Booked the cruise in September 06, three months before flight schedules came out in January 07 - despite asking for World Traveller Plus seating on BA direct flights, were given Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong (as were quite a number of early booking passengers we talked to). Would this have something to do with it being cheaper to fly indirect?
The Sapphire Princess is a very large and beautiful ship but in our opinion, it is being mismanaged through incompetent staff, not to mention the cost cutting exercises - Captain's Champagne party where the captain did not attend, not was champagne served; instead we were given a very cheap sparkling wine. We didn't dare ask for red or white wine having sampled that once before (couldn't even drink that!).
We booked for quite a number of shore excursions (mainly because they told us there wasn't going to be any taxis at the container ports where we were due to dock). They were overpriced; badly organized and were without exception late in taking off - however they always returned on time!
The food in the dining room was mediocre at best - not what we have come to expect from this class of cruising. The dress code was ignored completely - a fellow diner in the International Restaurant wore denim jeans, T-shirt and baseball cap throughout his meal. Since the Maitre 'D was laughing and joking with him, he obviously thought it acceptable dress.
The entertainment again was not up to the standard expected; the production shows were quite good but the hypnotist, comedian and juggler were very poor - we, like quite a number of others, left after ten minutes. They were more suitable for a pantomine. The group who sang in Club Fusion most nights were very good (I think they were called Deep Blue) but we felt the other group shouted rather than sang.
We only attended the final Bingo session but personally witnessed an 85 year old man being deprived of half of the $5000 jackpot caused through the incompetence of the entertainment staff, i.e. David. Twice they agreed to half the winnings and twice reversed the decision - how ridiculous.
We were one of the first ones to embark the ship and went straight to the library to get some books as we had quite number of days at sea - what a disappointment. The shelves were fairly empty.
We visited the gymnasium on a number of occasions - plenty of equipment but absolutely no-one to show us how to use the machines. Tried to make enquiries to get some tuition but without any success. Surely there should have been someone there if only for safety reasons.