It is important to note that I am a 23 year old, 4th time cruiser so my perspective and opinion of this cruise may contrast vastly with that of other cruisers on these reviews. I was initially reluctant to book with Princess because it is known to cater to an older demographic, but I was getting and amazing deal so I booked anyways. I travelled with a friend and boyfriend, and we also knew a few others on the same ship in our age group. We arrived at the port for embarkation at 2:30pm (it started at 11am) which was great because there were no lines and we were on the ship within 7 minutes.
First Impressions: For being a decade old, the Sapphire Princess is still in great shape, the decor was not modern, but it wasn't obviously outdated either. Our room was located on the Emerald Deck and was an interior room, but due to availability, we had a handicapped room-which was HUGE! it was nearly three times the size of other interior staterooms, and had two televisions, two desk areas, 2 twin beds, a large sofa-bed, and a large bathroom. Our Stateroom attendant Basulto Hernandez was great.
Food: There were various eateries on the ship. Prego was the Pizza which was outdoor by the main pool, and they also grilled hamburgers, veggie burgers, and chicken burgers as well. Whenever I needed a quick bite to eat, those were my choices. There is also an ice cream bar with the best ice cream malt shakes!! i REFUSE to eat in the buffets, the quality of the food is always lacking and below par so I do not waste my time trying. We selected traditional dining and our waiter was the BEST, Rigoberto Rivas. We love eating in the Dining rooms because the selection and quality of the majority of the food is great. We opted to have Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner in the dining room. The food was excellent, only the filet mignon was not the best choice. I ordered room service twice and was pleasantly surprised with the variety and timeliness of the service. Overall the food was great for a ship, but not as great as the food on Celebrity Cruise Line.
Entertainment: The shows were great! I was skeptical if the entertainment would appeal to a younger crowd, but it was nice. The Comedians Derrick Cameron and Steve Morris had excellent shows! The majority of the content was for an Adult audience and it certainly wouldn't be recommended for someone who is easily offended or for children. The other shows were also enjoyable. The deck parties were also fun.
Casino: ehhh, I did not play the slots because they are extremely tight. Blackjack was good, other than that I did not spend much time in here.
Sports Bar: Churchill Lounge was AMAZING! I am a huge sports fanatic and was relieved to know they played every NBA playoffs game. Dragan was one of the bartenders here and he was the most accommodating employee on the ship!
Nightlife: or LACK there of? Skywalkers Nightclub on deck 16 is open from 10pm to around 3am. We came here nearly every night but were disappointed. Granted, I was not expecting the Hollywood Club scene I am accustomed to, but DJ Charlie was just awful!! How many times are you going to play "Dancing Queen?" We made requests, which were ignored for the most part. My suggestion to someone who wants to enjoy Skywalkers is to have plenty of drinks before hand.
Excursions: We spent two days in Cabo San Lucas, and one in Puerto Vallarta. In Vallarta, we booked the Las Caletas Tour for $99 each person. A boat would take you to a private island for an authentic lunch, unlimited alcoholic beverages, a nature hike and snorkeling. I personally would not recommend this tour because the snorkeling was a waste of time. The water was full of jellyfish, and was not clear enough to see any fish. I would save my money and do the snorkeling elsewhere. In Cabo, we did not book an excursion but we did book a hotel room since we were there for 2 days. We stayed at a 4 star resort which was located only a 4 minute walk from where the ship was tendered. The hotel was the Playa Grande Resort. We booked once we arrived, and I was able to lower the price from $265 to $140. It was well worth the money to stay here instead of returning to the ship so we could enjoy Cabo Nightlife.
Overall, I had an amazing time. A cruise is what you make of it, and we certainly made this experience a memorable one. These two Ports were extremely SAFE!! no worries in these two pats of Mexico!