This was our first Princess Cruise and it will likely be our last. Our prior cruise experiences were all positive with one exception. That was a four day Royal Caribbean cruise out of Tampa. That cruise was dominated by a group of about 80 females ranging in age from 21 to 60, who were out to have fun at everyone else's expense.
This cruise was a long time bucket list item that we wanted to do. Sadly it turned out to be a negative experience. Before proceeding, it must be said that the staff, for the most part, were hard working people trying to give the best service.
The Sapphire Princess had been in dry dock at Victoria, Canada, for about 4 weeks prior to our cruise. They added a new Pizza restaurant, a Wine bar and a sandwich / coffee bar on the 5th Deck. This turned out to be the best place to eat on a steady basis. We were given table #73 during the 8:00 PM seating, in the International Dining Room. Each meal was an increasing and utter disappointment. More
Tough meat, fish that smelled, cold food, were the norm. We decided to try the Buffet line and that was worse. Breakfast was a free-for-all. There were three sections on each side of the ship. Each morning two of which had the same items, old scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon that was either limp and oil logged or crisp to the breaking into crumbles. The griddle items, French Toast, Pancakes or waffles were hard and dried out. There was no separate "Omelet Station". Instead, in the middle of the main line a cook's helper would write your order down, make a duplicate ticket and add a number to each. He would then go to the kitchen while you waited. The problem being that you are left to stand where others are trying to get their food. Also, there was no signage to indicate what you were doing so you had to explain to everyone why you were there.
At lunch there were limited carving stations or the like. They had "Chick peas and Rice", Ham Hash with Pimentos and fish that denies description except as being full of odor.
We went to the premium restaurant, Sabatini's, on three nights to escape the food at the other restaurants, at $20.00 per person per night. This we truly enjoyed.
Besides the food there were other disappointments. We had holes in our sheets, the bathroom was dated and the shower diverter had a loose flaring. The toilet in our cabin was discolored black, as were several on the ship.
I don't hold Princess Cruise Lines responsible for our extra day at sea and missing one island. That is nature and it's forces. However I do think that they should have a means for booking on-board experiences that are available. We attempted to sign up for the "Chef's Table" were told to call the dining number on our phone and sign up. The dining person didn't know what I was talking about. The girl at the main desk told us that we had to go to Passenger Services. We followed her directions and were unable to find it. We asked directions and were told that there was no Passenger Services Desk yet spoke on the phone with them regarding the Sanctuary offering.
Enough said, I hope your cruise experience is better. Less