Food was horrible! Staff was not happy or friendly. Atmosphere was very ugly. No one I spoke to on the cruise was having a good time. Daily entertainment was very limited! Kids program was not fun for my 12 year old who is almost 13. ... Read More
Food was horrible! Staff was not happy or friendly. Atmosphere was very ugly. No one I spoke to on the cruise was having a good time. Daily entertainment was very limited! Kids program was not fun for my 12 year old who is almost 13. Everything was geared toward little kids in his group so he never went to class because they didn’t make it fun and made my preteen feel like a little kid. He wanted to hang out in the 13+ but they would not let him even though he is 13 next month. It was at least 30 min to get seated for dinner and food took forever. When the food came it was old and gross. Selection was not great either. The buffet had old food And again not a big selection. Overall this is the worst cruise I have ever been on and will not be back in Princess! Read Less
Mother's day getaway. If you are planning to use the spa facilities, you will be surprised. They started charging for everything, even just to go into the steam room, the fee is about $65/hour. Even when you book a spa service, like a ... Read More
Mother's day getaway. If you are planning to use the spa facilities, you will be surprised. They started charging for everything, even just to go into the steam room, the fee is about $65/hour. Even when you book a spa service, like a massage, they still don't let you use anything for free.
There were no shows in the evening, just a short production show one of the days, that was it. If you are planning to use a stateroom for more then 2 people, be careful, the bunk beds are very hard to get into and very uncomfortable. It is only designed for young kids.
End end of cruise tour was not what we thought it would be. Started half an hour late and ended half an hour early, so we only got a 2 hour tour instead of 3. Waited at the port forever to get into the buses. Read Less
Embarkation out of LA was slow with long lines, but self disembarkation in Vancouver was smooth and quick. The ship was in good condition with a very comfortable stateroom. There were certainly things on the ship that could use a little ... Read More
Embarkation out of LA was slow with long lines, but self disembarkation in Vancouver was smooth and quick. The ship was in good condition with a very comfortable stateroom. There were certainly things on the ship that could use a little fresh paint, but overall everything looked well taken care of. The bed was very comfortable, but our stateroom was a bit warm most of the time. We had it set to the coolest setting all of the time and it was tolerable, but never cool. Food was very delicious with the exception of the lunch buffet, which was lacking in choices and quality. Entertainment was not the best, but not a biggie for us. They did bring in a whale expert, who was interesting. The magician was good, but the comedian was pretty poor. Service was very good, but never over-the-top. We never had to go to the Customer Service Desk, which was very nice. Overall a very nice, comfortable, relaxing cruise! Read Less
The price was good for our balcony and it departed from Los Angeles, close to our home area. The food in the dining room was fine and the afternoon tea was a great place to go for the mid-afternoon activity. There is no game room and ... Read More
The price was good for our balcony and it departed from Los Angeles, close to our home area. The food in the dining room was fine and the afternoon tea was a great place to go for the mid-afternoon activity. There is no game room and most interested game players have no place to play games and most do not know where to go to sign up for fellow guests to find other, similar game players, as Mah Jongg. I have seen better shows on other ships and there is little offered on sea days. The ship is beautiful and the International Cafe is a favorite spot for most, if not all, guests. That is the place for good, brewed coffee not found in other eating venues on the ship. For a short cruise, this cruise was relaxing for seniors. The music in the atrium is soothing and this ship caters to the guests who want to relax. Read Less
Since this is our first cruise, we wanted to "test the waters" with a short, inexpensive re-positioning cruise. The emerald princess has definitely exceeded my expectations! Honestly, I was a little concerned when I read the ... Read More
Since this is our first cruise, we wanted to "test the waters" with a short, inexpensive re-positioning cruise. The emerald princess has definitely exceeded my expectations! Honestly, I was a little concerned when I read the reviews, but I'm glad that we experienced it for ourselves. The food in the dinning room was awesome and the staff were friendly. We wanted a cruise where we could read and relax without kids running around everywhere. We basically ignored the tops decks where kids and the buffet are. Everything we needed/wanted was lower on the ship. Although we didn't participate in very many activities, the ones that we did attend were great! The martini mixing class in the piazza was so much fun! Our two favorite activities were afternoon tea and eating sushi in the wine bar. We did these almost every day. This trip also included a nice, extended stay in Victoria, BC. We were in port for 15 hours. Read Less
Old ship. Very little food choice and uninteresting. Absolute terrible shows. We were really disappointed with this cruise having expected much more according to the princess brochure. Very little food choices in the buffet. Had plastic ... Read More
Old ship. Very little food choice and uninteresting. Absolute terrible shows. We were really disappointed with this cruise having expected much more according to the princess brochure. Very little food choices in the buffet. Had plastic tooth pick in the seafood salad and when complained they didn’t really do anything or truly care. The ship is starting to look old and tired. My bed sheets had three huge holes in the sheets and the beds were not that comfortable. I had to keep asking for amenities to be replenished each day. Princess are obviously trying to cut costs back to an absolute minimum that’s for sure. The shows were what really took the cake. Except two big production shows the others were both embarrassing and awful. Worse than bad talent contest. Can not believe they would put such bad shows on a ship. Unbelievable. Will NEVER go princess cruises ever again. This was the fifth time and the last! Read Less
We chose to take this cruise after a good cruise on Sun princess. unfortunately after selecting a Suite our expectations were not met. The suites are larger and come with some more benefits than club class or other staterooms but it was a ... Read More
We chose to take this cruise after a good cruise on Sun princess. unfortunately after selecting a Suite our expectations were not met. The suites are larger and come with some more benefits than club class or other staterooms but it was a great disappointment when it came to the dining options and quality. The speciality restaurants were mixed, with the Steak House coming as a great steak, and attentive staff....the breakfast for suite guests was again great, but you should miss the other options including the buffet. The ship was clearly catering for a predominantly Japanese clientele, not surprising, but the activities were not memorable, and don’t worry about the coffee it is terrible. I bought a coffee card and on the last day expecting to keep it for a future cruise was advised any credit was gone on the last day. The excursions were reasonable but expensive.
Laundry was included for the suites and this was a real benefit. The balcony although large was in bad condition, and the reminants of paint and wood scraping stayed for more than 3 days without being cleaned up. Spa treatments were average and I suspect a number of new therapists were onboard. For my massage the therapist dropped the bamboo massage sticks three or four times, not very relaxing.
We had a large bathroom but the adapted toilet seat made it uncomfortably small and a challenge to use. The grout in the shower had a lot of discolouration so they really do need to check the quality of cleaning.
Most of the crew were great, so let’s put it down to a relaxed hotel manager and Management team.
After this cruise we intend to cancel two future cruises with princess,and go looking for a better option. Read Less
I wasn't terribly impressed by my recent cruise on Princess. I loved the short itin & enjoyed the ports of call but the cruise itself was 'meh'. The food was nothing impressive. Some was okay and some was just awful (had the WORST ... Read More
I wasn't terribly impressed by my recent cruise on Princess. I loved the short itin & enjoyed the ports of call but the cruise itself was 'meh'. The food was nothing impressive. Some was okay and some was just awful (had the WORST cheeseburger I've ever been served in my whole life). The ship looked worn (horrible rust out on our balcony - nothing that was probably a safety issue but it was unsightly). Getting off the ship at the ports of call for daytime excursions was a mismanaged mess. I was SO not impressed with Princess but I did talk to a few people that have cruised Princess dozens of times & they told me that this was the most unorganized Princess experience they have ever experienced which leads me to believe that this might have been anomaly and not the norm. For this reason, if I come across an itin & dates that work for me and that are on Princess, I might try them again. But if there is a Celebrity or Disney cruise with the same itin, I will feel more comfortable booking them knowing I probably won't encounter the same disappointments/irritations. Read Less
We have been on 5 cruises in the past but this was our FIRST Princess Cruise and what an Incredible time we had! Princess Cruises really knows how to spoil their passengers! The food that was served in the Bordeaux Dining Room was ... Read More
We have been on 5 cruises in the past but this was our FIRST Princess Cruise and what an Incredible time we had! Princess Cruises really knows how to spoil their passengers! The food that was served in the Bordeaux Dining Room was absolutely Superb! Our waiters were both entertaining, as well as, accommodating. Our cabin was Beautifully appointed and our bed and pillows were sooooo incredibly comfortable! I slept like a princess each night! The entertainment was first rate and the comedian was a total crack up! We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. Princess Cruises has it down pat as to organization when it comes to embarking and disembarking. The process flowed very smoothly and was seamless. Even though we had very specific time constraints for disembarking, a front desk staff member was Outstanding when taking our concern into consideration, and took care of the matter, personally. We were able to make our appointment on land, without a hitch, all thanks to the exceptional professionalism of an accommodating front desk Princess Cruise Staff Member. The staff went out of their way to make me feel special during my birthday cruise! I can assure you that our future vacation cruises will certainly be spent on Princess Cruise Lines, from here on out! They also had an ample amount of spacious, clean bathrooms throughout the ship, which made it very convenient for us as well. Read Less
Having cruised for many years mostly with Celebrity and Azamara, we saw this 7 day cruise on Sapphire Princess advertised at a bargain price and, having heard good things about Princess, decided to book. Another first for us was embarking ... Read More
Having cruised for many years mostly with Celebrity and Azamara, we saw this 7 day cruise on Sapphire Princess advertised at a bargain price and, having heard good things about Princess, decided to book. Another first for us was embarking and disembarking at Southampton.
We arrived by taxi at Southampton and our luggage was immediately taken by a porter and next appeared in our stateroom about an hour later – just after lunch. Check-in was quick and easy and we were on board in just a few minutes. Tipped off by someone on Cruise Critic, we headed to the almost empty International Dining Room for an excellent lunch, although the Daily Patter directed guests to the Horizon Buffet. There was no 'welcome aboard' bubbly but with so many guests I expect it would have caused some congestion. We understood that there were around 2,750 guests on board.
Our stateroom was on Baja deck 623, a balcony room. We chose this because the floor above is Aloha and above that are pool areas, buffet, etc and thought it might be noisy. Both Aloha and Baja decks have balconies that cannot be looked into by anyone above. The decks below may have larger balconies but we could look straight down into them.
The room was fine, if a little worn and dated but perfectly clean and comfortable. The new bed and bedding were fabulous, the large screen tv worked ok, the fridge got really cold and the air con/heating was easy to use and very efficient. The balcony was very rusty and the wooden rail needed some varnish. The ship had recently been repainted but I think they forgot the balconies! The shower area was the tiniest we have ever had on a ship – just over 2' square but with one corner cut off where the curtain hung. However, there was constant hot water and great power. Shampoo/conditioner, shower gel, soap and body lotion were all supplied. One of the first things I have always done on a cruise is to ask the steward for extra coathangers but 40 were already supplied, so I was pleased. Bath robes were provided on day 2, but no slippers. We brought on board two bottles of wine but were able to bring on another without problems in France. Our steward kindly brought us wine glasses and a corkscrew. Towels were changed twice a day and were of good quality.
Food was patchy – some days there was a great choice at dinner and others not much appealed. Can't think why tripe and sweetbreads were included or maybe I don't have a sophisticated taste! Steak only appeared once on the menu but I expect they wanted guests to pay extra for the Steakhouse. Starters, soups and salads were all noted together on the menu which led you to think that you should only make one choice. Fish featured heavily and it was always very good. We had chosen Any Time Dining and most days had no waits for a table for dinner, although we were always happy to share with others. The one day when everything went completely haywire was following the Captain's welcome and champagne tower. It seemed that afterwards everyone on AT dining went for dinner. There were long queues at all the restaurants and we were told by the staff that there would be a wait of between an hour and a half and two hours! So many people were complaining, not unreasonably and so did we.
Breakfast in the Horizon buffet was excellent – omelettes were made to order and waiters circulated with juice, teas and coffees. Although always busy, we managed to find a table. We were very surprised that the plates, mugs etc were plastic. This was a newly refurbished room with nice tables, chairs and carpets. Coffee here was lousy but they did provide Twinings tea, not just Liptons.
The made to order pizza at Alfredo's was delicious and thoroughly recommended. It is beautifully situated off the Piazza so you can listen to whoever is performing whilst eating your pizza. The grill on the open deck was poorly organised. Long queues built up but the guys doing the cooking didn't know how to work together and just cooked one burger or sausage at a time, until a chef appeared and showed them how to do it. The burgers were okay but there was no tomato, lettuce etc, as shown in the pics, just ketchup or mustard.
We noticed that prices for the drinks packages were less if booked before the cruise. I had the soda and more package for $7 per day plus 15%. I believe it was $6.45 if booked prior. You only need to have two drinks a day – soda, pepsi, juice, hot chocolate, delicious mocktails etc., to get your moneys worth.
Our first port of call was Guernsey where we joined with a lovely couple who we met on our Roll Call on Cruise Critic and had a wonderful and interesting private tour of the island. The weather was beautiful and the ship anchored in St Peter Port bay as guests were tendered to shore.
Next was a sea day and there was so much to do on board. Sapphire Princess is the largest ship on which we have sailed. There are multiple entertainment venues, which was great and we enjoyed so many different performers. This is the up-side of a very large ship. The indoor pool was a real advantage when the weather wasn't so good and was in use by lots of folk, including a big number of children, although it wasn't school holidays.
The ship was due to call at Le Verdon, for Bordeaux, but due to a strike the port of call was changed to La Rochelle. I was thrilled about this as I absolutely adore the place. Of course, it was quite disappointing for those who had booked tours, private tours especially, as La Rochelle is a lot further than Le Verdon from Bordeaux. The ship provided a shuttle bus into town but there were long waits to get back on the bus. Some people we met waited an hour and a half and watched 11 buses go before they got to the front of the queue. We only waited 15 minutes but we returned quite late in the day. Loved every minute in La Rochelle.
Next day we docked in Gexto, the port for Bilbao. Again, a free shuttle bus was provided which dropped us within 500 yards of the Guggenheim. What an incredible building, inside and out. Worth seeing just for the architecture as the permanent collection was nothing special to me and the second of three floors was closed as they were preparing for a major exhibition. Enjoyed a walk around the town afterwards but again the queues for the shuttle bus were long. We watched 4 buses go before we could get on one.
The special guest entertainer on this cruise was Gareth Gates from Pop Idol. We didn't see him perform but others enjoyed his show. We saw him around the ship and he was always willing to stop for a selfie with folk.
Final call was La Corunna. From here lots of guests went to Santiago de Compostela. As we had previously visited this awe inspiring place (the cathedral where the pilgrims gather especially), we chose to walk around La Corunna. There were some great shops and we walked around the old town which was packed with history. Another good day. Theatre packed after dinner so we couldn't get in to see the show.
Last day was a sea day and we enjoyed winding down and relaxing in the multitude of places on Sapphire. Skywalkers at the stern of the ship is a nice quiet space by day and a disco at night. My husband enjoyed a pedicure, bought some lovely cuff links in Effy's and we joined our Cruise Critic friends for a last night dinner.
Princess have got disembarkation down to a fine art. Colour coded, wait in a designated lounge with tea/coffee provided and then escorted off the ship at a time you choose. Perfect.
All in all, we had a great cruise and met some lovely people. It was so convenient to sail from Southampton, exceptional value and we visited ports that were new to us, except La Rochelle where we were thrilled to visit again. On the down-side, we felt that the ship was too big with too many guests packed in as they couldn't properly manage the numbers in the theatre, on shuttle buses, getting on and off the ship, at Any Time Dining in restaurants at peak times. Just felt that there was a lack of communication and sometimes things were chaotically disorganised. Having said that, we came back refreshed and very happy. Read Less
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