Grand Princess Cruise Review by Travel For Two: The Grand Princess Is Not So Grand
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The Grand Princess Is Not So Grand
My wife and I just returned from a 15 day Hawaii cruise San Francisco to San Francisco. We made stops in Honolulu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island. Our last stop was Ensenada, which was a waste of time, but was required by the Jones Act.
We are long time cruisers with Princess going back to the early days of the Love Boat. Time does bring changes, of that I am aware, but this cruise was one of the worst if not the worst of all the cruises we have experienced, and let me explain. It was not one thing but a combination of many changes that left one feeling that they were on a floating hotel instead of a cruise. All the niceties that validate you as a passenger and make things special are and have been taken away.
To name a few: In the cabin bathroom, no longer the 'clam shell' dish with all sorts of nice soaps and shampoo, now just bolted to the wall of the shower a refillable bottle of soap and shampoo. The pillows have seen better days. We had to change the More pillows three times, and finally gave up - no nice cushion for your head, just a hard rock. The entertainment, namely the lectures are only in the morning, the afternoon lectures have been replaced with movies. In fact, it seems when in doubt as to entertainment, just show a movie. The Theater productions have always been of High School quality, but now, it has reached a new low. If you can't provide quality, then ramp up the volume and that should do the trick. The name entertainers were the same old, same old. In this case, mostly singers and a few comics that had routines that fell flat. It says something when no one is laughing.The show times have been cut to 30 minutes, way too short, should be at least 45 to 50 minutes in length, now that I said that, being that the entertainment is poor 30 minutes could be too long. The food, now that is a whole different animal. The buffet has been cut back, and we found that the selections were not as bountiful as before.
Princess has also cut back to one line in the Horizon Court. So now one finds lines at breakfast and dinner and also, finding a place to sit is next to impossible. Room service is poor, they do deliver, but late and tend to forget most of your order. The dining room traditional seating has the first seating at 5:30PM - way too early for dinner, should be at least starting at 6PM. We tried the Crown Grill and found the lamb and pork chops tough, could not even cut them. Also, we ate at Sabatini and found the food better, but the steak tough there as well, and the lobster had no flavor. Over all, Princess has cut back on the quality of the food product. We found the food flavorless - nothing special - just a meal.
As to our cabin. We started out in B625 and every night between 2PM and 5PM there was a lot of noise from the galley- pots, pans and carts moving around. Bad !. We were moved to C257 and that was fine. But it was a hassle getting them to respond.
As a Most Traveled Passenger we were invited to a special lunch. This was a shadow of its former self.
No flower arrangements on the table, just a single sad flower in a vase, no crisp napkins, just everyday set-up. The appetizer of lobster and mango was so diced up that you could not tell what you were served, the main course of steak was overcooked and tough, we asked for it to be changed, but were told that was the best that the chef could do. The dessert was just a simple half slice of cake with an covering in icing, no special treat as in years past. Very poor showing.
Lastly, the farewell show -- this was very pathetic - Where was the balloon toss? The crew show? and the skit " Once upon the Sea". All they had was a dance by the Production Company, 2 songs by the crew members, a dance by a crew member, a comedy act, and one very loud violinist. No laughter, No spontaneity, No fun. Just poor!
Oh, one more item -- one a number of occasions we found mothers changing their childrens diapers on the tables in the Horizon Court and also at the pool area. We also observed that fellow passengers removed their shoes in public rooms and rested their bare feet on the chairs and sofas. Where has the decorum gone? The cruise staff makes no attempt to monitor or correct this type of behavior.
Therefore the atmosphere of cruising is differently not what it use to be. Less
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