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The Sapphire Princess: A Huffington Post Travel Cruise Ship Guide

10/21/2011 12:18 pm ET | Updated Dec 21, 2011

The Sapphire Princess is a popular floating resort. The waters are crowded with sea-worthy vessels, so to make planning easier, we've done all the prep work for a cruise vacation. As part of a Huffington Post Travel series on cruise ships, here is a tip sheet offering all the key information one could ever need to know about the Sapphire Princess.

Destination

From May through September, the Sapphire Princess cruises the waters of Alaska's Inside Passage and the Gulf of Alaska. From October to March, it makes 14-day voyages from Los Angeles to the Hawaiian Islands. The ship also makes one 28-day voyage in October to Hawaii, Tahiti and American Samoa.

Passenger Ship

With a capacity of 2,640 passengers, the Sapphire Princess was one of the largest ships afloat when it debuted in 2004. Since then, newer cruise vessels like the Norwegian Epic and Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas have eclipsed it. This light and airy vessel offers a wide range of accommodations and activities and is notable for its more than 700 staterooms with private balconies.

Special Features

The Sapphire Princess offers a myriad of activities and attractions. Among these are three swimming pools plus a "swim against the current" lap pool, multiple hot tubs, a full spa and fitness club, golf simulators, a jogging track, a nine-hole miniature golf course and an Internet cafe.

Accommodations

Passengers on the Sapphire Princess can choose from a variety of accommodations, from interior cabins (those on the inside of the ship without a window) to ocean-view cabins to the more than 700 cabins with private balconies. All staterooms feature a private bath, ample closet space, a refrigerator and a television set.

Cost

Cruise fares vary widely depending on the destination and the duration of the voyage. Prices for the Sapphire Princess begin at $749 for a seven-night Alaska cruise and at $1,199 for a 14-night Hawaiian cruise. Both fares are per person, based on two people sharing a stateroom. Port taxes and airfare are additional.

Excursions

One widely recommended shore excursion on the Sapphire Princess is the Mendenhall Glacier and whale tour, offered while the ship is docked in Juneau. This full-day excursion gives passengers a chance to see several types of wildlife up close as well as an opportunity to hike near the spectacular glacier and learn more about the natural history of Alaska.


Dining Experience

Princess Cruises offers personal choice dining, meaning that passengers can dine when and with whom they choose each evening. Dining venues include the four traditional formal dining rooms, the smaller Sterling Steakhouse, Sabatini's Italian restaurant and the casual Horizon Court Buffet. Guests may also choose to dine on their private verandas or in their stateroom.

Maiden Voyage

The Sapphire Princess debuted in 2004. The maiden voyage departed from Seattle, making it the first cruise vessel to be christened there.

In The News

The Sapphire Princess made news worldwide in 2009 when it returned to port in Vancouver with a fin whale lodged in the part of the bow that sits underwater.

WATCH:

Take a walk around the Sapphire Princess.

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