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We started out this adventure in LA on the 19th of Feb. I set up a hotel for the night before at the Westin LAX. We were impressed with the hotel. It has one of the most comfortable beds I've been in and even though it was close to the airport it was still quiet. There is an upscale restaurant on site but also 3 restaurants and a convenience store within a 2 block walking distance. That was a big plus for us over the hotels that are a little closer to the airport. And the shuttle service is quite acceptable. Went back to the Delta baggage claim area on the 20th using the shuttle service to meet up with the transfer guides.There were plenty of busses waiting to take people to the pier. Didn't have to wait to long to be underway. This was also our first time at the World Cruise Center in San Pedro. There seemed to be lots of parking, I wouldn't worry to much about driving down and finding a place to park, but since we flew I don't know what they charge per day. This was by far the most comfortable embarkation point we have been at. Comfortable seating, carpeting and a very organized boarding process. We were onboard the Sapphire within 30 minutes of getting off the bus. I wasn't to sure about how we would like this cruise. It was a bigger ship than what we were used to and also our first sailing with Princess. To make a long story short, by the end of our week I had purchased a future cruise credit. Our first look at the ship was of course from the Lido. Wow, I couldn't believe how much seating there was. The trays are not there but they use platter size dishes so if you care to pick up a drink you have room to carry it. Silverware and napkins were already on table so there was nothing to try and juggle and there was a crew member asking you what you wanted to drink within a few minutes. The food at the buffet was acceptable but I much preferred the dining rooms. We had the anytime dining and as such had 4 dining rooms to choose from. We found the service to be as good as the food, which we felt was very good. Each restaurant has its own specialty, but those aren't on the menus. Be sure to ask what it is. I recommend the pork chop, in the Savoy, highly. I also recommend making reservations if you want to eat before 8 PM. After 8 it seemed easy to get into any one of the four dining rooms. The staterooms were smaller than what we were used to and to get a tub you have to go up to a mini-suite, but the showers have a nice shower head. If I needed a hot soak I headed to a hot tub. Unless you really enjoy a hard mattress I suggest asking in advance for an egg crate. Next time I will see if I can get two of them. Otherwise the rooms were comfortable, clean and well serviced. They have a huge closet and storage area which I can see would come in very handy for a longer cruise.The verandah chairs were very comfortable but it seemed a bit strange to look down on 3 levels of verandahs because of the stacking. Would be great if you had a water ballon and a friend below you though. lol I felt the entertainment was typical cruise ship. OK but nothing I base my cruise on. But you could find something to do just about anytime you wanted to. I was more impressed with all the private niches that were available. And their Scholarship at Sea programs have a wide range of interests, from ceramics to scrap booking to history. There was a very wide range of nationalities onboard. I enjoyed the diversification and had excellent service at all levels. The public areas of this ship have a very rich and luxurious feeling. Lots of dark wood and brass. And the mosaic tile work around the main pools is very pretty. There are plenty of pools and hot tubs scattered about. And I could usually find a deck chair by a pool but always one available somewhere. The ports were the typical 3 Riviera ports, PV,Mazatlan and Cabo(where they have made a lot of the trinket vendors go behind the fence, much easier to walk) but seemed like the time in ports were awfully short especially Cabo. That was the only sore spot in the whole trip for me. I had a private excursion set up from 10-1. Since we were set to sail at 2 PM I felt that would be ok. The night before Cabo, the Patter said that the last tender for the ship would leave the pier at 1 PM. I decided that was cutting it to close so cancelled my tour (can't think of any tour being worth missing the ship) Well, as it turns out the last tender left the dock about 1:45 and we actually waited till 2 for the last two passengers to get onboard. I was unhappy about cancelling a tour for no reason, and I heard that the whales were out in force. Disembarkation went very smoothly. It was kind of strange not having to listen to every announcement. They tell you what time and where to meet and that is the only place the disembarkation instructions for your group is announced. Wasn't sure if I would like it but found it quite acceptable. Groups seemed to be small enough to be quite manageable. All in all the trip was a success. We knew what to expect from the ports but the anticipation of discovering a new cruise line and ship was well rewarded. While I won't say they have stolen us from Holland America, I will say that we have added another cruise line to enjoy.

3rd Mx Riviera but 1st Princess- The Sapphire is truly a gem

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by ugminer

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2010
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
We started out this adventure in LA on the 19th of Feb. I set up a hotel for the night before at the Westin LAX. We were impressed with the hotel. It has one of the most comfortable beds I've been in and even though it was close to the airport it was still quiet. There is an upscale restaurant on site but also 3 restaurants and a convenience store within a 2 block walking distance. That was a big plus for us over the hotels that are a little closer to the airport. And the shuttle service is quite acceptable. Went back to the Delta baggage claim area on the 20th using the shuttle service to meet up with the transfer guides.There were plenty of busses waiting to take people to the pier. Didn't have to wait to long to be underway. This was also our first time at the World Cruise Center in San Pedro. There seemed to be lots of parking, I wouldn't worry to much about driving down and finding a place to park, but since we flew I don't know what they charge per day. This was by far the most comfortable embarkation point we have been at. Comfortable seating, carpeting and a very organized boarding process. We were onboard the Sapphire within 30 minutes of getting off the bus. I wasn't to sure about how we would like this cruise. It was a bigger ship than what we were used to and also our first sailing with Princess. To make a long story short, by the end of our week I had purchased a future cruise credit. Our first look at the ship was of course from the Lido. Wow, I couldn't believe how much seating there was. The trays are not there but they use platter size dishes so if you care to pick up a drink you have room to carry it. Silverware and napkins were already on table so there was nothing to try and juggle and there was a crew member asking you what you wanted to drink within a few minutes. The food at the buffet was acceptable but I much preferred the dining rooms. We had the anytime dining and as such had 4 dining rooms to choose from. We found the service to be as good as the food, which we felt was very good. Each restaurant has its own specialty, but those aren't on the menus. Be sure to ask what it is. I recommend the pork chop, in the Savoy, highly. I also recommend making reservations if you want to eat before 8 PM. After 8 it seemed easy to get into any one of the four dining rooms. The staterooms were smaller than what we were used to and to get a tub you have to go up to a mini-suite, but the showers have a nice shower head. If I needed a hot soak I headed to a hot tub. Unless you really enjoy a hard mattress I suggest asking in advance for an egg crate. Next time I will see if I can get two of them. Otherwise the rooms were comfortable, clean and well serviced. They have a huge closet and storage area which I can see would come in very handy for a longer cruise.The verandah chairs were very comfortable but it seemed a bit strange to look down on 3 levels of verandahs because of the stacking. Would be great if you had a water ballon and a friend below you though. lol I felt the entertainment was typical cruise ship. OK but nothing I base my cruise on. But you could find something to do just about anytime you wanted to. I was more impressed with all the private niches that were available. And their Scholarship at Sea programs have a wide range of interests, from ceramics to scrap booking to history. There was a very wide range of nationalities onboard. I enjoyed the diversification and had excellent service at all levels. The public areas of this ship have a very rich and luxurious feeling. Lots of dark wood and brass. And the mosaic tile work around the main pools is very pretty. There are plenty of pools and hot tubs scattered about. And I could usually find a deck chair by a pool but always one available somewhere. The ports were the typical 3 Riviera ports, PV,Mazatlan and Cabo(where they have made a lot of the trinket vendors go behind the fence, much easier to walk) but seemed like the time in ports were awfully short especially Cabo. That was the only sore spot in the whole trip for me. I had a private excursion set up from 10-1. Since we were set to sail at 2 PM I felt that would be ok. The night before Cabo, the Patter said that the last tender for the ship would leave the pier at 1 PM. I decided that was cutting it to close so cancelled my tour (can't think of any tour being worth missing the ship) Well, as it turns out the last tender left the dock about 1:45 and we actually waited till 2 for the last two passengers to get onboard. I was unhappy about cancelling a tour for no reason, and I heard that the whales were out in force. Disembarkation went very smoothly. It was kind of strange not having to listen to every announcement. They tell you what time and where to meet and that is the only place the disembarkation instructions for your group is announced. Wasn't sure if I would like it but found it quite acceptable. Groups seemed to be small enough to be quite manageable.
All in all the trip was a success. We knew what to expect from the ports but the anticipation of discovering a new cruise line and ship was well rewarded. While I won't say they have stolen us from Holland America, I will say that we have added another cruise line to enjoy.
ugminer’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB A311
Aloha311 huge closet and storage space, good access to Lotus Spa,forward pool and adults only area.I was worried about noise but was actually very quiet. Would stay there again. Motion was typical of a high, forward cabin
Aloha Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins