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Thinking of Alaska Inside Passage???

Discussion in 'Princess Cruises' started by Al, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. Al

    Al Well-Known Member

    The Golden and Sapphire Princess will be sailing this itinerary (r/t Seattle) during the upcoming season. I've cruised on both, and there's a huge difference. Despite being older, the Golden is in far better shape. We did the Mexican Riviera on the Sapphire last April, and found it in absolutely deplorable condition. More specifically, our stateroom furniture was really chewed up; the carpet and wall padding in the hallways and high-traffic areas was either stained, frayed, or just plain filthy; there was rust all over the ship (it had even eaten through a door in one of the bathrooms); several facilities were inoperative (two hot tubs and at least three public toilets), and the overall level of maintenance was severely lacking (on the first night, a vent fan in the theatre was obviously broken ... it was incredibly loud, and wasn't repaired until three days later). In addition, there are none of the updated amenities ... Movies Under The Stars, International Cafe, Vines Wine & Sushi Bar, etc. The TV's are those 19" relics (our remote had a mind of it's own, and a replacement was not avilable), and the system does not permit access to your account from the staterooms. According to Princess, the Sapphire is scheduled for a major drydock in January ... of 2012!

    By contrast, the Golden is pristine ... of course, everything's relative, but we found it to be just fine. It did undergo a pretty recent makeover, and does have the new features. We've sailed on six other Princess ships in three years (Dawn, Grand, Golden, Caribbean, Star and Emerald). There were a few signs of use here and there, but that's to be expected ... nothing was even close to the Sapphire.

    Our disappointment prompted us to write to Princess. Despite a promise to respond within three weeks, we didn't hear back until three months later, at which time the representative spewed forth the company line, and offered us some on-board credit. That was decent of them ... but it did not address the problem. I guess they figured that if we got a few bucks to spend, we'd overlook the rust. This ship needs an overhaul and update as soon as possible. I can't believe that Princess would let the Sapphire sail in that condition for another sixteen months ... wait; yes I can. It's pretty well booked, and most folks won't care, as long as they're on vacation. I guess the more they drink, the better it looks.

    If you have the choice, sail the Golden. I'm pretty sure you'll find all the toilets working.
     
  2. Jeanie

    Jeanie Well-Known Member

    The Golden is a great ship- sail on her twice
     
  3. earl_m

    earl_m Social Host

    Any ship you select, you can`t go wrong!!
     
  4. CruiseAholic

    CruiseAholic Well-Known Member

    Interesting, we were on the Sapphire a year ago and found none of the problems you mention. Ship was beautiful and I've been on her several times.
     
  5. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Forever Remembered

    I cruised on Sapphire Princess in May 2009 - she sparkled from stem to stern...and having a stern-facing suite, trust me that I had a lot of territory to cover in order to get anywhere.
     
  6. The Cruiser

    The Cruiser Well-Known Member

    Very interesting. I've also sailed on the Sapphire Princess in May 2009 and she was in pristine shape. Also Princess never did have the access to your ship board account though the TV.
     
  7. Al

    Al Well-Known Member

    I Have Photos!!

    I included them in my correspondence to Princess. The individual who called me conceded that the ship needs work, and that some of the issues would be addressed while it was still sailing. My point is simple ... the Golden is in excellent shape (friends recently did the two-week Hawaii itinerary, and remarked that it looked virtually new), and prices are identical; so given the choice, it would be my selection.
     
  8. sjcruiser

    sjcruiser New Member

    My wife and I sailed the inside passage on the Sea Princess back in July. R/T San Francisco. We booked the finest suite on the ship. Accomodations were great. The shore excursions were great. The food was horrible. They booked over 2,200 passengers on a ship that held 2,100. Lines for the restaurant were long, over an hour and a half for anytime dining. Stay away from the waffles. Cold and paper thin
     
  9. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Forever Remembered

    Just out of curiosity, where was your suite located? And where did they stuff the extra-capacity people?

    Your experience with 'Personal Choice' dining is why I always book 'Traditional'.
     
  10. TrumpetDad

    TrumpetDad New Member

    I had the best time whale watching on the Golden in Hawaii.

    Never heard a complaint about the Sapphire, though.
     
  11. Al

    Al Well-Known Member

    As noted, the Golden was our choice ... and we booked it. We'll be on the 5/21 sailing. For the record, the Sapphire has received a bit of a facelift ... new flat-screen TV's, new carpet (being installed in stages, as I understand it), rusty areas being addressed (it actually ate through a bathroom door), ductwork and air filters being checked, etc. Although it took a while (Princess didn't respond to me for over three months), the matters are being attended to, much to the cruise line's credit. We still opted for the Golden ... has all the newer amenities (International Cafe, Vines, MUTS, etc.) and is in oustadnting condition. The Sapphire will get it's major makeover next January ... we'll look at cruising on her again after that.
     
  12. iluvcruzin

    iluvcruzin Well-Known Member

    We chose the Golden over the Sapphire because it leaves on a Saturday. It's my 3rd time on the Golden. Not by choice but by chance.
     
  13. dchinski

    dchinski Well-Known Member

    I will let you know, I am in a mini-suite sailing on 05/22/11. I realize she will not be a great as the Golden was on the R/T to Hawaii form Los Angeles.
     
  14. Mbandy

    Mbandy Well-Known Member

    If the Sapphire is going in to a major dry dock in January she will be in spectacular shape. The Princess web site has a photo gallery of the Grand Princess dry dock. You can see before and after pics. They really did a good job on the Grand so I would assume it will be the same for the Sapphire. Here's a link to the slideshow. Scroll all the way to the right and start there if you want to see the drydock from beginning to end.

    Grand Princess Drydock Photo Journal : Princess Cruises®
     

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