Live From Grand Princess: Before and After, Part 2

May 24, 2011 | By | 10 Comments

It was, you might say, the calling card of Grand Princess — the giant shopping-cart handle on the aft of the ship. Sure, it was a visual cue that you were on vessel striving to stand out from the pack, but one always wondered whether the designers at Princess Cruises realized that it was, quite literally, a shady proposition when it came to the aft pool.

If the transformation of the ship’s Piazza during Grand Princess’s massive refurb was all about what was added to the space, the aft pool deck is all about what’s missing. From the day the ship was unveiled back in 1998, the shadowy effect of Skywalkers, the deck-top disco, on the pool area underneath was reviled. Now that the clunky protuberance has been removed, the aft decks from 12 to infinity are open to the air. And on this particular day, one might even say sun-splashed.
Curious about the remodeled Grand Princess? We’re posting in-depth reports live from the ship on Cruise Critic U.K.’s blog.
For a full run-down of major cruise ship refurbishments, check out our multi-million dollar makeover chart.
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    10 Responses to “Live From Grand Princess: Before and After, Part 2”

    1. Cindy
      May 24th, 2011 @ 5:15 pm

      Much better!

    2. Max Entropy
      May 24th, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

      That handle was seriously ugly. Now they’ll save a few bucks going through the Panama Canal. Are they going to take the torch to the Golden Princess next?

    3. Brian Lutz
      May 25th, 2011 @ 12:45 am

      Considering that the ship is post-Panamax, I don’t think going through the Panama Canal was high on the list of priorities (although I do believe the ships would fit in the New Panamax standard when the new locks open.)

      Currently, there are no plans to remove Skywalkers from the Star, Golden or Caribbean as far as anyone knows.

    4. Trish Tilson
      May 25th, 2011 @ 6:29 am

      I will miss it. I have sailed the Grand twice, and I enjoyed having the shady spot at a pool.

    5. Bill O
      May 25th, 2011 @ 7:53 am

      I, for one, will kind of miss Skywalkers. I have sailed on the Grand three times, twice on TA’s and I can’t think of a finer place to watch sail away from any port than from Skywalkers. A nice cocktail and an hour, or so, to watch where you just were disappear into the mist.

    6. Al Prescott
      May 25th, 2011 @ 9:30 am

      We have sailed the Grand three times and we also liked the Skywalkers – especially after visiting a port. We would go up and have a drink while we sailed away. To each his own – we do like the style of the “Grand” class of the Princess line.

    7. Fran
      May 25th, 2011 @ 9:56 am

      What all these ships need is more covered pool areas. Believe it or not, not everyone wants skin cancer. Perhaps northerners crave the incessant sunshine. But those of us who live in Florida and other wiser folks vie for the limited number of chaises in the shade. Mostly we end up sitting at tables that are covered or relaxing indoors. But I’d like to watch a movie or listen to live music while protecting myself from the sun. I do not go on a cruise to get a tan. I go for all other reasons. I like the fresh sea air. And mostly these Europeans designers who apprently think everyone craves UV rays do not take us into consideration. Give us more shade!!!

    8. Ernest Delaune
      May 25th, 2011 @ 6:04 pm

      We made two transatlantic crossings on the Grand and loved to sit in Skuwalkers, as far port or starboard as possible, and watch the approaching ocean as the ship cut through the waves. This was a great place to sit and read during the day when the nightclub was not yet open. We will definitely miss our favorite perch on the Grand Princess.

    9. paul
      May 25th, 2011 @ 6:18 pm

      I agree, it was a big mistake to remove Skywalkers. I have been on the Star Princess and we loved it, best views around, especially when your in a cold climate and its too cold to stand on deck. And from what i could tell most people preferred the indoor pool area to laze about by the pool to escape from the harsh sun. I agree the shopping cart look wasnt beautiful but it was distinctive and you could always spot the grand class ships from miles away!

    10. John
      May 25th, 2011 @ 8:17 pm

      The tail-fin gives the ships “Classic Italian Flair” like the tail fin on a Ferrari. Pool shade is also high on my list of priorities. Sailed on the Caribbean Princess, one classy vessel. I think it was a sin to lose the fin.

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