This was our 15th cruise and 13th on Princess. I must say I was a little nervous when I read quite a few comments on how the GRAND was showing her age being 10 years old. We also cruised on the Grand Princess in her inaugural year. I will admit the ship is showing her age and should be dry docked to keep her looking great. Many carpets are faded, I saw rust on small areas on the balcony, and the ship does look a little tired. However we had a great time and probably the best service we have had on any of our cruises.
We flew into Miami the day before and got picked up and taken to Fort Lauderdale where we stayed at The Marriott Harbor Beach Resort on hotel points. The hotel has been refurbished, but is just ok since it is somewhat isolated on the beach. The room was an oceanview room, but felt a little small to me and the food in the hotel is it's downside,but on to the cruise.
We arrived at the port at 11:45 and were on the ship in 20 minutes. Our room was ready and quite comfortable as we had a mini suite. Our cruise was Feb.13-27, so our second day was Valentines Day. This was our 27th wedding anniversary and my husband purchased some of the most beautiful flowers for at least $25 less then they would have been at home. Our door had anniversary balloons that lasted the entire two weeks of our cruise. We also had dinner on the balcony which was just beautiful. It does cost an extra $100, but was well worth the price. You have your own private butler. You get 2 drinks from the bar, a bottle of champagne, hordouves with caviar, appetizer, salad, steak and lobster, and desert. The ships photographer also comes to your room to take a free picture for you and these were some of the best pictures, we have had taken. Our dinner was just before sunset in 80 degree weather on smooth seas, so as we finished the sun was setting. It was Romance on the Seas. Our 14 days seemed to fly by.
We visited the ports of Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad, Barbados, St. Vincent St. Thomas, and Grand Turk. We unable to get into St. Kitts due to high seas, but the Captain did sail along the coast so you at least got to sea the landscape. Our tours consisted of a Catamaran and land tour in Aruba great tour, mini sub and land tour in Curacao in a heavy rain still fun, land tour in Trinidad OK, and we just went into ports and walked Barbados St. Vincent, La Romana, St. Thomas and Gran Turk. St Vincent and La Romana are quite poor. We did take the hop on hop off Pirate Catamaran in St. Thomas which took us from Crown Bay into town and over to Havensight before returning us back to Crown Bay for $10 a person great fun and a great price. Grand Turk was great fun. Nice shops and beach with a Margarita Ville that had great food and a fun atmosphere.
Overall this was one of our nicest cruises. The service was so great that it made the age of the ship not that important. So don't hesitate to take the Grand Princess and I hope you have as nice a time and feel as special as we did on this ship.