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Sail Date: April 2014
Admitting, my friend and I are not seasoned cruisers, but know what we like and don't. We had a FUNtastic time on this cruise! The ports were fantastic! We were blessed with beautiful weather, which I'm sure could make or break ... Read More
Admitting, my friend and I are not seasoned cruisers, but know what we like and don't. We had a FUNtastic time on this cruise! The ports were fantastic! We were blessed with beautiful weather, which I'm sure could make or break it. We had a slight issue with cigarette smell in our cabin, which the guest relation staff, and our room steward, did everything they could to remedy. We were offered to change rooms, but with all the things we had just unpacked, and having a great location, we stayed in the room. Thank you to Romolito! If anyone has dealings with this man, please give him our regards! (Room 5028). The room itself was extremely comfortable! Lots of nooks and crannies to fill up. Which we did! Lots of room to move around with the beds separated. We were very happy with the food in the dining room, and the buffet. We may not know cruises, but we do know food! Ha ha. The entertainment was mostly fantastic! Especially with singer/dancers. Unfortunately for future cruisers, these fantastic young people ended there 6 month contract on our cruise. The hypnotist, should be skipped! Boring! We did enjoy the comedian though! The cruise director, John, was great! We even caught him sitting in with the band, and singing, in the Crystal Room, during a theme night! I would definitely recommend this cruise and cruise line to others!   Read Less
Sail Date: May 2012
My wife and I, along with another couple, are in our 50s. We were looking for a short little spring break for a weekend. Chose this cruise because started and ended in Vancouver. No travel for us. We booked a Large interior cabin. I136. ... Read More
My wife and I, along with another couple, are in our 50s. We were looking for a short little spring break for a weekend. Chose this cruise because started and ended in Vancouver. No travel for us. We booked a Large interior cabin. I136. We were surprised by the amount of room we had. There was more than enough room for the two of us and loads of storage. We understand the ship was renovated in 2010 and it shows. The cabin was modern and in perfect condition. Only complaint, no clock. The ship is a smaller HAL ship but we did not get that feeling on board. We visited or used almost all the facilities (not the spa). Found it had everything we needed. Especially liked the explorer Bar during the day and the Piano bar in the evening. We ate at the Rotterdam Dining room several times. The food was good but found the service not as attentive as normal. We have done a few prior cruises. We ate once in the Italian restaurant, the food and service were great. Went to the afternoon tea, but arrived just as they were closing the doors. Were seated in the far corner and I think the servers forgot about us. Had to wait a long time for service. Did not eat at the Pinnacle. Really enjoyed the Crows nest during the day. Great place to watch the scenery. Only disappointment was they allow smoking. One day one person came in and started smoking in the middle of the bar. We and most of the guests all left. HAL should make the ships non-smoking. Also heard several guests complain about smokers on neighbouring verandas. Stopped at two ports. The first Astoria Or. The dock is not that nice (at a log sort) but once get in to town quite interesting. Went to Astoria Column and Laval House. Both were worth a visit. Then went to Victoria. Had a lovely day just walking around. Went to a pub to watch the Champions league final. Was not shown on the ship. Saw all the shows. Really liked the show lounge itself. Very nice theatre. The shows themselves were small music productions with oldies music. Worth seeing. Overall, we just had a discussion about the cruise. It was decided for the money it was well worth the price. But would probably look for a larger ship. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
I took my two sons (ages 15 and 20) for a spring break California coastal trip March 31-April 7. The ship is great. 10 years old but the recent refurb makes it look very new. Pros- Teen liked hanging with other teens at the teen ... Read More
I took my two sons (ages 15 and 20) for a spring break California coastal trip March 31-April 7. The ship is great. 10 years old but the recent refurb makes it look very new. Pros- Teen liked hanging with other teens at the teen center until 1 a.m. He did note that unlike Carnival, the Princess program had less structure and schedule. That was both good and bad in his view. He would have like to know when things were going to happen so he could participate in what he was really interested in. Food is better than other reviews would suggest. Lots of good choices and options. It is nice that you can bring a bottle of wine onto the ship when you embark or return from shore. Cabins were well appointed and very attractive. All furniture and linens were fine. Beds are more comfortable than reviews would suggest. Flat screen TVs are a plus and so is the available programming and outdoor theater. Princess is well organized and moved people on and off the ship easily. The tenders at Santa Barbara were first rate. No delays and very professional. That was our favorite port. Nicer shopping experience than Beverly Hills. Cons - Anytime dining causes delays and overwhelms the wait staff. Speciality restaurants had much better service. Room service is very limited. Grilled burgers on deck were pretty bad, but the pizza was great throughout the ship. Comedians were pretty bad and so were the other shows. Live music and DJs were good. The standard cruise director/broadway show format is increasingly less popular as demonstrated by waning crowds later in the week. This cruise attracted many more seniors than expected. I've never seen so many people with limited mobility on a cruise before. Spa staff was not super friendly and mostly about sales and their schedules. Ensenda is a terrible port. Stay on the boat. All the other ports were wonderful. Don't bother booking shore excursions. So easy to do fun things on your own at each California port. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
We needed a few days away and this was the cruise. We were two adults and one teen. The staff onboard the Sapphire Princess is excellent; the food was fantastic; and we hit the one week without rain. Embarkation at LA was fast and ... Read More
We needed a few days away and this was the cruise. We were two adults and one teen. The staff onboard the Sapphire Princess is excellent; the food was fantastic; and we hit the one week without rain. Embarkation at LA was fast and easy. We were asked to come after 1 pm and arrived at 1:30 -- only hitch was a newbie cab driver who couldn't find the freeway nor the cruise terminal and thank goodness for modern gps technology built into today's phones -- and it took ten minutes to drop off the luggage, fill out the form stating we were not ill, and walk on. Since we were late-ish arriving, we decided to walk around first before having a cup of tea in the buffet area. The ship is newly refurbished and quite lovely. As we headed down the hall, we met our room steward, who was just wonderful throughout the entire trip. Mostly we used this trip to recharge and be lazy. We love to dine in the evening and were orginally set for the early seating, but 5:30 was too early for all of us. Switching to the late seating was painless -- and the hotdog grill near the pool kept the teenager happy if he got hungry in the late afternoon. The dining room staff was outstanding, as were our table mates. We can't say enough about the food -- and never felt the need to go to the specialty dining rooms as the food in the main room was so great. We went to tea a couple of times to meet and talk to people and hear travel stories that made us wish to go other places soon! And the new atrium cafes and pizza area were also terrific for meeting other travelers. We'd been to all the ports before, so enjoyed a week of being able to amble about and rest. Ensenada was okay -- we'd leave it off the itinerary if we could, but if you have to go somewhere, it's there. San Diego was just great, and we had a fun time on the USS Midway, which is just a very short walk away from the cruise terminal. San Francisco was all kinds of fun -- we'd never just done the touristy shopping thing and so we did, and the sea lions at Pier 39 were a hoot. Santa Barbara was lovely -- the tender rides were the best -- and we simply walked for hours up to State Street, up the street, and then back down. If you are hungry, there are so many restaurants, so take your pick. The one rough night, we all got a bit queasy, which has never happened before -- but traveling is all about new experiences, right?! Okay, been there now, done that, never doing queasy again. The teenager was happy with the teen center and enjoyed not being totally supervised -- even though we made him check in with us a few times a day. He liked the late-night parties and the ability to play unlimited video games. The soda card, where he could get milkshakes, was also a big favorite. The two nits: the first comedian was hilarious the first night in a short, short program, and boring and awful beyond belief the second full show. We left early -- could blame it on the seasickness, but we were glad to leave. The other nit: the spa staff are hmmm, how to put it nicely, not amenable, not competent? I wanted to get my nails redone and phoned one night expecting no openings to be available the next morning. Was given a choice of 6 am or 8 am; took 8 am, then called an hour later to change to 6 am (because my husband wanted to do something at 8 am, not because I just changed my mind willy-nilly) and was told there was no such thing as a 6 am appointment since they didn't open until 7:30 am. So I asked to cancel. At 7:45 the next morning, the phone rang to confirm my 8 am. I ran up there to see what was going on and was told the appointment had been canceled. At least I got some extra exercise. But if you need a week away to relax, this is the easy cruise to take. We'd do it again in a heartbeat. Read Less

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