New Years Eve 12-31-11 Sapphire Princess: Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by darienill
Overall Member Rating
New Years Eve 12-31-11 Sapphire Princess
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
This one was strange from the beginning. The cruise was originally going to stop in Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta and Cabo but they changed it to Cabo overnight and Ensenada. Security issues I hear.
We were looking for something different to do for NYE and found this trip.
Bookings were off to a slow start but it finally started to fill up. We were with a group of seven over 60's that have traveled together. Being a holiday cruise there was a variety of groups on board. All kinds of family groups present. We started with an AC cabin balcony. Used future cruise credits, got shareholder benefit, got military benefit and an extra $50 from our TA. Used some frequent flyer miles for the air also. Booked the LAX Hilton for the night before for $99 +. Joined another CC'er on a Prime Time Shuttle to the pier with a group of 7 total.
Two weeks out (12-20) the More upgrades started to fly. There was a lot of upgrade chatter on the CC board. We got a call asking if we wanted to BUY an upgrade from AC to PS cat to C107. It was an extra $400 PP. We took it. Comes with full suite privileges. We also chose late fixed dining.
Boarded about 12:00, went straight to the cabin which was ready and immediately checked the Patter which shows the "Itinerary Highlights". I had suspected some changes due to it being New Years Eve and they had made Saturday night, tonight "Formal". The next Formal night was Monday the 2nd. That was it. Asked around and found out that tonight was also a special menu with lobster and steaks, which is also strange for a first night. Called and booked Sabatini's for Sunday 1/1 and Thursday 1/5 for our group.
This is Princess cruise #6 for us and it's still my favorite. Others in our group were cruise #5 and one couple was #1. The ship is headed for dry dock after this cruise and it seemed they were trying to get all the frozen sea food out that they could. We had more lobster than I ever remember seeing. Lobster night was day one and day 6 plus crab legs on day 7. At Sabatini's it was also lobster night anytime. Sabatini's menu change is good as it doesn't take you all night, just most of it. I joked that for our first timers meal on Princess they pulled out all the stops. They should wonder if it's always this good.
C107 is starboard side at the very front corner. It has a 90 degree deck but they close off all but the part to starboard which still leaves you with enough for a full table and four chairs plus two chaises and a small table. There is a full size tub/shower and single sink bath. Storage up the wazoo. It's divided into two rooms with a door that doesn't stay open. Lots of light switches, two TV's, two DVD's. a large window facing forward in the bedroom. 6 pillows.
Two temp controls. One fridge that didn't work too well. Makeup table in the BR and writing table in the LR. The standard safe. Sleeper love seat. Three chairs, one table. Lots of mirrors. No bar or second sink. No stand alone shower. See PICS in CC cabin section.
We were leaving Cabo about 3:30 on Wednesday and knowing a bunch of people on board I decided to throw a little sail away party on the deck. I ordered Chips and salsa plus cheese tray for about $15 and used some of the free booze we had plus two bottles of wine we brought. We had them open up the connecting door and we used the entire 90 degree deck area. Had 10 people in all. Had to go inside when the ship pulled out, got real windy and we couldn't latch the door. Nice cabin lots of space, a far walk to anything. Great attendant service.
Beautiful ship, loved the wheelhouse bar. Used the MDR. Big Casino. There is always more parts of the ship than I ever use, like the Lotus pool.
New Years Eve they had the balloon drop rigged and bands and events going on all around the ship. A great time was had by all, not many balloons survived. I watched from above, had to drag the wife out of the casino. Next day was football Sunday and they had 4 games broadcast. Did what I do at home, drink beer and watch football. This time it was at Skywalkers. Next day at sea with more football games.
Internet service was painfully slow but unlimited with full suite. I did miss the daily NY Times mini paper on HAL.
Cabo. Sr. Frogs for lunch. I just can't get my posse to kick it up a notch. Then a whale watching boat ride on the Pez Gato catamaran. Paid $30 PP for 2 hr. trip. Saw two whale pods. On board drinks, two potties. Nice ride. Recommended ****.
Shuttle into town $3 RT by Princess. Tour bus to the blow hole $15 with flea market stop. Beautiful site, bought a few items.
Only caught the illusionist Joel Ward. OK, not great.
Good cruise in all. Less
Cabin review: PSC107
Sapphire Princess C107. Tons of storage, I thought I wouldn't find all my stuff on the way out. Bath had one sink and a long full tub. a little high to step into but big. Nice bedroom, big window. makeup desk. Two phones, two seperate temp controls. a writing desk. Welcome basket of fruit, and free bar setup of 8 mini bottles plus stuff in the frige. Long walk to everything but the Wheelhouse bar was just down three floors and the theater. Veranda had table, 4 chairs plus two loungers. Had a party there with 4 or 5 people out there. Used the wrap around deck while in port. Nice quiet area, attendant was "right there". I think he opened my door for me 1/3rd of the time. 2 TV's. PLENTY of room.