Review: Sapphire Princess 7-day Mexican Riviera: Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by BigBit

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Review: Sapphire Princess 7-day Mexican Riviera

Sail Date: November 2011
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: Los Angeles
Trip summary:

Our original itinerary was supposed to be Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. The first two ports were eliminated due to "security concerns". Instead the itinerary was changed to Ensenada and two nights in Cabo. I personally wonder how much of the change was due to security issues and how much was motivated by fuel savings, as other cruise lines have retained Puerto Vallarta as a destination. We didn't particularly care as we have done this cruise about 5 times before and were onboard for the cruise experience, not the ports.

Because of the holiday week, there were an unusual number of children and teens onboard. According to Princess, there were close to 600 in a population of about 2900. For most of the cruise they were well behaved, but by Friday, they were getting bored and the running around, and the bad behavior of some had become apparent, though nothing affected us directly. It was minor stuff like pushing all of the elevator More buttons, changing public clock times, etc.

On Sunday, we stopped in Ensenada. Since it was Sunday, many of the shops were closed. The town was unimpressive and we were only onshore for a couple of hours.

Monday was a sailing day. We arrived in Cabo on Tuesday morning but elected to stay on the boat as many seemed to have plans to go ashore. The ship was dead quiet. We had virtually everything to ourselves. Fantastic! The only negative was that the shops and casino were closed due to being in port.

On Wednesday, we went into Cabo, did some shopping and stopped at a restaurant for drinks and some chips and guacamole. My wife found some of her favorite "Catrina" figurines (small ones this time). 5 small figurines were added to the collection. After also buying a few other sundry items, it was back to the ship. Getting on and off the tender vessel was quite a challenge as the seas were moderately heavy. The ship was rock solid and the tender craft (lifeboat) was rising up and down about 3 feet with the swells. Timing your step on/off the tender was very important to not falling on your butt or worse.

The ship's onboard service was excellent. Service and food in the dining room was excellent. We did room service one night and that was also very good. Our only disappointment was that we were less than enamored with the Horizon Buffet. Food choices there were limited, the food was mediocre, and the service was hit-or-miss there. We ended up eating exclusively in the dining rooms for the last 4 days.

Some example dining room meals:

English Country Breakfast
Eggs Florentine
Eggs Benedict

Prime Rib
Osso Bucco
Alaskan King Crab Legs
Pork Tenderloin

Each night at dinner they also had a "home cooking" type meal like southern fried chicken, spaghetti and meat balls, etc.

Thursday was Thanksgiving, and the ship crew didn't disappoint with festive decorations everywhere and an excellent traditional Turkey dinner. There were plenty of alternatives for those who didn't like turkey, too.

The food in the dining room was excellent as was the service. They did everything they could to make sure you were happy, including specially prepared meals for diabetics, vegans, etc.

As for us, we had a balcony room and spent a lot of time on the balcony just reading and watching the world go by. Our balcony was good sized (9' X 9') and had four chairs and a table. Two chairs had a back recline but no foot support. If we wanted to put our feet up, we simply put a recliner and sitting chair face to face and put our feet on the sitting chair. It was great.

Princess also lets you bring your own non-alcoholic beverages on board, and the room has a refrigerator. So I had my Diet Dr. Pepper all week and my wife had her vitamin water.

We had a great time and it was a little sad to be back home yesterday. Less

Published 11/28/11

Cabin review: BBC704 Balcony

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