Princess Cruises Sapphire Princess Review
Sapphire Princess received an array of new features during its 2012 refurbishment.
A member of Princess Cruises’ Grand Class of ships, Sapphire Princess (and her twin, Diamond Princess) arrived on the scene with much fanfare in 2004. Despite the ship’s size—116,000 gross tons—Sapphire Princess was designed with a number of more intimate spaces that help distract from the sheer number of passengers aboard (2,670 at double occupancy). Still, the ship works hard to cater to as broad an audience as possible, from newlyweds to seniors and all the families in between. Following a January 2012 renovation that revamped the lobby and added a pizzeria, wine bar, top-deck outdoor cinema, and an adults-only retreat called the Sanctuary, it was time for a fresh look at Sapphire Princess.
About Our Cruise
Our cruise on Sapphire Princess delivered a well-rounded if fairly predictable experience. Our interior cabin was pretty compact and lacked much in the way of seating, but there was enough storage space for a month-long cruise.
The five main dining rooms delivered decent meals with only a few misses. We loved Alfredo’s Pizzeria, and the buffet had a number of good items available, with lots of mouth-watering desserts. We dined on three steaks during our cruise, but none was worth getting excited about. Since one was at Sabatini’s and another at the Sterling Steakhouse—both of which require a surcharge—we found this disappointing. Then again, the steakhouse on Sapphire Princess seems like an afterthought; it was not worth the added fee.
Entertainment offerings onboard were pretty conservative, and the stage shows looked downright chintzy compared to some of Princess’ competitors. The top-deck movie screen, however, was a great place to enjoy movies—most of these were releases from the previous year. We liked the Grand Casino, which was bright and spacious, and where cigarette smoke was not too bad.
While our cruise on Sapphire Princess was agreeable, it didn’t stand out in any particular way. The experience seemed geared to appeal to the broadest audience possible and, as such, we found the ship to be neutered of most distinguishing marks. This would have been okay if services were personalized and warm but, for the most part, they weren’t.
As such, the quality of a Sapphire Princess vacation is largely dictated by the itineraries, and on this front Princess can’t be faulted, offering a broad range of cruises spanning the globe with good deals for early (and sometimes last-minute) bookings. And for families planning a multi-generational adventure, kids, teens, adults and seniors will all find diversions to keep them occupied. Judging from the high quantity of repeat Sapphire Princess guests, the line is definitely doing something right for many of them.
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