Having cruised with Princess 18 times, we welcomed the trip away from the cold to visit Hawaii. The embarkation was excellent. We arrived by bus, walked on, checked in and were in the room in 15 minutes. Sail away was delayed due to getting the "stores" aboard, but was cleary explained by the captain and entertainment was ongoing on the upper deck.
The room was excellent, we had a mini suite. The room steward beyond belief assisting us in all our requests. Our room was spotless and made up daily. Obviously the bathroom had extra care as it shone each day. The five days at sea to Hawaii were delightful. Although we could have had better weather, Princess had enough activities to cover every moment.
We were thrilled with Dr. Ray and Lovely Assistant whose lectures appealed to the well educated and were a welcome change. We also delighted in Gary Shehan and his delightful "class" lectures. The entertainment and shows were great, although that would be an individual choice.
Dining was amazing. Okay, to each their own, but after 18 cruises I can say this was the best food I have had on a cruise. The choices were varied and the food excellent. So good, we approached the head of the dinning staff to complement. This was both in the main dinning room and the Horizan Grill. Top quality. Beyond the food is the staff and crew of the Grand Princess. I have been on seven different ships of the Princess fleet, and this is my fourth time on the Grand. Never do I have such wonderful service, such gracious hosts and hostesses, such kindness, such service, and such a remarkable crew. From both captains to the maintenance people, everyone is friendly, is willing to assist or offer assistance or anything,are genuinely kind, and are the best ever, Interestingly enough this happens each time on the Grand yet with diffenent crew members. There is something magical about this ship that creates a happiness that spreads from the crew to passengers. Oh sure, you have the grumpy people who are grumpy whereever they go complaining about dogs, scooters, people and things, but those are the people who are that way everywhere they go. It is unfortunate but many people look at the glass half empty. The tour we took in HIlo was the home tour, and it was fabulous. I would say it was among the best we have taken. We also did the Ultimate Ships tour which was extremely interesting and a wonderful way to learn about the operation of the ship. The ports were lovely, Kauai was a bit damp, but warm. Lahaina was delightful and the city bus was an easy ride to Kaanapali and Whaler's Village for lunch and recreation. The day in Honolulu was very nice and we walked (yes at 71 years old) to Waikiki and back, a total of 11 miles. Had lunch there and dinner at Ala Moana. We did enjoy Ensenada as well. Took the $3 round trip shuttle to town, and shopped. We were very glad we were not aboard the Carnival ship when we saw the obvious drunken crowd in several of the bars. The sail back from Ensenada was a bit rougher, but made for a "ocean like" experience. Embarkation was quick and efficient if you stayed with your color group. Picking up the luggage and a porter was easy, if one could get past the unhappy passengers who felt the porters were their own personal valets. Overall Princess deserves an outstanding for the Grand Princess. I only hope I can say the same about the Ruby that is my next sail in April.