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10 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
5 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
6 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I am going to keep this short and to the point. The sapphire princess is a beautiful ship (slightly older and less gimmicks than other ships) but what an amazing time we had. A little background:- my wife, son and I mostly cruise ... Read More
I am going to keep this short and to the point. The sapphire princess is a beautiful ship (slightly older and less gimmicks than other ships) but what an amazing time we had. A little background:- my wife, son and I mostly cruise with Celebrity, princess and rcl. What stood out for me on this cruise was the standard of service princess cruises provide. The staff honestly couldn’t do any more - vs P&O where they need to do a lot more. We cruised on the Azura the week before this cruise and the quality is night and day. It was my first P&O cruise and a major shock to my system. Anyway, onto the Highlights:- 1. Main dinning room food was fantastic. Varied and excellent with the most excellent service. 2. The singers on the ship were 10/10. Best I have seen and they have really moved away from some of the tacky cruise shows they provided previously. 3. Never seen so many pools on a ship - great variety and always a hot tub to myself. 4. Movies under the stars - it was rather cold some nights, but I love this concept and enjoyed it immensely. Popcorn and ice cream is a great touch. 5. Alfredo’s Pizza - complementary pizza restaurant onboard - excellent. 6. Sky walkers viewing lounge - what amazing views up there. Beautiful. 7. Table service during breakfast at the buffet restaurant was always excellent. What they could do differently: 1. Keep painting. Seems never ending work but passengers appreciate a fresh looking ship so keep up the maintenance. 2. Bathrooms in cabins look little tired. Need a refresh. 3. The platinum and elite drinks reception in sky walkers is a bit rubbish. Instead of the food (served between 5-7pm) if they enhanced the range of lower price drinks from 1 to say 5 they would bet a much larger crowd and sell far more. Also, they should keep that bar open during sea days - they would make money from drinks. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose our cruise mostly for the port destinations and because family were already booked. We were really impressed by space in our mini-suite cabin and the club-class dining exceeded our expectations. Didn't go to any ... Read More
We chose our cruise mostly for the port destinations and because family were already booked. We were really impressed by space in our mini-suite cabin and the club-class dining exceeded our expectations. Didn't go to any speciality dining venues because we had everything we needed including lobster, steak and baked alaska! Nothing was too much trouble for our waiting staff and they anticipated every need - remembering personal preferences. Wine list was good with a good selection of bottles starting at about $37. Entertainment was of a very high standard with stars from the west end. Elevator roulette is not to be missed! Scavenger hunt was frantic but great fun. The only downside was the excessive cost of princess shore excursions. Local options are invariably a better bet. Tip - always remove automatic gratuities and reward special staff individually. Embarkation and disembarking were a breeze. Would happily return onboard - in fact, cannot wait! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
On boarding the sapphire princess for the second time the CPS meet and greet car was amazing. On board within 20 minutes. The cabin was very clean we were on Deck 14 at the front this is situated behind the pizzeria. The only problem I can ... Read More
On boarding the sapphire princess for the second time the CPS meet and greet car was amazing. On board within 20 minutes. The cabin was very clean we were on Deck 14 at the front this is situated behind the pizzeria. The only problem I can say is people above on the walkway going for cigarettes with their stilettos on also cabin L302 is opposite the lift which can me noisy and a lot of traffic. Weather was bad from Southampton so we did not leave until 1:30am supposed to leave at 4:30pm this meant that you missed Copenhagen. They gave everybody a refund for missed port tax of 12.63 dollars. We also had many problems with ship accounts not working and the TV in the room would constantly stop working which they never fixed. In main the food in the Horizon self service was good, not always hot but if you think like mash potato is going to be cold then put it in a dish and ask the to heat it up. The staff are very friendly and will get you water and tea or coffee when you are sat down. Remember to order room service FREE at least once. The coffee shop on deck 5 is good as you can have FREE sandwich hot or cold, cake also. You will have to pay for tea in a tea pot there cost of $1.89 . There is a pizzeria restaurant on deck 5 which is good more choice as for deck 14 it is made by the slice as many as you wish put only 2 variety’s. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
No words can describe this excellent ship & our cruise to Scandinavia. Embarkation was speedy & very smooth. The ship was refurbished last year, & it's looking great. New furnishings& carpets were lovely. Inside ... Read More
No words can describe this excellent ship & our cruise to Scandinavia. Embarkation was speedy & very smooth. The ship was refurbished last year, & it's looking great. New furnishings& carpets were lovely. Inside cabin was large enough, comfortable bed, Egyptian cotton sheets on Queen sized beds were a delight!!! Food in the dining rooms was fine & with good choices. As for the entertainment, rhis is where the sapphire comes into it's own. I have never seen such superb shows both production ones & individual artistes. Standout star was Phil brown who is now in London West end in the lion King. He had the entire audience in the palm of his hands & received a standing ovation which was well deserved. The staging of all the shows both in lighting, sound & sets was incredible you would not believe you were on a ship in the middle of the ocean. As for the itineries, we went to Copenhagen, skagen & Oslo. All of these places were very interesting & luckily the weather was sunny & quite mild. The ship is not too big, about 2800 people, but it never appeared crouded. To conclude, we have been on many cruises over the years, & we can honestly state that this was easily the best, so much so, that when we disembarked we shed a few tears to leave this lovely ship!!! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I have sailed on many ships over the last few years P&O, Cunard, Royal carribean and Fred Oslen but Sapphire Princess April 27th 2019 was my first cruise with Princess and the first time I've felt the need to write a ... Read More
I have sailed on many ships over the last few years P&O, Cunard, Royal carribean and Fred Oslen but Sapphire Princess April 27th 2019 was my first cruise with Princess and the first time I've felt the need to write a review. Bad weather initially delayed our departure from Southampton and resulted in the cancelation of our first port of call which is no fault of the ship but it marked the begging of a cruise plagued with problems. Our Inside room was suffocatingly stuffy even with the aircoditioning at full blast to a point that after 30 minutes inside we began to feel like we couldn't breath and there was not enough oxygen in the room. This it seems was a problem also suffered by others who had to frequently spend the entire night sleeping in the conservatory section of The upper deck with bedding and pillows. After complaints were made to the front desk an engineer visited the cabin and fully opend the air-conditioning vent that had been closed to less than 30%. But this revealed the reason the vent had been closed in the first place, Water was now running down the walls from a crack at the top. Leaks were not isolated to our own cabin however, throughout the cruise leaks began to appeare in the main corridor between the plaza and Club Fusion and also in the Buffet. We were forced to stay in our cabin with water running down the wall for 3 nights before another passenger disembarked the ship for personal reasons and we were finally allowed to move. On a number of occasions throughout the week unhappy passengers could bee seen transferring luggage from one cabbin to another and I found towards the end of the cruise other passengers had been moved Into the leakey room after we had gone. The ship is relatively old and its really beginning to show, the jacuzzi's looked inviting until seen from decks above where the discoloured grime made them look more like over heated fishponds. Overall the food onboard was between good and avarage but far from excilent. The worst part of dining aboard was eating from Plastic Plates, and drinking from Plastic beakers for juice and water, and even plastic cups for tea and Coffee! The 2 wash basins at the entrance to either side of the Buffet were really inadequate for the numbers of passengers and always resulted in long lines out of the doors and into the pool area. And Buffet itself is poorly layed out with multiple large round tables that could hold up to 8 people but generally only sat 2 as most European passengers don't like to share tables for dinner, this made finding a table at peak times in the Buffet a challange. Changing these round tables to multiple tables for 2 could probably double the seating capacity of the buffet. The entertainment was great but this is not exclusive to Princess Cruises as all the guest artists hired by Carnival corporation can also be seen during the year sailing on P&O and Cunard. But evening entertainment always seemed to coincide with each other and the second sitting for dinner which resulted in a number of missed shows and often a difficult decision between one show or another. However the Comedian Jeff Stevenson was Amazing. The one thing that cannot be complained about was all the crew who were friendly, kind and really made us feel like we were a part of a big family. I had been mislead to believe from reviews and recommendations that Princess cruises was to be considered a 4★ Cruise line and superior to P&O and Royal Caribbean both companies I have sailed with multiple times before this was supposed to be reflected in the price but Sapphire Princess was a disappointment. Its NOT any better in my opinion, P&Os Brittainia if far far better and cheaper by comparison and the Prices for drinks was extortionate $5.50 for a single can of Coke! Sapphire Princess is showing her age and is far from the image Princess cruise want you to see. I believe she is due to drydock later in the year for a refit before returning to Asia. I think most cruise lines (Except a few) have an ugly sister within the fleet perhaps at its best Princess is a 4★ fleet but Sapphire Princess alone is only a 2/3★ ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise due to the destinations offered and we immediately disappointed when we weren't able to stop at our first port due to a 7-hour late departure due to wind at Southampton. My question about this is why didn't ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the destinations offered and we immediately disappointed when we weren't able to stop at our first port due to a 7-hour late departure due to wind at Southampton. My question about this is why didn't the captain dock aft end first, like the other 4 cruise ships in the harbor who were all able to leave on time? The afternoon wind was well reported and a known issue. The second problem was the Horizon Buffet. We like casual dining but were quite disappointed in the quality of the food as the week progressed. Powdered eggs, frozen hashbrown patties, rubbery fried eggs from sitting under the heat lamp way too long are NOT my idea of quality food. The lack of variety was another issue. They served virtually the same menu every day of the week. Also, they frequently closed half of the buffet which caused us to have to sit out by the pool which reduced our enjoyment. We did enjoy dinner in the larger dining rooms. The food was well prepared and flavorful. All of the main dining rooms serve off of the same menu. There were a limited number of excursions available. The excursions we took went to interesting places, but most of the stops were too rushed and crowded to enjoy. When they say photo stop, plan on spending most of the time walking to and from the site, with a few brief moments to snap a shot or two if you can get them through the crowds since all of the buses seem to arrive and depart at the same time. One of our tour guides said the tour we took was designed to be 8 hours but was condensed into 4.5. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Superb: Service from all waitresses and waiters and cabin steward: cheerful, polite, considerate. Excellent: Food, as always. Menu, quality and presentation the best; also inside cabin (P210 absolutely fine, no need for anything higher). ... Read More
Superb: Service from all waitresses and waiters and cabin steward: cheerful, polite, considerate. Excellent: Food, as always. Menu, quality and presentation the best; also inside cabin (P210 absolutely fine, no need for anything higher). Very Good: Relaxation, on deck and the two lovely evening venues, Crooners Bar and the Wheelhouse Bar, also this time very good DJ in Skywalkers. Good: Entertainment - Princess singers and dancers, Crimson Duo, Sunshine Duo, Stephen Jaymes (but miss the very funny pianist Paul Burton), ventriloquist (very clever), but oh dear the two comedians were dire - miss the very funny Jeff Stevenson. So-so: Why do the restaurant staff give their 'recommendations'? I much prefer to give them mine (Princess Love Boat dessert the best!). Cause For Concern: Environmental Issues - paper paper everywhere - surely in 2019 the ship should be paperless. As a Lighting Engineer, I had the impression the lighting was very wasteful - all inefficient light sources from the last decade, no LED's that I saw. Poor: Drinks - I think (stand to be corrected) 'short' measures (by UK standards), glass packed with ice, sky high prices - small whiskey $8.32, small beer $7. Formal dress code poorly enforced (if at all), I found disrespectful to fellow guests. All in all enjoyable cruise, love the ship, relaxing, wonderful staff - the more junior the rank seems the better they are. But .. oh .. one final point - shouldn't a ship's captain have at least the most basic of public speaking skills? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We wanted a holiday with the whole family to celebrate my wifes 61 birthday and my daughters 30 birthday looking forward to a fantastic 11 nights cruise. We were totally amazed to find that we were being charged gratuities up front ... Read More
We wanted a holiday with the whole family to celebrate my wifes 61 birthday and my daughters 30 birthday looking forward to a fantastic 11 nights cruise. We were totally amazed to find that we were being charged gratuities up front before we started our cruise at what only can be described as extortion even my 18 month old grandson was charged and the total bill between us was more than 1500 dollars in addition to this we were charged 18% gratuities on all drinks I did manage to get the upfront gratuities removed but the 18% on drinks have not been removed even after I requestid this before we disembarked the ship at the end of the cruise. The price of beer and wine was extortionate with a bottle of beer costing 7$ plus 18% gratuities and a medium glass of wine 10 -12$ plus gratuities We were forced to have 4 sea days due to weather after missing a port stop in Lanzarote we were not offered any compensation or reduction in barr expenses while on the extra see day. The food was OK but not great and we all found that food in the buffet was bland and the area felt like a cattle market. On a positive note the staff generally were great. Overall we fell as if we have been robed and it feels like every attempt was made to squeeze every last Dollar out of us even when it came to the options for paying in Dollar or Sterling we were not told the best currency to pay in and it felt as the cruise line were even trying to take advantage of the exchange rates. Our view is that these additional charges should have been advertised clearly and simply in the upfront price of the cruise, we feel we have been mis sold this holiday by the cruise line who seem not to have been totally honest about the hidden costs. In short if you are a teetotaler who likes bland food then you may find this OK but we will never book another holiday with Princes Cruises. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Everything about this cruise was fantastic. From the ports we visited, to the length of the cruise, the onboard entertainment, the exercise class choices, the gym facilities, the games and competitions not to mention the food, all exceeded ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was fantastic. From the ports we visited, to the length of the cruise, the onboard entertainment, the exercise class choices, the gym facilities, the games and competitions not to mention the food, all exceeded our expectations! The restaurants were impeccable and the food was first class. The décor is exemplary and let's not forget the compliment the cruise staff. The cruise director and his assistant were very high achievers, always at the ready to assist with entertainment and of course anything that a passenger might request. The production entertainers put 110% into all of their performances. The cabins were well appointed and always well maintained by the cabin staff. We were even fortunate to have the weather in our favour with only 1 rainy day and 1 overcast day at sea. Most shore excursions were value for money and the arrangements for departing the ship were co-ordinated with great precision. Well done Princess Cruises!!!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Ship was not tired as others had advised and we thought it was in good condition. Embarkation and disembarkation were excellent and UK Customs Checks happened on board 2/3 days before docking at Southampton. Restaurants were all ... Read More
Ship was not tired as others had advised and we thought it was in good condition. Embarkation and disembarkation were excellent and UK Customs Checks happened on board 2/3 days before docking at Southampton. Restaurants were all excellent and we ate in 8 of them. Food was fantastic, however the service from the waiting staff was at best, variable. From shocking to good.Horizons was the worst and the Manager handled our constructive comments about the service, very well. But even now, 6 days after the cruise our overall thoughts and memories are that the service was the poorest we have ever experienced on any cruise. It was so bad it affected our enjoyment of the holiday. Cabin was excellent - large and good bed, pillows and shower (if a bit small). TV had Sky Sports live and Sport 24 (all the live football and golf you could wish for). On Demand service included the films from the previous day's shown in the Cinema and pool sire Screen. we watched - A Star is Born, Mary Queen of Scots and The Wife. All fantastic and recent releases. Signage for each floor is not clear or intuitive. The gym is good, but staff unwelcoming and stand-off ish. Information provided was mostly "selling" literature which was annoying. Good App, printers to run off on board expenditure and good street maps of the forthcoming ports to allow planning to get off ship. Library was shared with future Cruise Sales - so not a library - more a store for second hand books to be taken away. Ports were fine - best were Monaco, Barcelona and Gibraltar. Although I loved the walk to Le Harve and its museums and beach area. Unless Princess Cruises get their act together on staff attitude towards passengers (staff working in security, gym, restaurants, cafe on Deck 5, Guest relations, common areas and Horizons) we will not be back. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I just took the 10 Days Regal Princess out of New York last November and had the best food service and selection so I gather a group of friends to do the 10 Days Euro Explorer cruise and what a disappointment! Everyday the breakfast ... Read More
I just took the 10 Days Regal Princess out of New York last November and had the best food service and selection so I gather a group of friends to do the 10 Days Euro Explorer cruise and what a disappointment! Everyday the breakfast buffet is exactly the same! Where is the smoke salmon? If is behind the station and you have to ask for it! Water down coffee and hard as a rock toast! Lunch buffet is no better unless you go down to the dinning room and catch hell from their waiter staff and yells at you when you do not sit at the right table. No flexibility when you want to eat before 8pm or else buffet is your option! The ship was supposed to be recently refurbished but the cabin still looked aged and only new TV and bed. But I must say the bed is really good and comfortable to sleep on! TV has very good movie selection but you can not check the ship's day program and only via your cellphone or mobile device... why not? Who is their IT Program Director that can't even come up with this basic function? The TV is HD but the in-house program that talked about the shore information recorded from the live sessions are not so you will see all the fizzy video the you can't even read the wording they are showing on shore info. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
First Med cruise and first cruise with Princess. It exceeded our expectations. Everything was perfect. Staff were so nice. Food was fantastic. The activities and shows were all very good. Such nice treatment from all the crew. We met ... Read More
First Med cruise and first cruise with Princess. It exceeded our expectations. Everything was perfect. Staff were so nice. Food was fantastic. The activities and shows were all very good. Such nice treatment from all the crew. We met people from all over the world. This cruise had started in Singapore, picked up some more people in Dubai and then Rome, where we got on. 10 days of spoiling from all the crew on Sapphire Princess. The excursions were very good, we took the one to Juno beach. It was fantastic, and they had a speaker on the D-day landings, aboard the ship. The excursion in Portugal to Sintra and Cascais was excellent. It was so beautiful, both places. We really enjoyed Gibraltar and Monaco. The International cafe in the piazza was fantastic. All the restaurants, provided excellent service, everyday. The food was hot, and very good. We ordered Room service every morning and it always arrived promptly. The entertainment was great, and varied. We also tried the two speciality restaurants, the Steak house and Sabatinis. Both were very good. The pizza restaurant was good as well. So many bars, but lots of quiet spaces to find some space. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
the staff on sapphire seemed to just be going through the motions there were many we spoke to and they were just looking forward to getting off in Athens and Rome (contract finishing) , the onboard entertaiment was boring to say the least ... Read More
the staff on sapphire seemed to just be going through the motions there were many we spoke to and they were just looking forward to getting off in Athens and Rome (contract finishing) , the onboard entertaiment was boring to say the least there is only so much violins that a person can listen to (37 days) thats all that seemed to be on in the piazza area (boring) the cruise director and manager had no idea how to entertain the whole ships demograghpics as they just caterted for the oldies there were plenty of youthful passagers looking for some real entetainment but it just never happened. get rid of these fools, there was no free coffee avalible midship (piazza) or any of the down stairs café/bars except in the horizons buffet and the resturants which meant you had to go to the back of the ship just to get a brew, another way princess makes a buck if your not that mobile then your forced to pay at all other locations (the only other free coffee was in plastic jugs by the smokers area) real smart. the harassment from the photo shop staff was constant and very annoying as they would always deliberately cut you off when disembarking for their stupid photo's this was very tacky, I had to firmly tell them several times that I was not interested,(it felt like they were preying on the vulnerable for a quick buck) the pizza in alfredos is very good but they will not allow you to take it away if you want to then there is a $3 us room service fee. the outside area mid ship to aft often stuck of a strong sewage/ methane smell in fact I spoke directly with captain H L on deck and he stated that there was a problem with a vent pipe midship this smell was present off and on for a least 10 days (even called customer service to let them know) the Indian visa fiasco was a joke as we like nearly all passengers paid a minimum of $80us per person for an 8 hours visit to cochin, we wrote to princess months prior to the cruise and advised them that we were not interested in getting off in India, only to be told that we would still require a visa to board the ship.Only to find out that some 70 odd passengers that did not turn up at Singapore with it and were allowed to sail, they only had to sign a waiver that they would not get off in India , we wrote a written complaint to quest services on the ship but did not receive any response (once again poor service) the platinum / elite club is not worth obtaining as there are not free drinks offered in this club ,why would you bother spending more money to become elite ,we will stick with royal Caribbean from now on as they give over 3 hours of free drinks to the diamond club members and it only takes 80 days to reach this level (not 150 with princess) the only plus thing was our stateroom attendant who was very good and plenty of in room movies. almost forgot don't bother with the internet it is very slow and not worth the money Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
I must have been on a different cruise than some of the other reviewers. After 20 + cruises on various cruise lines, I found this one mediocre. Perhaps I expected too much of the exotic 37 day Singapore to Southampton itinerary. I ... Read More
I must have been on a different cruise than some of the other reviewers. After 20 + cruises on various cruise lines, I found this one mediocre. Perhaps I expected too much of the exotic 37 day Singapore to Southampton itinerary. I have to admit the highlight of the trip, Petra, definitely did live up to its hype and my expectations. The Suez Canal on the other hand was a major disappointment to anyone who has been through the Panama Canal. The quality and presentation of the food at the buffet in the Horizons Cafe was something you would expect in a military mess, not on a cruise ship. The food in the dining room fared somewhat better but was definitely not what it used to be 5 or 10 years ago. Cost cutting is definitely evident. We asked about wine packages and coffee cards when we boarded and were told these were not available, yet we saw both being used by other passengers later on in the trip. It would be good if Princess would promote these packages and not just it's expensive beverage package. The ship itself could use a little TLC; and I have to say the (same) activities become a little stale after 4 Princess cruises. The entertainment was mediocre as well, just the usual magicians, comedians and ventriloquists. I found the enrichment activities uninteresting, however there were quite a few recent release movies available. Thank goodness for a wonderful stateroom stewart. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We recently completed the Singapore to Southampton Cruise on Sapphire Princess, which really was a simply fabulous experience. So many wonderful ports of call, with Aqaba/Petra, Dubai, Athens, Naples/Capri & Monte Carlo particularly ... Read More
We recently completed the Singapore to Southampton Cruise on Sapphire Princess, which really was a simply fabulous experience. So many wonderful ports of call, with Aqaba/Petra, Dubai, Athens, Naples/Capri & Monte Carlo particularly memorable. All of the crew onboard Sapphire Princess, worked extremely hard and did their utmost to make everyone’s Cruise experience a good one. With very few exceptions we felt they succeeded. The above being said, there were some areas of mild disappointment, of which the food experiences in the International Dining Room & Horizon Court were perhaps the most notable. The food in the International Dining Room food was ok, but nothing to rave about. Service suffered from bi-polar disorder, with dinner variously being served with almost indecent haste one day, then taking two hours the next. All a bit odd ! The menu was heavily seafood oriented and it did seem a bit over the top to have four Italian themed nights inside eight days at one stage. To balance the above out, breakfast in the IDR was invariably excellent. Freshly prepared, superbly served and a real pleasure. Much more relaxed than the buffet. Horizon Court food – especially lunch - was bland to the point of being little more than recycled ‘slop’. It was also very crowded at times, with consequent challenges finding a seat. This was particularly frustrating when, as often was the case, Horizon was only open on one side of the ship. This was fine at quiet periods, but at predictably peak times, e.g. upon cruise excursion buses returning, it did seem pretty daft. Speaking of daft, what was the point of Princess confirming (on the online cruise planner) dining times of either 5 p.m. or 7.15 p.m. (we had online and written confirmation of the latter), only for passengers to discover upon embarkation at Singapore, that these had been changed to 5.30 p.m. & 8 p.m. respectively ? More positively, the burger bar (where food was freshly and promptly prepared to order) provided a good and far less crowded alternative to Horizon. Additionally, the International Café on Deck five was excellent, with good quality fresh snacks available 24/7. Seating was sometimes a challenge here as well, albeit primarily caused by thoughtless passengers using the tables to play cards/ipad games etc., leaving people wishing to eat/drink with nowhere to sit. Entertainment was somewhat mixed and below the quality we had experienced previously on our eight prior cruises with Celebrity (this was our second cruise with Princess). Some performers (Phillip Brown, Gareth Gates etc. were excellent), others less so, albeit of course a matter of personal taste. Unfortunately, the House band ‘The Drop’ really should be dropped forthwith. They became known amongst fellow passengers as the ‘Drop-dead’ band, as they killed any party atmosphere instantly, (the singers simply could not sing and the keyboard sounded like a $3 bargain from Walmart). Other performers in e.g. the Explorers lounge, on Piano, Guitar etc. were generally much better. Paul & Aaron fizzed with energy and the morning ‘wake shows’ were always entertaining in their own right. The daily trivia and regular music quizzes were also all excellent and very enjoyable. Our cabin, (Baha Balcony) was fine and service from Ben our steward was first class. Just one final gripe. Why are some passengers so gratuitously unhygienic ? Far too many people went into Horizon Court choosing to walk straight past the wash basins. It’s also not pleasant to see swim wear & armless vests in the food court. Hairy arm pits & food don’t mix ! Worst of all however, were the women (at least three) with absolutely stinking colds, who thought it was fine to empty their sinuses into napkins/serviettes and then leave them open on the tables in the International café, leaving them to be cleared up by the unfortunate servers, let alone the even more unfortunate next guests to use the table ! So overall, an excellent cruise, providing memories we will cherish forever. Yes, there are areas where Princess can perhaps improve, but they didn’t detract from the wonderful overall experience. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We cruised with Princess some five years ago, and loved it. Food was amazing, service exemplary and cabins comfortable. We were excited about this cruise around the Far East. Oh dear. Embarkation was in Singapore. Fairly efficient if ... Read More
We cruised with Princess some five years ago, and loved it. Food was amazing, service exemplary and cabins comfortable. We were excited about this cruise around the Far East. Oh dear. Embarkation was in Singapore. Fairly efficient if your a sheep.... One holding pen to another, and eventually we got on board. Obviously straight to the buffet. There we were met by a long line waiting to get in. Princess has now installed two wash hand basins in the entrance and a crew member instructed all passengers to wash their hands. (Apparently the alcohol sanitizer wasn’t effective against norovirus.) Can you imagine how long it takes two thousand people to wash their hands using four sinks? The cabin next. (Superior balcony) Superficially clean enough, but dust was everywhere. They have installed two large TV, but have left the old fitted cabinets as a complete waste of space. The table on the balcony was rusty then simply painted over..... The tiles in the bathroom was very worn and looked blue moulded. That led to the best experience on board. Guest services. I took photographs down and they agreed it looked terrible. They were covered over with new grout the next day. (Semi successfully) They then phoned to officially apologise and add a $250 credit to our shipboard account. This is customer services and in all my dealings with them they were all efficient, polite and a pleasure to deal with. That is a real credit to the company. To dinner. What a disappointment. Much less choice, tiny portions, and a reliance on fish and shell food. It was the worst MDR menu in all the twelve cruises we have taken. Four nights we ate in the buffet as none of us four travelling could find anything desirable. The international cafe. This is open 24/7 for snacks that are complimentary, but charge you $1.35 for a coffee?? Please. This ship was updated in 2018. This seem to amount to new, and very stylish carpets. This ship still looked it fifteen years old. It was superficially clean but when I retrieved my cruise card from the side of the sofa it was filthy. A wee word for the smokers. You are a second class citizen. There are three areas you can smoke. A small area on deck 15, with chairs and tables (always packed) A small area on deck 7 (promenade) with no chairs, just a small wooden storage bench. And Churchills cigar lounge. (Filthy) Good luck to you with that.... To me it appears that the accountants have nickel and dimed Princess into a second class three star vessel. Yes the staff were lovely and customer services were excellent. But the food on offer is poor, except in the buffet which was great but always crowded. (Unsurprising) Will I cruise with Princess again, probably not. I would need to be seriously cheap. Even then i would rather go with someone else..... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Arrived Singapore with two full days before embark on Feb 28th. Split our nights between Sofitel City Center and Marina Bay Sands - while Marina Bay Sands is quite an experience and everyone should go see it, we preferred the overall ... Read More
Arrived Singapore with two full days before embark on Feb 28th. Split our nights between Sofitel City Center and Marina Bay Sands - while Marina Bay Sands is quite an experience and everyone should go see it, we preferred the overall elegance of the Sofitel. We booked in Club Class - essentially a nice sized, mini-suite sized cabin with some nice perks. Our cabin - Dolphin 329 - was quiet, in good shape and centrally located. My only gripe would be that the balcony had no privacy from cabins above us. Dining for Club Class is in the Santa Fe Grill - a lovely setting with nice decor and great acoustics. We were a table for eight and could actually hear from one end of the table to the other without shouting. The overall experience - food and service - we experienced was amazing - best non-specialty dining experience we've had on 20+ cruises across a fairly broad segment of the cruise industry offerings. We tried both specialty restaurants - Sabatini's was good; Sterling Steakhouse was a total disaster. We called on Bali, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Phuket - ship excursions in Bali and Phuket; private excursions in both Malaysian ports. Private excursions were excellent (Tours by Locals - Tony - in KL; Simply Enak - Liz - in Penang); ship excursions were acceptable (Bali) and unsatisfactory (Phuket - James Bond Island - 3+ hours each way on a bus...) In Summary - really enjoyed the itinerary and will definitely book Club Class again. 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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