Sapphire Princess Review 7/25

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#1
Savannah, GA USA
87 Posts
Joined May 2004
We returned from the Sapphire Princess on 7/25 and thought I would give a mini review of what we experienced. The previous posts I read about the Sapphire was correct - example - the buffet line is not organized and is just mass chaos. Here is my two cents worth:

Things I liked about the ship/cruise: First of all, I cannot explain how nice the ships is...To say it's beautiful is an understatement. There are 5 (I think) heated pools and plenty of places to relax. The cabins are the largest I've ever seen. You don't feel crowded and the closets are very large. We had an inside cabin on the Baja deck and we had plenty of room. Also the bathroom is tiled and very nice. The Princess Theatre is large and we did not have any problems finding a place to sit. The ports were very nice and we never had problems getting off the ship. Embarkment was simple and easy - we were on the ship in less than 30 mins. Disembarkment was also easy and we were off the ship by 9:45 am.

Things I disliked about the ship/cruise: Here is the bad part. Bear in mind you also have a tendency to remember the bad things. I was disappointed in the food. Yes, most of it was good but the desserts were bland. We had traditional late seating and the food was either very good or very bad. The International dining room was very small and arranged in smaller tables than other cruises I've been on. Also it was difficult to find the dining room because it's in the back of the ship tucked away. The buffet was very disorganzied and we had to wait in line to eat. Then we had trouble finding an empty table. Very, very crowded for breakfast and lunch. Another thing I disliked about the cruises was getting back on the ship while in port. For example we disembarked on deck 7 but we will get back on the ship on deck 6. Then to get off the ship again, we had to go to deck 5. They seemed to always be changing the gangways and did not announce the new locations. Many people were lost just trying to get off the ship again. I was also disappointed in the activities planned for the days at sea. Many activities had additional costs. Also we went to a trivia game but it only lasted 15 mins. The movies they showed were old and out on DVD already. Make sure you have a book to read or go by their library for a book or game.

Overall I had a great time and the ship was just amazing. I did not save the Patters or Menus but if you have any questions, just ask!
#2
phoenix, az. usa
6,732 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Glad you are back thanks for the review, and I agree about the Trad. DR being a bit of a challenge to get to, we have two Diamond cruises under our belts so now we are sure we can find it on Sapphire easily. The HC buffet is only packed and disorganized at peak times, we get there early when we go and it is easy then. They change decks for gangways because of tide and ships height realative to the dock, nothing personal I assure you.
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Life is at its best when your address floats.
192 days on board
Alaska
NCL Star 07/06 ~Sapphire 9/04~Diamond 5/04
Mercury 6/02~ Rhapsody 5/98~Legend 9/95
Hawaii
Sapphire 3/12~Golden 1/10~Diamond 01/08
California Coastal
Sapphire 4/12
Mexican Riviera
Sapphire 12/11~Sapphire 9/09 B2B Sapphire 10/09
Diamond 12/06 B2B Diamond 01/07~Sapphire 1/06
Diamond 11/04
B2B Diamond 12/04~Diamond 4/04
Vision of the Seas 4 /02~ Sea Princess 1/02
Baja Mexico
Paradise 04-07 Paradise 10-06
~ Ecstacy 9/01 Golden 10/13
Carribean
East Century 12/97 West
Century 9/96
#3
Ohio USA
1,430 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Originally posted by chubby_faye
We returned from the Sapphire Princess on 7/25 and thought I would give a mini review of what we experienced. The previous posts I read about the Sapphire was correct - example - the buffet line is not organized and is just mass chaos. Here is my two cents worth:

Things I liked about the ship/cruise: First of all, I cannot explain how nice the ships is...To say it's beautiful is an understatement. There are 5 (I think) heated pools and plenty of places to relax. The cabins are the largest I've ever seen. You don't feel crowded and the closets are very large. We had an inside cabin on the Baja deck and we had plenty of room. Also the bathroom is tiled and very nice. The Princess Theatre is large and we did not have any problems finding a place to sit. The ports were very nice and we never had problems getting off the ship. Embarkment was simple and easy - we were on the ship in less than 30 mins. Disembarkment was also easy and we were off the ship by 9:45 am.

Things I disliked about the ship/cruise: Here is the bad part. Bear in mind you also have a tendency to remember the bad things. I was disappointed in the food. Yes, most of it was good but the desserts were bland. We had traditional late seating and the food was either very good or very bad. The International dining room was very small and arranged in smaller tables than other cruises I've been on. Also it was difficult to find the dining room because it's in the back of the ship tucked away. The buffet was very disorganzied and we had to wait in line to eat. Then we had trouble finding an empty table. Very, very crowded for breakfast and lunch. Another thing I disliked about the cruises was getting back on the ship while in port. For example we disembarked on deck 7 but we will get back on the ship on deck 6. Then to get off the ship again, we had to go to deck 5. They seemed to always be changing the gangways and did not announce the new locations. Many people were lost just trying to get off the ship again. I was also disappointed in the activities planned for the days at sea. Many activities had additional costs. Also we went to a trivia game but it only lasted 15 mins. The movies they showed were old and out on DVD already. Make sure you have a book to read or go by their library for a book or game.

Overall I had a great time and the ship was just amazing. I did not save the Patters or Menus but if you have any questions, just ask!
I totally agree with Sphinx. Our last trip to Alaska, aboard the Star Princess, we noticed that the Horizon Court was always packed at exactly the same times that you mentioned. It was our first cruise and we did not know that there were other options to consider. We decided that it was crowded with the people that wanted a good view to the scenery. We had a minisuite, so we could sit at our leisure and enjoy the beautiful view while sailing by. My husband noticed while going up a few times to the Horizon Court that the same people were sitting at the same tables that they had been at earlier at breakfast. I could be wrong........it's just a thought
Linda
#4
Seattle, WA, USA
1,847 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Thanks for the review. I was on the 6/27 sailing and had a very similar experice to what you have written. The ship was great, but they certainly have some issues with the buffets. Only tried the breakfast buffet once and that was enough. Ended up skipping breakfast or ordering continental breakfast from room service the rest of the trip. Never had a bad meal in the international dining room and we found the deserts in the dining room to be just fine. The deserts at the buffett were pretty pathetic however. The served the same fruit tart things every day over and over again. Never did see slices of cake, pie, etc. Not that we needed it Overall a great cruise, I would certainly cruise on the Sapphire again.
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Last Cruise: 2/19/17 HAL Koningsdam - Caribbean
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#5
3 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
My h and 3 children ages 15,18 & 20 were on the 7/18 - 7/25 Sapphire cruise. I have to say we liked almost everything we ate. My husband & I ate in the International Dining room for breakfast and lunch and never had a problem getting a table. The sevice and food were great. We made dinner reservations in the other dinning rooms and never waited. The food in all of them was also very good. The buffet was not as good , but there are many choices so you have to find something you like. My children ordered room sevice each night to their room and loved it. We had a wonderful vacation and can't sight any problems.
#7
Alabama
888 Posts
Joined May 2004
Thanks for the post and all the information. We are down to 24 days until the Sapphire on Aug 22. It can't get here fast enough!
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#8
Concord,Calif
1,653 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
We are sailing on Sapphire Princess on Sept 12 but no one else wants to admit that, except uyonnkd and maybe lovethesea.
Could we lurk on your thread? Also, I have not looked for possible (early?) boarding time in Seattle. Do any of you have an idea of a good light time to board? I hope it is easier than fighting the traffic to the pier in San Francisco!!!
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#9
Atlanta, GA
257 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Originally posted by noj
We are sailing on Sapphire Princess on Sept 12 but no one else wants to admit that, except uyonnkd and maybe lovethesea.
Could we lurk on your thread? Also, I have not looked for possible (early?) boarding time in Seattle. Do any of you have an idea of a good light time to board? I hope it is easier than fighting the traffic to the pier in San Francisco!!!
Okay, I'll admit it. We are on that one too.
#10
Concord,Calif
1,653 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
WillB,
I am glad to find someone else that is going on that Sapphire sailing!
Now back to lurking...
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Email is [email protected]

Grand Canyon trip

http://good-times.webshots.com/album/555239928ctuHFK

Fair Princess - Aug '95
Sea Princess - Aug '99
Rhapsody of the Seas Apr 2001
Celebrity Mercury - Feb 2003
Coral Princess May 2003
Sapphire Princess Sept '04
America West -- Queen of the West July '05
Island Princess to Hawaii Oct 2005
Dawn Princess to Alaska May 2006
Grand Canyon,Bryce,Zion
Coastals by Golden Princess and NCL - May 2-5,2007
Caravan Tours Canadian Rockies
Celebrity Mercury Coastal in 2008(Apr19-)
Caravan Tours Eastern Fall Colors
Copper Canyon of Mexico
Mariner of the Seas May 2009
Pacific Princess Gulf Aug 20 of 09
Star Princess - coastal 9-09
Coral
Princess - coastal 9-09
Classic Canadian East Coast Crown Princess 2010
Waiting for:
next cruise to Hawaii, Tahaiti, Samoa 2011
#11
Northern Kentucky
599 Posts
Joined Sep 2002
I am new to Princess and will be sailing on the Sapphire Princess in Oct. 2005 to the Mexican Riviera.

I have a few questions:
  • What kind of activites do they offer on Sea days?

Chubby_faye mentioned that they charge for a lot of the activities.
  • Which activities do they charge for?
  • What are the kids programs like?
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#12
Miami, FL
2,006 Posts
Joined May 2004
Sea day activities include movies, lectures on port shopping, cultural topics and sightseeing, trivia and Jeopardy contests, cooking classes and galley tours, arts and crafts activities, spa-related items, virtual and miniature golf, the casino, computer classes, art auctions up the wazoo, musical entertainment, shopping specials, etc. You won't be bored.

Les
#13
Rancho Mirage, CA, USA
993 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
The crowding of the buffets is typical of the Celebrity ships also. We have programmed ourselves to go early or late to avoid the lines.

John
#14
Marietta, GA
608 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
I enjoyed the dance lessons (ballroom and line). Neil and Michelle are a hoot! And don't forget the casino.
Originally posted by cruiseky
I am new to Princess and will be sailing on the Sapphire Princess in Oct. 2005 to the Mexican Riviera.

I have a few questions:

What kind of activites do they offer on Sea days?