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Got a good deal on Black Friday for this 7-day trip to Scandinavia and it didn't disappoint in terms of value. What did disappoint is that the main motorway into Southampton was shut on a weekend when 5 ships were departing. Given the importance of the port to the city, this should be coordinated better, but is probably down to the government-run Highways Authority rather than anyone in the city itself. It took us 4 hrs to travel the 90 miles from Warwick to the terminal, when it should have taken 2 and the ship left 1.5 hrs late. At least lots of others were in the same situation. Having honeymooned on Sapphire 5 years ago we worried it might not be the same this time, but if anything the state of the ship was better - the refurb has been done subtly and cleverly, keeping this ship competitive despite its age. New carpets on corridors, flat screens and excellent on-demand TV made the cabins great but the pool area seemed to have been recently re-tiled too, and all the public areas seemed in tip-top condition. One thing they could change is to switch to digital photo galleries rather than sticking with the old print displays. One of the things we like most about Sapphire is the four (anytime) dining rooms with different themes - they just make it seem like you're in a different restaurant each night even though the menu is the same in all of them. Food was of a good standard, particularly the basket of bread that Princess gives you to start with. Service was OK if a little rushed. We feel that our preference for anytime dining leads to rushing waiters, rather than the attentive ones you get when you do fixed dining who know they are likely to get a tip at the end of the cruise (not just on Princess). That's just a choice I suppose. Service elsewhere was as good as I'd expect from Princess. Ports were good, but disappointed to miss Skagen because of the weather, having had to make 2 attempts to dock in Copenhagen the day before. Safety first I guess, and our insurance will compensate us a little for that. I feel for the traders in the town who will miss a lot of income that day. The only negative on the cruise really was the ridiculous number of announcements, each of which was repeated. Why do cruise lines have to wake you up with an announcement at 7am when the ship docks? If you've booked an excursion you will have set your alarm to get up in time. If you want a lie-in, tough luck. On the day the ship missed Skagen, we were due to dock at 10 am, but when the decision was taken to miss it, an announcement was made at 7am, waking us all up when we weren't even expecting to arrive for another 3 hours - stupid. How would knowing about it 3 hours beforehand have improved our day?

Very good short cruise on a tastefully refurbished ship

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by Okraf

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2019
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
Got a good deal on Black Friday for this 7-day trip to Scandinavia and it didn't disappoint in terms of value. What did disappoint is that the main motorway into Southampton was shut on a weekend when 5 ships were departing. Given the importance of the port to the city, this should be coordinated better, but is probably down to the government-run Highways Authority rather than anyone in the city itself. It took us 4 hrs to travel the 90 miles from Warwick to the terminal, when it should have taken 2 and the ship left 1.5 hrs late. At least lots of others were in the same situation.

Having honeymooned on Sapphire 5 years ago we worried it might not be the same this time, but if anything the state of the ship was better - the refurb has been done subtly and cleverly, keeping this ship competitive despite its age. New carpets on corridors, flat screens and excellent on-demand TV made the cabins great but the pool area seemed to have been recently re-tiled too, and all the public areas seemed in tip-top condition. One thing they could change is to switch to digital photo galleries rather than sticking with the old print displays.

One of the things we like most about Sapphire is the four (anytime) dining rooms with different themes - they just make it seem like you're in a different restaurant each night even though the menu is the same in all of them. Food was of a good standard, particularly the basket of bread that Princess gives you to start with.

Service was OK if a little rushed. We feel that our preference for anytime dining leads to rushing waiters, rather than the attentive ones you get when you do fixed dining who know they are likely to get a tip at the end of the cruise (not just on Princess). That's just a choice I suppose. Service elsewhere was as good as I'd expect from Princess.

Ports were good, but disappointed to miss Skagen because of the weather, having had to make 2 attempts to dock in Copenhagen the day before. Safety first I guess, and our insurance will compensate us a little for that. I feel for the traders in the town who will miss a lot of income that day.

The only negative on the cruise really was the ridiculous number of announcements, each of which was repeated. Why do cruise lines have to wake you up with an announcement at 7am when the ship docks? If you've booked an excursion you will have set your alarm to get up in time. If you want a lie-in, tough luck. On the day the ship missed Skagen, we were due to dock at 10 am, but when the decision was taken to miss it, an announcement was made at 7am, waking us all up when we weren't even expecting to arrive for another 3 hours - stupid. How would knowing about it 3 hours beforehand have improved our day?
Okraf’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BE B227
Five years after we first sailed on Sapphire, the cabin was better than before, having had new carpet and an excellent flatscreen on-demand TV system installed. The bed and pillows were perfection (almost-Cunard is still better) and the position just ahead of the forward lifts meant it wasn't passed by many people.
Aloha Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews