California Coastal, May 4-11, Princess Sapphire: Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by dcruiserz
Overall Member Rating
California Coastal, May 4-11, Princess Sapphire
Embarkation: Los Angeles
We had an excellent cabin attendant Rheena, who always greeted us by name with a smile and always took a few minutes to talk to us about our day or answer any questions we had. She kept our cabin immaculate and serviced it several times per day.
The staff around the rest of the ship in dining rooms or elsewhere weren't quite as friendly or outgoing as other cruise companies that we have sailed with.
I love starting my day off with a good breakfast while cruising, and unfortunately each day this particular meal was a disappointment. In the interest of time each day we ate at the Horizon Cafe. The scrambled eggs tasted like powdered eggs, very mushy. The fried eggs were almost always undercooked with jelly-like whites, despite posted warning signs warning of the hazards of consuming undercooked eggs. The coffee tasted like instant. My wife commented that the fruit was very good though.
In the afternoon's, Alfredo's Pizzeria on Deck 5 was a More highlight for food. Delicious, freshly prepared pizza to your order!
The dinners were good and the service for the most part was good, although the last dinner on this cruise we had about a 20 min. wait between each course which kind of ended our last dinner on a sour note and we ended up missing the show as a result.
The weather at every port with the exception of Ensenada was around 66 degrees, partly cloudy and sunny. Ensenada was sunny and in the 70's. Perfect weather if you enjoy walking around each city. San Francisco was very nice. The ship ports right in downtown and we had great views of the city including the Golden Gate, Alcatraz and the newly lit Bay Bridge at night. We didn't do any shore excursions, but I heard people talking about going to Alcatraz and having a good time. We just enjoyed walking throughout the city taking in Chinatown, Ghiradelli's, Fisherman's Wharf, the Coit Tower and riding the cable car. Santa Barbara was a beautiful city. We took the trolley (only 25 cents for seniors!)into downtown and saw the courthouse and then took the bus to the mission and then back to State St. and visited some of the unending designer stores. The next day we visited Catalina Island. We walked around Avalon and the shops around town. We walked to the Casino, which was not open and onto one of piers and fed the fish. We then rented a golf cart from Catalina Golf Cart Rentals and drove up into the upper levels of Avalon for some fantastic views and beautiful neighborhoods as well as the Wrigley Memorial. It only took us an hour, so it ran us $40. The rental company charged $40 per hour with a 2-hour maximum and refundable $40 deposit. They give you a map and will mark the route to take to take in the sights. The next day in San Diego, again we port right in downtown with another great view of the city. Again, we just walked around the city visiting Seaport Village, Horton's Plaza and the pier area. If I had a choice, I would rather have spent the next day in San Diego rather than Ensenada although we were pleasantly surprised after deciding to leave the ship in Ensenada. This is a much larger city than I expected with a population of around 300,000. Many passengers opted to stay aboard the ship. We took a nice bus into town ($2 in and $1 back to the ship) and then ended up transferring to another bus for a tour through the city to the La Bufadora Blowhole and flea market area ($15 per person and delivered us back to the ship). I believe the trip to the La Bufadora was around 45-50 mins. It turned out to be a fun excursion and an enjoyable day.
We were on the Aloha deck 12 with a balcony a little aft of midship. The cabin was pretty typical of other cruise ships although it had a large closet area to hang clothing although a very small shower in the bathroom. The cabin was quiet and we were in a good location for the Horizon Cafe (one deck up)and the upper decks. We had a good time and enjoyed each port on this cruise although there really wasn't a lot to do onboard the ship. We only took in a few of the shows so I can only comment on those, and they were good. The ship was clean and well maintained. There was a much older demographic onboard this cruise, I would guess the average age would be around 70, not that I'm that young myself, but I prefer a mixture of ages. Tendering was well done in Santa Barbara and Catalina with reasonable wait times. Less