This is my basic review of the 28 day south pacific cruise aboard the Sapphire Princess. !
Here are the basics for the cruise, we left it of LA (San Pedro) embarkation was smooth
and without any hassle the staff was friendly and helpful. As we were traveling with our
neighbor (who has some vision issues) the representative who helped me also assisted
my neighbor at the same time allowing us to stay together as a party.
After the check in process we proceeded to board the Sapphire the gangways have
been improved since my last cruise with Princess last year so going up the ramp was a
lot easier and faster. Princess has also started using a new system to take your
boarding ID picture and card scan, it is a hand held unit and seems a lot faster the line
move quickly. Once we boarded the ship (around 1pm) we proceeded to check on our
rooms they were all ready so we dropped off our carry ons and then More
proceeded to the
buffet for some lunch. After lunch we returned to our cabin to start squaring away our
carry on items (computers iPad etc...) and wait for our luggage and the muster drill
before sail away.
The muster drill went off without a hitch but I would like to see Princess institute a
similar police that Royal Caribbean has regarding not having to lug the life jackets to the
muster stations but other then that all was good.
After the muster drill we hung out waiting for the sail away before dinner we were in
traditional type dinner seating with a table for the three of us. Our departure was
delayed by U.S. Customs for some reason so we were at dinner during the sail away.
Diner was good and the service was good but here's my first kind of negative comment
about the dinning situation and the food. Princess seems to be pushing the anytime
dinning option for this cruise so we were tucked away in a small dinning room that was
only accessible by the aft elevators or stairs this was kind of annoying especially the
first night when we did not know this and had a hard time finding the dining room.! !
So while I am on the dinning topic let me get into one of my main complaints about this
cruise. We mainly ate in the buffet dinning because we liked to dine when we felt like it
and we didn't care to get dressed up although the service was good the food selection
left a little to be desired. Complaint number one MUSTARD, why does the chef have the
desire to slather mustard on the outside of every type of roasted beef or pork dish?????
I am not a mustard person and while I do understand that it is commonly used in
roasting meats as a rub their are other things that can be used. What makes this worse
at the grill where they make hamburgers and hot dogs they have decided that they
would mix catsup and mustard into the hamburger paddies. I personally find this very
inconsiderate to those of us that do not like the taste of either of these condiments on
our food. The cruise meals seemed to be very fish centric (usually two fish dishes per
dinner meal and a lot of times for the lunch meal at the buffet) again I am a simple eater
and do not eat fish neither did one of my traveling companions he is mainly almost
exclusively a chicken eater, and while there was a bird dish at most meals we did seem
to have a lot of duck. I am hoping that the food situation is because the ship is due to it
going into dry dock soon so I will get a chance to check the updates out next year.
So let's talk about the over all entertainment on the cruise. From what I saw and heard
the entertainment was very good and the lectures and learning seminars were well
received. The only real issue my group had with the entertainment was the ships tv. I
know that I am on vacation but I hate being totally out of touch with the world and it
seemed like as soon as we hit the southern hemisphere we lost satellite so now CNN. I
know it would take some adjustment on the ships antennas to get a signal but over two
weeks without any world news is a little much also the last five days or so the tv people
could not get the programs listed for the day on the tv. Again a minor issue but at
seaweed youth to plan your day around a series that you were watching it does get
frustrating . That brings me to my other main complaint the Internet, the Internet service
was spotty most of the time and unusable many times. Again I understand the issues
with Internet but again get better service for your guest.
The over all trip itself was great, the destinations were fantastic the crew was great and
helpful and overall I think most things ran well. Tendering to and from the ports was well
organized and the crew seemed to very attentive to guest needing assistance. Again the
crew for the most part made the the cruise more enjoyable.
So the question is would I make this trip again with Princess and the answers YES with
one caveat not while I a still employed. Less