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21 Night Australia & New Zealand Cruise from Shanghai

21 Night Australia & New Zealand Cruise from Shanghai

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Exterior shot of Sapphire Princess in Whittier, Alaska
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Shanghai
  • Day 2
    Cruising
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Hong Kong
  • Day 5
    Cruising
  • Day 6
    Nha Trang
  • Day 7
    Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)
  • Day 8
    Cruising
  • Day 9
    Singapore
  • Day 10
    Cruising
  • Day 11
    Cruising
  • Day 12
    Bali
  • Day 13
    Cruising
  • Day 14
    Cruising
  • Day 15
    Cruising
  • Day 16
    Perth (Fremantle)
  • Day 17
    Cruising
  • Day 18
    Cruising
  • Day 19
    Cruising
  • Day 20
    Adelaide
  • Day 21
    Cruising
  • Day 22
    Melbourne

Sapphire Princess

Sapphire Princess - Princess Cruises

Pros

After 2018 refurb, ship sports a new kids' club, refreshed spa and top-notch entertainment

Cons

Bathrooms still in need of a refurbishment

Bottom Line

A good-value ship packed full of entertainment and activities


Cruise Reviews

This is where it goes a little off course---so to speak. Do to this being the first time the Sapphire did this route. Well the weather dictated the what, when and how the cruise would unfold. We wanted and did the cruise for 2 reasons: ... Read More
This is where it goes a little off course---so to speak. Do to this being the first time the Sapphire did this route. Well the weather dictated the what, when and how the cruise would unfold. We wanted and did the cruise for 2 reasons: To see the Eiffel Tower ---weather made us bypass that port---the the Vatican---Oh guess what "closed" on our tour date. That made our trip of a lifetime with a party of 10 almost unbelievable to say the least. The ship was great---people, food and entertainment ---expected and near 5 stars. But missing the ONLY two points of interest NOT to our liking at all. Then being booked by your cruise line person and putting us all over the place instead of exactly where WE wanted was also unforgivable...but being halfway around the world and on the ship---making a point to those in power on the ship ---well we stayed where we did not request the whole cruise...not happy campers. Then our seating for dinner (5 star food and waiters) NOT where we requested through our cruise agent by Princess---a party of 10 of us---no--we got seated on the main food delivery route...and the window seat for our party which we have had several times on other trips (we do family cruises) the whole trip there was only 4 people max to use that table. Again requested by the powers that be and told where you are is where you stay... Travel time by air and those seats booked by our Princess agent also were terrible...and the very last day---follow me here---up at 4am to get off ship---tour of around the area where we were supposed to see the Vatican (saw the roof) to get there on a bus and that took an hour and 45 minutes---walking for 3 hours plus---back on the bus to the airport--check in---wait another 2 hours---fly to France (in the dark---no Eiffel Tower in sight) wait at that airport another 13 hours---get on a airbus travel by air to Los Angeles by air like 13 hours---going back in time as opposed to "loosing time" on our cruise that not one of us was even told about---then wait a couple hours then fly HOME to San Diego...over a total of some 27 hours plus---it took almost 4 days to recover from this "trip of a lifetime" before we could go back to work---owners of our own business that made it even worse not to be able to "bounce" back do totally in fact to our Princess booking agent who needs to be fired for doing such and injustice to a party of 10 that spent A LOT of money for this once in a lifetime trip. We have even gone so far as to write a long letter to corporate that we certified. I would not recommend this trip to Europe to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The highlight of this cruise was seeing the northern lights above the Arctic circle in Alta Norway. Spectacular show on our second day of port stay so we were fortunate to see the northern lights. Our other stops in Norway were ... Read More
The highlight of this cruise was seeing the northern lights above the Arctic circle in Alta Norway. Spectacular show on our second day of port stay so we were fortunate to see the northern lights. Our other stops in Norway were Alesund, Tromoso and Stavanger. This was the last cruise ship to all these ports for the season and we were the only ship in port. As a result shore offerings were somewhat limited with almost no independent options. The ship tours were adequate and the weather this late being a bit limiting on options. As mentioned above, the highlight was the two day port call in Alta in hopes of seeing norther lights. Our first night was overcast with snow so a total bust. Our scheduled ship excursion to viewing point at secluded slate mine the first night was pretty much a wash out as a result of the bad weather. Second night worked out much better as the weather cleared and the northern lights were visible. Some passengers were complaining but you have to realize that there is no way to control the weather. The ship is a nice medium size, clearly my preference over the Princess mega fleet e.g. Royal, Regal. Captain's daily updates were informative and he made a few adjustments to port arrivals/departures to avoid some rough north sea weather. Considering, we had a very smooth trip, just one night of chop. Crew did a nice job, especially our Cabin attendant and Cruise director/entertainment team. Food was better then our last Princess experience. Disappointing room service options for breakfast but this seems to be Princess standard menu across all ships. Boarding and disembarkation were efficient with no issues. We took the Princess Bus from Victoria Coach Station in London to Southampton and bus to Heathrow airport on return. There were several bus loads so a bit crowded but nicely handled. Overall good service as expected from Princess, very relaxing and we were fortunate to see the northern lights. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The main purpose of this cruise....the Northern Lights. Spoiler alert.....we saw them! Having spent a couple of nights in London and Southampton pre cruise the day finally arrived to board the Sapphire. Embarkation was delayed due ... Read More
The main purpose of this cruise....the Northern Lights. Spoiler alert.....we saw them! Having spent a couple of nights in London and Southampton pre cruise the day finally arrived to board the Sapphire. Embarkation was delayed due to a satellite needing replacing on the ship but after a few hours waiting in relative comfort we were onboard. I had an obstructed window E212, a step up from my usual inside. Although a lifeboat hung in the lower half of the window, it was sea views over the top. The room was spacious enough for my solo traveling needs and was kept spotless by my awesome room steward "Chai". The bed was amazingly comfortable, the television had a huge selection of new movies and tv shows. This was my first time on the Sapphire and she had everything I love about Princess. Pizza slices by the pool, burgers, amazing milkshakes from Swirls. The cruise staff were great, the activities were good fun and there was plenty to choose from. I won elevator roulette (a game that is always a highlight of the Princess games). Confession..... I'm not really a MDR girl but I did eat there a couple of times. I found the service to be slow but I think this is just how Princess does MDR meals (one of the main reasons I prefer the buffet). The food though was good, no complaints there. The Sapphire has one of the best buffets I've eaten from on a ship. There was a big variety and the food was hot and plentiful. If you get the chance, try the orange mousse OMG! The Lido deck bar and food venues were shut for a few days due to bad weather (a good call from Princess to get staff out of the freezing temperatures and passengers away from the icy surfaces) but we certainly didn't go hungry. I had the soda package and had no problems getting served (which has been an issue on other Princess ships). The bar staff were friendly and efficient. I also had the all inclusive photo package and found no end of opportunities to get a photo taken, I certainly feel I got my monies worth. First port was Alesund where I did a privately booked tour with Calm Giant Tours. The guide was a lot of fun, very informative and the scenery was simply stunning. I highly recommend. Second port was Tromso. Another private tour with Tromso Individuell. We had two buses and unfortunately the guide of the larger vehicle decided to spend a lot of the time preacher her religious beliefs. At lunch we weren't invited to pray, we were told we would be. Not ok in my books. The sights were nice but I wouldn't use this company again. Then I did a night tour "a light chase" with Tromso Guide. The snow was heavy and chances of seeing the lights practically zero but a good time was had, we even got to visit a Norwegian supermarket which was kind of cool. Third port was Alta and an overnight stay. Day one, a private tour of Alta (museum, cathedral, Sami Lavvu) with Luuso. This tour was fun and informative, the guide was very good. In the evening another privately booked light chase with Paeskatun, the snow was falling so hard and the tour seemed to be overbooked causing delays and confusion when trying to board the buses. With no chance what so ever of seeing the lights we drove in what seemed like dangerous conditions for longer than we should have (these guys should know when to call it off but because they had booked so many people on the tours I guess they wanted to give us our monies worth). The guide was informative about the lights we wouldn't see but if I were to use this company again I would insist on it being the small vehicle that I booked, not a larger bus that they swapped to to take more passengers and make more money. Alta day two was Princess tours. During the day a trip to the dam and a Sami Lavvu, both very interesting. At night a trip to Paeskatuns' head quarters to try and see the lights. The skies had cleared and lady Aurora danced across the sky for us. The slate quarry was interesting and the staff were really informative, I've almost forgiven Paeskatun for the shambles that was the previous night. Fourth port, Stavanger. The sun shone and I walked the city then took a privately booked boat trip to Pulpit Rock with Rodne Fjord Cruises. A lovely day (with amazing internet on the boat which was well used on our way back to town). For anyone thinking of doing the lights cruise or sailing on the Sapphire, I wouldn't hesitate in booking. The one downside was the internet. This ship doesn't have medallionet so the internet was slow and sold by the minute. Being in Norway in the fjords we didn't have service for a good amount of time, not Princesses fault but something to consider when purchasing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
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