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The check in went smoothly and we were onboard having lunch in the International Dining Room by 1pm. It was a bit tricky to find and you can’t walk thru, you have to go up, along, then down. We had originally booked an inside cabin but Princess offered us an outside for an extra £50 each which we accepted. The cabin was on deck 5 and had a lovely big picture window, a huge TV with lots of choice, live TV (mostly news), on demand TV series and up to date movies. This was great for us although there were a few issues towards the end of the cruise with the on-demand channels. Our cabin was beside the Art Gallery and was handy for Alfredo’s and the International Café. A couple of times we had a sandwich & salad as we walked back to our cabin. The beds onboard were all new and they were so comfy. There was lots of storage space with plenty drawers. The ship itself had just come back from a refurb in Singapore and you could see where carpets had been replaced as they had the pilling that comes with new carpets. The ship was just the right size for us and there were no problems with the lifts. There were a few nationalities onboard mainly British, American, Canadian and Australians. We were on Anytime Dining which meant we had a choice of 4 restaurant and mostly had a table for 2. On the 1st formal night however we were on a table of 8. We arrived at 7.45pm and had to leave at 9.45pm without having our pudding as we had to get to the show for 10pm. That was the only night the service was slow. I found the temperature onboard to be too warm, particularly the dining areas. I spoke to Guest Services who told me they set the temperature depending on the demographic onboard. Anyway, the buffet was uncomfortable and felt clammy so I didn’t go back. The food was very good although we noticed that the Always on the Menu items which used to include chicken, salmon and steak – the steak has now been replaced by a burger. Also the lobster served was only 3 small pieces of tail and not the full lobster as previous. The Sterling Steakhouse was average in both quality & service and not worth the $29 per person additional charge. There was no ambiance as it was just a part of the buffet sectioned off and the tablecloths were greyish blue colour which didn’t go with the cream furnishings. What’s wrong with a crisp white tablecloth? Every evening between 5 – 7pm there was an Exclusive Elite Lounge located in the Skywalkers Deck 18 Aft for drink specials and complimentary pre-dinner hors de ’oeuvres. That’s the first time I was even aware of such an event – still never made it though. Sapphire Princess had a special Princess@ Sea app which you could access with your phone (at no cost) and you could view your account, see the events and even message others in your party. We had 150 free internet credit each (I used all of mine and my husband used none of his). You could also obtain a print out of your account at a special unit adjacent to Guest Services which was handy. The cost of the drinks was astronomical. We came back from ashore and were having a burger and ordered 2 beers. You don’t get a receipt but when I checked afterwards they were $18.40. A bottle of wine with dinner was $34 but with 15% tax added came to nearer $39. Needless to say, there wasn’t a lot of drinking being done. We were lucky as we had a mini bar set up plus $425 onboard credit to get thru. But just for info – they were scanning your bags onshore at Bilbao and La Coruna and not on the ship so I dare say you could have brought a bottle or two aboard then. We pre-purchased twelve 500ml bottles of water for £5.18 but there were 4 bottles of water in the mini bar. The ship’s singers, dancers and musicians were of a high standard and the shows excellent. Gareth Gates did 2 performances which were packed out. Our first call was Guernsey which was a tender port. There was a queue of about 12 people at half 9 for the local bus which takes you round the island for £1. Later on, the queue was about 50 deep so you wouldn’t have seen much with all those people on the bus. We walked to Candie Gardens and spent an hour or so there then strolled back via the harbour. The weather was just right. We had a day at sea then went to La Rochelle instead of Le Verdon, due to a French strike, which was better for us. There was a complimentary shuttle and we strolled around for a couple of hours. Next it was Bilbao, again there was a complimentary shuttle bus as the port was about 25 mins away. We walked the Old Town, the Guggenheim and was disappointed that the Scottie dog which is usually covered with flowers was scaffolded up getting replanted. Seemingly this happens in May and October. In La Coruna we walked just outside the port area and hailed a taxi to the train station, about 5 Euro. We bought 2 single tickets to Santiago de Compostela for 12.20 Euros. We were impressed with the modern trains. Very clean and your coach and seat number are on your ticket. After exiting the train stn at Santiago de Compostela we crossed a couple of roads then walked uphill for about 15 mins to the Cathedral. We got there about 11.25am and all the pews were full however on walking to the front I managed to get a seat. The Mass started at 12 noon and lasted about 50 mins. It was very moving. We went down into the crypt and saw St James casket and also went up behind the alter. The walk was easier on the way back as it was all downhill. A great day. We had another sea day which was across the Bay of Biscay and luckily the weather was kind and although it was a wee bit lumpy I never felt seasick. We attended the Grapevine Wine Tasting (complimentary) but was disappointed as you only got a mouthful in each glass – wouldn’t bother the next time. Disembarkation was a breeze and we were on the road by 8.35am getting home for 1pm.

Most of us were forced to be teatotal on this cruise

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by lesleyfb

17 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Europe
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview
The check in went smoothly and we were onboard having lunch in the International Dining Room by 1pm. It was a bit tricky to find and you can’t walk thru, you have to go up, along, then down.

We had originally booked an inside cabin but Princess offered us an outside for an extra £50 each which we accepted. The cabin was on deck 5 and had a lovely big picture window, a huge TV with lots of choice, live TV (mostly news), on demand TV series and up to date movies. This was great for us although there were a few issues towards the end of the cruise with the on-demand channels.

Our cabin was beside the Art Gallery and was handy for Alfredo’s and the International Café. A couple of times we had a sandwich & salad as we walked back to our cabin. The beds onboard were all new and they were so comfy. There was lots of storage space with plenty drawers.

The ship itself had just come back from a refurb in Singapore and you could see where carpets had been replaced as they had the pilling that comes with new carpets. The ship was just the right size for us and there were no problems with the lifts. There were a few nationalities onboard mainly British, American, Canadian and Australians.

We were on Anytime Dining which meant we had a choice of 4 restaurant and mostly had a table for 2. On the 1st formal night however we were on a table of 8. We arrived at 7.45pm and had to leave at 9.45pm without having our pudding as we had to get to the show for 10pm. That was the only night the service was slow.

I found the temperature onboard to be too warm, particularly the dining areas. I spoke to Guest Services who told me they set the temperature depending on the demographic onboard. Anyway, the buffet was uncomfortable and felt clammy so I didn’t go back.

The food was very good although we noticed that the Always on the Menu items which used to include chicken, salmon and steak – the steak has now been replaced by a burger. Also the lobster served was only 3 small pieces of tail and not the full lobster as previous.

The Sterling Steakhouse was average in both quality & service and not worth the $29 per person additional charge. There was no ambiance as it was just a part of the buffet sectioned off and the tablecloths were greyish blue colour which didn’t go with the cream furnishings. What’s wrong with a crisp white tablecloth?

Every evening between 5 – 7pm there was an Exclusive Elite Lounge located in the Skywalkers Deck 18 Aft for drink specials and complimentary pre-dinner hors de ’oeuvres. That’s the first time I was even aware of such an event – still never made it though.

Sapphire Princess had a special Princess@ Sea app which you could access with your phone (at no cost) and you could view your account, see the events and even message others in your party. We had 150 free internet credit each (I used all of mine and my husband used none of his). You could also obtain a print out of your account at a special unit adjacent to Guest Services which was handy.

The cost of the drinks was astronomical. We came back from ashore and were having a burger and ordered 2 beers. You don’t get a receipt but when I checked afterwards they were $18.40. A bottle of wine with dinner was $34 but with 15% tax added came to nearer $39. Needless to say, there wasn’t a lot of drinking being done. We were lucky as we had a mini bar set up plus $425 onboard credit to get thru. But just for info – they were scanning your bags onshore at Bilbao and La Coruna and not on the ship so I dare say you could have brought a bottle or two aboard then.

We pre-purchased twelve 500ml bottles of water for £5.18 but there were 4 bottles of water in the mini bar.

The ship’s singers, dancers and musicians were of a high standard and the shows excellent. Gareth Gates did 2 performances which were packed out.

Our first call was Guernsey which was a tender port. There was a queue of about 12 people at half 9 for the local bus which takes you round the island for £1. Later on, the queue was about 50 deep so you wouldn’t have seen much with all those people on the bus. We walked to Candie Gardens and spent an hour or so there then strolled back via the harbour. The weather was just right.

We had a day at sea then went to La Rochelle instead of Le Verdon, due to a French strike, which was better for us. There was a complimentary shuttle and we strolled around for a couple of hours.

Next it was Bilbao, again there was a complimentary shuttle bus as the port was about 25 mins away. We walked the Old Town, the Guggenheim and was disappointed that the Scottie dog which is usually covered with flowers was scaffolded up getting replanted. Seemingly this happens in May and October.

In La Coruna we walked just outside the port area and hailed a taxi to the train station, about 5 Euro. We bought 2 single tickets to Santiago de Compostela for 12.20 Euros. We were impressed with the modern trains. Very clean and your coach and seat number are on your ticket. After exiting the train stn at Santiago de Compostela we crossed a couple of roads then walked uphill for about 15 mins to the Cathedral. We got there about 11.25am and all the pews were full however on walking to the front I managed to get a seat. The Mass started at 12 noon and lasted about 50 mins. It was very moving. We went down into the crypt and saw St James casket and also went up behind the alter. The walk was easier on the way back as it was all downhill. A great day.

We had another sea day which was across the Bay of Biscay and luckily the weather was kind and although it was a wee bit lumpy I never felt seasick. We attended the Grapevine Wine Tasting (complimentary) but was disappointed as you only got a mouthful in each glass – wouldn’t bother the next time.

Disembarkation was a breeze and we were on the road by 8.35am getting home for 1pm.
lesleyfb’s Full Rating Summary
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