We arrived at Southampton nice and early and ignored the staggered check in time sent to us, we checked in received our cruise cards and were allowed on the ship by 11am not much waiting around at all, nice and simple. Once on board the ship was our oyster - Wow! We found out cabin with ease and were pleased to have been given an upgrade beforehand with an obstructed window, but that didn't spoil the view as I could see plenty beyond the small boat in front. The cabin was more than comfortable, lovely power shower, flat screen TV etc. I will say that mine and my son's mattress was a bit hard compared to my friend's family cabin whose mattresses were lovely and soft, I did wake up with an aching back each morning but it soon disappeared. I didn't mention anything at the time as the cruise was only for 7 days and I don't like to make a fuss (I could live with it). Our cabin steward Nick arrived 10 mins later to introduce himself and give us some discount vouchers, British hats and flags for the Jubilee sail away party. He was very nice but not always on hand to ask him questions, I did page him once and he turned up pretty quick. The only letdown at this point was that my son's suitcase arrived early and mine took another 30 mins to come to the cabin.
The ship is lovely and spacious, food was excellent and the service was outstanding, the staff bent over backwards for us, they especially like friendly passengers who make conversation with them which we did being that sort of person anyway. We dined at 8.30pm in the Botticelli dining room and our head waitress Barbara was fab she knew exactly how we liked things after the first evening. The tasting Chef Katerina from Serbia came and saw us every evening to check that our food was up to scratch and it was excellent every evening, what a lovely lady she was very friendly and was happy to take photos with us and the kids. The restaurant manager Nello from Italy was also there checking that the junior waiters were on hand for anything we required. As mentioned before the service was second to none.On one evening we dined in Sabbatini's and another in the Crown Grill these restaurants have a cover charge but you can order doubles if you want to but there was no need as were were stuffed from a 3 course meal (Sabbantini's was a five course meal with the 3rd course being pasta) great food once again. Most mornings we took breakfast in the buffet on deck 14 as it was available for a longer period of time and wow what an array of choices. We had lunch here too on most days their onions rings are to DIE FOR) light crispy and not greasy whatsoever! We also tried the Pizza in the Piazza and the burgers and chips by the pool. The kids enjoyed ordering room service which was also complimentary 24/7 whilst watching TV in the cabin.
On the 2 formal evenings 90% of cruisers dressed up in evening wear as did we and how fab and great that felt, professional photographers on hand to take photos which you were not obliged to purchase but I did buy 2 one of me and my son together and another of him alone ($50 for both) not bad price really.
The weather wasn't very warm but at least it didn't rain at all and on the last day before sailing back in Oslo, Norway the sun came out and the decks quickly filled up with cruisers to catch a few rays, as we did too.
All in all a fab cruise had by all, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend he Grand Princess at all. I actually got really upset when we disembarked and didn't want to leave. The cruise was for 7 days but another 3 days on board would have been even better. I am now looking forward to my next cruise which sadly won't be until next year unless I win the Lottery (no chance)!