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1,059 Princess Sapphire Princess Cruise Reviews

We have been on princess over ten times. We enjoyed Princess in the past but if this cruise is any indication of Princess today, I would urge you to spend your Cruise dollars elsewhere. We have been on the Princess Sapphire 3 times. ... Read More
We have been on princess over ten times. We enjoyed Princess in the past but if this cruise is any indication of Princess today, I would urge you to spend your Cruise dollars elsewhere. We have been on the Princess Sapphire 3 times. This last time really showed how old, tired, dirty the Sapphire is. Our sliding glass balcony, "Club Class" door did not work and was never properly fixed. We paid for Club Class and got an Ocean View! The Sterling Steakhouse was terrible. All I wanted was a good Steak. Over cooked, Under cooked, way too salty...what a mess. I like eggs benedict for breakfast when I'm on vacation. It did not appear once on the breakfast menu in Club Class dining. I could NOT get it when requested either. Club Class dining is not special at all. In fact it is no different than the regular dining room. They promise tableside food presentations, but there was NO tableside food prep at all. A complete sham. Rust on hull, bulk heads, port holes. Power box on deck 15 hanging by wires. Stateroom furniture old and worn, torn and stained carpet, dents in wall board, yellowing of tub, staind in bathroom grout. Princess cruises have become so predictable. The special "Captain's" events are no longer special, the food and beverage service is very average. Overall I was very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
For my spouse and myself a Southeast Asia Cruise has been on our Bucket List for some time. We were excited when we saw Princess offering this 21 night cruise at a reasonable price. Overall, we had a very positive experience aboard this ... Read More
For my spouse and myself a Southeast Asia Cruise has been on our Bucket List for some time. We were excited when we saw Princess offering this 21 night cruise at a reasonable price. Overall, we had a very positive experience aboard this ship but unfortunately, due to concerns regarding the possibility of the Coronavirus, the cruise was cut short. We arrived in Singapore a few days early and really enjoyed what the city has to offer. Singapore is a city that's easy to navigate due to its highly efficient public transportation system which is inexpensive and safe. It should be noted that Singapore itself is an expensive city and accommodation costs can really put a dent in one's budget. Food costs can be lower if one eats at the Hawkers Markets which are readily available throughout the city. These markets are regulated by the government, and the health standards are of a high level which makes them safe and fun. I would highly recommend spending a few days in this city prior to a future cruise, if the budget permits. As to the ship itself, the overall impression is that it is in dire need of a complete overhaul as it's showing its age and is in need of updating. The ship's decor is more representative of a bygone era. Fortunately the ship is due for a refit in April 2020 which will hopefully bring new life to it. Onboard the ship our cabin category was a Mini Suite. As with the rest of the ship, it definitely was in need of updating. On the positive side, the cabin was quite spacious and had adequate storage for everything. The closet space in the cabin provided ample space for all of our clothes and accessories. Unfortunately the furniture in the cabin appeared quite old and tired. The bathroom did provide adequate space for us but its appearance was reminiscent of something from the 1950's. The bed and bedding provided by Princess was excellent which gave us a very restful sleep every night. Overall the service provided by the ship's staff was courteous and efficient but there were some issues regarding communication onboard the ship that could have used some improvement. One example was the cancellation of the stop in Cambodia, which most passengers found out either by email from their travel agents or by word of mouth. Some passengers we spoke to still did not know that the Cambodia visit was cancelled until the day we were supposed to have arrived there. It appears Princess cancelled the Cambodia stop close to our sailing date due to previous customers negative feedback, and didn't seem to have contacted the passengers prior to our embarkation from Singapore. On February 12, 2020, around 3:15 PM, we were advised that the second half of the cruise had been cancelled due to concerns regarding the Coronavirus. We were also advised that Princess would only assist passengers with airline tickets that had been booked through Princess' Air and Land program, leaving the rest of us to our own devices. The ship was to dock in Singapore the next day. This did not give us much time to make our own arrangements through our travel agent due to the 16 hour time difference. Compounding that for those who had not booked with Princess Air or Land program was that the Wi Fi was down for the next four hours and there appeared to be limited phone access. Ironically, we were also advised by the Captain, via a letter, that we were to be provided 24 hour Wi Fi service that evening, but when we inquired about the service we were told that it was not available on this ship. In response to these problems, Princess did provide free hotel accommodations for one night in Singapore for those passengers who were affected by the cancellation. In our circumstances, Princess also provided us with free telephone service that evening in order for us to make arrangements to get home. We chose the "Anytime Dining" option and primarily ate at the "Pacific Moon Dining Room." We found both the service and food to be very good. On occasion, we did lunch at the "International Dining Room" and also left with a very positive impression. We also tried both the "Trident Grill" for a hamburger and "Prego" for pizza on Deck 14 which we really enjoyed. The entertainment onboard the ship could best be described as inconsitant. The production shows in the main theatre were of a very high standard and quite entertaining. On other evenings we were entertained by three acts that included a magician, a tribute singer, and a comedian. The entertainment was somewhat limited as all three repeated their performances on two separate evenings. The music in the bars seemed to be very good although we did not spend much time in any of them. We also enjoyed the "Movie under the Stars" a few times. We both enjoyed the excursions that we booked with Princess. The tour guides were generally very good although sometimes their level of English was a bit sketchy. It should be noted though that many of the excursions we booked did take over two hours to get to due to the long distances from the port to the location of the excursion. Both the embarkation and disembarkation process went vey smoothly and without any problems. Even though our cruise was cut short we enjoyed it and will definitely cruise with Princess again. Although there were some problems onboard the ship, mostly due to circumstances beyond their control, overall the service provided was very good . Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Cruise no. 22. First time in Asia. First time with Princess Cruises. We use to cruise in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Very good and efficient embarkation and disembarkation. Itinerary: Singapore; Kota Kinabalu (Borneo, Malaysia); ... Read More
Cruise no. 22. First time in Asia. First time with Princess Cruises. We use to cruise in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Very good and efficient embarkation and disembarkation. Itinerary: Singapore; Kota Kinabalu (Borneo, Malaysia); Nha Trang (Vietnam); Phu My (Saigon, Vietnam); Laem Chabang (Pattaya & Bangkok, Thailand); Koh Samui (Thailand); Singapore (11 nights). Safety: excellent information and action, to avoid any kind of related problem. Communication: excellent communication during all cruise. Boat a bit old, and traditionally decorated. Excellent cabin, with an excellent steward service. Dining, litlle variety. Entertainment activities: a bit repetitive. Good preformance of externals (magician and singer). Improvable performance of internal staff. ELderly passengers did not help... Service: excellent. Ports and shore excursions: irregular and variable, depneding on the country and the guide. For this reason, I said "from less to more". Malaysia and Vietnam, improvables; Thailand and Singapore, excellents. Comment: the second part of this cruise (Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Phuket) was cancelled, for security reasons. I don't know they compensated the passengers. In principle, we'll not repeat with this boat. We prefer other companies and boats more. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have cruised before but not with Princess. The sapphire was an absolute disgrace. Our stateroom cabin was growing mould!!! it was dirty and decapitated. Mould produces spores which research has shown pre disposes to health related ... Read More
We have cruised before but not with Princess. The sapphire was an absolute disgrace. Our stateroom cabin was growing mould!!! it was dirty and decapitated. Mould produces spores which research has shown pre disposes to health related respiratory problems. In view of the resent corona virus outbreak i would expect infection control and health and safety to be top priority. Shocking!!! The staff were apathetic and miserable. The ship was rusty and the swimming pool surrounds falling to bits. Infact on a few occasions some state rooms and corridors were flooded due to leaking swimming pools!! We docked at industrial working ports, miles away from anywhere and were charged $20 pp for a princess shuttle bus. Dining was poor, we felt like we were an inconvenience to the staff, who were not at all attentive. This cruise cost us a lot of hard earned money for our special birthdays. It was disgraceful. We are perusing this with our travel agents and have photographic evidence of this disgusting, delapitated ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was a special cruise for both of us as it was are milestone birthday treat to each other. Although the ship was dated it was clean, the cabin beds are so comfy never had continuous 8 hr sleeps like that before, the staff are great ... Read More
This was a special cruise for both of us as it was are milestone birthday treat to each other. Although the ship was dated it was clean, the cabin beds are so comfy never had continuous 8 hr sleeps like that before, the staff are great and after a few days they seem to remember your name and we would like to say a massive thank you to our steward SONG who went above and beyond expectations of service. The food was of a high standard but the alcoholic drinks are expensive and with the gratuity charges on top it is very expensive. The only thing that left us very disappointed was that we were never officially told we would not go to Cambodia it was word of mouth and the way we were told on the 12th February to pack and leave our luggage outside our cabins as we will all be disembarking in the morning the 13th in Singapore, when we got this news over the public announcement system we were sunbathing as it was a day at sea on our way back to Singapore for people who had only booked the first leg but we had booked both, I have never seen people so upset and the deck just cleared. They said and confirmed in a letter that we would get half of our money back as we only did half a cruise but we have not yet had so much as an email regarding this has anybody else had a refund ??? we are getting a bit worried as Princess seem to be having corona virus hits one after the other, " could they go bankrupt " ????? The Sapphire Princess is still in Singapore docked in what looks like a container base she has been there since we left on the 13 February Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Our first cruise came from a recommendation and it was something new we wanted to experience. Overall you are very limited to variety and most days seemed like ground hog day. Cabin was beautiful and 5* treatment from our steward. The gym ... Read More
Our first cruise came from a recommendation and it was something new we wanted to experience. Overall you are very limited to variety and most days seemed like ground hog day. Cabin was beautiful and 5* treatment from our steward. The gym was the best I've been too but had nobody to supervise the users and the equipment, leading to children running around and treating it like a playground, also many adults in the wrong attire eg frocks, sandals, thongs and just playing with the equipment causing OHS issues. Dining was very comfortable and good with great service and food. Most of the cabaret shows were very colorful and professional with great singers and dancers. Ports and shore excursions were sometimes too far from the place of interest eg Bangkok 5 hour round trip, Kuala-Lumpur and Saigon both 4 hour round trips which is too long for your stay over. The drinks are expensive so we took the package not being told that there is a limit and also cans of soft drink not included. The WiFi is very expensive and you also have inbuilt gratuities added to your account for the staff. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have just got of the sapphire after 12 nights sorry to say some of the passengers, were spitting in the pools, corridors and lifts i hope they take proper precautions before others embark the ship. Unfortunately very disappointing ... Read More
We have just got of the sapphire after 12 nights sorry to say some of the passengers, were spitting in the pools, corridors and lifts i hope they take proper precautions before others embark the ship. Unfortunately very disappointing experience on ship. Passengers not sanitizing their hands in the Horrizon and crew not always reinforcing this. Iterinary is great but the ship is in need of a thorough clean and refurb. Horrizon choices ok but not great. Entertainment repeated on 12 night cruise. Outdoor party once in 12 nights which was great, being out in Asia you would of thought this could of been repeated more. I was on the same ship in May last year and couldn't fault anything. What happened to the Sapphire this time was so disappointing. Staff not always very friendly. Entertainment very poor and repeated through 12 nights. We met some great people on board and made our own entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I will start by saying I know the Sapphire is an older ship but should it be tatty and basically uncared for. It was in for a refit 18 months ago but what did they do? Plus I feel that the condition of the ship had rubbed off on some of ... Read More
I will start by saying I know the Sapphire is an older ship but should it be tatty and basically uncared for. It was in for a refit 18 months ago but what did they do? Plus I feel that the condition of the ship had rubbed off on some of the staff, especially the team on the customer service desk. They were in fact on one occasion confrontational. These members of the team are the face of Princess and they should be good listeners and understanding of problems that may occur while the cruise is happening, and try and resolve things.. the main problem was drinks being added on to my account every time I brought one drink, two drinks were added to my account. I was told by the customer service team it can’t happen I was told I must of ordered two drinks. The problem with Princess is that you don’t sign for your drink, you just order a drink and it’s added to your account. I will say the food, the cabin and the Sanctuary were excellent apart for the $4 charge each for food served in the Sanctuary, we got our own from the buffet after. Going back to the condition of Sapphire the glass around the ship was dirty in areas it had blackened both inside and out. Areas that needed shade from the sun they had stuck plastic shields in places around the ship including on the bridge, this plastic was coming unstuck and it was flapping in the breeze. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Itinerary The itinerary was South East Asia, Singapore to Singapore, 14 nights. The ports visited were: • Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia • Nha Trang, Vietnam • Phu My port, Vietnam (90 min drive north to Saigon or 90 min south ... Read More
Itinerary The itinerary was South East Asia, Singapore to Singapore, 14 nights. The ports visited were: • Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia • Nha Trang, Vietnam • Phu My port, Vietnam (90 min drive north to Saigon or 90 min south to Vung Tau) • Sihanoukville, Cambodia • Laem Chabang port, Thailand (90 min drive north to Bangkok or 30 min to Pattaya) • Ko Samui, Thailand • Singapore (some passengers disembarked here after taking an 11 night cruise) • Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There were 5 sea days. One notable thing about the route the ship took was that instead of sailing in a straight line between Kota Kinabalu and Nha Trang, we had to take a slight detour to the west in order to avoid the contested areas in the South China Sea around the Spratly Islands (western name) which the Chinese are building on (and which they call Nansha Qundao), with claims to the islands also being made by Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia. It’s a pretty hot area right now for people who are interested in the international law of the sea, although you wouldn’t have known it on the peaceful blue day when we sailed past. What I liked Sapphire Princess is an attractive ship. The 3 deck atrium of the Piazza is impressive. There are 5 (5!) swimming pools for passengers. The large outdoor movie screen is a fun place to watch a movie. There are lots of options for ‘anytime dining’ in the evening and only once in 14 days did I give up on the wait for a table and go to the buffet instead. There are lots of bars to choose from for a drink. In the cabin the bed was very comfortable. The TV screen was large and the definition was very sharp, just about life-like. There were lots of new and recent movies available and the choice was added to most days. The walk-in closet had lots of hangers. This was my first cruise as a Captain’s Circle platinum member. That meant I got my first invitation to the ‘Captain’s Cocktail Party’ which was fun. To my surprise they were actually serving cocktails and not cheap wine, and I got to meet the captain briefly and to chat at greater length with the first officer and his wife who were a lovely Croatian couple. Being platinum also meant that each day between 4.30-6.30pm I was invited to the Skywalkers nightclub where they served slightly cheaper cocktails than elsewhere onboard, and there was a range of canapes and nibbles that changed each day. It was a nice place to sit with a drink and watch the sunset before dinner. Other things I enjoyed were: • the show Let Me Entertain You in the Princess Theatre; • the backstage tour of the Princess Theatre; • the food and service in the Sterling Steakhouse and Sabatini’s, the only places on the ship where I gave extra gratuities on top of what was added automatically to my account; • participating in the Princess Pop Choir. We sang Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Blame It on the Boogie, Waterloo and our encore was Can You Hear the People Sing from Les Miserables. My school choir master would have had a conniption but it was fun; • that finally, many years behind the times, it was possible to get a diet soft drink other than Diet Coke onboard. Sapphire Princess now has Sprite Zero, hooray; • the portion sizes in the dining rooms, and the change in emphasis on the menus from a 4 course dinner (appetiser / soup / main course / dessert) to a 3 course dinner – although anyone who wanted 4 courses or more could ask for it; • the speedy food service in the dining rooms; • we were able to dock at Sihanoukville, despite having been told it would be a tender port; • surprisingly, I didn’t usually have to wait very long for an elevator on this ship. Possibly useful information There are no kettles in passenger cabins. They are only available on the cruises where Sapphire Princess is based in Southampton, UK. There are USB charging points in the bedside lamps, so I was able to charge my phone and my iPad without needing an adapter. All the power points in the cabin are US-style. There is a passenger laundry on each deck where there are passenger cabins (except deck 14). It costs $3 to use the washer, $3 to use the dryer and $1.50 for washing powder. I had to use my cruise card to buy tokens from a dispensing machine in the laundry and then I had to insert tokens into the washing machine and dryer to use them. The machines were fine, they didn’t shred or shrink my clothes. I didn’t have to wait for a machine. The washers and dryers had 40 minute cycles. The pre-cruise information from Princess said that passport-style photos would be necessary to get visas or landing cards onboard for Vietnam and Cambodia. No photos were needed. If you are doing a Princess shore excursion to any temples and the information says to ‘dress modestly’, take it seriously. Wear long pants, and don’t wear anything sleeveless or low-cut. I saw several other passengers get told they would not be allowed into sites because they were wearing shorts, cropped pants or skimpy tops – and that also applied to shorts and cropped pants that ended below the knee. It is not exaggerating to say that the whole of Sihanoukville is a building site. The road paving has all been dug up and there are no sidewalks. The traffic is horrendous. I strongly recommend against any attempt to see Sihanoukville independently. Either stay on the ship that day, or go on a Princess shore excursion where you have some hope of being looked after if things go pear-shaped ashore. If you like trivia, the onboard trivia is generally (not always) twice a day at about 10am and 4.30pm. If you like being active, you could spend most mornings doing tai chi at 8.30am, Zumba with the delightful Cesar from Colombia at 9.15am and then line-dancing with the lovely English rose Emma at 10.45am. After lunch there was often another dance class with Emma for partner dances like the cha cha or rumba. The shows in the Princess Theatre each night were at 7.45pm and repeated at 9.45pm. Sometimes in the evening there would be an activity like ‘Name That Tune’ or ‘Jeopardy’ at 7pm but not every day – often there was no organised activity after the afternoon trivia until about 8pm or 8.30pm. There was an assortment of different music in different places onboard from about 5pm to about 8pm. It was all laid-back music of different styles over that dinner period. The up-tempo music would start at around 9.30pm. I am not sure how late it went on. I did not get the impression that there was a lot of late-night activity on this ship. Each day in the library they put out 2 different puzzles that you can take away and do. They clearly haven’t revised the puzzles for years, but it was something for a quiet moment. What I didn’t like I had a service issue with the purser’s desk about an unauthorised charge on my account for an unnecessary visa that took days to resolve. It just took way too long to get fixed. It first arose on day 3 of the cruise and it was not fixed properly until day 10. I had to keep checking my account and go back to the desk 5 times, and at least twice I was given information that was just plain wrong. The issue was eventually fixed to my satisfaction. Thank you to Slavdana and Dee for that. No thanks to some of their colleagues who I won’t name. No thanks either to the internal Princess systems that led to a visa being issued in the wrong passport and then charging me for it although I didn’t even need that visa. I didn’t like the reams of paper that accumulated in my cabin advertising every conceivable onboard activity. It became nearly impossible to keep track of what was important and what was junk. It was an appalling waste of paper. I didn’t like that there were only 2 channels showing sport on the TV, and they were either showing Australian big bash cricket or US basketball and very little else (occasionally some soccer or golf). I had expected to be able to watch the ATP Cup tennis and the Adelaide International tennis but no, there was no tennis on the TV until the Australian Open started. I didn’t like overhearing crew members talking amongst themselves and complaining about other crew members. This happened several times and it was poor form for crew members to be talking like that within earshot of passengers. I didn’t like the stale smell in my cabin from years of airconditioning and machine-dried linen. It was a window cabin not a balcony cabin, so unfortunately I couldn’t get any fresh air into the cabin. When I got home I had to wash all the clothes I took with me because they still had that stale smell on them. I didn’t like having to pay $29 for dinner in the Sterling Steakhouse and at Sabatini’s, although I very much enjoyed the food and the service there. I didn’t like the way the fitness centre classes were run. The free stretch classes at 7am and at 9.30am were a waste of time as the instructors only did the minimum that they could get away with and were far more interested in trying to sell something, whether it was a ‘class pass’ for other classes or a ‘footprint analysis’ for some sort of pseudo-medical quackery. If you have painful feet or a sore back I strongly recommend you consult a health professional in your home town, not a Princess fitness instructor working for gratuities. Yes, that’s right, the fitness instructors get 18% auto-gratuities. I have no idea what the justification is for that, except possibly it’s because the fitness centre is located in the spa and when they’re not working the fitness centre and spa staff all chat together, so maybe in some twisted way it is perceived as ‘not fair’ if the spa staff get gratuities and the fitness instructors don’t. There are some fitness classes which are offered for $15 per class + 18% auto-gratuity. They were yoga, pilates, spin and something called TRX which didn’t seem to mean cross-training as far as I could tell. I wasn’t familiar with it, whatever it was. The class timetable was inconsistent but the general pattern seemed to be that there would be classes at about 7.30am and 8.30am each day (hopeless on port days if you were going ashore, and an early start for a vacation day even if you were not going ashore) and another class at 5pm each day. It varied which class was on at which time. They never seemed to offer all 4 of the class types on the same day as far as I could see, only 2 or 3 out of the 4 class types each day. There was a lot of pressure to buy a ‘class pass’, either 3 classes for $39.95 + 18% auto-gratuity or unlimited classes for $99.95 + 18% auto-gratuity. The trick with a class pass was that it was only for one sort of class. So for example if you bought a yoga class pass, you could only use it for yoga classes and not for pilates classes. Too bad if they didn’t have a yoga class every day, or if the yoga class was scheduled for a time that you were ashore or doing something else. I was glad I didn’t buy a class pass because by the end of the cruise I had only done 1 yoga class (which I disliked) and 1 pilates class (which I liked, but I never found another pilates class at a time that suited me). I disliked the yoga class because it was held in the fitness studio which was very cold and which had several treadmills in it that were noisy when people were using them. The instructor said it was going to be a simple yoga class but it ended up including poses like dolphin pose, which is not a simple pose to me. The ship movement made balancing much harder than on land. After that class was over I didn’t feel at all relaxed or uplifted like I normally would after doing yoga on land. The spa employed the hard sell too. When I booked one treatment, I was pressured to make it three. When I booked a Swedish massage, I was pressured to make it a deep tissue massage ($25 more expensive + 18% auto-gratuity). I hated the fact that the stated treatment prices, already ludicrously high, were in fact only about 85% of the eventual actual total price once the 18% auto-gratuity had been added. I hated the fact that there was tacit pressure to add another gratuity on top of the 18% they had already automatically added. I booked the ‘Fire and Ice’ pedicure, their so-called top of the range pedicure which cost an eye-watering $90.85, only to find that there was no drying machine for the nail polish and instead of a large array of colours of polish to choose from all lined up beautifully in the colours of the spectrum, there was a small black plastic tub with about 20 bottles of nail polish lying around on the bottom looking like they were rejects from a charity shop. It did not feel like a premium experience at all, especially at the end when the pedicurist just said ‘sit here for about 15-20 minutes to let it dry’ and walked off – I never saw her again after that. The shops had similar hard-sell tactics. Here is my conversation with a shop assistant onboard: Me: “I would like to buy these 2 items costing $80 please”. Her: “I can offer you a special discount. If you buy 3 items I will only charge you $108 which is 10% off”. Me (thinking, if I was actually getting 10% off the things I really want to buy, the price would be $72): “Ok I will add this third other item that costs the same as the other 2”. Her: “No it has to be 3 items exactly the same, even though you only want 2 of them. If you want to buy that third other item as well, the cost will be $120”. Me: “No thank you, I will stick to my original 2 items for $80”. When I got back to my room and opened my packages I noticed that she had slipped a voucher in there which said that if I spent another $50, I would only be charged $45 (10% off). I didn’t go back to the shops again after that. I was fed up with the never-ending hard sell and the nickel and diming. Many afternoons I was bored. Princess calls it ‘relaxing afternoon’ in the Princess Patter but I would call it ‘not enough interesting afternoon activities unless you want to go to some pseudo-lecture that is actually yet another cunningly disguised sales pitch to try to get you to spend even more money’. Some evenings I was also bored after dinner if I didn’t want to go to the theatre show and there were no other activities until later. If I didn’t want to sit in my cabin, it was hard to find a pleasant place to sit and read on this ship. Where many cruise ships have an observation lounge forward and high up, Sapphire Princess has a cluster of treadmills in the fitness centre and an under-utilised area called The Sanctuary which I never saw anybody in, presumably because people weren’t prepared to spend the necessary $20 to sit there for half a day ($40 for a full day). There was a peaceful shady area outside on deck 15 called The Conservatory but it was plagued by wafting sewerage smells which ruined it. There were deck chairs in the shade outside on deck 7 but competition for them was fierce and not all of them had a view of the sea due to various items attached to the railings. The deck chairs on decks 14 and 15 were mainly in the full sun. Inside, there were few places to sit that weren’t food or beverage outlets, and usually they were packed and there was some noisy activity or other going on. The Skywalkers Lounge had nice views during the day but it was directly under the basketball court and often there were loud thumping noises from above as people played basketball. I was very glad I had not booked an inside cabin for this cruise because finding anywhere else peaceful to sit was hard. My cabin was near the so-called ‘Art Gallery’. That meant I walked through the ‘Art Gallery’ several times a day. Apart from forming the opinion that most of the ‘art’ was probably done on a 3D printer somewhere in China and not by a human using paintbrushes, I was entertained by the various labels that were affixed to the ‘art’. There was one particular ‘painting’ that I noticed of a rainy New York street scene. One day it had ‘sold’ affixed to it. The next day it disappeared. Then it (or a copy) was back, with ‘I’m interested’ affixed to it. Then it went upstairs to the art auction. When it came back down, it had no label on it. I have no idea what was going on, but I definitely would not buy any of this ‘art’ under the illusion that it might be unique or collectable. Sure, buy it if you like it and it’s going to suit your décor, but don’t fall for the onboard spin that it’s going to accrue in value. Disembarkation was not streamlined well. The disembarkation instructions had no information about how passports would be returned to passengers. My cabin steward knocked on my door at 6.25am on disembarkation day to return my passport, which was very irritating as I was still in bed and also irritating because when we had docked in Singapore after 11 nights, the arrangement for passports was to collect them personally at the internet café. I don’t know why Princess did not explain in advance that there would be a different procedure on this occasion. The ‘platinum and elite disembarkation lounge’ in Club Fusion was a mess, full of uncleared tables containing the unappetising remains of other people’s breakfasts while the only wait staff member hid behind the bar doing nothing. Normally I’m happy with the way Princess organises disembarkations, but not this time. But the worst bit was definitely that I got sick twice on this cruise. For the early part of the cruise I had a respiratory infection that went into my lungs and became bronchitis. I developed a horrible cough and if I was lying on the bed watching TV I could literally feel mucus bubbling in my lungs as I breathed. Just when I was almost over that, late on the last sea day of the cruise I had an attack of vomiting and diarrhoea. I started to feel off about 4 hours after eating lunch in the buffet, and the attack started about another 4 hours after that. Even after the symptoms stopped around midnight (luckily I hadn’t eaten a big lunch), I felt bad enough from dehydration next day that I missed the last port and stayed in my cabin that day resting. Can I say for sure that it was anything onboard Sapphire Princess that made me sick? No, I can’t say that for sure. But I suspect that it was, and I heard stories about other people who had respiratory or stomach problems onboard, including one of the cruise activities staff who was telling everyone about having a sore throat. Unfortunately when I think back about this cruise, one of my strongest memories is of feeling off-colour a lot of the time. And sadly that memory and all the relentless nickel and diming onboard have me wondering whether I ever want to do another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Was our 8th cruise. And maybe we're a bit over cruising - but the sparkle wasn't there for us. I think we've wised up a bit.. and we're also now 'all about the destinations' rather than the cruise. So maybe ... Read More
Was our 8th cruise. And maybe we're a bit over cruising - but the sparkle wasn't there for us. I think we've wised up a bit.. and we're also now 'all about the destinations' rather than the cruise. So maybe it's time to give cruising a miss unless for certain itineraries. In hindsight we should not have cruised this itinerary. Better to do it by land as would not cost you more (probably less). As an example. Bangkok is almost 3 hours each way on the tour bus. So a total of 6 hours sitting in the bus out of the 10 hours of the excursion to see Bangkok. Saigon was a long way from the Port too - no time to really explore the markets etc. An overnight stop would have been ideal. The other Vietnam Port was ok. Cambodia.. although we enjoyed it, the Port township was an absolute shambles and many complained. In fact, many people didn't even bother getting off the ship. We did a mix of private and Princess excursions. Princess do charge a lot more for theirs.. but you have to be mindful in these poorer countries with cities a long way from the port.. that if something goes wrong, you're stuck and will miss the ship. So felt obliged to use Princess excursions more than we would elsewhere. Which costs extra. Borneo princess excursion was ho-hum. We did enjoy Koh Samui though - where we rode Elephants, but the time in Port was too short. We had wanted to go to the beach etc there. Given the captain had the ship going at a reasonably slow pace (they advise the knots it is travelling at), there's plenty of room to extend the time in Port (presumably penny-pinching is the reason not to) and we should have had more time to explore the place. Our last port, my wife and I didn't make it to Kuala Lumpur as she had been unwell (from memory, a good hour and a half each way on the bus). The only other option was a bus to a local mall which you had to pay Princess extra for of course. Food on the ship was sadly very hit & miss. Ate dinner in the MDR every night and lunch on sea-days. Ranged from very good to not good. Often was luke-warm or even cold. Certainly nothing to write home about and a bit disappointing. Buffet was the usual fare and was average and the chips/burgers were good. Pizza was fine. We had late set-dining (in the past we've had early set-dining at around 5.45pm from memory, however they brought it forward to 5pm which is far too early for us). 7.30pm was too late - we missed a number of shows etc in the evening as we often weren't out of the dining room till after 9pm (the main shows are usually on twice and you can see the earlier show before hand if organised, however quite a number of shows are only on once.. and at a time that means you cant get to it if you have late seating). We didn't bother paying for the specialty restaurants - we already felt like we were being milked by Princess and the dinner companions we had were such fun that spending time with them each night was the highlight not to be missed. Entertainment is definitely pitched at the older crowd and was ok, Very tame if you're a young person (say younger than a retiree). We didn't see all of it for a number of reasons, but what we saw was mediocre. Usual Cruise Director type that would fit in nicely at a Hi-De-Hi or Benadorm all-inclusive resort. The Casino unfortunately doesn't have Texas Poker anymore (dealer or electronic). Tables and machines have worse odds than on shore - because they can get away with it. It is what it is. The casino was a ghost-town for almost all of the trip. No bar at the casino too (replaced with a high-rollers room for the Asians), so drink service very slow in casino. Usual level of trying to convince you to empty your wallet with over-priced Art, Jewelry, and improvement programs. Maybe the constant barrage of that is wearing thin for us. It's all a bit of a have and once you've cruised a bit.. you quickly get over all that. We mainly used the pool at the back of the ship. Was never too busy, although the number of seriously selfish people hogging lounge-chairs never ceases to amaze. Watched one pompous family "reserve" loungers in the sun.. but then went and spent hours drinking in the shade! Embarkation for Platinum - still had to line up for a long time to get through customs. Disembarkation however was very swift and the special lounge a nice touch. There was a nightly happy-hour type thing for Platinum and Elite. We went once, but it was no big deal. Service as always, was superb. The dining staff were excellent. Our room attendant was excellent too. They work so hard the staff. Sadly, we had to visit the Medical centre. Excellent service there too. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I love Cruising with Princess especially the big ships where there is plenty to do and lovely shops not too expensive. One can relax and not worry about anything. My grand children could go for a swim or a meal and be quite safe. ... Read More
I love Cruising with Princess especially the big ships where there is plenty to do and lovely shops not too expensive. One can relax and not worry about anything. My grand children could go for a swim or a meal and be quite safe. The went to their nomination age groups and thoroughly enjoyed them selves especially my 14 year old grand daughter who was apprehensive at first and shy but made friends and the 6 of them spent the rest of the Cruise together staying out until 12 pm imagine that anywhere else, it was so safe. Younger two spend a lot of time in the swimming pool and love being able to get an ice cream or pizza without having to ask Gran. With a mini suite there were two TVs great when there are 3 different age children. Gran had a most relaxing holiday not food to buy or cook. Overall the best type of holiday one can have. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
As a group of 9 people 4 young teens and 5 adults we chose this cruise to spend some relaxing time enjoying other countries. One of our group has special dietary needs which we were told would be catered for. Thanks to the maitre d of ... Read More
As a group of 9 people 4 young teens and 5 adults we chose this cruise to spend some relaxing time enjoying other countries. One of our group has special dietary needs which we were told would be catered for. Thanks to the maitre d of the Savoy it was. Everywhere else it was a constant battle. Boarding and disembarkation in Singapore was painless and well organised. Although several emails were sent requesting alcohol free white wine the best that could be located was blush . Shore excursions were taken. It's obvious that the cruise company only passes on info that suits them. Catering for specific tours only. At two ports we had no idea that a shuttle service would be available. If we'd known we would have had our own trip not the shopping trip the "tour" turned out to be. The unfortunate loss of the radars as we transitted the straits caused a change of port, the cancellation of Phuket and insertion of Langkawi meant tours had to be rearranged. Again a lack of info to the passengers until arrival meant the local bus to a beach was not common knowledge. The menu in the anytime dining area area far too repetitive. My previous cruises have provided a far wider range and better presented meals. I took the coffee package which was just okay - I drink long black (americano) however I was frequently asked if I wanted cream or milk ?? Very odd. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Not our first cruise, but has been a while. We decided to celebrate NYE cruising with our two teenage boys, and for the most part, the cruise was really enjoyable. THE GOOD Fully booked cruise, 2600 passengers, yet the ship never ... Read More
Not our first cruise, but has been a while. We decided to celebrate NYE cruising with our two teenage boys, and for the most part, the cruise was really enjoyable. THE GOOD Fully booked cruise, 2600 passengers, yet the ship never felt congested (in fact, at times it felt half empty). The shear number of public areas is fantastic, which effectively spreads out the guests and creates a really open feel. Sure the Horizon Court Buffet can get busy at peak times, but we never had trouble finding a table, and the vibe was actually really good with no issues sharing a table (which we enjoyed, as it was a chance to chat to other travelers). Contrary to some reviews I have read recently, I felt the food was at a very high level. The Horizon Buffet had a good variety, and I never was bored of the choices (I did the 10 day cruise, I suspect after 21 days it could get boring... but hey, better than cooking and washing up at home). The three anytime dining restaurants were excellent, with each having the same menu (Pacific Moon, Vivaldi and Savoy). I could not fault the food or the service, and it was a highlight of each day. The Creme Brulee was a particular favorite of my family. The Cruise Director (Matt "Gooooood Time" Baker) were funny and upbeat, and did their best to keep the party going (particularly on NYE). This is a really tough gig, as the demographic on cruises is so varied. All in all, hats off to them, they did a great job IMO. The decor and layout of the boat is OK, and comments that it is dated are a bit harsh. I have seen pictures of some really new ships, and yer they look pretty amazing, with GoKart tracks, and wave pools and sky diving, but read the reviews, who likes lining up for 1 to 2 hours on a ship to have a go at a showground attraction?? No lines for activities Sapphire. We had a Quad Bunk room with an Obstructed view.... no romance on this cruise, but hey, it was a family experience and the room was spacious and well appointed. No complaints here. The daily shore excursion enrichment seminars were fantastic, and the lady that ran these was excellent, with honest advice and a real knowledge of each shore visit. Hygiene was taken very seriously, with staff constantly reminding passengers to wash their hands. No illness outbreak that I was aware of. THE AVERAGE Christmas Cruise meant lots of kids, and for us this was great. My kids are 13 and 14 and in their Teen "Surf Club" program, there were 180 kids, and 500+ kids all up. For us, this was fantastic, as a big part of the cruise was our kids meeting friends and having a great time. The young lady running the Teen program (Valeria) was amazing and patient. Unfortunately I just don't think there was enough in the program to keep this age group engaged (another tough gig to be honest). My kids really wanted to participate in group activities, but many were a bit young, and they often opted to swim or catch up with kids outside the program. I felt this was a missed opportunity from Princess Cruises to really excel and have activities that were age appropriate and engaging. It wasn't bad, just not great. Entertainment. Sapphire has a pretty big auditorium, that largely sits empty. I felt there could have been more entertainment in this area. As someone has mentioned, rather than cinema outside in the hot, a daily Matinee Cinema would have been great, especially if the movies were current. The comedian was OK, and missed the mark a lot, and some shows felt flat. The Dance/Singing troop were pretty good, but under utilized. The Band "Xtasea". They were competent, but looked really tired. I think 2 bands were needed, as the play list was pretty repetitive. Two 45 minute sets a night, and then that was it, pretty much the only night time entertainment after 10:30pm was in the nightclub with a DJ, and it was pretty flat most of the time. THE BAD Internet. Pretty much non existent. Paid $99US for 240 minutes, barely had a chance to browse of download an email. Was told in the internet cafe that they had problems, and I was refunded the $99. ITINERARY The ship got struck by lightning on the 2nd sea day out of Bali, and that crippled the ships Radar. We had to anchor while repairs were conducted, and we finally got underway at around 2am the next day. This meant no KL port call, and the ship sailed to Penang, then cancelled Phuket and instead made a port of call at Langkawi. Personally, they should have just skipped KL and continued on with the set itinerary (Penang, then Phuket). Many passengers were upset about this. KL port is terrible, and the nearly 2hr coach ride to anywhere eats into any shore time. I feel it should be scrapped as a port of call. All in all, we had a great time, and I would not hesitate to book a trip on the Sapphire again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
As people in our 40's this was our 1st ever cruise and Princess wasn't our initial choice... we originally had booked Royal Caribbean but cancelled that cruise when we found out it was going to be a "cultural ... Read More
As people in our 40's this was our 1st ever cruise and Princess wasn't our initial choice... we originally had booked Royal Caribbean but cancelled that cruise when we found out it was going to be a "cultural enrichment" cruise designed for Asian passengers. So we decided to book Princess even though we thought Royal Caribbean was going to be more "fun" for us. Having said that we are not party animals at all, and enjoy board games, eating out and going to see comedies and shows on our weekends back home... so thought a cruise would be perfect for us. So with that in mind... here is our review.. the good, great and the bad! THE GOOD/GREAT ___________________________________________ SHIP The ship itself was nice and bigger than I thought it would be. I liked it... my partner didn't like the decor at all. She thought it was old and depressing (It is an older ship) and she found it tacky. I didn't have a problem with it myself and like the wood and gold. I knew she wouldn't though as our taste is different! ROOM We were in a mini-suite on the Dolphin deck and the room itself was great. Generally it was very clean (tiles in shower could have done with a clean) but the room itself was great. Lots more room than I expected and having the extra area for a sofa was worth the money. I spent a lot of time before bed watching movies on my laptop as I don't like watching anything in bed. Worth the extra money. DINING Amazing and absolutely loved the dining. We did pay for Club Class which in my opinion was worth it. The Waitresses we had were so much fun and really made our cruise. (Tatiyana and her friend whose name I can't remember!) The food generally was most definitely fine dining. Loved the lobster, fresh bread and french onion soup especially... and couldn't get enough of the creme brulee. All of the staff in the dining room were amazing. Loved club class! ENTERTAINMENT This one was a mixed bag. The Orchestra was amazing! The violinists in the piazza were great and the singers were talented and the shows were good to watch. We especially loved the Mentalist who blew our mind with his show. THE BAD ___________________________________________ ENTERTAINMENT For all the good entertainment the Comedian was awful and not funny at all... and spent most of his 45 mins talking about how nobody was laughing. Also I think the Princess Theatre is wasted as there are only 2 shows every night. It would have been good to see it turn into a movie theatre during the day. Not everyone wants to spend their time outside next to the pools watching a movie in the awful heat or in their own rooms. POOLS The pools were all chlorine and not salt water... and for some reason I thought it was salt water. I am not sure if that is for health reasons or not... but meant that neither of us swam in any of the pools for the entire cruise.. or even spent much time out near the pool deck because of the smell... which of course is a big part of this ship as it has so many pools. ACTIVITIES We found them severely lacking and too few and far between. I don't know maybe it is because we aren't in our 70s and up at the crack of dawn every morning but everything we were interested in was in the mornings whilst we are still asleep or having breakfast. They were generally done by 10am and then the afternoon which was considered "relaxation" time didn't have the activities we wanted. Some of the game shows like Scattegories were very poorly run (Having what felt like 100 people in a room writing answers on a piece of paper and then trying to find anyone else that had the correct answer by yelling them out one by one.... was painful and all over the place. Lawn bowls was conducted on a piece of carpet outside the smoking lounge with what must have been at least 60 people crammed into the area. Again... way too many people but that's because these activities are so few and far between that everyone turns up at once. If they had them several times over the cruise at the same time as say the basketball shooting or table tennis or game shows... then it would be much better. As for basketball and table tennis... the basketball court was this small court out on the top deck in the blistering sun... I lasted about 10 mins out there before dehydration kicked in (I love basketball... and Royal Caribbean has a full indoor basketball court... so this really disappointed by comparison). And you could forget about table tennis. There were only 2 tables on the ship and we tried every single day to play table tennis and it was always full. People hogged the tables and you had to wait hours to get a go. We never got on once. It would be nice if they had some sort of system where people could put their name down... its sad that this needs to be done because people are selfish... but it annoyed us that 2 of the things we most liked doing which is table tennis and basketball were basically unavailable. THE UGLY ___________________________________________ INTERNET Yes yes we know... who wants to go on a cruise and go on the internet. We do... one as I have to for work... and also especially when you have so many other activities that you can't do or are not interested in. Just to be able to read or watch something on youtube would be nice. Unfortunately this was a non medallion ship and that means the internet was absolutely horrible. Horrible I can understand... but charging almost $100 AUD for 3.5 hours of basically unusable internet is almost criminal. I knew it would be bad but not so bad that it didn't work in my room most of the time and I would have to stand on the Piazza stairs to get a connection. SERVICE 99% of the staff were amazing but we had 2 incidents that left a sour taste in our mouth. On the 2nd morning of the cruise we woke up to find a dead bird laying at the entry to our balcony. Not only did they not remove the bird when cleaning the room in the morning, they also didn't remove the bird for several hours after I rang to let them know. I had to make a second phone call to tell them I'd been waiting hours for this deceased bird to be removed so I could use my balcony.... before they finally came rushing. The 2nd unfortunate incident was my partner getting sick in our bathroom. It again took several attempts and much longer than it should have to get someone to clean it. I almost spewed up as well from the smell wafting through the cabin. Considering we were paying a lot of money for a mini-suite in club class we expected a little better. THE PORTS & SHORE EXCURSIONS ___________________________________________ So we originally had scheduled in our itinerary Bali, Phuket, Penang and Kuala Lumpur. Due to the ship getting hit by lightning we missed Phuket but they more than made up for it by taking us to Langkawi instead. We can't wait to go back to Langkawi for a holiday. Bali - What a dump. We took the "Do your own thing in Kuta" excursion and quite frankly it was awful. The weather was unbearably hot and humid and to make matters worse our bus had no airconditioning. We did receive a 50% refund on the tour because of this. The tour basically took us to something resembling air-conditioning in a shopping mall in Kuta and this along with the weather made it unbearable. Worse was to come though when we got back (late unfortunately due to the bus) to the tender and were at the back of a massive queue in the stifling heat. Thank god we had 3 sea days after that as we needed every one of them to recover. If I never go to Kuta again I will be a happy man. Penang - We had been to Penang before so didn't bother with a shore excursion and did our own thing. This ended up becoming one of our more favorite ports because we did do our own thing in our own time and weren't waiting around for others and a bus to take us back. Langkawi - What a beautiful place and so glad we got the bonus of being there out of an unfortunate situation with the lightning strike. We did a tour which was just long enough to enjoy the sights. Rather than being taken though to more shops... people seemed to be more interested in going to the amazing beaches... and unfortunately this excursion didn't allow that. It seems most of these excursions are set up to get people to spend money. That is a lesson learned for us. Kuala Lumpur - So in KL we decided to do the "Do your own thing in KL" tour which dropped us off near the Petronas Towers. Unfortunately as with most excursions on the cruise this was not that enjoyable either. It took a full 2 hours for the bus to make its way from the dump that is Port Klang into the KLCC where Petronas Towers are. And of course when we get there we find out that because it is Monday the Tower walkway is closed.... of course. So we ended up walking around in the shops, taking photos of the towers from the outside and going to the KL Tower instead for some views. We all got back to our agreed spot at 3pm for the bus to go back to the boat (after the organiser telling us it must be 3pm sharp or else) and of course we had to have 2 passengers turn up late by 30 mins. In fact on every tour we had... we had late passengers holding everyone up. So my recommendation is.... just do your own thing and forget the Princess tours. You end up spending all your time being taken to where they want you to go and then waiting around to go back to the ship because other selfish people think the world revolves around when they want to get back. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We wanted to go on a cruise to see a specific port and relax. We never go t to the port. No compensation either. Lost money as we booked shore excursion separate to Princess. Our sheets weren’t changed for 10days and everything ... Read More
We wanted to go on a cruise to see a specific port and relax. We never go t to the port. No compensation either. Lost money as we booked shore excursion separate to Princess. Our sheets weren’t changed for 10days and everything cost money. As a diabetic I couldn’t have the house soda as it was sugar based. Ship was looking old. Staff were not friendly and when i asked for fresh towels the steward grunted at me. Room service took a long time to get to room and then it was cold. Drinks are expensive and only had 1 type of soda for a diabetic. Buffet food was excellent. Great range for every pallet. Shore excursions are expensive. Maybe Princess should look at providing a free shuttle to get to town as ports are far away from anything. I usually go with the flow but after being on more than 10 other cruises, this was a massive disappointment and waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
God what an experience... my wife and I love cruising and we have been on most cruise lines throughout the world. Last time we were on Princess 10 years ago and let me tell you....it was a great decision not to be on it for so long. Wish ... Read More
God what an experience... my wife and I love cruising and we have been on most cruise lines throughout the world. Last time we were on Princess 10 years ago and let me tell you....it was a great decision not to be on it for so long. Wish we didn’t cruise with them this time, but oh well... There are many other good quality cruise lines where food doesn’t taste like it has been on a steam table of a cheap fast food restaurant for half a day. There are cruise lines where staff speaks English... I mean decent English so waiter can understand that you order a Lox with poached egg on a side ( it was a big challenge to get this for breakfast, they have extreme basic food) you don’t end up with an omelette. You know there is a difference between Target and Walmart, as there is a difference in their business running. One company specializes in cutting cost at any level to make profit, and have low cost low quality everything (staff, food, services). So that’s how we felt about Princess. They also had this idea of washing hands in the buffet. We usually eat at complimentary restaurants, but their food was so below mediocre that we went to Buffet a couple of times. But the execution of the washing hands idea is bad. Also please explain to me what is the point to have a few complimentary restaurants that have the very same menu. We even got 2 main courses served in a restaurant and then saw same meals on steam table in the buffet. People who cruise will understand what I mean... Once u get on the ship you will see what I mean (but do yourself a favor, get on some other cruise lines). Plus all these tables that are put together so u have to share a table (they put 4 small tables together since there is not enough space to accommodate all the sitting). Disembarkation: we had a tour scheduled with Princess and we were supposed to leave from ship on a tender at 6.45am. But we waited till 8.40am in the room since they probably got like 5-8 tenders only. Omg, in case of emergency would Princess use just 5-8 tenders as well and we would need to wait for them until they drop off people at shore and come back for others??? I asked myself a question: why Princess doesn’t send their representatives to sail on other cruise lines so they can see how things get organized and what service and food is served on other cruise lines. I guess because that’s another expense... I won't even go into details about food. i can go on for hours how basic and not tasty the food was. Ship is dirty, elevators do not get wiped off and you see same ketchup spot on the door for entire length of the cruise. staff barely can speak English. Do not waste your money to go to a specialty restaurant. We went to Italian restaurant there... No commends ...(((( Do not even think to buy their internet. You will spend hundreds and won't be able to send even 3 emails. it is so slow. Coffee bar. yes, you pay for coffee there. i do get it. But how is that possible that they don't have almond milk when its so popular nowadays. JUST DO YOURSELF A FAVOR. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME AND MONEY ON PRINCESS. YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
we had dinner in the Club Restaurant. This turned out to be a complete disaster. a) Started with prawns covered in tomato ketchup. Strange sauce for this type of starter. b) Next came an “Onion Soup with Croutons”. Well this ... Read More
we had dinner in the Club Restaurant. This turned out to be a complete disaster. a) Started with prawns covered in tomato ketchup. Strange sauce for this type of starter. b) Next came an “Onion Soup with Croutons”. Well this was a disgrace as no Head Chef would normally allow this dish to leave their kitchen. The cheese topping was OK but under that it was full of soggy white bread soaked in the soup with very little onion being present and definitely no ‘Croutons’. This was taken away and I did not want a replacement. c) The next dish was a Chicken & Broccoli Tagliatelle. This dish, in fact, did not have one-piece of chicken in it and 2 very small pieces of broccoli hiding in a plate of pasta & sauce. This dish was eventually replaced with the correct ingredient’s present. I think that this portion was just ladled out from the top of the pot d) My wife’s steak was over cooked and, also, had to be replaced as it was not cooked as requested i.e. medium rare. e) The dining supervisor, Felix, did his utmost to rectify these embarrassing scenarios. f) The maître d'hôtel or Chef did not have the decency to come out to discuss this with us. 2. The following morning, I was telephoned by Guest Services to enquire whether everything was OK. I explained to her what had happened, as above, and she said that she would investigate this. Nothing happened. 3. On another evening we ordered Escargots à la bourguignonne. We were served Escargots in a sweet sauce which was not very nice. As suggested to Felix, in French cuisine, the snails are typically purged, killed, removed from their shells, and cooked (usually with garlic butter, chicken stock or wine), and then placed back into the shells with the garlic butter and sauce for serving. 4. One evening we were served Beef Wellington which just had a wafer-thin strip of pastry strategically placed on top of the serving. Normally this type of dish is served encased in the pastry but probably a challenge for so many people. We must say that that serving of this tender beef was the best that we had on the cruise. Top quality! 5. Along with many other guests we were not to happy with the now 18% “Service Charge” that you apply to, what are in principle, duty free wines. This is on top of the daily ‘gratuity’ charge. 6. We had a photographic sitting and were then told that we would have to pay for the photographs. For guests occupying a Penthouse Suite it is shown on your documentation that they are entitled to a complementary portrait sitting. This seemed a bit unclear and when we discussed this with the guest service desk, we told them that we interpreted this as a single complementary portrait photograph. They also agreed that it was not clear so they would have to discuss this with their supervisor. They left a telephoned answer that only the sitting was complementary. FYI: All guests were also offered a free sitting. I believe that you should delete this from your documentation as it is not an extra benefit. 7. We had the complimentary mini-bar set-up on embarkation day. Should this not have additionally included the complementary wine, 1/2 bottle of red wine plus 1/2 bottle of white wine, as per Club Class, in our stateroom upon arrival? 8. The table waiting staff were all very good. One thing that could be reviewed is the constant attendance at our table by sometimes three different people asking if everything is OK. Of course, we can understand that this is part of their training but can be a bit annoying when we are trying to have a private conversation. I did suggest that when we required their services, we would indicate this. I know this is just a small detail, but can all help to improve the dining experience, not just ours but other guests whom we spoke to also felt the same. 9. The Captains “Party” was a great success now that it was split up into two groups. Much more comfortable and places to sit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The Sapphire Princess has a well seasoned crew with some staff having over 15 years of experience. They provide generally good and attentive service but with a few exceptions, fail to really engage passengers (Our International Dining Room ... Read More
The Sapphire Princess has a well seasoned crew with some staff having over 15 years of experience. They provide generally good and attentive service but with a few exceptions, fail to really engage passengers (Our International Dining Room wait staff was very good and drew our respect for her honest opinions and suggestions about what to do in port and life in general). Wait staff in the buffet was generally good, with okay service if providing water and coffee though we noticed some staff at the beginning of our cruise seemed to avoid assisting non-whites. We heard that some passengers complained of this, and things got better during the cruise. Breakfast in the buffet was extremely repetitive, with very little variation day to day. For a short cruise, it would be okay, but for our back to back 20+ day cruise, it got tedious. The other disappointment was the quality of the food. Nothing is fresh! ALL food at the buffet appeared to be cooked hours early and kept in warming ovens until served. Soup was never hot. Freshness ranked at the bottom of the list in our 10+ cruise history. The dining room was not much better. Food, including soups, was rarely hot and the creme brulee appeared to be stored in refrigerators for days (generally served cold with sale biscuits on top). Seafood was not fresh with two in our party getting sick from scallops and shrimp in appetizers. There was a certain sameness t the appetizers as well, which was disappointing since prior Princess Cruises provided much better quality and originality (Escargot was on the menu once, but most selections were meh). Entrees were inconsistent - some good, some bad, and there was significant variation even with the same dish ordered by different members of our party. Menus were also repetitive, so one leg okay, but two ... no. We are used to having steak as an alternative on the menu, but were surprised to see that on this cruise, the beef choice was a hamburger. Besides the soup of the day, the International cafe adjacent to the coffee counter was exactingly consistent and consisted of cold sandwiches (always the same) heated when ordered on a panini press, There are two sources of pizza on this ship - a counter on the pool deck and a sit down location off the atrium. In the atrium you could select form a short list of varieties, but there was nothing else on the menu - no appetizers (other ships had antipasto), no bread with vinegar and oil, no deserts, ... . At dinnertime, you could get a salad though, just as long as it was Caesar. Entertainment was typical with some acts okay and others poor. On board music included a piano player and a violin duo who played many hours in the atrium, a DJ, and a band for the bars, and at least one bar appeared to have pre-recorded video much of the time. There was little, if any, enrichment and the library was small. Preferring to travel independently - for several people, it is cheaper to rent a van or taxi for the day), we did not participate in any shore excursions, but comments from other passengers were positive, and the prices seemed reasonable. Each department appeared to be run separately and independently, and were often out of sync. Some advertised first line activities conflicted with set dinner times and time in port. We were cruising during holiday season, and it was very irritating to have equipment jackhammering outside our cabin early Christmas morning with no prior warning - they could have waited until later in the day. Other cruiselines offer better back to back experiences. Sapphire Princess became too repetitive, even with entertainment. It would be okay for a week, but for significantly longer cruises, choose elsewhere. Princess provides a decent library of on demand video and a couple of live news and sports stations on the high definition good sized wall mounted TV, but after a week,, pretty much everything has been watched. They should expand their selections, and other cruises provide more channels. We were unable to connect HDMI to the TV. Music on demand was very limited. A major irritation was that despite entering our credit card information online several times (it kept being lost) and confirming onboard that they had our credit card information, Princess apparently lost it again. When we were exiting the ship, the alarm sounded and we were directed to the main desk which was quite long. One major item which I believe is unexcusable and probably could be the basis of a class action, was that one of our first leg ports (Cambodia) had an issue with Visas. We obtained visas in advance and Princess personnel even affixed it into our passports on embarcation. Princess placed a $100+ charge to our account about a week after the port visit for visa services, claiming that our visa was not acceptable. After a long argument with the front desk, we did get it credited back as a goodwill gesture. Princess should admonish their foreign staff not to argue U.S. law with an attorney. Unfortunately, we are guessing the charge was attempted for everyone on the ship, including passengers who did not need a visa to visit Cambodia. Princess attempted to charge passengers from Southeast Asia after the conclusion of the cruise (our friends' banks rejected the multiple attempts to charge their accounts for the untoward visa processing). We are platinum level with Princess and are nearing black, but other cruiselines provide more compelling itineraries and passenger experience. With our preference for longer cruises, we'll likely choose a different line in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Having been a frequent cruiser for 20+ years, this was the first time I've tried Princess. Absolutely regret giving them a try! Stay with the top tier lines! * Ship was outdated and everything looked old and run down. * Food was ... Read More
Having been a frequent cruiser for 20+ years, this was the first time I've tried Princess. Absolutely regret giving them a try! Stay with the top tier lines! * Ship was outdated and everything looked old and run down. * Food was mediocre and service was SLOW!!! * Entertainment was awful! Many nights featured a single performer playing an instrument. May be appealing to some but lack of musical shows was a huge disappointment. * Most ports were commercial ports that were filthy and disgusting, * Most of the ports were 1.5 to 2.5 hours of the destination city. Travel times ate up most of the time in port which left very little time to explore. * One of the cities in Vietnam was nothing but dirty backwoods feeling city with dirt roads covered in trash, feces and hypodermic needles. Completely shocked a major cruise line line would one, go into a commercial port that is dirty, noisy and dangerous by nature, but two, bus it's passengers into a filthy city. How is that making memories?? STAY AWAY from this cruise line if at all possible!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was a last-minute(ish) decision to go cruising somewhere guaranteed to be warm & intetesting over the Christmas break. Iglu was offering a decent package at a competitive price so we went for it! We'd not been on a ... Read More
This was a last-minute(ish) decision to go cruising somewhere guaranteed to be warm & intetesting over the Christmas break. Iglu was offering a decent package at a competitive price so we went for it! We'd not been on a Princess ship before and were pleasantly surprised by the overall standard of entertainment, the informal yet classy vibe, mix of fellow cruisers (mostly 50+ age group but also with some intergenerational family groups), the general presentation of the ship and service provided by the staff. Our balcony suite was very good, with lots of wardrobe space (which suited my partner!) and a reasonably private balcony area (on deck 12 forward) where we could relax and enjoy the warmth of the tropical climate, whilst sipping a drink and being serenaded by the gentle sounds of the ocean as the Sapphire Princess cut majestically through the benign, blue, ocean waves. The onboard entertainment was excellent, apart from the comedian, who was awful. Matt Baker (the Ents Director) was superb. The dance troupe were a highlight. Food was great and the anytime dining option worked well for us. We also took advantage of the excursion programme to visit various places, including two stops in Vietnam, Bangkok, Kho Samui & KL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We enjoyed most of the itinerary, spare Bali, which was a disappointment considering the cruising time to get there and back. The ship seems old even after its recent refit. The air conditioning in the cabins was a point of conversation ... Read More
We enjoyed most of the itinerary, spare Bali, which was a disappointment considering the cruising time to get there and back. The ship seems old even after its recent refit. The air conditioning in the cabins was a point of conversation for many of the passengers we met. It was inadequate at best, and occasionally nonexistent. A pretty great disadvantage when you are traveling across the equator. The food quality was somewhat inconsistent, but best in Savoy dining room. The buffet was less well stocked. Things like smoked salmon for breakfast were largely absent. The specialty restaurants the Crab Shack & Sterling steak house were placed in the buffet, with the ambiance of a cafeteria. We took a pass on the specialty restaurants as the reviews of Sabatin’s aboard ship were less than flattering. Staffing at all the restaurants seemed to be smaller than the rest of the ships. This resulted in a very slow process from placing an order to receiving your first course to completing your meal. Staff did their best, but there was not enough wait staff. Last point is the solar eclipse event. An advertised special event, that required protective glasses. But the ship did not have adequate staff to supply all interested passengers. We would not take another cruise on this particular ship. And, it was our first significant disappointment with the Princess line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My husband and I chose this cruise because we wanted to be on a ship for the 2020 solar eclipse. We have cruised Princess many times before but this cruise will be our last on the Princess line. We have elite status so embarkation ... Read More
My husband and I chose this cruise because we wanted to be on a ship for the 2020 solar eclipse. We have cruised Princess many times before but this cruise will be our last on the Princess line. We have elite status so embarkation was a breeze - no problems there. The ship had just had all new carpet installed, new bedding in all the rooms, and new TVs. The new carpet did nothing to hide that the ship was in serious need of refurbishment. The furniture in the public areas was worn and uncomfortable. Our room steward was wonderful and we never had to ask her twice for anything. The bedding was new but the furniture was worn, the wood was nicked in quite a few places. The bathroom was worn - the shower pan had worn spots in it. The towels and washcloths were threadbare. There is almost no storage in the bathroom - 3 small glass shelves. The entertainment was excellent. The production singer and dancers were some of the best I've seen on my 30+cruises. Now for the bad - We thought the food was subpar. The menus were boring, tasteless, and most of the time over cooked or served cold. Horizon Grill - We eat breakfast and lunch here almost everyday. The breakfast buffet had cold eggs, potatoes. If you wanted an omelette you ordered it and then sat down. You had to corral a waiter to go pick it up for you but it you wanted to add a side (bacon, sausage etc) you needed to get it yourself . So either the eggs would get cold or the side would get cold. My pet peeve was the way toast, bagels, etc were done. These were all toasted in advance and placed in a container on a heated element. I prefer my toast hot so I'd ask for a fresh piece and the young person making the toast would always tell me that there was "hot" toast sitting. The jams, jellies, butter etc were just placed in a large pot with a spoon - disgusting! Lunch - again boring - there was always a carved meat and many "hot" dishes especially meats floating in brown gravy. There was a nice salad bar. There were no tuna, egg, or chicken salads. There were always a couple of pre-made sandwiches. I once asked why there were no potato chips, or nacho chips out a lunch. The buffet area is very small. I don't eat dessert at lunch but I do look - again very boring. But if you are gluten free, or need sugar free there was quite a selection. Evening dining - We had anytime dining and we ate in the Savoy restaurant every night. The staff was wonderful. The food not so much. Because the cruise was in Southeast Asia the menu was heavily Asian. We did back to back cruises and the menu was recycled for the second cruise with the addition of turkey on Christmas. There is no more prime rib, lamb chops in the dining rooms. The filet, the Beef Wellington, and beef tenderloin was quite good. The fish was usually over cooked. The chicken breasts were dried out and tough. Their French onion soup was a joke. It was a crock of brown broth with a couple of onions floating in it. I asked where was the nice melted cheese and was told that some people don't like it so we were given a piece of toasted bread with a little melted cheese on it to put into the soup!!! The won ton soup was excellent. Again, the desserts were for the most part boring. We ate in both the pay restaurants. The Italian restaurant Sabitini's was ok. I didn't care for the menu but I figured I could always order a steak. The steak was a nice size but again very tough. My husband and our friend had a veal dish and loved it. We ate at the Sterling Steakhouse for our anniversary on the second half our our cruise. The onion soup here is amazing and my lamb chops were excellent. My husband ordered the rib eye and said it was tough. The service was wonderful. I know it sounds like we're picky eaters but we're not - we just like our food hot and tasty. I did speak to quite a few others on the ship who were of the same opinion as us. They were very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I wanted to go on this cruise because of the location AND the chance to see a rare Annular Solar Eclipse in the China Sea. I flew to Singapore (17 hour flight), arrived at this beautiful city, good accommodations, etc. Boarded December ... Read More
I wanted to go on this cruise because of the location AND the chance to see a rare Annular Solar Eclipse in the China Sea. I flew to Singapore (17 hour flight), arrived at this beautiful city, good accommodations, etc. Boarded December 7 for a 21 day trip ( Singapore-Vietnam-Thailand-Malaysia-Indonesia--back to back). Embarkation/Disembarkation really easy-quick. Very efficient. The room was ready upon boarding, so able to drop off carry-ons and grab a quick nap after lunch. The Good: Beautiful ship, big inside cabin (I like sleeping in the dark). Attentive steward, great service personnel including food and front desk. Room was attractive, clean. Seating areas of the ship are spacious. Several pools/hot tubs. No slides or special rides/water features which was OK. The indoor pool area was great, especially on over-warm days. Smooth sailing ship. The China Sea sailing waters around Malaysia are usually pretty calm so not much ship roughness. The Bad: I have cruised over 20 times, and this is the WORST ENTERTAINMENT I have ever experienced on a cruise ship. Old, washed out entertainers (where did they find those relics?). On the last day the "farewell" show had a violin player that was so out of key that my ears are still ringing today. Matt, the cruise director was funny, but he always seemed tired, like he needs a vacation. Outdated sets, bad jugglers, unfunny magicians, game shows had no spark. The DJ in the disco played the same songs every night. Uninspiring production shows. The entertainment needs to be addressed. Food quality was spotty: Avoid Sabbatini's: The wait staff was uninterested, small tables, no ambiance We were constantly having to shuffle plates as there just wasn't room for even an extra appetizer area. I sent my steak back twice because under-cooked/overcooked. Sent the lobster back because over-salty/off flavors. Very poor for a specialty restaurant. Surprisingly limited menu options in the main dining rooms. Not many specials. The main focused feature was for Asian dishes. Bland and tried to be spicy. Had to ask for chili to jazz up the flavoring. 3 PM tea service was great. Alfredo's Pizza was exceptional, because they were handmade pizzas and available most of the day. Ate there several times just for a consistent meal. EXCURSIONS-More Bad: The excursion to Sihanoukville in Cambodia should have been cancelled. The whole city is going through a major rennovation, so there was garbage in the streets, open water/sewer draining, whole buildings in ruins/demolished, I don't think we traveled on a paved road. THE WHOLE TOWN WAS TRASHED. Only after received the excursion pass in my cabin did Princess acknowledge that the town and roads were "under construction". That was an understatement. The rest of the excursions were better/good and was what was expected. Indochina is developing rapidly and growth/expansion is expected, just not so bad as the Cambodia excursion. The Ugly: Princess advertised the "ANNULAR SOLAR ECLIPSE" as the highlight of the cruise, I am very excited to be seeing this historic event, one of the main reasons I chose this cruise..... So comes the day of the eclipse. Beforehand were given scant instructions on where to pick up "eclipse glasses"... really nothing mentioned in the "Pata" newsletter delivered to your room the night before. The line forms for glasses handout to start at 11 AM... AFTER 1/4 OF THE WAY THROUGH THE ECLIPSE STARTING (around 11:20) they started handing out glasses.... ...except... About half way through distribution and the eclipse half way over... THEY RAN OUT OF GLASSES! So some people did not get to see the eclipse, or tried doing so WITHOUT GLASSES?.... Spending all that advertising and marketing dollars touting the eclipse event knowing how many passengers are onboard and not able to provide your passengers with a 10 cent paper eclipse glasses is unacceptable and probably proved unsafe. Conclusions: I have been on many Princess cruises, but never experienced the spotty service, poor planning and lousy entertainment that I experienced. I understand the ship is getting a refurbishment/face-lift, which is sorely needed but they also should overhaul the customer experienced side also. It's hard for me to recommend the Sapphire Princess to other paying passengers in it's current state. Work needs to be done and corrections made. Princess told us onboard that were a lot of Americans on this cruise. Arriving from the USA (Depart Singapore) was a long and sometimes expensive process. People paid a lot to be on this ship, and I think Princess did not perform up to their standards. Not a food value for the money at the current state. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
After spending 3 great nights in beautiful Singapore (a fantastic city to visit prior to our cruise) at the lovely Park Hotel - Clarke Quay, we travelled on the Sapphire Princess for 10 nights. We had a wonderful time on this lovely ship. ... Read More
After spending 3 great nights in beautiful Singapore (a fantastic city to visit prior to our cruise) at the lovely Park Hotel - Clarke Quay, we travelled on the Sapphire Princess for 10 nights. We had a wonderful time on this lovely ship. The layout is very easy to negotiate and we felt at home as soon as we boarded. The menu in the main dining room was delicious and varied. The shows were very entertaining and the atmosphere on the ship was fabulous and the staff were very friendly and only too happy to help with any request. Not only were they efficient but they were very happy and would share a laugh when they had time. Top marks to Damir and Jenelyn in the main dining room, they made our dining so very enjoyable and fun while also being very efficient. Dunja in Altredo's Pizzeria was so helpful and very funny. Matt the Cruise Director was hilarious and kept everyone entertained. In fact I would say he was the best Cruise Director we have had on any of our cruises. Our balcony cabin was kept beautifully clean by Sonia who was only too happy to help with anything we needed. The only thing I would not have done was the shore excursion to Phuket Town. It was only small and did not have any interesting things for tourists. In fact we saw most of the excursion passengers in McDonalds having lunch. They also thought they had chosen the wrong excursion, but we chose this excursion so it was our decision to go there. It did not in any way take away our enjoyment of the great time we had over 10 days. We really can't fault anything about our cruise and we would definitely go on the Sapphire Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and like Princess Cruises. I was very happy with the itinerary however the ship needs a complete refurbishment. I had a Junior Suite and the bathtub caucking was all molded ad disgusting. ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and like Princess Cruises. I was very happy with the itinerary however the ship needs a complete refurbishment. I had a Junior Suite and the bathtub caucking was all molded ad disgusting. The balcony chairs were totally covered in bird poop and the metal casing on the balcony was rusted in many places. The suite itself is however well appointed and I loved the layout which I have had many times previously on Princess. The beds are the most amazing I have ever slept in. The pillows are marshmallow soft and the mattress is the most comfortable I have ever slept on even in 5 star hotels, just terrific. Passengers could not help but rave about the beds on this cruise. I was disappointed in the food however. The buffet is SOOOO SMALL for a cruise ship!!!! There are basically three sections plus a salad bar which I found very disappointing. Very repetitive food as well. They did have however amazing desserts. The dining-room food was mediocre at best. No decoration on the tables either, only salt & pepper, no flowers or anything decorative. Even on Christmas day there was nothing special on the table....very boring. Service was excellent however. I had taken the soda package which states you have a choice of fountain sodas and on the first day I asked for a diet sprite and was told that it was not part of the soda package!!! When I asked "Do you not have Sprite or 7-Up on this ship?" I was told "Yes but only in cans and cans are not on the soda package"...OMG HOW RIDICULOUS... the only soda on the soda package was diet coke. I was once addicted to diet coke and my doctor told me to avoid it at all cost but I was stuck having to drink it or pay for my sodas which I presumed were to be prepaid. I find this very unfair. The entertainment also was not up to par for Princess. They are know for putting on Broadway shows but none of that on this cruise. They had the usual lake lustre shows, really bad comedian as well. The worst part of the shows were that they only had one entertainer every night instead of several acts. If they had a comedian then that all there was, nothing else. If they had a singer then that was all they had nothing else. I remember the day when a show consisted of the cruise director opening with jokes, then a singer and then dancers ...a mix. Not here. Also I was on a 21 day cruise as were many others but Princess considered this two cruises. a 10 day and then an 11 day so whatever shows you saw on the first part were exactly the same on the second part which I feel is very unfair to those who paid the big bucks for a 21 day cruise getting basically 10 shows instead of 20. I had pre-booked shore excursions in each port.....most were nightmares!!!! They either left very late or did not provide what was described on their tour descriptions. I took a transfer in Bangkok which was advertised as having from 9am to 3pm in Bangkok. Well we were told to arrive in the departure lounge at 7am however we did not leave the ship until 9am!! Because of traffic we got to Bangkok at noon!!! We sill had to leave at 3pm so literally no time to see anything since traffic is so bad in the city you can barely move. Since they do this every week they should know traffic is bad and should make us leave much earlier. Stupid to drive 5 hours to and from Bangkok to only spend 3 hours there. Ridiculous! On another tour we were supposed to stop at a market with handicrafts and instead they took us to a smelly, dirty tiny fruit & vegetable market by the side of a road with no handicrafts at all...was horrible. We were supposed to stop at a Batik factory and when we were ready to get there we were told it had to be cancelled because we did not have enough time!!!! a major part of the tour was cancelled yet the smelly market was kept in....very badly organized. One main issue I have with all the tours is that we are in cities and towns with incredible people making world famous hand made items and yet no time is ever included to visit these wonderful markets which are a big part of the culture here. You should not have to choose between seeing a major monument or temple and shopping, both should be included. I am sure most people would prefer to leave earlier and not miss out on seeing the locals make beautiful items. The photographers were great and the photo package is a fabulous deal. You get all as many pictures as you want both in print and on a USB drive for $249....that was a great deal. Came home with over 40 photos. Considering these cost $25. each, the package is the best deal. Now on to the internet....OMG IT IS THE WORST!!!! It costs a fortune on this ship for internet and when you do pay $199 for 250 minutes when you open it, it takes about 10 minutes to log on and when you do it takes another 20 minutes to get what you need. It's a disaster. I need to be connected for checking work on a daily basis and since they don't have an unlimited plan, it cost me a fortune. Better to go on the Medallion Class ships which offer a reasonable unlimited high-speed internet. I love the itinerary so much I am doing the exact same itinerary this December BUT on the Grand Princess which is a Medallion Class ship with unlimited high-speed internet ...... plus the ship is gorgeous. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Sapphire Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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