Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by burningblue: Very Enjoyable
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My wife and I decided to take the Wine Country Coastal about 2 weeks before sailing. We decided to take an ocean view obstructed on Emerald deck. The price was irresistable compared to the balconies which were almost sold out except for the most expensive ones. Given that this cruise was not in warm weather for a lot of the sail, we felt happy with our choice. As it turned out, the view was not obstructed at all because the tender in front of us was a low profile design and there was no obstruction at all so are view was wonderful. The room, while not large was very space efficient and the bed was against the window which meant there was no wasted space width wise. The desk is much wider with this design and more useful. My only complaint was the edge of the desk seemed marred and scarred and while my wife felt I was being overly critical, I felt that it was not commensurate with the quality of the rest of the ship.
I have been on 4 Princess cruises and my wife 8 therefore More she is a platinum loyalty member. We embarked Vancouver and even though we are Canadians we felt that the embarkation is much better and smoother ex LA and Port Everglades. The lineup to go through security was very long and we felt that there should be separate lines for platinum and elite status as there is in the US ports mentioned. We don't feel like we are any better or worse than anyone else just that what is the value of loyalty to the cruise line?
Once onboard we went to Skywalker's to watch the ship navigate to sea. There was a nice buffet for elite and platinum guests and a reserved area for us to watch the ship leave the Burrard Inlet. There was biblical rains off and on from Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle. We didn't get off the ship in Victoria because of the wind and rain and we were so glad we did not book any excursions. We did watch the brave souls getting off the ship and although we admired there moxy, we were content to enjoy life shipboard.
We tied up in Seattle and the sun did appear off and on so we got off the ship and jumped on the shuttle which was nice because you can put the fare on your cruise card. We have been in Seattle before so we just walked around downtown a little before we headed back to the pier. That night the swell was 8 meters from the side and I almost slid out of bed several times. A few times I wondered if the ship was going to rollover. I was seasick that day and the next day but managed to drag myself to the traditional dining late seating. Lately we have used the anytime dining but my wife especially on cruises with her girlfriend lately have switched back to traditional. If you enjoy your tablemates you get to know your wait staff and they get to know you which I find more enjoyable. As well, the late seating is less busy, meaning your wait staff is more attentive and the service faster. We found our wait staff excellent and the food was excellent. As good as we have had on Princess no complaints. We tend to use the dining room for as many meals as possible as we like the table service and the cook to order althought the Horizon Court is great too. Some people complain about the variety or the quality but I find it just fine and more than ample. Sometimes I wonder if the complainers eat peanut butter sandwiches at home.
We really enjoy the Wake Show on TV. It is usually very funny and gives you a glimpse into operations on the ship that you are not aware of.
We skipped Astoria due to weather which was disappointing but that is life and life is what you make it. You are on the ocean on an amazing ship so how bad is life compared to life elsewhere i.e. typhoons, tsunamis etc.
San Francisco was wonderful and the weather sunny and warmer. It was nice to be able to walk along Fisherman's Wharf and we took the trolley around downtown which was pretty interesting. We tend not to eat off ship because we don't see the point when you have paid for meals onboard.
Next port was Santa Barbara, nice and warm and a nice stroll along the beach. We took a downtown amphiduck tour which eventually after driving around takes you out in the harbour which was very pleasant.
Next stop LA which was the smoothest fastest disembarkation ever. We do the walkoff with luggage and it so fast! Hats off to Princess!
Would we do this particular cruise again? Unlikely because of the weather prevalent at this time. We thoroughly enjoyed it however, and getting seasick here and there is just part of life at sea and at no time does it dampen my enthusiasm or ejoyment of cruising. Less
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