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Embarkation was dreadful. From the time of luggage drop it took two and a half hours to reach our cabin. Our basic verandah cabin (never a stateroom, how pretentious) suited us well. The carpet was well worn and the verandah had seen better days but it was clean and comfortable. The ship itself was very good but a lot of frequent cruisers were unhappy as Sapphire is to stay at Shanghai for short gambling/shopping trips in the Asian region for 6 months, and they were preparing the ship for the change over. The Horizon Court Buffet is where you feed, you don't dine here. Don't you love it when you have your plate of food and are looking for a place to sit, you see a couple seated on a table for four but they give you the death stare if you look like sitting there. If you normally visit a restaurant dressed in shorts, T shirt, and bare feet wearing flip flops then you will fit in here. We were amused how people heaped their plates, ate, and then re filled them and took them back to their cabin. Because the Dining Rooms are not always open we were forced to feed here on a few occasions. The food was quite good about 3 star. The Sante Fe and International dining rooms were wonderful and we rate the food as 4 star. At least there is something resembling a dining experience with food cooked to order. Food was generaly hot as plates were pre heated and delivered from the kitchen covered with plastic cloches. Lord save us from the Super Dooper Platinum Princess cruisers. Overheard conversations. 'I done wanna hear no. I wanna hear yes'. 'Please have tomorrow nights dinner menu sent to my cabin. I want to consider it at my leisure'. And one couple who debated every night about their choice of very expensive wine. Then called a waiter to call a supervisor and demanded Chef arrange a special menu around their wine choice. This is when the wait staff and kitchen are stressed pumping out thousands of meals. I think our problem is that although we have had 35 independent overseas trips this is only our second cruise. Let us get a few more cruises under our belt and we might join the other whingers and moaners. Entertainment is very subjective but overall it was fair/average. Note! get there 30 minutes before a show or you will stand. One thing I did not appreciate was when we berthed at container ports well out of the city when we observed lovely cruise terminals standing vacant almost right in the city. This meant that on leaving the ship we were exposed to rain and searing heat and humidity. Also we missed out on getting to an ATM and free Wi Fi. Frequent cruisers say this is a cost cutting exercise. We are not all U.S citizens who carry U.S currency. While on the bus we were told to use U.S. dollars. the sharp shop people make a fortune dreaming up a ridiculous exchange rate. But NO the excursion from the ship is so tight that you cannot access an ATM. As a Podiatrist I found it painful to watch a spa attendant trying to do gait/foot diagnosis and sell orthotics. And why have a spa attendant play at dentistry and whiten and clean your teeth? Also be aware (those of us from a non tipping culture) that the pre paid tips are just the beginning. Staff expect cash tips during and at the end of the cruise.( In Australia we pay a cleaning lady $30.00 an hour and our gardener $45.00 and hour plus both ad the mandatory 10% tax, so we don't tip.) Ports were a mixed bag. We have spent a lot of time in Asia and still enjoy Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai but have decided that we are over Asia where humidity and third world standards are the norm and smog is just a way of life.

A wonderful cruise, but save us from the whingers and entitled cruisers.

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by cowes 20

105 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2016
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
Embarkation was dreadful. From the time of luggage drop it took two and a half hours to reach our cabin. Our basic verandah cabin (never a stateroom, how pretentious) suited us well. The carpet was well worn and the verandah had seen better days but it was clean and comfortable. The ship itself was very good but a lot of frequent cruisers were unhappy as Sapphire is to stay at Shanghai for short gambling/shopping trips in the Asian region for 6 months, and they were preparing the ship for the change over.

The Horizon Court Buffet is where you feed, you don't dine here. Don't you love it when you have your plate of food and are looking for a place to sit, you see a couple seated on a table for four but they give you the death stare if you look like sitting there. If you normally visit a restaurant dressed in shorts, T shirt, and bare feet wearing flip flops then you will fit in here. We were amused how people heaped their plates, ate, and then re filled them and took them back to their cabin. Because the Dining Rooms are not always open we were forced to feed here on a few occasions. The food was quite good about 3 star.

The Sante Fe and International dining rooms were wonderful and we rate the food as 4 star. At least there is something resembling a dining experience with food cooked to order. Food was generaly hot as plates were pre heated and delivered from the kitchen covered with plastic cloches. Lord save us from the Super Dooper Platinum Princess cruisers. Overheard conversations.

'I done wanna hear no. I wanna hear yes'. 'Please have tomorrow nights dinner menu sent to my cabin. I want to consider it at my leisure'. And one couple who debated every night about their choice of very expensive wine. Then called a waiter to call a supervisor and demanded Chef arrange a special menu around their wine choice. This is when the wait staff and kitchen are stressed pumping out thousands of meals.

I think our problem is that although we have had 35 independent overseas trips this is only our second cruise. Let us get a few more cruises under our belt and we might join the other whingers and moaners. Entertainment is very subjective but overall it was fair/average. Note! get there 30 minutes before a show or you will stand.

One thing I did not appreciate was when we berthed at container ports well out of the city when we observed lovely cruise terminals standing vacant almost right in the city. This meant that on leaving the ship we were exposed to rain and searing heat and humidity. Also we missed out on getting to an ATM and free Wi Fi. Frequent cruisers say this is a cost cutting exercise. We are not all U.S citizens who carry U.S currency. While on the bus we were told to use U.S. dollars. the sharp shop people make a fortune dreaming up a ridiculous exchange rate. But NO the excursion from the ship is so tight that you cannot access an ATM. As a Podiatrist I found it painful to watch a spa attendant trying to do gait/foot diagnosis and sell orthotics. And why have a spa attendant play at dentistry and whiten and clean your teeth? Also be aware (those of us from a non tipping culture) that the pre paid tips are just the beginning. Staff expect cash tips during and at the end of the cruise.( In Australia we pay a cleaning lady $30.00 an hour and our gardener $45.00 and hour plus both ad the mandatory 10% tax, so we don't tip.)

Ports were a mixed bag. We have spent a lot of time in Asia and still enjoy Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai but have decided that we are over Asia where humidity and third world standards are the norm and smog is just a way of life.
cowes 20’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BF C604
Rather worn standard verandah cabin but clean, well designed and comfortable bed. We were very happy here.
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins