Our love for cruising began many years ago when we set sail on our very first cruise in the Caribbean on a family reunion. As the years went by we found ourselves drawn to this style of travel as we sailed through South East Asia, Fiji and Vanuatu, each time with our family. It’s quite the easy sell to our family and friends – let’s jump on an all inclusive floating hotel as we see some beautiful destinations along the way.
Four years have gone by since we docked on our last ship, so when the opportunity arose to jump on a Princess Cruise headed to Spain and France we were overjoyed. This would be our first time picking up a camera and capturing what a cruise holiday can look like AND this would be our first time cruising without the fam (don’t worry mum, we will take you on the next one).
If you want to see what we got up to on our 8 day European cruise aboard the Sapphire Princess make sure you check out our YouTube video below, and keep on scrolling for a bunch of info and snaps from the week.
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Cruising with Princess
Before embarking on our 8 day trip through Spain and France and the the British Isles we had already heard amazing things about Princess. With Jess’s parents being avid Princess cruisers and many friends cruising with Princess from our local home port of Fremantle, we were super excited to finally experience one for ourselves.
Upon landing in London Heathrow we easily caught the 2 hour train down to Southhampton and after a quick 10 minute Uber ride from the station we had arrived at the port. One of the benefits of leaving from the UK is how easy it is to find, book and board a cruise. The Mediterranean is a breathtaking place to explore, so having the added bonuses of an easy to get to port makes this trip worth undertaking.
After a smooth check in process we boarded the Sapphire Princess and began to explore the 15 decks that encompassed this ship whilst enjoying a cappuccino from International Cafe, dipping our toes in the many hot tubs and eyeing out the all important spa offerings at The Sanctuary (which we will delve into later).
After getting our bearings and grabbing a full plate of food from the buffet on deck 14 it was time to check out our state room and sail away!
Our Balcony Stateroom
Our balcony stateroom was located on deck 14 where our luggage was awaiting us inside our walk-in robe … yep, we had a walk in robe!! To top it all off we also had plate of chocolate covered strawberries greeting us as we explored the room we would be sleeping for the next 7 nights.
Our stateroom was the perfect size for a couple, complete with bathroom, walk-in robe, desk area and large balcony where we enjoyed breakfast each morning. Also included in our balcony room is 24 hour in-room dining, which we indulged in on more than one occasion.
Food, Entertainment & Service On Board
Okay, lets begin with the food because if you ask us, cruises and food simply go hand in hand. There were so many dining options on board the ship and we made it our mission to attempt to eat at every restaurant onboard… it’s a hard mission, but someone has to do it.
Our two most frequented restaurants were the main dining room for dinner and the all important buffet at Horizon Court for lunch. These two spots also serve breakfast, but the in-room breakfast was our favourite way to start each day. There is nothing like eating a scrumptious brekkie on your own private balcony as you pull in to a new port each day.
The ship also has a couple of speciality dining options, with Sabitini’s (an amazing Italian restaurant) and Sterling Steakhouse being our top picks.
In terms of entertainment, each day was filled with activities to do and each night there was music, karaoke, guest entertainers, and theatre productions to choose from – however one of our favourite ways to end each day was by watching a movie under the stars. Rugging up each night with blankets and popcorn to enjoy a film outdoors is the perfect way to end a day if you ask us.
As for the service, it was flawless – there’s no better way to describe it!
One of our favourite spots on the Sapphire Princess was the adults-only retreat known as The Sanctuary. Here we booked in for an afternoon of complete relaxation.
Having our own sun lounge for half a day in a quiet area of the ship was the perfect way to spend a day at sea. We indulged on the signature beverages and meals served to us throughout the afternoon and enjoyed a one hour long massage and a lovely soak in the hot tub.
The Itinerary: 8 Days Exploring Spain & France
Our 8 day cruise took us to some breathtaking ports, including a couple of spots in Spain which was a new country for us. The ports we stopped off at included La Coruña and Bilbao in Spain, Bordeaux in France and the small island of Guernsey off the coast of the UK.
If you want to see what we got up to at each port stop, we have put together an entire second blog post complete with photos, videos and info from each stop.
IF YOU WANT TO EXPERIENCE ALL THIS AND MORE, WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND CHECKING OUT THE 8 DAY CRUISE WE DID ABOARD THE SAPPHIRE PRINCESS.
A big thank you to Princess Cruises for inviting Flying The Nest aboard the Sapphire Princess and sponsoring this incredible trip, as always all opinions are our own.