My husband and I were in need of a break from our busy lives. This cruise provided us with peace and quiet, interesting activities, delicious meals, and top-notch entertainment. We were welcomed on board by a crew who really seemed to enjoy making us happy. As one server said, " It is you who are on vacation!"
Embarkation was simple: we were allotted a 1:00 time as we were on Dolphin deck. We parked opposite the pier and within 20 minutes we were sitting down to lunch in the Da Vinci Dining Room. We have previously dined in Horizon Court, while in fact the dining rooms are also open.
Our stateroom was in an excellent location. it was on a quiet floor with easy access to the elevators. The open balcony allows for maximum sun, but also for viewers from above. Please bear this in mind if you are a private person. Our room steward, Abraham did an excellent job of keeping our stateroom clean, free of trash and replenished with soap and towels. He was friendly and unobtrusive.
The Wake Show and Princess Patter are the ship's daily sources for ship news. The show is broadcast daily from 10 pm onwards and the Princess Patter is a daily newsletter delivered in the evening for the following day's news. The Cruise Director, Martyn from England and the Assistant Cruise Director, Frenchie from France, produced an excellent show every day and hosted many daily events around the ship.
It is surprising that on a ship of such a large size, a passenger never feels like they are with hundreds of other people. This is possibly due to the fact that at any one time there are several activities happening on different decks. When it was sunny, people congregated around the four pools, so there was usually space for everyone. Only on two occasions were we unable to get into the venue because it was so popular.
We felt that our needs were accommodated on the ship. For example, although the Grand Princess tends to seat people for dinner in groups of 6 or 8 people, they accommodated our wish for a table for two.
We opted for early dining 5:30 pm and were seated in the Da Vinci Dining Room. On several occasions we ate at a later time because we were busy doing different activities. On this cruise, because there were several sea days, we did not get up early in the morning, so we consequently wanted to eat around 7:30 pm. Next time, if we return to the Mexican Riviera, we will probably choose anytime dining so we can go to dinner whenever we wish.
The menus in the Da Vinci Dining Room contained regular items and special items. My personal favorites were Fig Copote in a lemon syrup for breakfast, the cheeseburger and fries for lunch, and the chilled coconut sou for dinner. However, there were so many different fish, chicken and meat dishes as well as a variety of delicious salads. Our waiters,Gerald and Stephen were phenomenal.
My husband and I dined at the Crown Grill and Sabatini's. They were an excellent value for money with a $25 surcharge per person. The food was remarkable and the service impeccable. This is our third cruise with Princess, and until now we were not tempted to try these specialty restaurants. But, we were glad we did!
The entertainment was of excellent quality: classical music by The Rhapsody Trio, big band music by the Grand Princess Orchestra, steel drum music, super shows with talented singers and dancers, commedians and an amazing magician!
During the day there were numerous activities to choose from: scholarship at sea, bingo, golf, board games, reading circle, knitters and natters... The list is endless! Suffice to say, we really didn't need to leave the ship!
The average age of the passengers was a little older than ourselves, mid sixties to our late forties, but we had a wonderful relaxing time!