California Coastal Cruise: Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by ilovemylucy

Sapphire Princess 5
Member Since 2010
12 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

California Coastal Cruise

Sail Date: April 2012
Destination: USA
Embarkation: Los Angeles
We flew in for our cruise a few days early to see the Los Angeles area. We arranged for Primetime shuttle to pick us up at the airport and take us to the Crowne Plaza. We had a beautiful room that looked out to the harbor on the top floor. The hotel was quiet and the staff was very friendly and helpful. We enjoyed walking around the San Pedro area. We enjoyed eating at the Green Onion for dinner our first night. The next morning we went out to get some breakfast and ended up at the San Pedro Cafe a block or 2 from the hotel. We had the best breakfast!! Get there by 8a or a little after like we did and get the early bird special for $5. It was wonderful!! We then had an 8 hour tour planned with Sunseekers which picked us up right at our hotel. Enjoyed seeing the LA area, Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Venice Beach. We took our time getting up the next morning since we were advised not to arrive until 1pm for staggered boarding. The hotel offered a courtesy shuttle. We did arrive for More embarkation around 12p and were checked in immediately. We were given group 3 and were directed where to wait. Around 12:30p boarding began and we were on the ship around 1p. Very EASY!! Our cabin was ready and we met our room stewardess, her name was Jane and she was just awesome. The room was very comfortable and we had plenty of room and storage. We did feel quite a bit of motion during the week since we were near the front of the ship.
We had anytime dining and did enjoy this. The first night seemed the longest for getting our food. We were seated at a table for 6 and giving our menus. About 30 minutes later, 2 other people were seated with us and about 5 minutes later another couple. Finally our orders were taken and our food did seem to come much quicker. The wait staff was very friendly, but seemed over worked at least that first night. My daughter was anxious to get to the teen center for the meet and greet that first night. She ended up leaving the dining room before dessert in order to make it by 9p. After that first night we decided to take a table for 2 each night to be sure she was able to make it to the teen area by 9pm. We never called to make reservations for dinner which is an option, but never had to wait more than 5 minutes. One night the dining room we went to was full, the head waiter called the other dining rooms to see if they had an available table and we were escorted to another dining room and right to a table. The food was quite good and was presented beautifully each night. The daily sorbets at night were wonderful!! We ate at Alfredo's pizzeria twice and loved it. Also enjoyed the International Cafe. Enjoyed the shrimp salad and the chicken and apple salad. My daughter loved the tuna salad sandwiches grilled. We both loved the cookies!! We ate breakfast each morning in the Horizon Court, food was hot and there was plenty of it. Never did have room service. LOVED the afternoon tea in the dining room- not to be missed!
We enjoyed the live music around the ship, definitely a variety for everyone's taste. We enjoyed the shows in the evening. Only complaint is that some of the more popular activities and shows are in the smaller lounges and can't accommodate the larger crowds. The cruise director was Billy Hygate. He could sing, dance and tell jokes. We really enjoyed him as he did keep us informed on what was going on around the ship.
My daughter just loved the teen center! She said the ladies that directed the activities there were so nice and a lot of fun. Only complaint was there were not specific times for the activities she wanted to participate in. She met many new friends on board.
Our last port was Santa Barbara. We had another day of perfect weather! This is a tender port. We took our time at breakfast since we didn't want to have to wait in line to get a tender. Once we were ready to get off the ship we were told where to wait for the tender, within 5 minutes we were being escorted off the ship onto a waiting tender. Once at the dock, there is a 25 cent trolley that goes around the town. We took it to the beautiful courthouse and walked up the tower. From there you have a million dollar view of the city, worth the walk up! We then headed towards the mission which is 1.3 miles away. They have a bus, but it didn't start until 1230. It's a fairly easy walk, but enjoyed the beautiful landscaping and flowers along the way! The mission is very beautiful with it's gardens and the history is very interesting. The cost is $5. We then headed to the downtown area of Santa Barbara which is very quaint. We enjoyed looking through some of the stores and then took the 25 cent trolley back to catch a tender back to the ship. Definitely one of our favorite ports!
Disembarkation was the easiest we have ever experienced. Since our flight wasn't until 1245 we did not have to rush to get to the airport. The ship assigns lounges for you to wait in according to the color of your luggage tags. We were given a 0840 time to be in our lounge. Within 5 minutes we were being escorted off the ship. We didn't have to go through immigration since we did that in San Francisco. We were directed to our luggage room. We found our bags and were out getting into our Primetime shuttle at 0900 and at the airport at 0930. It was a wonderful cruise and will definitely be back to do it again!! Less

Published 04/13/12

Cabin review: JJB203

Our cabin was in the front of the ship. The cabin was very nice and quiet. We did feel a lot of motion, the ocean swells were at times 15 feet.

Port and Shore Excursions

Our plan was to stay near the ship and look around at a few shops. They have a shuttle right by the ship that is $3 round trip to town. So we decided to take the shuttle. While on the shuttle they advertised a tour that went to the Blow Hole and market for $15. We decided to take this independent tour with several other passengers from the ship. Our tour guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. The trip to the Blow Hole was about 40 minutes away. Along the way you could see a lot of the poverty of the area and also a lot of beauty of the countryside. We really enjoyed seeing the Blow Hole and the beauty of the Pacific Ocean. We then walked down the market street, which everyone is trying to get you to look in their shops. We headed back towards the tour bus early and saw our tour guide eating at a small taco stand. We decided to try a grilled shrimp taco with all the toppings for $2. It was delicious! Back to Ensenada with the tour and back to the ship via the shuttle. We did enjoy our day and did feel safe in the area we were taken.
Read 416 Ensenada Reviews

We had beautiful weather in San Diego. We got off the ship easily around 8:30a and walked down the dock area. There were quite a few homeless people in the area. Several antique sail boats which you can actually tour. Also some old naval ships in the area. Arriving on a Sunday limited our transportation options. We were looking for a direct way to the zoo. We took a taxi for $12 plus tip. We had purchased our zoo tickets prior to our trip on eBay and saved quite a bit, also didn't have to wait in the lines since we already had our tickets in hand. Food and drinks were very expensive! Enjoyed our full day at the zoo!

Another beautiful day! We were finally able to get off the ship around 0920 since we had to clear immigration. If planning to do a private tour be sure to allow extra time for immigration. We had purchased our tickets to Alcatraz on the website about a month prior to our cruise. We had 0930 tour time. The ferry landing is only a dock away. Glad we did purchase our tickets early, since when we got to the ferry area a sign posted stated that the next available ticket was in 4 days. We spent about 2 hours on Alcatraz and really did enjoy it! We then headed a few blocks to Fisherman's Wharf. We enjoyed a sourdough bread bowl with clam chowder which was a must do! Enjoyed looking through the shops, watching the street entertainers and of course people watching. We then headed to Ghirardelli Square. Looked through a few stores and had a sample of chocolate. We then headed towards Chinatown and then Union Square. We walked and walked!! Didn't think it was as far as it turned out to be. My daughter didn't care since she just wanted to hit the Forever21 store which is 3 stories tall. We ate in Macy's at Burger Bar, good food and a gorgeous view of the city! Found out we needed to take the F cable car back to the ship, the BEST $2 I ever spent! Back to the ship around 2045. A wonderful day and couldn't have asked for better weather!!

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Member Since 2010
12 Forum Posts
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