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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
I was surprised that I had a great time on this cruise, even though I was told by friends that the average age of guest on the Princess would be 65+ (I’m 38). The entertainment was fantastic, great shows every night and never the same, ... Read More
I was surprised that I had a great time on this cruise, even though I was told by friends that the average age of guest on the Princess would be 65+ (I’m 38). The entertainment was fantastic, great shows every night and never the same, they also have outdoor movie sessions at night, great service from staff, variety of food choices from buffet to fine dining. The Princess also had art gallery exhibition which also included art auction. My tip is that make sure you buy a drink package bacuse the cost is in US dollars. We were a party of 8, and the gym on the Princess is better then most hotels! Shopping was average, the ship has 2 outdoor pools and 1 indoor pool. Day spa and treatments were great but pricey, best time to book day spa treatment is the day they have shore excursions as the prices drop. The casino was always busy. Didn’t like the shore excursion, would of rather stayed on the boat! Read Less
Meh
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Of all the princess cruises I’ve been to, this ranks one of the lowest. The food was mediocre. Service mediocre. Tour excursion disappointing. We booked the phi phi island excursion ahead of time because of the famous maya bay. We were ... Read More
Of all the princess cruises I’ve been to, this ranks one of the lowest. The food was mediocre. Service mediocre. Tour excursion disappointing. We booked the phi phi island excursion ahead of time because of the famous maya bay. We were told that it’s closed and the excursion will stop at Bamboo island instead. We cancelled that excursion and booked James Bond island tour instead. Found out that they substituted the buffet lunch with box lunch. The box lunch comprised of a tiny cold burrito (yuk), an apple (not sure if it’s washed) and orange (dry and tasteless). The chip was the only thing that tasted ok. We found out they changed to box lunch more than two years. Princess continues to advertise as buffet lunch. James island was beautiful. But the bus and long tail boat ride to get there was more than 3 hours each way. I was feeling light headed by the time we were there. Excursion in Ko Samui Peace Resort was nice and relaxing. Actuhad a buffet lunch. Taste of Penang was on. The only thing I recommend to buy is the coffee. I wish I bought more. My major complaint about this cruise is the visa fee that princess charge each person. $56 whether you get off in Vietnam or not. That’s a rip off. Vietnam charges less than $10, princess kept the rest. Other cruise lines don’t rip off their customers like that. We didn’t know when we booked the no refundable cruise. Only found out when we log in to provide personal info. By then it’s too late. The one thing I highly recommend is the Zumba and ballet dance classes. Rachel was great! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
I chose princess cruises because I had cruised with them before in Alaska and enjoyed it. I wanted to experience parts of Asia. We enjoyed a suite on the 10th floor which was lovely. The sofa was a bit worn. Our cabin attendant Stephen ... Read More
I chose princess cruises because I had cruised with them before in Alaska and enjoyed it. I wanted to experience parts of Asia. We enjoyed a suite on the 10th floor which was lovely. The sofa was a bit worn. Our cabin attendant Stephen was very good. We mostly ate at Sante Fe Restaurant which we enjoyed. The waiters were excellent. We did attend the buffet and it was acceptable. Bar service was good. We had purchased packages. Entertainment was not exciting. I think Princess has done a better job in the past. The real disappointment was the excursions. We did our best to choose excursions we felt would give us an overview of the culture. The two things that stand out most were visiting temples......too many, and shopping. One excursion was pushing shopping 3 times. Honestly the merchandise at most places wasn’t worth buying. On another excursion we took a ride the river. At the end of the river we fed catfish. Really, Princess? We need to pay hard earned money to go on a cruise for this. Our flight was 18 1/2 hours. We don’t need to feed catfish. Singapore was the best and most interesting port. Much to see. I did go to the excursions desk to explain our disappointment. We were credited a total of $80. Unacceptable! We took an excursion in every port including the last day prior to tge airport. That excursion was good. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Chose this new, exotic destination for my husband and I and I believe it was our best cruise ever (we have cruised 6 times with Princess, a few times with Celebrity and once with Viking). Our upgrade to Princess Clubclass with its private ... Read More
Chose this new, exotic destination for my husband and I and I believe it was our best cruise ever (we have cruised 6 times with Princess, a few times with Celebrity and once with Viking). Our upgrade to Princess Clubclass with its private dining, daily cocktail events and spacious mini-suite were the highlight of our trip - largely due to the outstanding service and wonderful relationships we were able to develop with the staff...hats off to Sapphire Princess for the excellent training of their club class staff. We also enjoyed another outstanding Chef’s Table - both the Chef and Pastry Chef are excellent on Sapphire Princess. We enjoyed Bohemian Rhapsody on the giant “Movies Under the Stars” screen. We had many shore excursion options and did one at each port...all were well co-ordinated with very good guides and drivers. Embarkation and disembarkation were relatively easy and very well organized. Princess did an outstanding job of dealing with the various customs for all countries, making our visits hassle-free, including in Vietnam where Princess procured our visas for us. Sapphire Princess is a beautiful ship with many dining rooms, eateries, stores, pools, bars, lounges and daily activities and this cruise was a beautiful, tropical cruise where even the weather co-operated. We wish we could do it again...tomorrow! The only painful part of our journey was the very long travel time from Calgary to Singapore. We flew United and upgraded to their Premium Economy seats on the Dreamliner, thinking it would be like Air Canada’s Premium Economy on their Dreamliner. Suffice it to say I will never fly United again - we were squished into our seats (we are only average size) and service was remarkably poor (non-existent) on the flight from San Fran to Singapore. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
We wanted to visit those ports that were listed on itinerary! We didn’t like the tendering to shore n back. The line was too long! Weather was not great, hot humid and the sea air smelled like fishy! Time to spend on shore was too ... Read More
We wanted to visit those ports that were listed on itinerary! We didn’t like the tendering to shore n back. The line was too long! Weather was not great, hot humid and the sea air smelled like fishy! Time to spend on shore was too short! Got sea sick from the cabin being the last end of ship! Horrible cabin room design for disabled wheelchair accessible shower! Shower did not drain n flooded the room for two nights till maintenance came to fix the drain! Patio door lock broken can’t close balcony floor full of paint dropping didn’t clean up! Room chair has a big hole, drawers can’t close refrigerator door pops open can’t close! Everything was old n not updated! Shower curtains smells! Very disappointed at ythe twin beds too short too small can’t sleep well! Very uncomfortable! Very bad cabin despite we booked very early never knew what room till last minute n can’t change the beds set up ! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We started planning this trip two years ago to coordinate 10 of us .. and then ended up with two more joining. Asia was a mystery to me and taking a cruise to an area I don't know much about is very appealing. The trip did not ... Read More
We started planning this trip two years ago to coordinate 10 of us .. and then ended up with two more joining. Asia was a mystery to me and taking a cruise to an area I don't know much about is very appealing. The trip did not disappoint and we had an amazing time both on and off the ship. The ship: We have been on about 6 Princess cruises and this was one of the best. We had set dining time and our two table of 6 were well taken care of. The service in general, from the cabin stewards, to bar tenders , to deck staff etc was excellent. The entertainment was by far the best I have ever seen on a ship. The tenders and the port disembarkations were all organized and handled so well. The port talks were interesting and catered both to those taking Princess excursions as well as private ones or doing a port on your own. The Ports: Singapore- We started off with 4 nights at the Holiday Inn Express at Clarke Quay. This was one of the more modest priced hotels and was in an excellent location, with great amenities. A full buffet breakfast, a nice pool and deck, unlimited bottled water, cell phones for your use during the stay. Would definitely recommend. Singpore is the most beautiful city. Very easy to get around on the MRT and we felt safe everywhere. Check out the Lua Pau Sat Hawker market. We went to others but this was the best. Some of the musts: Gardens by the Bay (do the domes and the light show), a trip up Marina Bay Sands (don't do the observation deck- buy a ticket to the bar and $22 dollars buys you a drink and a view as opposed to the $28 for just the view), Sentosa cable car, take the MRT to Chinatown, Little India, Bugis street and Arab street. Nowhere in this city is the same. The Marina Bay water/light show is great too. Really loved everything about this city. Koh Samui- We took a taxi to Bophut and enjoyed looking in the markets and the beach is lovely. Had an amazing massage on the beach for the equivalent of 10 Canadian dollars. If you feel like a beer- don't go into a restaurant- buy it at 7-11. The water was nice to swim in but later found out about sea lice, which are harmless but wondered what was nipping at us. Bangkok- We did a private tour rebooked with Thai Tour Guide. This was a great day with a very knowledgable guide Ms Aom. All my communications with this company were fantastic and we were well looked after. Saw the Grand Palace, The reclining Bhudda, took a long tail boat ride and went for lunch.. Ho Chi Min City- We had booked a private tour with Tour by Xuan. It really was a highlight. Our guide Mr. Lee just made our day.. so fun. We walked through markets, saw historical sites, did a trip shaw ride, crossed the road (which in itself is an excursion!) had vietnamese coffee, a really tasty lunch, visited the war museum. Highly highly recommend this company. Penang- We did this on our own as the boat docks right in Georgetown. It was an extremely hot day when we were here. We went to the Peranakan Museum which showed the lifestyle of the rich over a century ago. We really enjoyed this - not expensive to get into and very good tour guide. The rest of the day was spent trying to get out of the heat. A little hard to get around- no sidewalks in most places. The place comes alive after dark and we found fantastic food on Chulia street night hawker stalls. We then grabbed a Tri Shaw back to the ship. Phuket- Here we did the ships tour to Phi Phi Islands. I prefer private tours, however, there are some places I feel more comfortable with the ship's tour. This is definitely one of those if headed out to Phi Phi. Our boat had 35 people and I would not have wanted to be on anything smaller. This trip is marked as strenuous and as soon as I saw the dock with had to walk to get to the boat I understood why. About 15 of us headed out on a rolling dock with very little handrails until they stopped us and decided to bring boats in closer. I have the video to prove I braved the walk. haha. About an hour of hitting waves - but it was all worth it. The beauty of this area is astounding. We snorkelled for about 45 min and swam... then stopped in at a couple other bays for photo ops. Then to Bamboo island to spend time on the beach. We also had lunch at a resort we had to wade into which was pretty cool. This tour is definitely not for anyone with any mobility issues. or perhaps sea sickness. For us it was very good, and again worth the travel time. I was not aware that this voyage was considered two different cruises when I booked. One was a 7 day and one was a 4 day. Not sure I would knowingly do that again, as everything repeated itself on the four days... but we did get bonus internet time being platinum and it refreshed for the 4 day cruise. Make sure you plan all your stops ahead. It would have been overwhelming had we not known what we were doing in these ports. Most were far away from where the ship docked. For those who want to see Asia but are not too sure of how to do that... this is the perfect way to go! Enjoy! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was the perfect trip for us as we wanted to get a taste of the Far East to enable us to decide where we wanted (and didn't want) to go next. Because the incoming boat was late arriving due to bad weather, we were very late ... Read More
This was the perfect trip for us as we wanted to get a taste of the Far East to enable us to decide where we wanted (and didn't want) to go next. Because the incoming boat was late arriving due to bad weather, we were very late embarking. We had to wait in the terminal for about five hours and didn't board until 9pm. There was nothing to do in the terminal although some biscuits and cake were eventually sent from the ship. Once we boarded it would have been nice if some gesture of apology was made (a glass of wine maybe) but nothing. We were very tired and didn't want to go anywhere for dinner. We tried many times over the course of the next hour to get room service but the phone number was constantly busy. We went to bed on the few crisps and a chocolate bar we found in our luggage. When we wandered around the ship the next day we were very pleasantly surprised by the standard of the public rooms. All of the staff we encountered, including those at the customer service desk were very pleasant and well trained. We had chosen anytime dining and although we read we could reserve a table as it operated just like a restaurant that wasn't strictly true. When we called to book a table we were always given either a 5.30 or 7.30 slot (the same times as regular dining). If we wanted any other time, we just had to turn up at the dining room of our choice. All of the dining rooms were elegant and well appointed. We went to tea once in the Santa Fe dining room and this was a very strange affair. The waiters were beautifully attired, down to white gloves. We were given a plate and a choice of tea - first along came a waiter with an assortment of filled small rolls and immediately afterwards another waiter with scones, jam and cream and yet another waiter with cakes. So even before I had started eating I had a small plate with a cheese and tomato roll, scone, jam and cream plus a cake. All on one plate!!!!! We didn't go again. My biggest disappointment was the entertainment, both in the theatre and around the ship. The resident band was simply awful and drowned out the guest pianist, there was a female singer who was excellent but she was the exception. I think the worst was a balloon person - you know the sort of thing - the person who makes balloon animals at a children's party. I thought I had gone to hell when I noticed that one of the activities during the day was a 'Men's sexy legs competition'. 60 years ago I went to Butlins with my grandparents and saw a knobby knees competition - not much different. The trivia and competitions that seemed to be on every day were very amateurish and aimed at the lowest common denominator. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We picked the cruise (Far East Explorer) as something of an afterthought... We are very frequent cruisers but hadn’t been to the Far East previously and therefore took the opportunity. The itinerary was the attraction, Shanghai, ... Read More
We picked the cruise (Far East Explorer) as something of an afterthought... We are very frequent cruisers but hadn’t been to the Far East previously and therefore took the opportunity. The itinerary was the attraction, Shanghai, Nagasaki, Busan, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Min City, Bangkok, Koh Samui, then Singapore... It was a fabulous itinerary. We hadn’t sailed with Princess before but had been told it was comparable with Celebrity and therefore set our expectations about the ship on our past Celebrity experiences. that proved to be unfulfilled. The cabin (an interior on deck 11) was excellent. We almost always have a balcony but we were very happy with our cabin. It was much more spacious than we expected, and worked perfectly, the cabin steward was superb. Food which is so important on cruises was extremely underwhelming. It was far far behind Celebrity and out review grading in based largely on that shortcoming. We really didn’t care for the breakfast buffet at all, and the dining room options at breakfast didn’t inspire us either. Finding an unoccupied table at breakfast in the buffet was also quite a challenge. The buffet was divided into two pretty much identical section but with only a fraction of the selection options we’d had on say Celebrity, Cunard or Norwegian. Lunch in the buffet wasn’t much different although occasionally there was a pleasant surprise. I suspect the food had been prepared for a different guest mix than was on our cruise. We found it extremely odd that poppadoms and Indian breads were invariably available but there were few (if any) Indian dishes to go with them. There just wasn’t the space available in the buffet to provide the sort of buffet choice we have experienced on dozens of other ships. Evening menu I found OK. We had anything dining (which we liked) and could use any one of 3 restaurants (all served an identical menu). Over and above the someone dull ‘always available items’ the menu offered 6 choices daily, two vegetarian, two apparently local to where we were, one fish, and one meat... I was OK as I usually picked on of the interesting and spicy local dishes, my wife was far less satisfied, and often said there was nothing she particularly fancied on the menu... The food was usually pretty good (steak we had one night was awful) but in our cruising we have been used to reading menu where deciding which of several dishes to select was the challenge rather than, do I want any of these dishes... Entertainment across the ship was pretty good. The theatre shows were watchable, and when a new cast boarded for our last few days had a marked improvement. The speciality acts were the usual cruise fare, OK to pass on an hour or so. Daytime activities, trivia etc was fine, much as could be expected.. The music on the ship was really good. a band of young people (The Drop) we excellent as was a young piano singer. A classical duo were very good too. The ship itself. It seemed really dark to us, for a few days we thought some of it need a lick of white paint to brighten the place up, that said we eventually got use to the experience of often feeling you were in an old haunted mansion... There was plenty of social space, and we usually had no difficulty in finding seating wherever we wanted to be, including on the deck. We liked the deck set up and thought the decent sized pool was a bonus particularly as it was too deep for people to stand and clutter the water whilst enjoying cocktails (as you see on many newer ships). I haven’t mentioned the bar, on this trip we took the soda package (dry January) it worked just fine and made a pleasant change to our usual full drinks package. The ports of call were the definite highlights of the trip. We got off to an awful start in Shanghai where everything was severely delayed, we were told it was weather related but it seemed perfectly obvious that the delay related more to the current dispute between the USA & China in terms of trade.... After an almost 10hr delay (where bottled water and potato chips became the food for day 1 of the cruise) all was plain sailing.. We were rather surprised guests weren’t compensated with onboard credit to reflect the totally lost first day of the cruise as by the time boarding was achieved it was too late to get to the restaurant for most guests. Nagasaki was great, interesting, thought-provoking and emotional, Busan was a hive of interesting activity, Hong Kong we had a decent length stop but probably needed at least another 48hrs, Ho Chi Min City was probably our favourite port of call, we took the ship’s excursion to the city and again would have liked longer, we took a ship’s tour to Bangkok and maxed out our few hours there too, on Koh Samui we rented a car and toured the whole island, and we had a great short stay in Singapore... The ship organised numerous tours for every port of call, we thought the trips we took were well organised and fairly priced. Would we tour the area again, absolutely we would; will we sail Princess again, the answer is yes as we already have a reservation made with them not least because they offer some of the most interesting moderately priced itineraries... All in all a very enjoyable trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We just got home from our cruise. We really enjoyed this cruise, particularly because of the itinerary and people we met. The entertainment was sub par...first time ever on a Princess ship. They had a guy making balloon sculptures one ... Read More
We just got home from our cruise. We really enjoyed this cruise, particularly because of the itinerary and people we met. The entertainment was sub par...first time ever on a Princess ship. They had a guy making balloon sculptures one evening in the theater...very disappointing. Also the music offered in the lounges was limited. Few opportunities to dance. However, the food was good and we liked our room...can’t have everything. The staff in the dining room was very good. We felt recognized and well taken care of. They also did a good job with gluten free toast...no small task. On this trip Princess even did a good job with the excursions. They seemed reasonable for what we got., The biggest weakness was entertainment. They could have improved the onboard experience by offering their enrichment lectures in the afternoon instead of at 9:00 a.m. when most people want breakfast. The activities director could use a lesson from some of their other ships. Other than crew games and top deck games there were few options for afternoon activity on sea days. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
The Sapphire Princess met most of the needs of those that were on the cruse. Staff tried to help with any problems addressed. They were friendly, courteous, and pleasant to deal with from the room service, customer service, and Horizon ... Read More
The Sapphire Princess met most of the needs of those that were on the cruse. Staff tried to help with any problems addressed. They were friendly, courteous, and pleasant to deal with from the room service, customer service, and Horizon kitchen staff. They kept the ship clean and tried to make sure no one got sick on board. The food became routine after a few days, but you did have some choices on what to eat. Fresh fruit could have been better and a wider choice. Since we made several stops at other counties, it would have be nice to have some of the fruits from those countries. The entertainment and activities were limited on board. Having someone making animals from balloons were more in line for a children cruse than an adult cruse. They did have some current movies to watch, which helped to pass the time. They had trouble with embarkation due to the ship not being allowed to dock on time. The embarkation was delayed several times. People weren't allowed to start loading until after 7 PM. Some people had to wait at the dock for hours with little support for food or drinks. However, everyone that flew in on the morning of embarkation was given a tour of Shanghai with lunch prior to going to the dock, which was appreciated. Disembarkation went smoothly. Read Less
Sapphire Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.0
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 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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