Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by OldeFart: Super long and boring cruise
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Super long and boring cruise
It was very long - 28 days. And, the list of activities was really paltry, unless you're into:
Morning Stretch Class,
Knitters & Knatters,
Amateur Magicians training,
Buying & using makeup,
Chinese Herbal medicines,
Ballroom for beginners,
Scattergories (don't even ask),
Detox for health & weight loss,
Trivia (actually multiples per day),
Hold'Em tournament (with many smokers),
That's the morning activities....
Line dancing on deck,
Passport to Value Draw, More
Classic movie: Some Like It Hot,
LGBT get together,
Jewish Sabbath Service,
Movie: Pink funhouse,
That's the afternoon....
Cocktails with a piano player,
Dancing with a duo singing
Ballroom dancing with a DJ,
Pop Star Karaoke (what a joke),
Easy listening music in the bar,
More DJ music.
OK, that's just about the full list of activities aboard this ship. And, each day was just about identical - for all 28 days. Sure, there were special activities, such as a few formal nights, and photo ops, but generally, each day seemed the same.
As I review the above list, as I did on the ship, I couldn't find much that interested me, except for the karaoke and the casino. At 71 years of age, we are not very interested in Zumba, Aerobics, Yoga and Strength Training. And, we don't dance a lot, as my wife just had spine surgery.
We tried the casino a few times, but had to leave because of the constant cigarette smoke that was so pungent. There were a couple of days that were designated as non-smoking, but the prior days smoking lingered a bit. Originally, we were told that smoking was permitted on only one side of the casino. But, that was proven wrong. The whole casino permits smoking, except in one small corner where there are just 6-8 dollar slots, and where the lingering smoke seems to be attracted to. We prefer penny and quarter slots, and usually sit for hours at a time. So, we didn't use the casino much at all. My wife was upset about that.
Regarding karaoke, my wife and I love to screech & howl. But, karaoke was only on certain days, maybe 3 times a week, and only for an hour each time. And, it ALWAYS started 15 minutes late, and finished 10 minutes early, which allowed only 5 or 6 singers to perform. The list of songs they have is extremely limited, but I did find a couple I could sing. They will not play passengers karaoke CDs - we brought some along in case they would.
I selected Sweet Caroline from their limited list, presented it to the host, awaited my turn. But, the guy immediately in front of me also selected Sweet Caroline, so I had to select an alternative quickly - I was the last singer. When I tried to make an alternative selection, I was told that the books were already put away, and they were sorry, so I couldn't sing. So, I didn't sing, and went away angry. I don't think that Princess cares much about karaoke. Conversely, Carnival, which owns Princess, and RCCL, host multiple sessions per day, each for 2-3 hours (that's what I call karaoke).
A 28 day cruise, on a ship with 3,000 passengers, most of whom are over 65, means that most passengers retire early. And, with the shows not ending until 10pm, very few would/could attend a karaoke show, that doesn't start until 10 or 11 pm. Who in the hell planned these activities?
I brought my own karaoke system with me, assuming that I could find a spot and have others join me. I didn't expect that I'd need to be vetted, and my equipment scrutinized, but that's what happened. They had to check me out, as far as intentions, and had to check my equipment, to make sure it was up to their standards. I never heard of such a deal.
Finally, they allowed me to use Skywalkers Nightclub, which was in the most remote area in the rear of the ship - most people couldn't find it. I asked that my session be added to the daily Patter, but was told it couldn't, as they were printed on shore before the cruise - which was not true. After a few days, they told me they would add it. So, I finally got approval to do some karaoke, on a small scale, at 1:00pm for 2 hours. It turned out that we eventually had 25-30 singers - on a daily basis, which was 20 more than the ship's sessions.
I had the audio version Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy, and Killing Jesus on my PC, so I thought I'd go out on the deck near the pool, and listen for a while. But, my battery didn't last long enough for even half of the first book. So, I looked and looked for an outlet somewhere on the deck. Then I asked for help, and was told - sorry, there are none. Whoa.... No power anywhere on deck to use a computer? Nope. None - period. Needless to say, I was bummed out. I had to go back to our cabin, in order do my book, and to charge the battery - which took hours. I did have a tablet that would have lasted hours, but my wife was using it for her games.
Who ever heard of a ship with no outlets on the main lounge deck?
The food was not what we've been used to. We often cruise on RCCL and Celebrity, and their food seems a bit more upscale. In particular, the breakfast eggs were always very runny, and I'm on a special diet that only allows protein (eggs, poultry, beef, pork, etc), so eggs for breakfast is all I can have. Runny eggs,...
Our cabin and our cabin attendant were above par. The activities could/should have been a little more what olde farts like us like. The stores and lounges were superb, and the weather... was outstanding. Less
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Cabin review: Sapphire Princess B416
Nice veranda cabin. Especially liked the curved shower curtain, which provides more mid-body room. But, I wish they'd move the grab bars to the corners, as they jut out into my side & back when showering.