About Princess Cruises
Back in the age of discovery, explorers set sail hoping to find new lands and riches for their kings. I grew up reading books of their tales, so setting foot on ships always evoked feelings of adventure within me. I would stare out at the the open sea and imagine what life was like for them, sailing into the unknown with only the stars above to guide them.
Today, we still seek out adventure. I guess that’s why we enjoy travelling so much. Thankfully now it’s a lot safer, be it on planes or ships. And unlike cramped airline flights that you just want to escape from, on a cruise the journey becomes part of the experience. And on good cruises, you never want the journey to end.
Princess Cruises has come a long way since it first set sail in 1965. Today they’re the third largest cruise line in the world and this year marked their 50th anniversary. Princess Cruises is one of the few cruise liners to obtain a five-star rating, so they’re considered royalty in the cruise liner industry. Tickets are priced at a premium, but the experience promises to be unlike any other.
When we heard one of their ships, the Sapphire Princess, was coming to town, Christabel, Audrey and I jumped at the opportunity to set sail. We packed our bags and hopped on a 5D4N cruise, on an adventure that took us to Penang, Langkawi and back to Singapore.
If you’ve not gone cruising before, here are 10 reasons why you should. But first, check out our video highlights!
1. You Wake Up To New Cities Everyday
Stopover destinations are a big part of why I love cruising. There are plenty of ship activities to participate in during the day. But come night, you close your eyes and are whisked off to a new land in the morning.
I felt privileged waking up to breakfast delivered to my room, with a postcard island view greeting me good morning. Each day, we would go to sleep and then wake up to a brand new adventure.
During the destination stops, we were given ample time to explore the cities. We spent about 12 hours in Penang and 8 hours in Langkawi.
In Penang, we went shopping in the flea markets and explored some temples. After that, we walked through Little India and Chinatown before going street mural hopping.
Be sure to pick up the delicious chendol while you’re there to get some respite from the heat.
After touching down, we headed straight to the Oriental Village where the cable cars were located. Langkawi has the craziest, most iconic cable car ride. They even filmed a James Bond movie at their skybridge! The 70 degree vertical-incline cables that the cars appear to balance on so precariously, will make you question the laws of physics.
After the cable cars, we went duty free shopping in the city centre. Langkawi is a tax-free island so be sure to save your shopping for this city.
We preferred travelling by ourselves during the destination stops. But for those who just want to relax and join a tour group, Princess Cruises arranges day activities and you can find these forms inside your room. These tours are priced at a premium, but you can take comfort in knowing that you’ll be well taken care of going on their official tours.
2. You Travel Without Your Passport
Upon boarding the shop, your passport will be kept and replaced with a Princess Cruises cruise card. This will be your most important possession on the ship, which you’ll use for everything from opening your room door to paying bills and disembarking the ship.
On the your trip, you’ll skip the whole immigration process and just have to flash your card when you alight. This made travelling a fuss-free and seamless experience.
3. The Ship Is Massive
Your adventure starts on the Sapphire Princess itself, as you navigate through its 18 decks with each new uncharted area surprising you.
With 1,337 cabins fitted with over 700 balconies, the Princess Sapphire is really like a 18 floor hotel floating in the sea. It’s not just big and boring though. It was built in 2004 which means it’s still an infant in cruise ship years and relatively new. Plenty of different themes run through the hotel.
If you feel like fine dining, dress up and waltz into one of their restaurants and have a five-course set dinner. Suit up at one of the lounges with live music. Or do your best tai-tai impression and indulge in afternoon tea at one of the posh lounges. For us, we were content pigging out at the buffet most of the time, which was a casual slippers and tees affair.
There’s something here for everyone.
4. Families Love Cruises
When you go on a short holiday, the costs of accommodation, flights and food all add up. And when you have a whole family to bring along, it can get expensive. That’s why families love going on cruises, it’s just so value for money. Most cruises offer an all-inclusive experience and you don’t end up paying more than you’ve budgeted for.
On Princess Cruises, there were also plenty of kids clubs and activities for young ones to be entertained at. Parents can just relax and have time off, knowing their kids are well taken care off.
5. Unlimited food
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If you need to fatten up a friend, take them on a cruise. Actually this is not unique to the Princess Sapphire. Most cruises do offer unlimited food. But it’s the quality and diversity of the food that matters.
At the Sapphire Princess you’re given a choice of unlimited food from 10 F&Bs through the ship. Room service is available 24/7 and they also have a 24-hour international cafe. My favourite was Alfredo’s pizzeria to the tune of 10 slices in one sitting. I also loved the 24-hour cafe, which we went for supper at after our midnight exercise.
6. Everywhere Is Super Photogenic
The ship became an adventure itself as we went exploring every instagramable inch of the ship. Be sure to head over to The Sanctuary, their luxurious adults-only sanctuary area, for the best shots. You can fill up your instagram feed for months with the photos you take on the Princess Sapphire.
Another secret spot is the lower deck at the front of the ship.
7. Never Ending Things To Do
With the five pools, eight jacuzzis, basketball court and even golf putting course, your only complaint will be the lack of time. Although we were here for five days, we were kept busy taking photos and videos and did not have enough time to explore all the ship had to offer.
There are also activities arranged for you every day! You get to learn hula and samba dancing, cooking, photography and even take part in wine tasting lessons. Zumba dances were conducted by the enthusiastic crew, and they got everyone young and old joining in. The ultimate deck party which they usually hold once per voyage, gave us some of our most enjoyable moments. After the party, we headed to the jacuzzi at midnight with some new friends.
If all these activities seem too overwhelming for you, just refer to their Princess Patter. It’s the daily memo sent to your room that keeps you updated with everything that’s happening on the ship.
Oh, they also have a floor of duty-free shopping, a casino and a library.
8. Plenty Night Time Activities As Well
If you’re more into bars and drinking, the four bars, discos and clubs will keep you more than occupied. They even have a karaoke night.
We had fun dancing at Skywalker Nightclub, located on the top deck of the ship.
9. Princess Theatre
A wide variety of shows are held in their theatre every night from displays of musician virtuosos to magic shows and hour long broadway-style performances.
10. Movies Under The Stars
A unique feature I’ve not seen on other ships was their Movie Under The Stars section of the ship. They held movies daily and we finally had the time to check it out one night.
Armed with popcorn and a comfy blanket, we had a great time watching the sci-fi drama The Giver. We also traded the popcorn later for pizzas, and that basically became our dinner.
Our Princess Cruises Experience
With a never-ending list of things to do and stopovers in exciting cities, our Princess Cruises experience was full of laughter and good memories. And although they are a premium cruise line, it’s heartening to know that their prices remain reasonable. Cruises on the Princess Sapphire range from $440 per person for a three-day trip, based on double sharing occupancy.
For more information on their cruise offerings, call them at (+65) 6922-6788 or visit them at www.princess.com.
A final tip – bring along a universal adaptor and a multi-plug extension socket so you just need one adaptor for all your devices. Also pack in some foreign currency and swimwear. One of the only drawbacks was the expensive Internet – but this is a very common occurrence on cruise ships.
Thankfully, we brought along a wireless Wi-Fi router from Changi Recommends. Although we didn’t get a signal most of the time as we were at sea, there were the ecstatic moments that we did. We also had Internet the moment we neared Penang and Langkawi and throughout the day trips, and that instant connectivity made a huge difference and keep is connected to our friends and loved ones back home.
Wi-Fi routers start at just $12 a day and be shared among 8 people. You can find out more over here.
Ending Our Princess Cruises Journey
As Princess Cruises was celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year, there were some special events organised by the crew. It included a grand commemorative dinner as well as a birthday countdown.
In the grand finale, balloons rained down from the ceiling to an excited crowd lost in a sea of cheer and smiles. And for awhile, all our concerns in our world faded away. It was the perfect end to our trip, and ‘come back new’ we did. Happy 50th Birthday Princess Cruises and thank you for such a memorable experience.
This post was brought to you by Princess Cruises.