Family Mexican Riviera Cruise on the Sapphire Princess: Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by klsmd1811

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Family Mexican Riviera Cruise on the Sapphire Princess

Sail Date: March 2010
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
We just returned from a Mexican Riviera cruise on the Sapphire Princess. We sailed out of LA, had two days at sea, visited Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo, then finished with another day at sea. We took our entire family (2 adults and 15, 10 and 9 year old boys) except for our 3 year-old daughter because she was not potty-trained yet (you have to be potty trained in order to go in the pools on the ship.) I am going to break my review into 6 sections: Itinerary, Weather, Kids Programs, Service, Food, ship.

1. Itinerary: We really liked the itinerary for traveling with the family. When traveling with kids, going to several ports can be quite exhausting for parents. Having 3 days at sea made it nicer for my husband and me since the kids could do their own thing while we relaxed and didn't worry. Our favorite stop was Cabo San was VERY pretty. My only complaint was that we left so early (2pm). The sail back to LA was VERY rough and quite chilly.

2. More Weather: It was cool at nights, but quite nice during the daytime. Even during the 1st 2 days at sea (temp in 70s), though windy, we were able to sunbathe comfortably. As stated above the last day at sea was overcast and chilly. At Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo, the weather was perfect.

3. Kid's Programs: The Sapphire Princess has kid's programs and since it was during spring break, there were a lot of kiddos. My 15-year-old loved the teen club (Remix) and we hardly ever saw him. LOL. The 9 and 10 year-olds didn't spend much time in the Shockwaves (for ages 8-12.) It was too structured and they felt like the activities were too childish. They still had a blast and met a lot of kids their ages and hung out in pools/hot tubs.

4. Service: The service was hit or miss. Sometimes it was good, sometimes it was awful. We went on the Caribbean Princess 12/09 and we felt the service was MUCH better on that ship.

5. Food: Compared to Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, I think Princess' food is sub-par. Even more so on the Sapphire Princess. The buffet food was NOT good. Dinner was good, but not great. I haven't been on RC or NCL for a long time, so the lack of good food quality MIGHT just be a sign of the times so this might not be a fair comparison.

6. Sapphire Princess: This ship had it's pros and cons. I loved the pools....especially in the back of the ship. It also had a pool that was indoors (with glass ceilings) which is a MUST in case it is cool like our last day. The only down side is there was not a Movie Under the Stars like some of the other ships (Caribbean Princess.) It has tennis courts instead of a basketball court which the boys were bummed about. Our room was quite nice...Princess upgraded our two interconnecting obstructed ocean view rooms to a family suite with an over sized balcony for free and it was REALLY nice. My ONE HUGE COMPLAINT....smoking in the casino....every night except for 1 formal night. On the Caribbean Princess, they compromised and alternated smoking and non-smoking nights. Not on the Sapphire....if you choose a healthy lifestyle, you are punished by dealing with all the smokers in the casino. I was quite disappointed. Sometimes it was unbearable.

Would I do it again? Maybe. It was perfect for our family and we lucked out with the weather. I think next time I will go back to Royal Caribbean to see if it is as good as I remember. Less

Published 03/23/10

Cabin review: XSD105

The Family Suite was great for what we paid....but we got a free upgrade. The balcony was fabulous. Even the regular rooms have quite a bit of room for clothes, etc. You can store suitcases under the beds and have a lot of room to hang clothes up. Didn't have a ton of problems with noise, except for when they dropped the anchor in sounded like we had wrecked. Also, since the family suites are in the front of the ship, if it is rough, you will feel it. My hubby had a rough go of it the last day at sea.

Port and Shore Excursions

WHAT A GORGEOUS ISLAND! At first I was apprehensive because I had heard that Cabo was rocky and brown. BUT it is just beautiful. We went on a pirate ship through and it was pretty good. Got to see some whales up close which was nice. We then walked over to a beach and let the boys swim in the ocean for a little bit. On this island the ships are tendered which is a royal pain when everyone is going back at the same time....lines....lines...lines. Los Arcos is REALLY pretty. If I got to do it again, I would skip the pirate ship (just because time is so limited on this island) and head over to Lover's beach.

We went to Stone Island beach for the day. We walked to get on a water taxi which was only $2 per person and went over this hill to Stone Island beach with A LOT of restaurants. It was nice...the beach chairs and umbrellas were free (unlike the Caribbean) and we had good service (4 beers for $5) and the food was decent. The water was a little chilly but the boys loved it. It was nice to just relax on the beach. Beware though, you will be constantly bugged by Mexicans trying to sell you stuff.

Read 496 Mazatlan Reviews

The people are soooooo nice here. We did a zip-lining tour through Canopy Tours de Los Veranos which was recommended on We did NOT book through the ship and saved over $200. We booked online and it went just fine. You do have to pay attention to ship time versus PV time because they are different. The zip-lining was a blast, but I forgot bug-spray and basically got eaten alive. LOL

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