My wife and I boarded the Sapphire Princess in Los Angeles for their 4 day Coastal Cruise with stops at Santa Barbara and Ensendada. We never got off the boat at either port because we had just been to both cities less than a month before. This cruise was strickly just for the ship....and the ship was worth it.
Before we left...we read all the reviews on this website concerning the Sapphire Princess. Some of the reviews were not very kind to the ship or the crew. Let me assure you....the ship is beautiful...the crew is extraordinarily respect, kind and helpful. Some complained about the food. We found the food to be excellent in both the dining room and the buffet. We never had a bad meal anywhere. The service in the Santa Fe dining room was very close to perfect. We experienced tastes and food that we had never experienced before. I just don't understand how some people can complain about the food....it was really really good.
Here is a hint though. We had "anytime dining"...that really means "anytime" after 7PM. They suggest making reservations and we found that is the way to go....without reservations, you may be in for a long wait. The Santa Fe holds 50 tables open for "walk-in" patrons. But you have to be there at 5:15PM and wait for the doors to open at 5:30PM.....and you will get a table without any problems. The dining room pretty much clears out at 7:00PM...and table are easily obtained after that.
Ask for dishes that are not on the menu. The Santa Fe has there delicious frajitas...but they are not on the menu.
Be sure to bring a decktop fan...it really helps to cool off the room. Also bring a power strip...as there are not many plugs to use in the stateroom.
The cabin (B437) was midship....the best place for a cabin to be...close to everyting...far away from nothing. The Aloha Deck and the Baja Deck are the only decks where the balcony is really private. All the lower decks have balconies that can be seen from the balconies above them. We don't care for that....so we got a room on the Baja Deck. It is the perfect deck to sleep on...and B437 is only 10 steps from the elevators.
This is a very nice ship, it is not showing its "age" at all. The average age of the passengers is between 40 and 50...there are some children...but when we went...there were not too many. It is not a Carnival ship...if you want the parties that Carnival brings to the table...don't book this ship. It is much more quiet although there are things to do everynight and everyday....and my wife and I really enjoyed these four days of peacefull tranquility.....and we did escape completely.