Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by rhonda5003: Laid Back
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
First the positives: This is a cruise for the person who likes to sit back and read a book or go to art auctions. Other cruisers are very friendly but they enjoy their down time, I didn't find people to be very social but that was ok since I like to spend a lot of time to myself.
We had a minisuite and it was VERY nice. Our cabin steward brought us a glass of champagne upon sailing. The cruise line diverted us from Mazatlan to Ensenada due to safety concerns for tourists and while I had been looking forward to visiting Mazatlan, I appreciate more Princess' concern for our safety.
For the most part, the food was Excellent! The only meal that I had a problem with was the Strip steak which was served on the last night of the cruise: it was waaay too tough. One night at dinner we were fortunate enough to have a waiter named Petronella, she was absolutely a delight!
I loved that they had movies in the Explorer's Lounge, even though I only went to one, I liked More the ambiance.
They had the best, most inexpensive laundry facilities of all of the lines that I've been on.
We did not book any tours from the ship (they were very reasonably priced) but instead decided to visit on our own. In Puerto Vallarta, we visited the shopping district, the prices were ridiculous and we left very quickly; however, across the street are the most marvelous sand sculptures! WalMart was across the street from the ship but beware: they charge an import tax which drives the price WAY up! Cabo San Lucas was wonderful, we took a tender from the ship to the port area and had a blast in the shops and just interacting with everyone else. In Ensenda, we took a bus from the port into the town and then decided to take a tour of the area and ride out to the flea market. Our tour guide was Margarita and she was absolutely wonderful! It took about an hour to get to the flea market site but she kept up an informational chatter the whole way. I really enjoyed it.
There was a huge Asian population on the ship and not all spoke English. While we were at dinner one night, I noticed that a waiter handed a menu to a Japanese couple that had been translated into Japanese. There was also a translator who came through the dining room to make sure that everything was going smoothly for the travellers. I thought that was a nice touch.
Now for the negatives:
1. There was very little diversity on the ship. My husband and I were one of less than 20 African Americans on the line. I comment on this because it, in my opinion, affects the quality of the entertainment: when you expect a diverse crowd, you plan entertainment accordingly. We enjoyed the comedian and the married couples game. The rest of entertainment was boring - sort of the Lawrence Welk variety.
2. Smoking in the cabins. My husband and I don't smoke and while neither of us is particularly bothered by it, the hallway on our deck often reeked of cigarette smoke. Our problem with the smoking was safety concerns - there's no where to run on a boat!
3. The entertainment was poor and lacked variety.
4. Getting reservations for the restaurants was ridiculous! If you are scheduled for anytime dining, make your reservations for the entire cruise on the first day on the ship, otherwise, you will not eat until 8:00 p.m.
5. The food in the dinner restaurants was ok but lacked variety. The food for breakfast was ok but also lacked variety and was not always prepared well.
6. The travel agent told us that this was upscale cruise line and that the guests were generally older (40s and 50s) and that there would not be many children on board. I would not categorize this cruise as upscale and, although there were not a lot of kids on board, I would place the majority of the cruisers as being in their mid-late 60s.
7. The equipment in the fitness area was worn through use and the weights were inaccurate.
All in all, I didn't think this was a bad cruise but it is not for the person who likes to be busy and social on a ship. Carnival is a much better deal all the way around (in my opinion) Less
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