In this area, Sapphire Princess fell short.
Our experiences with staged entertainment on other cruise lines have generally been better that what we saw here. The theater is quite large, but note that seats in the rear of the most forward section have a fairly severe downward slant. We sat here during the Muster Drill and found ourselves sliding out of the seat in no time.
What we saw here was strictly square, a painful example of a cruise ship plainly out-of-touch with contemporary entertainment. One show called “I Got the Music” offered a medley of disco classics that were regurgitated with the most pedestrian arrangements imaginable, accompanied by woefully lackluster choreography. The “Motor City” review had sets that wouldn’t pass muster at a backwoods high school. And they may call it a review, but it was really more a retread of the most obvious tunes—the ones we’ve heard a million times before.
The Princess Theater was also used for movies; although the screen was a good size the illumination was a bit dim.
We found that one of the highlights of a cruise on Sapphire Princess was this outdoor movie screen, rising above the Neptune’s Reef pool area. The movie selection represented relatively fresh releases that had been theaters within the last 6 months. And the presentation quality is strong enough that a relatively bright, crisp picture can be enjoyed, even when the sun is out (though it’s at its best after sundown). Each evening blankets would be spread out on the deck chairs, making the overall experience like a cozy drive-in at sea.
The usual schedule was each movie would play twice in the evening, at 7 or 7:30 p.m. and again at 10 or 10:30 p.m.; most of these repeated on another day at 10 a.m. or 3 p.m. There was also a daily concert video—George Michael, Genesis, Paul McCartney—that would be played at 5 or 6 p.m.
Ice cream and—at 10 p.m.—popcorn was available from Sundaes, and the Mermaid’s Tail Bar offered a small selection of candies to complete the movie-going experience.
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