Sapphire Princess Day 17

Written by Safarigal
March 21, 2024

At Sea

March 20th, 2024

The ocean is totally calm and there is no motion on board Sapphire Princess. Quite a difference from a few days ago. Personally I prefer rougher weather, but I am really happy with any weather just as long as I am at sea.

Although Skywalkers is a beautiful bar with a great view, and very quiet except for the knitters and knatters get togethers, it continues to be way too cold. We moved to Club Fusion to get our work done during the day. There is a great spot with a nearby outlet where we can sit and work, and look out on the ocean.

The only problem is the space is used for a lot of activities. First there is Zumba, then several versions of trivia, Bingo, line dancing, dance classes, Spanish, and today there is something called “body language challenge”. So the temptation is always to join in and have fun!

Today at his noon announcement Captain McBain announced that the crew of Sapphire Princess has won the Princess Cup again for the 3rd quarter in a row. He pointed out that this was quite a feat, given that there are 15 newer ships in the fleet all with fancy bells and whistles, and that we have the most challenging itineraries. I must say this feels like a “happy ship” kind of the way Queen Victoria does. Quite honestly the service really isn’t the best, and at times service in the dining room is really bad. However everyone has a smile, and they seem to be working really hard. I can see why people we have met say this is the best ship in the Princess fleet.

The deck plan and décor are really nice, with loads of outside deck space. The ship does feel very crowded at times, and having to wait in queues is frustrating, but most of the time it is fine. Although there are a lot of activities that simply don’t appeal to us, the program has enough going on that does interest us. I have never been on a ship that had so many presentations by the shops and art gallery, but I suppose these are more money making activities, compared to talks on whales and penguins. Which leads me to the joke of the day. Why are there no penguins in England? Because they are afraid of Wales. OK, I know it is bad. It’s not my joke, it is from Rob Raincock, my favorite enrichment speaker.

When we arrive in Peru on March 22nd, we are going on the overland tour to Machu Pichu. I had looked at doing a private tour, one of our best tours ever was when we went on a private tour to Iguazu Falls during a Queen Victoria voyage, but we ended up going with the Princess tour. It was just too complicated organizing a private tour that I was sure would get us back to the ship in good time.

There was a meeting about the tour in the Explorers Lounge this afternoon.

We will be gone from the ship for 3 days, 2 nights. When we leave the ship in Pisco, we have a 5-and-a-half-hour bus ride to the airport in Lima where we catch a flight to Cusco. We do some sight seeing in and around Cusco, and eventually get to our hotel, the Tambo del Inka, in the Sacred Valley. That sounds like a long day, but the hotel looks amazing, with a great looking swimming pool. I hope the pool will still be open when we get there.

The next day is our day in Machu Pichu. We will take a train and a bus to get there. The road up to Machu Pichu looks like it could be challenging!

With the improvement in the weather I thought we might try to watch a “movie under the stars”.

Loungers with comfy looking cushions are set up, and cozy blankets and popcorn are provided.  All the ingredients for good movie watching, but unfortunately the timing of the movie didn’t work out with our dinner plans. Oh well, we will have to try it another night.

I do love the jet engines on the funnel.

I was most disappointed when Brian informed me that they were not engines at all, they were just there for decoration. Well, I still like to think that they are jet engines propelling us ever northward.

There was another champagne fountain to welcome the new passengers on board.

I decided to give it a miss this time, and with the majority of passengers imbibing champagne in the atrium, I was able to soak in one of the hot tubs at the back of the ship in blissful solitude, except for one woman who was also watching out for the green flash at sunset.

At first I thought that conditions were perfect for a green flash. We have never seen a green flash while at sea, but we live in hope that one day we will be lucky enough to see it. I watched from the hot tub as the sun gently floated down to the horizon. Unfortunately the sun was met by a band of clouds before it could disappear over the horizon and it sunk into the clouds with no chance of a green flash. Well there is always tomorrow.

As I headed back to the cabin, I could see that except for the band of dark clouds on the horizon, there were no other clouds in the sky. It looked to be a perfect evening for standing at the back of the ship and looking for the southern cross.

After dinner we bundled up and walked to the back of the ship. However, instead of a clear starlit sky, there was heavy cloud cover. No stars at all. We are heading north at a rapid rate, I do hope we have a clear night and can see the southern cross before it disappears from our range of view.

Post Discussion


  1. Jack Dawson

    Ahhhh, the elusive Green Flash. We are fortunate enough to have a beach condo in the Florida Panhandle where we spend about half of our time. In 16 years we have only seen the Green Flash 3 times, once was an “Oh WOW” experience and the other two were “was that a Green Flash???” sightings. Part of the problem is that only about 1 in 5 sunsets occur with a perfectly clear horizon. Never the less, we still go out on the balcony almost every day at sunset, wine glasses and hopes filled high, and watch for the Green Flash. Good luck with the Green Flash and the Southern Cross.

    • Safarigal

      My parents always said that drinking rum helped them see the green flash when they lived in Dominica. Hmmmmmm! Good luck with future green flash watching 🙂

  2. Lynda

    Where will you be when the Eclipse occurs ? That should be an amazing experience.

    In Norway, we were told that the Northern Lights and the Green Flashes had to be seen through a camera – almost impossible to view with the human eye. Hope Brian gets to take pics of all !!!

    • Safarigal

      We will be off the coast of Mazatlan for the eclipse – hopefully it will be a clear day. The Northern Lights are certainly better through a camera – we have seen the green flash with the naked eye, but never managed to catch the image on film. But it’s fun trying!

  3. Lynda

    Where will you be when the Eclipse occurs ? That should be an amazing experience.

    In Norway, we were told that the Northern Lights and the Green Flashes had to be seen through a camera – almost impossible to view with the human eye. Hope Brian gets to take pics of all !!!

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I love to share my adventures with others, and hopefully give them some insight into what to expect on their own exciting travels. I hope reading my blog will be a useful resource, and inspire others to follow their travel dreams. As a travel advisor, I get great pleasure out of being able to help folks fulfill their aspirations by translating my experience in safari adventures and ocean voyages into memorable travel experiences for them.