Our first cruise on Princess. We chose Grand Princess because it looked pretty decent on the internet. boarding was in Seattle, which costs a $45.00 taxi fare one way, from Seatac airport. So that was the first "sock it to me" blow. Next was the herding of cattle feeling at the check in. being told. "Move Here " Move there" numerous times. before we even boarded. The Mini suite we had paid for was indeed mini. smaller than I expected. although the balcony was larger than on some cruise ships, being on Dolphin Deck ( deck 9) anyone on Balconies above us could watch us every time we stepped out onto our balcony. So the "privacy" feeling was certainly not there. The ship has a bit of a Claustrophobic feeling as ceilings tend to be rather low in the dining rooms. This is an older ship and it shows. The Grand Princess was once a P&O ship, as can plainly be seen when the light hits the side of the ship, you can see the old lettering. I was not impressed with that.
Restaurant food was Excellent. The Head Chef being British made sure of that.
Now to the type of Cruise this was. Alaska,... Sailing for 7 days on the inside passage going up and outside coming back. nothing wrong there. The scenery is magnificent both ways. The Ports of call leave nothing to be desired. Ketchican... nothing but jewelery stores and Tourist traps in town. Juneau, dozens of Jewelry stores also, and tourist traps, oh! and a few bars. We actually rented a car and got out of town to see Beautiful Alaska, that made it well worth it. The Tracy Arm Fjord is well worth it, beautiful scenery all round.
The biggest draw back from me ever sailing with Princess is... The people who do not care how they dress on a cruise. We saw one woman (Dressed in RED Micky Mouse PJ's and an Animal 's head Fur hat, going to dinner.This cruise states quite clearly, that there will be TWO FORMAL evenings. which means for Men, a Tuxedo ( if you don't own one you can rent one on board ship.) and Long Gowns for women. In our dining room there were more WAITERS wearing bow ties than men. and it seems like the American and OR Canadian passengers did not understand what the word Formal meant, and showed up dresses like they were shopping in Walmart. I suggest the Cruise line Enforce the dress code, at least for the Formal Evenings.
One other fact I noticed. Once the cruise was over the staff we encountered seemed to have lost their friendliness. A security guard pushed my husbands luggage out of the way, instead of asking my husband to move it he pushed it himself tipping my husbands expensive computer onto the gangway. in fact the luggage was NOT blocking anything at all.