We sailed from Los Angeles on the Sapphire Princess March 3 to March 10, 2012. The group included our daughter, a granddaughter, a grandson and his fiance'; none of whom had cruised before, and my wife and I who have cruised several times on river cruises, small ship cruises and bigger ship cruises from 4 days to 15 days.
First the pros.
We had late seating in the International Dining Room and found the selection, quality, presentation and taste to be much better than we expected based on other reviews. Our waiter, Dan, and his assistant, George, were among the best that we have ever had. They made sure that our table of six were well cared for and answered all the questions of our four first timers, one of whom is a vegetarian.
The younger set, 23 to 44 years old had oceanview obstructed rooms which were perfect and had very adequate storage space and a room steward that kept their rooms clean and tidy. My wife and I opted for a mini-suite with veranda to give us enough room for all six of us to gather a couple of times during the cruise. Our room steward, Ryan, was perfect, keeping us supplied with ice and fresh fruit and making sure we had no problems.
The entertainment was also better than we had expected. The ship's song and dance group were very enjoyable and the comedian and magician were both very suitable for families in the showroom and for adults in the lounges.
Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and were well organized.
The 3 level piazza in the center of the ship was a great place to gather and watch street performers, passenger games and people watching. The pizzaria and the Int'l. Cafe provided tasty treats during the day. The wine bar prices seemed a bit high and wasn't ever crowded.
The cruise price was quite acceptable for the acommodations and itinerary.
The breakfast menu and the room service menu were pretty basic and except for the dining room breakfast special was very minimal.
Having only the buffet available for lunch on embarkation day was a joke. Way too many people and too few tables and chairs.
Overall, the cruise was about right for our first timers, who really got into the ships games, room service, afternoon tea, big screen movies under the stars and the ports of Puerta Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas. We enjoyed the experience of spending quality time with family members who have busy lives of their own.
I would give this ship and cruise itinerary a 3.5 out of 5.