We took a 16 night Asian cruise in Nov/Dec, 2006 on the Sapphire Princess, sailing out of Xingang. We were not completely happy with a prior Princess cruise and so had concerns.
Embarkation: Lines were fairly short and moved swiftly at check in. However, lines were incredibly slow through customs.
Cabin: We had booked a guaranteed inside cabin. Our cabin was very nice, larger than anticipated, as was the bath/shower. It was fairly clean at check in but there were things in drawers that the steward had to remove. Our steward did an ok job but seemed really tired the entire cruise.
Dining: We were assigned 'open seating', fine with us as we were alone. Had we cruised with a group of friends, we would prefer assigned dining. The food, presentation and service in the main dining rooms was always very good to excellent. The Espresso (not free) was fair to terrible. The buffet style food on the Lido deck seemed good at first but soon got most tiring, same dishes repeated day after day. A few days into the cruise people started getting sick with the virus and it only got worse before better. Neither of us did get sick but there was quite an outbreak.
Entertainment: Most of the evening shows were very good but there seemed very little quality daytime entertainment.
Spa/Gym: The gym was nice, fairly good sized. We used the steam and sauna rooms and both enjoyed them but the women's shower/dressing room was really dirty.
Ports: Please see our sections on China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.
While we loved the itinerary of this cruise and it was the primary factor in our choice, we were most disappointed in Princess's indifferent attitude on several occassions. Service seemed sloppy at times to the point of "I just can't be bothered with you" attitude. we noticed that uniforms worn by the majority of the service people were not only shabby but dirty. We would only choose another Princess cruise if the itinerary was something not offered by other lines, as was the case on this cruise.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Historical Travel