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I wanted to go on this cruise because of the location AND the chance to see a rare Annular Solar Eclipse in the China Sea. I flew to Singapore (17 hour flight), arrived at this beautiful city, good accommodations, etc. Boarded December 7 for a 21 day trip ( Singapore-Vietnam-Thailand-Malaysia-Indonesia--back to back). Embarkation/Disembarkation really easy-quick. Very efficient. The room was ready upon boarding, so able to drop off carry-ons and grab a quick nap after lunch. The Good: Beautiful ship, big inside cabin (I like sleeping in the dark). Attentive steward, great service personnel including food and front desk. Room was attractive, clean. Seating areas of the ship are spacious. Several pools/hot tubs. No slides or special rides/water features which was OK. The indoor pool area was great, especially on over-warm days. Smooth sailing ship. The China Sea sailing waters around Malaysia are usually pretty calm so not much ship roughness. The Bad: I have cruised over 20 times, and this is the WORST ENTERTAINMENT I have ever experienced on a cruise ship. Old, washed out entertainers (where did they find those relics?). On the last day the "farewell" show had a violin player that was so out of key that my ears are still ringing today. Matt, the cruise director was funny, but he always seemed tired, like he needs a vacation. Outdated sets, bad jugglers, unfunny magicians, game shows had no spark. The DJ in the disco played the same songs every night. Uninspiring production shows. The entertainment needs to be addressed. Food quality was spotty: Avoid Sabbatini's: The wait staff was uninterested, small tables, no ambiance We were constantly having to shuffle plates as there just wasn't room for even an extra appetizer area. I sent my steak back twice because under-cooked/overcooked. Sent the lobster back because over-salty/off flavors. Very poor for a specialty restaurant. Surprisingly limited menu options in the main dining rooms. Not many specials. The main focused feature was for Asian dishes. Bland and tried to be spicy. Had to ask for chili to jazz up the flavoring. 3 PM tea service was great. Alfredo's Pizza was exceptional, because they were handmade pizzas and available most of the day. Ate there several times just for a consistent meal. EXCURSIONS-More Bad: The excursion to Sihanoukville in Cambodia should have been cancelled. The whole city is going through a major rennovation, so there was garbage in the streets, open water/sewer draining, whole buildings in ruins/demolished, I don't think we traveled on a paved road. THE WHOLE TOWN WAS TRASHED. Only after received the excursion pass in my cabin did Princess acknowledge that the town and roads were "under construction". That was an understatement. The rest of the excursions were better/good and was what was expected. Indochina is developing rapidly and growth/expansion is expected, just not so bad as the Cambodia excursion. The Ugly: Princess advertised the "ANNULAR SOLAR ECLIPSE" as the highlight of the cruise, I am very excited to be seeing this historic event, one of the main reasons I chose this cruise..... So comes the day of the eclipse. Beforehand were given scant instructions on where to pick up "eclipse glasses"... really nothing mentioned in the "Pata" newsletter delivered to your room the night before. The line forms for glasses handout to start at 11 AM... AFTER 1/4 OF THE WAY THROUGH THE ECLIPSE STARTING (around 11:20) they started handing out glasses.... ...except... About half way through distribution and the eclipse half way over... THEY RAN OUT OF GLASSES! So some people did not get to see the eclipse, or tried doing so WITHOUT GLASSES?.... Spending all that advertising and marketing dollars touting the eclipse event knowing how many passengers are onboard and not able to provide your passengers with a 10 cent paper eclipse glasses is unacceptable and probably proved unsafe. Conclusions: I have been on many Princess cruises, but never experienced the spotty service, poor planning and lousy entertainment that I experienced. I understand the ship is getting a refurbishment/face-lift, which is sorely needed but they also should overhaul the customer experienced side also. It's hard for me to recommend the Sapphire Princess to other paying passengers in it's current state. Work needs to be done and corrections made. Princess told us onboard that were a lot of Americans on this cruise. Arriving from the USA (Depart Singapore) was a long and sometimes expensive process. People paid a lot to be on this ship, and I think Princess did not perform up to their standards. Not a food value for the money at the current state.

Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by pulltab01

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2019
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Interior
I wanted to go on this cruise because of the location AND the chance to see a rare Annular Solar Eclipse in the China Sea.

I flew to Singapore (17 hour flight), arrived at this beautiful city, good accommodations, etc. Boarded December 7 for a 21 day trip ( Singapore-Vietnam-Thailand-Malaysia-Indonesia--back to back).

Embarkation/Disembarkation really easy-quick. Very efficient. The room was ready upon boarding, so able to drop off carry-ons and grab a quick nap after lunch.

The Good: Beautiful ship, big inside cabin (I like sleeping in the dark). Attentive steward, great service personnel including food and front desk. Room was attractive, clean. Seating areas of the ship are spacious. Several pools/hot tubs. No slides or special rides/water features which was OK. The indoor pool area was great, especially on over-warm days. Smooth sailing ship. The China Sea sailing waters around Malaysia are usually pretty calm so not much ship roughness.

The Bad: I have cruised over 20 times, and this is the WORST ENTERTAINMENT I have ever experienced on a cruise ship. Old, washed out entertainers (where did they find those relics?). On the last day the "farewell" show had a violin player that was so out of key that my ears are still ringing today.

Matt, the cruise director was funny, but he always seemed tired, like he needs a vacation. Outdated sets, bad jugglers, unfunny magicians, game shows had no spark. The DJ in the disco played the same songs every night. Uninspiring production shows. The entertainment needs to be addressed.

Food quality was spotty: Avoid Sabbatini's: The wait staff was uninterested, small tables, no ambiance We were constantly having to shuffle plates as there just wasn't room for even an extra appetizer area. I sent my steak back twice because under-cooked/overcooked. Sent the lobster back because over-salty/off flavors. Very poor for a specialty restaurant.

Surprisingly limited menu options in the main dining rooms. Not many specials. The main focused feature was for Asian dishes. Bland and tried to be spicy. Had to ask for chili to jazz up the flavoring.

3 PM tea service was great. Alfredo's Pizza was exceptional, because they were handmade pizzas and available most of the day. Ate there several times just for a consistent meal.

EXCURSIONS-More Bad: The excursion to Sihanoukville in Cambodia should have been cancelled. The whole city is going through a major rennovation, so there was garbage in the streets, open water/sewer draining, whole buildings in ruins/demolished, I don't think we traveled on a paved road. THE WHOLE TOWN WAS TRASHED. Only after received the excursion pass in my cabin did Princess acknowledge that the town and roads were "under construction". That was an understatement.

The rest of the excursions were better/good and was what was expected. Indochina is developing rapidly and growth/expansion is expected, just not so bad as the Cambodia excursion.

The Ugly: Princess advertised the "ANNULAR SOLAR ECLIPSE" as the highlight of the cruise, I am very excited to be seeing this historic event, one of the main reasons I chose this cruise..... So comes the day of the eclipse. Beforehand were given scant instructions on where to pick up "eclipse glasses"... really nothing mentioned in the "Pata" newsletter delivered to your room the night before. The line forms for glasses handout to start at 11 AM... AFTER 1/4 OF THE WAY THROUGH THE ECLIPSE STARTING (around 11:20) they started handing out glasses....

...except...

About half way through distribution and the eclipse half way over... THEY RAN OUT OF GLASSES! So some people did not get to see the eclipse, or tried doing so WITHOUT GLASSES?.... Spending all that advertising and marketing dollars touting the eclipse event knowing how many passengers are onboard and not able to provide your passengers with a 10 cent paper eclipse glasses is unacceptable and probably proved unsafe.

Conclusions: I have been on many Princess cruises, but never experienced the spotty service, poor planning and lousy entertainment that I experienced. I understand the ship is getting a refurbishment/face-lift, which is sorely needed but they also should overhaul the customer experienced side also.

It's hard for me to recommend the Sapphire Princess to other paying passengers in it's current state. Work needs to be done and corrections made.

Princess told us onboard that were a lot of Americans on this cruise. Arriving from the USA (Depart Singapore) was a long and sometimes expensive process. People paid a lot to be on this ship, and I think Princess did not perform up to their standards. Not a food value for the money at the current state.
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin ID
Big inside cabin (I like sleeping in the dark). Attentive steward, great service personnel. Room was attractive, clean. You can stretch out, put all of your suitcase stuff away and not feel cramped. Big closet, enough room in the bathroom.
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