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Sapphire Princess Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,054 Reviews

Agree with Victor Meldrew

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by annwyl

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2007
  • Destination: Australia & New Zealand
  • Cabin Type: Balcony

Please enter your review. I have to agree with the review by Victor Meldrew. I am Canadian and travelled on this same cruise with my husband. We stayed precruise(booked through Princess) in Bangkok at the ShangriLa, where we have previously stayed. Our stay was marred by the horrific flight we had courtesy of Princess with a 7 hour layover in Hong Kong having flown approx. 18 hours from Toronto -totally unacceptable in my book. Needless to say we were both exhausted on arrival which I have to say was executed perfectly.On arrival at the hotel we were greeted with a welcome drink but were shown to a city view room-this was quickly changed and we had the riverview as expected. We were too tired to do much sightseeing-fortunately we have been to Bangkok twice before so had seen the major sights. We had a precruise check-in at the hotel which was well done but the transfer could have been better as the driver and the guide got us lost and we ended up in Pattaya!! However we got on the ship in record time and found our cabin easily and were greeted warmly by our cabin steward,Robert.

We proceeded to the Horizon Court buffet.The selection of food was always good but its arrangement a little confusing at times, e.g. bread in one area and butter in a totally different area! We didn't eat here often as found it to be very crowded most of the time, inspite of its size.

I agree with Victor Meldrew regarding the restaurant arrangements-we too opted for anytime dining after the first night but on more than one occasion we were unable to be seated at the restaurant of our choice and were usually accommodated at another but not without a wait time of some sort. One M'D that was outstanding and always accommodating to us was Robert at Pacific Moon-a favorite of ours. The food was acceptable but not outstanding. I agree that the Eastern European waiters were surly and not welcoming at all. The Thai, Indian and Filipino waiters were always pleasant but you can't choose when you're on anytime dining. One outstanding night was New Year's Eve when we had booked a table for 10 at Pacific Moon- I have to say Princess went overboard on that evening with super party hats and tiaras for the ladies and supplied the necessary noisemakers, balloons etc. that go with New Year's. Some of our party proceeded to the atrium which was very crowded in anticipation of the midnight hour but it was a magical atmosphere, especially at midnight with the balloon drop.We ended the evening at the Skywalker's Disco and had a terrific time till the small hours. This of course was marred by our port day at Darwin the next day, when everyone was somewhat fragile and to find Darwin essentially closed for New Year's Day! Princess could surely arrange their itinerary so that after 4 sea days we weren't in port on New Year's day!!

The entertainment was very poor on such a large ship, especially as this was a Christmas/New Year's cruise and we found ourselves and our new found friends making our own entertainment most of the time!! We had a very nice balcony cabin on Aloha Deck but were amazed to find ourselves overlooking the balcony and mini-suite cabins below us-surely a serious flaw of this particular ship.We had early breakfast,actually just coffee and juice,in our cabin most days and it was delivered promptly and politely each day, while we drank it overlooking our fellow-cruisers down below! Although the ship is beautiful with plenty of space, it is not without its problems once in port.On most occasions we had to dock in horrible container ports because of our size and were shuttled into the various cities(at Princess'expense-otherwise there would have been mutiny!) This cut down on the time in port and we found we always had to rush to get the bus back to the ship. Princess should also be reprimanded for not being honest about facilities for independent travellers in ports.As I realize this is taking away from their vast profits on their shore excursions, they could at least be honest about what is available.We are not lovers of the Princess tour excursions in any event and we always find our own way around with new found friends and have a lot more fun. Some of the tour prices were prohibitive for many and some of the obscene prices were outrageous! Overall, we enjoyed the cruise and Princess went over and above with the Christmas and New Year's festivities. Our total Princess experience was good apart from our inbound flight.

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