Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Sapphire Princess
Sailing Date: May 29th, 2005
I Loved this cruise! The Sapphire was Big and beautiful. She and her sister ship the Diamond are the second largest ships in the Princess Line. The only bummer was embarking and disembarking and I figure that there's going to be one heck of a line trying to get 2,600 passengers on board in four hours would lead to a long line.
On board the ship is beautiful very well maintained. The staff was ALWAYS very nice and professional almost to the point of the Stepford Wives. Out room was on the Aloha deck with a covered balcony. It measured 276 square feet including the balcony. There was ample closet space, but there were not any doors on the closet. There was shelf space behind a full length mirror. The Bath room is very small but very well organized with room to move around.
As for food, we had any time seating that allowed us to eat anywhere on board ship except the international dining room. Each dining room had its own set menu for the entire voyage. If you eat on the Lido deck, aka the Horizon court, you get to try foods from all the resturants. Speaking of food, while I found the food just fine, my husband who doesn't care much for seafood and chicken had a hard time finding food to eat. they had plenty of steak, but there's only so much steak a person can eat. Once we discovered the buffet, he was happy, because they had roast beef, pork dishes, and even lamb. Sabatini's is a special dining room and charges 20.00 a person on top of what you've already paid for the cruise so we didn't eat there. Sundae's is an ice cream bar with REALLY good sundaes but they charge for each item. Prego is a pizza stand that actually has pretty good pizza. The problem is is that it's free no extra charge and it's on the Lido deck right next to the pool so it's iffy whether or not you can actually get a slice, young guys will go up and take 8 pieces of pizza at a time. Now about the charges. There is no cash used at any time on board ship. This includes the ship boutiques.
Everything is done with your princess card. For heaven's sake DON'T LOSE it! The princess card is tied to your credit card and has your picture on it. It also acts as your room key and is the only thing that will get you back on board ship. They have security stations set up and you have to slide your card to log you on and off the ship. This way they can keep track of all passengers and won't sail away without you. Every time you go back on board you have to go through security just like an airport. They scan your bags and make you go through a metal detector.
We booked our excursions directly through princess and had an awesome time. They provided transportation two and from your excursion and it was always on time.
If you're heading to Ketchikan, I highly recommend eating lunch at Steamer's it was wonderful and the menu is varied and the food marvelous.
What I don't recommend is using the ships recommended shopping guide. They recommended Diamond's international for every port. I went there in Juneau, and in Skagway and both times they staff was very rude and the prices were astronomical. I personally recommend Sock Eye Sam's in Ketchikan. I saved closed to 30% over the recommended stores. The jewelry there is incredible and the prices fantastic.
One last tip, Formal night is optional you don't have to dress up if you don't want to. So you could save space in your suitcase for other stuff.
Also don't forget you hairbrush because they don't sell them on board ship. I had to wait until we berthed in Ketchikan before I could get one and I have waist length hair. I had to use my husband's comb for three days.