After taking my last three cruises on The Star Princess I was immediately disappointed. I had heard that the Grand was charming and elegant and had undergone a huge refurbishment. I just didn't see anything Grand compared to the other Princess ships.
We boarded at Ft.Lauderdale and our embarkment was completed in less than 5 minutes. I was shocked since I heard the ship was full. We didn't need to enter through the Platinum Line. We had received a huge upgrade from a guaranteed oceanview to a balcony. Our room was wonderful and we enjoyed it thoroughly. We immediately went to the Lido deck to meet friends who were already on the ship from the previous cruise to have lunch. The Princess buffet is always very nicely displayed and this time the cheese and desserts were covered and in a different area. It looked so nice and fresh with a glass cover to elimate germs.
We quickly found out that the group we were dining with was a party of 8 and our friends asked the Maitre'd if More
they could move to accomodate us to a table of 10. We ate in the DaVinci room table 105 and each night was a fabulous dining experience. Our waiters quickly poured our drinks to our liking never having to ask after the first night. The waiters took special care of me because I am vegetarian and showed me the next days lunch menu in case I didn't like the choices on the dinner menu. In my five cruises with Princess that was the first time I ever was shown that choice.
Excursions: We took The MiDushi at the Aruba port. It was an all day snorkeling adventure and it's not to be missed. The guys on the boat were absolutely wonderful. I didn't snorkel but my partner loved all three stops.
We had a delicious meal aboard the boat and made to order drinks were available. The best part of the excursion was riding the fun bus there and back. It was the highlight of my trip. The driver turned the music up and we were all singing and swaying to the music.
Curacao-I took the city tour through a private company at the dock. It was very nice for $20. It was so disappointing to have such a little time there. It wasn't worth the stop. I would of prefered to stay overnight in Aruba. Everyone I spoke to agreed.
I have to say that with so much time on the ship with a 7 day cruise I was actually bored. I spent time in the casino where I lost a lot of money. I was disappointed with two nights having the same productions as Star Princess the year before. You wouldn't think going on three cruises you would have the same entertainment. The first shows are always so packed. The guitar player who had played in all these famous bands looked like he just crawled out of bed. We quietly go out of there. One night at one of the shows 3 of us fell asleep.
I have to say out of all my cruises this was the most boring. I hate to go to bed early but everything is so dead in the evening. We really look for things to do Piano Bar, Wheelhouse Bar etc. I do have to say the band in The Wheelhouse bar was the best on the ship and we did dance away the night on one occasion. They were there a couple of times on the itinerary.
Embarkment was a little slow on this ship and our friends found out they had to carry all their luggage themselves because they had a 7:30 a.m. flight.
I love Princess's itineraries and I am already booked on another cruise. I just wish I hadn't of chosen this particular itinerary. It is my fault though because I knew the itinerary.
One thing we did was the Balcony Breakfast, They served us 7 plates of food. It was a wonderful experience for the money. We would definitely do it again. Less