We found lots of areas for sunning or enjoying the sea breeze, plus the Sanctuary, a new added-fee area that was quite soothing.
The Oasis is on the upmost of the decks that cascade down to the aft of the ship, a great area for sunning. There are two hot tubs here, along with a pair of shuffleboard courts, and the Oasis Bar serves libations through the day.
One of five pools on Sapphire Princess, Neptune’s Reef is one of the two largest, and serves as the main outdoor facility. There are two hot tubs and the screen for Movies Under the Stars.
This smaller round pool was little used on our cruise. It was a bit larger than a plunge pool—no laps, please—and located next to the kids areas.
Though a bit smaller than the ship’s largest pools, this was our favorite, located on the lowest of the terraces facing aft. On sunny days, this was a glorious spot to hang out.
This odd little pool is sequestered within the spa area and has a couple small hot tubs at one end. It’s outdoors, but with walls enclosing this sunken space, the sun didn’t land here except when overhead. The eight loungers sat in the shade for most of the day.
Sapphire Princess was one of the last ships in the fleet to add this private adults-only facility on Deck 16 forward—private, that is, for those who pony up the day use fee of $20. Half-day passes were available for $10, or one could have six days’ access for $90.
The cosseting facility feels exclusive, with ample loungers spread around areas of screened sun and potted plants. A couple oversized private cabanas at the front are reserved for massages (regular spa prices prevail), and waiters are available to deliver light meals from a limited menu. A $3 delivery fee applied to food service orders and, considering that there’s already a charge to use the facility, we found the additional surcharge to be a bit tacky. Still, the Sanctuary is pretty nice, and it was never remotely crowded. For those desiring an elite environment, free from crowding or romping kids, this was a good hideaway.
The Promenade Deck on Sapphire Princess is most of the exterior portion of Deck 8. At the front of the ship the deck ends, but it is possible, using a staircase on either side of the ship, to make a full circuit by continuing up to Deck 8. Three complete circuits of decks 7 and 8 equals one mile (note that the forward portion of Deck 8 is closed after sunset).
There were lots of deck chairs for taking in the sea breezes.
This exterior deck wrapped the Lotus Spa and provided good forward views for those not wishing to spring for day-use fee at The Sanctuary. No deck chairs or services here, and the area could be windy (it’s closed after sundown), but still a nice perch for spotting wildlife.
This deck—actually two terraced above Neptune’s Pool—was a less-used sun deck with loungers and good sight lines to the Movies Under the Stars screen. It was the highest accessible point on the forward part of the ship.
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