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Sapphire Princess & Crystal Symphony- Two Ships, One Itinerary

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By happenstance, in ten days I begin a combination of journeys that should make for some interesting experiences and comparisons. Within a short time frame I’ll be cruising two different ships; both sailing identical 14 night itineraries from San Pedro, California to the Hawaiian Islands and returning to San Pedro.

The first leg of the journey will begin on Feb. 26 onboard the Sapphire Princess; generally considered a “Premium” cruise line. On this cruise to the islands I’ll be hosting a group from our cruise community for our 5th version of our Let’s Get Lei’d Group Cruises; “Let’s Get Lei’d 5.0 – Book It Danno“.

I’ll be writing and filing stories daily live from the ship, as well as sharing the stories with daily Tweets (@CruiseMatesKuki); combining pictures and stories. Readers and Twitter followers will be able to “join us” for this Virtual Cruise experience, sharing the fun and antics of sailing on a CruiseMates group cruise. It’s been several years since I last sailed on a Princess ship, so I’ll be noting any changes, for the better or for the worse, that I notice as the trip progresses.

And I’ll be happy to try and answers any questions anyone may have about the ship, or the islands. You’ll be able to post those questions or any comments you have directly to the thread where my daily reports are posted. You’ll find the link on the Home Page.

When that part of the adventure ends I’ll have a chance to return home, get my clothing washed and laundered, and then some time to recover ( it’s funny how you need time to recover from cruise vacations) before I head back to San Pedro on April 24 to embark on the 14 night sailing onboard the Crystal Symphony, on what is designated as one of their “golf cruises”, with famed professional golfers and golf commentators Ken Venturi, and Billy Casper.

Though this won’t be my first golf themed cruise, it will be my first time sailing Crystal Cruise Line. I’ve previously sailed in the luxury cruise segment on Seabourn, Regent, and Silversea cruise lines, so I’ll be able to make some comparisons to the other luxury line competitors, as well as attempting to experience and define the differences from “Luxury Brand” Crystal Symphony, and the “Premium” brand Sapphire Princess.

Though the golf theme on the Symphony will be different from the group cruise on Sapphire Princess, both trips visit the exact same ports, with exactly equivalent times at each port of call.

As from the Sapphire Princess, I’ll be filing daily stories and Tweets live from the Crystal Symphony, and once again everyone will be invited to post their questions and comments during the entire 14 day sailing.

While it’s always interesting to compare different ships and cruise lines, I think it may be even more interesting to compare them when sailing identical itineraries. I think it will be interesting to see if I can hold my expectations in check moving from a “Premium Brand” to a “Luxury Brand”. And it may even be interesting to discover if I prefer one to the other.

I’ve always considered myself a cross-dressing… errr, cross-cruising cruiser, able to enjoy and fit into the environment on all levels of cruise ships, running from budget to ultra-luxe. We’ll see if that’s hold true, and if not, which ship I’m tossed overboard from.

– A View From the Kuki Side of Cruising –

Over 12 Billion Served






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Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time February 16, 2011 at 3:41 am

Is Mrs. Kuki going? You owe her for two years of no cruises.

Interesting, I leave tomorrow on my 14 day same cruise as you nly on the Queen Victoria. HMMMMMM – lots of good pineapple to savor!

We’ll pass or maybe meet up, our cruise ends March 3rd. I’ll look for your group ashore if the ships meet up.

Comment from Kenneth Eden
Time February 16, 2011 at 3:44 am

Duh, what am I thinking. We’ll pass at sea, probably not seeing any ship. Our last port will be on the 25th, then 26th, heading to Ensenada.

Have a great cruise(s).

Comment from John Patrick
Time February 22, 2011 at 10:07 am

I’m really glad for you, Kuki. Hawaii is the very best. I ‘ve recently been in Uruguay and had the chance to see Queen Mary arriving to Montevideo Port! I joined a city tour with its passengers, who told me they loved the city as well as I did. I’m not particulary a cruise lover, so I always had this question: what do you enjoy most of cruising, the places you visit or the cruise itself?
The local reporters asked us to share our thoughts about Montevideo. Let me share the video with you:
Have you ever been to Uruguay? Luckily, many cruises arrive there during January, so you will have the chance to visit in case you didn’t.
Good luck in your trip!

Comment from Galapagos Vacations
Time March 28, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Hawaii Islands are really very beautiful and a sailing around it in luxury cruise is amazing feeling. I have there once and that trip was an unforgettable trip of my life.

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