We had a wonderful time the 2nd week of January 2013 on the Grand Princess. My husband and I decided to go on this cruise for a romantic get away without our child (teenager). We read the reviews and wondered about a couple of people describing the cruise as "the entertainment was boring or there was nothing to do". I can assure you this is not the case, however, we think we figured out why people said that. So,for you folks that have sailed before I'll try to be a little more specific about things. (long review)
Overall the ship is older but very clean and well taken care of.The obstructed view outside cabin was GREAT and the I loved the layout with the closet in the alcove and not in the main corridor to the door, fine for two people, 3 would be pushing it. There's a ton of activities and entertainment. The line I believe from what we experienced on this cruise is very traditional. And, very traditional cruisers. Very much an older crowd the majority of folks in their upper 70's so as you can imagine that meant the entertainment was very low key, family style. No Las Vegas, edgey or more adult themes here.No adult treasure hunt etc. So if you're looking for more adult like Vegas style, don't do Princess.If you're looking for traditional fare, ping pong, shuffleboard, 4 pools, sunbathing, sleeping/reading in deck chairs, playing mah jong, cards, board games, afternoon tea, towel folding, ice carving, movies, ballroom dance lessons, and several live bands playing standards and dance music then you'll absolutely LOVE this cruise. Great piano singer as well. There was a about 2600 on board and it never felt overcrowded.
The food was very good, however the choices were limited. Portions were small. I like this but your "Carnival" party obese crowd will not like it. The buffet was very nice but again fewer choices. We really liked the fact that the silverware was already on the table in the buffet seating areas and that waiters got your drinks for you, which helped when carrying your plate etc. The egg situation in the morning was very good, they fried up quite a few over medium eggs and set them out so you didn't have to wait. There was a venue near the piazza "main open area center to the ship" where they served sandwiches, soups and desserts 24 hrs. However coffee cost extra and you had to get water from the bar. The pizza was absolutely fabulous, the room service in the morning was wonderful as well. If you request it they bring you a basket of fruit in your cabin and refill it every day which we liked because we generally have fruit for snack instead of lunch etc. They had a "glee" like choir that was really fun, they had a crew talent show, they had an american idol like competition.
Like I said PLENTY to do if it's what you want to do. No one at the disco at night!! The comedian was very good, the stage shows not so much, a little stale. No afternoon pool games. The ship was quieter than the last 3 I've been on and that's really how I'd descirbe the service as well, quiet. No one was in your face over drinks or selling anything. announcements kept to a minimum. Room steward didn't make noise when we wanted to sleep late. Best waiter we've had in 20 years in the dining room (Irina from Ukraine) EXCELLENT. But very little variety in the dining room. They did serve Lobster one night and they served baked alaska and cut a whole one right at your table. So there are the specifics of what we liked. It's not that we want a wild party but I believe Princess needs to step up and modernize some of their itineraries if they want to attract a younger crowd. We had a good time but probably won't sail Princess again until we're in our 70's and that's a shame because I will miss the little touches that Princess does well.We'd like our next cruise to be more party fun oriented and that's not Princess.