1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Sapphire Princess
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. To be upfront we are usually Celebrity cruisers, but decided to try Princess. Embarkation in Shanghai was a pure day, and evening, from hell. This was not the fault of Princess, but the Chinese Port Authority who randomly closed the port to the inbound ship and refused to provide customs and immigration facilities. Princess sent emails, updating the times to come to the pier, but things quickly spiraled out of control. We did not board the ship until 9pm. Princess supplied snacks while we were all kept in a very hot and uncomfortable waiting area dockside, but there was no communications from any Princess reps to keep us updated. Easily the worst cruise experience ever . We found, overall, the ship to be OK, but nothing special. Our premium balcony cabin was small compared to Celebrity, and the bath/shower was a joke. I will give top marks to the bed : very comfy. The food overall, was very poor. In the buffet, it was the same things, over and over and over, with almost no variation over the two weeks. They had the worst bacon I have ever had, completely dried out ham, many breads were stale and the cantalope was, and continued to be unripe.One night I was surprised to see, and obtain, what looked like a large and delectable slab of prime rib. I took it to the table and asked the staff for a steak knife to deal with this 1 inch thick cut of meat. The answer : no, you cannot have one, we do not have any { this despite the fact that Sterling Steakhouse was only 30 ft. away - more on Sterling later ). I struggled to cut the meat with the butter knife supplied, and eventually gave up. That whole slab became waste. The one bite I did manage I spit out because all I could taste was hot mustard : apparently the whole prime rib had been rubbed with hot mustard - WHY ? Who would do that to such a beautiful cut of meat ? The buffet food service area was small, chaotic, and extremely hot due to the very low ceilings. I held out hope until the end, hoping they would do a special Grand Buffet on the final night of the cruise a La Celebrity. NOPE. More like a boarding house weekly review. We ate twice at Sabatinis. Service was good, the meal - mediocre. We then tried Sterling Steak House. What a JOKE ! This extra cost venue is simply a portion of the Horizon Buffet curtained off and presented as fine extra cost dining. No wonder it was empty most nights. SHAME on you Princess. The staff were mostly excellent. The ports and excursions were good - although the excursions were overpriced and of low value like most cruise lines. I had ordered the Premium Beverage Package only to discover onboard that there was a daily 15 alcoholic drink limit, and yes the bar staff knew exactly how many you had had to date each day : Big Brother was surely watching. Leaving the ship was efficient in Singapore. For the small size of the cabin and the torture of the bath and especially the shower,, the drinks limitation ( although I never used 15 on any day, I find that monitoring offensive ) but mostly for the extremely poor food, I am sure this will be my first and last Princess cruise. If their fees were half of Celebrity I could understand, but they are not, so value for money is not good. It was interesting to sail on a ship where the majjority of the guest were not American but Aussies. Very different dynamic K

Great itinerary...BUT

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by hockeyken

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Premium Balcony
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. To be upfront we are usually Celebrity cruisers, but decided to try Princess.

Embarkation in Shanghai was a pure day, and evening, from hell. This was not the fault of Princess, but the Chinese Port Authority who randomly closed the port to the inbound ship and refused to provide customs and immigration facilities.

Princess sent emails, updating the times to come to the pier, but things quickly spiraled out of control. We did not board the ship until 9pm. Princess supplied snacks while we were all kept in a very hot and uncomfortable waiting area dockside, but there was no communications from any Princess reps to keep us updated. Easily the worst cruise experience ever .

We found, overall, the ship to be OK, but nothing special. Our premium balcony cabin was small compared to Celebrity, and the bath/shower was a joke. I will give top marks to the bed : very comfy.

The food overall, was very poor. In the buffet, it was the same things, over and over and over, with almost no variation over the two weeks. They had the worst bacon I have ever had, completely dried out ham, many breads were stale and the cantalope was, and continued to be unripe.One night I was surprised to see, and obtain, what looked like a large and delectable slab of prime rib. I took it to the table and asked the staff for a steak knife to deal with this 1 inch thick cut of meat. The answer : no, you cannot have one, we do not have any { this despite the fact that Sterling Steakhouse was only 30 ft. away - more on Sterling later ). I struggled to cut the meat with the butter knife supplied, and eventually gave up. That whole slab became waste. The one bite I did manage I spit out because all I could taste was hot mustard : apparently the whole prime rib had been rubbed with hot mustard - WHY ? Who would do that to such a beautiful cut of meat ?

The buffet food service area was small, chaotic, and extremely hot due to the very low ceilings. I held out hope until the end, hoping they would do a special Grand Buffet on the final night of the cruise a La Celebrity. NOPE. More like a boarding house weekly review.

We ate twice at Sabatinis. Service was good, the meal - mediocre.

We then tried Sterling Steak House. What a JOKE ! This extra cost venue is simply a portion of the Horizon Buffet curtained off and presented as fine extra cost dining. No wonder it was empty most nights. SHAME on you Princess.

The staff were mostly excellent.

The ports and excursions were good - although the excursions were overpriced and of low value like most cruise lines.

I had ordered the Premium Beverage Package only to discover onboard that there was a daily 15 alcoholic drink limit, and yes the bar staff knew exactly how many you had had to date each day : Big Brother was surely watching.

Leaving the ship was efficient in Singapore.

For the small size of the cabin and the torture of the bath and especially the shower,, the drinks limitation ( although I never used 15 on any day, I find that monitoring offensive ) but mostly for the extremely poor food, I am sure this will be my first and last Princess cruise. If their fees were half of Celebrity I could understand, but they are not, so value for money is not good.

It was interesting to sail on a ship where the majjority of the guest were not American but Aussies. Very different dynamic

K
hockeyken’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Sapphire Princess price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Premium Balcony
Cabin B2 C307
Small and cramped . Shower set up just not acceptable - very mediocre. Bed was very good.
Caribe Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews