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January 19, 2012

An Updated Sapphire Princess

Sapphire Princess Enters Drydock

Princess Cruises' Sapphire Princess entered drydock this past week in Victoria, British Columbia. The ship has begun a dramatic overhaul that will last four weeks.

The Sapphire Princess is planned to re-enter service on February 4th, 2012 with some new features. A new Piazza atrium with International Cafe, Vine's Wine Bar and Alfredo's Pizzeria. On the top deck of the ship located at the swimming pool with be a brand new Movies Under The Stars screen. This is a popular area where guests can view new released movies on a large screen while at sea. The ship will also have a Sanctuary, adults-only relaxation area.

These new features are being added to many of Princess Cruises ships so passengers on can sail on any Princess ship and have that feeling of comfort and familar. Below are more specifics on each brand new area of Sapphire Princess.

sapphire_princess.jpg

New Piazza Atrium - The ship's atrium space will be redesigned to include this signature Princess feature -- a European-inspired social hub of the ship combining always-changing quick bites and light meals, beverages, entertainment, shopping and guest services. The Piazza will feature the International Cafe for pastries, fresh panini sandwiches, salads, fresh-baked cookies and a variety of coffee drinks. Passengers will also enjoy a new Vines wine bar offering a selection of more than 30 wines by the glass, plus a selection of tapas and sushi, and a wine shop where passengers can purchase their favorite bottle.

Alfredo's Pizzeria - Introduced last year aboard Grand Princess, Alfredo's will expand to its second location on Sapphire Princess. The sit-down pizzeria serves up an enticing menu of freshly prepared, hand-stretched, individual-size pizzas. Named for the line's master executive chef, Alfredo Marzi, the pizzeria will feature an open kitchen where passengers can watch chefs create their custom-made pies.

Movies Under the Stars - Sapphire Princess will be the final ship to introduce Movies Under the Stars on board. The giant poolside movie screen will showcase feature films, concerts, awards shows and sports events, and passengers can enjoy their viewing on padded loungers under warm, fleece blankets. Complimentary popcorn and other treats enhance the al fresco entertainment experience.

The Sanctuary - Sapphire Princess is also the final ship to receive The Sanctuary, a tranquil retreat exclusively for adults. Added prior to drydock, the new Sanctuary space has already received an enthusiastic welcome from passengers enjoying the enhanced comforts of this peaceful oasis, as Serenity Stewards attend to their every need, offering refreshing beverages, light snacks, pre-loaded MP3 players, and the cooling mist of an Evian atomizer.

I've had the pleasure of cruising on Diamond Princess (sister ship to Sapphire Princess) and touring the Sapphire Princess multiple times while it's been in Vancouver. I really enjoy these ships and the new areas Princess is adding will make them even better.

Come back in a few weeks and I'll show you pictures of the ship after the renovation!

Written by Denise Blackmore, MCC

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