This was cruise number 46 and the 6th on Princess. We now live in Fort Lauderdale so getting to the Grand Princess was only a taxi ride away. We took the line's advice and got to the terminal a few minutes before 2PM. Getting on was a breeze. We ask for the priority line and were told it was closed since there was not need for it at the time of our embarkation.
First impressions of the ship were very favorable. She sparkled and continued so throughout our week on board. We had been on this ship in November of 2011 after her renovation and she certainly wasn't showing her age at all. One elevator was out, but all the others worked.
This was the second time that we booked a balcony cabin. The configuration of this cabin was much better than on the Sapphire, our only other experience in one of the smaller cabins. Everything was cleaning and adequate for a week's cruise. The shelf space could be tight for a clothes-horse on a two week sojourn. I wish that Princess had a small sofa in there entry balcony cabins like HAL does in its newer ships. The balcony no longer has the rubber mats but looked and functioned great, no burnt feet on the dark metal decking. What I definitely like is Princess's beds. Granted they are not as elaborate than HAL's but the advantage is that our steward was able to tidy up our cabin quickly. He also had time to clean it, something I wonder about HAL whose stewards have to spent lots of time putting the elaborate bedding back together each morning.
We did not go to any shows. This would have interfered with our time in the Wheelhouse Bar! We have been to all the ports (which we enjoy) many times, so we did not do any tours. We wandered around, shopped (it's great in San Juan and Marigot), and had tapas in San Juan and lunch in the other ports.
Now a word about the food. We ate in the Horizon Court and in the "any time" dining rooms. Try as we could, we could not find much to complain about. Maybe the Horizon Court could have had a greater variety of cheeses, a little different each day, but we could not complain about the variety of sausages, often five varieties at a meal. My roast beef was a little tough, but I ordered an end cut. On another night I had a wonderful pheasant and a terrific Gorgonzola and poached pear salad.
The staff was very pleasant. If I must complain about something, and it won't be about the great pizza, it's that the library on the Grand is too small. Would have liked something new to read, but I did bring material from our local library.
Disembarkation was a breeze.
To sum it all up, Princess gives its cruisers lots for the money.