Sapphire Princess Day 25

Written by Safarigal
March 29, 2024

Puntarenas, Costa Rica

March 28th, 2024

The day dawned very hot and muggy, but we were anxious to go ashore and see a bit of Puntarenas. On our last visit here all of our time was spent on our tour, so we really didn’t get to see the town itself at all.

Thank goodness we are not in a cargo port for once. It was a short walk along the pier, and there we were at the port entrance.

There was a little tram for those who chose not to walk. All very civilized.

Although there was no live music to greet us, there were huge speakers at the port entrance playing great upbeat Costa Rican music, which was a lovely way to start our visit.

By the port entrance there were 3 cannons which were rather strangely situated. One was directly aimed at the police station.

The beach was full of families having fun in the sun, we decided that everyone must have the day off because it is Easter week.

There were also weird sand sculptures.

We walked along the waterfront past what looked like a huge food court with several restaurants all serving similar food, and it was all smelling wonderful.

There were also several street carts with interesting food, so there was no lack of places to have a very reasonably priced lunch.

Then we came to the Puntarenas sign. Initially it was mobbed with everyone wanting to be in a photo in front of the sign, but when we walked that way later we had it all to ourselves, so Brian was very happy that he was able to take the photo without some random tourist in the foreground.

I wondered what the people on the beach thought of our ship dominating their view. As I have said before, the ship is not unattractive from the front, but her stern is something else. Yes, there is a definite resemblance to a shopping cart.

It was getting rather hot so we decided to return to the ship for an ice cream and a swim.

Neptune’s pool was almost deserted, and we found a nice spot in the shade where we ate our ice creams. Bliss.

The pool is large enough that you can really swim lengths, and get a good workout. Or else as there was no one else there, just float and enjoy the soothing water.

However, our peace and quiet was shattered at 3:00 PM when they started broadcasting an action movie on the big screen. There was no one there to watch it. Maybe the big screen at the pool isn’t such a good idea after all.

Sail away was meant to be at 6:00 so I was planning to go out on deck to watch our departure.

There was our tug, all ready to spring into action. But what was behind the tug? A baby tug? The pilot boat? It was hard to say.

Then the captain announced that our departure has been delayed.

Apparently no one in Costa Rica works during Holy Week. This leads to amazing congestion on the roads. So the people who went on the Princess tours were nowhere near the port, and our departure has been delayed by at least an hour.

I had been seeing posts on this sailing’s Facebook page about people being stuck on the tour bus for 3 hours and still not being anywhere close to their destinations. It was becoming clear that although some tours were able to go as planned, the majority were being aborted due to the traffic and the inability to visit the attractions that were scheduled on the tours.

All I could think about was that I was so glad we hadn’t decided to join one of the private tours that were being offered at the port entrance. Being delayed on a ship’s tour is one thing, but not being able to get back to the ship on time on a private tour is something else again. I was hoping that the ship would be delayed enough for those passengers on private tours to get here before we sailed.

People were annoyed and frustrated by the problems with the tours, and the ship’s decision to visit the port on a day when it was apparently widely known that getting around was going to be difficult. I suppose that is why our tour was cancelled ahead of time. It seems that several other tours should have been cancelled as well. All this is really a shame.

No point waiting on deck to see the tub doing its thing and hear the whistle blow. Who knows when that is going to happen I walked past the Trade Winds bar on my way back to our cabin.. Tomorrow I bet we will be in the trade winds.

We finally  were able to sail over an hour later, and the delay will not affect our arrival in Puerto Vallarta.

Only 2 more ports on this cruise – Puerto Vallarta and Cabo, and then we will change ships in Los Angeles.

The time had come to check in to the Emerald Princess. Our cruise personalizer said our information was incomplete. But could we check in? No! Indeed our 2 bookings continue to be fused, so although we tried as hard as we could both on the Medallion App and on our cruise personalizer, there was absolutely no way to check in. We finally abandoned our mission and went to dinner.

I really do think that the sommelier was a figment of my imagination. He was nowhere to be seen again.

Well, the traffic delay also had another casualty. The comedian who was due to join the ship today was unable to make it. One of the members of the ship’s orchestra stepped in and gave a solo concert instead.

Well we have 3 sea days ahead, I’m hoping for good weather, and some serious pool time!

Post Discussion


  1. Lynda

    Ur journey was interesting , especially the Penguins & Machu Pichu, but there’s nothing like cruising on Cunard for graciousness, amenities, etc. etc
    Next time … if it’s Queen Vicky … count me in !!!
    Keep on enjoying.

    • Safarigal

      You are so right 🙂

  2. Cynthia

    I’m actually doing the QV around South America in January 2025. Thus, very much enjoying Safarigal’s blog!

    • Safarigal

      You are soooooo lucky! Queen Victoria is such a beautiful ship, and the itinerary is really fantastic, you will have the best time I’m sure. Enjoy the penguins 🙂

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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.