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Sapphire Princess Cruise Review (Part 3 of 3) – Having Fun All Day Long

The final instalment of my Sapphire Princess cruise review trilogy post. If you have missed out on the earlier two parts, here they are:

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review (Part 1 of 3) – The Best Holiday Experience Ever

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review (Part 2 of 3) – An Endless Supply of Food

Before I went on my first cruise more than a decade ago, I had initially thought that a cruise holiday was the most unexciting of all. Where’s the scenery? Where’s the shopping mall? Where’s the beach? BORING.

When I finally went on my first cruise (with some reservations), I was so glad to have gone on it otherwise I wouldn’t have known there were actually a lot of stuffs to do and new things to try out on the ship. It was as though a travel agent had everything planned out nicely on an itinerary so there wasn’t any planning or researching work to be done on my end. And even if NOTHING on the list sounded appealing, it would still be fun just chilling out by the pool with a book or soaking in the tub and doing nothing else. I mean, isn’t that what a relaxing holiday is all about?

Most if not all of the cruise companies seem to operate daily activities in similarย fashion.ย Activities like speed bingo, treasure hunt, morning exercise classes, activity workshops or game tournaments are rather common across different cruise liners.

Here are some of the other stuffs we did onboard Sapphire Princess for our 4D3N cruise besides chilling by the pool, eating and playing jackpot in the casino all night long, lol :

Sapphire Princess Movies Under The Stars

Movies Under The Stars

The Neptune’s Reef & Pool was turned into an outdoor theatre with 4-5 showings per day. We watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay during a 10pm session and enjoyed free flow ice cream cones and popcorn (what aย bonus!). Blankets were also available for night time showings because it was veryย windy (those with long hair – please tie up your hair unless you want a bad hair night – and you’d know what I mean when you’re there, lol) and a little chilly – could even feel water droplets falling on our skin. It was almost like a 4-D experience under the stars, in the wind, on the sea ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review (Part 3 of 3) - Speed Bingo

One of my favourite activities during the cruise was Speed Bingo (USD10 per game card) because I like the thrill of winning something just like taking a gamble. The grand prize was an iPad Air and I was one of 2 persons who had only 1 last number (O72 – will never forget you! haha) before hitting a bingo so I had a 50-50 chance of winning. But obviously I didn’t or else I would be sounding much more excited than this, lol. Gutted!

The Piazza was like the heart of entertainment where piano/guitar performances, singing, magic shows, family games, fruit & vegetable carving demonstration, treasure hunt draw, fashion show, etc were held.

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review (Part 3 of 3) - fruit vegetable carving demonstration

Sapphire Princess’ team of singers were pretty outstanding ๐Ÿ˜‰

On our last evening, there was also a Farewell Balloon Drop Party held at the Piazza in celebration of Princess Cruises’ 50th Anniversary.

Every evening, we were entertained by various pre- or post-dinner shows at The Princess Theater. I highly recommend their in-house original production shows “Do You Wanna Dance” and “Stardust” if you’re a fan of high energy performances and glitz.

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review

“Heart of Spades” is anย acoustic rock duo act from Melbourne, Australia. Took this video when they were playing A Thousand Years.

The Explorers Lounge was where we spent some time every evening for after-dinner drinks and also to catch standup comedies or to enjoy the performances of their resident band.

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review Ivor Richards Sapphire Princess Cruise Review

One unique thing that I had done here and never before in other cruise ships was the Galley Tour.

galley tour

Really fun to take a peek at the huge kitchen where we could see chefs at work ๐Ÿ™‚ And thanks to them, we felt so spoilt with all those good food!

Other miscellaneous activities included Ukulele Class, Poolside Zumba, Photography Class, Hula Dance Class, Fitness Seminar, Champagne Art Auction, Ballroom Dancing Class and plenty of themed parties for the party animals. There were also chargeable ones like the Grapevine Wine Tasting.

For the Straits of Malacca cruise, the Sapphire Princess actually docked for several hours at Georgetown, Penang and Port Klang so besides being ‘confined in a ship’, we took a break and did some exploration on our own. For those who prefer organised tours, there areย different shore excursions and shuttle bus services available for prior booking at additional $$$.

Georgetown, Penang

 

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review Penang Sapphire Princess Cruise Review Penang Sapphire Princess Cruise Review Penang Sapphire Princess Cruise Review Penang Sapphire Princess Cruise Review Penang Sapphire Princess Cruise Review Penang Sapphire Princess Cruise Review Penang 2015-02-07 17.33.10 2015-02-07 17.45.45 2015-02-07 17.50.08 2015-02-07 17.53.30

For those in Singapore who had watched the MediaCorp Channel 8ย drama “The Little Nonya” years ago, the Pinang Peranakan Museum might look familiar ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yes, this was the mansion that was filmed in the show.

2015-02-07 18.10.17

Cold towels and iced water were provided prior to returning to the ship. Such thoughtful service ๐Ÿ™‚ Thumbs up!

While we were exploring the streets of Georgetown, we also stumbled upon a cafe that served up some delectable sweet treats. Read my Coffee Affairs @ Bishop Street, Georgetown, Penang post.

Port Klang

[Update Jan 2016: Port Klang Cruise Centre is now known as Boustead Cruise Centre]

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review Port Klang 2015-02-08 10.40.09 2015-02-08 10.39.52 2015-02-08 10.18.14 2015-02-08 10.27.02

The cruise centre had some souvenir shops and a minimart that sold overpriced stuffs, lol.

2015-02-08 10.30.01

This place is really a land of nothing.ย ็œŸๆ˜ฏไธช้ธŸไธ็”Ÿ่›‹็š„ๅœฐๆ–น! (means a deserted place that birds don’t even lay eggs in!)

Before and During Disembarkation

 

Though I had provided my credit card details to the travel agent for miscellaneous billing, I still decided to settle bill in cash as we had USD on us. We did that on the last evening at 11pm which was the cut-off time for account settlement and the queue was so long, we waited for like 1.5 hours till past midnight. For convenience sake, I guess it’s best to charge to credit card or settle bill/close account much earlier and not wait till last minute like we did.

On the morning of disembarkation, our room steward handed us our passports before we left.ย We opted for “walk-off” disembarkation so we had to handle our own luggage which was quicker as we didn’t have to leave luggage outside our cabin for collection and then wait to pick it up again at the cruise centre.

Final Words

 

When we first boarded the ship, we met with a couple of rather unfriendly faces that didn’t make us feel welcome so started off feeling a little disappointed but most of other crew we met were extremely warm, friendly and helpful.

Service was impeccable except when we were faced with a black-faced, grouchy and rather rude waitress during the British Pub Lunch whom we met again during the International Crew Talent Show as she was one of the singers. Great singing but just didn’t think she was suited to be a service staff, lol.

Our room steward was extremely helpful and friendly who took great care of us and made us feel at home.

Service at the dining rooms during dinner every night was fantastic – prompt and professional.

Food was awesome. We enjoyed every dinner at the respective dining rooms and was also kept amused by one particular waiter who kept saying “showtime!” whenever he served a course, lol. Great choice of buffet food though Asian cuisine wasn’t quite their forte, I loved everything else.

Days were well spentย andย jam-packed with various activities so we were kept occupied throughout with little time to sleep. ๐Ÿ™‚

For a few days after coming back from the cruise, weย actually had withdrawal syndrome because we missed the cruise badly.

Overall, this was indeed the BEST cruise I ever had to date. Way exceeded my initial expectations.

Blogging about my experience of the cruise really brought back so much fond memories. I hope my detailed cruise review has been helpful to those considering taking a cruise holiday soon or going for your first Sapphire Princess cruise. ๐Ÿ™‚

Goodbye, my Princess. Till we meet again, very soon ๐Ÿ˜‰

Sapphire Princess Cruise Review Sunrise

One of the best things on the cruise was waking up to a beautiful sunrise ๐Ÿ™‚

12 Comments

  • coconutcraze says:

    Such a fun trip and I am sure you had a lovely time!

  • Lovely post and amazing photos! I loved the fruit and vegetable carving photos the most! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Geri Tan says:

      Oh yes, they were really creative pieces of art! Just amazing how they could use simple fruits and vegetables to make into such cute characters ๐Ÿ™‚

  • auntielucia says:

    Hi Geri, do u need to take a taxi from the Penang Pier to get to the cafe with the delicious looking cakes? Ditto from Port Kelang to go to KL or petaling Jaya for example. Any tips would b most appreciated.

    Thanks for the tips regarding the electrical plug adaptor and the need to bring own tooth brush, haha!

    I am sailing this upcoming Friday.

    • Geri Tan says:

      Hi, Bishop Street where the cafe is located is actually very near to the pier. You can just check on google maps for the walking directions, it’s somewhere on the left diagonal when you exit the pier (Jeti Swettenham), probably about a 5-min walk. I was considering this Friday’s one too but decided to book the Monday one instead for an extra day. Enjoy your cruise and safe travels!

  • auntielucia says:

    Thanks. N what about the access from Port kelang to pj or Kuala Lumpur? If one goes own self ? Happy five day trip to u!

    • Geri Tan says:

      I didn’t venture out of Port Klang but when I was checking out the cruise centre area, there were very few taxis in sight and the taxi queue at the driveway was just horrendously congested. Even though I had Malaysian data on phone with their local taxi app, I wasn’t even tempted to book any taxi because it was just so much of a hassle to get out of that ‘deserted’ place – rather stay in the ship and enjoy my time, haha. If you’re thinking of going out to PJ or KL, you can consider pre-booking those private car transfer service which is still cheaper than the tour packages offered cos’ of the currency exchange rate. Hope this helps.

  • Axe Lim says:

    Cool review!

    My family of 3 just return from royal caribbean and we are already planning for our next cruise with princess!! Seem like princess offer better port call, two port for 3N as compare to royal caribbean one.

    Btw Geri, one question, in your opinion, do you think the onboard activities cater or enough for 2yrs old toddler?

    Thks in advance.

    • Geri Tan says:

      Hi Axe, I’m not too sure if there are activities suitable for 2-year-old toddlers but I do know there’s a Pelican room at the youth centre where they may have suitable programmes for the little ones. You’d have to check it out when you’re there because that’s the only place I didn’t go in since I didn’t have children with me. Have fun!

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