Built in Japan, the Sapphire Princess set out on her maiden voyage in 2004. Since then this vessel has dazzled passengers with her comfortable rooms, exquisite cuisine and impeccable service, not to mention her array of activities and entertainment options.
She is one of nine ‘Grand’ Princess vessels and shares many similarities with her near-identical twin vessel, Diamond Princess (also built in Japan). Both ships were constructed in the Mitsubishi shipyard and debuted a few original features, such as the Club Fusion nightclubs.
At 952 feet long and 205 feet high, the Sapphire Princess is on the larger end of the spectrum. The ship can accommodate a maximum of 2670 passengers and 1100 crew.
Last refurbished in 2012, the Sapphire Princess’ interior decor is elegant and contemporary. The dining rooms and public spaces are warm and welcoming and often feature sculptures, murals and paintings, while the cabins are of a tasteful understated design, with cream and blue colourings and wooden finishings. The vessel’s Japanese heritage is also prevalent in certain rooms, especially the Grand Casino and Lotus Spa.
With four dining rooms, one main restaurant, two pizzerias, a buffet and several specialty eateries, there’s no shortage of places to enjoy a meal on board the Sapphire Princess. Most restaurants are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, providing guests with ample choice day and night. The menus tend to be relatively traditional, offering one or two standouts per restaurant. For something truly special, reserve a table at Sabatini’s or try Ultimate Balcony Dining.
There are also several bars and lounges to choose from, with each venue catering to different tastes and interests. Those who enjoy live music and entertainment will do best to claim a seat at Club Fusion or the Explorers Lounge, while those who prefer a quiet, relaxed atmosphere will feel right at home in the Churchill’s Lounge.
With four freshwater pools, a spa and fitness centre, a lawn court, a library, an internet cafe, a casino, a sports court and more, guests will be well entertained in one of the Sapphire Princess’ many public rooms.
Passengers can also choose from many organised activities, such as the Scholarship@Sea programme, ceramic classes, card games and trivia competitions. When in doubt, the Piazza is always a good starting point. Known as the heart of the ship, the Piazza is often buzzing with live entertainment and is the gateway to a selection of boutique shops.
The Sapphire Princess primarily travels to ports in Southeast Asia, including but not limited to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City. Shore excursions therefore vary depending on your destination, but are likely to be centred around food, culture or scenery. For example, in Singapore you could opt for a trip to the beautiful Botanic Gardens, or in Ko Samui you might like to visit the Na Muang waterfall.
The ship has a total of 1,337 guest cabins, the majority of which offer a sea view. Staterooms are a comfortable, affordable option, with interior cabins measuring at 168 square feet. Those looking for more space and a view of the sea will find the oceanview and balcony cabins more than adequate.
The next step up from a balcony cabin is a mini-suite, of which there are 186. Alternatively, guests may prefer a larger suite with a private balcony, or a family suite with interconnecting cabins.
All rooms are equipped with basic amenities such as a mirror, mini-fridge, private safe, desk area and flatscreen television.
Dining included in your Sapphire Princess ticket:
Specialty dining (not included in your fare):
Where to begin? The range of daytime activities available to Sapphire Princess guests is nothing short of impressive. From the ship’s extensive Scholarship@Sea programme through to public rooms such as the library, internet cafe and art gallery, there are plenty of places to pass the time.
One area of particular interest is the Sanctuary, an all-day retreat open exclusively for adults. Make yourself comfortable in a plush lounge chair and listen to an array of relaxing soundtracks on a private mp3 player. Also home to a great cafe serving light, healthy meal options, you won’t even need to leave the Sanctuary for meal times.
Each of the four freshwater pools on board offer something slightly different. The Neptune Pool doubles as the venue for Movies Under the Stars, creating a relaxed atmosphere during screenings. The Calypso Pool has a retractable roof, the perfect retreat for rainy days. When the sun is shining, however, you can’t beat the Terrace Pool, which offers stunning views from the back of the ship. Last but certainly not least, the Lotus Spa Pool is the ideal spot for relaxing.
Near the Lotus Spa Pool you will also find the Lotus Spa itself, home to some of the best treatment options at sea. Guests can also make use of a fitness centre, a ping pong court, a jogging track, a mini-golf course and a range of other recreational facilities.
Of the several bars and lounges on board, there are a few standouts. The Princess Theater is home to some amazing hallmark production shows, a must-visit during your cruise. Another great option is the Vines Wine Bar, where you can sample a range of high quality whites and reds in a warm, relaxed setting.
However Club Fusion is where the night really comes alive. Featuring 42 video screens and a large dance floor, this is the place to be if you’re in the mood to bust out some of your best moves. Alternatively, take your dancing shoes to the Wheelhouse Bar; this nautical-themed watering hole plays host to some of the best live jazz bands at sea.
The Sapphire Princess is the perfect cruise to enjoy some quality time with your loved ones. Families are often found by the poolside, at the sports courts or perhaps enjoying a film at Movies Under the Stars. These are just some of the many activities that everyone can enjoy together.
Children have their own designated areas to hang out. They can choose from The Fun Zone, the Splash Pool and the Teen Center, depending on their age group. The Princess Sapphire also offers several organised activity programmes; the Princess Pelicans for ages 3-7, Shockwaves for ages 8-12 and Remix for ages 13-17. From video games and jukeboxes to pizza parties and pajama nights, there are activities to suit all ages and interests.