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This was our first time on the Sapphire Princess although we had been on the sister ship, Diamond, earlier in the year in Japan so knew mostly what to expect. We had initially been booked on the Explorer of the seas for a similar itinerary at the same time but when it got cancelled we opted for this cruise rather than taking the Independence of the Seas {which followed most of our trip} as the Sapphire was in port much longer each time. We flew down to London for 4 nights pre cruise and took in some shows before taking the train to Southampton the day before. Stayed overnight in the Leonardo grand harbour which was very good and gave great views towards the port. Very wet day so ventured out in full rain gear to get the obligatory wine from a nearby Asda! Found a nice Indian restaurant {Bayleaf kitchen} on the High street with great reviews and had an excellent meal before it dried up and we headed back to the hotel. Good breakfast in the morning and pre-booked taxi for 11 o’clock which, as expected, turned into a sea of people all trying to get to one of the 3 large ships nearby. A short taxi ride had us at the terminal around 1140 and as we had a club class cabin we were booked in fairly quickly. The only issue was having to argue with the staff for the advertised priority boarding, which nobody seemed to know about! Got on the ship about 20 minutes later just after the club class dining room opened in the Santa Fe restaurant so relaxed over a small lunch until our cabin was ready. Located midship on the starboard side our mini suite had plenty of space and lots of storage. The only issues we had were the plug in the bath refused to open and the balcony door kept sticking but a visit to guest services quickly had these remedied. This was our third time booking club class. I know it isn’t for everyone but we really enjoy the small dining room and the more personal experience that it brings. We always got a table straight away and usually next to the window. All the staff were excellent and each night there was an extra on the menu that wasn’t available elsewhere. I have to say that on this cruise they excelled with this choice on most evenings, from Surf and Turf {including lobster and filet mignon steak!} to fresh pasta. As a result of this we never made it to the buffet, a first for us! The coffee at the international café has improved this year {according to my wife} and was well used. Entertainment onboard was the usual hit and miss stuff. The headliners being good to excellent and the guest speaker, Egwina Currie , was surprisingly interesting and informative. The cruise director, Paul, was humorous without being over the top and is down to earth. Should mention at this point that this was our first time going through the bay of Biscay. The first day, a sea day, enroute to Vigo was reasonably rough and effected a large amount of passengers. We were lucky and ate, drank and slept through it! We attended the c.c. roll call but unfortunately the weather curtailed the large number of people who had signed up. Still, met a lot of nice people. The ports of call were: Vigo- where we took a half day ship excursion on a catamaran over to Illa de Cies. Two uninhabited islands, joined by a small causeway, off the coast with an amazing sandy beach and a great walking path up to the lighthouse. Terrific weather made this a highlight of the cruise. In the afternoon we spent a couple of hours walking around Vigo old town {nothing special} with some great Italian ice cream! The ship thankfully docked right in town. Madeira- Having spent a week here before and also stopped on a transatlantic crossing we were looking forward to some walking in the mountains. We hired a car and headed for the top but unfortunately so had lots of walking groups on the Island. We persevered for a few hours along narrow high level paths before heading off to other, quieter parts. Got some great photos from some lookout points along the way and ended our day back in town. Dropped the car off and had drinks by the pool of the hotel we had previously stayed at and enjoyed the sunny walk back through the gardens to the ship. Tenerife- Another car hire day. Drove over to Puerto de la Cruz and spent a few hours walking around the old town area before driving up to the cable car centre of Mount Teide. Unfortunately the winds were too strong for the cable car to operate but the scenery was very impressive all around. Nice drive back through small villages and stops at lookout points on the way back to port. Gran Canaria- Car hire again down to Maspalomas and a walk through the sand dunes to the large beach. After a few pleasant hours we drove up into the hills to visit a recommended “pretty village”. The drive was a bit nerve wracking but scenic however the weather changed on arriving at the village and thick mist and cold temperatures made for a short visit after some well deserved coffee and cake! The weather cleared on the return journey to the port giving great views. Lanzarote- Booked a Princess tour as it was reasonable in price and spent the full day visiting all the places we had wanted to see anyway. Got a tour of the Timanfaya national park and then a short camel ride before some wine tasting and a decent buffet lunch. The afternoon consisted of visits to Mirador del Rio viewpoint {a house built into the rockface with stunning views overlooking the nearby island of La Graciosa} and Jameos del Agua {a cave system}. Good excursion. Three sea days and plenty of good food in the club class dining room followed by a few hours of walking it off around the promenade deck! Time for some relaxing before disembarking easily at Southampton and a short flight home. A very good cruise experience. We had{mainly} good weather, got into every port on time, the food was excellent onboard and the ports were interesting, each in their own way.

Atlantic Islands cruise with plenty of variety

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by TRUEBLUE66

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2019
  • Destination: Canary Islands
  • Cabin Type: Premium Club Class Mini-Suite with Balcony
This was our first time on the Sapphire Princess although we had been on the sister ship, Diamond, earlier in the year in Japan so knew mostly what to expect.

We had initially been booked on the Explorer of the seas for a similar itinerary at the same time but when it got cancelled we opted for this cruise rather than taking the Independence of the Seas {which followed most of our trip} as the Sapphire was in port much longer each time.

We flew down to London for 4 nights pre cruise and took in some shows before taking the train to Southampton the day before. Stayed overnight in the Leonardo grand harbour which was very good and gave great views towards the port. Very wet day so ventured out in full rain gear to get the obligatory wine from a nearby Asda!

Found a nice Indian restaurant {Bayleaf kitchen} on the High street with great reviews and had an excellent meal before it dried up and we headed back to the hotel. Good breakfast in the morning and pre-booked taxi for 11 o’clock which, as expected, turned into a sea of people all trying to get to one of the 3 large ships nearby.

A short taxi ride had us at the terminal around 1140 and as we had a club class cabin we were booked in fairly quickly. The only issue was having to argue with the staff for the advertised priority boarding, which nobody seemed to know about!

Got on the ship about 20 minutes later just after the club class dining room opened in the Santa Fe restaurant so relaxed over a small lunch until our cabin was ready.

Located midship on the starboard side our mini suite had plenty of space and lots of storage. The only issues we had were the plug in the bath refused to open and the balcony door kept sticking but a visit to guest services quickly had these remedied.

This was our third time booking club class. I know it isn’t for everyone but we really enjoy the small dining room and the more personal experience that it brings. We always got a table straight away and usually next to the window. All the staff were excellent and each night there was an extra on the menu that wasn’t available elsewhere. I have to say that on this cruise they excelled with this choice on most evenings, from Surf and Turf {including lobster and filet mignon steak!} to fresh pasta.

As a result of this we never made it to the buffet, a first for us!

The coffee at the international café has improved this year {according to my wife} and was well used.

Entertainment onboard was the usual hit and miss stuff. The headliners being good to excellent and the guest speaker, Egwina Currie , was surprisingly interesting and informative. The cruise director, Paul, was humorous without being over the top and is down to earth.

Should mention at this point that this was our first time going through the bay of Biscay. The first day, a sea day, enroute to Vigo was reasonably rough and effected a large amount of passengers. We were lucky and ate, drank and slept through it! We attended the c.c. roll call but unfortunately the weather curtailed the large number of people who had signed up. Still, met a lot of nice people.

The ports of call were:

Vigo- where we took a half day ship excursion on a catamaran over to Illa de Cies. Two uninhabited islands, joined by a small causeway, off the coast with an amazing sandy beach and a great walking path up to the lighthouse. Terrific weather made this a highlight of the cruise. In the afternoon we spent a couple of hours walking around Vigo old town {nothing special} with some great Italian ice cream! The ship thankfully docked right in town.

Madeira- Having spent a week here before and also stopped on a transatlantic crossing we were looking forward to some walking in the mountains. We hired a car and headed for the top but unfortunately so had lots of walking groups on the Island. We persevered for a few hours along narrow high level paths before heading off to other, quieter parts. Got some great photos from some lookout points along the way and ended our day back in town. Dropped the car off and had drinks by the pool of the hotel we had previously stayed at and enjoyed the sunny walk back through the gardens to the ship.

Tenerife- Another car hire day. Drove over to Puerto de la Cruz and spent a few hours walking around the old town area before driving up to the cable car centre of Mount Teide. Unfortunately the winds were too strong for the cable car to operate but the scenery was very impressive all around. Nice drive back through small villages and stops at lookout points on the way back to port.

Gran Canaria- Car hire again down to Maspalomas and a walk through the sand dunes to the large beach. After a few pleasant hours we drove up into the hills to visit a recommended “pretty village”. The drive was a bit nerve wracking but scenic however the weather changed on arriving at the village and thick mist and cold temperatures made for a short visit after some well deserved coffee and cake! The weather cleared on the return journey to the port giving great views.

Lanzarote- Booked a Princess tour as it was reasonable in price and spent the full day visiting all the places we had wanted to see anyway. Got a tour of the Timanfaya national park and then a short camel ride before some wine tasting and a decent buffet lunch. The afternoon consisted of visits to Mirador del Rio viewpoint {a house built into the rockface with stunning views overlooking the nearby island of La Graciosa} and Jameos del Agua {a cave system}. Good excursion.

Three sea days and plenty of good food in the club class dining room followed by a few hours of walking it off around the promenade deck! Time for some relaxing before disembarking easily at Southampton and a short flight home.

A very good cruise experience. We had{mainly} good weather, got into every port on time, the food was excellent onboard and the ports were interesting, each in their own way.
TRUEBLUE66’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Premium Club Class Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin M1
Located midship on the starboard side our mini suite had plenty of space and lots of storage. The only issues we had were the plug in the bath refused to open and the balcony door kept sticking but a visit to guest services quickly had these remedied. Liked the large selection of movies and programmes on the large t.v.
Dolphin Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Best of Lanzarote
    - Booked a Princess tour as it was reasonable in price and spent the full day visiting all the places we had wanted to see anyway. Got a tour of the Timanfaya national park and then a short camel ride before some wine tasting and a decent buffet lunch. The afternoon consisted of visits to Mirador del Rio viewpoint {a house built into the rockface with stunning views overlooking the nearby island of La Graciosa} and Jameos del Agua {a cave system}. Good excursion.
    View All 12 Best of Lanzarote Reviews
  • Las Palmas (Gran Canaria)
    Car hire again down to Maspalomas and a walk through the sand dunes to the large beach. After a few pleasant hours we drove up into the hills to visit a recommended “pretty village”. The drive was a bit nerve wracking but scenic however the weather changed on arriving at the village and thick mist and cold temperatures made for a short visit after some well deserved coffee and cake! The weather cleared on the return journey to the port giving great views.
    View All 228 Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Las Palmas (Gran Canaria) Cruise Port Review
  • Madeira (Funchal)
    Having spent a week here before and also stopped on a transatlantic crossing we were looking forward to some walking in the mountains. We hired a car and headed for the top but unfortunately so had lots of walking groups on the Island. We persevered for a few hours along narrow high level paths before heading off to other, quieter parts. Got some great photos from some lookout points along the way and ended our day back in town. Dropped the car off and had drinks by the pool of the hotel we had previously stayed at and enjoyed the sunny walk back through the gardens to the ship.
    View All 658 Madeira (Funchal) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Madeira (Funchal) Cruise Port Review
  • Southampton
    Good hotel and restaurant choice and having the local airport for a quick return home is very good. Only spent time around the centre due to the bad weather.
    View All 990 Southampton Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Southampton Cruise Port Review
  • Tenerife
    Another car hire day. Drove over to Puerto de la Cruz and spent a few hours walking around the old town area before driving up to the cable car centre of Mount Teide. Unfortunately the winds were too strong for the cable car to operate but the scenery was very impressive all around. Nice drive back through small villages and stops at lookout points on the way back to port.
    View All 478 Tenerife Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Tenerife Cruise Port Review
  • Cies Island
    Two uninhabited islands, joined by a small causeway, off the coast with an amazing sandy beach and a great walking path up to the lighthouse. Terrific weather made this a highlight of the cruise. In the afternoon we spent a couple of hours walking around Vigo old town {nothing special} with some great Italian ice cream! The ship thankfully docked right in town.
    View All 4 Cies Island Reviews