We have always enjoyed cruising with Princess and this last little mini-cruise really topped the list. We decided that to get even closer to reaching the Elite level, we would take this cruise. We booked 2 insides and we were very luckily upgraded to Caribe 752, an aft penthouse category. We were astonished at the size of the suite of course but to be able to stand on the balcony and to see the Seattle skyline was amazing On the balcony, we had a teak circular table, 4 chairs, and 2 teak loungers, each with its own red plaid blanket.
The huge bathroom was in 2 sections, connected by a teak lined door. The single sink had ample space around it, the toiletries were prettily displayed in a metal container, and the upgraded towels were hung on gold-trimmed racks.
The other section of the bathroom had the clear glass shower stall (good size) and the jacuzzi tub,again with a container of bath salts nearby, plus 4 plush extra large bath towels. Beautiful marble walls and floor.
The makeup area was indeed spacious, lots of mirrors, hairdryer attached nearby. The number of pull out drawers in this area is greatly appreciated, especially for a longer cruise.
The queen size (king size?) bed was truly comfortable, topped with 6 pillows. In a suite you can ask for and exchange pillows (ie feather, etc.) Lots of lighting options throughout the suite. From the bed you can look out the balcony windows. There are 2 balcony doors, one in the bedroom section and one in the sitting area. The 2 areas are separated by a curtain.
The sitting area comprises of a chair and a sofa, both comfy, and an oval glass topped coffee table. When we entered the suite, we saw the beautiful flower arrangement (roses, tiger lilies, greenery) on one of the side tables by the couch. There is also another smaller flower display in the bathroom. (orchids)
The walls are tastefully decorated with pictures; the entire suite is very peaceful feeling.
The suite also has a wet bar and a mini-bar set. The mini-fridge located under the flat screen TV/DVD also has additional drinks such as Perrier water, soft drinks and beer. The second TV is located in the bedroom section.
Ample closet space is provided with 2 rows of closet rods, wooden hangers, and shelves. As in all cabins, there is a safe.
Embarkation Process: we departed Vancouver using a bus service that took us to Pier 91, Seattle. We arrived at the Terminal before 11:30 and by 12:30, we were in our cabin/suite. So we were pleased with the Seattle embarkation system.
Lunch: International Restaurant is open on embarkation day so we partook of the excellent services of our waiter, Fernando and his assistant. Broiled salmon was one of the choices and it was excellent.
Dinner: Santa Fe Restaurant, table 352: good service. We found the area a bit noisy (we had a table by the window) Prime rib was tasty as was the shrimp cocktail.
Evening performances: We were fortunate to hear the Korean Drum Band, a group of young ladies who entertained us well with their talented drumming.
This was followed by the Princess dancers and singers who performed "Piano Man"--excellent costuming, good singing, and as usual, fabulous dance steps!
Fellow Passengers: for this one night cruise, filled with mainly Canadians, we saw all age groups, from children to seniors into their eighties.
Noise level, overall: the atmosphere was very positive throughout the areas of the ship that we visited. We did not get a chance to visit the pool areas.
Overall look of the Ship: I personally could not find fault with any area of the ship. The flooring was clean, tidy, polished; the staircase areas were well maintained. The public washroom were all clean and well kept up. I did not see any areas needing painting, carpets in distress, etc. Of course, I was only on this ship for one night.
I was very impressed with the layout of the present Sapphire. I like the new change of having the International Cafe and Vines, but it is unfortunate they are reducing the size of the Internet Cafe (it will lose the windows it presently has) and the Writing Room area, which is perfect for sitting and reading.
Disembarkation in Vancouver: we were lucky to be in the Platinum Waiting area (Wheelhouse Bar) and we managed to be off the ship by 9:15. We could have arranged for an earlier time but chose not to. The only glitch in the system is not with Princess or its procedures, but with the Canada Customs (lack of staff) to process over 2700 passengers in a timely manner.
Summary: The Sapphire is a gorgeous ship. We experienced wonderful staff, very friendly and helpful. The staff in the Boutiques were all wonderful too. We have a number of cruises under our belt (not all Princess) and we walked away with a very positive feeling about this one day cruise.