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Sapphire Princess, sailing since 2004, has established itself as a prime choice for family cruising. It provides a long list of amenities, from the magnificent pools, such as The Sanctuary dedicated as an adults-only relaxation space and one with enormous poolside movie screen, to the Grand Casino, which is one of the largest at sea with more than 260 slot machines. A high-tech hospital, affiliated with the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center of Los Angeles, is even on board with specialists always ready to serve. Despite the ship’s size, Sapphire Princess has a dedicated and well-planned passenger flow. The ship’s mood is generally formal to smart casual, taken by many as jeans and trainers allowing you to escape the constrictions of strict cruise traditions.

Accommodation

Sapphire Princess’s 1,337-cabins are mostly outside cabins, many with private verandahs. All cabins are outfitted with a flat-screen television, hair dryer, spacious closets and shelving, and bathrooms ready with your necessities of shampoos, creams, and soaps. The suite class cabins have further provisions ranging from additional furnishings, additional bathroom functions, and wet bars. A 24-hour service is also available for all, along with fresh bathrobes on request and nightly chocolates on pillows. There are self-service launderettes on each passenger deck.

Food

Food is conveniently organised on two decks along the midsection of the ship. Traditional dining is offered at the International Hall serving at 6pm and 8.15pm, while flexible time dining is offered at four other halls with devoted cuisine, Vivaldi for Italian, Pacific Moon for Asian, the steakhouse-style of Savoy, and Santa Fe’s Southern Tex-Mex fusion. Each offer a similar menu with their special food choices as stated. Dinners are served at these four halls from 5.30pm to 10pm. Breakfast is served from 6.30am to 9am (port days) and 7-9.30am (sea days). Lunch is from noon to 1.30pm. The Horizon Court serves a casual and simple buffet if the dining halls dazzle you. There are also cafes at the Piazza, Alfredo’s Pizzeria, Vines (a wine and tapas bar), Sabatini’s Trattoria, the Sterling Steakhouse, and many other gems and corners for food takes. Room service is free of charge, and special dinners can be served on your own balcony complete with the full-course meal, sparkling wine, dinner cocktail, and a photo portrait at an affordable fee – you can even opt for a waiter.

Activities

Sapphire Princess has specialised a number of pools, such as an adult-only fitness pools and a kids-only wading pool. Other pools have magnificent and scenic atmospheres, such as the Calypso Reef and Pool’s retractable crystal magradome, artistically set tanning spaces of the Neptune Reef and Pool, and the peace and quiet of Terrace Pool on the Aloha Deck below. The Neptune pool is also popular for its all day screening in Movies Under the Stars, with complimentary popcorn as evening comes. To boot, all of the pools have kiosks and bars for drinks and snacks. The Lotus Spa eases your stresses with an Asian touch courtesy of the Okura group, the Japanese core group responsible for the delicate and brilliant interior of Sapphire Princess. The fitness centre has been upgraded with high-tech implements, including 35 stations for cardiovascular training, 17 for weight training and 12 spinning cycles. There are also table tennis rooms, tennis and basketball courts, a putting course, shuffle board areas, and the classic jogging track around the deck.

Families

Kids love the educational and entertaining programs on board, primarily from the Schol[email protected] program which includes games, movies and crafts. Deck 6 houses a video arcade near the casino and the Princess Theatre. Club Fusion hosts a Wizard of Oz interactive event. On top of a two-deck-high playroom, the ship also has dedicated teen pools and even wading pools for the kids and toddlers, plus customised hot tubs and a devoted children’s open deck area at the stern.

Verdict

With kids’ clubs, plenty to keep everyone busy on sea days, and lots of included dining choices, Sapphire Princess offers good-value cruising for families.

– Cruise Passenger 

“Sapphire Princess represents the line’s commitment to onboard uniformity across its fleet.”

– Cruise Critic 

“A good multi-choice large ship for informal family cruising.”

– Berlitz

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