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Sail Date: November 2018
Choose this cruise to primarily see Singapore and the various ports of call. Overall, the ship is very confusing. Not enough signage at the elevators. Constantly found myself heading in the wrong direction. The food on this ship was ... Read More
Choose this cruise to primarily see Singapore and the various ports of call. Overall, the ship is very confusing. Not enough signage at the elevators. Constantly found myself heading in the wrong direction. The food on this ship was poor, at best. Steaks ordered medium and delivered well done. Shrimp cocktail was served luke warm instead of icy cold. And the buffet was not good at all. Bad layout, bad selection, dried out food. The entertainment was right out of the 80s.old and outdated. One of the make singers could not even sing and they gave him opera? The casino was so tight it wasn't even fun to play. On previous cruises from Holland America, the machines were loose and fun to play. The casino on the Holland ship was always packed. This one, empty most of the time. Living in Vegas, I know what tight machines are. These were much tighter. Overall, the cruise was relaxing once I accepted the shortcomings. Holland America will still be my first choice, at least thus far. Next month we try Norwegian. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
First the good: 1. Excellent staff across the board. Everyone we dealt with was cheery and accommodating and truly nice. 2. The destinations lecturer was terrific. She was informative and interesting and helpful. 3. The itinerary ... Read More
First the good: 1. Excellent staff across the board. Everyone we dealt with was cheery and accommodating and truly nice. 2. The destinations lecturer was terrific. She was informative and interesting and helpful. 3. The itinerary was well-paced. 4. The dining rooms were well managed and tranquil. There are four of them, three of which are for "anytime dining" and that works surprisingly well. 5. Our stateroom was comfortable (Caribe 747) and our steward (Savio) went above and beyond to keep it nice. 6. As it was a 28-day sailing the entire dining room staff took care to know us and our preferences. Our assigned waiters (Maitree and Anna) were as good as the ones we've had on Silver Seas and Seabourn and Royal Viking, and they were good. All the other waiters we encountered during open seating meals were also excellent. 7. The pizzeria was handy, and the room service menu (except for breakfast) was fine. 8., Embarking in Rome and disembarking in Singapore was easy, as were most of the port visit disembarkations. Now the not -so -good: 1. It had been years since we sailed on Princess, and they've really declined in so many ways. No more festive sailaways (remember on-deck bands and streamers and champagne?) or Captain's parties. No more nice toiletries. As "Elite" cruisers we expected the promised "upgraded toiletries". Turns out they don't exist. Instead of decent soap and shampoo we got a bag with a nail file and eye mask and lip balm. Nice touch, but it doesn't count when you're stuck with the junk that is in dispensers bolted to the wall in the shower. And speaking of the shower stall, it's so small and dingy and poorly lit like the rest of the bath and you keep banging yourself on those nasty soap dispensers that shouldn't even be there. And the shower curtain is too big and long and billowy for the space.... 2. The food is cheap. Bad cuts of meat, scarce vegetables and too much salt on everything. The salad ingredients are so thinly sliced it's amazing they can do it. One radish must be stretched to fill four salads it's so thin. We had a dish that was supposed to be served with asparagus. They actually sliced the asparagus spear lengthwise in half and served three of them cut side down so at first glance it looked like three spears (which is already insufficient) but in reality it was 1 1/2. That's really chintzy. The "coffee" served in the dining rooms and buffet is disgusting. It's some sort of Nestle syrup mixed with water. It doesn't smell or look or resemble coffee, so you are forced to buy a coffee card to get a decent cup. The juices are awful, and the menus aren't very creative. Chicken and leek pie kept reappearing it's unwanted presence way too often.... 3. The ship is a bit shabby in places, but to their credit when I made a negative comment about the bad condition of our balcony and its furniture a crew arrived and replaced the furniture, cleaned up the rusted metal fixtures as best they could, painted the stained walls and trims, replaced the rotten wood rails and washed the crud off the floor. It took them a while, but it made a huge difference. If the ship was properly maintained these things would have been done as routine and not as a special request. 4. There is no enforcement of dress code: "formal night" at the table next to ours showed a big slob in a t-shirt and sneakers seated next to a well-dressed couple. Later that night in the theatre we were next to people in shorts and sandals and some guy with a rag tied on his head. It must have been his "formal dress rag"....5. And speaking of theatre, the entertainment was all over the map: There were wonderful performances by a male vocal quartet and a violin/piano duo plus a cocktail pianist. The house orchestra was also wonderful. There was a totally disgusting "tribute" to Stevie Wonder in which a guy tried to win over the audience by pretending to be Stevie Wonder, right down to pretending to be blind. Since when has pretending to be blind been considered entertainment? It was shockingly distasteful. There was also some kid pandering to the mostly Australian audience with his Austalian-ess and a ditzy Chinese girl cheesily channeling Charo, playing an incredibly loud electric violin and mistating the name of the pieces she was playing. It was like a skit from Saturday Night Live, especially when she'd stick her leg out of her dress and act sexy/coy and say "I love you".... 6. The incessent nickel and diming is unbelievable. Overpriced drinks, souvenirs, shore excursions, internet, photos, etc. are insulting. When you order room service you have to sign a slip acknowledging delivery. Why? Because it's just another way to get you to add a gratuity -- but how do you tip on a non-existent bill? And why should you, when you're paying $13.50 daily? Cruise ships are not ferries, Princess -- we did pay a fare, so it's insipid to be told that if you want a decent steak you have to go to the "Steakhouse" and pay $29 for it. That's $29 on top of the fare already paid for that evening's dinner and you don't get value for it, especially when you see that the "Steakhouse " is just a sectioned-off part of the buffet area and has a stifling hot, stuffy atmosphere....Just make the steak in the dining room decent and all will be well. 7. Plastic plates and glasses in the buffet are gross, and the excuse that you can't have china doesn't work. Other ships have china plates. The buffet is very unappetizing, anyhow, and the drinking water is vile -- it tastes like it comes from the swimming pool. The buffet room itself is a nauseating -- bad traffic flow, people with plates piled high grabbing for tables, no ventilation, no table cloths, place mats, place settings, service. It's like eating in Bedlam. The only good thing about the buffet was watching the people enter into the space and stop at a trough and scrub their hands before proceeding into the room. 8. Beware "Movies Under the Stars" -- it's not just under the stars but it's always. Yup, 24/7, day and night, movies blasting away on the top deck. Is a loud movie track blasting through the air just what you want when sailing through the Suez Canal? If so, then book Princess. If you'd rather tranquility then run the other way. All in all, if Princess could just up their game to where they were twnety years ago it would be nice again.... Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary: from Europe and the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal and the Middle East and over to Southeast Asia. The entire process of embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and surprisingly ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary: from Europe and the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal and the Middle East and over to Southeast Asia. The entire process of embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and surprisingly glitch-free, it was a well-organized ship. Some pluses: Good quality and variety of food Safety drills/pirate drills were informative and reassuring Comfortable beds and hot showers. Indoor stateroom was plenty big for the two of us, and the live ship camera made it feel like we had a balcony view. Some really nice crew members, and a great captain Emphasis on hand washing Cleanliness throughout the ship The down sides: Boring/silly activities better suited to a nursing home. Library was nearly empty when we boarded in Rome. Bad idea when there are six days straight at sea. Sneaky charges (use of the term “complimentary” when things weren’t free) Bombarded with ads for jewelry, spa treatments, etc. It was overkill, and very annoying. Waste of so much paper – ads, daily schedules. Dubai excursion was awful (but guide was good) We had only 8 min to visit the spice souk, and Dubai Museum was lousy (dark, crowded, uninteresting) Recommendations: Have a check-out system for library books Paper recycling system Smarter, more engaging activities – teach about wildlife in the area, or the geography and history of places as we pass by them. Use stateroom TVs to post schedules unless paper is requested, stop with all the ads Bigger and better variety of music for longer cruises versus the same songs over and over for a month Keep sick people out of dining areas, off tour buses (require masks?) Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Overall a great cruise with nothing negative to comment on. Great itinerary, excellent ships staff, good food good entertainment, what more could one want. Sailing down the Solent in daylight was a great experience, a good selection of ... Read More
Overall a great cruise with nothing negative to comment on. Great itinerary, excellent ships staff, good food good entertainment, what more could one want. Sailing down the Solent in daylight was a great experience, a good selection of continental ports, the weather could have been better but did not impinge on our enjoyment.visiting the many classical sights through the Mediterranean including the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the monastery at Montserrat in Spain, the walking tour of Rouen, Marseille, the ultimate tour of Rome including the Vatican, Collisseum, the Sistine Chapel, the buried city of Pompeii, Valletta in Malta, the Parthenon in Athens, the acropolis of Linda’s in Rhodes, and transiting the Suez Canal. A bit of a disappointment at Aqaba where due to flash flooding Petra was closed but relief that we were not there the previous day and caught in the chaos. Dubai as usual was an eye opener including visiting the Q.E. 2. First visit to India, Sri Lanka and repeat visit to Kuala Lumpur with final and reluctant disembarkation at Singapore. No issues with the food or service, theatre entertainment dropped off after Dubai and the greatest disappointment of losing our electric jug on the last day.Just hope it returns for our cruises next year. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We had been looking at cruises online for a long time, and decided this was the one when we discovered I could be in Paris for my birthday ( October 22). It was beautiful in every way - from the movies under the stars, snuggling under a ... Read More
We had been looking at cruises online for a long time, and decided this was the one when we discovered I could be in Paris for my birthday ( October 22). It was beautiful in every way - from the movies under the stars, snuggling under a blanket while the crew delivered fresh popcorn, our comfortable stateroom with the most comfortable bed ever, the variety and quality of food, the excellence of the staff and 5 star accommodations, seeing European destinations we had only dreamed about - Lisbon, Gibraltar, Barcelona, two ports in France (Le Havre and Toulon), Livorno and Rome. We wondered if it would be frustrating having only a day in each port, but we loved being onboard the ship so much that we were happy to return after our adventures each day to the comfort of our stateroom and enjoy a glass of wine on our balcony to unwind. We are hooked on cruising and may have to come out of retirement to fund more trips! The Princess motto is “Come back new” and we feel like we did - refreshed and energized to learn more about the history and cultures of the beautiful places we visited. We can’t wait to go again! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I went on the London (Southampton) to Rome 10-day portion of this 35+ day cruise. The itinerary went on through Dubai, India, to Singapore. Most of the people I met were on for the full cruise. This was my 10th cruise, 9th with ... Read More
I went on the London (Southampton) to Rome 10-day portion of this 35+ day cruise. The itinerary went on through Dubai, India, to Singapore. Most of the people I met were on for the full cruise. This was my 10th cruise, 9th with Princess, but my first time seeing Europe by cruise. I am 60 years old, live in the Midwest US, and a solo traveler. The ports were the determining factor in choosing this sailing. Realizing that I could have a few days in London on the front end, and make stops at LeHavre (to see Mont St. Michel) and Gibraltar (to see the Barbary Apes) made it an easy decision. Then I also decided as long as I was doing this, I would stay in Rome two days as well at the end. Obviously I am a Princess fan or I would not be a repeat customer. I had a fabulous time on this trip. The ports were one thrill after another. Although I can be very anxious leading up to a vacation, once the vacation is underway, I like to relax and am not looking for things to pick apart or criticize. I made my air arrangements through Princess to fly non-stop to London Heathrow and also arranged a pre-cruise package at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel. The hotel stay was the only disappointing part of the trip. This is an expensive property and based on what I was paying, I expected superlative service, which I did not receive. My room also had several problems that were not remedied. I felt maybe it was because I was a female traveling alone, but it could also have been that I was there the same time as the NFL London football game. The Tennessee Titans staff and cheerleaders were staying there, and I simply wasn't important enough to receive any type of adequate service. I was out exploring London all day during my 3 days there, so I wasn't at the hotel during the times the Princess desk was open, to make a complaint. I did complain to the front desk and I also gave a negative review in the Marriott satisfaction survey. Both resulted in nothing but excuses, double-talk, and an acknowledgement that "my expectations hadn't been met", but not even so much as an apology for that. My flight to London was fine. I was very surprised at how long it took to clear immigration and passport control. Arriving on a Thursday morning, in the latter part of October, I didn't expect it to be so crowded. I had tried to research online what an expected wait time would be and it seemed to be 20-30 minutes, but I was in line for well over an hour. I did note that about one-third of the available desks for the immigration/passport control workers did not have anyone working at them. I'm sure it would be much worse if arriving on a weekend day or during the summer tourist season, so keep that in mind if you're flying in same day for a cruise out of London. The cruise line can't do anything to help you expedite getting through that line. Having Global Entry status would be the way to speed it up. Princess sent a driver with a Mercedes sedan to pick me up, which was a very nice touch. Other than the problematic hotel room and the inhospitable attitude of the JW Marriott employees, my 3 days in London were great. On the 4th day, we left on a coach for the approximate 2 hour drive to Southampton around 10:00 or 10:30. As a result, we were in Southampton, I think around 12:15 and was on the ship very quickly. The line to check in was very short, but there were a lot of people that had already been through check-in and not yet allowed on the ship. I was able to board immediately, I guess as a perk of being a platinum Princess member. The safety briefing was fine. We were not required to bring life jacket to the briefing, which was nice. They had reworked the old "Love Boat" theme song to lyrics, which was goofy. I had a mini suite on Deck 9. It was a nice cabin on the port side, with nice balcony. The new Princess bed is marvelous. Cabin attendant was fine, he was personable and did a good job. It seemed like he was always in the hall somewhere and he would inquire as to where I was going- I think so as to have an idea of approximately how long I would be out of the cabin. The cabin was always tidied up when I returned. I have seen other comments about how Sapphire does not seem crowded and I agree with that. Other than the shows and the daily trivia sessions in Explorer Lounge, it always felt spacious, easy to find a table or a seat, even in the Piazza. I love walking around the Promenade Deck for several miles. There were never many people doing that. I also make it a habit to use the stairs instead of elevators during a cruise and the stairs were not crowded either. The International Café and the Horizon Court buffet were never as crowded as I have experienced on other Princess cruises. I thought the ship was in very good condition after its dry dock earlier this year. Then again, I am not going to walk around the ship with a magnifying glass searching for peeling paint or rust spots. I did not participate in a lot of ship activities. This was a port-intensive cruise and after being out most of the day, I was happy to do my walk, get something to eat, or sit on deck or in a lounge and read. I did enjoy Movies under the Stars and liked the selection of movies. I wasn't interested in the production shows; I would have liked to see the comedian, but I arrived too late and it was standing room only. I did not eat any meals in the dining room. I tried the Crab Shack, and otherwise ate at the buffet, the pizzeria, International Café or the burger stand. I also had room service continental breakfast on a couple of mornings when I had early tours. I did 3 Princess shore excursions, 1 independent excursion, (arranged through Cruise Critic Roll Call), skipped going ashore in one port, and walked around on my own in one port. The first stop was LeHavre, and I did Princess excursion to Mont St Michel, which is a monastery and walled town dating back to 900's. I have wanted to see it for a long time, but the last time I was in France, I ran out of time. It's a long way from the port to Mont St. Michel - about 3 hours each way, but it was worth it to me. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour. The guide spoke very good English and was very informative. Almost every tour I did on this trip uses earphones with a small radio type device that you can hang around your neck. This was very helpful as you did not need to stay right next to the guide to hear what was being said. Outside the monastery, the walled city is mostly restaurants and souvenir shops. There was time to walk about, do a bit of shopping and have lunch. In Lisbon, I did an excursion arranged on the Cruise Critic roll call with Spain Day Tours. I didn't know much about Lisbon and was feeling kind of "meh" about the excursion. Well, I was wrong. The guide was my favorite of the cruise and the trip was fabulous. we went to the villages of Cascais and Sintra. Sintra has the Pena Palace which was formerly the summer residence of the Portuguese royal family. It was spectacular and very interesting- again, thanks to the very well educated and informative guide. Back in Lisbon, we also stopped at the beautiful Jeronimos Cathedral - very worth a visit and the Monument to the Discoverers. A great great day out and she made sure we were back to the ship in plenty of time (there were multiple people on the tour afraid we would miss sailing) In Gibraltar, I did not do a tour. I knew what I wanted to do - ride the cable car to the top of the rock and see the Barbary Apes. Hint: if you want to do this, buy your cable car ticket in advance online. Gibraltar has a website with a lot of information about what you can see there and you can buy the cable car ticket. I decided to walk to the cable car as it was about 1.5 miles from the port, but I got hopelessly lost - after 45 minutes I wound up back near the ship and had to start over. Didn't see any cabs. Finally found it and then I was so very happy to have booked in advance. The line to buy tickets was immense. Probably 3 blocks long easily. Even with the advance ticket, it still took 60-90 minutes to work through the line to where you were actually on the cable car. It's a 6 minute ride to the top of the rock. The Barbary Apes are the only wild monkeys living in Europe and legend has it that if they ever leave, then Gibraltar will no longer be a part of the United Kingdom. The government cares for them and feeds them. They are extremely habituated to tourists and will try to snatch plastic bags from you in the hopes of getting a snack. One did make an unsuccessful grab for my bag. They are too cute for words. There is a snack bar/gift shop up at the top and the monkeys are forever trying to get in. I sat there for about 30 minutes having a soda and a monkey got in 3 or 4 times, once successfully, as he leapt on a table , grabbed someone's sandwich, knocked over their drinks before being chased out. Barcelona was rainy and chilly. I had a Princess tour to Montserrat, which is a monastic retreat and home of the Black Madonna. Montserrat is in the mountains and the temperature was in the upper 30's - not what I expected on a Mediterranean cruise. It was a half day tour and we did not have a lot of time at Montserrat, even though the guide gave us 30 additional minutes. The line for the Black Madonna was so long that I didn't think I could see it and anything else, so chose to skip that and explore the rest. On this tour, the coach was full of sick people. The coughing and sneezing was intense. I know there is not much a cruise line can do about this, but it was very annoying. Because I was in an enclosed space with so many people that were sick, I wound up getting sick. The next stop was Toulon. I had originally booked an all-day excursion, but it was raining again, and I was already starting to feel a cold coming on, so I cancelled it and stayed on the ship for a day. The next stop was Livorno for Florence and Pisa. My Florence tour had been changed to where we were not going to be able to see the David statue, so I changed to a half day tour of Pisa instead. It was a very enjoyable tour, another really good guide. The leaning tower is so iconic, it is a jaw dropping moment to walk around a corner into the Square of Miracles and see it there. I kind of wished I had booked the tour to climb the tower. Maybe next time. It was amusing to see so many people trying to pose so that their pictures look like they are leaning against or propping up the tower. It was also a very nice sunny day. We docked in Rome on Halloween. I had booked the Rome Airport Hilton as I had a 6:00 am flight two days later. It was a very nice hotel with very courteous and helpful staff. I did a walking tour of the Vatican (breathtaking and overwhelming) and a walking tour of the Capuchin bone chapel and the Priscilla catacombs. The next day I went to the Colosseum and walked around in rain all day. I flew home via Amsterdam. Here's another hint - if you are connecting through Amsterdam, make sure you have a couple of hours between flights. Fortunately I did. I had no idea that even while just changing flights in Amsterdam, you need to go through a long passport control line. All in all, it was an amazing trip. I think the biggest surprise was how very crowded everything (off the ship) was. London, Rome, and every port - very very crowded. Buses and subways in London and Rome jammed. Every museum, or church, or monument - jammed, with the Vatican being the most crowded of all. I did not expect this in late October and would never go to Europe in the summer high season! But Princess did their usual fabulous job and this itinerary was excellent. I highly enjoyed it and am looking forward now to a Scandinavian itinerary in a couple of years. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
The ports and length of cruise was why we decieded on this cruise. Wanted to see each one of the ports. Some excursions booked with the Princess and some through other companys. Lo ved our large balcony. Lots of storage space. All our ... Read More
The ports and length of cruise was why we decieded on this cruise. Wanted to see each one of the ports. Some excursions booked with the Princess and some through other companys. Lo ved our large balcony. Lots of storage space. All our bags fit under our beds. Magnets hooks were a great idea for our walls to hold our laynards. Plenty of hangers for two women. food was good, but expected a little better. Specalty Italian Resturant was nothing special. Entertainment was good. Easy on and off ship.We felt the drink package was worth the money, due to all the water, pop, coffee, and alcoholic drinks. Felt wine was better then mixed drinks. Staff was friendly, especially in the wine bar. Beds very comfortable! Was slightly disapointed we never received a towel animal. Hot tub at the back of the ship, was a great find, No one else there! loved our first cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Entertainment quality exceeded our expectations, especially magnificent dancers, lighting & sound effects and superb backing orchestra. Excellent food and service in restaurants at night. Food in Horizon not quite so good, ... Read More
Entertainment quality exceeded our expectations, especially magnificent dancers, lighting & sound effects and superb backing orchestra. Excellent food and service in restaurants at night. Food in Horizon not quite so good, particularly no variety at breakfasts. Service overall excellent with cabin steward and restaurant staff always cheerful and helpful. Far too much emphasis on sales promotions with constant bombardment of literature about EFFY, spa, photos and casino, none of which remotely interested us. Very disappointed with company policy of not refunding missed shore excursion fees due to illness, unless doctor visited ( i have sent separate email re this). All shore excursions except Cochin and to a lesser extent Colombo were excellent & guides very knowledgeable. We (and many others we met) were aghast at the behaviour of some guests sneezing and coughing over us at meal times and especially in excursion buses when they should have stayed in staterooms. Small items that were free on other cruises were additional charges e.g. Bottled water in stateroom, non-alcoholic drinks after breakfast etc. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
I wanted to cruise the Mediterranean thru the Gibralter strait. Sapphire Princess is a wonderful ship, one of the Grand class- which we have liked the most of the many ships we have been on. this class is set up with most of the ... Read More
I wanted to cruise the Mediterranean thru the Gibralter strait. Sapphire Princess is a wonderful ship, one of the Grand class- which we have liked the most of the many ships we have been on. this class is set up with most of the entertainmenton deck seven. On Sapphire and Ruby -three beautiful well maintained dance floors. Kudos for bringing us singer Peter Howarth and the band "Atomic" both were awesome. Atomic is the best lounge band ever on a cruise ship. The stage band was excellent too. We did not enjoy the other stage shows - we have seen beatles tribute bands many times before, and unfortunately the ships stage performers were well below par. We are dancers and really appreciate the recorded ballroom music offered. The buffet was good for breakfast, dining room,not. the dining room was good for dinner, the buffet, not Most of the staff were very helpful and pleasant. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
This is the best Princess Cruise ship I have been on. The staff were kind, gracious and efficent, the ship was in very good condition and a pleasure to sail on. The ports of call were interesting and the shore excursions were very good. ... Read More
This is the best Princess Cruise ship I have been on. The staff were kind, gracious and efficent, the ship was in very good condition and a pleasure to sail on. The ports of call were interesting and the shore excursions were very good. The disembarkation at each port was efficiently handled and with very little stress on our part (the passengers). The staff were efficient and courteous at all times even in the face of some passengers “behaving badly”. I would like to see less marketing from the Art Auction, Efffy and the like onboard but this seems to be the norm and for some strange reason we cannot get rid of them. If we must have them I would like to see them “less in your face” but that is my only peeve in relation to this cruise. The entertainment was a bit ordinary and the further from England you got the worse the entertainment became but this was of the least importance and as I did enjoy it I did not bother to go. Would I travel on another Princess Cruise definately YES. Read Less
Sapphire Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 4.0
Family 5.0 4.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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