Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by quincytoo: Loved every second including the rollercoaster ride back :)
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Loved every second including the rollercoaster ride back :)
Arrived about 11:30ish Sat, we spent a few days at Disneyland and were mulling over different ways to get to the terminal. We decided to rent a car from Enterprise, drive around and get our wine and pre cruise shopping done and then drive the car to the Enterprise San Pedro location at the Crown Plaza Hotel. Enterprises also has a shuttle taking you to and from the ships, just be there before noon on a Saturday as they close at noon.
I was upgraded to platinuim this trip so had priority check in and then we were ushered into a private room to wait to board the ship, it seems that Sapphire was running an hour late as she was alate arriving. OJ and coffee were offered in the room as well as the chance to pre-buy coffee cards, we did buy another coffee card as they were worth their weight in gold to us on the CB cruise.
By noon we were on the ship and eager to get to our room. Aloha 611, it is our very first balcony room and while I loved it, Dh was a little More disappointed as he had paid the best upgrade possible when he bought the cruise and he was a little taken back by how small the balcony was and how covered it was. I already knew what to expected because of the posters in CC and actually loved the balcony. He wants to ask what are the most coveted balconies to have?? He saw some that were partly covered partly exposed and not at all as private as our balcony about three floors down, maybe the dolphin?? . We were right across from the laundry room 9what a thoughtful man he is) and right under the buffet. Laundry room being so close was great and buffet noise was non-existent , we actually ran up to the buffet almost every day around 4ish to bring a plate of cheese, fruit, crackers, appys to nibble on with a glass of wine.
We found the weather going down to be quite nice and we suntanning by the pool on the first sea day from 1-3 and from 11-3 the next sea day. Weather was quite warm and nice going down, going back was a slightly different experience LOL
Also being on this deck meant we were so close to the main pools as well as the adult pool, loved this deck but it did seem a little more rockier the last two sea days back.
Sawang is our room steward and he is the best steward we have ever had. We tipped him a extra $20 at the end of the cruise and made sure we filled out a "you made a difference" card for him. He told me that I kept the room so tidy it was very easy for him to do his job.
We did anytime dining and first night found a wonderful team in the Savoy. Roland and Belazs, window table 230 becomes *OUR* table for 4 of the 5 nights. Two of the other nights we sit in their sections but different sections. One night we eat at Santa Fe and have horrible slow service. We tipped Roland and Belazs an extra $15 each and fill out the *you made a difference * cards for them as well. Belazs needs to be promoted to a higher level.
Food on this Sapphire cruise was the best we have had on any of the Princess cruises. Prime rib on sail away night was one of the better Prime Rib we have had anywhere. Before I start sounding like a Princess Cheerleader, let me say the other Sapphire Princess food wasn't very good. Well the chef changed or got a whole lot better cause this food was wonderful. We had planned to do the sir charge restaurants (something we did on the NCL Spirit as an escape from their horrid food) but once we got on this Sapphire cruise, we decided to stay with the Savoy and such.
Food highlights the Prime rib, the rack of lamb, the Cornish game hens, the pot roast (we were both shocked at this, as my husband said, I didn't know Pot roast tasted this good), watermelon and feta salad (really really good order two), crab legs are gone but lobster was still going strong. I ordered the pheasent instead and dh enjoyed his lobster and prawns.
ENGLISH PUB LUNCH.....OMG!!!! This was offered in the Savoy twice on a sea day going down there and coming back. We had lunch there coming back and YUM!!! Steak and Kidney pie, curried chicken, bread prawns and chips, fish and chips, scotch eggs and salad, sherry trifle. I had one of the best steak and Kidney pies ever and Dh has a chicken curry so good I didn't get one bite. Glad we had a chance to try this. Very good.
Entertainment Sat Welcome aboard show with Steve Morris and the Sapphire Princess singers.....we skipped this, too tired.
Sunday First formal night champagne waterfall.... Piano Man in Princess Theater and later at saw Steve Morris at the Explorers lounge. We saw the early show of Steve Morris and he was funny and liked the fact in added music to his act. At club Fusion they had the start of Pop Star Idol or heat. Again too tired, saw some of Steve's second act but it seemed that he merely replayed his first act, word for word, it was funny but not worth seeing again.
Monday Piano man again as well as Steve Morris we saw some of Steve's second act but it seemed that he merely replayed his first act from Sunday , word for word, it was funny but not worth seeing again. Tuesday princess theatre had Alexander and explorers lounge had a 50 &60's rock and roll party with the Baby Dolls.
Weds Princess theatre had production show Do you wanna dance? And Explorers had Carlos Oscar......OMG this man is funny funny, funny, doesn't utter a single swear word and needs to get his own show. I laughed so hard I cried. We made sure we saw all of his shows. Loved his facial expressions. Thursday Production show in Princess theatre was I got the music Explorers show was Carlos Oscar tonight was the second formal night.
Friday they had a farewell variety show and the pop star final
Port days Puerto Vallarta we tend to go to PV a lot and intend to retire here one day, it was interesting to go as a one day cruise passenger. We grabbed a yellow cab from the main street for 50 pesos to the |Malecon and walk it then hike over to the River market then walk and spend the day at Playa Los Acros hotel. 4PM comes too early and we grab another taxi with friends met on the cruise, cab costs 80 pesos.
Mazatlan.....WOW interesting city, last time we ended up in the Golden Zone and the only thing we liked about it was finding a Macdonalds with timeshare salesmen free bathrooms.....those guys were everywhere. This time we grabbed a cab to old Mazatlan for about 50 pesos to the old part of town and walked around to we hit a local's market. I remember shopping here with my parents when we used to drive down and stay in a motor home. Husband loved it but was a little shocked by the pigs heads, while sides of meats, whole chickens. It was incredible. Found a small purse I wanted and was going to offer her 50 pesos for it, (last one I bought cost me 80 pesos) when I asked her how much she said 50 epsos and I gave her a 50 pesos note, she looked shocked I didn't barter. To be honest I stopped bartering as much as I used to, Mexico hasd been hit with a huge drop in tourism and they need our money. Walked through a lovely old church and then hauled an open air cab (50 pesos) to the Water Taxis (20 pesos pp) at Stone Island. Spent a relaxed day at Victors on Stone Island, 320 pesos and we were well fed with garlic and coconut shrimp (bigger then some of the lobster tails on formal night). Got back to the ship around 3ish in time for our 3:30 naps........
We took many 3:30ish naps this trip and I am worried that my first day back to work I will need my 3:30ish nap.
As we sail out the Captain comes on to alert us about the weather off the California and how it is going to effect us. He was patient, level headed and not once did I disagree with anything he was saying. He told us because of the approaching bad weather we would be sailing into 24 ft waves and would have to go very slowly. He was sorry but we were not stopping in Cabo. He needed to go as fast as he could now so that when the bad weather hit and he had to slow right down he could so so and still be safe and still get us back on time. I agreed with everything, especially since we had a 1:00 flight out that Sat. I saw most passengers nodding their heads but on man scowling, as I walked by him, I smiled and said, "better be safe then sorry"
The weather started getting rougher but was still nice but by the afternoon of the Thursday 9the missed Cabo day) it was rough, we were getting the last of the sun up at the main pool and I commented to someone about the rain, turns out it was the splash from the waves. It was getting rough then suddenly the sun was gone, the wind was there and it was getting rougher. Thank god for ginger tablets, I woke up quite a bit that night and at one point the bed was shaking from side to side. I give the captain and crew full credit for deciding to come home and miss Cabo. On Friday someone fell and hurt themselves at the pool. So slippery and rough. All the staff were great about it as were my fellow passengers. Anytime someone grumbled about missing Cabo it was quickly squashed. Must say this was the best cruise ever!!! We signed up for two more cruise credits. Less
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Cabin review: BBA611 Balcony
A611 Sapphire Princess......Located right across from Laundry room and right below Buffet.....We could hear neither from our room. Room was the same size as the Inside staterooms that we had had. Loved the balcony it was covered but we still got full sun while travelling down the Mexican Rivera coast. Bed was really really hard so we had a foam topper put on which helped abit. Lots of hangers and space to hang up and put all of our clothes away :0 Loved this room.
Port and Shore Excursions
To be honest, the intense beauty of it caught me by surprise and then intense homesickness for PV set in as I realized I only had one day in PV and had to be back on the ship by 4:30.
In that brief moment I knew how Cinderella felt when her fairy godmother handled over te keys to the Golden coach and bid her to enjoy herself but then added she had to be leave by a certain time....I actually had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat as I muttered to myself that Cinderalla thought the whole have to leave by a certain time sucked too. I tell DH that the wind is causing the tears and that our next vacation had better be back in PV LOL.
We get off the ship as fast as I could push people off the gangway, actually no one fell in but we had several undesirables push us out of the way stating they had booked excursions so they should be off first.
We get off the ship and walk to where the terminal meets the highway to hail a yellow cab. A white taxi was going to be $3USD per person in those yellow van and a yellow taxi was $50 pesos. We jumped out at the Malecon and walked around there a bit and then headed up to the HSBC near the market. Walked quickly through the market and ended up at the River market which we like better. I bought mu daughter a picture of a cat from a local artist for 120 pesos and she wraps it nicely for my suitcase. Also stopped at a farmicia and get a tube of Reacel-A for 99 pesos
It is still only about 10:30 but PV seemed to be quieter then last year??
We walked over to Playa Los Arcos and pay the 150 pesos day pass to use the pool, towels and beach chairs at PLA. 110 pesos can be used for food and drink and from 12-3 happy hour at the pool is on. They make very very good margaritas and the two margs for 59 pesos is a good deal. We each get one blended and one on the rocks at the same time and then decide which way we like better. We had to buy another round to really make up our minds but truly on the rocks has the top score.
DH gets a yummy clubhouse (80 pesos) for lunch made with real turkey (I hate that deli style turkey) and I have the Vallarta ceviche (89 pesos)..both meals were very good. Before lunch and drinks I did run over to Metamorfosis for a very very nice massage with Hilda Angie's niece....seems Angie is just as good of a massage teacher as she is a therapist. :) 450 pesos with tip.
Spent the afternoon at the pool at PLA and did venture into the ocean once and found it very rocky and the surf rough, we wondered if there had been a few storms?? Four margs later, Quincytoo realizes they have to go soon and isn't happy about her beloved PLA turning back into a Princess cruiseship.
Prince Quincytoo promises another vist soon and with that we pack up and go to La Playa liquor store on Olas Atals to buy two one litre bottles of Cazadore 210 pesos each, cheaper then last Oct and way cheaper then the duty free store on the ship which was $29 USD for a litre. The store manager on the ship had told us they would match any price but shook his head at the price, he didn't think we could get it that cheap.
We always go to La Playa but did take Princess storeguy the receipt just to show him and he said they could not have matched that BUT he was so now excited for HIS next port day in PV and was going to check out La Playa liquor stores. Pumpkin ride...oops I meant taxi ride back cost us 80 pesos, I think Prince Quincytoo paid taxi a bit more, it was kinda hard to see through my tears.
PV looked wonderful and clean throughout the whole day, it didn't seem to be that busy and nor was the traffic that bad. Weather was the warmest that day of the whole cruise.