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Sapphire Princess Review

2019 Best Overall
2019 Best for Embarkation
2019 Best for Service
View More

Find a Sapphire Princess Cruise from £189

Sapphire Princess
4.5 / 5.0
1054 reviews

Pros
After 2018 refurb, ship sports a new kids' club, refreshed spa and top-notch entertainment
Cons
Bathrooms still in need of a refurbishment
Bottom Line
A good-value ship packed full of entertainment and activities

About

Passengers
2,670

Crew
1,100

Passenger to Crew
2.43:1

Launched
2004

Shore Excursions
632
Sails To
Australia & New Zealand, Asia, Alaska, South America, Antarctica, Mexican Riviera, Hawaii
Princess Cruise Deals
Adam Coulter
Cruise Critic UK Managing Editor

Sapphire Princess Overview

The 116,000-ton, 2,670-passenger Sapphire Princess debuted in 2004 as the fifth of nine ships in Princess Cruises' wide-ranging Grand class. While it is the largest of the Grand-class ships by volume, it carries more than 400 fewer passengers than its youngest siblings.

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In 2018, ahead of a two-year stint in Europe for the first time since it was built (in Japan, incidentally), the ship went through a significant refurb. Though less far reaching than a 2012 makeover, the two-week dry dock did see the addition of a new kids' club -- Camp Discovery -- and Club Class Mini Suites, as well as new carpeting and furnishing.

The ship may be relatively old (14 years in 2018), and in parts it does show its age (some of the cabins and bathrooms could do with a spruce up, for example), but the refurbs have gone a long way to making it look and feel fresh. It also packs a lot in for what is classified as a midsized ship. It may not have the big wows that some modern ships have (no climbing walls or FlowRiders for example), but it does squeeze a lot in to entertain any age group.

The kids' club is one of the best we've seen on a ship this size; there is a full-size basketball court on the top deck, multiple swimming pools, a putting/bocce green, Movies Under the Stars, numerous restaurant options and a wealth of bars -- as well as the best-situated nightclub at sea.

Everything on Sapphire Princess centers around the Piazza, which acts as a meeting spot and a place to hang out, have a drink or a bite to eat, inquire about your onboard bill or do some shopping. The circular, three-deck space also doubles as an entertainment hub, with nightly music and occasional acrobats. As a result, Sapphire is surprisingly easy to navigate as all roads lead to and from here.

Even with the ship sailing full, passenger traffic is light pretty much everywhere -- with the exception of the Promenade area between Club Fusion and the Explorers Lounge, especially on formal night.

Another thing you might notice is that there isn't a main dining room, or rather what would be the MDR is split into five dining rooms (instead of Princess' typical two) -- which has the effect of cutting down on the cruise ship banquet ambience of big restaurants, but creating a more intimate dining experience.

Sapphire Princess is a ship that knows exactly what its passengers want -- quality food, lots of entertainment and a relaxed, easygoing vibe. It's packed full of things to do, day and night and despite being (relatively) small, punches well above its weight.


Top Sapphire Princess Itineraries

Sapphire Princess
10 night alaska cruise

Vancouver, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Icy Strait, Sitka, Ketchikan, Vancouver

View All Sapphire Princess Itineraries (46)

Fellow Passengers

The typical Princess passenger is about 50 and relatively well-traveled. The line also attracts a solid number of multigenerational groups -- families and older folks traveling with their children and grandchildren -- and some younger couples. During school vacations, the ship fills up with kids.

The ship divides its time between Southampton and Singapore, and the passenger demographic reflects this. So expect a lot of Brits and Northern Europeans during the summer; and Australians, Singaporeans, Malaysians, Japanese and Chinese during the winter. Announcements are in English when it's in Southampton and English, Chinese and Japanese when it's in Singapore. You'll also notice all signage in Chinese as well as English.


Sapphire Princess Dress Code

Sapphire Princess is not a dressy ship, but during a seven-night cruise there are two formal nights (cocktail dresses, gowns or dark pants suits for ladies, dark suits or tuxedos for men), and five smart casual nights (most men wear a shirt and sports jacket outfit while women dressed up in skirts or pants with a nice blouse and jewelry). During the day, resort casual is the norm.


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Sapphire Princess Ratings

CategoryEditorMember
Cabins4.04.3
Dining4.03.9
Entertainment4.03.6
Public Rooms4.04.3
Fitness Recreation4.03.9
Family5.04
Enrichment4.03.5
Service5.04.2
Value For Money4.03.8

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More about Sapphire Princess

Where does Sapphire Princess sail from?

How much does it cost to go on Sapphire Princess?

Cruises on Sapphire Princess start from £189 per person.

Is Sapphire Princess a good ship to cruise on?

Sapphire Princess won 4 awards over the years, including Best Overall, Best for Embarkation and Best for Service in 2019.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2019 Best Overall
  • 2019 Best for Embarkation
  • 2019 Best for Service
  • 2013 Best for Fitness

Sapphire Princess Member Reviews

Sapphire Princess
Bob g J
Sail Date: Jan 2020
The problem with Princess is that you don’t sign for your drink, you just order a drink and it’s added to your account.... Read More
Sapphire Princess
MGBark
Sail Date: Oct 2019
The Sapphire is an older ship needing repairs and a new WiFi system. You could spend hours not getting emails.... Read More
Sapphire Princess
Bladerunner1965
Sail Date: Dec 2019
Princess cut majestically through the benign, blue, ocean waves.... Read More
Sapphire Princess
MrPantsOz
Sail Date: Oct 2019
This was my first time on the Sapphire and she had everything I love about Princess. Pizza slices by the pool, burgers, amazing milkshakes from Swirls.... Read More

Princess Cruises Fleet

Grand Princess
3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating

1613 reviews

Family-friendly ship carrying 2,600 passengers; offers six included dining options, sports court, freshwater swimming pools and hot tubs and a Princess Cruises' exclusive Discovery at Sea programmes.

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Pacific Princess

Pacific Princess offers some of the line's more exotic itineraries in Europe, Asia and South America, including a 107-night World Cruise.

Sun Princess
3.5 / 5.0
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Launched in 1995 as the world's biggest-ever cruise ship weighing in at 77,000 tons, Sun Princess paved the way for contemporary cruise travel.

Golden Princess
4.0 / 5.0
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The 2,600-passenger Golden Princess, splits its time between Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Asia and is the largest-ever Melbourne-based cruise ship.

Star Princess
4.0 / 5.0
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Star Princess is an elegant midsize ship, perfect for older couples or groups of friends who enjoy enrichment and lingering over drinks and long dinners.

Coral Princess
4.0 / 5.0
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Family-friendly cruise ship custom-built to navigate the Panama Canal, Coral Princess carries 2,000 passengers and features five included dining options, more than 700 balcony staterooms and a state-of-the-art fitness centre.

Island Princess
4.0 / 5.0
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Island Princess is a 2,214-passenger Coral-class ship built small enough to fit through tiny locks prior to the Panama Canal's widening project.

Diamond Princess
4.0 / 5.0
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Diamond Princess is beautiful, all gleaming brass and glass, with a relaxed atmosphere that moves at a slower pace.

Sapphire Princess
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Sapphire Princess debuted in 2004 as the fifth of nine ships in Princess' Grand Class. It carries 2,670 passengers and features an adults-only sun deck and a poolside movie screen.

Caribbean Princess
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


The 3,080-passenger Caribbean Princess boasts charm, elegance and a comfortable vibe. No matter your vacation interests, you'll find something aboard to suit you.

Sea Princess
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Sea Princess, launched in 1998, is mid-sized, offers traditional features and makes cruisers feel like they're onboard an oceangoing vessel, not a theme park at sea.

Crown Princess
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


One of Princess' largest ships, this 3,080-passenger vessel pioneered some of the line's best features, including an adults-only sun deck and three-story piazza.

Emerald Princess
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


As far as modern mega-ships go, 3,000-passenger Emerald Princess maintains the high level of service it was celebrated for when it first launched.

Royal Princess
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


No gimmicks here, just traditional Princess fun including Movies Under The Stars, the always-buzzing Piazza, Broadway-style stage shows and 14 bars; holds about 4,000.

Ruby Princess
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Dignified yet fun with Princess signatures including Movies Under The Stars, fine dining, the ever-busy Piazza and Broadway-style production shows; holds fewer than 4,000.

Regal Princess
4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Unique mix of elegance and fun; attractions include the glass-floored SeaWalk, dramatic Piazza, elaborate production shows and Movies Under The Stars; 4,000 passengers.

Majestic Princess
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Princess Cruises' newest and largest ship offers cruises out of Sydney and Shanghai. It has a dancing fountain of lights and music and a pool club.

Sky Princess
4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating


Slated for delivery in 2019, Princess Cruises' fourth Royal-class ship will be modeled after its fleetmates Royal Princess, Regal Princess and Majestic Princess.

Enchanted Princess

The fifth ship in Princess Cruises' Royal Class, set to launch in 2020, will follow Royal Princess, Regal Princess, Majestic Princess and Royal Class 4.

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