Sapphire Princess was built in 2004 and refurbished in 2018, she’s the sister to Diamond Princess and carries around 2600 passengers.
I visited her in April 2019 and in this post you’ll find photos (and a video) of the ship post refurbishment. The refurbishment took place in Singapore and took two weeks to complete. During this post, we explore all public areas of the ship and I talk a little about my experiences of cruising with Princess. Spoiler alert, I loved it!
Fun fact: Sapphire Princess was originally named Diamond Princess and Diamond Princess was named Sapphire Princess. They switched names during construction when the original Diamond Princess (current Sapphire) had a fire.
The refurbishment featured:
- Princess Luxury Beds (I was lucky enough to try these on Royal Princess, they are INCREDIBLE).
- Camp Discovery
- Fitness Centre & Spa Updates
- Entertainment LED wall in theatre
- Logo on bow
Piazza – Decks 5-7
The Piazza is the heart of any Princess ship. The Piazza of the Sapphire Princess spans 3 decks and on every level, you will find bars and restaurants. During the day the space is mostly used by people having a cup of tea or coffee and relaxing. The Piazza is also the location of Princess’s balloon drop party, which happens on the last night of most cruises.
International Cafe – Deck 5
The international cafe on deck 5 sells premium teas/coffees. For me, the tea/coffee this isn’t the important part though. The most important thing about the international cafe for me is that it has cookies/cakes that are free! The international cafe is also open later than the buffet meaning that you never ever have to go hungry!
Vines Bar – Deck 5
Vines Bar on deck five is a wine bar. You’ll find vines bar on many of the Princess fleet. I believe they have something like 30 different wines available by the glass, that is a lot of choice! When you purchase a glass of wine you’ll also be given some tapas style snacks which is always a good thing.
Beauty Salon – Deck 15
You can get your haircut onboard or be pampered. The beauty salon part of the ship is HUGE. It’s located near the spa and gym on deck 15. I’ve only ever had one haircut on a cruise… I shaved my head for Macmillan Cancer Support on the stage of the Marella Discovery. We raised £5000 which is amazing, I definitely won’t be doing it again though.
Main Pool – Deck 14
One of my favourite things about Princess ships it the amount of pool space onboard. There are 5 pools on the Sapphire Princess! 5! On some cruise ships/lines it can be difficult to find a spare sun lounger or place to swim. That isn’t a problem on Princess cruise ships. I don’t know how they do it but it seems as though each guest has their own private pool.
Prego Pizzeria – Deck 14
Princess are famous for their pizza. The Prego Pizzeria freshly cooks pizza and it is available either by the slice or the whole pizza! I’ve never known anybody to order a whole pizza but apparently, that’s allowed (yum)!
Trident Grill – Deck 14
On the other side of the pool deck is the Trident grill. Here you can get burgers, hotdogs etc. It is a great place to grab a quick bite to eat when you’re sitting around the pool.
Princess has sail away parties which are a lot of fun, the Trident grill is a great place to get your dancing fuel!
Calypso Pool – Deck 14
The Calypso pool is one of my favourite parts of Sapphire Princess. Having an inside pool is great if it is cold outside, or too hot. The temperature in here is always pretty consistent and there are loads of seats around the top level. There is a bar too and the bottom level is right by the buffet, this means that you rarely have to leave.
Skywalkers nightclub is a venue right at the back of the ship. To access the nightclub you go up a travelator which I think is cool. (A travelator is a flat escalator without the steps for anybody wondering what I’m going on about!)
The venue is open during the day so if you want somewhere to read a book and find some peace and quiet this may be it. The views across the ocean are incredible.
The pizza on Princess is INCREDIBLE! I was lucky enough to try out Alfredo’s when I cruised on the Royal Princess. I try to avoid dairy but it was no problem for me to order a pizza without cheese. From memory, it was a really good pizza!
The Pizza at Alfredo’s was actually voted ‘best pizza at sea’ by USA today. There isn’t an extra charge to go to Alfredo’s so I would definitely recommend it if you are cruising with Princess.
This is one of my favourite area of the ship. The Golden Princess has a similar layout and amazingly on my Asia cruise, this area of the ship was pretty quiet! If you want to get a good seat for a sail away I would recommend you come a little early but other than that you will never have a problem getting a sunbed.
The theatre on the Sapphire Princess is huge! My favourite thing about the theatre is that there is a walkway on either side, this means that you don’t have to climb over people to get out if you decide to sit on the side and need to go to the toilet mid-show. I’m not sure if other people care about that, but I do.
The entertainment on Princess is some of the best that I’ve seen at sea. I have written before in more detail about the entertainment on Princess cruises so if you are interested in learning more, please check out this post:
The Explorers Lounge
The explorers lounge is one of the busiest places on the ship during the evening. There is an identical lounge on the Golden Princess and a few other Princess ships.
They have a number of events here including:
The lounge is pretty big which means that we were normally able to find a seat. The bar service on Princess is always really good and within a few minutes of taking a seat, we were always offered a drink. One evening we watched ‘Karaoke Roulette’ which was really really funny, I’d never take part but it definitely was entertaining to watch. Guests would go up to the stage and then randomly be assigned a song to sing. It was quite funny when the guest didn’t know the song at all.
The Sapphire Princess has a HUGE gym and Aerobics room. I couldn’t believe how much floor space was given up to exercise. I’ve only been in cruise ship gyms when filming tours like this. Despite this, I never put on weight when I cruise.
Cruise ships can sometimes be up to 17 decks high so I always set myself a number of stairs that I would be willing to walk, my current limit is ten flights. If I want to go up or down less than ten flights of stairs I always try to walk.
There is a charge for some of the exercise classes onboard. Zumba is free and I went to it each sea day. Thoroughly recommended.
The fitness centre onboard is fully equipt and free to use whenever you’d like to during your cruise.
Internet is not included in Princess Cruises. To learn more about what is included in a standard cruise fare check out this post: Are Cruises All Inclusive?
If you want to buy internet on a cruise you have a number of options, you can either purchase a package (available by the MB or minute/day) which you can use on your phone/tablet/laptop. An alternative is to visit the internet cafe, there are computers here which you can use for a charge. These are charged in a similar way to the packages that you buy for your phone.
The Sapphire Princess still has a photo gallery where they print out the physical photos. I’m sure this will change to a digital version soon though. We had lots of photos taken during our Princess Cruises but it didn’t feel as though the photographers were constantly harassing us to have photos taken. I do feel like this on some cruises!
The buffet on Princess ships has some of the best cookies going! I am quite an expert on cruise ship cookies and I would say Princess are in the lead, join with Celebrity.
The buffet on Sapphire Princess is quite small but what I love is the amount of seating. I’ve never struggled to find a seat on a Princess cruise which isn’t something I could say about other cruise lines!
The food itself is always good, hot and varied. There are definitely no complaints from me here.
This post was made from a video that I filmed onboard the Sapphire Princess. In the video, I talk a little about my Princess cruises and show you all areas of the ship mentioned in this post. If you do have the time I would definitely recommend checking out the video for a more in-depth tour. Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss anything.
I love Princess cruises and the Sapphire Princess is a gorgeous ship. You’ll never struggle to find a seat/sunbed on a Princess cruise which I really love. I’d definitely recommend a Princess cruise if you are considering one, the food and service is always good, as is the entertainment.