Regard ourselves as seasoned cruisers, now well into pension age. This review is from a British angle bearing in mind that Sapphire Princess is now registered in London and sailing from Southampton. Successful cruise with good weather, stunning scenery and calm seas. However with each cruise we seem to have more niggles with Princess.
We were on Anytime Dining and had no problem getting a table. The menu selection seems to have been gradually reduced over the years. As always, very few vegetables served and the kitchen still unable to produce Roast Potatoes for us Brits (Although menu says that’s what we would be getting). So frequently visited Horizon Court where we could find an extensive selection. On formal evenings guests were being allowed into restaurant dressed casually. OK – can dress as they wish but surely should have been directed to other locations. Princess is one of the few lines left where we can dress up for the special occasion.
Their prices have now got stupid, resulting in our drinking very little. There was even a bottle of vintage Bordeaux at $5288!! The wine waiters seemed rather frustrated going round tables to find few were ordering wine but opting for ‘tap’ water. Surely Princess should consider reducing the range of wine carried by 50%, then cut prices by a half which, hopefully, will result in greater sales. Same applies to other drinks.
Were concerned to learn that Princess had recently increased the amount, despite sister company P&O having done away with gratuities.
The resident company put on a new production musical show which, unfortunately, turned out very loud making the words indistinguishable. Our feeling was that it was aimed at 20-30 year olds who would take up audience participation, whereas the performers were faced with blank looking pensioners. It might have been music of their era, but not as they remembered it! Princess – know your audience.
We called at Gravdal in the Lofoten Islands and still trying to work out why. Landed at a small dock with hardly anything there. Excursion buses laid on, but for other passengers little point in staying the eight hours we were there. Conversely, at Bergen – where there was plenty to see – we had to return by 1.30. Shuttle bus laid on by Port Authority but only took us to dock entrance – about 150m away. Like us, many passengers stayed on expecting to be taken to the town centre, as had been the case in past years. Surely Princess could have arranged for the buses to travel the short extra distance? Princess had their own buses at two other locations, where the fare had doubled from two years ago.
Having said all this we will sail with Princess again and trust intending travellers will do so as well.