Grand Princess Cruise Review by FarEast33: Great way to visit several different islands in Hawaii
Overall Member Rating
Great way to visit several different islands in Hawaii
Embarkation: San Francisco
Our third cruise with Princess Cruises and although the ship was acceptable, the itinerary was not as enjoyable as on our two previous cruises (Sydney to Hong Kong and Vancouver to Fort Lauderdale). The larger balcony on the Caribe deck was a real plus and this allowed us to sun bathe in privacy and away from the noise that can be associated with the immediate pool areas of the ship. We dined at the Botticelli and found the food to be acceptable and the service from William and Nicolai to be very good. We opted for first sitting as this enabled us to comfortably visit the evening onboard entertainment as the late sitting usually means missing the occasional show. The entertainment onboard was very good, especially the four principal singers. The comedian, Derek Cameron was excellent. Apart from a couple of occasions we used the Horizon for a buffet breakfast and on the times we pitched up, early, there was little bunching. Lunch and afternoon tea meant longer queues. We had one More
evening meal at the Pizza Restaurant where we met up with some former cruising pals but we found this meal to be just so so. The International Café at the bottom of the Piazza was fine and the selection of shops was also just right. There were too many 'sales' of old shop stock but after our first visit, much seemed to be repeated. Overall the ship was fine, staff very friendly, food was a good mix, and the only real negative was that the promenade deck was fairly narrow and not all on the same level. Less
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Cabin review: C605
Cabin was quite spacious and clothing storage OK but not as good as on the Coral Princess. Bathroom was also fine and Jimmy the steward was excellent. The large balcony was a real plus.
Port and Shore Excursions
A stop away from the States is a legal requirement for returning cruise ships and this is just that. Our afternoon visit was very disappointing and the walk into town was just passing a parade of women and children begging on the sidewalk. Once in town there was nothing to keep your attention. If we were to stop here again, we would remain onboard.
Disappointing water falls. If you have walking difficulties, you may not be able to get to the viewing area. Also be careful of straying off the path as one lady with us stepped into the bog on the side of the path and sank down to her knee losing her shoe in the process.
Our tour in Hilo was not very interesting and this was the 'highlight' stop. The zoo was poor and the main attraction, a Bengal tiger, had died a few months earlier. Some interesting plants and a play area for the local children / families to use.
The tour driver made this whole tour very informative.
Very impressive views
The main reason for taking this cruise was to visit the USS Arizona and Pearl Harbour and we were not disappointed. The film show presentation was excellent as was the organization of ferry to the Memorial. Shops, restaurants, attractions and amenities at the site.
Quite a moving experience.
Excellent tour and excellent driver / tour guide. Waimea Canyon is very impressive and we were fortunate to visit on a totally clear day and consequently we would agree with Mark Twain's opinion. The tour also went paste where Captain Cook first stood on the island and the Spouting Horn at the volcanic beach at Poipu.
We did not take an organized tour in Maui instead opting to walk around the attractive town of Lahaina. We agreed that this was the best place to do that souvenir shopping and have a spot of lunch and a few beers at the Pioneer Inn Café, which we recommend. It was the only island where there was a semblance of a traditional Hawaii welcome (as depicted in those old 1930s movies) and on leaving the tender jetty, you cannot miss the very impressive sprawling banyan tree where I guarantee you will take a picture or two! Maui is perhaps the only island in Hawaii we would return to.
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