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Sail Date: July 2019
Sadly our reasoning for the choice of ship and cruise line was determined by the lack of available and desired cruise destination with our usual cruise provider, cunard. The following are the few good points : Embarkation and ... Read More
Sadly our reasoning for the choice of ship and cruise line was determined by the lack of available and desired cruise destination with our usual cruise provider, cunard. The following are the few good points : Embarkation and diaembarkation Balcony room steward Customer service desk Waiter service at dinner The following are the negative points : Wines, spirits and beers massively and for the quality of the wines in particular, overpriced. Service slow, and non existant if you were not lounging near the pool. Food quality at dinner, not fine dining by any stretch of the imagination, poorly plated and presented and regularly undercooked. Wine waiter knew nothing about the wines on offer and was only interested in constantly overfilling the glass to push sales. The entertainment was average at best,,, we only managed to access one show at the 10.15pm slot (we chose an 8.00pm dining time) as the theatre was full from earlier diners remaining seated along with there sleeping children, preventing any opportunity to gain a seat, i refuse to stand to watch any show for this reason. Overall a poor shipboard experience. NEVER to be repeated. Ruined the holiday Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
ship needs revamp. dining ok if you like a curry or high fat foods.Entertainment .poor. The only good thing about this cruise were the bar and waiting staff and the ports of call . Only ate in main restaurant four times as was put off by ... Read More
ship needs revamp. dining ok if you like a curry or high fat foods.Entertainment .poor. The only good thing about this cruise were the bar and waiting staff and the ports of call . Only ate in main restaurant four times as was put off by the chicken drumsticks chips and gravy,hardly a la carte. Buffet curry eggs and onion rice for breakfast or full English dripping in fat. cruised many times before and have never had to leave a bad review .you need a new cruise director as his vision of good entertainment is perhaps suited for an old peoples home at best.Kids club was a joke and they wanted $25 to ice a cake where as on all other cruises this would have been free . We spent in total £9000.00 on this holiday for two adults and two children paid for a la carte got chicken drumsticks paid for our children to be entertained did not happen,paid for great entertainment was not entertained Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Just completed a 14 day cruise to Norway and Iceland. It was our best cruise yet, the stops were great, especially in Iceland. We met some great folks and as usual the staff were top quality. From the point we arrived in Southampton ... Read More
Just completed a 14 day cruise to Norway and Iceland. It was our best cruise yet, the stops were great, especially in Iceland. We met some great folks and as usual the staff were top quality. From the point we arrived in Southampton everything ran like clockwork, its so easy to embark. The food on board is excellent wherever you decide to eat. we mostly went to Horizon. The bars on board are great, we used Churchill's mostly, its like being in your local at home, it tends to be quieter than the other bars. We did our on exploring in all ports, this is made easy as all stops had a tourist centre, and with some planning beforehand. The Platter and the Destination Expert Videos are very helpful. If I have any disappointment, then it was the last 3 days at sea. It was good to relax, but another stop on way home would have broken up the time. Next years cruise booked on board, another good deal. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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
Always wanted to visit the Fjords and we were delighted with our cruise. The Skylift from Fjord to Sky at Loen was absolutely stunning! We were so lucky with the weather, sunshine and blue skies for the majority of the cruise. A ... Read More
Always wanted to visit the Fjords and we were delighted with our cruise. The Skylift from Fjord to Sky at Loen was absolutely stunning! We were so lucky with the weather, sunshine and blue skies for the majority of the cruise. A memorable afternoon was at Gerainger when we walked up at the side of the most amazing waterfall ever! We had to take the tender from the ship as we were anchored in the fjord. We found part of our excursion in Bergen rather boring. Initially we were taken by coach to the Funicular station and fortunately didn’t have to queue very long for the transport. As we climbed up Floen mountain we were met with thick cloud however, as we reached the top the clouds cleared and we were able to see fantastic views from up there. If we had been able to make our own way back to the ship from this point we would have enjoyed ourselves much more. There were mountain biking tracks and zip wires plus good walking options but unfortunately we had too return to the coach for a rather boring trip around an extremely busy city. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
I saved up to take my retired parents on their first cruise. The itinerary was good, the stateroom was beautiful and spacious but the dining was slow, on average it took 2 1/2 hours to serve a soup or salad, salmon or meat and veg ... Read More
I saved up to take my retired parents on their first cruise. The itinerary was good, the stateroom was beautiful and spacious but the dining was slow, on average it took 2 1/2 hours to serve a soup or salad, salmon or meat and veg and a cold pudding. We chose anytime dining which seemed to make the service slower. We tried going early /half time /later and always had to wait a long time for a table so we missed a lot of the entertainment too. The food was edible, like a bar meal or canteen catering but it wasn't delicious. However, the food on the last night was delicious and much different to the other nights which saddened me. The service overall was hit and miss. I would say that the staff were all overstretched. The guy cleaning the cabins had 19 to take care of and easily worked a 12 hour shift, there were hardly any waiters in the dining room which contributed to slow service - about 8 waiters per restaurant, the entertainment who were excellent, also had a triple shift - singing for over 3 hours throughout the night, which is a lot for a band. The ports and shore excursions were enjoyable. We visited Bruge, Copenhagen and Oslo. We couldn't dock at Skagen due to high winds. We had a lovely holiday but it certainly didn't have the cruise wow factor we expected for that price point. I feel quite cheated and I don't feel my parents got the real cruise experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I have sailed on Princess twice, and I had a wonderful experience. My last Princess cruise was about 10 years ago. I have wanted to cruise again, but I have been waiting for my son to get a little older. Now that he is 7 years old, I felt ... Read More
I have sailed on Princess twice, and I had a wonderful experience. My last Princess cruise was about 10 years ago. I have wanted to cruise again, but I have been waiting for my son to get a little older. Now that he is 7 years old, I felt it was the right time to cruise. I only looked in to Princess because of my past experience. And honestly, I regret not looking into other cruise options. Last week we sailed to and from London and Oslo on a 7 day cruise. I really wish I could say that I had a great time, but it was a subpar experience. My two issues were food and the amount of time you actually spend in a town/city. The food was below average especially when you factor in the amount of money you are spending. Honestly, you are on the ship about 80% of the time. The food must be good whether it is a la cart dining or buffet. I remember when Princess offered twin lobsters during dinner at the international dining hall. Now they want you to pay extra for good food. In the past, the buffet had smoked salmon everyday for breakfast. On this cruise, they offered it on the last day. I feel like they offered at the end of our trip so we would only remember the last dish. Last, we ate a 3 course prefix meal at Sabatinis. You have to pay a premium to eat there, but the food was great. However, in the past Sabatinis offered an 11 course meal. The food offering is declining. In regard to my comment about the time spent in a town/city, well it only represents 5 hours per port. Most of the excursion start mid-morning, and you are back on the ship by 3pm. We have no time to explore, eat, or shop. In conclusion, if you are on the ship most of the time, the food better be amazing or you are really there for the entertainment like bingo, art auction, town lectures, etc which you can do at your local city. If you like to cruise, and don't care about food quality, go on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife, 10-year-old son and I chose this cruise because it gave us the opportunity to spend some time in London and then cruise into ports we had never been to before. We are a family of three from Saint Augustine, Fl. This was our 37th ... Read More
My wife, 10-year-old son and I chose this cruise because it gave us the opportunity to spend some time in London and then cruise into ports we had never been to before. We are a family of three from Saint Augustine, Fl. This was our 37th cruise and 8th cruise on Princess Cruises. We love all the main cruise lines and usually choose the deal and itinerary over the line. I do believe Princess has always been our favorite line and was solidified on this cruise. Southampton was pretty easy to sail out of. We took a train from Waterloo station to Southampton and then got a cab to the port. The total cost for that was under a hundred American dollars for the three of us. Once there we were on the ship within about 5 minutes. We had lunch at Alfredo's which is a wonderful and relaxing alternative to the Horizon Court and what we strongly believe to be the best pizza at sea. After lunch, we explored the ship, unpacked, did the muster drill, had a coupe drinks and went to dinner. We ate at the Steakhouse and sadly this was the worst meal of the cruise. My wife's NY strip was of poor quality and was flat out bad. My Ribeye was fine but there was nothing special about it. I should also mention that we have always felt like Princess offers the best dining room food but we have never had a dinner in the steakhouse that we we did not regret. RCI, NCL, HAL and even Carnival are all doing this much better in our opinion. On a positive note, that was the last time we were disappointed with diner. All meals were very good with excellent service. We were never rushed and we never waited either. All dinners were good and on the formal evening they bumped it up a couple of notches. They have cut back over the years as all lines have. For instance, where they used to offer a Filet Mignon as a meat option any night of the week, they now offer a hamburger. However, what they do, they do well. I had beef wellington, and beef tornadoes during the cruise and they were both cooked to a perfect medium rare. Salmon melted in my mouth and other seafood selections were good. Dinners were always served hot. We pretty much stayed away from the Horizon Court but it seemed pretty in line with any other buffet. We often grabbed a snack or sandwich at the International Café and it was fine and I guess what we expected. On the last evening we ate at Sabatini's, which unlike the steakhouse is worth every penny. I had the Veal chop, and my wife and son both ordered a steak and it was all quiet at the dinner table. It was a great way to end the cruise. Princess kept us busy on sea days with ping pong tournaments, free throw contests, scavenger hunts, and putting contests. We returned home with three Princess medals. There are no rock climbing walls or water slides but our ten-year-old son still had a blast. There were also plenty of variety shows that we all enjoyed. Aaron the cruise director and the entire team were talented and hilarious. They went out of their way to make our son feel special. If you guys are reading, Dave from Singapore sends his regards... The ship was scheduled to be back in Southampton at 7 am and our cards were scanned and we were looking for our car service before 7:05 am. We had a car service called Blackberry drive us back to Heathrow for 99 pounds. We hit no traffic and were at Heathrow in about and hour and fifteen minutes. Overall, this was a great cruise. It was very relaxing. Princess offers spectacular ships but with a more relaxed experience. We never felt crowded. After the chaos of flying over the Atlantic and experiencing the hustle and bustle of London, the Sapphire Princess was a much welcomed way to experience the remainder of a once in a lifetime vacation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Whilst the embarkation and dis embarkation went very smoothly and the cabin and the ship itself was of a good standard we were left feeling disappointed at quality of the food on offer and the additional charge if you wanted a steak rather ... Read More
Whilst the embarkation and dis embarkation went very smoothly and the cabin and the ship itself was of a good standard we were left feeling disappointed at quality of the food on offer and the additional charge if you wanted a steak rather than what was offered on the menu. The price of beverages was a rip off, $6.75 for a can of Guinness probably with their buying power they get it for less than 50c a can. The entertainment was average at best, did not attend any half way through the cruise. The crew are excellent and friendly as they are on all cruise ships. First time with Princess and the last as well. Overall the potential was there to have a really excellent cruise but let down by the companies goal of adding more profits, not arriving in Skagen and 2 hours late arriving in Copenhagen just took the shine right off. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We booked through Iglu cruises and it was a very good deal and a good price. We arrived in Southampton to find delays due to a fire alarm in the terminal and major road works. The ship sailed late. The boarding was a bit of a free for ... Read More
We booked through Iglu cruises and it was a very good deal and a good price. We arrived in Southampton to find delays due to a fire alarm in the terminal and major road works. The ship sailed late. The boarding was a bit of a free for all due to everyone arriving in the terminal at the same time, but we went through very quickly. Don't see the point of priority boarding as they took the same time. The ship looked clean and sparkly and the staff were friendly. We went straight to our cabin which was an obstructed view. This was the best view we've had on a cruise. The cabin was a good size with all the amenities you need, inc tea and coffee. We had no green tea but it was provided on request. We purchased a crate of water beforehand and this was a lot cheaper than buying it on the ship. The bathroom was perfect for us and the shower was excellent (height was great as i'm 6ft1in). The bed is soft and fluffy, the pillows are wonderful. The only this that i could see might annoy people is that there was only 2 electrical sockets and they are American so remember you converter's. This was fine for us. The only thing annoying was that the Films would lose signal on the TV and you would have to wait for it to reset. If you don't watch TV this is not a problem. The free for all was good in a morning and evening however it wasn't to our tastes on a evening.The Free for All scrum down also had sinks to wash your hands in before entering which was a excellent idea. The Anytime dining was rubbish as people are allowed to book tables so you always have to wait to be seated, (about 20 mins). Anytime means you go down anytime. Booking shouldn't be allowed. The food OK but not a massive selection in the Dining rooms. Veggie options were limited. We watch the movies under the stars, the art auction ( where we won a excellent prize) and a guest singer. Always got a seat and was always a good show. Downside is that its impossible to get a drink in the show hall so take one in with you. We had to miss Skagen because of the weather but we had an over night in Oslo. This cannot be helped and just the way with the Sea. Nobody's fault and we were kept informed. Got a bit choppy in the Batlic however it is the Sea and mother nature. The rubbish thing was that you had to pay for transfers into town at nearly every visit. Overall - the Staff were brilliant, the room was comfy and peaceful. The food was OK, The ship was clean with plenty of amenities and with things going on all the time. Bad things were the cost of the extras and the cost of the drinks was expensive (£6 a pint) you still get charged your tips (this can be removed on request) Transfert costs into town. Veggie option for meals was average.. We would defiantly go on there again at the right price. We really enjoyed our cruise and was a nice relaxing break. 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
This has been a bucket list cruise for us for quite a while and it did not disappoint. While I love the Princess Small Ships, I was glad to see the Sapphire doing this since, being a larger ship, that made it a bit more economical to book. ... Read More
This has been a bucket list cruise for us for quite a while and it did not disappoint. While I love the Princess Small Ships, I was glad to see the Sapphire doing this since, being a larger ship, that made it a bit more economical to book. The scenery was fantastic - better than I envisioned. We had a mid forward balcony cabin on the Lido deck, a very convenient location since no stairs or elevator wait for the buffet, pool area or grill. Waking up in the morning seeing the mountains of a fjord off your balcony was fantastic. The size of this ship was nice. Very few lines for anything, yet enough people. We booked Princess excursions at each port. In retrospect, we might have been better off checking which ports had hop-on/hop off services and just used that for a general sightseeing tour. Having said that we were NOT disappointed with any of our shore excursions. The entertainment on board was very good. 4 production shows that were all top notch. The main dining room food was excellent. Yes, Princess is cutting back a bit on Lobster night (a single lobster tail) and I'm sure some people are put off by the *optional* $19 upgrades offered some evenings, but we just ignored them and enjoyed the standard menu. Wait staff was excellent - very attentive to our requests. We were able to have a table for 2 in Anytime Dining each night. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I took my elderly mother on this cruise as she felt she didn’t want to fly-cruise any more. We had arranged assistance boarding at Southampton Mayflower Terminal. This worked brilliantly. Having bypassed the queues we were through ... Read More
I took my elderly mother on this cruise as she felt she didn’t want to fly-cruise any more. We had arranged assistance boarding at Southampton Mayflower Terminal. This worked brilliantly. Having bypassed the queues we were through security and on board within 15-20 minutes of being dropped off. We found our stateroom in very good order with a stocked minibar in line with Moms ‘Elite’ status. Our bags were delivered in a timely manner and once unpacked we explored our home for two weeks. The itinerary included a number of sea days which we found plenty of activities to fill our days. For a large ship with over 2500 guests there was never not a place to find some ‘space’. There was never a shortage of loungers on either decks outside or inside. We were assigned late dinner in the International Restaurant, the booking confirmation stated 7:15pm when in fact dinner was at 8:00pm, not an issue for us but was for our Canadian table mates. We took breakfast and lunch in the Horizon Buffet restaurant mainly due to my Mom’s fussy taste. There was for the most part a good choice, some lunchtimes their meat that we had been served for dinner the previous evening would appear in the form of some kind of salad. Only on the last day of the trip did I find that I could actually order a portion of chips which would be cooked to order instead of me having to walk through the indoor pool area, around the outdoor pool to the burger bar to fetch these and then carry them back to the buffet! The service in the International Restaurant was impeccable, the menu choices were varied and they were always able to make changes to suit Moms palate! We went to the theatre most evenings, the Sapphire orchestra was superb, accompanying the varied visiting performances, all but one we really enjoyed (fiddle playing is not our thing) the cruise cast were particularly good, two male and two female lead vocalists lead very well. We didn’t attend the other evening entertainment part from the ‘Land of the midnight sun deck party’ which started about 11:15pm and lead to a countdown to midnight. This was very well attended and great fun. It was hard to believe that it was midnight with the sun still shining brightly in the sky. With regard to the ports and shore excursions, due to my moms not being able to walk too far we could only book two excursions. Stavanger was great, docked right in the port we were able to stroll around and see some of this pretty town. Flåm was was very pretty, we had booked the ‘Easy Flåm’ excursion which was fine for us. Gerainger was very pretty, we were able to go ashore by tender and explore under our own steam. Trondheim was great, our second excursion was on a 1950s tram which took us up into the suburbs in the hills, very pretty. We were met by a coach which took us to a ski jump arena where some young jumpers had been arranged to show their skills. Honningsvag again docked right in port was fine, the town was within easy walking distance. The Christmas shop was full of mass produced junk, we went further around the harbour and came across an outlet store which had a cafe and a bathroom, here I did find a beautiful hand painted Christmas ornament. Tromso we arrived on a Sunday, there was a shuttle bus into town at a cost of $20 but nothing in the town was open. The only visiting place that was in walking distance was a botanical garden but we were advised that it was very uneven under foot and it was raining, we stayed aboard. As we departed the captain advised that we had been assigned an inadequately qualified pilot which would result in us having to add four hours to our journey time and as a result a late arrival in the Lofoten Islands, departure was delayed accordingly. The issue here was that, 1 it was pouring with rain, 2, The tender was docking in the middle of nowhere, a four kilometres walk to the nearest town or a taxi ride. Our table mates went ashore and quickly messaged that Mom would really struggle. Our next stop was Alesund, having been tipped off by our table mates we booked a land train. This was great, an hour and a half for approx $20 each. Mom then returned to the ship and I was able to walk to a number of areas I had seen to take photos. Bergen was a bit of a mix up. We had no excursions booked. There was a ‘shuttle bus ‘ provided, this took us from the shop to the other side of the container port where we were docked. This meant we were a minimum of 1 km from the old port where another 4ships were docked. We had planned on going on the funicular railway which the tourist information said was within a few minutes walk of the main shopping street. This was far too far for us to walk. I had to sit mom on a park bench whilst I went to take photos. Having watched the ships lecture of the city I feel that we missed out on so much because of where the ship was docked (second occasion). Again the final sea day was great, a rest, no problem finding space to relax. On docking in Southampton we again had assistance for disembarkation, this was superb again this time at the Queen Elizabeth Terminal. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise primarily to see Mid Night Sun. And we were not disappointed! We were above the Arctic Circle for 5, 24 hr Sun days/Nights! 3 days were cloudy, one day partially sunny and one day was clear blue skies. The midnight sun ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily to see Mid Night Sun. And we were not disappointed! We were above the Arctic Circle for 5, 24 hr Sun days/Nights! 3 days were cloudy, one day partially sunny and one day was clear blue skies. The midnight sun on June 22 was very surreal and Princess had a midnight party on the top deck. All the other ports of call were very scenic. The Norwegian Fjords are awesome ! We really did not take any excursions from the ports as there was much to see right there ! At Geiranger and Lofotin Islands, we took some excursions offered by local bus tours but not any offered by Princess as they were too costly. The worst part of the cruise was lack of quality food options for vegetarians. There was only one choice for main dish every night and most of the time, it was not well prepared. Vegetarians can eat many Italian dishes ( cheese ravioli, pasta primavera, quiche and Indian dishes ). I do not understand why they add meat to salads and soups! I am glad at least the deserts have no meat! The Sanctuary was hardly used by people for whom it was intended. Make that space available to all. There were only 2 formal nights as against 3 advertised. There should have been enrichment lectures on Astrology (Midnight sun) and Geology as we were in the arctic circle , going thru the fjords and oil rigs in the North Sea. We enjoyed the cruise very much because of the choice of the poarts, fantastic scenery and Mid Night Sun! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This was our first Princess cruise, we have cruised with Royal Caribbean on numerous occasions and cannot help making comparisons. Pros: The crew were lovely and very helpful, our room steward Anna was great, our room was very clean. ... Read More
This was our first Princess cruise, we have cruised with Royal Caribbean on numerous occasions and cannot help making comparisons. Pros: The crew were lovely and very helpful, our room steward Anna was great, our room was very clean. The entertainment was very good, especially the Princess Singers and Dancers, as well as other entertainment. However we were expecting a famous celebrity singer or comedian on board for one night. There were plenty of seats at Horizon Court both daytime and evening, with no queueing, disembarking on days out was very quick, only light queueing coming back on board. Cons: 18% tips is far too high for drinks. Signed receipts for drinks should be given automatically without asking. Account could not be activated on TV screens. Food was disappointing, hot food was cold or tepid, and not enough choice in both Any Time Dining restaurants or Horizon. Portions in restaurants far to small with not enough vegetables. Too much carvery pork in Horizon with no other choice. Cleaning: we did not see anyone cleaning banisters, lifts, buttons, toilets at any time. This should be done on a regular basis throughout the day and evening. We did not see any salad serving spoons in Horizon being changed during mealtimes. It is all very well having sinks but numerous people did not use them before meals. We both came home with streaming colds and coughs although we always leave our balcony door open both day and night. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose this Cruise because I am a regular Cruiser and was running out of ships & destinations with my favourite company NCL and to a lesser extent Royal Carribean. On the surface they seemed very good and the recent tv program ... Read More
I chose this Cruise because I am a regular Cruiser and was running out of ships & destinations with my favourite company NCL and to a lesser extent Royal Carribean. On the surface they seemed very good and the recent tv program swung it in their favour. The Que tmerely to register should have been a warning, way too long, way to slow and not enough staff to manage. Pop down the road and see how easy it is with Royal Carribean who simply make the whole thing painless from the moment you park your car. Now to the truth of the matter. The food was way below standard compared to NCL and RC, some of it was even inedible. I spent 25 years as a Chef in a previous life so I can talk with some expertise. The service was great but you can't eat service. The Entertainment was dreadful, particularly in the theatre compared to some of the fantastic stuff you get all night long with NCL. Simply not even close to Norwegian Cruise Line The Casino closed at 1.30 latest every night to the huge annoyance of everyone playing, and although I spend small this is the highlight of my holiday. I purchased 2 very expensive drink packages to cover my casino use and barely touched them. I asked for a refund of one of them when I got home and it was declined, together with my other issues brushed aside. I felt completely ripped off and Princess Customer Services are totally inept and brush off your observations without any satisfactory resolution. I hate moaning and can usually live with what I get but this Cruise cost me a lot of money and left a really bad taste in the mouth. (Metaphorically and in reality) I will remember your Southern Fried Chicken long after I forget your Cruise, I think I am still trying to digest it. Seriously, if you are looking for a great Cruise with fantastic food and entertainment, go with NCL. They get it as right as Princess get it wrong and are about the same prices without silly restrictions on the amount you can drink. I spent a lot of money on this holiday and feel utterly ripped off in terms of money spent and service received. I have spent the last 12 years recommending cruises to all of my friends and anyone who will listen, and dozens of them had taken me up on it, primarily going with NCL and having the time of their lives. I have been a great Marketing agent for them all of this time, and will now turn my attention to telling people the truth about Princess. The refund of a drink package and a sincere apology and explanation would have helped, and certainly prevented this, but that was too much for them. In some small way I hope that people will read this and be warned and spend their hard earned money elsewhere. To give this advice, and cost Princess sales will in some way make this experience a little easier to swallow, unlike their Chicken ! Trust me, if you are a new Cruiser, or someone looking for a change, and do not want the stuffiness of P&O, treat your self to NCL (not the Epic though as its too big and busy and badly laid out re the staterooms) To a lesser extent I recommend Royal Carribean but Princess, what can I say, You have been warned Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
I chose this cruise because of a need to see Bordeaux, France. Bordeaux was not as exciting as I thought it would be but Bilboa and St. Peter Port more than made up for my disappointment. I have sailed with Princess a total of 100+ days. ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of a need to see Bordeaux, France. Bordeaux was not as exciting as I thought it would be but Bilboa and St. Peter Port more than made up for my disappointment. I have sailed with Princess a total of 100+ days. I am an Elite member and even with my history of sailing on cruises with Princess and many other lines, Princess Ships are par excellence. This particular cruise was lovely, awesome, grand and made so much more pleasureable by the hospitality and friendliness of the crew. What was so significant is that Captain Paolo Ravera was approachable, personable, kept us up to date on the voyage and he was visible. The Captain was as friendly as Captain Stubing on the Love Boat series. The Captain and the staff especially our waiter Sopha Phanvilai and assistant waiter, Henry Fernandes, Ms Analyn, Cabin Steward and myriad staff on this particular ship demonstrate what cruising is all about. Their hospitality, friendliness and endeavoring to always try to give clients a pleasurable experience speaks volumes about this cruise line. Sapphire Princess is beginning to show its age but it is kept in impeccable condition. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth. Meals were very good and it is a treat to relax and enjoy the activities and the Love Boat and all of its amenities. Princess is my stellar cruise line Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My son chose this Cruise as he had sailed with NCL and Royal Carribean and had nothing but praise for those two companies and the brilliant time I was going to have. He chose it as it seemed comparable with those two companies on price ... Read More
My son chose this Cruise as he had sailed with NCL and Royal Carribean and had nothing but praise for those two companies and the brilliant time I was going to have. He chose it as it seemed comparable with those two companies on price and Marketing jargon but did not live up to the hype. The entertainment was more Butlins than West End, although the theatre was very good and the last show was ok but according to my son, with RC & NCL that happens every night. The food at best was adequate and did not live up to my expectation. In fact, the conversation around our table and talking to other guests was that the standards were not as good as similarly priced competitors. Even the waiting staff agreed that it was a common observation by guests, although according to my son, when you mention this to Princess Customer Services, they deny it all (rather unsurprisingly) My son worked as a chef in top establisments for many years and is quite capable of making the distinction. The crew were very good, the ship was lovely, the public places clean and nice to be in but the whole thing was a bit of a let down for us, as my son felt guilty at encouraging me to come along at a cost well in excess of £1000, a lot for me on my pension ! The cabin was nice enough and served its purpose. I will go Cruising again, but not on Princess, I will take my sons advise and go with NCL next time, suggest you do the same. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My partner and I decided on Princess after seeing the recent tv series, and running out of destinations with our favourite Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean. On the surface they seemed on par, in reality they are lacking in just ... Read More
My partner and I decided on Princess after seeing the recent tv series, and running out of destinations with our favourite Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean. On the surface they seemed on par, in reality they are lacking in just about every department. If its your 1st Cruise, you will probably think it is fine, but for a seasoned Cruiser with "better" cruise lines this will leave you frustrated and disappointed. 1. The food was simply not good enough compared to NCL & RC. Very small portions in the Open Dining Restaurants, badly presented, not hot enough in stark contrast to NCL. 2. Cleanliness was lacking throughout the ship, again in comparison to NCL where you see crew members cleaning all public areas all of the time. Here they are noticeable by their absence. The ship is clean and tidy, but it is reassuring on a cruise ship to see proactive staff. 3. The entertainment was simply adequate compared to NCL and RC who pretty much put on a great show nearly every night. On this cruise the last nigh twas ok but the rest was pretty much time filling yawn. 4. The excursions are so expensive, its not worth looking at them unless you are on a really good budget, and the ports are pretty mundane apart from the town on the Bordeaux stop which is pretty and free shuttle service to get there. Guernsey was really nice.. 5. We had stateroom 327 which waw really nice apart from a completely useless air conditioning which made it impossible to get a good nights sleep. Bed comfortable and good tv service but that was all let down by the air con 6. The crew in all departments were exemplary in stark contrast to the above, but thats what you pay your money for isn't it? 7. My partner spent a lot of money on 2 drinks packages for us as he wanted to spend his late nights in the Casino which they shut every night at 1.30 latest despite their being players at the tables, rendering his drink package unnecessary. Be warned, there is no compromise with Princess cruises, when he complained and asked for 1 of the packages to be refunded they declined. When you consider what a drink actually costs to supply in contrast to what you sell it for we thought that at best a little miserable and unacceptable. I would seriously recommend you go with NCL ahead of these operators. NCL just get it right and Princess could learn an awful lot from them Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Have sailed with Princess twice before, so knew what to expect. Had been on the sister ship, Diamond Princess, so the layout was very familiar I chose a balcony at the rear of the ship, as it is an nice quite place Embarkation at ... Read More
Have sailed with Princess twice before, so knew what to expect. Had been on the sister ship, Diamond Princess, so the layout was very familiar I chose a balcony at the rear of the ship, as it is an nice quite place Embarkation at Southampton was very smooth, with two items of luggage waiting when we got to the cabin, with the final item some twenty minutes later The cabin was attended throughout by Sdravko, who was most pleasant, efficient and unobtrusive. It was a pleasure. A nice touch was having a kettle. With so many from the UK on board, this was much better for making tea I think the beds have been upgraded from my last trip as they were much more comfortable than before. The same with the pillows. This is a good improvement For most of the trip, I dined in the Pacific Moon dining room, looked after by Sebastien and Luis, who did a professional job The menu was much as before. The same four Curtis Stone dishes popped up often several times during the journey. I had the pork belly on one occasion, which was ok, but not as good as before, not being crispy. Surely he can supply some new recipes after even the three years I have been using Princess? Most nights the food was good. There were occasional misses, but that's to be expected. I was happy with the food supplied The cafeteria on the 14th deck was as expected. I never tried it in the evening, but it was ok for breakfast and a light lunch. One puzzling thing though, was that on a far eastern cruise, smoked salmon was available for breakfast nearly every day. On this cruise in Northern Europe from the UK and from Alaska, it wasn't, which I found strange On the last night, I ordered a plate of "luxury" canapes to have with a bottle of Champagne. I did wonder at the low £14.99 + service cost, but assumed they must be ok. They were disappointing and I've included a photograph. The bread circles were quite dry and unbuttered. The breadstick with the prosciutto wrapped around it was soft and stale and there was none of the promised pate de foie. I tried them, but wouldn't again I didn't make any of the shows, but was impressed with the on demand movies available in the cabin. This is a great improvement on before and I enjoyed catching up with some newish releases. Moving to a flat screen TV is welcome, but left the space where the old cathode set used to be as an odd empty space. It did at least provide another power outlet.This needs remodelling Getting on and off the boat in port was very smooth, as a foot passenger, or on the one Princess tour I took. So much better than the experience with a different cruise company last October Now for the not-so-good: After a busy couple of days, my companion didn't fancy dinner the embarkation evening, so I went to the Santa Fe dining room alone and was accommodated. I ordered a bottle of Sancerre, had two small glasses, expecting to finish it on my next visit. I asked the chap who served it to put it on ice as it needed cooling further. He served me both of the glasses I had. The following evening, I didn't fancy wine, having had good beer in Bruges. I did mention that I had a bottle saved. The third night I missed dinner, but the fourth night, I asked for some more from the bottle. This was in the Pacific Moon dining room, as apparently the Santa Fe wasn't accepting "anytime dining". There was trouble locating the remains of the bottle, but the head waiter, was apologetic, offering two complimentary glasses while they searched The following evening I again asked for the remains of the bottle, but again it couldn't be found, so two more complimentary glasses were supplied. The head waiter again was very helpful, apologising that the bottle couldn't be found, promising some of the "chef's special limoncello" the following evening. I'm not keen so never did take this up. I gave up on the bottle being found, so ordered more for the remainder of the trip I was at the reception desk for a different reason and mentioned this missing bottle. They said they would contact the dining room to investigate. A short while later, a message was waiting for me from the head waiter who had been searching for the bottle. He said that the waitress'who had served me that first evening, told him I finished all the wine. I have on occasion finished a bottle of wine while dining alone, but not on this occasion, the first night. I was also disappointed as the waitress hadn't served the wine, just her assistant. That evening I was again offered complimentary glasses of wine, but I declined, as I had a bottle started. I should have taken a receipt, but haven't always in the past and haven't had a problem before. Whether the waitress was mistaken or being dishonest, I couldn't say. Later in the cruise I checked my on board account and noticed I had been charged twice for another bottle of wine. It was explained as an accounting error, caused by having to move the bottle from one dining room to another. This shouldn't happen though and it makes me wonder for those who don't check their accounts how often it happens This time I only booked one tour with Princess. Previously, I've booked all, but on this occasion, I was astonished at the prices charged. For instance, a round trip transfer from Zeebrugge to Bruges, through a different provider was around $20/person. Princess were asking $79/person. This seemed to be the same throughout the itinerary, so I booked independently. Possibly the most striking example was tickets for the ballet at the Mariinsky in St Petersburg. My tour guide purchased the tickets- good ones, for about $90/head, took us to the theatre and arranged for a port taxi to pick us up for a cost of around $30, which she said was extortionate. A total of just over $200 for the both of us. Princess were offering similar, admittedly with a glass of champagne and a tour of the theatres prior to the performance, for the grand sum of £299/person- three times the cost. I was talking to an elderly English about the tour costs and she agreed, but said she felt she had to order from Princess, just to be safe The one tour we took was in Gdansk and included a walking tour of the town and a trip to Malbork Castle. I chose this tour as it was about the longest on offer and included two lots of free time, one at each stop. There was a lunch included, that I thought we could miss, if we needed further free time The time was extremely tight on the tour, with only ten minutes given for free time in the city centre and five at the castle. The lunch, which was very good, by the way, was at a convention hotel off a motorway, so there was no reason to miss the lunch, as nothing to see. We got back to the ship just around 15:20, with all passengers due to be on board by 15:30. We weren't the last bus back If time is going to be that tight, tours of that length shouldn't be offered. The tour was interesting, but being so rushed didn't help One final issue from before boarding, was that I contacted Princess and asked if it would be possible to block casino access for our shipboard accounts. I was told that this wasn't possible, as it would block access to everything for our accounts and that I should contact the casino manager after embarkation to see what might be done. I very nearly cancelled the entire cruise after receiving this answer. I was told, by guest services on board, that you can choose from a menu of what services you don't want to access, be it casino, shops, spa etc. I think it odd the cruise consultant wasn't aware of this Overall, whatever you may think of the above, the experience was fine. I intend to use Princess again in the future, but will not be shy about exploring other lines or checking the services offered on board Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
All was so great! Wonderful way to see the world. Food was terrific, help and service on board second to none! Entertained all the time and except for the fact that every live production thinks that louder is better all was wonderful.The ... Read More
All was so great! Wonderful way to see the world. Food was terrific, help and service on board second to none! Entertained all the time and except for the fact that every live production thinks that louder is better all was wonderful.The staff was so accommodating with moving chairs so 6 in our party could sit together, at the lounge and next time we will have to get our egg just a little closer to the mark. I think the shore excursions were good only got stuck in one elevator while on our own and we thought about that later, because if we were on one of the Princess shore excursions help would have been there sooner and no one would know what happened to us if we had not got our elevator unstuck in time for sailing. Really fantastic trip though and we would love to go again and spend a little more time in each port. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the price and cabin. Having sailed with Princess before and in a rear-facing cabin which we loved. The only thing that was not as expected was the restaurant. We normally opt for Any Time dining and usually ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the price and cabin. Having sailed with Princess before and in a rear-facing cabin which we loved. The only thing that was not as expected was the restaurant. We normally opt for Any Time dining and usually eat late 8.30pm and have not had much trouble getting a table for two, but on this cruise, everybody seemed to want to eat at that time and tables for two. The system when this happens is that you are given a pager and they call you when a table becomes available. This worked very well as the bar is adjacent to the restaurant and was handy for pre-dinner drinks. I think the longest we had to wait was 15 minutes, no time at all. The shows were a bit low on the quality side and having cruised with Princess many times we have noticed that the resident dancers seem to be doing less and less. Read Less
Sapphire Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
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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