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  #1 (permalink)  
Old June 21st, 2004, 06:11 PM
DICK STEIN
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Default Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

I posted a review of this cruise which may be posted by the weekend. Even with my Platinum status the internet was not fee, but was 35 cents a minute and very slow. They had key board only and could not use disk I brought. There were first cruise problems with tendering, shore excursions and don't eat in the Lido if you can escape. Do chose traditional dining, personal choice is rushed and you will have trouble dining at the time you want. Ask questions and I will answer.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old June 21st, 2004, 06:18 PM
Jane Marlow
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

How so?
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Old June 21st, 2004, 06:25 PM
franie
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

We are going on Sapphire 7/4 - my son, husband and self. We have a minisuite booked (AD 724) Emerald Deck. Do you have anything in particular we should be alert to? Any recommendations? We do have Personal Choice dining but I think it is too late to change it.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old June 21st, 2004, 07:10 PM
Heather Baer
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

I take it there is no way to hook up your own laptop for internet access???
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Old June 21st, 2004, 07:16 PM
3 things
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

Also headed on the Sapphire (July 25)... When you say Lido - do you mean the Horizon buffet on Lido deck? (Is it worse than other ships buffets - which I generally find unacceptable food?)

How was your room? Were the staff rude or was it just newness of ship/cruise?

Did they leave Seattle on time? Did they get back to Seattle on time? Were they on time with the ports?

How was the scenery? Have you cruised Alaska before?

Thanks!
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Old June 21st, 2004, 08:19 PM
DICK STEIN
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

Franie: Go to deck 7 and find Maitre’d table in front of Sabitinis and change to Traditional when you get on board. There were plenty of empty tables in Traditional.
I heard numerous complaints about personal choice: I couldn’t dine when I wanted, we were rushed and the waiters were rude. This is because they have to do three seating in a night where the waiters in Traditional do two. If you ignore warning let me know.

Heather: Lap top useless on board. They have key boards only in internet café, connections are 35 cents a minute, slow with frequent disconnects. Try internet coffee house in Ketchikan just off pier. They have lot of Dell computer at $5 for 20 minutes or $8 for 60 minutes. No Platinum free access on this ship.

3 Things: Food in Horizon like poor cafeteria food for lunch and breakfast and line move like key stone cops comedy. Room o.k. but toilet broke twice, fixed in hours and shower o.k. only for people the size of Japanese builders. Staff o.k. Left and came back to Seattle on time. Got to Juneau one hour late and tendering was joke and caused me to miss shore excursion. Getting off ship in Victoria a joke with long lines that took an hour to get off. Scenery was fine and weather was best of my 6 Alaska cruises.
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Old June 21st, 2004, 08:29 PM
3 things
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

Thanks a BUNCH for all the info...

Last question... Is there no "unlimited" fee you can pay for internet access!?!

This will be our 10th trip to Alaska, but our 1st on a cruise up there...
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  #8 (permalink)  
Old June 21st, 2004, 08:37 PM
DICK STEIN
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

Dear 3 things: The internet access was so bad I did not inquire. Celebrity has a good deal and you can access from room on new ships. No such luck here. My review has already been posted on cruisecritic.com site.
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Old June 21st, 2004, 08:54 PM
3 things
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

Just went to cruisecritic.com and went to the sapphire princess... and couldn't find it...

feeling stupid, but can you tell me how to find that review??
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old June 21st, 2004, 11:23 PM
Jackie 50th
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

Hey DICK STEIN, Thanks for the advice I did call my agent and changed from personal choice to first seating. Is there a diffrence on early or late seating verses Traditional setting like you meantion or is it the same choosing early or late? Also when did you go ? was it the first ship out on the sapphire or was this in June that you went? Im on the Sapphire 7/4 on the aloha deck balcony . How was the shows on the ship? How about skagway? What did you do? I would like to go on the horseback tour with Joni but it is 6 hours . Do you have any thought on this( southeast tours is the name of the tour.company) What was the hight light of your cruise???? Jackie
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Old June 22nd, 2004, 03:02 PM
teen cruiser
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

we are goin on the saphire on 8/1 and i was wondering if u brought teens with you and if they had fun.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Old June 22nd, 2004, 03:37 PM
DICK STEIN
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

Ten Cruiser-They will have fun
3things- to to cruisecritic.com, boards, cruise reviews and look for it
Jackie 50th- chose late seating due to conflicts with tours, just got back, this was first cruise for ship. Read review per instructions above then ask ?'s.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old June 22nd, 2004, 04:58 PM
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Default Re: Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

To Dick Stein - Thanks for your review of Sapphire inaugural cruise. We are booked in early September on Sapphire and as first time cruisers, we are very excited about our upcoming trip. After having read your review, am I safe to continue being excited and eager and hopeful that perhaps the inaugural cruise could also be considered a kind of "shake down cruise" and that perhaps in Sept. our cruise will be smooth and a little more organized.
Also would you recommend booking shore excursions in advance, but book our time for a few hours after the ships is scheduled to dock as a precaution so as to avoid tender troubles etc. Thanks for your help. Scooter
p.s. I'll probably have more questions later - I hope that's okay
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old June 23rd, 2004, 07:17 PM
DICK STEIN
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

Dear Scooter: Do not book shore excursions in advance. We have cruise Alaska 3 times in September. The price is right for the cruise and gifts from shore, but the weather is much colder and unpredictable. We had beautifull weather, in September expect wet weather and lower visibalities. Check reader reviews to see if tendering operation has improved and watch Sapphire web cam the week before yoo travel.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Old June 27th, 2004, 10:45 AM
Heather Baer
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

I called Princess and for anyone with wireless connectivity on their laptop, you can use it in the atrium area only. There is a charge and some specifics on requirements. Call Princess for more detailed info.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Old June 27th, 2004, 09:11 PM
EMW
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

I'll be on the Sapphire Princess 8/22. Don't understand why your internet wasn't free if you're platinum. You didn't say why. I never had any connection problems on Coral last year. Hope you all stay away from the Horizon Court so I can get through and get my food quickly. Y'all are too picky, me thinks. Considering how many people they feed all day long, I think they do a fine job with the food in all food locations. Service isn't always as friendly as I'd like, but always more than adequate at fixed seating in the dining room. They work these people hard for little pay.
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Old June 28th, 2004, 05:23 AM
MSN
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

I wa on this cruise also and had an excellent experience with little problems. The food was not 5 star but I did not go hungry. The tendering problem in Juneau was more a lack of communication-we were not late to arrive, I was on land at 1:30(arrived at 1). At Victoria, it took 10 mins not 1 hour to get off the ship. I too was supposed to receive free internet service, at end of cruise when I received final bill and it WASN'T free, I complained and they refunded my money, no problem. I think the problem is more their computers aren't programed correctly for this. I did not experience any problems with the speed of the internet, faster than dial-up, a tad slower than dsl(which I have at home). If you choose personal choice dinning make your dinning reservations early, especially for the sterling.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old June 28th, 2004, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

Returned today (I guess yesterday now since we flew home on the red eye) from cabin E720. We heard Club Fusion bass every night and had a hard time sleeping. Might want to see about the possibility of moving away or higher above club fusion.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old June 28th, 2004, 05:46 PM
DICK STEIN
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

Dear MSN: I had a 3:20 tour and got number 878 at just before 2:30 when they were at number 125. They did not take the tours first like other cruises I have been on. At 3:40 they got to my number and sent 200 people down at once. It was chaos. Got to shore a just before 4:00 and tour had left. Went back to ship. In Victoria I remember the line and only one card reader, it was more than 10 minutes as the line extended from the elevator around the lobby and out the door. Glad you got out quickly.
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Old June 29th, 2004, 07:50 AM
MSN
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Default Re: Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

Number 878?? For tendering at Juneau?? I just went down at 1:15 without any number and went right on board, I did not know about numbering, that's why I said there was bad communication about the tendering, In Victoria we went down at 5:15 and were aout by 5:30, maybe we were lucky there too.
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Old July 1st, 2004, 08:33 PM
TERBO40
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Default Re: Re: Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

Dick... Saw your review and I am concerned about the Buchart Gardens tour I have booked with Princess. Is there another reputable way to get to and from the gardens to see them on your own? I read they have fireworks on Sat nights but the cruise tour leaves before them. Being a first timer, I'm nervous about missing the boat but if there is a better way to get more time at the gardens, I'm interested. Any advice?!
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old July 5th, 2004, 09:55 AM
DICK STEIN
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Default Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

dear terbo40: The fireworks are after the tour leaves. Stay for the fireworks and you miss the ship. A taxi and ferry back to seattle could cost several hundred dollars. We saw them leave people on the dock in Juneau, so they will leave you if not back on time.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old July 5th, 2004, 01:10 PM
pdibernardo
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Default Re: Re: Sapphire Princess Inaugural Cruise

Hi Dick, Hi All
Just got back today from a FAB U LOUS cruise to Alaska (6/27)! Still getting our land legs and getting back to reality. I'll post a review and pictures in the next few days but wanted to praise the crew of the Sapphire Princess as well as the food - and personal choice dining. Buffet dining at the Horizen was more than acceptable. Some choices were so-so, but overall was good. We ( boyfriend & I) chose Personal Choice dining and went to dinner about 8:00 - 8:30 each night and got seated right away Everytime. Concierge told us first night that reservations were booked and just to go. We did and were not disappointed with length of wait (5 minutes or less). We did not try Sabatini's however we heard RAVE reviews from everyone we met who did go. It seemed very popular so try to reserve first. We found the wait staff very good at all the restaurants, although it was slow at Sterling one night. New staff is being trained and this might have been the cause of the delay. Santa Fe was great food, great service - ask for Marco (tell him Paula & Matt from NY sent you ...) If you like the idea of sitting at the same table, same staff, same time and atmosphere, go with the Traditional I guess.... But we found personal choice dining to be great for us.

More review and pics when we get some sleep and adjust to East Coast time....

zzzzz

Paula
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old July 5th, 2004, 01:11 PM
pdibernardo
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Default Sapphire Princess week of 6/27

Hi Dick, Hi All
Just got back today from a FAB U LOUS cruise to Alaska (6/27)! Still getting our land legs and getting back to reality. I'll post a review and pictures in the next few days but wanted to praise the crew of the Sapphire Princess as well as the food - and personal choice dining. Buffet dining at the Horizen was more than acceptable. Some choices were so-so, but overall was good. We ( boyfriend & I) chose Personal Choice dining and went to dinner about 8:00 - 8:30 each night and got seated right away Everytime. Concierge told us first night that reservations were booked and just to go. We did and were not disappointed with length of wait (5 minutes or less). We did not try Sabatini's however we heard RAVE reviews from everyone we met who did go. It seemed very popular so try to reserve first. We found the wait staff very good at all the restaurants, although it was slow at Sterling one night. New staff is being trained and this might have been the cause of the delay. Santa Fe was great food, great service - ask for Marco (tell him Paula & Matt from NY sent you ...) If you like the idea of sitting at the same table, same staff, same time and atmosphere, go with the Traditional I guess.... But we found personal choice dining to be great for us.

More review and pics when we get some sleep and adjust to East Coast time....

zzzzz

Paula
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