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70 Princess Sapphire Princess Romantic Cruise Reviews

We have been on princess over ten times. We enjoyed Princess in the past but if this cruise is any indication of Princess today, I would urge you to spend your Cruise dollars elsewhere. We have been on the Princess Sapphire 3 times. ... Read More
We have been on princess over ten times. We enjoyed Princess in the past but if this cruise is any indication of Princess today, I would urge you to spend your Cruise dollars elsewhere. We have been on the Princess Sapphire 3 times. This last time really showed how old, tired, dirty the Sapphire is. Our sliding glass balcony, "Club Class" door did not work and was never properly fixed. We paid for Club Class and got an Ocean View! The Sterling Steakhouse was terrible. All I wanted was a good Steak. Over cooked, Under cooked, way too salty...what a mess. I like eggs benedict for breakfast when I'm on vacation. It did not appear once on the breakfast menu in Club Class dining. I could NOT get it when requested either. Club Class dining is not special at all. In fact it is no different than the regular dining room. They promise tableside food presentations, but there was NO tableside food prep at all. A complete sham. Rust on hull, bulk heads, port holes. Power box on deck 15 hanging by wires. Stateroom furniture old and worn, torn and stained carpet, dents in wall board, yellowing of tub, staind in bathroom grout. Princess cruises have become so predictable. The special "Captain's" events are no longer special, the food and beverage service is very average. Overall I was very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was a last-minute(ish) decision to go cruising somewhere guaranteed to be warm & intetesting over the Christmas break. Iglu was offering a decent package at a competitive price so we went for it! We'd not been on a ... Read More
This was a last-minute(ish) decision to go cruising somewhere guaranteed to be warm & intetesting over the Christmas break. Iglu was offering a decent package at a competitive price so we went for it! We'd not been on a Princess ship before and were pleasantly surprised by the overall standard of entertainment, the informal yet classy vibe, mix of fellow cruisers (mostly 50+ age group but also with some intergenerational family groups), the general presentation of the ship and service provided by the staff. Our balcony suite was very good, with lots of wardrobe space (which suited my partner!) and a reasonably private balcony area (on deck 12 forward) where we could relax and enjoy the warmth of the tropical climate, whilst sipping a drink and being serenaded by the gentle sounds of the ocean as the Sapphire Princess cut majestically through the benign, blue, ocean waves. The onboard entertainment was excellent, apart from the comedian, who was awful. Matt Baker (the Ents Director) was superb. The dance troupe were a highlight. Food was great and the anytime dining option worked well for us. We also took advantage of the excursion programme to visit various places, including two stops in Vietnam, Bangkok, Kho Samui & KL. Read Less
Sail Date December 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
It was a good trip as we got to see parts of Norway landscape and mountains as the ship travel thru the fjords. We visited a few of small villages where we took excursions that gave us some wonderful views of the valley. The only issue ... Read More
It was a good trip as we got to see parts of Norway landscape and mountains as the ship travel thru the fjords. We visited a few of small villages where we took excursions that gave us some wonderful views of the valley. The only issue a I had was the length of stay in Bergen as it was really not enough time to see the city as there were many things to look and see in this wonderful city. The cruise itself was average as the boat did sort of showed it aged but Princess did a good job of renovating it. Dining was fine as the menu selection was close to the local food. The sea was not too rough as most of the time it was smooth sailing. The entertainment was fine but was not too exciting as I would have expected. The comedian Juggler I think was the best of all of the shows. We liked the music playing in the piazza as we sat with out latte and relax. The movies under the stars was good - except it was kindof chilly which is expected. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Not to bore my fellow cruisers , imagine : plastic cups , plates and glasses , a daily programme of bingo, quizzes and kids programmes , food you would normally never want to pay good money for and environment where most of the ... Read More
Not to bore my fellow cruisers , imagine : plastic cups , plates and glasses , a daily programme of bingo, quizzes and kids programmes , food you would normally never want to pay good money for and environment where most of the passengers are crowded into a central area to watch their so called" best " entertainment! "Saphire Princess" is your kind of ship . We hoped for refinement , culture and excellence.. what we got was far far from what we hoped.. such a waste of money . Lack of Security presence in public areas was alarming , there was definitely some under age drinking going on and young children seemed to be everywhere on the ship!! Most ships have family zones but parents were doing as they please . We were late arriving at ports , so little time on shore , one port was missed altogether and Princess CHARGE FOR SHUTTLE SERVICE .. Never been charged with any other company.!! Appalling !! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was our first cruise and we picked both Princess and this particular itinerary having talked to friends who had years of cruising experience and also wanted to see places we had not been to before. We were keen to find a ship which ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we picked both Princess and this particular itinerary having talked to friends who had years of cruising experience and also wanted to see places we had not been to before. We were keen to find a ship which was neither full of kids or senior citizens and were not disappointed as there was a good spread of ages amongst the passengers. Although there were embarkation problems in Southampton which were not the fault of Princess Cruises (mainly severe road works on the route to the docks and a fire alarm going off in the terminal we were lucky to be one of the first to check in and found things well organised as it only took 15 minutes from parking the car to being in our cabin. We had booked a mini suite and were not disappointed. The cabin was extremely spacious with lots of storage and would suggest that four adults would be able to occupy the cabin without feeling too claustrophobic. The cabin was immaculately clean and we felt that all the fittings were more than acceptable. We note that some people have stated on here that the bathrooms are either poor or "tired" but we would say that whilst looking a bit dated the bathroom was certainly acceptable and again lots of well thought out storage. As for food whilst Horizon Court buffet shows less quality than a high star hotel in Europe there was plenty of choice both at breakfast and lunchtime. We had booked anytime dining and had no difficulty in getting a table for dinner in the three restaurants available to us. The food was generally well cooked and service was good rather than exceptional in the restaurants. The main gripe we had with the menus were that for us they seemed too geared to an American pallet and my wife especially struggled at times to find dishes she liked which limited her choice. With credit the Head Waiter on the first night arranged for smoked salmon to be available for her every evening if wanted. We did one night eat at Sabbatinis and whilst the food was excellent the service was very lacking as the waiters seemed keener to set tables than serve us! The entertainment in the evening was mixed. Some of it was less quality than we assumed it would be however we did enjoy various entertainment most evenings and the Entertainment Director was excellent. As for port visits we did our own thing which we are used to from having travelled round Europe many times. This tended to give us more time at the attractions we wanted to see than the organised tours and at a fraction of the price as the ship's tours were very expensive. To sum up the pros were both the cleanliness of the ship and general standard of service especially our cabin steward for whom nothing was too much trouble and always with a smile. Also considering the number of people on board generally the ship did not feel crowded and usually we found places to sit in the various lounges. The cons were the fact that there is a very heavy selling by Princess at every opportunity and you have to watch out your cruise account as gratuities are added to all drinks. Also we were surprised and felt it was poor of Princess to charge for shuttle buses from port to town when we heard from people that other cruise lines don't. Also to charge for a cocktail on sailway from southampton surprised us. To sum up if you haven't cruised before I would ignore the bad reviews on here but be aware that Princess whilst relaxing does have some warts that come with the fun. Also we have already booked our next Princess cruise but will be older and wiser when we go. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Got a good deal on Black Friday for this 7-day trip to Scandinavia and it didn't disappoint in terms of value. What did disappoint is that the main motorway into Southampton was shut on a weekend when 5 ships were departing. Given the ... Read More
Got a good deal on Black Friday for this 7-day trip to Scandinavia and it didn't disappoint in terms of value. What did disappoint is that the main motorway into Southampton was shut on a weekend when 5 ships were departing. Given the importance of the port to the city, this should be coordinated better, but is probably down to the government-run Highways Authority rather than anyone in the city itself. It took us 4 hrs to travel the 90 miles from Warwick to the terminal, when it should have taken 2 and the ship left 1.5 hrs late. At least lots of others were in the same situation. Having honeymooned on Sapphire 5 years ago we worried it might not be the same this time, but if anything the state of the ship was better - the refurb has been done subtly and cleverly, keeping this ship competitive despite its age. New carpets on corridors, flat screens and excellent on-demand TV made the cabins great but the pool area seemed to have been recently re-tiled too, and all the public areas seemed in tip-top condition. One thing they could change is to switch to digital photo galleries rather than sticking with the old print displays. One of the things we like most about Sapphire is the four (anytime) dining rooms with different themes - they just make it seem like you're in a different restaurant each night even though the menu is the same in all of them. Food was of a good standard, particularly the basket of bread that Princess gives you to start with. Service was OK if a little rushed. We feel that our preference for anytime dining leads to rushing waiters, rather than the attentive ones you get when you do fixed dining who know they are likely to get a tip at the end of the cruise (not just on Princess). That's just a choice I suppose. Service elsewhere was as good as I'd expect from Princess. Ports were good, but disappointed to miss Skagen because of the weather, having had to make 2 attempts to dock in Copenhagen the day before. Safety first I guess, and our insurance will compensate us a little for that. I feel for the traders in the town who will miss a lot of income that day. The only negative on the cruise really was the ridiculous number of announcements, each of which was repeated. Why do cruise lines have to wake you up with an announcement at 7am when the ship docks? If you've booked an excursion you will have set your alarm to get up in time. If you want a lie-in, tough luck. On the day the ship missed Skagen, we were due to dock at 10 am, but when the decision was taken to miss it, an announcement was made at 7am, waking us all up when we weren't even expecting to arrive for another 3 hours - stupid. How would knowing about it 3 hours beforehand have improved our day? Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Always wanted to go and see the Fjords and had heard lots of good things about Princess. Wasn’t looking for a party style cruise, more something quieter and relaxing as had lots planned for shore. I found it difficult to get information ... Read More
Always wanted to go and see the Fjords and had heard lots of good things about Princess. Wasn’t looking for a party style cruise, more something quieter and relaxing as had lots planned for shore. I found it difficult to get information on the ports of call so I hope someone else may find this useful FOOD The food in the main dining room was outstanding, great quality and fantastic selection, there really was something for everyone. Steak/ Lobster was additional surcharge of $19 each which I haven’t seen on any other cruise however it was worth the price. Buffet selection was well presented and fresh however not a massive selection of main dishes like P&O for example. No themed nights in the buffet as other cruises may have (eg Mexican night or local themed dishes). Alfredo’s pizzeria on deck 5 was lovely and was always able to get a table there. Not a huge selection of other restaurants even specialty ones- Italian or steakhouse were the only two on board. Very speedy embarkation and CPS in Southampton made this seamless CABIN We had balcony cabin C709 on the starboard side which had a huge balcony- much bigger than deck 11 or deck 8 and below (I believe). Was kept very clean and had a fridge and tea making facilities. American style plug point but took a power strip with me to make life a little easier. The hairdryer was better than the one I brought with me and there were plenty of clothes hangers and storage. TV selection was very good and our cabin steward was very helpful and friendly. Ports of call BERGEN Did the funicular tour and hike with Princess which was a great day out as the sun was shining and was very warm. It’s a beautiful town and well worth getting a little higher to see the views. Great fish market down by the port which is well worth having a look through although Norway in general is a little expensive. GEIRANGER We did the Eagle road tour and Mount Dalsnibba with Princess. The mountain was closed due to snow but our tour guide took us to the lake for a photo stop. Great tour and fantastic driving from the coach driver on the very bendy and high roads! Highlight of the trip on this unspoilt part of the world. Note- this is a Tender port although there was a moving gangway, this was being used by a bigger ship in on the same day as us. OLDEN Very small port so would recommend doing a trip or doing some research. We did Briksdalsbren glacier which was breathtaking. A beautiful walk up there and stunning views. Approx 45 min walk to the top although you can hire a troll car to take you some of the way as there are steps and the path is quite steep STAVANGER we did the pulpit Rock hike with Princess which was hard going but well worth it. Allow 2 hours of hiking up a steep path but you will be rewarded with incredible views. It was raining this day but certainly didn’t make it any less enjoyable. ENTERTAINMENT This is an area I would say Princess are lacking in. There wasn’t a large selection of things to do during the sea days and the weather isn’t like the Caribbean cruises where you can sunbathe during the day. Evening shows were not as good as some other companies although it was never difficult to find a seat in the theatre. The comedian Jeff was great although the magician production Amethyst was quite awful. There were a few enrichment lectures on which were ok although a lot of people walked out when this was ongoing. LOTUS SPA Staff were incredibly rude and would avoid this at all costs. I cancelled a massage which more than adequate notice and was lectured on the phone for several minutes Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We wanted to visit the South Asian ports on this 20 day cruise and check them off our list to see. The ports o call were average with some exceptions. Some were very 3rd world and not very clean. Phuket was the worst. We have sailed all ... Read More
We wanted to visit the South Asian ports on this 20 day cruise and check them off our list to see. The ports o call were average with some exceptions. Some were very 3rd world and not very clean. Phuket was the worst. We have sailed all over the world including last year to NZ & AUS and the cruise and ports were outstanding. The food on the Sapphire was not as good as on the Sun Princess. Not very tasty lacking in menu selections with many of the same things offered every meal. Dinner seating being only 60% around our table reflected the lack of menu selections We and others went to the Lido Deck to eat instead of the dinning room. We are not big eaters but what we do eat should be flavorful and with several selections. Some items were the same every day listed as "Special" The Sun Princess chief now has transferred to the Royal Princess so I expect the food there is grest. We really enjoyed the meals aboard the Sun Princess last March 2018. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We started with a 3 day cruise Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and back and then Singapore to Kota Kinabalu, 2 stops in Vietnam and 2 stops in Thailand and then back to Singapore. As I stated in my first ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We started with a 3 day cruise Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and back and then Singapore to Kota Kinabalu, 2 stops in Vietnam and 2 stops in Thailand and then back to Singapore. As I stated in my first review, the ship was great, crew was great and our cabin Steward Catherine and dining room waiters Alexander and Katherine were outstanding. We only ate at the buffet a few times and it was what you would expect, we ate ate Sabatini's and it was very good. We saw a couple fo the the shows in the theater and they were good. Since we were already aboard there was no issue with embarkation but when we did embark a few days earlier it was quick and easy. The lectures on the ports were very informative and though we did not see them in person, we were able to watch them on the TV in our rooms. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
we chose this cruise as it is a destination we hadn’t been to before, we were not disappointed. The Saphire is a lovely ship, very easy to find your way to dining rooms and activities, the entertainment on board is varied and suits all ... Read More
we chose this cruise as it is a destination we hadn’t been to before, we were not disappointed. The Saphire is a lovely ship, very easy to find your way to dining rooms and activities, the entertainment on board is varied and suits all tastes, The Drop band had a good range of music and entertained us in club fusion, around the pool on at sea days and in the Explorers lounge. The trivia games were fun and tested our knowledge. The art auctions, balloon drop, deck parties and movies under the stars plus shows in Princess theatre provide entertainment for all. The tours were well organised by the excursion team were reasonably priced and interesting. Great service in the dining rooms especially for people with food intolerance. Loved seeing Kuala Lumpur Petronis Towers. Chinatown in Singapore, James Bond Island excursion is well worth the 90 minute bus ride not suitable for people that have mobility issues though. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary. It started on February 15th with a 3 day cruise from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and back, and then a second cruise from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu, 2 stops in Vietnam & 2 stops in Thailand, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for it's itinerary. It started on February 15th with a 3 day cruise from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur and back, and then a second cruise from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu, 2 stops in Vietnam & 2 stops in Thailand, then back to Singapore for a total of 13 days. The ship is very nice and the crew is awesome. Our flights were arranged through Princess and were very good flights. We got a transfer from the airport to the cruise terminal through Princess. Embarkation was very quick and easy in Singapore. We had a Mini-suite on deck 9. Our cabin steward Catherine was great and made sure we were well taken care of. Room service most every morning was very punctual. Our dining experience was really good. We did the buffet a few times, but mostly we ate in the Savoy Dining Room and requested Alexander and Katherine as they were just so much fun and very good at what they do. We went to a couple of the shows in the theater and they were very good. We ate at Sabatini's once and the food was as expected, very good! We had very ample time in the ports to get to our shore excursions. There were a couple ports where the cruise line arranged for transportation from the ship to the gates as we were very far away. We arranged tours in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore Kota Kinabalu and Koh Samui though private tours and our disembarkation tour through Princess. We would definitely go on Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
A great crew and entertainment group, made this one of the best cruises we have taken. There was plenty to do on Sea Days and the food was very good. They did have some of the same items a few times, but very good. The ships ... Read More
A great crew and entertainment group, made this one of the best cruises we have taken. There was plenty to do on Sea Days and the food was very good. They did have some of the same items a few times, but very good. The ships entertainment was very good, the people they brought on, could have been better. All our ports were what we expected and we took some very good Princess Tours. Would go again, nice mid size ship. The pizza is one of the best of any cruise lines and is open all the time. Buffet was good and there was always a place to sit. Movies at sea are always fun and the cruise had most of the latest films out. The cabin steward was very good, worked with our odd schedule. The embarkation was quite easy and getting off again quite effortless. If you want a good cabin go with the mini suite. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We are a couple in our early forties and chose this cruise for two reasons. Firstly, we had taken a cruise with P&O two years ago which was particularly average. Secondly, we felt that Princess did not actively encourage children due ... Read More
We are a couple in our early forties and chose this cruise for two reasons. Firstly, we had taken a cruise with P&O two years ago which was particularly average. Secondly, we felt that Princess did not actively encourage children due to its lack of giant water slides and variety of kids' clubs. We do like children, but prefer a relaxing holiday in the company of adults - and this opinion was shared by many passengers that we socialised with. We were not disappointed! The demographic was predominantly adults 35-70. The ship was clean, well appointed and the staff were just fantastic. We booked a mini-suite which was spotlessly clean and spacious. There was a great choice of bars and entertainment throughout the cruise and our shore excursions were efficient and represented good value. It is worth noting that the James Bond Islands tour involves almost a four hour return bus journey and the K.L. city journey is not short either. We probably would not have booked those tours had we known the travel time. The best part of this cruise was the staff. They went out of their way to be friendly and share a joke or two. The ship is so clean and well maintained with plenty to do. The drinks package is definitely good value and there is a huge variety of included cocktails to choose from. The bed and pillows were just divine! We will absolutely sail with Princess from now on and are already looking for our next destination! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
The January 5th Southeast Asia Cruise from Shanghai to Singapore aboard the Sapphire Princess began with the worst boarding fiasco I have ever experienced, and I expect that holds true for most the other 2600+ arriving passengers as well ... Read More
The January 5th Southeast Asia Cruise from Shanghai to Singapore aboard the Sapphire Princess began with the worst boarding fiasco I have ever experienced, and I expect that holds true for most the other 2600+ arriving passengers as well as an untold number of those trying to disembark and catch a flight home. I started to get the impression that this was not going to be a ‘smooth’ embarkation while checking the whereabouts of the Sapphire Princess on the MarineTraffic.com website the morning of our scheduled boarding. Though it was originally due dockside by 7:00 AM, it was listed as ‘at sea’ with a speed of 3 knots. Around 10 AM I received an email from Princess advising of a ‘delayed’ boarding time by two and a half hours. Fortunately, I was able to extend our hotel checkout by two hours along with our scheduled private transfer to port. I consider ourselves lucky, as it was Saturday and the hotel was fully booked for the night. Right towards the end of our ‘extension’ I received an ‘update’ informing us that the boarding time had been ‘pushed back’ by another hour or two depending on cabin location. By that time our room keys did not work and it was too late to reschedule our re-scheduled transfer, so down to the lobby we went. As luck would have it, our driver was 15 minutes early. Weekend traffic was light and we arrived at the terminal at about 4 PM for wat was an original 2 PM boarding that was now pushed out to 5:30 PM. The Sapphire Princess was the only ship docked at the International Cruise Terminal, but our driver was directed to another terminal at the other end of this huge complex. Once inside, we found ourselves amidst hundreds of people waiting in row after row of ‘banquet’ chairs. As we were ‘Elite’ level passengers we were directed to a designated area near the other end of the terminal. Trouble was, there was no one overseeing this area, so there were very few chairs available. We stood. While standing we noticed what appeared to be an impromptu ‘check-in’ area near us consisting of a bunch of folding tables lined up near the escalators at our end of the terminal. They were staffed, but no one was being processed. We wait. As we chatted with fellow passengers, we found out that some had been in this otherwise closed terminal since early morning. Remember we are in China. Our phones don’t work. (who buys a sim-card expecting to be in the country for a day or so?). Google products (gMail, Google Search, youTube) as well as Facebook and Twitter are all banned and blocked in China. Unless you have made prior arrangements through a private VPN, land communication (especially if you have an Android phone) is limited. Your ‘Smart Phone’ is little more than a camera and a calculator. There were a couple of Princess staffers doing their best, wandering the crowd giving any update status they could, but by now there were well over a thousand passengers in queue and the bottom level of the terminal was overflowing. Somewhere around 6:30 or so, they began the ‘check-in’ processing. Mind you, we were merely processed, not boarded. A cruise card was issued, but we were instructed to return to the terminal floor and wait. When we tried to return to the area where we were previously, we quickly noticed there were no open chairs, so Cruise Card in hand we stood and chatted with others in a similar situation. While standing, an official looking gentleman approached us an said it would probably be awhile. It turns out he was one of the Chinese officials in charge of coordinating this chaos. We asked what the problem was, and he related that, though we would probably hear different from Princess, the delay was primarily due to passengers boarded on the arriving Sapphire Princess that did not meet the strict (and somewhat confusing) `144 hour’ Chinese Visa requirements and were not being allowed to disembark in Shanghai. OK, I must admit, we had some difficulty boarding our flight from LA to Shanghai at LAX, but the United Airlines Rep. called the Chinese embassy and made sure our documents and travel plans met the somewhat complicated Chinese criteria before issuing our boarding passes. I guess Princess missed that step. (As it turned out, dozens of passengers were unable to disembark in Shanghai and had to stay onboard for two more days, disembarking at our first port of call, Nagasaki, Japan.) Since the ship was full, I wonder where they slept… Somewhere around 8:00 PM we noticed some passengers being escorted through a door behind the ‘check-in’ area. Though no one had made any announcement, we grabbed our carry-ons and joined in because it looked like they might be headed towards the other terminal where the Sapphire Princess was docked. They were! It was a long trek in the rain to the other terminal, but we were a bit more agile than many and wound up being among the first handful of passengers through Chinese Customs. The queues at that time were minimal and we were on-board before 8:30 PM. Once on-board our first thought was a warm meal, but we were told by our Cabin Steward that there would be a required Muster at 9:00 PM. We wait… Even though we knew that there was no way the passengers would be boarded by then. As we stood on our balcony and watched as the boarding queue on the gangway grew ever longer. 9 PM came and went as the line continued to grow. When the ship was finally boarded, they called for us to report to our Muster Stations. After which, we went to the only venue available for a warm meal… The Horizon Court. As our Muster Station was the Princess Theater (Deck 7, Forward) and the Horizon Court is Deck 14, Aft. When we got there, we joined about 2,000+ other passengers (some of which hadn’t eaten a real meal all day). It was chaos! Lines four wide, out the doors, winding around and past the pool. Once you were able to get to something, there were no open tables or cutlery available to go elsewhere (room?) and find a spot to sit. Things could certainly have been worse. After all, we were inside and there were occasional trays of cookies, plain cheese sandwiches and the random boxes of potato chips, but it certainly was far from ideal or what one would expect from a world renowned international travel corporation and/or a ‘First World’ country trying to promote international tourism. I have waited until near the end of this cruise to submit this recap of an Epic Fail, hoping (expecting?) Princess to offer some sort of ‘compensation’ to offset or appease our ‘day of discomfort’, but none has been offered. I went to the Passenger Services desk to find out the status of the situation and was told ‘It has been reported to the Main Office and we are awaiting a response’. Well, I guess 12 days of no response is a response… Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We had been looking at cruises online for a long time, and decided this was the one when we discovered I could be in Paris for my birthday ( October 22). It was beautiful in every way - from the movies under the stars, snuggling under a ... Read More
We had been looking at cruises online for a long time, and decided this was the one when we discovered I could be in Paris for my birthday ( October 22). It was beautiful in every way - from the movies under the stars, snuggling under a blanket while the crew delivered fresh popcorn, our comfortable stateroom with the most comfortable bed ever, the variety and quality of food, the excellence of the staff and 5 star accommodations, seeing European destinations we had only dreamed about - Lisbon, Gibraltar, Barcelona, two ports in France (Le Havre and Toulon), Livorno and Rome. We wondered if it would be frustrating having only a day in each port, but we loved being onboard the ship so much that we were happy to return after our adventures each day to the comfort of our stateroom and enjoy a glass of wine on our balcony to unwind. We are hooked on cruising and may have to come out of retirement to fund more trips! The Princess motto is “Come back new” and we feel like we did - refreshed and energized to learn more about the history and cultures of the beautiful places we visited. We can’t wait to go again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We just came back from an amazing cruise onboard the Princess Sapphire! The crew on board was awesome. The Cruise Director Paul and his counterpart were great. The morning show on the TV was very informative, funny and entertaining to ... Read More
We just came back from an amazing cruise onboard the Princess Sapphire! The crew on board was awesome. The Cruise Director Paul and his counterpart were great. The morning show on the TV was very informative, funny and entertaining to say the least. We had several great experiences on the ship: Pros: Employees were extremely friendly Food was very good, lots of variety Atmosphere was very relaxing Casino was enjoyable (won $1500) Rooms were clean, large and the bed was awesome. We were in a mini-suite. Port of Calls were very organized, easy on and off. never waited more than 15 minutes. Did not seem crowded at all. No lines anywhere more than 10 people. Lots of fun game shows/bingo/music and events. Cons: Embarkation from Southampton was delayed due to all the visa's needed. Showed up quite early and still had to wait almost 3 hours to get on ship plus we left and hour or so late. Cruise is geared towards the mature crowd. Probably not a good fit for the younger family looking for the big slides, characters and family entertainment. Bathrooms seem to smell quite a bit. Maintenance crew was always working on our balcony. Didn't want a bunch of people in my room while I was not there. Room key never seemed to work. Had to go to customer service about 8 times. This was a very enjoyable cruise. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I am really into the whole cruising thing now. Thanks Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
So sad to be back at work after an amazing vacation, so I'm reliving it here on this thread, with the excuse that others on upcoming cruises may benefit from recounting our experience For background, we're active 40-somethings ... Read More
So sad to be back at work after an amazing vacation, so I'm reliving it here on this thread, with the excuse that others on upcoming cruises may benefit from recounting our experience For background, we're active 40-somethings with no kids, and this was our 6th cruise. Overall, the bed was very comfortable, ship was clean and staff ever friendly (except the one gruff "casual" photographer who kept ordering people around), food delicious. We went to most of the shows (note we had to get our seats by 7:15 for the 8pm show!); the comedian and ventriloquist were good, and 50% of the ship's singers were good. We did laundry several times, and were pleased to never have to wait for a washer or dryer - that was a first! Here's what we did in each port: London: we arrived on Thursday morning so we'd have 2 full days to enjoy our favorite city and adjust to the time zone. Our American flight was on-time and smooth, and we enjoyed a 1-bedroom Airbnb flat right in the middle of Soho. We hit our favorite stores and restaurants, and saw both parts of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! Southampton: we took the train from Waterloo to Southampton on Saturday morning, then a 5min taxi to the port from the station (train was 40 GBP each and taxi was about 10 GBP). Checkin began shortly after we arrived, and proceeded fairly quickly and smoothly. The dining rooms were closed "for a private event" so we were forced to eat lunch in the buffet. They were encouraging passengers to use the actual sinks to properly wash their hands, not the hand sanitizer dispensers. Sea day: the first day we were at sea, and we enjoyed exploring the ship and playing trivia Stavanger: we got off as soon as we docked and explored the adorable little old town (note it was hilly and cobbled). We found an ATM to get NOK for the next day's cash-only tour, then made our way to our 10am reservation with Rodne for the pulpit rock/fjord cruise. As the poster above said, the boat was docked at a different place than shown on the map, but it was obvious and easy to find. The ticket said to arrive 30min early, but the boat was almost full an hour before sailing time! People were kind of fighting over seats, but we stood and walked around the whole time taking pictures anyway. It was windy and overcast but we still enjoyed the pretty views. Skjolden: this port was so, so beautiful! We took a dozen pictures just walking into the tiny town from the ship. We had prebooked "Tour F" to the stave church and mountain views with Turid; her booth was easy to find but rather chaotic - people were just crowded all around the window, it seemed overwhelming with no apparent order. Even though Turid repeated "we only take cash" in every single email she sent to me before we left, there were still a bunch of people upset that she wouldn't take their credit cards on the day of the tour. Anyway, we finally got our ticket, got on the comfortable air-conditioned mini-bus, and had a lovely tour up to the Nordic ski center (which still had natural snow and Olympians training on it!), then to the Urnes stave church (which she timed perfectly between the large bus groups so we had it to ourselves). When we returned, the mini-bus dropped us back directly at the ship rather than in the town. Geiranger: sail in/out of this port was BREATHTAKING!! So many waterfalls and beautiful views around every corner. We probably took 50% of our photos this day. Tendering opened much earlier than stated in the Patter; once the ship docked, we waited near the tender ticket distribution point until the announcement about tickets, then got Group 1 and were off the ship in no time. We had prebooked a 3-hour Twizy e-car to drive up the mountain; it was a short walk from the tender port, they allowed us to check in more than an hour earlier than our reservation, and gave us a quick tutorial on the car. Then we squeezed ourselves into this tiny car and headed up the mountain! So many beautiful views everywhere, but you're not supposed to stop on the way up so you have enough charge to make it to the top. We took a bunch more pics at the top, then took our time driving back down so we could take all our pics. We actually had the car for closer to 4 hours, but they didn't say anything or charge us extra. After we returned the car, we walked up the side of the waterfall and enjoyed the sights and sounds of a waterfall that you can see from the top of the 5000 ft mountain all the way down to the fjord! The town also had a few lovely restaurants and some booths selling souvenirs, chocolate, etc. Trondheim: This was one of 2 rainy days, but luckily we didn't have much planned. We walked to the cathedral and fort but didn't care to pay the entry fees (the fort especially was expensive), but we did discover free wifi in the church's cafe, and a free armory/WW2 museum in the back corner of the fort. I looked at the Art Nouveau sites I had read about in advance of the trip, but nothing was particularly exciting (it's nothing like Helsinki or Prague). They had a very large market setup in the streets, so we enjoyed sampling cheeses and sausages, then made our way back to the ship. Sea day: Formal Night Honningsvag: seas were a bit rough in and out of the Cape, enough that we were amused watching the crowds 'flow' from one side to the other as they tried to walk down the halls of the rocking ship. It was so cold and windy - I don't know how hard the wind was gusting, but the poster above is accurate in saying it was blowing people over. It blew me off the steps at one point; my husband caught me just before I hit the rocks! We had prebooked a rental car, which was easy to find from the dock. We drove straight to the North Cape since it was relatively clear, got our picture and explored the visitor center, then drove around to a few of the other little villages on the island. Other than the visitor center, there was not much shopping or restaurants on the island. The landscape is bleak - no trees, lots of crumbling rocks everywhere - very unusual. We saw a lot of reindeer roaming the slopes. The ship had a 'midnight sun dance party' this night, but it was so cold and rainy we only stayed 10 minutes (certainly not until midnight). Tromso: A really beautiful day for a cable car ride! We took the $16pp shuttle to town, then walked over the long, steep bridge to the cable car. We waited in line 30-40min, but several buses arrived just after us and the line must've been at least an hour long behind us! The ride was short, and at the top there's a nice viewing platform but it was more enjoyable to stroll around the many paths on the mountain and get away from the crowds. Late that night, we went to the deck for our obligatory midnight sun photos. Too bad the ship staff didn't move the party to this beautiful clear night instead! Gravdal (Leknes): we messed up our rental car arrangements and did NOT get a car from Avis or Europcar (which delivered straight to the port), and instead had to pay for the $10pp shuttle into Gravdal to pick up our car from Sixt. We drove all the way to A, then took our time coming back, enjoying the beautiful little towns of Reine and Nusfjord (yes they charge a fee but it was only like 8 NOK; I think it was reasonable). NOTE: always check what time the last shuttle runs! The shuttle stopped running an hour before all-aboard, so we missed it, then discovered the taxi office was closed, and we were panicking trying to get back to the tender dock on time! Luckily we saw another Princess passenger grabbing the only taxi around, and we jumped on with them and made it just in time - I think we were on the next-to-last tender back. Way too close for comfort! Sea day: for some reason, this sea day seemed particularly boring. It seemed like there were restless crowds in all the public spaces and not much at all to do. Also, the dinner menu was very limited; fewer options were offered. Not sure what that was all about. Alesund: we had originally thought we'd hike in this port, but by now our legs were very tired and sore (we were averaging 5 miles/day of walking). It was a beautiful day, so we just walked around the harbor, and I enjoyed the Art Nouveau (much more to see than Trondheim, and the little Jugendstil museum was decent). I caught the public bus out to the Open Air Museum. It was so peaceful and lovely, like a forested park with old farm buildings here and there. Somewhere I had read there were viking exhibits here, but the only thing was a reconstructed viking ship. I followed the path with the sign reading "to the medieval museum" and checked that out too (included on the same ticket); it was interesting but not worth the walk if you're tired or limited. Bergen: the timing in this port (7am-2pm) was really unfortunate; we would've loved many more hours in this port, but the captain said even leaving at 2pm we had to travel at top speed to get back to London. By now we were 'over' taking rides to viewpoints, so we skipped the funicular. Even though it had been forecast to be another beautiful clear day, it was overcast and a little rainy, so I'm not sure how much visibility there was anyway. We took the mandatory silly bus ride (literally less than 3 minutes, it took longer to load and unload than the ride itself), then walked into town. It was nice to be there really early in the morning and see Bryggen without hordes of people! We got some cool photos of the old wooden buildings. We walked over to the fortress, but it wasn't very interesting, especially since the old Rosencrantz Tower was covered in scaffolding. Once the shops and market opened, we enjoyed shopping for our last few Norwegian souvenirs. The 3rd formal night was this night (I can't remember when the 2nd formal night was lol). Sea day: much needed downtime and packing time. Was not nearly as boring as the last sea day. London: we were so sad to leave the ship! We enjoyed one last elegant breakfast in the dining room, then had a very easy disembarkation, short taxi to the train station and back into London. This time our Airbnb was in Hampstead Heath, a more distant, leafy area of London we wanted to explore. Temps were in the 80s, which would feel cool to us EXCEPT we had no a/c, so sleeping at night on the hot 2nd floor was difficult. We enjoyed exploring the Heath (so many exquisitely happy pups!), and found all the air-conditioned shops and restaurants in the area We tubed down to Picadilly to get some last souvenirs, but the crowds were so overwhelming we quickly retreated. When it was time to head back home 2 days later, we taxi'd to Heathrow for our sad but smooth British Airways flight back. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My wife and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary. Chose the ship because of the ports and we always enjoy leaving from London. We used the ships excursions. They were wonderful. Especially the "foody" tour in Rome. ... Read More
My wife and I were celebrating our wedding anniversary. Chose the ship because of the ports and we always enjoy leaving from London. We used the ships excursions. They were wonderful. Especially the "foody" tour in Rome. The food was excellent in the dining room and good in Horizon Court. The crew was ready to assist with drinks and any thing else needed when eating in Horizon at breakfast and lunch. The rest of the crew were very friendly and helpful. The mini suite was just the right size. Daily steward attention was good and the room always looked just right. At night we attended all the production shows. They were fantastic. The individual entertainers were also very good. The ship just came our of dry dock. It look magnificent. New carpeting, upholstered chairs, TV's, tile and video boards. Took advantage of the future cruise deposit program before leaving. Upon arriving home, bored our next cruise. Couldn't wait to cruise again on a Princess ship. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Choose the cruise for the itinerary . We wanted an itinerary that was different to the mass market and felt that northern Spain and France delivered. Bordeaux sadly cancelled due to a strike. La Rachelle the new destination did not ... Read More
Choose the cruise for the itinerary . We wanted an itinerary that was different to the mass market and felt that northern Spain and France delivered. Bordeaux sadly cancelled due to a strike. La Rachelle the new destination did not disappoint fabulous. A shuttle bus dropped the passengers right into the heart of the city. Bilbao again fab we toured the football stadium a great way of finding out the history of the people of this amazing vibrant city. In La Coruna we hired a car and visited the near by coast and national park area stunning scenery. The ship is in very good condition and extremely clean. The first evening in the savoy was a disappointment. I ordered the prime rib steak given that I am a good cook and eat out at great restaurants I have never eaten such a bland tasteless beef in all my life. We have worked hard and a lot of hours to save for the cruise and would expect basic cooking to produce good results. The second night over done basic chicken. Third night gave up went to the horizon had an amazing tasty meal great best curry ever. There after dined every night at the horizon court. Slight criticism no fruit juice after breakfast there is lemonade but you have to ask for it. The theatre shows where a disappointment short and disjointed no set story. All other entertainment venues where fabulous. The cruise directer Paul so funny along with the Australian and all of the entertainment team. Endless activities on board. An ill passenger on board was evacuated from the ship the incident was handled very well. The captain is a very caring friendly man and I hope that the passenger involved is hopefully recovering . I will recommend the Sapphire it has something for every one formal or non formal. Embarkation and disembarkation was perfect. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We loved the cruise having only 3 ports in 7 days really gave us time to explore the Princess. The staff very great always polite and seemingly happy. Big shout out to Jerry in The Vines, Oscar on the pool bar and Edgar our cabin steward. ... Read More
We loved the cruise having only 3 ports in 7 days really gave us time to explore the Princess. The staff very great always polite and seemingly happy. Big shout out to Jerry in The Vines, Oscar on the pool bar and Edgar our cabin steward. We went for an inside cabin Dolphin D233 and found it ideally located. The Sanctury was great a real treat The Spa was wonderful and we located ourselves to the adult only pool by the Spa which was great quiet and ideal for us. The movies under the stars was a real treat loved it We went to the beach in Ko Sumui which was fantastic and then the Elephant Karral in Pattaya which was awesome. I was worried out animal cruelty but the elephants were clearly looked after and enjoyed being fed the bananas We did not venture into Vietnam as all the trips were about 9 hours and as we had 2 very full days in Singapore decided to stay on board where I got a great deal on a massage We booked with Iglu Cruises who really sorted out everything the transfers were spot on and on time the Orchard hotel in Singapore was fab. Overall an excellent trip organised very well The food was great and the steakhouse was well worth the additional charges. There was some complaints however we found that they were totally unfounded. Overall 10/10 Loved it Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise as we haven’t cruised to this area before. Pros; the ship is great, a bit old but clean. Our room was excellent as was our steward. We had one for 11 days, then he went on holiday & we had someone else for ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we haven’t cruised to this area before. Pros; the ship is great, a bit old but clean. Our room was excellent as was our steward. We had one for 11 days, then he went on holiday & we had someone else for the rest of the cruise. We couldn’t fault either of them. Our room was always ready when we came back from breakfast & he gave us 2 extra towels every day. Food was lovely. We were in Vivaldi for our main meal 5:30 sitting. I wouldn’t pick that again as it was a bit rushed as next sitting was 7:30. Meals were always hot & served quickly. Medium sized portions , but you could have 2 if you wanted to. The buffet was excellent, great choices, some variety each day, always hot food. Great desserts. Staff in the shops were friendly & helpful, but I didn’t buy much as we were on a budget. We could always get a lounge around the pool, the staff were good at getting rid of stuff that wear just left by lounge hogs. Cons; Staff in some bar areas were inattentive, we always had to find a waiter to take our orders. They were standing around in groups talking a lot of the time. Shops were extremely expensive even for duty free, some things I can get back home cheaper. On the Emerald Princess there seemed to be more of a selection of items to buy at reasonable prices. We missed that aspect. No towel animals.... Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Having sailed with several other cruise lines, I have to say that the service we received from every single member of the Princess team was first class. Better than we have ever experienced from any other company. That said, there are a ... Read More
Having sailed with several other cruise lines, I have to say that the service we received from every single member of the Princess team was first class. Better than we have ever experienced from any other company. That said, there are a few areas where Princess really let themselves down on this trip. The Sapphire is due for a complete refurbishment in the next couple of months so it was no surprise that it is looking a little tired. However, I didn't like the fact that they started doing maintenance work during our trip. There were a couple of areas of the buffet restaurant roped off while something was being done to some large cabinets, right by the entrance. They also did some painting on the top deck without putting any 'wet paint' signs up. We found this out when my wife happened to get paint on a brand new top she was wearing. Although an attempt to dry clean (free of charge) was made, the top was ruined and came back in worse condition. Sanding and varnishing work was also being done on some hand rails around the swimming pool, with guests in very close proximity. Other things that were not so good - The Captain was almost anonymous. The only time we saw him was when he made a very brief welcome speech. He was not seen by any of our party walking the decks or otherwise socialising with the guests. The only time we heard from him was when he announced an itinerary change caused by bad weather. None of the bars stocked slim line tonic water and the Horizon buffet restaurant was perhaps the poorest of its type that I have experienced in a dozen cruises. Apart from Horizon (the buffet restaurant), the restaurant food was of a good standard with plenty of choice most nights. We did try both the speciality restaurants during the cruise, with very different results. Sabatinis was excellent throughout. Great service and fantastic food. The Steakhouse however turned out to be a curtained off section of the Horizon Buffet. The curtains did not stop other guests walking through throughout the meal. We even had one person walk through in their pyjamas! This totally destroyed any ambiance, it was difficult to relax and worst of all, of the six main courses our party had, we had to send two of them back. I would mention two members of the entertainment staff. Ted, the Cruise Director and Amy, the Assistant Cruise Director. Ted is a lovely guy and clearly very intelligent, however, he is in need of a new script. His repertoire when speaking on stage is very unimpressive. "Give me an oooh" and Give me an aaah" does not go down well with a mainly adult audience, a significant percentage of which do not have English as their first language. And as for his jokes - I have never witnessed so many tumbleweed moments. On the other hand, Amy Alderson was a pleasure to know. She made every effort to get to know our group and was absolutely charming. A credit to Princess, I am sure a promotion will not be too far away, she deserves it and I am willing to bet that she tells a better joke than Ted. There were two very talented violinists playing each evening in the atrium. We certainly enjoyed their music, but would it have hurt them to smile occasionally? All performances in the theatre were of a very high standard. The dance troupe were excellent and the visiting artists all very entertaining. Especially David Knight, the Hypnotist. Our stateroom with balcony was comfortable, although I am sure that the shower was shrinking throughout the trip. There was certainly less room in it at the end than there was at the beginning. Perhaps it was me getting bigger!! Adrian, our Stateroom attendant was excellent, very helpful, always smiling and always in the background if we needed him. I did like the idea of the ship holding onto our passports throughout the cruise. They looked after most of the immigration issues, which made getting on and off the boat at all the different locations much easier. However, the issue with Cambodia and visa requirements was very poorly communicated prior to the cruise. This resulted in us spending more on a visa than we needed to, because we had unnecessarily sorted it out before leaving the UK. We only went on one excursion organised by Princess and that was in Borneo, to the Mari Mari museum. Excellent and would recommend. All the other excursions were organised by the company we booked the cruise through. The gym was very busy most mornings, so you need to pick your timings. There was a lack of cycle machines compared to cross trainers, but all equipment was in good condition All in all, a terrific holiday in which the staff of Princess contributed significantly to our enjoyment, for which I thank them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Embarkation from Singapore was a little slow, arrived at the pier at 12 noon and didn't board until 145pm. Cabin was ready straight away and luggage was waiting for us at our door. Cabin D307 Dolphin Deck 9. We met our cabin steward ... Read More
Embarkation from Singapore was a little slow, arrived at the pier at 12 noon and didn't board until 145pm. Cabin was ready straight away and luggage was waiting for us at our door. Cabin D307 Dolphin Deck 9. We met our cabin steward straight away James, he was wonderful. Cabin was a Mini Suite Balcony. Loverly cabin well worth the extra $$$. It was spacious and a great layout the balcony was large. Then it was Full steam ahead at 5pm. Went dinner at the international restaurant. Food was good quality and well presented never cold. We also ate breakfast in the restaurant as we didnt like the noise in the Buffet Horrizon Buffet. Entertainment was great and the shows well Choreographed. Ports of call Kota Kinabalu,Phu My. Nga Trang, Sihanoukville, Bangkok and unfortunately KO Samui was missed due to Tender Issues. All ports were good but remember it is Asia and its hot and most places are under developed and still very new to cruising. You'll be jumped on by touts as soon as you get off the ship. Make sure you barter for everything, especially taxi and tour fares. Back to the ship... There was plenty of things to keep you occupied whilst on board. From bingo, trivia, shopping, casino or just relaxing by the pool close to you favourite Bar (plentyof them). Cocktail prices were 7-12 US$ but in the wheelhouse bar between 3-4pm it is happy hour. By one drink get the 2nd for $1. Overall it was a good trip but very packed as it was christmas and to many Kids. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We loved the itinerary and the tours were wonderful (except Malaysia but that was because the ship had a mechanical problem so we didn't get to Malaysia in time for any good tours). My cabin steward was excellent - the best ever - ... Read More
We loved the itinerary and the tours were wonderful (except Malaysia but that was because the ship had a mechanical problem so we didn't get to Malaysia in time for any good tours). My cabin steward was excellent - the best ever - Robert on the 10th deck. Embarkation and disembarkation so very smooth. That was the pro's. Now for the con's - the ship is in dire need of restoration - our air conditioning didn't work well at all - we had it at the very coolest level and we still were too warm. The dining room staff in the Pacific Moon were for the most part not very good. It seemed that they were not happy with their jobs and it showed in their service. No one ever came and asked how we were doing during the meals like they used to. On this ship they acted like it didn't matter how they treated us because they were going to get the tips anyway. No real incentive to serve. The most disappointing thing was that only once did they have good dance music where there was a dance floor. There was a wonderful piano player and singer who played near the piazza most nights and we would have loved to dance to his music (the last night there was a group of us that did end up dancing in the aisle and really enjoyed it). He also did play one night at the Wheelhouse (where he should have been most of the time as for the one and only time the dance floor was filled with dancers). Also the other piano player played one night at the Wheelhouse and my husband and I were the only ones dancing because people had given up on finding a good dance place. On our other cruises the Wheelhouse was always the place to go for good dance music and it was always filled with people. That was my biggest disappointment as that is one of the things I always look forward to. Also disappointed that there were no Enrichment Lectures like they usually have. (Do not like all the shopping lectures). Also the accounting for our bills were terrible (I had gift vouchers and yet I was always charged for the item and then had to spend so much time in long lines to get it right - the long lines were because it was happening to everyone. Also when I got home I have a charge on my card for $600 more than what my bill was and now I have to call and try to get that straightened out. On the Pro side - the CS people were very sweet and understanding. The food was not as good as previous cruises. I heard that the ship has been chartered out to a Chinese company and if that is true then that would explain why it didn't measure up to all of our other Princess Cruises. In closing - even though there were many cons - the itinerary made it one of our most favorite cruises. We had never been to Asia and we loved it so we did come home delighted with our vacation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Sapphire Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 5.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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