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Sapphire Princess Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1054 reviews
6 Awards

Dream Cruise--Sydney to Los Angeles

Review for Sapphire Princess to the South Pacific
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Penny Lindley
First Time Cruiser

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Apr 2008
Cabin: Balcony

When we first saw our cruise listed by Princess 2 years ago we knew it was our "dream cruise". Well, with very few exceptions, all our dreams of crossing the Pacific came true. After a very good flight on Air New Zealand, we arrived in Sydney, exhausted of course. One small glitch, Princess did not pick us up at the airport due to an error in flight info..but reimbursed us for our cab to the hotel. We had a package deal with Princess that included our hotel for two nights. The first night we were asleep before 6 pm. But that got us up early and headed out to the Royal Gardens, the circular quay and around the opera house. Next night we stayed up til 9!! Not much jet lag. On Monday, April 14 Princess reps picked us up for our 4 hour tour of Sydney and dropped us off at the Sapphire Princess in the afternoon. Since the ship didn't leave port until 9 pm, we had lots of time to enjoy the views from the upper decks. Sailaway was magic..a real thrill to sail out of the beautiful harbor in the evening, with lights twinkling everywhere. Next stop Melbourne where we enjoyed a cruise down the Yarra river. We had about 18 sea days and since we play bridge, were very happy to see that Princess had Gary Cox, a very competent bridge director onboard. Gary hosted about 17 tables of duplicate and ten or so of social bridge every "sea day". And gave bridge lectures in the mornings. We really hope Princess continues bridge onboard on cruises with several "at sea" days. On to Hobart, Tasmania where we saw Tazzie devils and other animals. Also the oldest church and the Richmond "gaol"...very interesting. The Fjordland Natl Park was beautiful and reminded us a bit of the fjords in Alaska. Though it was raining and chilly much of the time in the fjords, we enjoyed it. We experienced rough seas and some winds rounding the southern tip of New Zealand. Our captain decided not to put into Port in Dunedin due to very high hurricane strength winds which were expected. Though we were disappointed we were glad the captain was concerned for our safety...and many others we talked to felt the same. Auckland was exciting and beautiful and made more so as our new Kiwi friends rented a car and showed us around the city. The views from Mt. Eden were spectacular and the Museum was exquisite as we had been told by a Maori friend at home. Some of the best Maori carvings anywhere. This trip was like two in one. After leaving New Zealand and then Fiji we crossed the International dateline and were in the tropics (we also had two April 27ths with the crossing)...As we continued each island got more beautiful..Pago Pago, American Samoa; Raratonga, Cook Islands; Bora Bora and Tahiti, Fr Polynesia. In Bora Bora my dream of snorkeling in the lagoons came true and I had stingrays for company. Our tour guides sang to us, fed the rays and then took us to a small island and fed us fresh fruits and we swam some more. I waited 67 years to do that and it was well worth the wait. I have heard that Bora Bora is the most beautiful island on earth and I must agree..and it is impossible to take a bad photo of it. A seven hour tour around Tahiti gave us a good look at the island and its people. Now we headed northwest to Hawaii.crossing the equator. The cruise director and his cohorts hosted a crossing ceremony of much fun and silliness..we were pollywogs, now we are shellbacks. Another 4 days at sea, stops in Honolulu and Hilo which we have been to before. Four more days at sea brought us home to Los Angeles.....and the end of our truly dream cruise. Throughout the cruise, our steward(ess) worked very hard to make us comfortable (she forgot our ice one day..not a big deal).We actually are sorry stewards don't get days off. Everyone was friendly and we made several new friends aboard. We heard some complaints that the food was mediocre..but we thought it was great most days. There were some things not to our taste at times but feeding 2600 passenger from many countries for 31 days is a daunting task and I think they did just fine. I especially enjoyed my coffee and croissant brought fresh each morning by a smiling person in a nice white jacket...I felt spoiled throughout the cruise. Friends had a "plumbing backup problem" but it was remedied within a couple of hours. Sapphire personnel were very efficient in getting everyone on and off the ship when tenders were needed. Some folks complained about the time it took to get through customs (who came aboard the ship) in Hawaii...many didn't get off the ship til almost noon...but thats not Princess's fault. We were very pleased with the Internet Cafe and the very good satellite service for computers, even Wi-Fi. And as Platinum cruisers we received considerable free minutes. OVERALL, I BELIEVE MOST PEOPLE ARE NICE...IF YOU TREAT OTHERS WELL, YOU WILL BE TREATED WELL. I heard people who complained incessantly about small things...what a foolish waste of time. THIS WAS INDEED THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME...AND WE PLAN TO HAVE MORE OF THEM...WITH PRINCESS. WE LIKE PRINCESS BECAUSE WE FEEL IT IS .NOT TO HIGHBROW BUT STILL LUXURIOUS..AND THE PRICES ARE GOOD FOR THE SERVICE, ENTERTAINMENT AND OVERALL EXPERIENCE. WE LIKE "ANYTIME DINING" AND THE FIRST CLASS ENTERTAINMENT. BY THE WAY, WITH OUR "FUTURE CRUISE CREDITS" WE HAVE BOOKED OUR NEXT TWO CRUISES WITH PRINCESS. FUTURE CRUISE CREDITS KEEP THE DEPOSIT LOW AND WE ACTUALLY GET ONBOARD CREDIT BACK ON EACH CRUISE...THIS WAS OUR 6TH CRUISE WITH PRINCESS AND NOT OUR LAST FOR SURE.

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