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Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by bajabob

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Sapphire Princess
Sapphire Princess
Member Name: bajabob
Cruise Date: October 2011
Embarkation: Los Angeles
Destination: Hawaii
Cabin Category: BA
Cabin Number: A255
Booking Method: Cruise Line
See More About: Sapphire Princess Cruise Reviews | Hawaii Cruise Reviews | Princess Cruise Deals
Member Rating   4.0 out of 5+
Dining 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Cabins 4.0
Entertainment 3.0
Spa & Fitness 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 5.0
Embarkation 4.0
Service 4.0
Value-for-Money 4.0
Rates 4.0
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Ship Facts: Sapphire Princess Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Sapphire Princess Deck Plans
Hawaiian Adventure
San Pedro embarkation went smoothly as we were a little early but not bad (no special boarding for us). Terminal area was nice, with clean restrooms and waiting area.

The Sapphire seemed to be in great shape for her age and about the only complaint I think we had was the construction work going on above the lotus spa for the new "sanctuary" area. There was some initial work on the deck above Skywalkers but they finished it up and it was a nice basketball/paddle tennis area.

Comments in earlier reviews of a floating "nursing home" were exaggerated as expected. While there was a strong contingent from the AARP crowd we found plenty of cruisers our age to hang out with. Initially, I thought the scooters parked in the hall way were going to be a problem but, somehow they magically disappeared to the scooter parking garage?? and it was never an issue. We had only one report of scooter rage(or really elevator hogging)the entire trip.

Food was average to above average and we always found stuff we liked. We never went hungry and the buffet while almost always busy never seemed to be crowded and I really dislike crowds. We chose anytime dinning but ended up eating at 5:45 almost every night as that was the last early reservation you could get in the anytime dinning rooms. Pacific Moon was ok, seemed a little slow on the first evening. Santa Fe was nice but we seemed to like the Savoy and ended up there with a standing reservation. We tried the Sterling Steak house on one of the formal nights and it was nice with a little extra personal service worthy of the 20.00 up charge. Did not try the Vivaldi or Sabatini's

We signed up for the Chef's Table for DW's birthday and we were not disappointed. We are not much of the "foodie" crowd but this was clearly an event for which we have never been apart of. It starts out with a special meeting with the Maitre'd Hotel(Jean Paul Musiu). On the appointed evening we were given special white coats to wear in the kitchen as other cruiser watched and wanted to know what was going on. A tour of the kitchen with special drinks and appetizers made just for us, were served. Then the seating. A small group of diners, with a select wine menu served by the ships Sommelier. The food was amazing as each dish that was served was more incredible then the last.

After the Chef's table we really needed the services of the Lotus Spa as we signed up for the Boot Camp workout routine. An excellent workout except that it was four days in a row, where we had hoped for a day off in between. Both instructors did a great job of pushing us and we really enjoyed it. On the way home we chose to just do our own thing as we had discovered walking/running on deck 7. The full body massage I had early in the cruise was pretty much standard cruise fare, not over the top but not the worst I have ever had, it did the job getting me relaxed for our cruise.

We like the Princess Cruise line's attitude toward alcohol and we did bring some "supplies" on board. The constant hounding to buy drinks we have experienced on other cruise lines was almost nonexistent. There were plenty of servers wondering around to which you could order a drink from but the lack of pressure to buy a drink, I think worked in PCL's favor as we ordered several drinks and had several bottles of wine with dinner even when we had our own stashed in our cabin.

Only improvement areas we could think of were, offering snacks or appetizers in Skywalkers for the World Series (some thought ahead and brought food from the buffet).

Towels at the pool (like most resorts do) and not in your room.

Maybe make reservations in the anytime dinning later then 5:45 but not as late as 8:00.

Wife either missed the Scrap Booking classes or there were none. RCCL had some nice classes.

Ribbon Lei making was not of interest to the wife, real flower Lei's would be, not sure if its a agriculture issue or not.

Ukulele lessons were a blast and my only suggestion would be if you think your interested in learning buy or bring your own. The units Doug Tann brought on board were 5.00$ units from Kmart which required constant turning. I ended buying one at a small store in the Aloha Tower. Doug did a great job with a bunch of beginners.

We will sail this line and this ship again.

Publication Date: 10/24/11
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