Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Sapphire Princess
Sailing Date: August 22nd, 2004
Itinerary: Inside Passage Alaska
NON SMOKERS BEWARE!! I booked this cruise for my husband's 40th birthday and we knew we would only do an Alaskan Cruise once so we wanted it to be special. We booked on the new Sapphire Princess and went the extra expense for a balcony because it was going to be a scenic trip. Well we were very disappointed to find out that the there was no division between the smokers and non smokers cabins so of course anytime we went on our balcony to enjoy the scenes so did our smoking neighbors. We got no use of our cabin balcony due to the lax regulations on smoking. Granted all passengers should be comfortable and I believe the smoking and non smoking passengers would be more comfortable if Princess booked their smokers port side and non smokers on the starboard side. This way there is no chance of downdraft as the ship is cruising. We also found that there is no comfortable night life for non-smokers as well. Sure the Theatre is non smoking but not 1 lounge or bar on the ship was non-smoking. Sure it was 1/2 and 1/2 but in a bar room lets face it there is no difference regardless of the ventilation system. We would have spent many of the nights dancing and partying away but we found ourselves with no choice to go back to our room because every entertainment venue you could smoke in. The ship has an ample number of lounges to make at least 1 or 2 totally non smoking but they do not. The casino is completely smoking so a relaxing night gambling was out of the question. I wrote a letter to Princess stating my concerns and requested reimbursement for the difference in the cost for the unused balcony but they failed to satisfactory address my letter. I wanted to share this experience so I may hopefully save others the stress we went through with this issue.
On a positive note the Ship is beautiful and the Spa a delight. Be careful with the Spa though. The Cruise books state that the tip is at your discretion but they did add it to the bill. My husband did not realize this and they got double tipped.
We did find that the Special Italian restaurant we paid an additional cover to go to really was not worth the extra money. We preferred the food in the main dining rooms. Especially the Pacific Moon. The servers were professional and very cheery.
Regarding my husbands birthday celebration, the travel agent and online cruise profile asked if you are to celebrate a special occasion. I told them about his birthday and the only thing they did to make this a special occasion was put balloons on our door. No special dinner song or anything. Big Deal. Other Cruises I have been on invited you to a special Captains cocktail party or dinner. This was a let down.
My family asked me to refer a cruise line for there trip and as long as the smoking situation stays the same I can not recommend Princess!!