Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Sapphire Princess
Sailing Date: September 11th, 2005
After reading the only review posted for the September 11, 2005 Alaskan cruise on the Sapphire Princess I was compelled to write a brief summary of my own.
My wife Maureen, our friends Don and Nancy, and myself all agreed the trip was nothing short of spectacular from start to finish. Yes, the embarkation process is a bit slow. That seems perfectly normal for any endeavor involving two thousand five hundred passengers and their luggage. We arrived prepared for this and considered it a small inconvenience. Everyone we encountered during the embarkation was polite and helpful. Our luggage was at our room within forty five minutes of our coming aboard. The anticipation of the experience ahead far outweighed any anxieties. Get to Seattle a day early, enjoy the sights, have a leisurely dinner and make your way to the dock the next morning. It will further reduce any stress you may be feeling and help to get your trip started on the right foot.
Once aboard we were mesmerized by the beauty of the ship and its absolutely pristine condition. The ship simply sparkles and was kept immaculate throughout the journey. Our room was wonderful. Neat, clean, well appointed with sliding glass doors opening to a small balcony. The bathrooms are small but perfectly adequate. There is plenty of closet space and the bed, which was very comfortable, was raised high enough off the floor to allow for luggage storage beneath.
The ship's pools and hot tubs were always clean and well tended. We made great use of the hot tubs on the fantail deck and thoroughly enjoyed the views as we cruised in luxurious style. I'm not certain how this could be but the previous review makes mention of rough seas and seasickness. The seas were incredibly smooth throughout, never even approaching two feet. We never encountered anyone onboard who felt seasick or was experiencing any difficulty in that regard.
The activities onboard were great fun. There were dance lessons, the internet cafe,a wonderful library, a beautiful spa, a walking track, a fully equipped gym and many, many places where one could steal away for peace and quiet. Be sure to check out the Princess Idol contest every evening as it was very entertaining. There were some very talented passengers aboard and some not so talented but more than willing participants that added to the show.
Our dining experience was excellent at most turns and never less than very good. We opted for "personal choice" dining and found availability of seating to be no problem and the service was always friendly and attentive. The presentations were always commendable and quantity was never a problem as you can ask for and receive as much of any dish you like. The buffet was very good but we would recommend the dining rooms whenever possible. The pizza by the pool was outstanding and the burgers in the same area were terrrific as well. I think Princess should consider adding the ice cream to their inclusive package as that complaint seems to arise here quite often. Purchase a "soda" sticker at the outset if you are a soda drinker. It seemed a very good deal. Drink servers were always at the ready and we never had a problem being served promptly. And be sure to attend the afternoon tea. It is a delight and not to be overlooked.
The theater and the shows there were outstanding. You can easily imagine you are sitting in a small Broadway theater as the seating is wonderfully comfortable and the quality of the entertainment was well worth checking out. There was almost always music in the magnificent atrium and there are several different lounge acts playing at various venues all evening long. We found every public area to be sparkling clean, well organized and very comfortable.
Our stops along the way were interesting. We took advantage of only one excursion - the White Pass Railway out of Skagway. We highly recommend this three hour train ride as it provided magnificent views in a very relaxing setting. Bring your camera!
I could likely go on for several more paragraphs about our wonderful experience. The crew was polite, respectful and truly dedicated to providing great service. The Sapphire Princess is indeed a jewel and we were thoroughly won over by all it offered. We can only recommend you take this journey and enjoy every moment.