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Old June 29th, 2004, 12:11 AM
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Default My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observation

Hello

Throughout the past several months, I have been using this message board to ask some questions about our trip we just returned from this morning. I appreciate all the help, and now that I have been on the actual ship to Alaska, I'll answer them myself for anyone who may have been wondering the same things as me.

1.) I was concerned about the lifeboats being an obstruction from a Emerald Deck Mini-Suite. Someone said it was absolutely no concern at all and I agree with that, it wasn't.

2.) I was concerned about being directly above club fusion, I was told that it was nothing to worry about, I DISAGREE on that one. We heard loud bass coming from below every night. It actually made it hard to sleep. I complained about it, but nothing could be done because the ship was full. So keep that in mind.

3.) I had asked about the scenery throughout the trip. There is alot of scenery throught Puget sound, but the day at sea there is little. Then it comes and goes, never really that close most of the time inbetween ports, with of course the exception of Tracy Arm. A side note, I was a bit disappointed with Tracy Arm, we couldn't get too close to the glaciers and weren't able to view them for very long. The scenery going in and out was very nice and impressive though. I had kind of wished we had gone to Glacier Bay.

4.) I had asked about the stability of the ship. For most of the time, we never really noticed any rocking at all, and if you did, you really had to be paying attention and trying to feel it.

5.) I had asked if cookies were available all the time. The answer was no, but I did find that there were always cookies in the Horizon Court during dinner hours, although they werent as good as the cookies availabe on the Cafe Promenade on the Voyager of the Seas.

6.) With regard to the Horizon Court. Lots of people say that it is bad or "inedible". I disagree, it is a buffet, you can only expect so much from a buffet. The food was always hot and there was a wide variety of selections. I was a bit disappointed in the desserts available though for lunch time. Also, I was a but upset a few times because they tended to close one side during peak meal times,which made the other side that much more difficult to get in and out of.

7.) Also, I couldn't quite figure out what it meant by "Late Night Bistro" in the Horizon Court. I thought that you could only go there if you wanted to be waited on. The way it works is that one side of the horizon court becomes the Bistro, while the other side stays the buffet. I stuck my head in the Bistro a few times, and never saw anyone in there.

8.) I wanted to know if the ship docked or tendered in the ports. In Ketchikan, Skagway, and Victoria, the ship docked. In Juneau, we had to drop anchor for the eary afternoon, then when the Island Princess left, we took her spot on the dock. It was quite a pain the one time we had to take a tender.

9.) I wanted to know if it was possible to walk on top of the bridge for observation, and yes you can, although it was closed at times, and VERY windy at other times. A combination of forward movement of the ship, along with headwind, and the aerodynamics of the ship made for very high winds at times, but still, a great place for looking.

10.) Those things on the top I am pretty sure are not jet engines, they can't be because they are capped on both sides, so I believe they are there for looks.

11.) There is a voice on the elevator, and it did not have a British accent. ( I dont' know why I wanted to know this, but I did before we left.)

12) I had been concerned about when to arrive at the pier. We took a cab from our hotel and arrived around 9:45am, way too early it seemed, but we were glad we did, because we ended up being among the first 100 or so people on board. I think we finally were walking down the gangway at around 11:40am. The waiting time went pretty quickly though.

13.) I hadn't asked this before, but I thought it useful. If you can manage, try to carry your luggage off the ship yourself. If you can, you can be the first group off, and won't have to go through the normal procedure, nor will you have to search for your luggage since you'll have it with you. When you think about it, it isn't that big of a deal, because most people have to carry their luggage to and from the airport anyway.

We really enjoyed this trip, lots of thanks to everyone on these boards for answering my questions. I'd be happy to answer any other questions if they are asked. We were on the June 20th sailing of the Sapphire, in case I didn't mention that above.
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Old June 29th, 2004, 12:45 AM
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

Hi Steve,
Even though We are not sailing until Oct. I still like to find out as much info as possible. This will also be our 1st time aboard Princess.
Can you tell me if you did traditional dining? If so, were you able to choose off the menus from the other dining areas? What kinda of food was available for room service?Did you have a balcony room? We are on aloha deck with a balcony. How dressy were the formal nights? What did the men wear? I, myself have no problem dressing up but the men we are traveling with were wondering. How was the casino?
Any info will be helpful.
Thank You!
Have a great cruise all!!

__________________
Carnival Holiday
Carnival Elation
Carnival Elation
Carnival Ecstasy
Carnival Pride
Princess Sapphire
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Golden Princess
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Carnival Dream

Have a great cruise all!! 8)
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Old June 29th, 2004, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

Hello

This was my 2nd cruise and also my first on Princess. In order of your questions:

Yes, we did traditional late seating dining. And yes, you could order off of the other menus, but not every night. There are 4 "personal choice" dining rooms, a steakhouse, an italian, asian, and mexican themes. So for 4 out of the 7 nights, a menu was available for each one. On the first night, we had the normal traditional menu, plus the menu from the steakhouse. We could mix and match from both as much as we wanted. Then 2 nights later I believe, the menu from the italian dining room was available, and so one. So the answer is yes, but not every night.

I'm sorry I can't answer about room service because we never ordered it. Although I do know that each night there was a menu of fresh fruit to be delivered to your room in the morning if you so desired.

Yes, we did have a balcony, it was on the Emerald Deck. We enjoyed it very much. It was very private, no one from above could see it, but those from either side could see in if they really tried. Very large balcony (it was a mini-suite).

Formal nights ranged from tuxedos, to jacket with no tie. I myself wore a dark suit and tie for the formal nights, and that was what I noticed the majority of the men wore. My wife wore long black dresses for the formal nights.

I'm not much of a gambler, but do play the occaisional slot here and there. In fact, I played twice during the week, and ended up winning $20 from the quarter slots each time. So I ended up about $35 ahead at the end of the week, keep in mind that I didn't spend much time there. But as for the casino itself, it was really nice and large, quite a bit larger (if my memory is right) than the casino on the Voyager of the Seas. I played the slots on that ship some too, and never won anything, not even the 2 credits for getting all blanks, but the machines on the Sapphire Princess seemed a bit better. I've never played a table game, so I can't comment, although there were quite a few tables in the casino as well.

I hope this answers your questions, please let me know if there is other information I can help with.
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Old June 30th, 2004, 10:10 AM
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

Hi Steve...

I'm so glad to see the first weeks of Sapphire passengers out here finally getting some posts up. I thought you folks were never going to get back and settled to tell us about your adventures :O)

We're going on the 7/25 voyage... and are very excited waiting for our first cruise!

We are flying in the day ahead of the cruise. Four adults. Any info on the best transportation options from the airport to the Westin and the Westin to cruise docks that won't cost us an arm and a leg? And back again the day after the cruise?


We are wanting to book a Duck Tour in Seattle for the return date. It seems that can only be done on board, so I'm wondering if I should buy tickets from ticketmaster instead?What is the latest time we would be off the boat if there are no unforseen delays?

I'm disappointed to hear there is tendering in Juneau. I was under the impression she docked at all ports. Oh well, such is life. Hope our morning excursion doesn't force us into the crowds because your idea to wait sounds like a really good one.


I always prefer to haul my own luggage at hotels. Plus, I'm never totally packed til the wee hours on the day of departure. Is taking your own luggage on and off the ship an option?! That would be great!

How informative and correct was the Patters information bulletins? Was it helpful?

I read there is now a surcharge for the Sterling, as well as Sabatini's. Any idea if this is so? Is it worth it? A surcharge in my eyes cuts the anytime diners down to only 3 restaurants to choose from. Is the Sterling worth an extra $40 per meal? Where can one get a good steak if not choosing to pay extra to dine there?

What nights are the formal nights... Am I correct in assumiong they are the two nights at sea?

Well, that's it for this round.
Thanks in advance for your help...
I appreciate it!
Terry
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Old June 30th, 2004, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

Hello

As far as transportation goes, we stayed at the Mayflower Park Hotel, which is just right around the corner from the Westin, so my experience should be similar to yours. We took cabs both from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the pier. The cab from the airport to the hotel was $32.something, and I gave a tip so I think I ended up paying $35 or $36, not exactly sure. And the next morning, all I needed to do was tell the front desk that I needed a cab, and they had one waiting for me, and in fact, I saw cabs waiting outside the Westin as well. So I get the feeling that the process is probably similar. The cab ride to the pier was less than $10, and was very easy. I've done the cruise line transfer before in Miami, and the cab was much nicer and easier, and cost almost the same.

Concerning the Duck Tour, we had thought about doing it, but when we went to see how much it cost (from Seattle), we saw it was $22 per person, we didn't feel like spending that much on it, and it said the tour was 1 1/2 hours, so we didn't think it was worth it. But I can't give an accurate question as to when the latest time you'd be off because as I said, we were the first group off. I would suggest reading other reviews to see what people experiences were in getting off the ship.

And yes, taking your own luggage is an option, and you get to be the first group off the ship. We were off the ship before 8am because we carried our own. We didn't know it was an option until the day before, so make sure to pay attention to the disembarkation information on the last or 2nd to last day. It worked out really great because we were scheduled to be among the LAST group off because we weren't coming home until late in the evening, but since we decided to carry our luggage, we were first off. And we didn't need to make any arrangements or notify anyone, they just came over the PA and said "All those wishing to use express disembarkation may do so now", just make sure you understand that if you do, they will not help you with your luggage.

The Princess patters were ok. I've only been on one other cruise on Royal Caribbean, and the Princess Patters were very similar to the Cruise Compass on Royal Caribbean. I'm sure there are others who have scanned theirs and posted them, I don't have that capability.

As far as the surcharge, I know for a fact there is a charge for Sabatini's. But since I did traditional dining, we never ate at the Sterling Steakhouse. Although I can't imagine that there is a surcharge to eat there since it is one of the 4 Personal Choice rooms. I never heard that while on board, and to my knowledge do not think it is true.

And yes, there are 2 formal nights, and yes, they were the two nights at sea, Monday and Friday. Also, if I remember right, the two formal nights are two of the nights that a menu from one of the other 4 peronal choice rooms is not available.

I hope I've answered your questions, please let me know if there are more.
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Old June 30th, 2004, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some obs

Terbo40 : ---You must , I repeat you must do the Ducks of Seattle and make sure your Captain is " Justin- Case " , an old hippie /ex bass player from the 60's who's picture is # 76
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Old June 30th, 2004, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some

Turbo49 : --Sorry my computor shut off as I was writing # 76 in the Sci Fi / music museum which is directly across the street from the ducks , next to the Space Needle . By the way if you are into Steven Speilberg -who was there that week to sign autographs or enjoy music -we made a music video with our group wher you pick a song and follow the lighted q cards while holding guitars , playing drums , etc . When you are all said and done its worth it . Getting back to the ducks -you buy your tickets right there. , buy some " Quackers" for $ 2.00 before your ride and get ready for 1 and 1/2 hours of shenanigans, laughter, awesome sights , and a full tour of everything that must be seen in Seattle . We even drove through a Swedish town with old wooden houses, beaches, thousands of people parading -Yes the Seattle nude cyclists were there wearing only their birthday suits and finally topping it all off with a full hour in a lake in central Seattle that shares Million dollar Boat houses , The Ducks were the best buy in Seattle and we finished it off with a visit to Three Coins , a Seattle restaurant open 24 hours a day with delicious food and the best Oysters you've ever experienced .
By the way the tendering in Juneau was only to get off and the entire group enjoyed the 130 passenger life vessels . Coming back from exploring Juneau we were amazed to fing the Sapphire Princess docked at the pier . The captain explained they always choose docking if its available . Absolutely - , I repeat no charge for the Sterling Steak house , only Sabatinis ( $ 25.00 ) per person . Dont be afraid to order lobster tails to your room at no charge . Remember its a lot easier for you and the ship if you make reservations all at once for your personal choice dining , but if you forget they will seat you within 15 minutes anyway . ENJOY !
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Old June 30th, 2004, 06:37 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and

Douglas: Thanks for your informative post! Lobster Tails can be ordered via Room Service? "Be Still My Heart!" Will they know if we've already been to the dining rooms? And, should I assume that Room Service delivers "dinner food" during "dinner hours", only? Does the food availability from Room Service vary according to time of day? I would think it would.

We have PC dining booked and will hope to hear from any other posters who went to Vivaldi for zero.........and whether or not they thought that Sabbatini's was really worth the $25.

Marty
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Old June 30th, 2004, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

Steve B: Thanks for the info re: taking your own luggage off. We do have a fairly early (11:30am) flight out of Seattle and, since we'll each only have a carry-on and one larger, wheeled bag it doesn't sound any different, or more difficult than heading into any airport from the lots. Might save some stress relative to what "departure" time we're assigned. You mentioned you could leave in first round? Was there a SPECIFIC time you HAD to leave if one is being responsible for their luggage........we probably would want to "walk off" around 9:30 am and get cab to airport. Thanks, Marty
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Old July 1st, 2004, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

Marty

Yes, there was a specific time you had to walk off, so your plan of leaving at 9:30am would not work. You HAD to be in that first group, and that was your only opportunity, and it was around 7:30am, if you didn't leave then, you HAD to wait until your color/number was called.

I'm sorry for the confusion, I should have re-worded what I wrote.

Steve
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Old July 1st, 2004, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some obs

Thanks Steve, you have been most helpful! I can't wait to go!

And Douglas, I am glad to hear you had such a blast on the Seattle Duck Tour. We are from Boston and have them here... and I rate the fun the same as you had on yours in Seattle which is why we are looking to do it! Do you think I would be wise to book it via ticketmaster despite the convenience charge or that we'd be ok waiting til we get there?
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Old July 1st, 2004, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some obs

Thought of another question....
Is there an additional fee for the movie theater?
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Old July 1st, 2004, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

I'm sorry, I can't answer the question about the movie theatre, although to my knowledge the answer is no, since I never heard anything about a charge
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 06:54 PM
Heather Baer
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

How was the stability of the ship? Was there much motion? I plan on taking Bonine and Seabands. We are headed out on September 12th.
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

Thank you.
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

I do recall one night, maybe two where there was noticible rocking, very low frequency, but still there. I doesn't bother me though. There were occaisional light chops here and there, and some slow rocking like I said before, but in my opinion, you really had to be paying attention and trying to feel it.
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 11:04 PM
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Default Re: Re: Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some

Buy your tickets for the Ducks when you get there , make sure you ride with " justin case " and buy some Quackers !They also have some far out shirts in their gift shop . I bought one that says if you must smoke -smoke salmon !
And dont forget " Cruise it then lose it " . Oh, and once and for all --No charge for any of the dining rooms other then Sabatini's . No one is watching you -They want you to eat as much as you can -Eat and tell , great publicity , dont you agree . So, lobster on the Lido, then in the Sterling , then over at the Vivaldi, then on your balcony through room service . Dont forget if you are a group of 4 or more then you paid at least $ 5000 for 7 days . Thats the price of a decent used car , nothing to sneeze at . So enjoy !
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Old July 8th, 2004, 03:38 AM
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

Hi Steve! I am leaving this saturday for the sapphire princess cruise to alaska on july 11th. I am 15 years old, and i was wondering if there were any teenagers on the cruise that you went on?
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Old July 8th, 2004, 07:12 AM
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

Yes there were. To be honest, I didn't really pay attention that much as to how many, and what they were doing and where they were spending time, but I can answer yes that there were, other than that, I'm afraid I'm not much help.
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Old July 11th, 2004, 06:31 PM
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

Hi Steve! Getting ready to take the Sapphire to Alaska on Aug 8th. What did you think about the entertainment? Were there 2 show times a night? How was the weather on the ship? Also, what excursions did you do? Did you book them through the ship?
Thanks for you help, it is much appreciated!
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Old July 11th, 2004, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some obs

I was on the Sapphire 6/13-6/20, the weather was remarkable that week, quite unusal I'm told. The scenery was beatuiful, especially north of Scagway. I highly recomend a trip to the Yukon(Canada). I took the bus trip but the train(white pass) would be quite nice also if your a train buff. In Juneau, if you want to see Mendamhall Glacier, I would suggest the $5 shuttle from the pier to the Glacier and hike around the area. Also don't forget to take the Tram up Mt. Roberts.
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Old July 11th, 2004, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

Does anyone who has been on the princess sapphire know if they had bingo? also, what kind of classes did they offer?
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Old July 11th, 2004, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

leigh s -

The entertainment was pretty good. My only other cruise was on Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas, and to be honest, I thought the singers and dancers were awful. But they were ok in this one. But there was only 1 "broadway style" show. The rest were comedians and guest entertainers. The entertainers were ok, not side splitting, but funny with a few moments of extreme laughter. There was one guy who was from Vegas that everyone seemed to love but I thought couldn't sing better than a dying horse. Everyone said that he had lots of energy...so does a nuclear bomb, but that doesn't mean it can sing.

But yes, there were two shows a night, we were late seating, and our show was usually 10:15 or 10:30.

The weather for the week of 6/20 was also very unusual, very warm, no sweaters needed in any port. It got a bit chilly at night at sea, but the days were warm and sunny, although don't count on it because they said it never happens.

Excursions -
In Ketchikan, we did the Totem and Town tour...that was interesting, not spectacular, but interesting and informative. I enjoyed walking around town on my own more than the tour.

In Juneau, we did the Glacier and Salmon Bake. The glacier was really neat to see, we didn't stay for long though. Then we went to the salmon hatchery, my wife thought it was boring, i found it very interesting. Then the salmon bake...which we probably shouldn't have done because we had already been eating for 3 1/2 days straight.

In Skagway, we did the railway tour, which was really really good, got some incredible pictures. Going up was great, but going down was boring because it was the same thing the other way. I highly suggest this on though.

And yes, we did book all of them trough the ship.

Please feel free to ask more...
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Old July 11th, 2004, 08:15 PM
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Default Re: My Sapphire Princess questions answered/and some observa

leigh s

Sorry, I didn't see your other question about bingo. Yes, there was bingo, but only on the days at sea, they did it twice a day, and i think once on saturday before Victoria (although I'm not 100% about that)

About classes, the only one I went to was on Alaskan wildlife, interesting at first, then I got bored. My wife went to a talk from Libby Riddles, who was the first female iditorod winner. My wife is a teacher and teaches that subject to her kids, so she was excited to meet her and get an autograph, she also bought some of her books.

There was one other lecture that I went to, but couldn't find a seat, so left. It was on the maritime history of Alaska.

Steve
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