Opinions, Tips on Cruises by the Industry leader! Find out which cruise lines and which destinations are appropriate for you through reading the insight of the industry leaders!
Home Beginners Guide Cruise Destination Guides Cruise Ship Reviews General Tips on Cruises Hotel Reviews Press Releases

November 02, 2005

Sapphire Princess Review

diamondprincess.jpg

diamondprincess.jpg

SAPPHIRE PRINCESS - REVIEW

diamondprincess.jpg

Dining:
When we first arrived at noon we were hungry and although we had lots of choices we decided we would try the International Dining Room which was serving lunch until early afternoon and offered ocean views and generous seating. The lunch menu offered cold and hot starters from seafood and salads to soup. Main courses enjoyed were pasta and prime rib. When asked to provide a change to dessert due to an allergy, they happily obliged and provided extra fruit of the other varieties. The dining room host greeted us happily upon arrival, and we were given a lot of other dining options other than the dining room such as the Horizon Court buffet dining, and the pool side pizza or burgers and fries at Prego and Trident Grill.

Breakfast in the dining room was excellent with lots to choose from –eggs any style, omelet’s, pastries and breads, pancakes, French toast, bagels with salmon, bacon, sausage and hash browns all in large portions and they stayed open late for guests on disembarking day.

diamondprincess.jpg

Dinner was excellent in Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria; we had made reservations early in the day for 7pm and dinner finished around 9:30pm. We were served one sample of every dish on the menu, with exception to the main course where we had to choose from a selection of 7 different entrees of chicken, veal or seafood for only a $20 service fee. Dishes came quickly one after the other and allowed us to try many different Italian dishes like bruschetta, prosccuito, crab cakes, mussels, spaghetti, cannelloni, gnocchi, tiramisu, and lots more. Friendly staff, with a definite Italian/European feel made it a unique experience.
Another specialty restaurant, Sterling Steakhouse was offering steak and prime rib for a nominal fee. There were 5 other dining rooms in which to eat in that offered the same menu as the International Dining room – so many options for dining and eating! During the day we snacked on freshly made burgers and fries by the pool from the Trident Grill and could have even had ice cream and pizza too!

diamondprincess.jpg

Entertainment:
The Sapphire Princess offers 5 lounges and 2 bars in which to be social or find a quiet spot and enjoy a drink. Early in the evening we went for drinks at the Wheelhouse Bar and enjoyed cocktails and martinis, with live music jazz and Latino style and if we felt like it we could have got up and danced on a large hard wood floor. The décor was den like with dark woods, leather chairs and sofas with windows looking out at the ocean and board games to play.
After dinner we went to Club Fusion and watched as guests got up and sang their favorite songs to karaoke. Denise even got up and belted out a famous heart break song. The entertainment staff was friendly and out going trying to bring the audience into it and even allowed a little girl to sing because it was her birthday! Everyone from families to party goers enjoyed the live entertainment and even participated. The décor was bar/lounge style with a dance floor and a stage with plenty of seating at tables or booth style. We could watch the performance live or from the large flat screen TVs displayed throughout the room and there was even a large projection screen behind the dance floor. Smoking was permitted here.

Next we caught the late performance of the show Piano Man showcasing music of Elton John, Liberace, and Billy Joel. The singers and dancers were quite good giving it a Broadway- style feel. The Princess theater is quite large allowing for many guests and still allows a good view by even the guests at the very back. Performers at one point even left the stage and brought the audience into the performance by appearing in the audience.

After the show we wondered up to the top floor of the ship and entered Skywalkers Nightclub which has part of it overhanging above the ocean! A large night club with popular top 40 and disco style music had plenty of seating and a large dance floor. Crew were there to make sure you got up dancing and servers made sure you always got a drink if you wanted one. Drinks all over the ship were reasonably priced from $2.50 for a beer to only $5.50 for a martini or $6.00 for a glass of wine. Other entertainment was offered throughout the ship including a comedian, and live singing and of course the Grand Casino.

diamondprincess.jpg

Public Areas:
With such a large ship there were plenty of places to go, to find solace and relaxation or fun and activities and never feel crowded. Sapphire Princess has 4 swimming pools, 2 large and 2 smaller that offer something no one else has, fresh water pools. There is one in a solarium that has a retractable roof so you can swim when the weathers not so great or when you just prefer to be indoors. All of the pools have bars and places to eat nearby. Comfy lounge chairs surround the indoor Calypso Pool and plenty of seating is offered at both. 6 hot tubs ensures that you will always get a space when its time to warm up and relax. There are 2 smaller pools and hot tubs located at the stern of the ship that offer more privacy with plenty of space to soak up the sun as well.
For those wanting to stay in shape while on vacation, can use the gym and fitness areas onboard that offer state of the art equipment and fitness classes with certified instructors. Prefer to play outdoors? There is a jogging track on the top of the ship or how about some golf or tennis on large enclosed courts at the top decks?

For those who want to take it slower Sapphire Princess offers a world class art collection and art auction with art from many renowned artists all on display in the gallery. Get in touch with family at home with the 24 hour Internet Café for a fee or learn about computers with ScholarShip@Sea program that offers enrichment classes on various subjects for a fee.

diamondprincess.jpg

Although kids and teens usually just want to hang out by the pool, Sapphire Princess offers The Fun Zone, Off Limits, Pelican’s Playhouse, Pelican’s Pool and Splash Pool to provide supervised entertainment and fun geared to kids of all ages. The Playhouse and Pool offer an enclosed area just for kids with games, furniture, toys, a pool and more.

Back inside of the ship are plenty of areas for just sitting and enjoying. Whether it’s the ocean view from a lounge chair by the window, or in the atrium doing some people watching with live music from a professional pianist, or in one of the many lounges.

And the ultimate in pampering onboard comes from the Lotus Spa, where you can get your hair and nails done, massages and facials, aromatherapy, hydro therapy in the swim against the current pool or just sit back and relax and take in some steam. And although we didn’t take part in any of the facilities there were plenty of specials and promotions and a staff member even took us on a tour at our request.

diamondprincess.jpg

Stateroom:
Our room was an ocean view double with balcony, which meant we had a larger room over 217 square feet, a queen bed that could convert into 2 singles and our own private balcony on which we could sit and enjoy the ocean view from our room. The décor was modern with oak colored wood, a sitting area with desk, mini bar, lots of mirrors, large closet, side table with drawers, bathroom with a shower that had a massage head on it. Toiletries were provided in the bathroom which is great for those trips where you’ve forgotten something – they provided soap, lotion, shampoo and conditioner for us. Upon arrival in our room was a couple of dessert treats for us and when our bed was turned down at night they brought us chocolates for our pillows. When we first arrived our bed was one queen size and we required it to be 2 singles so we called our steward and after a couple of phone calls we arrived back late that night to find our request had been granted: even late at night after 11pm when I had called the second time.

Looking into several other rooms we found that size seemed to be the common denominator, all of the rooms seemed to be larger than average and nicely decorated. The balconies below us were even larger providing sitting areas with small to full size tables – we even saw a couple out dancing on theirs just before sunset, how romantic!

Pros:

  • Large ship with lots of space gives you the room to do what you want, where and when you want to and never feel crowded or have to wait.
  • Many bars and lounges give you more choice on your preference of style and ambiance.
  • 4 pools and 6 hot tubs allows you to be where the action is or not, inside or outside.
  • Personal Choice Dining – is just that – it’s up to you where and when you eat. Do you prefer traditional or do you want the freedom to eat by your own schedule? Lots of choices of dining rooms allows for many tastes to be satisfied.
    Modern, large staterooms with over 700 balconies will ensure you enjoy your vacation from anywhere on the ship including your own room.
  • Entertainment that’s high caliber, exciting, and fun in several different venues will make sure you are never bored.

    Cons:

  • We had some service issues due to communication problems when ordering food/drinks and dealing with one person at the Passenger Services Desk.
  • Food in Sabatini’s was very good, but we had to pay extra to try it.
  • Food in dining room was good but did not exceed any expectations (when I ordered crackers and cheese my crackers came wrapped)

    Written By Tara Helps

    Princess Cruises Europe Cruise Information
    Princess Cruises Europe Cruisetour Information
    Princess Cruises Alaska Cruise Information
    Princess Cruises Alaska Cruisetour Information
    Princess Cruises Mexican Riviera Cruise Information
    Princess Cruises Tahiti Cruise Information

    Posted by Denise at November 2, 2005 10:26 AM

  • Web Design, Online Marketing and SEO by Agnada Consulting Inc. Vancouver