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  #151 (permalink)  
Old March 13th, 2011, 01:36 PM
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Sapphire Princess - The Wrap Up
I have to say it was very nice this morning to get into a shower that was bigger than I was, and use a bath towel that was larger than my hand towels.

On the other hand, no one (other than a restaurant) to make me supper last night; no chocolate on my pillow; no one making my bed and cleaning up while I was enjoying my morning coffee. My choices for breakfast were make my own, or do without. I think you get the idea…

This article will be a bit of free flowing piece with no real order, just to toss out some of the things I may have missed discussing along the way.
Since a significant fire on a Princess ship a few years back, there is a sprinkler system along all the balconies on the passenger decks. If you have a look around you’ll also see many cameras hanging overhead connected to the ship’s surveillance system.

The cabins on the Sapphire now all have flat screen televisions. Our standard balcony cabin was nicely decorated, and very well kept. The pillows have more in common with those found on airlines though.
Beds have a very comfortable duvet covering them, but really should have an under sheet, between the duvet and the sheet covering the bed. I’m sure the duvets are likely laundered or changed between cruises, but still an under-sheet is required.

Food in the dining room was quite good, with a good variety. Mrs. Kuki is a fish eater, and she found some of the fish on the dry side. So, on this ship, the beef eaters may be better off than the fish eaters, which is a bit unusual on a ship.

There’s also a Beef Tenderloin Medallions dish that is on the “always available” menu, on the left side of the menu, that is really tasty.
Breakfast buffet is not the best choice on this ship. I’d recommend using either of the freshly made egg and omelet stations , or the waffle station (out by the pool) where ice cream is served later in the day.

There’s a pizzeria pool side, open most of the afternoon and evening, which serves wonderful thin crust pizza. Some nights I’d slip up there last thing to grab a slice and take it back to my cabin.

The pool-side grill, serving hot dogs, brats, and hamburgers is also very good. And I loved the French Fries they serve. I’d often go by just for a plate of fries.

This ship has two alternate restaurants, which come with an extra cost; Sabitini’s and Sterling Steakhouse. This is the first time I’ve sailed a ship which offers alternate dining restaurants, where we didn’t try either one. First off we were satisfied with the food in the dining room, and none of our tablemates suggested trying one of the alternates, so I didn’t want to be the one to suggest we all spend extra to try one.

The overall entertainment on this ship is quite good, with particular note to the “headliners”. However the ship’s showrooms are too small for the crowds, and you do have to queue up at least a half hour prior to show times to get a seat.

Service throughout the ship, with the exception of the dining rooms, is very good. We did not find dining room service to be bad, just inconsistent, and at times awkward.

Consistency is what was lacking. And it’s that inconsistency which leads me to say I wouldn’t consider our experience on the Sapphire a Premium Brand experience.

I think the inconsistency is more expected, and acceptable on a “mass market” ship. A Premium Brand label demands that little bit extra.

This cruise ended up being more of a relax and enjoy cruise, rather than a participatory one. That is the great thing about cruising, you can do as little or as much as you care to. If you want to keep busy there are all sorts of activities and events scheduled that you can watch or participate in. The choice is yours. And that I chose to do a lot of relaxing and socializing with our CruiseMates friends certainly made the cruise no less enjoyable for me.

There were some things I didn’t care for, or that I felt could be done better, they didn’t even come close to ruining our cruise.

While I’m not in love with the Grand Class ships, we did enjoy a wonderful cruise, and I have little doubt that if you’re booked on the Sapphire any time soon, you will as well.

She is due for a dry dock in 2012, but no worries, she is still presently in excellent shape.
 
 
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  #152 (permalink)  
Old March 13th, 2011, 01:55 PM
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Thank you for the reviews we enjoyed them very much and they were very helpful to us.I will be curious to read about your next cruise just to compare the two.I still think you have one of the coolest jobs around take care.
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  #153 (permalink)  
Old March 13th, 2011, 07:13 PM
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The duvet vs. top sheet is one of my tiny peeves about Princess. The duvet is just too warm for me! We have a small list for the Room Steward and asking for a top sheet is first :-), a couple of extra pillows is second on the list! (The other things are that we're relatively late risers, that we like lot's of ice, and we usually need more hangers.)
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  #154 (permalink)  
Old March 13th, 2011, 07:46 PM
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For a second I was wondering what an under sheet was. I reread it and said...oh, He means a top sheet Never heard that term before...when I was a kid we had fitted top sheets, which no one as anymore.,. I would need that top sheet too!
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Old March 13th, 2011, 08:52 PM
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Hi Kuki
I am glad to hear you had a great time on your Hawaii vacation on the Sapphire Princess. I am wanting to ask you a question. I know this is a crazy question but with all the talk of bedbugs in the news I need to ask. Did you hear of any one on that cruiseship having any problems with those nasty bugs. My family is going to on that cruise ship in April.
Brenda
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  #156 (permalink)  
Old March 13th, 2011, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Brenda Shuman View Post
Hi Kuki
I am glad to hear you had a great time on your Hawaii vacation on the Sapphire Princess. I am wanting to ask you a question. I know this is a crazy question but with all the talk of bedbugs in the news I need to ask. Did you hear of any one on that cruiseship having any problems with those nasty bugs. My family is going to on that cruise ship in April.
Brenda
No word of any budbugs onboard this ship at all.

I've heard of them showing up on a ship on occassion, but the cruise lines are very watchful with all the recent outbreaks on land.
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  #157 (permalink)  
Old March 13th, 2011, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
For a second I was wondering what an under sheet was. I reread it and said...oh, He means a top sheet Never heard that term before...when I was a kid we had fitted top sheets, which no one as anymore.,. I would need that top sheet too!
I don't know if it's called a top sheet or an under sheet. It's under the duvet, and over the sheet that covers the mattress

But, in good hotels, where they use duvets you will find them. I don't think it's only a comfort issue, but also more sanitary.
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Old March 13th, 2011, 10:40 PM
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I totally agree,and would expect it
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Old March 14th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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I totally agree,and would expect it
Enjoyed reliving this cruise with you. Did the exact same Hawaiian cruise in January on the sister ship Golden Princess out of San Pedro. This was my fifth Hawaiian cruise so far. We had the best of weather, food, entertainment and sightseeing. Had my fill of Papayas every day on the ship, did not run out of Papayas on this cruise. Had hot chocolate every morning in the Dinning Room, no extra cost. Saw more Whales this time then ever before...

Did the Metro Bus's from LAX to San Pedro in about an hour and a half each way, cost much less then a Taxi. This was a most enjoyable Hawaiian cruise!!!
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Old March 14th, 2011, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Did the Metro Bus's from LAX to San Pedro in about an hour and a half each way, cost much less then a Taxi. This was a most enjoyable Hawaiian cruise!!!
Hey - that is good to know, I had never heard that could be done so easily.
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  #161 (permalink)  
Old March 15th, 2011, 05:07 PM
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I enjoyed your review, Kuki!!! I agree about the toilet paper 'Heavenly Choice'...OMG...And, the pillows, HUMMMM....Our mattress felt like we were sleeping on a piece of plywood....

Anyway, it was so nice to meet you and Geela and play blackjack with you...Hope you came home with a lot of extra money...We didn't, but had a great time!!! Nice to meet all the other cruisemates, too!

Take care and hopefully we will be on another cruisemates group cruise soon!!!

Oh, and THANK YOU for the lanyards and the pens (I think from MikeM) and the backpack from Nancy!!! Very nice!!!
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  #162 (permalink)  
Old March 16th, 2011, 11:01 AM
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Susan.. it was GREAT fun playing blackjack with you two! Lots of laughs. Sounds like you got "MOed" too many times

We'll get em next time
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Old June 15th, 2011, 03:22 PM
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Kuki, I had a question for you and hope that unlike me, you don't suffer from
CRS disease. ( Can't remember S@#T). as it's been awhile since you were on your Hawaii trip.


Your last day on board was spent in Ensenada, Right? Dh and I will be there also courtsy of the Sapphire, at the end of Sept. Now, we haven't been in over 10 years and are a tad concerned about our visit there. :| I’ve booked the two of us on a wine excursion so evidently we are not TOO concerned. Did you and your wife get to tour the city or take any excursions? What did you think of it? Any comments from your fellow Cruisemates?

I've truly enjoyed your review and wish you were taking the West Coast trip with us.
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Old June 15th, 2011, 03:31 PM
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Hi Chris B.

We sailed on the sapphire in March on the 14 day to Hawaii and then mexico. Our shore excurison in Mexico was La Bufadora Adventure & City Drive. We really enjoyed it. Lot of open markets and the locals where great.

You will really enjoy the Sapphire, have fun and keep us posted.
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Old June 27th, 2011, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by MercedMike View Post
... DW and I have definitely expanded over the years too ... check out our pictures at Cruising with the Halls!!

We rarely bother with the shower in the cabin. We simply go up to the spa, which almost always has beautiful free showers in the changing rooms, equipped with large fluffy towels, and even a better selection of shampoos than the cabin!
Great Photos of all your cruises. I have now been on 5 cruises with the 6th planned in 2012 (3 of the 6 with my husband). We hope that we can continue to cruise year after year as you have!
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  #166 (permalink)  
Old September 23rd, 2011, 12:02 PM
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Default Sapphire to Hawaii in October

we are on the Sapphire to Hawaii in October. Hope we have a great vacation! Anyone else on our cruise?
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  #167 (permalink)  
Old September 25th, 2011, 02:26 PM
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My wife & I will be sailing the Sapphire on Dec, 17, to Hawaii this will be our second trip to the Islands we love then.
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  #168 (permalink)  
Old October 22nd, 2011, 02:55 PM
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I am looking for a similar cruise for March, I am A D+ with RCCL but this cruise does seem to meet what I want, thanks for the excellent review.
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