We have sailed on Golden Princess twice, and Freedom of the Seas twice. Our experiences have been nothing but positive from embarking to the end. Grand Princess came up short.
Our first aggravation started when we arrived at the San Francisco pier. There was a line down the sidewalk on one of the hottest days we have experienced in San Francisco. They could have let us into the building to wait. NEVER again will we sail from this port.
As far as the ship, the food selection and taste does not nearly compare to the food we had on Golden Princess. At the buffet, they actually served quiche ice cold--intentionally! Every morning for 15 days, they had oatmeal, and never had cream of wheat or grits. The lunch and dinner choices were basically unheard of to Americans. In the dining room, the only good thing we had was the fettucine in the parmesian cheese basket. Any other entre we ordered was not fit to eat. The Crown Pub was a life-saver for lunch when they were open. The fish and chips and bread pudding were great! The soft serve on any Princess ship is shameful. It doesn't even look like ice cream, much less taste like it.
Some of the entertainment was great: Maurizio on the piano, the three Russian girls who play in the Piazza, and the crew talent show. The others were mediocre at best. There were two great lecturers.
Our greatest disappointment with this cruise was that it was probably 80-90% seniors, and they did not have enough coffee on the last three days. They started serving coffee in big yellow jugs like workmen use, and it was very obviously watered-down. They were out of decaf in the dining room the last three nights! Can they not figure out that older people drink coffee, and not soft drinks.
It seemed everywhere we went, things were broken. Two of our for dryers in the laundry room were broken, many toilets, one of the coffee stations in Horizon was broken from the first day to the last.
In summary, the Grand was a disappointment.