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We chose this cruise since we have never been to Malaysia or Indonesia before. Overall, the ship was very similar to other Princess Cruises we've done, and we've always had good experiences with them. I heard from several people that the ship was heading to a dry dock for refurbishment soon. Embarkation/Disembarkation was simple as always. We arrived at the ship via the MRT. It is a pretty long walk from the MRT station to the terminal with no signs indicating "Princess" or "Cruise Terminal". The ship decor was very similar to another Princess ship (Diamond I think) and well maintained. The main dining is separated into four dining rooms (one fixed times), instead of one large room, which is a little more "restaurant-like" but made sharing a table a little more difficult since sharers are scattered across three rooms. (we like to share). Entertainment: Shows were the usual fare and executed well: Three song and dance production shows; a ventriloquist, Acrobatics act, an Elton John tribute and tribute to Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. Music around the ship was also good, in particular, a duo who played a lot of dancible ballroom style numbers. Port Lecturer was very good--quite unbiased toward ships excursions with helpful information about doing things on your own and the range of sights to see. The other lecturer was an expert on military history from Australia, who gave a talk each sea day on WWII battles in the area. Food: Typical of cruise ships, which in my opinion have been dipping a bit in quality. Still a good meal, but not as high in quality as previously. As an example, the "every night menu" has dropped the NY strip steak in favor of a bacon cheeseburger. The fish was the best I've had on a ship. In the cafeteria, Indian was usually a good option. Excursions: We did not take any of the ship's excursions, since we walk fast, try to see as many sights as possible, and eat quickly with basic street food, if at all. The liesurely pace of large bus tours does not work well for us. At Bali, Kuala Lumpur, and Panang, we were able to get a cab at the pier for about $80 to take us wherever we wanted for the entire port period. This works best for us since we can go faster than a large bus, and gat twice as many sights in. They usually want to take you to one or two trade/shopping stops, where we stayed for 10 minutes, sampled some things and left, so the driver would get his kickback. In Phuket, we got a van for 10 of us for $130, who took us all over, with many stops and spoke excellent English. A lot of haggling was involved before settling with this gentleman. Overall, our drivers spoke acceptable, but not perfect English. Make sure the driver you get can communicate with you, as some drivers cannot speak English more than a few words. It seemed like we could book an entire day with a cab for not much more than a single trip to a sight, so that is probably their business model. Tenders were used for Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, so plan ahead for the extra time that necessitates. Only in Panang was the ship/dock right at the town, where one could walk out and spend the day sightseeing. The ship docked in Port Kelang for Kuala Lumpur (~40km). For Phuket and Bali, there is not much near the port, so one needs to decide what you want to see and make appropriate arrangements (a cab for us, as detailed above). We enjoyed every port. I liked Panang the best for its variety of things to see, and vibrant, walkable town. Kuala Lumpur is more typical of a large city. Phuket had some of the most beautiful overlooks and beaches.

Malaysian Cruise

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by Willie May

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2017
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Interior
We chose this cruise since we have never been to Malaysia or Indonesia before. Overall, the ship was very similar to other Princess Cruises we've done, and we've always had good experiences with them. I heard from several people that the ship was heading to a dry dock for refurbishment soon. Embarkation/Disembarkation was simple as always.

We arrived at the ship via the MRT. It is a pretty long walk from the MRT station to the terminal with no signs indicating "Princess" or "Cruise Terminal".

The ship decor was very similar to another Princess ship (Diamond I think) and well maintained. The main dining is separated into four dining rooms (one fixed times), instead of one large room, which is a little more "restaurant-like" but made sharing a table a little more difficult since sharers are scattered across three rooms. (we like to share).

Entertainment: Shows were the usual fare and executed well: Three song and dance production shows; a ventriloquist, Acrobatics act, an Elton John tribute and tribute to Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin. Music around the ship was also good, in particular, a duo who played a lot of dancible ballroom style numbers.

Port Lecturer was very good--quite unbiased toward ships excursions with helpful information about doing things on your own and the range of sights to see. The other lecturer was an expert on military history from Australia, who gave a talk each sea day on WWII battles in the area.

Food: Typical of cruise ships, which in my opinion have been dipping a bit in quality. Still a good meal, but not as high in quality as previously. As an example, the "every night menu" has dropped the NY strip steak in favor of a bacon cheeseburger. The fish was the best I've had on a ship. In the cafeteria, Indian was usually a good option.

Excursions: We did not take any of the ship's excursions, since we walk fast, try to see as many sights as possible, and eat quickly with basic street food, if at all. The liesurely pace of large bus tours does not work well for us. At Bali, Kuala Lumpur, and Panang, we were able to get a cab at the pier for about $80 to take us wherever we wanted for the entire port period. This works best for us since we can go faster than a large bus, and gat twice as many sights in. They usually want to take you to one or two trade/shopping stops, where we stayed for 10 minutes, sampled some things and left, so the driver would get his kickback. In Phuket, we got a van for 10 of us for $130, who took us all over, with many stops and spoke excellent English. A lot of haggling was involved before settling with this gentleman. Overall, our drivers spoke acceptable, but not perfect English. Make sure the driver you get can communicate with you, as some drivers cannot speak English more than a few words. It seemed like we could book an entire day with a cab for not much more than a single trip to a sight, so that is probably their business model.

Tenders were used for Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, so plan ahead for the extra time that necessitates. Only in Panang was the ship/dock right at the town, where one could walk out and spend the day sightseeing. The ship docked in Port Kelang for Kuala Lumpur (~40km). For Phuket and Bali, there is not much near the port, so one needs to decide what you want to see and make appropriate arrangements (a cab for us, as detailed above).

We enjoyed every port. I liked Panang the best for its variety of things to see, and vibrant, walkable town. Kuala Lumpur is more typical of a large city. Phuket had some of the most beautiful overlooks and beaches.
Willie May’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin IA
Cabin layout was different from previous ships and left us a with a large closet area, almost like a walk-in closet across from the bathroom. I think it gave more space to the bathroom and bed area. We always get the inside cabins since we are never in the room, and this worked well for us.
Baja Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins