Grand Princess Cruise Review by Gourmet Cooks: Good cruise but nothing really special
Overall Member Rating
Good cruise but nothing really special
Embarkation: San Francisco
DW and I just returned from a 15 night Hawaiian cruise. Embarkation in San Francisco was very smooth and we were very impressed.
Cabin: We were on the Emerald deck with an obstructed view. Our view turned out to be quite nice. The cabin was small but we did miss having a sofa/loveseat to use. Most people used the bed to sit and it caused one of the mattress to sag due to all the extra stress of people using it as a sitting area. The mattresses were firmer than I like but were still lower quality than I expected. It would have helped if the pillows were not so pathetic. The four pillows for our bed should have been tossed out years ago! The bed linens were just ok and were a bit yellowed from wear. The bath linens were in good shape. The bathroom was a bit dark with only two small lights over the sink only. Storage space was adequate. Our room steward was good but we rarely saw him - which was ok.
Public Spaces: Public areas are nice but you can tell the ship is not More as modern even though it was renovated a few years ago. The lack of a central stairwell and slow elevators throughout the ship has been well documented by others on these boards. The ship and décor in many areas felt "dated". Maintenance is ongoing and the ship was always very clean. Having a self laundromat on the ship was a big plus! The lounge chairs by the pools were not very comfortable. Their are no gym showers, which can be a bit inconvenient at times.
Meals: Food was good, but nothing to really get excited about overall. Breakfast in HC was very predictable every day. The coffee was good or weak, but never consistent. Each night a basket of bread was on our dining table. Rarely was their any deviation in bread choices. A different variety should have been offered each night. Service was good but sometimes to the point of obnoxious. All the cruise lines have the wait staff scared within an inch of their life with the all important customer survey that they live and die by. One waiter and one bar staff member gave us their names on a piece of paper and asked us to be sure to mention them and give an excellent review. The wait staff in the dining room have almost no time to socialize and get to know their patrons. They seemed to have too many tables that they just rush one course to the next so that they can turn the table. We did have "anytime" dining but beware if you want a quiet table for two. They need more tables for two and they really encourage you to share a table. Sometimes we were just not in the mood for small talk or running the risk with being seated with obnoxious people. Most of the time we were seated right away or only had to wait 10 or 15 minutes for a table. I guess they know you mean business when you are willing to take buzzer and wait. Calling for a reservation ahead of time was comical at times, and ran from "no problem" to "we'll try, but can't guarantee anything - you have been warned".
Entertainment: Some shows were good and some were from the C list. Shows were shown multiple times and in various venues. We usually caught at least two different shows after dinner each night.
Final thought: We have sailed Disney (2x), Holland (2x), Royal Caribbean (2x), Celebrity (2x) and now have completed our first Princess Cruise. There was never one major issue or anything really specific that upset us but we were just not wowed by the Princess line. Would I sail with Princess again? Maybe, but only on a newer and different class of ship, if price and itinerary were right. Most likely we will stick with a our favorites of Royal and Celebrity going forward. Less
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