Background Information: I purchased this tour about a year in advance.
Hotel: There was none as I was on the previous cruise.
..Most of the time I had a cold and a few days I spent inside my cabin. But there was plenty to do & in addition I had my Nook E Reader with me.
..C328 was located on the Caribe deck, port side, amidships, equidistant from the center & forward elevators & not a far walk to the Laundromat. C328 had the same layout as A727, my cabin for the
Canary Islands Cruise only reversed. The room steward was Ronald.
..Roger Bilton. He did a fantastic job of taking us from Southampton to FLL. What I especially liked was his daily updates.
..The first night there for 3 of us at a table of 4; thereafter the table became 6 & I was more or less alone which suited me fine as I read my electronic reader (Nook).
..The best part of this is that is I opted for EZCheck which means you leave your luggage out the last night of the cruise & do not see it again until you arrive at your home airport. It was $20 but well worth the expense.
..This did not apply as I was on the previous cruise to the Canary Islands; what amazed me was that we did not have to get off the ship in London.
..I didn't give the Cruise Director many points here. The noise in the Theater was too loud; he failed to realize that some people have ears that are 70+ years old. The talent may have been great but the amplification should have been reduced. Also some of the entertainers spoke a foreign language which I had difficulty understanding.
11-3 MacDonald Bros -- excellent; 11-4 Hypnotist David Knight ok; pianist Maurizio (didn't see); 11-5 Do You Wanna Dance by Princess Dancers (have seen this before on other ships and did not like it); MacDonald Bros; 11-6 Siobhan Phillips (did not see); hypnotist David Knight (did not see); 11-7 vocalist Mark O'Malley (did not see) 11-8 comedian Darrell Joyce ( saw and he was good) & Motor City with Princess Dancers (have seen this before) 11-9 Motor City (again) & mind reader Alex Crow (did not see) 11-10 International Crew Show (didn't care for it although the performers were good) & ventriloquist Jimmy Tamley; 11-11 instrumentalist Seonaid Aitken (saw, she was good but the amplification was too loud) & Maurizio (didn't see) 11-12 Stardust with Princess Dancers (did not see) & Darrell Joyce/Jimmy Tamley (saw); 11-13 Seonaid Aitken (didn't see) & Alex Crow (saw and he was terrible -- Vista Lounge half empty) 11-14 Mark O'Malley (walked out) & magician Chipper Lowell (saw -- passable although people were walking out during his performance); 11-15 British Invasion with Princess Dancers (didn't see) & comedienne Paul Eastwood (saw); 11-16 Chipper Lowell & Paul Eastwood.
Port and Shore Excursions:
..These are mentioned in my daily diary.
..This has always been good no matter which line I have been on. Most of the employees realize that we are responsible for their income.
..Although Princess has a no smoking policy, the Snooker's Cigar Bar is located just before the Princess theater on Deck 6 Fiesta. No matter whether you enter the theater on the left or right of Snooker's there is that smelly odor. I heard other cruisers that were upset about Snooker's.
..In summary I had a marvelous time & am hooked on transatlantic cruising.
Travel to Port of Embarkation:
..I was already on the ship so travel was not an issue.
..This was my second cruise aboard the Grand, the first being the previous cruise to the Canary Islands. The capacity of about 2000 was adequate.
Sat Nov 3 London -- Sunny, Wind W force 5, Temp 48F, Bar 997.2hpa
....We arrived at 7, had breakfast in the Botticelli Dining Room then I returned to A727 to finish packing for my move to C328. Cabin 328's balcony is 2.5 that of A727. I had supper at a table for 4; there were 3 of us, a couple from England & me. We waited well over 30 minutes for the entree so the couple complained, not that we were going anywhere. Anyway it got her a free cup of latte. Tonight's entertainment was a variety show time starring the MacDonald Brothers & yes they are really brothers. The youngest played the accordion, guitar, Irish Flute, & piano, the eldest played the violin; they were great performers, musicians, & singers.
Sun Nov 4 Paris/Normandy (Le Havre) 7-8: PC, Wind W force 6.5, Temp 52F, Bar 994.5hpa
....We are in port today with the Celebrity Constellation. There was a tour to Paris, a 7 hour r/t bus ride for $200. People who went told me most of the 7 hours was riding on the bus. One woman said "never again". It's one of those tours where you think twice about going. After supper I was going to see tonight's entertainment "Comedy Hypnotic" but it's probably the same as I've seen on the Crown Princess & as I still do not feel well I returned to my cabin.
Mon Nov 5 At Sea: Cloudy, Wind NW force 8, Temp 52F, Bar 1003hpa
....After breakfast I returned to my cabin for a few things then made my way to One 5 on Deck 15 for the M&G but this was rescheduled to the Vista Lounge on Deck 7. I told Sandi Sosinsky that I was under the weather, may not make the tour scheduled for tomorrow, but will still pay for it. Then someone else asked me if I would be interested in dinner at the Crown Grill. I answered in the affirmative. After leaving Le Havre last night the weather turned rough & will be like that throughout the day. I asked the room steward for a hard pillow; he also helped me adjust the brightness on the TV.
Tue Nov 6 (Voting Day USA) Vigo Spain 10-5: Sunny, NE force 3, 63F, 1027hpa
....I went out of my cabin just to eat, the rest of the time I slept; just wanted to see if I could get rid of the bug I had. I called Sandi Sosinsky and let her know I would be at the meeting place at 8am, & might go on the tour just to get away from the ship. Tonight's entertainment was vocalist Siobhan Phillips & hypnotist David Knight. I felt it better to get some rest so saw neither.
Wed Nov 7 Lisbon 8-5: E force 3.5, 55F, 1018hpa
....I was at the meeting place at 8am was sort of glad I went & did not get a sore throat as expected. Our guide was Sr. Pedro Manuel, Lisbon Tours, Portugal. The day was cloudy & ended up raining so stops that were scheduled were not made. We returned to the ship about 3pm upon which I went to my cabin. Tonight's entertainment was Mark O'Malley; I did laundry instead. Sandi called, said she just spoke to the tour guide who told her there would be much walking on the Azores tour & that I could back out without any payment. I did back out mostly because of feeling under the weather. I signed up for Princess's EXCheck which means that you leave your checked baggage outside your cabin Nov.16 and do not see it until Nov. 17 in Boston; all this for $20.
Thu Nov 8 At Sea: Cloudy, N force 6.5, 61F, 1017hpa
....This was a relaxing day. First I had breakfast then lunch. At lunch there was a gentleman who was retired from Eastern Airlines then worked for a travel agency when Eastern folded. His knowledge of cruise lines was amazing. He compared various cruise lines to various cars, for example Carnival being Chevrolet. Tonight's supper was at the table for 6 but 2 other couples joined me. In the Princess Theater was Advanced Digital Photography followed by the movie "The Intouchables". It was very funny. Tonight's entertainment was Comedian Darrel Joyce.
Fri Nov 9 Azores Islands (Ponte Delgarda) Portugal 10-6: PC, N force 2, Temp 64F, 1027 hpa
.....I had breakfast then went to the medical center. Later I got off the ship went into a store then realized I couldn't buy anything as I neglected to bring any money. For supper I had the table of 6 to myself. Tonight's entertainment was Motor City & Mind reader Alex Crow.
Sat Nov 10 At Sea: Overcast, N force 2, 66F, 1031hpa
.....Breakfast this morning with 2 other couples; each of them has travelled extensively. They always take the least expensive cruise & belong to cruise critic (so we have something in common) but she says that now they are running out of funds.
Sun Nov 11 At Sea: showers, SW force 7, temp 71F, 1024hpa
....Breakfast then back to the cabin, lunch followed by the movie "The Expendables 2" which was a good show starring Sylvester Stallone. For supper tonight I was joined by 2 couples. Entertainment tonight was instrumentalist Seonaid Aitken in the Princess Theater & pianist Maurizio in the Vista Lounge.
Mon Nov 12 At Sea: showers, NE force 7, 68F, 1029hpa
....Breakfast & lunch followed by "The Magic of Belle Isle" with Morgan Freeman in the Princess Theater. I had supper with 2 new couples at the table. The head waiter, seeing 4 vacant seats, asked me if was ok if others joined me, I replied SURE. Entertainment tonight was Stardust by the Grand Princess Singers & Dancers in the Princess Theater & Darrell Joyce & Jimmy Tamley in the Vista Lounge.
Tue Nov 13 At Sea: showers, E force 6.5, 72F, 1025hpa
....Breakfast then I called the Spa to make an appointment at 1pm for a shave as I have $600 in credits to use up. I might even get an atomic watch. I had lunch in the Botticelli Dining Room with the cruise critic group but left at 12:45 because of the 1pm appt. They wouldn't give me a shave because of the medication I was on but instead gave me a neck & shoulder message, deep cleaning facial & a scalp message. Tonight's entertainment was Seonaid Aiken in the Princess theater and Alex Crow in the Vista Lounge.
Wed Nov 14 Bermuda (West End) 8-4: cloudy, E force 3, 72F, 1013hpa
....I walked to see the shops around where the ship docks then took the tram back to the ship but this ended in a tour. Back at the ship I had lunch in Horizon's then saw the movie "Rock of Ages" in the Princess Theater. I had supper tonight at the table of 6 however I was the only one again. Entertainment was vocalist Mark O'Malley & magician Clipper Lowell.
Thu Nov 15 At Sea: showers, N force 2, 75F, 1016hpa
....Breakfast then a free Health Seminar -- Eat More to Weigh Less at 11am followed by lunch at noon then a Health Seminar -- Detox for Health and Weight loss. During this time there was an outlet sale in the Michelangelo Dining Room which I went to but did not buy anything. At 2pm the movie "War Horse" in the Princess Theater then back to the cabin where a letter informed me of the credits I had & if not used I might get a refund. This was verified with a visit to the Purser's Office who told me I would receive a refund for all credits not used. So I decided not to purchase that Atomic Watch & Camera, both of which I did not need. Tonight's entertainment was the British Invasion by the Princess Dancers & comedian Paul Eastwood.
Fri Nov 16 At Sea: sunny, N force 3, 82F, 1018hpa
....This was packing day. I got up late then packed till noon, had lunch, returned & finished packing. I labeled my 1 piece of luggage & put it outside the cabin. The good thing was that Princess gave me 448.34 as I had that in unused credits. So this makes up for my not getting picked up in London although that memory still bothers me. Entertainment tonight was comedian Paul Eastwood & magician Chipper Lowell.
Sat Nov 17 Fort Lauderdale
....We arrived at 7am; eventually I got to the airport & picked up my luggage in Boston.