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As people in our 40's this was our 1st ever cruise and Princess wasn't our initial choice... we originally had booked Royal Caribbean but cancelled that cruise when we found out it was going to be a "cultural enrichment" cruise designed for Asian passengers. So we decided to book Princess even though we thought Royal Caribbean was going to be more "fun" for us. Having said that we are not party animals at all, and enjoy board games, eating out and going to see comedies and shows on our weekends back home... so thought a cruise would be perfect for us. So with that in mind... here is our review.. the good, great and the bad! THE GOOD/GREAT ___________________________________________ SHIP The ship itself was nice and bigger than I thought it would be. I liked it... my partner didn't like the decor at all. She thought it was old and depressing (It is an older ship) and she found it tacky. I didn't have a problem with it myself and like the wood and gold. I knew she wouldn't though as our taste is different! ROOM We were in a mini-suite on the Dolphin deck and the room itself was great. Generally it was very clean (tiles in shower could have done with a clean) but the room itself was great. Lots more room than I expected and having the extra area for a sofa was worth the money. I spent a lot of time before bed watching movies on my laptop as I don't like watching anything in bed. Worth the extra money. DINING Amazing and absolutely loved the dining. We did pay for Club Class which in my opinion was worth it. The Waitresses we had were so much fun and really made our cruise. (Tatiyana and her friend whose name I can't remember!) The food generally was most definitely fine dining. Loved the lobster, fresh bread and french onion soup especially... and couldn't get enough of the creme brulee. All of the staff in the dining room were amazing. Loved club class! ENTERTAINMENT This one was a mixed bag. The Orchestra was amazing! The violinists in the piazza were great and the singers were talented and the shows were good to watch. We especially loved the Mentalist who blew our mind with his show. THE BAD ___________________________________________ ENTERTAINMENT For all the good entertainment the Comedian was awful and not funny at all... and spent most of his 45 mins talking about how nobody was laughing. Also I think the Princess Theatre is wasted as there are only 2 shows every night. It would have been good to see it turn into a movie theatre during the day. Not everyone wants to spend their time outside next to the pools watching a movie in the awful heat or in their own rooms. POOLS The pools were all chlorine and not salt water... and for some reason I thought it was salt water. I am not sure if that is for health reasons or not... but meant that neither of us swam in any of the pools for the entire cruise.. or even spent much time out near the pool deck because of the smell... which of course is a big part of this ship as it has so many pools. ACTIVITIES We found them severely lacking and too few and far between. I don't know maybe it is because we aren't in our 70s and up at the crack of dawn every morning but everything we were interested in was in the mornings whilst we are still asleep or having breakfast. They were generally done by 10am and then the afternoon which was considered "relaxation" time didn't have the activities we wanted. Some of the game shows like Scattegories were very poorly run (Having what felt like 100 people in a room writing answers on a piece of paper and then trying to find anyone else that had the correct answer by yelling them out one by one.... was painful and all over the place. Lawn bowls was conducted on a piece of carpet outside the smoking lounge with what must have been at least 60 people crammed into the area. Again... way too many people but that's because these activities are so few and far between that everyone turns up at once. If they had them several times over the cruise at the same time as say the basketball shooting or table tennis or game shows... then it would be much better. As for basketball and table tennis... the basketball court was this small court out on the top deck in the blistering sun... I lasted about 10 mins out there before dehydration kicked in (I love basketball... and Royal Caribbean has a full indoor basketball court... so this really disappointed by comparison). And you could forget about table tennis. There were only 2 tables on the ship and we tried every single day to play table tennis and it was always full. People hogged the tables and you had to wait hours to get a go. We never got on once. It would be nice if they had some sort of system where people could put their name down... its sad that this needs to be done because people are selfish... but it annoyed us that 2 of the things we most liked doing which is table tennis and basketball were basically unavailable. THE UGLY ___________________________________________ INTERNET Yes yes we know... who wants to go on a cruise and go on the internet. We do... one as I have to for work... and also especially when you have so many other activities that you can't do or are not interested in. Just to be able to read or watch something on youtube would be nice. Unfortunately this was a non medallion ship and that means the internet was absolutely horrible. Horrible I can understand... but charging almost $100 AUD for 3.5 hours of basically unusable internet is almost criminal. I knew it would be bad but not so bad that it didn't work in my room most of the time and I would have to stand on the Piazza stairs to get a connection. SERVICE 99% of the staff were amazing but we had 2 incidents that left a sour taste in our mouth. On the 2nd morning of the cruise we woke up to find a dead bird laying at the entry to our balcony. Not only did they not remove the bird when cleaning the room in the morning, they also didn't remove the bird for several hours after I rang to let them know. I had to make a second phone call to tell them I'd been waiting hours for this deceased bird to be removed so I could use my balcony.... before they finally came rushing. The 2nd unfortunate incident was my partner getting sick in our bathroom. It again took several attempts and much longer than it should have to get someone to clean it. I almost spewed up as well from the smell wafting through the cabin. Considering we were paying a lot of money for a mini-suite in club class we expected a little better. THE PORTS & SHORE EXCURSIONS ___________________________________________ So we originally had scheduled in our itinerary Bali, Phuket, Penang and Kuala Lumpur. Due to the ship getting hit by lightning we missed Phuket but they more than made up for it by taking us to Langkawi instead. We can't wait to go back to Langkawi for a holiday. Bali - What a dump. We took the "Do your own thing in Kuta" excursion and quite frankly it was awful. The weather was unbearably hot and humid and to make matters worse our bus had no airconditioning. We did receive a 50% refund on the tour because of this. The tour basically took us to something resembling air-conditioning in a shopping mall in Kuta and this along with the weather made it unbearable. Worse was to come though when we got back (late unfortunately due to the bus) to the tender and were at the back of a massive queue in the stifling heat. Thank god we had 3 sea days after that as we needed every one of them to recover. If I never go to Kuta again I will be a happy man. Penang - We had been to Penang before so didn't bother with a shore excursion and did our own thing. This ended up becoming one of our more favorite ports because we did do our own thing in our own time and weren't waiting around for others and a bus to take us back. Langkawi - What a beautiful place and so glad we got the bonus of being there out of an unfortunate situation with the lightning strike. We did a tour which was just long enough to enjoy the sights. Rather than being taken though to more shops... people seemed to be more interested in going to the amazing beaches... and unfortunately this excursion didn't allow that. It seems most of these excursions are set up to get people to spend money. That is a lesson learned for us. Kuala Lumpur - So in KL we decided to do the "Do your own thing in KL" tour which dropped us off near the Petronas Towers. Unfortunately as with most excursions on the cruise this was not that enjoyable either. It took a full 2 hours for the bus to make its way from the dump that is Port Klang into the KLCC where Petronas Towers are. And of course when we get there we find out that because it is Monday the Tower walkway is closed.... of course. So we ended up walking around in the shops, taking photos of the towers from the outside and going to the KL Tower instead for some views. We all got back to our agreed spot at 3pm for the bus to go back to the boat (after the organiser telling us it must be 3pm sharp or else) and of course we had to have 2 passengers turn up late by 30 mins. In fact on every tour we had... we had late passengers holding everyone up. So my recommendation is.... just do your own thing and forget the Princess tours. You end up spending all your time being taken to where they want you to go and then waiting around to go back to the ship because other selfish people think the world revolves around when they want to get back.

First cruise we've ever taken. Singapore Asian itinerary.

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by frankmat

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2019
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
As people in our 40's this was our 1st ever cruise and Princess wasn't our initial choice... we originally had booked Royal Caribbean but cancelled that cruise when we found out it was going to be a "cultural enrichment" cruise designed for Asian passengers. So we decided to book Princess even though we thought Royal Caribbean was going to be more "fun" for us.

Having said that we are not party animals at all, and enjoy board games, eating out and going to see comedies and shows on our weekends back home... so thought a cruise would be perfect for us. So with that in mind... here is our review.. the good, great and the bad!

THE GOOD/GREAT

___________________________________________

SHIP

The ship itself was nice and bigger than I thought it would be. I liked it... my partner didn't like the decor at all. She thought it was old and depressing (It is an older ship) and she found it tacky. I didn't have a problem with it myself and like the wood and gold. I knew she wouldn't though as our taste is different!

ROOM

We were in a mini-suite on the Dolphin deck and the room itself was great. Generally it was very clean (tiles in shower could have done with a clean) but the room itself was great. Lots more room than I expected and having the extra area for a sofa was worth the money. I spent a lot of time before bed watching movies on my laptop as I don't like watching anything in bed. Worth the extra money.

DINING

Amazing and absolutely loved the dining. We did pay for Club Class which in my opinion was worth it. The Waitresses we had were so much fun and really made our cruise. (Tatiyana and her friend whose name I can't remember!) The food generally was most definitely fine dining. Loved the lobster, fresh bread and french onion soup especially... and couldn't get enough of the creme brulee. All of the staff in the dining room were amazing. Loved club class!

ENTERTAINMENT

This one was a mixed bag. The Orchestra was amazing! The violinists in the piazza were great and the singers were talented and the shows were good to watch. We especially loved the Mentalist who blew our mind with his show.

THE BAD

___________________________________________

ENTERTAINMENT

For all the good entertainment the Comedian was awful and not funny at all... and spent most of his 45 mins talking about how nobody was laughing. Also I think the Princess Theatre is wasted as there are only 2 shows every night. It would have been good to see it turn into a movie theatre during the day. Not everyone wants to spend their time outside next to the pools watching a movie in the awful heat or in their own rooms.

POOLS

The pools were all chlorine and not salt water... and for some reason I thought it was salt water. I am not sure if that is for health reasons or not... but meant that neither of us swam in any of the pools for the entire cruise.. or even spent much time out near the pool deck because of the smell... which of course is a big part of this ship as it has so many pools.

ACTIVITIES

We found them severely lacking and too few and far between. I don't know maybe it is because we aren't in our 70s and up at the crack of dawn every morning but everything we were interested in was in the mornings whilst we are still asleep or having breakfast. They were generally done by 10am and then the afternoon which was considered "relaxation" time didn't have the activities we wanted.

Some of the game shows like Scattegories were very poorly run (Having what felt like 100 people in a room writing answers on a piece of paper and then trying to find anyone else that had the correct answer by yelling them out one by one.... was painful and all over the place.

Lawn bowls was conducted on a piece of carpet outside the smoking lounge with what must have been at least 60 people crammed into the area. Again... way too many people but that's because these activities are so few and far between that everyone turns up at once. If they had them several times over the cruise at the same time as say the basketball shooting or table tennis or game shows... then it would be much better.

As for basketball and table tennis... the basketball court was this small court out on the top deck in the blistering sun... I lasted about 10 mins out there before dehydration kicked in (I love basketball... and Royal Caribbean has a full indoor basketball court... so this really disappointed by comparison). And you could forget about table tennis. There were only 2 tables on the ship and we tried every single day to play table tennis and it was always full. People hogged the tables and you had to wait hours to get a go. We never got on once. It would be nice if they had some sort of system where people could put their name down... its sad that this needs to be done because people are selfish... but it annoyed us that 2 of the things we most liked doing which is table tennis and basketball were basically unavailable.

THE UGLY

___________________________________________

INTERNET

Yes yes we know... who wants to go on a cruise and go on the internet. We do... one as I have to for work... and also especially when you have so many other activities that you can't do or are not interested in. Just to be able to read or watch something on youtube would be nice. Unfortunately this was a non medallion ship and that means the internet was absolutely horrible. Horrible I can understand... but charging almost $100 AUD for 3.5 hours of basically unusable internet is almost criminal. I knew it would be bad but not so bad that it didn't work in my room most of the time and I would have to stand on the Piazza stairs to get a connection.

SERVICE

99% of the staff were amazing but we had 2 incidents that left a sour taste in our mouth. On the 2nd morning of the cruise we woke up to find a dead bird laying at the entry to our balcony. Not only did they not remove the bird when cleaning the room in the morning, they also didn't remove the bird for several hours after I rang to let them know. I had to make a second phone call to tell them I'd been waiting hours for this deceased bird to be removed so I could use my balcony.... before they finally came rushing.

The 2nd unfortunate incident was my partner getting sick in our bathroom. It again took several attempts and much longer than it should have to get someone to clean it. I almost spewed up as well from the smell wafting through the cabin. Considering we were paying a lot of money for a mini-suite in club class we expected a little better.

THE PORTS & SHORE EXCURSIONS

___________________________________________

So we originally had scheduled in our itinerary Bali, Phuket, Penang and Kuala Lumpur. Due to the ship getting hit by lightning we missed Phuket but they more than made up for it by taking us to Langkawi instead. We can't wait to go back to Langkawi for a holiday.

Bali - What a dump. We took the "Do your own thing in Kuta" excursion and quite frankly it was awful. The weather was unbearably hot and humid and to make matters worse our bus had no airconditioning. We did receive a 50% refund on the tour because of this. The tour basically took us to something resembling air-conditioning in a shopping mall in Kuta and this along with the weather made it unbearable. Worse was to come though when we got back (late unfortunately due to the bus) to the tender and were at the back of a massive queue in the stifling heat. Thank god we had 3 sea days after that as we needed every one of them to recover. If I never go to Kuta again I will be a happy man.

Penang - We had been to Penang before so didn't bother with a shore excursion and did our own thing. This ended up becoming one of our more favorite ports because we did do our own thing in our own time and weren't waiting around for others and a bus to take us back.

Langkawi - What a beautiful place and so glad we got the bonus of being there out of an unfortunate situation with the lightning strike. We did a tour which was just long enough to enjoy the sights. Rather than being taken though to more shops... people seemed to be more interested in going to the amazing beaches... and unfortunately this excursion didn't allow that. It seems most of these excursions are set up to get people to spend money. That is a lesson learned for us.

Kuala Lumpur - So in KL we decided to do the "Do your own thing in KL" tour which dropped us off near the Petronas Towers. Unfortunately as with most excursions on the cruise this was not that enjoyable either. It took a full 2 hours for the bus to make its way from the dump that is Port Klang into the KLCC where Petronas Towers are. And of course when we get there we find out that because it is Monday the Tower walkway is closed.... of course. So we ended up walking around in the shops, taking photos of the towers from the outside and going to the KL Tower instead for some views. We all got back to our agreed spot at 3pm for the bus to go back to the boat (after the organiser telling us it must be 3pm sharp or else) and of course we had to have 2 passengers turn up late by 30 mins. In fact on every tour we had... we had late passengers holding everyone up.

So my recommendation is.... just do your own thing and forget the Princess tours. You end up spending all your time being taken to where they want you to go and then waiting around to go back to the ship because other selfish people think the world revolves around when they want to get back.
frankmat’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MD 417
We were in a mini-suite on the Dolphin deck and the room itself was great. Generally it was very clean (tiles in shower could have done with a clean) but the room itself was great. Lots more room than I expected and having the extra area for a sofa was worth the money. I spent a lot of time before bed watching movies on my laptop as I don't like watching anything in bed. Worth the extra money.
Dolphin Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews