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1,377 Princess Southampton Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which did not disappoint, especially both Petra in Aqaba and Herculaneum in Naples were amazing. Sad to say the Sapphire Princess did ,the food served up was at best ordinary and at worst ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which did not disappoint, especially both Petra in Aqaba and Herculaneum in Naples were amazing. Sad to say the Sapphire Princess did ,the food served up was at best ordinary and at worst downright bad, bad veggies, rotton fruit. Menu repeated over and over with no regional menus associated with our port calls. Drinks were overpriced. The shows were mixed some very good others not. You had to be there 1/2 early to get in to some of the entertainment venues which were too small to accomodate the 3000. passengers on board. The lectures offered were too few , Bridge was not offered by the ship and was organised by one of the passengers and this was a godsend to many of us on the many sea days. The library was very poorly stocked. We had to pay exorbitant fees for shuttles that were in the past complimentary when the port was a distance away from the nearest town.We only had one chair provided in the cabin and had to ask for another which was provided .On a positive note, the staff in the main, were both cheerful and helpful . Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This is where it goes a little off course---so to speak. Do to this being the first time the Sapphire did this route. Well the weather dictated the what, when and how the cruise would unfold. We wanted and did the cruise for 2 reasons: ... Read More
This is where it goes a little off course---so to speak. Do to this being the first time the Sapphire did this route. Well the weather dictated the what, when and how the cruise would unfold. We wanted and did the cruise for 2 reasons: To see the Eiffel Tower ---weather made us bypass that port---the the Vatican---Oh guess what "closed" on our tour date. That made our trip of a lifetime with a party of 10 almost unbelievable to say the least. The ship was great---people, food and entertainment ---expected and near 5 stars. But missing the ONLY two points of interest NOT to our liking at all. Then being booked by your cruise line person and putting us all over the place instead of exactly where WE wanted was also unforgivable...but being halfway around the world and on the ship---making a point to those in power on the ship ---well we stayed where we did not request the whole cruise...not happy campers. Then our seating for dinner (5 star food and waiters) NOT where we requested through our cruise agent by Princess---a party of 10 of us---no--we got seated on the main food delivery route...and the window seat for our party which we have had several times on other trips (we do family cruises) the whole trip there was only 4 people max to use that table. Again requested by the powers that be and told where you are is where you stay... Travel time by air and those seats booked by our Princess agent also were terrible...and the very last day---follow me here---up at 4am to get off ship---tour of around the area where we were supposed to see the Vatican (saw the roof) to get there on a bus and that took an hour and 45 minutes---walking for 3 hours plus---back on the bus to the airport--check in---wait another 2 hours---fly to France (in the dark---no Eiffel Tower in sight) wait at that airport another 13 hours---get on a airbus travel by air to Los Angeles by air like 13 hours---going back in time as opposed to "loosing time" on our cruise that not one of us was even told about---then wait a couple hours then fly HOME to San Diego...over a total of some 27 hours plus---it took almost 4 days to recover from this "trip of a lifetime" before we could go back to work---owners of our own business that made it even worse not to be able to "bounce" back do totally in fact to our Princess booking agent who needs to be fired for doing such and injustice to a party of 10 that spent A LOT of money for this once in a lifetime trip. We have even gone so far as to write a long letter to corporate that we certified. I would not recommend this trip to Europe to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I cruised on the Sapphire to the Canary Islands this time last year. It was a great experience. The ship was then going onto Dubai and Singapore so I thought this year I’d do the London to Dubai leg through the Suez. It was considered 2 ... Read More
I cruised on the Sapphire to the Canary Islands this time last year. It was a great experience. The ship was then going onto Dubai and Singapore so I thought this year I’d do the London to Dubai leg through the Suez. It was considered 2 cruises- London to Rome where about half the boat got off and the Rome to Singapore although loads got off in Dubai. I took the NEX bus from LHR T3 down to Southampton for a cost of £24 and stayed overnight. Embarkation at around 12.30pm took about 10-15 mins. I had an interior cabin. The steward brought me a small table as they are no longer provided and I like somewhere to put my breakfast tray. I loved the new lamps which have the USB port in the base and also the lamp arm can be moved closer to the bed for reading. So handy for my phone and fitbit. Shortly after we set sail the Captain announced that due to bad weather we would not be going to Le Havre. Many people were upset at missing out on Paris, the Landing Beaches or just meeting relatives. I’d been to Paris and Le Havre before so it didn’t affect me. We went to Vigo in Spain instead. Around midnight Captain Ravera who fortunately is very calmly spoken, advised us that we would detour to somewhere off the south coast of England so a medical evacuation could take place. It would be at sea. It was like being woken up by say the TV and not the usual roar you get over the PA that gives you a fright. On embarkation, in my room, there was a 4 page A4 leaflet from Guest Services with Immigration, Tips and Shuttle and Taxi Services for each port from London to Rome and another given in Rome for Rome to Singapore. It listed what was needed, when they would collect/give back passports, where we were docking, costs of any shuttles running and so on. Of course this was updated in the Princess Patter/ port talks if there were changes. Unless you had difficulty reading English it was all very clearly laid for you. I was pleased to see Debbie Shields on board. She’s an excellent port lecturer with so much knowledge of history, practical information and visuals to make the most out of your day in port. The lectures are later put on TV and she is available for questions. She even prepared lecturers for the 2 unexpected ports. I ate dinner in the International Dining Room most nights with a few nights in the buffet. The menus were varied but repeated now and then, but I never got sick of the food for the 26 days. I like breakfast in my room as I rarely dress for breakfast. Its continental but I always go up the night before and grab some snack from the buffet and keep it in the fridge to go with it. Room Service during sea days was hopeless. I tried on two different days for over an hour to get through and couldn’t. They just don’t have enough staff working that area. So if I wanted a coffee and biscuit I’d just go up and get it from the buffet myself. Annoying, but hardly a deal breaker. My cabin was mid-aft, the buffet was aft so the walk probably did me good. I noticed quite a few people with thermal cups so I’ll get one for my next cruise. The staff were always professional, cheerful, helpful and hard working. I had to laugh in Abu Dhabi where I saw quite a line of them buying fridge magnets! Must be newbies who haven’t been there before. Laundry facilities were very good with 4 washers and 4 dryers on each deck. The token machine played up and charged me 3 times. Guest services quickly removed the two I didn’t get tokens for. I always check my account each day on my mobile so I can query anything straight away. Vigo was followed by Lisbon, Gibraltar, Barcelona, Toulon, Livorno, Rome and Naples. Seemingly all went well. I enjoyed all the shows and guest performers but as usual the theatre usually filled up about 20-30 mins before the show started. The shows were repeated on the second leg of the cruise but I usually only went the once. The guest performers also did a show elsewhere on the ship. As we were leaving Naples around 6pm, the Captain announces there was a storm brewing and we wouldn’t be going to Messina but heading for Santorini instead. I was a bit disappointed because I hadn’t been to Sicily but had spent 5 nights on Santorini. The ship experienced force 11 winds and I woke up in the night yelling “stop it, stop it”. It felt like someone was at the end of my bed jolting it backwards and forwards. I didn’t eat much the next day and rested. Sick bags were hanging all over the place but fortunately I didn’t need one. Santorini was a tender port which I try to avoid where possible. From the info given it seemed there could be quite a wait to get on the cable car which took 30 at a time. I decided, along with about 200 others, to opt for the “Santorini on you own” which was advertised as “beat the queues” with around 4h free time. We waited in the theatre for 70 mins! Too many people for the buses (some sneaked on I think). So much time wasting we ended up having 1h 40 mins free time. Then halfway back to the ship the shuttle went back to the pier and picked up more people! Why I don’t know as they had to stand as no-one would sit up top as it was raining. Time wasting and stuffing around in the extreme. I’ve never been on such a dreadful excursion. If it was free fair enough but they charged US$50 for what was basically a transfer, an absolute total ripoff. I complained as did many others to no avail. No excuses Princess. They regularly call in at Santorini and should be organised. After a glass of wine or two I’d recovered and thought well if that’s the worst that happens in a month its not too bad and then I focused on Rhodes our next port. Delightful experience. After Rhodes we started what I consider the adventure part of the cruise. We anchored of Port Said overnight, then early morning we headed into the Suez. We were ship number 4 in a convoy of 22. Its single file. At around 6.30 – 7.00am Debbie started her commentary pointing out things of interest. She was a trooper. She kept this up on and off all day until 4pm when we reached Port Suez. It was great. I spent most of the day on deck. We passed the northbound convoy in a part of the Canal they have widened and divided into a two lane canal. When I returned to my cabin that evening there was a Certificate of the journey waiting for me. The next port was Aqaba followed by for me, the dreaded 6 sea days in a row. I thought Princess did a good job of occupying people. My dinner companions loved trivia and they had 3 or 4 games a day. There were crafts, dancing, learn musical instrument and so on although I think these filled up quickly. They even put on a couple of matinee sessions of the production show from the night before. The Cruise Director Matt and staff worked tirelessly entertaining everyone. Passengers also performed in a talent quest or showing off their skills learnt on board. I like the lectures best. I went to Russell Twomey’s maritime history and contemporary lectures. I loaded up some new computer games and had been to the op shop before I left home and got a few books which I donated to the library onboard. I did walk around the upper and lower decks at least once a day but with the ship going so fast it was windy sitting out there. The officers did a couple of lecturers on how the ship works and operates. I’d never thought of it before. Learning about pirates was interesting. In the area of the Red Sea and Horn of Africa they have pressure hoses set up everywhere ready to squirt any pirate boats but they mainly outrun them. The ship goes much faster in these parts. The promenade deck was closed after dark while the security people took their stations but everything else went on as normal. They had expanded their Internet room and there would have been at least 20 computers and lots of comfy seats. I spent a few happy hours in here researching future cruises. Princess.com is available in there free of charge. Internet was slow particularly on the second leg of the cruise. I got 500 mins free plus bought another 200 mins for US$40. I reduced my food intake because I wasn’t doing much but the time went and the bottom line is you either want to go through the Suez or you don’t. I wouldn’t bother doing a cruise with so many sea days in a row just to cruise. I’d buy a plane ticket and spend the time on land. We did make an unscheduled stop in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for a medical evacuation. It was supposed to take place at sea but we ended up docking in the port. The lady managed to climb into the waiting ambulance with most people on the ship looking on. She had to put on a head scarf as did one of the doctors. Two travel companions went with her. It ended up taking over 4 hours to complete the formalities for this stop but the ship had plenty of time to make up the lost time. Then onto Abu Dhabi and Dubai. There wasn’t much departure info on Dubai as its not considered an end port, although many get off. Princess didn’t offer transfers. I was told there were taxis outside the terminal so I got one to my hotel near the airport. I’d been to Dubai before so I then took the metro and connecting bus to the Miracle Gardens. They’re wonderful. Princess offered the Gardens followed by lunch for US$200. Go yourself for less than US$30. Must have been a nice lunch. I then flew home the following morning as the ship continued on to Singapore. I see the Sapphire is coming to Australia late next year so perhaps I’ll get to sail on her again. We had 2670 guests, a nice number that makes activities most viable without the overcrowding and long queues. I’d thoroughly recommend this cruise as you get to see a lot of different things in a short space of time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our 3rd Cruise, two of which were only 7 days each.Our last one being with Princess in Alaska. We were happy then so tried them again. This time it was 37 days at sea on the Sapphire Princess ship from Southampton to ... Read More
This was our 3rd Cruise, two of which were only 7 days each.Our last one being with Princess in Alaska. We were happy then so tried them again. This time it was 37 days at sea on the Sapphire Princess ship from Southampton to Singapore. Before we booked we wondered if it was too long a cruise and also could we cope with the 6 days in a row at sea? This cruise was AMAZING!! its itinerary with long shore days, mostly 7am -7pm. It was such an interesting itinerary with amazing ports of call. We found plenty to do on our 6 day stint at sea, so we were never bored. The staff are so professional and really look after all their passengers as if they are family. From Booking, Boarding, dining, entertaining, service, cabin steward, shore excursions it is all a breeze. They are ultra organized!!! We had a balcony cabin which had plenty room inside and out. We have been on another cruise with a different company and the balcony was too small. Fantastic entertainment onboard and it was very varied. So many dining options. We were informed regularly on where we were, where we were going and what to do onboard. Some days we did not have enough time to do all we wanted to do. Activities covered all age groups and interests. We only did 2 offshore tours with them and they again were really organized. We loved hearing the Destination Presentation in the Theatre so we had a idea on what to expect from when you left the ship to go ashore to returning. these were so helpful in planning you day ashore. Whether you were doing one of their tours or doing it independently so much information was given eg: what the terrain was like and how many steps you might need to climb. etc etc etc. Everything ran smoothly from booking, boarding to disembarking. We did not want to leave this ship after 37 days so this tells you how impressive this company and cruise was. We are already looking at where to go again with PRINCESS CRUISES. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose this cruise as a family vacation that would take us half way around the world, Southampton to Singapore, in 37 days. We had some good times and some not so good times, and met many new friends, but I can not recommend the ... Read More
We choose this cruise as a family vacation that would take us half way around the world, Southampton to Singapore, in 37 days. We had some good times and some not so good times, and met many new friends, but I can not recommend the Sapphire. The service is good, but the food is not good. You can always find something to eat, but as a rule, the overcooked meats buried in tasteless brown sauce, the cooked to death vegetables, the fried foods too hard to cut with a knife, just did not do Princess proud. The Sapphire is an older ship needing repairs and a new WiFi system. You could spend hours not getting emails. We missed the port for Paris and Normandy, and Sicily without a real apology or credit. And the shore excursion to Petra was a total ripoff. We spent as much time in a non scheduled over priced souvenir shop where the guide probably got a kick back than we did at the treasury in Petra. It took 14 days of complaints, but I finally got a credit on that. It wasn’t all bad, about half the shows were top notch and the cruise staff was fun, but after 20 Princess Cruises, this was probably at the bottom. Last year, when the Royal missed two ports due to a Hurricane, everyone got a 20% credit. On the Sapphire, complaints went no where, even though this storm wasn’t even a hurricane, We’ve missed several ports with several cruise lines over the last three years. I think this is a trend. If there is somewhere you really want to go, take a plane. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Excellent choice of ports. Princess has good value and consistent and organized product. Food is excellent but occasionally disappoints. Good coffee still seems to be a weakness although café bar at extra charge is a nice touch. Value ... Read More
Excellent choice of ports. Princess has good value and consistent and organized product. Food is excellent but occasionally disappoints. Good coffee still seems to be a weakness although café bar at extra charge is a nice touch. Value added features are pushed and not good value for money especially excursions. You have to be careful as you can quickly find the bill for your holiday much higher than expected. Many days at sea and despite some rough weather this time of year ship was more stable than expected. Gym is a bit crowded and perhaps used more than it was designed for. Exercise seems to be a priority for the demographic on board. Overall experience was very good and I would recommend this particular itinerary. London and Singapore at each end were also worth spending extra time at. Had several changes due to weather and unexpected medical evacuations but handled well. Just a reminder that things don't always go as planned and you have to be tolerant. Also a reminder to be sure you know what is covered on your medical insurance plans including evacuation costs. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The main purpose of this cruise....the Northern Lights. Spoiler alert.....we saw them! Having spent a couple of nights in London and Southampton pre cruise the day finally arrived to board the Sapphire. Embarkation was delayed due ... Read More
The main purpose of this cruise....the Northern Lights. Spoiler alert.....we saw them! Having spent a couple of nights in London and Southampton pre cruise the day finally arrived to board the Sapphire. Embarkation was delayed due to a satellite needing replacing on the ship but after a few hours waiting in relative comfort we were onboard. I had an obstructed window E212, a step up from my usual inside. Although a lifeboat hung in the lower half of the window, it was sea views over the top. The room was spacious enough for my solo traveling needs and was kept spotless by my awesome room steward "Chai". The bed was amazingly comfortable, the television had a huge selection of new movies and tv shows. This was my first time on the Sapphire and she had everything I love about Princess. Pizza slices by the pool, burgers, amazing milkshakes from Swirls. The cruise staff were great, the activities were good fun and there was plenty to choose from. I won elevator roulette (a game that is always a highlight of the Princess games). Confession..... I'm not really a MDR girl but I did eat there a couple of times. I found the service to be slow but I think this is just how Princess does MDR meals (one of the main reasons I prefer the buffet). The food though was good, no complaints there. The Sapphire has one of the best buffets I've eaten from on a ship. There was a big variety and the food was hot and plentiful. If you get the chance, try the orange mousse OMG! The Lido deck bar and food venues were shut for a few days due to bad weather (a good call from Princess to get staff out of the freezing temperatures and passengers away from the icy surfaces) but we certainly didn't go hungry. I had the soda package and had no problems getting served (which has been an issue on other Princess ships). The bar staff were friendly and efficient. I also had the all inclusive photo package and found no end of opportunities to get a photo taken, I certainly feel I got my monies worth. First port was Alesund where I did a privately booked tour with Calm Giant Tours. The guide was a lot of fun, very informative and the scenery was simply stunning. I highly recommend. Second port was Tromso. Another private tour with Tromso Individuell. We had two buses and unfortunately the guide of the larger vehicle decided to spend a lot of the time preacher her religious beliefs. At lunch we weren't invited to pray, we were told we would be. Not ok in my books. The sights were nice but I wouldn't use this company again. Then I did a night tour "a light chase" with Tromso Guide. The snow was heavy and chances of seeing the lights practically zero but a good time was had, we even got to visit a Norwegian supermarket which was kind of cool. Third port was Alta and an overnight stay. Day one, a private tour of Alta (museum, cathedral, Sami Lavvu) with Luuso. This tour was fun and informative, the guide was very good. In the evening another privately booked light chase with Paeskatun, the snow was falling so hard and the tour seemed to be overbooked causing delays and confusion when trying to board the buses. With no chance what so ever of seeing the lights we drove in what seemed like dangerous conditions for longer than we should have (these guys should know when to call it off but because they had booked so many people on the tours I guess they wanted to give us our monies worth). The guide was informative about the lights we wouldn't see but if I were to use this company again I would insist on it being the small vehicle that I booked, not a larger bus that they swapped to to take more passengers and make more money. Alta day two was Princess tours. During the day a trip to the dam and a Sami Lavvu, both very interesting. At night a trip to Paeskatuns' head quarters to try and see the lights. The skies had cleared and lady Aurora danced across the sky for us. The slate quarry was interesting and the staff were really informative, I've almost forgiven Paeskatun for the shambles that was the previous night. Fourth port, Stavanger. The sun shone and I walked the city then took a privately booked boat trip to Pulpit Rock with Rodne Fjord Cruises. A lovely day (with amazing internet on the boat which was well used on our way back to town). For anyone thinking of doing the lights cruise or sailing on the Sapphire, I wouldn't hesitate in booking. The one downside was the internet. This ship doesn't have medallionet so the internet was slow and sold by the minute. Being in Norway in the fjords we didn't have service for a good amount of time, not Princesses fault but something to consider when purchasing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The highlight of this cruise was seeing the northern lights above the Arctic circle in Alta Norway. Spectacular show on our second day of port stay so we were fortunate to see the northern lights. Our other stops in Norway were ... Read More
The highlight of this cruise was seeing the northern lights above the Arctic circle in Alta Norway. Spectacular show on our second day of port stay so we were fortunate to see the northern lights. Our other stops in Norway were Alesund, Tromoso and Stavanger. This was the last cruise ship to all these ports for the season and we were the only ship in port. As a result shore offerings were somewhat limited with almost no independent options. The ship tours were adequate and the weather this late being a bit limiting on options. As mentioned above, the highlight was the two day port call in Alta in hopes of seeing norther lights. Our first night was overcast with snow so a total bust. Our scheduled ship excursion to viewing point at secluded slate mine the first night was pretty much a wash out as a result of the bad weather. Second night worked out much better as the weather cleared and the northern lights were visible. Some passengers were complaining but you have to realize that there is no way to control the weather. The ship is a nice medium size, clearly my preference over the Princess mega fleet e.g. Royal, Regal. Captain's daily updates were informative and he made a few adjustments to port arrivals/departures to avoid some rough north sea weather. Considering, we had a very smooth trip, just one night of chop. Crew did a nice job, especially our Cabin attendant and Cruise director/entertainment team. Food was better then our last Princess experience. Disappointing room service options for breakfast but this seems to be Princess standard menu across all ships. Boarding and disembarkation were efficient with no issues. We took the Princess Bus from Victoria Coach Station in London to Southampton and bus to Heathrow airport on return. There were several bus loads so a bit crowded but nicely handled. Overall good service as expected from Princess, very relaxing and we were fortunate to see the northern lights. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Sapphire Princess Canaries October 2019. Our fourth time on this ship in two years and in view of its final departure from Southampton this cruise was a real anti climax. Check In and boarding at Southampton took longer for ... Read More
Sapphire Princess Canaries October 2019. Our fourth time on this ship in two years and in view of its final departure from Southampton this cruise was a real anti climax. Check In and boarding at Southampton took longer for Platinum and Elite members that it did for first timers - too many at the higher end of Princess Captains Circle Loyalty Scheme? Same balcony stateroom (C232) for the third cruise running and they still not repaired the fist-sized dent in the wall beside the bed. First sea day through the Bay of Biscay and I've never experienced so much movement throughout the ship, I was surprised that the Formal Night still went ahead even with the smallest Champagne Fountain ever seen and so few people about, we didn't bother with getting formally dressed and ate in Alfredo's Pizzeria instead. Dinner in the Savoy and Vivaldi Dining Rooms resulted in the food varying from inedible to barely acceptable. Inedible in my experience was a beefburger that was so dry it made a McDonalds look upmarket, the Lemon Sole on a bed of black lentils certainly wasn't lemon sole (unless it was overweight) which on the black lentils without any dressing tasted like cardboard, the Lobster Tail stuffed with risotto is an insult to any seasoned Princess cruiser who had a full Lobster until recent years and no I will not be ripped off by $29 for the same thing again. The Curtis Stone Chicken and Leek Pot Pie was quite enjoyable. Princess you need to think again. The usual Spanish and Canaries Ports were visited: Vigo, Madeira, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Las Palmas Gran Canaria, and Arrecife Lanzarote, but why in reverse order with the three sea days on return? It felt like an 8 days holiday rather than an 11 days one. Princess Theatre entertainment was an improvement compared to our previous Grand Asia cruise, but we gave the magician and Edwina Currie a clear miss. The sailing home was rough and as an experienced cruiser, this was rough. Other ships I've sailed through the Bay of Biscay include Grand Princess and Emerald Princess both of which handled rougher conditions than Sapphire. Was Captain Rivera too mean to use stabilisers knowing that they would slow the ship down and increase fuel consumption? Overall, we left the ship a bit disappointed and it took us 2-3 days to get our 'land legs' back. We were told that Princess are 'Investing in People', who are the people, their Shareholders? Certainly not us cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first time on the Sapphire Princess although we had been on the sister ship, Diamond, earlier in the year in Japan so knew mostly what to expect. We had initially been booked on the Explorer of the seas for a similar ... Read More
This was our first time on the Sapphire Princess although we had been on the sister ship, Diamond, earlier in the year in Japan so knew mostly what to expect. We had initially been booked on the Explorer of the seas for a similar itinerary at the same time but when it got cancelled we opted for this cruise rather than taking the Independence of the Seas {which followed most of our trip} as the Sapphire was in port much longer each time. We flew down to London for 4 nights pre cruise and took in some shows before taking the train to Southampton the day before. Stayed overnight in the Leonardo grand harbour which was very good and gave great views towards the port. Very wet day so ventured out in full rain gear to get the obligatory wine from a nearby Asda! Found a nice Indian restaurant {Bayleaf kitchen} on the High street with great reviews and had an excellent meal before it dried up and we headed back to the hotel. Good breakfast in the morning and pre-booked taxi for 11 o’clock which, as expected, turned into a sea of people all trying to get to one of the 3 large ships nearby. A short taxi ride had us at the terminal around 1140 and as we had a club class cabin we were booked in fairly quickly. The only issue was having to argue with the staff for the advertised priority boarding, which nobody seemed to know about! Got on the ship about 20 minutes later just after the club class dining room opened in the Santa Fe restaurant so relaxed over a small lunch until our cabin was ready. Located midship on the starboard side our mini suite had plenty of space and lots of storage. The only issues we had were the plug in the bath refused to open and the balcony door kept sticking but a visit to guest services quickly had these remedied. This was our third time booking club class. I know it isn’t for everyone but we really enjoy the small dining room and the more personal experience that it brings. We always got a table straight away and usually next to the window. All the staff were excellent and each night there was an extra on the menu that wasn’t available elsewhere. I have to say that on this cruise they excelled with this choice on most evenings, from Surf and Turf {including lobster and filet mignon steak!} to fresh pasta. As a result of this we never made it to the buffet, a first for us! The coffee at the international café has improved this year {according to my wife} and was well used. Entertainment onboard was the usual hit and miss stuff. The headliners being good to excellent and the guest speaker, Egwina Currie , was surprisingly interesting and informative. The cruise director, Paul, was humorous without being over the top and is down to earth. Should mention at this point that this was our first time going through the bay of Biscay. The first day, a sea day, enroute to Vigo was reasonably rough and effected a large amount of passengers. We were lucky and ate, drank and slept through it! We attended the c.c. roll call but unfortunately the weather curtailed the large number of people who had signed up. Still, met a lot of nice people. The ports of call were: Vigo- where we took a half day ship excursion on a catamaran over to Illa de Cies. Two uninhabited islands, joined by a small causeway, off the coast with an amazing sandy beach and a great walking path up to the lighthouse. Terrific weather made this a highlight of the cruise. In the afternoon we spent a couple of hours walking around Vigo old town {nothing special} with some great Italian ice cream! The ship thankfully docked right in town. Madeira- Having spent a week here before and also stopped on a transatlantic crossing we were looking forward to some walking in the mountains. We hired a car and headed for the top but unfortunately so had lots of walking groups on the Island. We persevered for a few hours along narrow high level paths before heading off to other, quieter parts. Got some great photos from some lookout points along the way and ended our day back in town. Dropped the car off and had drinks by the pool of the hotel we had previously stayed at and enjoyed the sunny walk back through the gardens to the ship. Tenerife- Another car hire day. Drove over to Puerto de la Cruz and spent a few hours walking around the old town area before driving up to the cable car centre of Mount Teide. Unfortunately the winds were too strong for the cable car to operate but the scenery was very impressive all around. Nice drive back through small villages and stops at lookout points on the way back to port. Gran Canaria- Car hire again down to Maspalomas and a walk through the sand dunes to the large beach. After a few pleasant hours we drove up into the hills to visit a recommended “pretty village”. The drive was a bit nerve wracking but scenic however the weather changed on arriving at the village and thick mist and cold temperatures made for a short visit after some well deserved coffee and cake! The weather cleared on the return journey to the port giving great views. Lanzarote- Booked a Princess tour as it was reasonable in price and spent the full day visiting all the places we had wanted to see anyway. Got a tour of the Timanfaya national park and then a short camel ride before some wine tasting and a decent buffet lunch. The afternoon consisted of visits to Mirador del Rio viewpoint {a house built into the rockface with stunning views overlooking the nearby island of La Graciosa} and Jameos del Agua {a cave system}. Good excursion. Three sea days and plenty of good food in the club class dining room followed by a few hours of walking it off around the promenade deck! Time for some relaxing before disembarking easily at Southampton and a short flight home. A very good cruise experience. We had{mainly} good weather, got into every port on time, the food was excellent onboard and the ports were interesting, each in their own way. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Elite member of Princess, have always enjoyed our experiences but not this time. First time I have found that I wish we had not gone at all. Embarkation was fine, cabin, while old was good except ONE plug that worked. Dining, found ... Read More
Elite member of Princess, have always enjoyed our experiences but not this time. First time I have found that I wish we had not gone at all. Embarkation was fine, cabin, while old was good except ONE plug that worked. Dining, found the food in the dining room OK but very little variety and I very much resented that I could not get brewed coffee on my coffee card until I either sent a poor server out to find it as it was not available at the Horizon Court either..Oh well, what you got was not very good anyway. Entertainment-- write that off, two male singers, two female singers, two shows and I believe there was someone who told jokes.....very little variety . That plus there were so many people coughing at times they were hard to hear. Service, lots of service people all who were very good at their jobs BUT especially in the Horizon Court I felt that more effort should have been made to disinfect the chairs, salt and pepper shakers and to keep the food area cleaner and the hand washers filled and to encourage people to use them. Shore Excursion people not nice to deal with, rude at times. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This cruise was a disappointment. Two ports were cancelled (one third of the total) because of weather and no alternate ports were substituted thiugh it seems like they could have easily been added without a deviation from the revised ... Read More
This cruise was a disappointment. Two ports were cancelled (one third of the total) because of weather and no alternate ports were substituted thiugh it seems like they could have easily been added without a deviation from the revised route. The onboard activities were uninteresting, consisting of things like zumba classes, line dancing, and penny whistle classes. There was only one enrichment speaker, scheduled for early in the mornings, and a few talks by bridge crew. Other “enrichment” activities were sales pitches for jewelry, art, or spa offerings. The lack of activities was a real disappointment, especially given that we had eight consecutive sea days. In addition, though the ship was attractive, inside public areas lacked space where passengers could just sit and enjoy a view of the ocean. The atrium was attractive, but provided totally inadequate seating space for those wanting to watch and listen to the entertainers performing there. On the plus side, the food was quite good, and the cabin (interior) reasonably comfortable, although the shower was cramped and the shower head was too low for anyone taller than about 5’10”. Evening entertainment was adequate, although it was often difficult to find seating. This was my first cruise with Princess, and I’ll probably not be sailing with them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
CROWN PRINCESS REVIEW We have recently completed the Crown Princess Transatlantic cruise. Unfortunately the crossing was very rough due to the effects of Hurricane Lorenzo and we missed two ports as a result. The Captain was forced ... Read More
CROWN PRINCESS REVIEW We have recently completed the Crown Princess Transatlantic cruise. Unfortunately the crossing was very rough due to the effects of Hurricane Lorenzo and we missed two ports as a result. The Captain was forced to forego the Azores in order to go further south. He did manage to get us some sunny weather although it remained rocky throughout. I don’t think we will try a late summer crossing again. We have taken two spring crossings which were much smoother. Spring crossings are not subject to Hurricane season effects. The ship is definitely showing some wear but nothing to impact our enjoyment; we did hear from a crew member that the Crown is due for a refurbishment soon. Dining room meals were very good with lots of choice and excellent dining service. I was disappointed in the specialty coffee offered, very weak coffee and not the best quality. Also the pastries were tough and somewhat greasy tasting. Our room steward was excellent, cabin was cleaned promptly and well and she was very friendly; in fact we found all staff provided excellent, friendly service. We had a problem with our AC which was quickly solved. We took the cruise for the itinerary which offered some unusual ports. Favourites were Bruges, Bilbao and Lisbon. Bordeaux was disappointing, mainly because of the very long drive into the city (unless you were interested in the closer wine tours). Entertainment was just average but there were lots of trivia challenges which were very popular. We were disappointed in the production shows which seemed to have been scaled back...most of the shows were single vocalists. All was well until disembarkation. Once off the ship we encountered huge lineups for customs and after clearing customs it was a chaotic free for all. Masses of people trying to find taxis, Princess bus transfers, tour busses and virtually no signage or a Princess employee located at the customs exit to direct passengers to the proper place. There should have been staff organizing a line for each area and maintaining control of the lines to control line cutting. There were plenty of staff available on leaving the ship wishing us a good journey or a good day or warning us to hold the escalator handrails so Princess certainly cant claim staff shortage. In over forty cruises I have to say I have never experienced the like. I dont know if this is a Port Everglades problem, but Princess could have taken some initiative to help their passengers rather than leaving them in the lurch. I would like to thank the lovely porter who made the effort to get the passengers into some sort of organized line and I would also say shame on those who cut into the lines after he did so. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Princess takes great care of suite passenger so we enjoyed breakfast in Sabatini's, club class dining, special room services menu items, priority spa reservations, room service on debarkation day and many other extras. We think the ... Read More
Princess takes great care of suite passenger so we enjoyed breakfast in Sabatini's, club class dining, special room services menu items, priority spa reservations, room service on debarkation day and many other extras. We think the cabin price is worth it. We've never complained about quality of food on our many Princess cruises and this one was no exception. In fact, we thought food on this trip was particulary good. Club Class dining each night had a special tableside dish that was delicious each time. We visited the Crown Grill and Sabatini's for diner twice each during the trip and enjoyed truly exceptional meals and service.The crew we encountered was all top notch--friendly, cheerful, attentive and professional. I would have like to have ticked five stars above but we were very disappointed about having two of six ports cancelled. The culprit was the weather which of course is out of Princess's control but the complaint is how missing these ports was handled. We happened to be on a Princess cruise in the maritime provinces of Canada during Hurricane Sandy that caused several of the eastern seaboard stops to be cancelled. Rather than just bob about until it was clear to sail south, Princess found a couple of places for us to visit while we waited. In the current case, Crown Princess merely changed course and aimed to the next stop after a cursory announcement from the captain. It seemed to us that in the case of cancelling the Azores call, we could have remained at Lisbon to have the advantage of a full weekday ashore or stopping at Madeira. Surely the captain knew before we left Lisbon that Hurricane Lorenzo would keep us from the Azores, so we could have stayed at the dock. If we couldn't, an explanation of why not would have been the courteous thing to do. Likewise, an explanation of why Madeira couldn't be a substitute would have been appreciated, especially since we got close enough to that destination to transfer a medical patient from Crown Princess to a boat sent out from Madeira. We think the passengers deserved more than silence. One other minor gripe. Our coffee card from an earlier cruise was refused as having expired. At sale, the cards are advertised as being good on later cruises for specialty coffees and there's no mention of expiration. Pretty cheap on the part of Princess to declare one has expired. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We will have to laugh about this cruise, but want to let others know that a repositioning cruise might not be for everyone. It was unfortunate that we didn't have a better idea about what to expect, and what we want is to let others ... Read More
We will have to laugh about this cruise, but want to let others know that a repositioning cruise might not be for everyone. It was unfortunate that we didn't have a better idea about what to expect, and what we want is to let others know, and perhaps avoid disappointment for them. We left from Southampton on Sept. 22, and sailed to Brugge/Belgium, where we had a great shore excursion. Then on to Isle of Portland, England. We were not able to dock there due to unsafe weather conditions. This is a great cruise for folks who enjoy staying onboard even during the stops at the ports, and just enjoy being on the ocean for many days at a time. My husband and I like a little more variety, and look forward to the shore excursions and learning about the people who live in the different ports.That just put us on the sea too many long days. We would suggest that the end of Sept. is too late to be in those parts. Also an older crowd on this ship. On to Burgundy, France, which was just not a great stop. The winery tour just didn't do it for us. Our next stop was Bilbao, Spain. We did dock, and had plans for a great shore excursion, but when we looked at our actual tickets, it was just too strenuous for us, compared to what we had read in the description. Other excursions were sold out, so, oh well...stuff happens. Now, on to Lisbon, Portugal, and that was a wonderful excursion, and a great day. The Azores Islands were our last scheduled port, and the one that we most looked forward to. Nope! Hurricane Lorenzo was headed there too, so we turned tail and sailed away. The captain made a great decision that time too, so we had 8 more days on the ocean. Ugh...don't take this cruise during hurricane season! Lucky for us, we met some great new friends, and had partners for Rummy 500 every day. Trivia is always fun. Performances at Princess Theatre were just a little too opera-like for our taste. We also had some nice, warm days on the deck in the shade. As you will see from my scoring, we were very happy with the crew, room steward and all of the great wait staff who were right there for us. The food was great, as usual... Some unfortunate events, which started with the fact that we boarded a ship full of sick folks in Southampton. They were carrying over from earlier cruises. Bad chest cold...everyone had the same horrible cough...others had some kind of flu, and had to be quarantined to their cabins. We got sick, yes, as careful as we were, but we got over it in a few days. Even had a couple of unfortunate folks who had to be evacuated from the ship due to illness. Our most huge mistake was not getting a balcony cabin. Our inside cabin was plenty roomy, but we needed fresh air in our cabin! The best item that we brought onboard was a fan! I am posting cabin photos. R515 interior cabin. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Although we have cruised with Princess before, at 24 nights this would be our longest cruise with them and anyone else for that matter. The itinerary covered Canada and New England in the Fall, the only drawbacks was that there were going ... Read More
Although we have cruised with Princess before, at 24 nights this would be our longest cruise with them and anyone else for that matter. The itinerary covered Canada and New England in the Fall, the only drawbacks was that there were going to be a lot of sea days, and difficult to predict weather. We booked this cruise in May 2018 and had got a good deal, with the 321 offer, Future Cruise Credit and we ended up with $1400 on-board credit. This would also be our first cruise in the Elite loyalty tier. Embarkation/Disembarkation The ship was using the Ocean Terminal in Southampton. We had priority boarding and so did a lot of others, from arriving at the terminal to getting to the cabin took 25mins. Check in took a bit longer as they had to confirm that we had valid US visas (ESTA). Disembarkation was straightforward, a few days before a form was left in our cabin for us to complete with our preferences. We selected Independent 09:00, we got 09:15 but this was not a problem. After breakfast on disembarkation morning we went to Club Fusion (the Elite waiting lounge) but it was far too crowded, so we moved on to the Savoy Dining Room, where there was seating. We were called 15mins early, walked off, collected our luggage from the Reclaim which was grouped by the coloured and numbered luggage tags provided by the ship. Cruise Critic Roll Call Meet and Greet We did have a M&G on the first sea day, a nice chat with quite a varied bunch. Dining We had chosen Freedom dinning and this gave us a choice of three MDRs for dinner, breakfast and lunch could be taken in the International Dining Room. At times we struggled with the menus, and we are not picky eaters. They seem to operate a two week menu rotation which meant that by the end of the cruise the choices were becoming very familiar. In general the food was well prepared and presented, but seemed to lack flavour. For Dinner we tended to eat in the Vivaldi, where the hostess Danielle did a great job of getting us a table of 6, 4 or 2 we find that with the noise in the dining room tables of 8 or 10 can be difficult. If there was a queue we would try one of the other MDRs. Wine prices are high, part of our 321 offer included a free bottle of wine each up to the value of $32, in the extensive list we could only find three bottles that met this price. Breakfast in the MDR can be a slow affair; we tended to use the Horizon Court (buffet) where there was a better selection of food, particularly fruit. The buffet can become congested at peak times and you had to be prepared to walk to the indoor swimming pool to find a table. We had lunch in Alfredo’s Pizzeria; this offers a reasonable choice of pizza and quick service. We also ate on the Lido Deck pizzeria Prego, I thought that the quality of pizza here was better, very thin, crispy and piping hot, but there are only three choices. The Trident Grill offers good burgers, hot dogs and fries. Bowls of fries were very popular. We also ate in the speciality restaurants Sabatini’s and the Sterling Steak House. Sabatini’s is great for a special occasion, you get a lot of food for the $29 uplift, the menu is interesting and the service is very good. Sterling again has a $29 uplift, if you like steak this is very good, on the occasion we used it for some reason service was slow. We also treated ourselves to the Chef’s Table, we booked it as soon as we got onboard, and the cover charge is $95. This was an exceptional experience; we were expecting a tasting menu we got a six course banquet with wine. This event only happened twice with 10 people at each sitting. It commences with a tour of the galley, with canapés and Champagne, before going on to a private area in the Pacific Moon MDR. Very memorable. Bars We decided to purchase the Premium Drinks Package, this may seem expensive at £49 per person per day but we calculated that due to the 18% applied to all drinks we would break even at six drinks each per day. Specially teas, coffees and bottled water were also included in this package. Our main watering hole in the evening was in Vines wine bar where Christian and Maria kept our glasses topped up. It’s a small area off the Piazza, it also got used as a waiting room for the Vivaldi MDR. We also tried most of the other bars, in general we found that if you sat at a bar the service was prompt, sitting at a table the service could be patchier. Drinks prices are quite high. Cabin Our cabin was on D deck starboard side just aft of midships (D523), this gave a smooth ride and convenient access to the rest of the ship. The cabin is classed as a Mini-Suit, starting with the bathroom, a clothes hanging area, the bedroom, a sitting area, and a good sized balcony. The bathroom has a full size bath with over bath shower; towels were changed every time they were used. Another nice touch was that a rubber bath mat was provided, particularly good when the ship is rolling. The bed and pillows are extremely comfortable. There are two large LED TVs, the selection of material to watch was very big, with a particularly good selection of movies. Our cabin steward Ramon Blanco, was friendly, efficient and eager to please. Entertainment The entertainment was disappointing; only four theatre production shows, relying mainly on cabaret type shows. The limited capacity of the theatre, and it’s not small, meant that if you wanted a seat you needed to be in there 30mins before curtain up. To try to relieve the capacity issues, matinee performances of the productions shows were staged on sea days. We did go to one production show which relied heavily on bright lighting and a loud sound track. Highlights were the encounter shows with Linda Gray and Valerie Singleton. The Enrichment lecturer Jevan Morris with his nautical themed lectures was also very good. Photography The photography was disappointing, where they used flash it did not give a good result, we did not buy any prints. Gym A good gym with everything you could want, most of the machines looked to be new. As usual it could become congested at peak times. The majority of treadmills are now in the fitness studio and can not be used when a seminar or class is in progress, this could be improved by swapping some of the cross trainers in the gym for treadmills. Shops Lots of shops to choose from, but prices were high. We thought that the amount of paper being posted to the cabins by Effy and the Art Autions was starting to have an environmental impact. Ports of Call Saint John’s, NF, Canada Our first stop after four days at sea, we were glad to get off! We took a ship walking tour led by local guide Jed Butt ably assisted by Caroline bringing up the rear. The tour was pleasantly paced and informative; fortunately it was a bright though chilly day. One particular highlight was unexpectedly being invited into the Governer’s House, a first for Jed. People were warm and friendly, and wanted to engage in conversation. This was a reasonably accessible tour; one of the party completed it on a mobility scooter. A nice touch was that two Newfoundland dogs were brought onto the ship for an encounter session before we sailed. Sydney, NS, Canada Our first sight was a large terminal and the world’s biggest fiddle! We took a historic walking tour; and our guide Wilfred came dressed in 18th century costume. We covered most of the historic sites in a living history style walk which ended with tea and biscuits at the museum. We were in luck as there was a vintage car show on in the main street which was worth a look round. Charlottetown, PEI, Canada A nice bright sunny morning, and we are off on a food and drink tasting walk. We munched and drank our way round Charlottetown in the company of Becky. Generous tastings included, oysters, craft beer, mussels, fries and a lobster roll. New York, USA We did not have anything planned for our first morning and afternoon in NY, and decided to walk down a couple of blocks from our berth on Pier 90 to the Intrepid Air and Space Museum. Most of the exhibits are housed in an aircraft carrier which has a large selection of aircraft including an SR71 spy plane and a space shuttle. On the pier there is a Concorde ($20 extra) and a submarine (included in entrance fee). We were lucky that it was quiet, definitely worth two or three hours of anybody’s time. In the evening we took a tour of Manhattan by night, this took in Brooklyn with a great view of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Our guide Tony gave an interesting commentary and even threw in a visit to Grand Central Station. We were dropped in Times Square for an hour, 10:00 in the evening and the place in crazy, we didn’t feel threatened, just overwhelmed. Next day was a full day coach tour of Manhattan, but the UN General Assembly was in session and Donald Trump was in town, things got very congested. Our tour guide Anthony coped admirably. We took in the Lincoln Centre, Top of the Rock and the 9/11 Memorial. How the driver got the coach round the streets needed to be seen! Newport, RI, USA This was a tender transfer. We took a short guided walk let by Gail which was very informative had provided orientation. It’s a very pretty town with plenty to see. We took lunch in a local restaurant, lobster roll and fries. We would have stayed and explored a bit longer, but when we got back to the tender berth the queue was already lengthy. The tender operation was very efficient and the queue moved quickly. Boston, MS, USA This did not go well, there were problems with the berth and the gangways which caused lengthy delays in getting off and joining our tour, these should have been predicted. These problems resulted in wasting an hour and a half in the theatre waiting for the gangway to be repositioned and a compressed tour. During this time the communication from the ship was not great and they could have kept us better informed. We took a walking tour led by Patrick who kept the information coming. We did see everything we were meant to see, but at route march pace. The tour was compressed from 3.5 down to 2.5 hours, we decided to miss the Quincey Market and take the shuttle bus back to the ship, because the shuttle bus queue would only get longer as the afternoon progressed. Rockland, Maine, USA Our second tender port. Our tour was early afternoon, so we decided to stay on board in the morning rather than having to make additional tender trips to join our tour. Our tour was hosted by Marilee, and took us to a vineyard and winery, followed by time in Camden. It was a bright sunny day and the fall colours were really starting to show. Saint John, NB, Canada Today’s tour took in the reversing rapids; we saw them in both directions. It also included a run out to St. Martin’s, to see the beach and sample clam chowder. Our guide Barbara kept us informed and entertained with her commentary, and passing a basket of interesting objects down the bus. The chowder was excellent, the beach was beautiful, and the covered bridges interesting. On our return to Saint John we had some free time in the covered market before returning to the now reversed rapids. Halifax, NS, Canada Again we ended up on one of those trips in the middle of the day, and as a (free) shuttle was needed to get out of the docks stayed on board until our trip. The start was delayed due to a traffic accident in town; the ship could have communicated this better. We had driver/guide Bob, who turned up in his kilt. The run to Peggy’s Cove was very scenic and you got a good feeling of how isolated our destination was. Bob kept the information flowing in a very light hearted way. We had an hour at Peggy’s Cove, this was plenty of time to walk up to the light house, see the cove and walk round the shop. The return trip was a different route providing different scenery to look at. Anything Else? We were under no illusions that there were going to be a lot of sea days on this trip, and Princess could have tried harder but stuck to their 14 night American customer model. Overall it was a successful and enjoyable cruise for us, we were even able to cash in our unused onboard credit, up to $250. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Just completing a 24 day cruise of New England and Canada on the Sapphire Princess and having had a 3 year break from Princess Cruises. Having completed over 41 cruises I have experienced a lot of great service and friendly staff to ... Read More
Just completing a 24 day cruise of New England and Canada on the Sapphire Princess and having had a 3 year break from Princess Cruises. Having completed over 41 cruises I have experienced a lot of great service and friendly staff to amazing places with P & O, Princess, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean, unfortunately this Princess ship has not given the quality of service I have enjoyed in the past. The food was well below the expected standard and not on par with my previous experience with Princess, in particular the standard was variable and the quality of beef (particularly steaks) was poor with menus which were too repetitive and limited. Getting served in Cafe Piazza is often slow and although bar service is fine the lack of bar menus mean you have to ask what is available. Cabin (L246) was okay but lamps were faulty (until they were changed) and the sink in the bathroom wouldn’t hold water for long, the shower flooded and leaked when used. Water temperature was poor and I am still undecided which way is hot and which was cold. The in cabin entertainment would have been good if the on demand service was reliable and didn’t keep stopping. The cabin was kept clean by the steward and she was helpful. I have been on this class of ship with others and the rear of deck 7 is A show lounge which takes pressure of the theatre when it is full but for some reason the Sapphire has Club Fusion which is not used as such. This meant the theatre was frequently full and there were totally insufficient wheelchair spaces. I was also concerned that people were allowed to stand at the back and down the side stairs while others sat on the stairs, I have concerns that the fire regulations in relation to maximum personnel allowed were not adhered to. Entertainment was good if limited in venues and some great acts to entertain you over a broad range. The ports were all good and though I didn’t participate in any trip I heard good comments about them. I am wheelchair bound and generally the ship was accessible with the exception of decks 15 and 16 and the pool and jacuzzi had a disabled hoist. My only criticism is the shuttle buses which never secured me during transit though this may be outside the company’s control. Th Sapphire Princess is in need of a refit and I believe this is happening sometime this year but that won’t address other shortcomings with her. Altogether a disappointing holiday which failed to meet previous standards and I have already got a cruise on Royal Princess booked for next year (Alaska with land addons so can’t cancel) but I suspect the issues are mainly ship specific, I don’t expect to return to Princess again after that. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
With excitement we looked forward to this cruise. We would be sailing with Princess after 5 years because the itinerary was so special and it would coincide with my special birthday. Embarkation and disembarkation was brilliant, it was ... Read More
With excitement we looked forward to this cruise. We would be sailing with Princess after 5 years because the itinerary was so special and it would coincide with my special birthday. Embarkation and disembarkation was brilliant, it was quick and well organised just how I had remembered and valued Princess for unfortunately this is where my admiration began and ended. The cabin was small but serviceable, bathroom tiny and in need of major update especially the  shower. The shower only had a shower curtain that had seen better days. The balcony was nice with 2 chairs and small table but old and tired. The room was well maintained by our Stewart Heinrich Tajano. He was excellent, very friendly and nothing seems too much bother. The quality and choice of food on offer was such a disappointment since our last Princess cruise around 5 years ago. Not an inspiring menu and I have never seen so many meals left, returned or complained about as I have on the Sappire Princess . Food undercooked, over cooked, not sufficiently defrosted, tough steak, rubbery lobster food served cold, lack of or poor presentation of meals and I am still looking for the sticky toffee in the so called sticky toffee steamed pudding. Food for formal evenings should be special and not as one couple I overheard say 'I got all dressed up for the best meal on the menu being fish and chips'. To be honest I have seen better menu's and quality of food in my local cafe.  I decided to get a drinks package as always seems easier when cruising with other companies. We'll don't bother where princess is concerned, as I found out on this cruise.  Apparently you cannot have cans of coke or canned/bottled mixer drinks with the full drinks package, mixers and soft drinks have to come out of the pump otherwise you must purchase the mixer seperately. In addition, should a drink exceed the $12 drink limit for your package you must pay the total for you drink and not, as you can with Celebrity, only pay the difference, i.e. drink $14 package $12 you would be charged $2.  Of course don't forget the 18% bar gratuity that is then added to every drink. However it has been suggested that this gratuity can be removed.  The wine selection by the glass is poor and the cost of bottles of wine is quite expensive.  Anytime dining has 3 smaller sized restaurants and this is the option we had chosen, unfortunately for the first 7 days of the cruise it was a shambles. Waiting times anywhere from 30 to 50 minutes if a table for 2 wanted. It was not unusual to be asked to move to another dining room and then told no table. If you wanted to be certain of a table for 2 you needed to ring up every morning from 8am. In the end I had to ask staff were there no tables for sharing as we hadn't asked specifically for a table for 2.  I have never in all my time cruising ever been asked to move to other dining rooms but this seemed normal practice on this ship. The Horizon Court on deck 14 is a buffet service. The choice of food most times was boring and the food quality could have also improved, however, on the whole it was better than what was served in the dining room.  The layout of the food in the buffet was poor and for the size of the ship and amount of passengers was rather small.  The service regarding beverages was good and staff were always helpful.  I was not impressed with the plastic crockery and glasses that was used. I was quite shocked that it took at least 5 days for Princess to attempt to enforce handwashing with guests on entering food area, it was not unusual to see guests just walking in without either using the handwashing basins or the gel hand wash. On ship shopping had plenty of jewellery, watches and perfume, all expensive. I feel there needs to be a larger selection in the general shop with regards to chocolate crisps and books and I observed there seemed a constant push for guests to purchase  photos, spa treatments and Effy jewellery. Where entertainment was concerned the shows were well attended every evening but getting a seat was a problem. Entertainment is personal and what suits one person does not suit another, however, the pianist Art Iliardi needs to review his play list. Other entertainment around the ship was in my opinion mediocre. The last formal evening theatre show was excellent and other passengers reported that the theatre shows had been good. The activities around the ship on sea days were at best boring. The library hardly any books and those that were there were in other languages. The first 3 Canadian ports were excellent, beautiful scenary, quiet places with very friendly people who were so helpful. New York was not for me, again this is personal.  Immigration was extremely well organised in New York so we'll done Princess.  I found New York very noisy, dirty and not what I had envisaged. However the sail out at night was fabulous the Manhatten skyline and statue of liberty made it worth while.  Boston was an organisation shambles by Princess. We  expected to be off the ship by about 9.30 well you could forget that there were ques every where and 1 gangway for so many passengers. The hold up appeared to be the 1st gangway was very steep, more like a ski slope and the elderly and less abled persons were having problems leaving the ship. It took until 11.30 until another gangway was secured. After waiting for a length of time and not getting anywhere we decided to stay aboard. Newport was by tender a 30 minute transfer this was much better organised but due to the number on board did again take a good length of time but a lovely place. Rockland by tender was well executed however place is very quiet and everything can be seen in around 90 minutes. St John's a private tour with Go Fundy Tours was excellent and would recommend them. Lots to see here but you need to go out and about with transport to do the place justice. Halifax a private tour with 5 star taxi, excellent, we seem to go everywhere and Darrell our guide seemed to know everyone. Our transatlantic crossings both ways went very well, we were very lucky, no bad weather. Our captain was excellent making sure he avoided any problems from the numerous hurricanes. In summary:  all in all worst cruise I have ever had. Why do you cruise for the itinerary, the food and beverages. The itinerary was very enjoyable the sailing was lovely the food was uninspiring, uninteresting, poorly presented and cooked. I will not be travelling again with Princess. Princess seems to be cost cutting and this needs to stop, they are ruining their hard earned reputation. if this was a school report the comments would be, you are not applying your skill sufficiently, must do better. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We are elite class passengers on Princess, we have favoured Princess for the last few years even though we used to be regular RCCL and P&O clients. On our last Princess Cruise in March we thought the food on offer had deteriorated in ... Read More
We are elite class passengers on Princess, we have favoured Princess for the last few years even though we used to be regular RCCL and P&O clients. On our last Princess Cruise in March we thought the food on offer had deteriorated in standard/choice, but it didn’t prepare us for the food on offer in the main dining room on Sapphire. The food was at best functional, no flair, unimaginative, poorly presented, this is a general day to day comment. There were some bright spot but not enough to make up for repetitive fair on offer. The desserts were literally a repetitive stream all similar in nature. The steaks were either good or tough, nothing in between, lamb chops were small and cremated, disgraceful offerings. I will say that the food in the Horizon was very satisfactory, my criticism is of the dining room food. The Entertainment was very good but you had to be early to get a seat in the theatre, not sure why we struggled it is the first time we have known the theatre to. E packed solid most nights. Shore Excursions, I guess it can happen but the crew seemed to lack initiative when there are problems. The originally installed gangway in Boston had such an incline you could have slid to the dock it was so steep. Someone on the bridge was not on the job, one gangway for 2600 passengers and the age group on board didn’t help. Sorry Princess but you reputation took a terrible hit. I will be fair, first time cruisers thought the food was OK, all the regular long term cruisers were constantly critical about the demise of Princess as a cruise line. I am hoping it is just a blip or its Celebrity in future, their reputation is better!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have always sailed RCI (Once) and Celebrity (Several times) but we found an itinerary that included sailing into New York and visiting several Canadian ports with Princess. Well what a disappointment! I certainly didn't expect ... Read More
We have always sailed RCI (Once) and Celebrity (Several times) but we found an itinerary that included sailing into New York and visiting several Canadian ports with Princess. Well what a disappointment! I certainly didn't expect plastic plates, bowls etc in the buffet area (Horizon Court) which my wife hated for the layout and the constant inability to get a table. We have never had this problem on other cruise lines. The choice of food was fine for the first few days but then became very monotonous. The ship is certainly not designed for disabled people although there were quite a lot on this cruise. The Theatre especially badly equipped with steep stairs leading to the Theatre and once inside steep steps down. Also you have to get there at least 45 minutes to get a seat. Some of the staff were friendly, others very surly and not customer focused at all. Suffice to say we won't be travelling with Princess or any other Carnival owned ship again! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We booked this cruise for the itinerary and our Golden wedding anniversary . We have cruised for many years with different cruise lines, and cruised with Princess twice in the Caribbean these were fab with reasonable prices and good ... Read More
We booked this cruise for the itinerary and our Golden wedding anniversary . We have cruised for many years with different cruise lines, and cruised with Princess twice in the Caribbean these were fab with reasonable prices and good restaurant meals. But how different this cruise line has changed the food in the restaurant below average the Portions are smaller than all the cruises we have been on people we spoke to agreed. Some said why don’t you ask for 2 meals others do, why should l ask for 2 meal , the meal l get should be plentiful . Service in dining room most nights took 1.1/2 to 2 hrs We ate in the Horizon after that. Drinks prices were well over priced 90% of people drank water in restaurants . Food in Horizon And international cafe very good. The shows were all very good with a variety of different acts but getting a seat was difficult everynight ,if you weren’t in the theatre 45minutes before the start you struggled to get a seat. This shows how popular the shows were but a little thought could have eased this situation .The Club Fusion was most of the time 75% empty ( no reflection on the excellent group Xtasea who performed there) but the acts from previous nights in theatre could have performed a second time in there thus giving people a second chance to see them when they couldn’t get in theatre at either showing .This did happen once or twice in Explorers Lounge bit this was also like the Theatre you needed to get a seat by 6.30 to be able to get in for the evening.Exlorers was very popular due to gameshows al very enjoyable but why do it all in one lounge when another is sat empty most of the night Sapphire princess is same ship as P@O s Azura and Ventura and their Club Fusion equivellant is full everynight as well as Explorerers. This said we really enjoyed the cruise the staff were excellent ship lovely itinerary good but one last comment .WHAT HAS HAPPENED To THE SAILAWAY PARTIES ? Only cruise we have ever been on with no sailaway parties.and don’t blame the weather it was all good. Such a shame on a fantastic port like New York to sail out of one big disappointment . Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have sailed with Princess several times, and this year tried a longer cruise (we normally do 14 nights). We haven't been on Sapphire before, but we knew we would love the whole experience since we had two fantastic cruises on both ... Read More
We have sailed with Princess several times, and this year tried a longer cruise (we normally do 14 nights). We haven't been on Sapphire before, but we knew we would love the whole experience since we had two fantastic cruises on both Emerald and Crown Princess. Embarkation was quick and easy as usual. We had a little wait at Southampton as we arrived at the port slightly too early. Security was a breeze. Once on board we went to the International Cafe for a snack and drink. We had already purchased the soft drinks package online which was a good choice for us - we certainly got our money's worth in mocktails throughout the cruise! Food on board was excellent, with some nice choices in the main restaurant each night. Our wait team were superb - by far the best we have had on any ship to date. We usually go for the first sitting dining as it allows more time for evening activities. We did occasionally mix things up and eat in Horizon court or at the steakhouse (the same as Crown Grill). Sabatini's was alright, though I do not really like seafood and this was very seafood heavy! Our cabin was a balcony on Baja deck, B337. Fine most of the time, but very creaky and noisy when the sea got a bit rough at times. All sorts of banging and creaking which often kept up awake. This was only for a few nights and as it is an older ship, not too surprising. On the whole, a very comfy room and a lovely bed! The TV screens have been updated since we last travelled, and the choices for films and TV channels has been massively improved. We watched a film most nights as there was so many to choose from. Entertainment was pretty good, though generally aimed more at the older market (we were certainly in the minority being non-retired!). After the first week or so it became a little repetitive and samey, with quizzes and trivia being the go-to entertainment most evenings. The acts on in the theatre were pretty good too, again aimed at the older folk with lots of singers, instrumentalists and "comedians" we didn't find funny...maybe because the jokes were talking about stuff way before our time. The celebrity guests on board were also from a different era - Valerie Singleton and Linda Grey. Our parents were happy though. The production shows were great - high energy and fun. The crew were excellent throughout the cruise especially the entertainment staff. Martin and Emma were especially good. Paul was a bit annoying after a while, a bit too Butlins-esque. The outside space was good on this ship, with plenty of seating both under cover and out on deck. We rarely struggled to find somewhere to relax, however the evening was a different story - the Explorers Lounge was always packed after 7pm and the nightclub was full during the day - we nicknamed it Skysnoozers seeing as this is all people seemed to use it for! Things we would improve if we could: make the library bigger - it was an odd little room which seemed to be an afterthought. Plenty of people spent their entire cruise with their head in a book, so it would have been a popular place! The drinks were expensive as usual, however the soft drinks package was perfect for us. Shore Excursions - we booked a few excursions through Princess and all were fantastic. Although they seem expensive, what you actually get is worth paying for. The guides were so knowledgeable and we really felt that we learnt a lot more than those who just went about their own thing. The America's Cup Sailing Experience was the best by far. Disembarkation was again very smooth and the timed system they used made it stress free. We have two more cruises booked with Princess and we can't wait for the next one! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Had been a bit concerned having read varied reviews about Sapphire but we had a fantastic cruise from start to finish! We were in Cabin D500... everything in good condition, far better tvs than on last cruise, very comfortable beds, ... Read More
Had been a bit concerned having read varied reviews about Sapphire but we had a fantastic cruise from start to finish! We were in Cabin D500... everything in good condition, far better tvs than on last cruise, very comfortable beds, great towels and bath robes, plenty of storage space, enormous settee! Light and airy... can't fault it.. PLUS beverage tray! Caught up on all the latest films! never watched films before but tv so good and we had a number of sea days.. big bonus. We were in Club Class dining... first class service in Sante Fe restaurant... lovely staff... extensive menu choice both at breakfast and dinner, huge variety of fish which I loved, all dishes well presented, generous in portion size and a treat to eat. All food was hot, plates hot... it was spot on! All areas of the ship were in good condition and pleasant to be in. Only other place we had any food.. International Cafe - had biscuits, cakes during our mahjong games on sea days! We didn't purchase any beverage packages.. crazy prices we felt, nor any bottles of wine... £40 for a bottle we'd get for £8 in a supermarket... way too high prices we felt again. 18% service charge on top.. a joke! We took off half the automatically added service charge and gave money to the people who we'd been in daily contact with over the 24 nights... feel the whole tipping system needs to be addressed. Ports of call were SUPERB every one! we had stonking sunshine and temps up to 80+ degrees EVERYWHERE we went! we were unbelievably lucky. Great variety.. large cities NY, Boston, wonderful little gems Rockland Maine, Charlottetown and wow! factor mega houses Newport Rhode Island, stunning St John's Newfoundland. First class itinerary from start to finish. Only negative comment.. organisation of passengers getting off en mass.. especially at the problem port of Boston... huge stampede... no organisation, no one in control... all looking 'the part' in their white dress and holding walkie talkies but no one did anything.. the potential for a very serious accident was very high - literally hundreds and hundreds of passengers charging for exit when deck level was changed.. huge pile ups on stairs, in corridors...it was scary.... and alarming. Same thing happened on a lesser scale when passengers in Elite lounge were told they could 'all go'.. mass charge, shoving and pushing... lost a lot of confidence in Princess if a serious incident arose. Got to say it was one of the best cruises ever! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the destinations... many Interesting ports & enjoyed what our excursions allowed us to see. Private tours in Guernsey & Liverpool MUCH better. As 1st time travelers to this area, with no knowledge of ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destinations... many Interesting ports & enjoyed what our excursions allowed us to see. Private tours in Guernsey & Liverpool MUCH better. As 1st time travelers to this area, with no knowledge of public transportation available, we booked the safe, guaranteed way of seeing the things we wanted. Many of the Princess tour buses were crowded, and my husband has very long legs, so it was a problem finding a comfortable seat for him. I'm not a fan of bus trips period. Cruise line shuttles were helpful for self guided days but the coordinating and herding of passengers was ridiculously unorganized. Veranda cabin was small, but efficient & clean. Bed too soft, and only ONE of the electrical plugs worked, so we had to take turns charging things which was annoying and Not resolved by our steward. Ship was extremely crowded, so movement was a problem with slow, crowded elevators, and the buffet a nightmare. Many areas of the ship were too HOT, including the Princess Theater, and our sleeping room. Kept the balcony door open most of the time since the A/C was ineffective. Plenty of staff around to offer assistance everywhere. Entertainment was somewhat lackluster, only a couple of really good show (disco night & Piano Guy) and 2 tasteless comedians. Was surprised there was no on-deck departure party, and the Balloon Drop party was on the 3rd night? Fun Trivia Staff in evenings at Explorers Lounge, but not much to do on sea days. Dining room crowded, hot and slow. Buffet Food not exceptional, kind like a substandard cafeteria, but I will admit to being a food snob. Hamburger, Pizza, ice cream was great on the movie deck! We really enjoyed our excursions to Guernsey, and Dublin. Blarney Castle left 45 mins late, we got stuck in traffic and then only had 1.5 hours to see, VERY disappointing. Itinerary should not have been penalized for traffic. Other tours to Glamis, Dunrobin, Dublin Castle and Book of Kels were great, and we went on our own in Dublin after the tour which was fun to have free time without being rushed. Normandy tour was the WORST, very long drive with inadequate time at stops to see the wonderful historic things available, AND the worst lunch ever!!! Tour guide had a heavy French accent, and/or something was wrong with her microphone, so we could not understand a word she said & the driver was a maniac. This was also the most expensive, and we were very disappointed. It was a beautiful, meaningful area in American history and in instead of remarking on local culture, homes, industry, etc. the entire return trip was in complete silence. Other guides had offered a wealth of information, trivia and local culture. Way too many photographers on the docks, and pictures were overpriced . Embarkation at Southampton was disorganized, and the Disembarkation at the end was much too early, but efficiently handled (8:00 am) and we had a very long wait at the airport. If I went again it would be a different way. Ship board "shopping" kind of a joke too, mostly way overpriced stuff no one really wanted. I don't go on vacation to buy stuff like that, but it seemed well attended. Spa prices were ridiculous, and the internet I paid for was spotty at best. This new "Medallion" thing still has some bugs to work out . Opened the doors and paid for things, but most featured items didn't work as advertised. My biggest complaint was the way security was handled getting on/off at ports. Staff were rude and rushed us thru like cattle. My underwire set off every sensor the whole time, and I got really TIRED of being felt up!! Sorry this is kind of negative, but I have been VERY truthful. Did not "come back new" Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Chose this cruise for the itinerary. We were disappointed by the ship, particularly the Horizon Café and the entertainment. The Café custo0mer areas were small and filled wit barriers which made it difficult to find your partner. The ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary. We were disappointed by the ship, particularly the Horizon Café and the entertainment. The Café custo0mer areas were small and filled wit barriers which made it difficult to find your partner. The food was not up to Princess standards, they couldn't even cook an omelet without burning it and the servers for coffee and clean up were lazy and bored. The entertainment was dismal, with several groups of amateurs brought onboard at ports, poor singers and a, violinist. However, the comedian's were awesome.. Love the big outdoor screen, however the choices were not to our taste. We were bored, for the first time in 149 nights on Princess ships. Selling has increased, to the point where you couldn't enjoy dinner without being interrupted by a waiter selling drinks. The trivia was often specialized (Disney, Harry Potter) neither of us had an interest for that so we only played trivia a few times. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
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