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Sapphire Princess Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,054 Reviews

Great Itinerary!

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review by Grandex

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2019
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony

I chose this cruise because I liked the itinerary and like Princess Cruises. I was very happy with the itinerary however the ship needs a complete refurbishment. I had a Junior Suite and the bathtub caucking was all molded ad disgusting. The balcony chairs were totally covered in bird poop and the metal casing on the balcony was rusted in many places. The suite itself is however well appointed and I loved the layout which I have had many times previously on Princess.

The beds are the most amazing I have ever slept in. The pillows are marshmallow soft and the mattress is the most comfortable I have ever slept on even in 5 star hotels, just terrific. Passengers could not help but rave about the beds on this cruise.

I was disappointed in the food however. The buffet is SOOOO SMALL for a cruise ship!!!! There are basically three sections plus a salad bar which I found very disappointing. Very repetitive food as well. They did have however amazing desserts. The dining-room food was mediocre at best. No decoration on the tables either, only salt & pepper, no flowers or anything decorative. Even on Christmas day there was nothing special on the table....very boring. Service was excellent however.

I had taken the soda package which states you have a choice of fountain sodas and on the first day I asked for a diet sprite and was told that it was not part of the soda package!!! When I asked "Do you not have Sprite or 7-Up on this ship?" I was told "Yes but only in cans and cans are not on the soda package"...OMG HOW RIDICULOUS... the only soda on the soda package was diet coke. I was once addicted to diet coke and my doctor told me to avoid it at all cost but I was stuck having to drink it or pay for my sodas which I presumed were to be prepaid. I find this very unfair.

The entertainment also was not up to par for Princess. They are know for putting on Broadway shows but none of that on this cruise. They had the usual lake lustre shows, really bad comedian as well. The worst part of the shows were that they only had one entertainer every night instead of several acts. If they had a comedian then that all there was, nothing else. If they had a singer then that was all they had nothing else. I remember the day when a show consisted of the cruise director opening with jokes, then a singer and then dancers ...a mix. Not here. Also I was on a 21 day cruise as were many others but Princess considered this two cruises. a 10 day and then an 11 day so whatever shows you saw on the first part were exactly the same on the second part which I feel is very unfair to those who paid the big bucks for a 21 day cruise getting basically 10 shows instead of 20.

I had pre-booked shore excursions in each port.....most were nightmares!!!! They either left very late or did not provide what was described on their tour descriptions. I took a transfer in Bangkok which was advertised as having from 9am to 3pm in Bangkok. Well we were told to arrive in the departure lounge at 7am however we did not leave the ship until 9am!! Because of traffic we got to Bangkok at noon!!! We sill had to leave at 3pm so literally no time to see anything since traffic is so bad in the city you can barely move. Since they do this every week they should know traffic is bad and should make us leave much earlier. Stupid to drive 5 hours to and from Bangkok to only spend 3 hours there. Ridiculous!

On another tour we were supposed to stop at a market with handicrafts and instead they took us to a smelly, dirty tiny fruit & vegetable market by the side of a road with no handicrafts at all...was horrible. We were supposed to stop at a Batik factory and when we were ready to get there we were told it had to be cancelled because we did not have enough time!!!! a major part of the tour was cancelled yet the smelly market was kept in....very badly organized.

One main issue I have with all the tours is that we are in cities and towns with incredible people making world famous hand made items and yet no time is ever included to visit these wonderful markets which are a big part of the culture here. You should not have to choose between seeing a major monument or temple and shopping, both should be included. I am sure most people would prefer to leave earlier and not miss out on seeing the locals make beautiful items.

The photographers were great and the photo package is a fabulous deal. You get all as many pictures as you want both in print and on a USB drive for $249....that was a great deal. Came home with over 40 photos. Considering these cost $25. each, the package is the best deal.

Now on to the internet....OMG IT IS THE WORST!!!! It costs a fortune on this ship for internet and when you do pay $199 for 250 minutes when you open it, it takes about 10 minutes to log on and when you do it takes another 20 minutes to get what you need. It's a disaster. I need to be connected for checking work on a daily basis and since they don't have an unlimited plan, it cost me a fortune. Better to go on the Medallion Class ships which offer a reasonable unlimited high-speed internet.

I love the itinerary so much I am doing the exact same itinerary this December BUT on the Grand Princess which is a Medallion Class ship with unlimited high-speed internet ...... plus the ship is gorgeous.

Grandex's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony

Great layout & fabulous bed.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

City Tour

Tour was interesting and lunch was very good at the revolving restaurant atop the Petronas Towers.

View All 43 City Tour Reviews
Taste of Penang

Enjoyed the port.

View All 9 Taste of Penang Reviews

The main sights were great but they never took us to the Batik factory which was a huge disappointment.

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The tour included a lunch which was awful. It was at the REX hotel and a room was set aside for tour buses. Our tour arrived last and all the buffet plates were already empty. They saw all of us come in yet plates were never refilled. So we paid for a tour including a lunch we never got.

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Shanoukville should be avoided as it is a slum. The only good part of this tour was the beach BBQ at a resort however the tour stated we had 3 hours at the beach (the main reason I took this tour) yet we only had one hour. Very disappointing.

View All undefined undefined Reviews
Bangkok On Your Own

We left too late and wound up having only 3 hours in Bangkok instead of the promised 6hrs.

View All 33 Bangkok On Your Own Reviews
Elephant Trekking

Tour was fine but we were not taken to the advertised elephant park. We were supposed to have a 45 minute elephant trek through lush jungle BUT we were taken to a small park (basically a resident's private home) and had a 10 minute elephant ride through the resident's back yard which was a far cry from a lush jungle.

View All 11 Elephant Trekking Reviews

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