The Sapphire Princess is heading to Southampton for its European season, which is very exciting for British cruisers, but before reaching Southampton it will be spending two weeks in dry dock. What changes can you expect to see?
What happen when a cruise ship is in dry dock?
Approximately every five years, a cruise ship must go into dry dock for essential maintenance to be carried out. This is maintenance that cannot be carried out whilst the cruise ship is in the water, such as inspections of the hull and propulsion equipment, which is required by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
Whilst a cruise ship is in dry dock for this maintenance, many cruise lines take the opportunity to give a ship a freshen up and make some exciting changes to enhance passenger experiences. For example, Princess Cruises made some big improvement to the Caribbean Princess last year during its dry dock.
What is planned for Sapphire Princess?
The cruise ship is due to go into dry dock from 14 to 27 March 2018 in Singapore. According to Princess Cruises, you can expect the following upgrades:
The Princess Luxury Bed is scientifically-engineering to give you the ultimate good night’s sleep. The Sapphire Princess will replace all of their beds with this new Luxury Bed – ah ZZZZZzzzzz
Families will be pleased to learn that Princess Cruises is updating it’s provision for children and young people, in partnership with Discovery.
The Just for Kids area will offer two clubs. The Treehouse (3 – 7 years) is a forest-themed centre with lots of fun hands-on activities to keep them happy and The Lodge (8 – 12 years) will offer a selection of sports, with the chance to hang out and meet new friends.
The Just for Teens area will be a beach-themed space aimed and young cruisers aged 13 to 17 years old. This chilled out zone will also offer movies, competitions, tournaments and a Rock the Boat Party – a bit like formal night but with mocktails!
For the inbetweeners age group there will be Club 1820, a special area, which is a secret code to allow the independence and privacy that this age group wants. This is already on the Caribbean Princess but as it’s so secret I’m unable to show you any sneak peeks.
There are plans for the boutique shops on the Promenade Deck (Deck 7) to receive a face lift to brighten up your shopping experience. Expect to be able to still get all your essentials such as toiletries and gifts as before.
Spa and Gym
The Lotus Spa and Fitness Center are expecting upgrades too, you can take a look at what you can expect in this video.
European Cruise Activities
Cruise passengers who will be sailing on the Sapphire Princess to Europe for the summer season will be able to enjoy two ‘festivals of the world’. Expect enrichment activities, musical entertainment, festival-related movies and themed shopping events.
The two festivals are:
Carnavale Di Venezia (March to October) on Baltic, Mediterranean and UK cruises
A Venetian festival that will pay homage to 17th century Venice, Italy. Cruise passengers will be able to create their own masks, learn a little Italian, take a spin in a tarantella dance class, and race gondola boats. The ship will be decorated in jewels to celebrate the festival.
Midsommarfest (April to September) on Baltic cruises
This Scandinavian summer solstice tradition ushers in the longest day of the year with pageantry and color. The Midsommarfest celebrations will include a variety of cultural events on board from traditional dances to flower headbands, face painting, and traditional foods.
I am really looking forward to getting on board the Sapphire Princess this spring, in particular being one of the first to sleep in the new beds, so watch this space for further information in May when I return from a repositioning cruise from Rome to Southampton.