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Our Cruise


 January 2005




Sapphire Princess debuts in May 2004 as a sister ship to the elegant Diamond Princess. This "sparkling" new vessel will offer passengers a way to visit a variety of ports throughout the Pacific in style.
2,670 passengers
750 cabins with private balconies.
Environmentally advantageous diesel and gas turbine powered electric propulsion, with gas turbine situated in the funnel
4 swimming pools as well as children’s splash pool
Aft terrace with bar and pool below
Conservatory consisting of a swimming pool and bar, with a balcony deck and sliding glass roof high above
A central pool with bar
Asian-themed Lotus spa with fitness centre and outdoor sunken terraced pool
Multiple main dining rooms featuring Princess’ unique Personal Choice Dining options
24-hour dining – buffet/bistro and room service
Poolside Pizzeria, Hamburger Grill and Ice Cream Bar
Sabatini’s trattoria
Large forward theatre for Princess’ original Broadway and Las Vegas-style productions
Sports bar
Atrium with shops, two bars, art gallery, library and writing room
Nautical-themed Wheelhouse Bar with P&O memorabilia
Hearts and Minds wedding chapel with cruise industry’s only wedding-at-sea program where passengers can be married by the ship’s captain
Asian and African-themed Explorers lounge
Aft show lounge – high-tech Club Fusion features 42 high-definition video screens and spiral staircase leading to Wake View Bar below
One of largest Internet cafes at sea with 29 computer stations
Dedicated teens’ and children’s area with a total of 9,686 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, plus a dedicated pool area for teens.
Hair salon, health centre and spa
Nine-hole golf putting course and two computerized golf simulators that enable passengers to virtually play the finest courses in the world.
Sports deck
The ship will take Princess’ trademark Skywalkers disco/lounge concept a step further with a larger room plus new 125-foot wide balcony that provides commanding views over the aft end of the ship where passengers can enjoy stargazing, or an al fresco break from the action inside.



12-Day Auckland to Sydney


1 Auckland   6:00 PM
2 At Sea    
3 Wellington 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
4 Christchurch 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
5 Dunedin 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
6 Cruising Fiordland National Park 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
7 At Sea    
8 At Sea    
9 Hobart 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
10 At Sea    
11 Melbourne 8:00 AM 6:00 PM
12 At Sea    
13 Sydney 6:00 AM  

Above photo and information thanks to Princess Website


The Story Of The Sapphire Princess...so far


Swapping Princesses - The 116,000 ton Diamond Princess was damaged by fire on 1st October 2002 at the Japanese shipyard where it was under construction. The sister ship Sapphire Princess, also under construction, was not damaged. For whatever reason...the Sapphire Princesses name was changed to the Diamond Princess. The original Diamond Princess then becomes the Sapphire Princess and will commence service in June 2004.


Booking The Cruise

Fred and I decided to book this cruise in January 2004. We are retired and live on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. For both of us it is our second cruise. We have booked an inside cabin. We plan to fly to New Zealand a few days before the cruise and stay at the Sky City Hotel. We travel to Brisbane to catch our Qantas flight.



Getting Closer

It's almost to the end of October and the final payment has been made on the cruise. 

Since January, I have been in contact with "Cruise Critic" members ( from all over the world) who will also be joining us on the 6th January.


Meet the "Spangles"...


Sapphire Princess Australia from New Zealand Globe-trotters Laughs Ends Sydney.


Painter.....Marleneann & Fred.....Australia.....Sky City Hotel.....B246 upgraded to E325

Cinnamon.....Corinne & John.....England.....Senic Circle Airedale.....C607

Wildspirit.....Lori & Mark.....Hawaii…..Hilton.....B734

Maureen W.....Maureen & Ben.....Australia.....Airport Travel Air Motel Inn…. D507

bnbinsd.....Betty & Bill.....U.S.A.....Copthorne Harbourcity.....L253

Scampi.....Santa & Bob.....U.S.A...........E728

Improz.....Lisa & Jeff.....U.S.A......Hilton.....D740.....

Bev.....Trudy…..Canada….. C210

mummsie.....Gayle & Gary.....Australia.... Copthorne Harbourcity.....C720

Flipper133...Flipper & Shirley

The Rocks welcomes the Sapphire Princess
— the largest cruise ship ever to visit Australia. The 116,000 ton megaliner will rewrite history books when she arrives in Sydney this summer.
During her season here, the Sapphire Princess will dock at the Overseas Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay four times:

Thursday 23 December 2004
Tuesday 18 January 2005
Friday 11 February 2005
Monday 7 March 2005

Arriving at 6am each day, the Princess Cruises’ megaliner will depart each evening on the same day at 9pm.

P&O Cruises and the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority are proud to present a SPECTACULAR FIREWORKS DISPLAY on the night of her first departure (Thursday 23 December).

“If Australians thought Star Princess was an amazing sight last summer, then wait till they see Sapphire Princess this summer. She is bigger, wider, taller, younger and more spacious and technologically advanced than Star Princess and is certain to attract even more attention.”

Sapphire Princess boasts five pools, nine restaurants and cafes, eight jacuzzis, a mini golf course, wedding chapel, luxury spa sanctuary, two nightclubs, 13 bars and lounges including a unique wake-view bar at the rear of the ship and the biggest internet café at sea. She will also feature a new environmentally friendly gas turbine in her funnel and 750 cabins with their own private balcony.



LISA & JEFF were married on Sunday 21st November 2004



Photographs  2 Albums

Door Decoration" The Spangles"

Name Badge 


Get together on the Wednesday 5th Jan.

at Rebo Cafe & Bar, Skycity Hotel, Auckland. at 8.00.pm




Thursday 6th Jan.

Sapphire Princess 3.30pm in the Skywalker




Employee Wish all your employees with our collection of Christmas greetings. [ 2 cards ]



A Blessed and Happy Christmas to all "Spangles"


28th December 2004

One week to go before we leave for Auckland.

I am just about finished  packing  for the cruise. New Zealand is having a very cool summer. Temperatures are below average and this is creating a headache as far as deciding on the type of clothing to pack.

I am getting very excited and I am looking forward to meeting all the "Spangles".



18th Jan ....We're back!



Sapphire Princess Cruise 6th – 18th  January 2005

We have arrived home from our wonderful cruise.  Yes… the Sapphire Princess cruise ship is a magnificent venue for the holiday or a lifetime.

First of all price…We paid for an inside cabin. When we got on board we found out we had been upgraded to a window cabin….can you imagine how  delighted we were!  After checking our prices against the Princess smaller ship in the Pacific…our cruise was the “special” of all specials.

Embarkation: I don’t want to remember this as it was not what I expected….long lines of people standing in the rain …just waiting for some movement. No cover! Auckland Port is not geared for a large ship like Sapphire. However…I think by the time the Sapphire has to do this again, things will have improved because of all the complaints that would have been received.

The Princess Sapphire: A beautiful and wonderful staffed cruise ship. Cleaning goes on around the clock so everything is spotless and polished.

Our Cabin: We paid for an inside cabin and enjoyed a window cabin. We didn’t know about the upgrade until we went looking for our cabin. Wow!…I felt like a Queen. Our cabin steward Victor was great. We tipped him $20.00 as soon as we meet him and during the cruise. My hubby and I were amused as to how he arranged my “nighty” each night. It was so pretty I didn’t want to spoil his artistic efforts. As the weather wasn’t the best in New Zealand a cabin with a balcony  wasn’t necessary. The chocolates on the pillow at night  were appreciated.

Dining: We choose early sitting in the Traditional Dining Room. We had a table of eight fun loving cruisers. Our waiter Alex and assistant waiter Ceceileo were the best. They joined in the fun and were always eager to please. Our table did get a name for having the most fun. We ate our breakfast and lunch in the Santa Fee,  Pacific Moon or Horizon’s Buffet. All the food was excellent. The steaks were the best I have ever eaten. Don’t forget to go to the Horizon’s Buffet between 3.30pm and 4.30pm for free ice cream. This is not advertised and a lot of people only find out about this when it is too late. Early dinner sitting fitted in with our early show times. Everything was timed to perfection.

Entertainment: This is as good on the Sapphire as what you can find anywhere in the world. The four dance productions were amazing. My grand-daughter just finished a university course in dance so I have viewed some of the best along the way. The magicians and comedy entertainers were outstanding. One comedian  DON WARE was the writer for the Cosby Show. Music by Julie Wallace in the Crooners Lounge was delightful.. Alistair Greener was our fabulous cruise director with Frankie his very funny fall guy. I could go on and on…..

Ports of Call:

Wellington: I could recommend Rover Tours $35.00 for two hours or all day (Hop on hop off) We got the shuttle to town ...then walked to Information Centre. We boarded the cable car back to the city. Shuttle to ship. However ...if you can get someone to share a taxi...it will be less expensive and you will not have to wait around for transport.

Christchurch: The Antarctic Centre is a must. We got the shuttle to town… then a local bus to the Antarctic Centre. An all day bus pass is the way to go.  I pre-booked the Hagglund Ride and it was lots of fun. You must go into the Snow Storm Room. This is for real.  Warm clothes are supplied. Fred could barely last the distance as it was SO COLD! 

Dunedin: The Cadbury Chocolate Factory is in the town centre. You must have a booking if you want to do a tour. I did this by email.

Fiordland National Park: Up until now the weather hadn't been very nice....then we cruised into Fiordlands. A perfect day greeted us as we entered the Park. The cameras were clicking away and some beautiful scenery was captured in the many photographs taken. One could see a little snow still on the high peaks.

Hobart: As we walked to the city centre we stopped at Constitution Dock to take some photographs. Then a visit to the gardens and  Salamanca Place. A  local bus will take you around the area for a small cost.

Melbourne: We had family pick us up and take us to Geelong for the day. There is a free tram for the city tour.  

Disembarkation: The port at Darling Harbour  was well organized. We waited in the lounge until our colour was called and then walked straight off the ship. Collecting luggage was a breeze...it is lined up in colour code and a Porter is there to help put it onto a trolley. Taxi service is arranged if needed. Our Taxi to the domestic airport cost $30.00 for the two of us.

Anyone going on this cruise ship is assured of a wonderful time. Things like seasickness …. I had this for one night when the sea was very rough…. can be fixed by going to the desk and buying some Dramamine. I felt better in two hours.

 There is much to do onboard...the swimming pools and hot tubs were popular.

 There were so many people onboard and yet it never did seem crowded.

I just viewed the video of our cruise we purchased onboard.
It cost about $30.00.
You must purchase this!
It runs for about an hour and shows all areas of the ship, the entertainment and ports of call.
We are having the family over this afternoon to tell them about our cruise. This will be perfect to show them.

The SPANGLES:  What a great group of people. These friendships were formed on the Cruise Critic - Roll Call Board ...up to a year before the cruise. It was like going on cruise with the family.

In Finishing: We must thank all the staff onboard the Sapphire Princess for making this cruise a wonderful never-to-be-forgotten time for us. CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!  

If you wish to email me just combine the next two lines ...(this is to prevent spam)




Please mark the subject line  - Sapphire Princess


Happy cruising!

By Marleneann for

Marleneann & Fred



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