Built in 2004 and renovated in 2012, 2,678-passenger Sapphire Princess has masculine, clubby décor with lots of leather and polished wood. Despite its size, the ship never feels overcrowded, and it offers a good assortment of evening entertainment, from jazz in the Wheelhouse Bar to dancing at Skywalkers Nightclub.
What We Love
The Piazza Atrium: Added in 2012, this airy, open space has become the heart of the ship. It's home to Alfredo’s Pizzeria, where delicious (complimentary) wood-fired pizzas are made to order. You'll also find Vines wine bar, light snacks at International Café, and a performance space.
Multiple Pools: There are plenty of pools for everyone on this ship. Choose from the lively Neptune's pool, the indoor Calypso pool, or the quiet Terrace pool. The Sanctuary, an adults-only pool area, and the Lotus Spa lap pool are also accessible for a fee, while Oasis on Deck 16 aft has two hot tubs and a bar.
Best Known For
Mini-Suites: These are a great deal. There are 186 — each 354 square feet with a full-size bathtub/shower combo — and they're often priced as low as $200 over the cost of a balcony stateroom.
Themed Dining Rooms: In addition to its traditional International Dining Room, Sapphire Princess has four complimentary Anytime Dining venues, each with a unique ambiance: Santa Fe (Tex-Mex), Pacific Moon (Asian), Vivaldi (Italian), and Savoy (steakhouse). Although the menus are the same, a nightly entree special fits the theme of each. This almost compensates for the mere two specialty restaurants: Sabatini’s and Sterling Steakhouse.
Movies Under the Stars: Movies are shown on a giant screen above Neptune's pool, and guests can settle in on loungers (under cozy blankets if there’s a chill) to watch — with free popcorn.
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Who It's Best For
Couples Who Enjoy Traditional Cruising: From its dark décor to its lack of specialty dining venues, Sapphire Princess delivers a comfortable but somewhat staid cruise experience.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Staterooms Aren’t Chic: This decade-old ship’s cabins do look a bit dated.
You'll Have to Go to Asia: Currently, this vessel sails out of Singapore to Southeast Asia, Korea, and China.
Donna Heiderstadt is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Coastal Living and Islands.
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Sapphire Princess at a Glance
- Line: Princess Cruises
- Class: Grand
- Number of Passengers: 2678
- Ship Size: Large
- Launch Date: 2004
- Refurbish Date: 2012
- Baltic Sea
- Chobe River
- East Asia
- Middle East
- New England and Canada
- Repositioning Cruises
- Southeast Asia
- The British Isles
- The Canary Islands & Azores Islands