Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by Panda_KY
- Sail Date: November 2011
- Destination: Hawaii
- Cabin Type: Balcony
We have been loyal cruisers with Princess for years because, we have so enjoyed everything about your cruise line, food, staff, vessels, etc. Until this cruise.
This cruise was so far below the standards of what we have become accustomed to from Princess Cruise Line. Starting with the company they hired for embarkation. They were rude and unorganized.
It was a Hawaiian cruise -- ports of call no welcoming (no lei, no orchid, no music) except Maui and they were fabulous.
The vessel itself was very under par and due for dry dock in a month or so; but we didn't pay less to get the great deal of less we received as a result!
Tiles missing, carpet old, amenities lacking, lap pool (one of our 6 swims over a mile a day routinely and the presence of a lap pool was one reason for selecting this ship) never had water in it (even though all other pools were full every day), Putt-putt was not even useable unbelievably awful I don't even have words, Pickle Ball which we play daily mallets had no grips on them, hot tub was not heated (and the nearest bartender stated he had been alerting them to it daily with no result). And don't even get any of us started on the food. The worst for a Princess Line, bland, bland, bland, strange, cold, no consistency, very salty (to cover up what?), meats incredibly tough and chewy; collectively, we had maybe 2 good meals the entire voyage in the dining room, buffet......not good.
Excursions were cancelled without previous warning, we had to scramble for another. Will have to say that Princess was accommodating on that one by asking the operators to add vehicles (which they did).
The Chefs Table was immediately unavailable (a good thing in retrospect!), even though a trip to the nearest white phone was the first thing we did on board.
Sabatini's had been dramatically changed even though we reserved and paid well in advance of the cruise -- it is no longer a multi course evening event but just another surcharge restaurant experience.
The buffet hours and selections were changed from prior cruises -- not at all what it used to be!
The general changes to dining seem to also have promoted a "who cares" atitude among the server teams as well. After four days we finally found one who was excellent and booked reservations with her for the remainder of the cruise.
When we booked, the final stop at Ensenada was from 2PM to 8PM, a reasonable time to enjoy the port. It was changed sometime later to be from 4PM to 7PM.
The quality of entertainment ranged from awful to very good but was not at all up to any prior experiences on Princess and repeated too often.
We will try Princess one more time -- this time back in the Caribbean (several members of our group feel perhaps the lack of competition in that Pacific region may have been the reasoning for such poor "everything"). That should answer if Princess has simply become added Carnival capacity, or if it actually was acquired to retain that which made it so successful in the past.
I apologize for being so negative but, at these prices, people need to know which ship and crew to avoid.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
EnsenadaUnless you have more than three hours (which was the stop duration for this cruise), don't even get off the ship. Might have been a 5 but how could you tell?View All 434 Ensenada Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Ensenada Cruise Port Review
HiloRugged, unpopulated and raw HI.View All 463 Hilo Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Hilo Cruise Port Review
HonoluluJust what you'd expect, and lots of it. A nice stop.View All 520 Honolulu Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Honolulu Cruise Port Review
KauaiGreat scenery.View All 426 Kauai Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Kauai Cruise Port Review
MauiBest stop in HI -- what HI really is all about from the people to the places.View All 494 Maui Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Maui Cruise Port Review