It was sunny but comfortable mid afternoon when all the fun should begin. The embarkation process was easy and hassle free. Entering the Piazza of the Grand Princess did not create a good lasting impression with regards to grandiosity of a cruise ship rather there was not much that you can see to make someone feels awe and inspired. Nevertheless, our initial contact with the crew as we entered the Grand Princess was not all that warmth and hence it lacked a grand hospitality. It could be they were all tired with all the tasks ahead of them.
This is our first time with Princess Cruises although we all had cruise quite a few times before with other lines.
We had a balcony which was very nice for a mid long haul cruise like this. Our cabin Room was quite okay, we had the basic things we needed in the cabin. Bed was just fine. The space was just enough. The room was clean. However, not many wardrobe storage available, the bathroom is rather smaller than the ones we had experienced before from another cruise lines. The shampoo and body wash came in a dispenser, but it was filled appropriately when it was needed. We were greeted by a cabin crew staff Alex from the Philippines with welcoming smile. Our luggage were handled and delivered well and safe.
It means food and it should be lots of food. The first day was rather bland and no food at all. Everything was just sandwiches and one area is closed guests had to jump pack in one area of the deck in order to grab something to eat. We never experienced such a thing before. it was very apparent that the company had a massive cut down on food items and food quality they can offer. the staff were very friendly and attentive to our needs. Most of the cooked meals are too salty during the first few days. And did get the attention of the kitchen staff and it was addressed accordingly. All in all the food was not the best.
The nightly entertainment in the Princess Theatre were like high school variety shows. Nothing exciting and interesting really, majority of the passengers in this cruise were retired and elderlies. I noticed in 2 nights we tried to attend a show that most of them left even when the show still ongoing due to the fact that most of the shows if not all were of low quality. It had the movies under the stars which should be better but most of the nights were cold. And some movies were old movies and the choice of concerts they had shown were not interesting. Not many game shows being offered during the many days at sea. Most of them were boring. The cruise director Gavin needs to work hard for better shows and games.
We only did go 4 times out of 15 nights due to the poor food quality and options. Not great for vegetarians also. The staff were splendid but you can noticed they were really beaten up in working hard. In effect they cannot deliver the best dining experience to their guests. It appeared to us they were all in a hurry. We did not try any of their "private restaurant" but we heard from other passengers that the food were not that superb for the price they had paid for.
They have good daily activities and programs for the fitness center. Equipments were basic nothing fancy. But good enough to do your basic workout. What I loved about it was It was not overcrowded. We loved the steam/sauna from the fitness center. We did not try their spa. There is this staff from Australia his name is Luke who work with Alex from eastern europe i think from Romania. I have not encountered such racist staff in my life. I remember one afternoon they had this promotion down at the Piazza, Luke and Alex were both in charged with the footprints measurement in relation with back pain. And I went to see what was going on and tried to participate perhaps see if I can avail and benefit from this. However, when I approached this member of Staff (LUKE FROM AUSTRALIA) if I can be measured and checked. He said he does not cater service to people with my color and he was already done with measuring footprints. And to my surprised he entertained 3 more people after me.
There are several pools and jacuzzi in the ship but did not try any of them.
There is this pool at the back of the ship that did a lot of flooding in some of the rooms when the ship was sailing on rough waters. we met a couple from Argentina and their room was flooded at 2 am. water came from the pool at the back.
I loved the laundry and ironing amenities.
This was done with excellent organization. We did not even felt any pressure during disembarkation. No chaos at all. Unlike the other cruises we had have. Kudos to Grand Princess Staff..