CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Princess Cruises Sapphire Princess New Zealand January 6, 2005

We have arrived home from our wonderful cruise. Yes. the Sapphire Princess cruise ship is a magnificent venue for the holiday or a lifetime.

First of all price.We paid for an inside cabin. When we got on board we found out we had been upgraded to a window cabin..can you imagine how delighted we were! After checking our prices against the Princess smaller ship in the Pacific.our cruise was the "special" of all specials.

Embarkation: I don't want to remember this as it was not what I expected..long lines of people standing in the rain .just waiting for some movement. No cover! Auckland Port is not geared for a large ship like Sapphire. However.I think by the time the Sapphire has to do this again, things will have improved because of all the complaints that would have been received.

The Princess Sapphire: A beautiful and wonderful staffed cruise ship. Cleaning goes on around the clock so everything is spotless and polished.

Our Cabin: We paid for an inside cabin and enjoyed a window cabin. We didn't know about the upgrade until we went looking for our cabin. Wow!.I felt like a Queen. Our cabin steward Victor was great. We tipped him $20.00 as soon as we meet him and during the cruise. My hubby and I were amused as to how he arranged my "nighty" each night. It was so pretty I didn't want to spoil his artistic efforts. As the weather wasn't the best in New Zealand a cabin with a balcony wasn't necessary. The chocolates on the pillow at night were appreciated.

Dining: We choose early sitting in the Traditional Dining Room. We had a table of eight fun loving cruisers. Our waiter Alex and assistant waiter Ceceileo were the best. They joined in the fun and were always eager to please. Our table did get a name for having the most fun. We ate our breakfast and lunch in the Santa Fee, Pacific Moon or Horizon's Buffet. All the food was excellent. The steaks were the best I have ever eaten. Don't forget to go to the Horizon's Buffet between 3.30pm and 4.30pm for free ice cream. This is not advertised and a lot of people only find out about this when it is too late. Early dinner sitting fitted in with our early show times. Everything was timed to perfection.

Entertainment: This is as good on the Sapphire as what you can find anywhere in the world. The four dance productions were amazing. My grand-daughter just finished a university course in dance so I have viewed some of the best along the way. The magicians and comedy entertainers were outstanding. One comedian DON WARE was the writer for the Cosby Show. Music by Julie Wallace in the Crooners Lounge was delightful.. Alastair Greener was our fabulous cruise director with Frankie his very funny fall guy. I could go on and on...

Ports of Call:

Wellington: I could recommend Rover Tours $35.00 for two hours or all day (Hop on hop off) Get shuttle to town ...then walk to Information Centre. We got the cable car back to the city. Shuttle to ship.

Christchurch: The Antarctic Centre is a must. I pre-booked the snow-mobile ride (has another name) You must go into the Snow Storm Room This is for real. Get the shuttle to town. then a local bus to the Antarctic Centre.

Dunedin: The Cadbury Chocolate Factory is in the town centre. You must have a booking if you want to do a tour. I did this by email.

Fiordland National Park: Up until now the weather hadn't been very nice....then we cruised into Fiordlands. A perfect day greeted us as we entered the Park. The cameras were clicking away and some beautiful scenery was captured in the many photographs taken. One could see a little snow still on the mountain tops.

Hobart: We walked to the city centre. A local bus will take you around the area for a small cost.

Melbourne: We had family pick us up and take us to Geelong for the day. There is a free tram for the city tour.

Disembarkation: Sydney Port was well organized. We waited in the lounge until our colour was called and then walked straight off the ship. Collecting luggage was a is lined up in colour code and a Porter is there to help put it onto a trolley. Taxi service is arranged if needed. Our trip to the domestic airport cost $30.00 for the two of us.

Anyone going on this cruise ship is assured of a wonderful time. Things like seasickness .. I had this for one night when the sea was very rough.. can be fixed by going to the desk and buying some Dramamine. I felt better in two hours.

There is much to do onboard...the swimming pools and hot tubs were popular.

There were so many people onboard and yet it never did seem crowded.

I just viewed the video of our cruise we purchased onboard. It cost about $30.00. You must purchase this! It runs for about an hour and shows all areas of the ship, the entertainment and ports of call. We are having the family over this afternoon to tell them about our cruise. This will be perfect to show them.

In Finishing: We must thank all the staff onboard the Sapphire Princess for making this cruise a wonderful never-to-be-forgotten time for us. CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!

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