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Sapphire Princess Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
983 reviews
1 Award
Sapphire Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)
Sapphire Princess Dining
Sapphire Princess Cabins
Sapphire Princess Activity/Entertainment
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Editor Rating
4.5
Very Good
Adam Coulter
Cruise Critic U.K. Executive Editor

The 116,000-ton, 2,670-passenger Sapphire Princess debuted in 2004 as the fifth of nine ships in Princess Cruises' wide-ranging Grand class. While it is the largest of the Grand-class ships by volume, it carries more than 400 fewer passengers than its youngest siblings.

Pros

After 2018 refurb, ship sports a new kids' club, refreshed spa and top-notch entertainment

Cons

Bathrooms still in need of a refurbishment

Bottom Line

A good-value ship packed full of entertainment and activities

About

Passengers : 2,670
Crew : 1,100
Passenger to Crew : 2.43:1
Launched : 2004
Shore Excursions : 436

In 2018, ahead of a two-year stint in Europe for the first time since it was built (in Japan, incidentally), the ship went through a significant refurb. Though less far reaching than a 2012 makeover, the two-week dry dock did see the addition of a new kids' club -- Camp Discovery -- and Club Class Mini Suites, as well as new carpeting and furnishing.

The ship may be relatively old (14 years in 2018), and in parts it does show its age (some of the cabins and bathrooms could do with a spruce up, for example), but the refurbs have gone a long way to making it look and feel fresh. It also packs a lot in for what is classified as a midsized ship. It may not have the big wows that some modern ships have (no climbing walls or FlowRiders for example), but it does squeeze a lot in to entertain any age group.

The kids' club is one of the best we've seen on a ship this size; there is a full-size basketball court on the top deck, multiple swimming pools, a putting/bocce green, Movies Under the Stars, numerous restaurant options and a wealth of bars -- as well as the best-situated nightclub at sea.

Everything on Sapphire Princess centers around the Piazza, which acts as a meeting spot and a place to hang out, have a drink or a bite to eat, inquire about your onboard bill or do some shopping. The circular, three-deck space also doubles as an entertainment hub, with nightly music and occasional acrobats. As a result, Sapphire is surprisingly easy to navigate as all roads lead to and from here.

Even with the ship sailing full, passenger traffic is light pretty much everywhere -- with the exception of the Promenade area between Club Fusion and the Explorers Lounge, especially on formal night.

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Another thing you might notice is that there isn't a main dining room, or rather what would be the MDR is split into five dining rooms (instead of Princess' typical two) -- which has the effect of cutting down on the cruise ship banquet ambience of big restaurants, but creating a more intimate dining experience.

Sapphire Princess is a ship that knows exactly what its passengers want -- quality food, lots of entertainment and a relaxed, easygoing vibe. It's packed full of things to do, day and night and despite being (relatively) small, punches well above its weight.

Fellow Passengers

The typical Princess passenger is about 50 and relatively well-traveled. The line also attracts a solid number of multigenerational groups -- families and older folks traveling with their children and grandchildren -- and some younger couples. During school vacations, the ship fills up with kids.

The ship divides its time between Southampton and Singapore, and the passenger demographic reflects this. So expect a lot of Brits and Northern Europeans during the summer; and Australians, Singaporeans, Malaysians, Japanese and Chinese during the winter. Announcements are in English when it's in Southampton and English, Chinese and Japanese when it's in Singapore. You'll also notice all signage in Chinese as well as English.

Sapphire Princess Dress Code

Sapphire Princess is not a dressy ship, but during a seven-night cruise there are two formal nights (cocktail dresses, gowns or dark pants suits for ladies, dark suits or tuxedos for men), and five smart casual nights (most men wear a shirt and sports jacket outfit while women dressed up in skirts or pants with a nice blouse and jewelry). During the day, resort casual is the norm.

Find a Sapphire Princess Cruise from $398

More about Sapphire Princess

Where does Sapphire Princess sail from?

Sapphire Princess departs from Whittier, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Santiago (Valparaiso), and Valparaiso

How much does it cost to go on Sapphire Princess?

Cruises on Sapphire Princess start from $398 per person.

Is Sapphire Princess a good ship to cruise on?

Sapphire Princess won 1 award over the years.
Sapphire Princess Cruiser Reviews

Sapphires second cruise post covid

We enjoyed our first cruise since 2019 on the Sapphire Princess, the crew were exceptional, some being new to this industry.Read More
User Avatar
latebloomer56

10+ Cruises

Age 60s

Back in service after 2+ years

We were aboard the first Sapphire Princess cruise (10 days R/T LA to Mexico) after she was out of service for 2+ years. Here's what I found: This was truly a shakedown cruise.Read More
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mhkcdk

10+ Cruises

Age 70s

Lovely cruise but ship needs work

I don't think ill be back to princess again but that being said we may have just been too young as we are in our 20s and princess tends to be more geared towards the 60+ market.Read More
User Avatar
Clioday

2-5 Cruises

Age 20s

Smooth sailing to Hawaii

Also learned you can’t order drinks via the Medallion app in the Princess theater. We did visit the Platinum/Elite lounge deck 18 for the evening cocktails and appetizers.Read More
User Avatar
LaQuintaTraveler

10+ Cruises

Age 70s

Princess Cruises Fleet
Grand Princess
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