for people to smoke and talk. Not sure how much these folks added to bottom line for casino, and then we learned, more slots were being removed to add another poker table.
Then we go to review of dining. We were on any time dining, and had a set time and table for 8. Even had our waiter from the two previous cruises. First thing we noticed, the menu was changed. Choices were not good, and noticed there was a hamburger offered every night. Both my husband and I feel, we set our expectations way too high. But, this was based on the 23 previous cruises with Princess. The quality of food was so bad, a diner on main street would never serve this quality of food. It was really really bad. I met many first time cruisers that heard about the food on Princess, and they said, "first princess cruise, and our last." The service was great, and even out waiter felt bad delivering a meal. From no taste, to disgusting plating, to temp of food, this was unacceptable. The deserts were pretty, but fell off the radar for taste. Either no taste or very bland.
I called my agent at Princess, and after sharing what we discovered in Dining room, she told me, Princess had Xmas party aboard the Sapphire on Dec 8th, and employees found we we put up with for 14 days.