A relaxing week, but I expected more from Princess: Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by Sophie in California

Sapphire Princess 4
Sophie in California
Member Since 2010

Overall Member Rating

A relaxing week, but I expected more from Princess

Sail Date: March 2010
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
My friend and I recently sailed to the Mexican Riviera on the Sapphire Princess. I've only been on Carnival before this. Everyone one that I talked to said that Princess was a far better cruise line with better ships, better service, better food, etc. Overall, we did not find that to be the case.

No doubt, this experience on Princess was nicer in several ways: embarkation was an absolute breeze, you get to go to your cabin as soon as you board, the Sapphire is a beautiful ship, we really enjoyed anytime dining, we loved the fresh water pools, no silly dinner games with the waiters or all-ship color-team competition which I did not enjoy on Carnival, fewer ship-wide announcements on the PA system.

We thought that the food on the Sapphire was expertly prepared and tasted very good. We liked that the portions were reasonably sized and not overwhelming. But the menu didn't strike us as particularly interesting or creative, especially the desserts.

I had been More really looking forward to the Scholarship@Sea program - I was eager to have interesting and stimulating enrichment experiences during the sea days. I was very, very disappointed with this. Despite what the Princess website advertises, there was no Photography@Sea, no book club (I know this is listed on the Sapphire at this time of year - but why not?), no Computers@Sea, no Scrapbooking@Sea, the port talks focused only on shopping and didn't offer anything about either shore excursions or the history/culture of the ports, and the enrichment lectures were given by an entertainment reporter who told stories about movie stars. I was expecting something very different!

We had a mini suite on the Dolphin deck, which was quite spacious and lovely, with a large balcony and a bathtub. We enjoyed the open balcony and had no issues at all with feeling "exposed" in any way. Rather, we enjoyed the full view of the sky at night and lots of sun during the day. In cold or rainy weather, it might not be so enjoyable. Our cabin steward was very attentive and provided great service - in fact, everyone on board did. The staff were all wonderful and very dedicated to the passengers having a great time.

We had friends on board who had a balcony room, and it was considerably smaller than the balcony rooms we've had on Carnival. On Carnival, the balcony rooms have a sofa; you have to go to a mini suite to get that on Princess.

All in all, it was a very nice and relaxing week, and we had a great time. But Princess did not live up to my expectations, especially around the Scholarship@Sea program. Less

Published 03/24/10

Cabin review: MS

Port and Shore Excursions

All the positive points about this port are for the terminal. A trolley takes you from the ship through the commercial port to the terminal, which has a good selection of vendors which you can easily navigate later in the day (really aggressive in the morning). But the city itself has nothing. The Old Town is all torn up, we walked for blocks and couldn't find anyplace to eat, and the so-called "Golden Zone" held no appeal at all. We went back to the ship for lunch and the rest of the afternoon. If you do anything at Mazatlan, book a tour. Don't try to go out on your own. I had a long conversation with a few other passengers that evening about their disappointment in the town, and their disappointment with Princess for not being more helpful in the port talk about things to do or interesting restaurants.

Read 496 Mazatlan Reviews

We went on a zip line adventure, booked through the cruise ship. It was a great deal of fun, very safe, a good value.

The cruise terminal is very nice, with good vendors, but really slow service at the eatery.

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Sophie in California
Member Since 2010
Enrichment Activities
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