37 Princess Grand Princess Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Hawaii

Chose this because dates lined up perfectly with kids school break. Also a desire to go to Hawaii. It was made much more difficult due to a sick passenger, and returning to Honolulu 2 days after leaving. Add to that very high seas/winds ... Read More
Chose this because dates lined up perfectly with kids school break. Also a desire to go to Hawaii. It was made much more difficult due to a sick passenger, and returning to Honolulu 2 days after leaving. Add to that very high seas/winds and big storms making it difficult to enjoy the ship. Cruise did not stop in mexico as planned, and still returned far later than planned. Absolutely unacceptable to have 2 out of 6 elevators out of service all 15 days and no way to take the stairs from Emerald Deck (8). Service was good. Steward was excellent. Food was ok. Maitre'd best ever resulting in great dinner service. Only 20 kids in all classes of kids clubs so they met together. Kids loved their experience. Very pleased how Princess got us all home after we missed our return flights due to needing to leave a day later. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Our very first Princess cruise was 19-night Panama Canal cruise on 3/18/19, and we fell in love with Princess and didn't want to disembark. My husband always wanted to cruise to Hawaii, so we were excited when my cousins wanted the ... Read More
Our very first Princess cruise was 19-night Panama Canal cruise on 3/18/19, and we fell in love with Princess and didn't want to disembark. My husband always wanted to cruise to Hawaii, so we were excited when my cousins wanted the 1/27/20 15-night Grand Princess to Hawaii from San Francisco! Captain JP Bryant is incredibly funny, caring, lighthearted, very personable; his communications were loud, clear, understandable and without an accent! He is a great leader! 1/27/20 Grand Princess cruise activities by the Assistant Cruise Directors Guido, Olivia, Miranda, Mina, Natalie, and Saskia were so fun and hilarious: sail away party dancing, 2 Paper Plane Challenge contests, coloring cards, Discovery at Sea, fresh orchid lei making, Group Renewal of Vows and the certificates delivered to our room; Hawaiian language, Hawaiian Paper Rope artwork, the High Seas Heist Game, Is That Your Final Answer Game, Hula Dancing, line dancing, Majority Rules Gameshow, Marriage Match Gameshow, Mexican face painting, Name that Tune with Rock Hits, Painting in 90 seconds, Princess Pop Choir, ribbon lei making, trivia, True or Moo Game, Valentine card making, and the Yes No Game! Alex Belyy- the Grand Princess House Musician did a super job as he filled in as the Ukulele instructor. I thoroughly enjoyed Musician AJ Clark, Blues Brother Tribute Band; Brian the Hawaiian Ambassador with his beautiful voice and taught us Ukulele lessons; Comedian Impressionist Mike Wilson; Comedian Michael/Miguel Washington; Culinary Show; DJ JaXx playing songs from ABBA and the 70's; the Grand Princess Crew Talent Show; Instrumentalist Doug Cameron; the Love Boat Disco Deck Party; Magician Handsome Jack's variety act; the Martini demonstration by the bar tenders; Naturalist Mark Harris' Bears Everywhere; Production Show British Invasion & Stardust; Vocalist Phillip Brone; the Supersonics band; Leo the Photographer gave an educational photography presentation with very clear words at a nice-and-slow pace so I could understand all his words the first time he said them. My Grand Princess cabin steward Romeo was awesome and always provided what I needed right away. Our clothes were washed and pressed perfectly! My husband and I loved the Grand Princess buffet (especially the Mongolian Stir Fry Station with custom-ordered Asian meal that I became accustomed to from our Panama Canal cruise), the main dining room food, the Salty Dog Grill burgers and fries, and the International Cafe sandwiches, cookies, and salad. Alfredo's Pizzeria was incredible! I usually don't care for pizza but I ate 2 whole pizzas (custom made to my liking) to myself! For the first time in our 9 cruises we've taken in our life time, we played ping pong, and swam in the pool with big waves on the Grand Princess! For the first time I did Tai Chi for many of the mornings. We loved our 2 Grand Princess shore excursions: ITO205 Akaka Falls, and snorkeling in Molokini in which we saw a lot of whales close up and got to swim with turtles! We never feel 15 nights or 19 nights is too long on Princess! We love you Princess and we will cruise you again and again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Let me start by saying dont not book on this cruise line, unless you are over 65 and caucasian. Do not go on this ship, or cruise line if you have kids, or teens or under 65. Even the food is tailored to an older person's digestion. ... Read More
Let me start by saying dont not book on this cruise line, unless you are over 65 and caucasian. Do not go on this ship, or cruise line if you have kids, or teens or under 65. Even the food is tailored to an older person's digestion. Limited activities on board. Also, do not pay your gratuities in advance, or you will not get appropriate service. I dont know where to start so I will just list the issues: 1. Purchased mini- suite balcony for 3 people and ended up on a roll away bed, couch and floor 2x's. 2. Had to put my own bed up and down nightly 3. Could not access the balcony when bed was up 4. Continuously got the wrong person's mail items 5. My kids and myself only got the activities planner twice out of 10 days. 6. Charged for items we did not purchase 7. Entertainment staff were rude (I even attended a few piano bars during the correct times. I was the only one there and the pianist said they were done early because "no one was there". I said I am here but they said again no one was there. 8. The princess cruise customer service put my credit card in my 12 year olds name and did not attach it to me. I tried to correct it 3 times and explained she is a minor and can not legally have a credit card. NIGHTMARE 9. Had to call customer service to get planner, service, and things that have always been automatic. My past cruise experiences with different cruise lines allowed me to leave all my domestic responsibilities and things behind. I worked as hard as I had to at home. PICK ANOTHER CRUISE LINE AVOID UNLESS 65 AND OLDER AND CAUCASIAN. Also, lots of wheelchair bound guests, elderly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My family and friends took the Grand Princess on a 15 night New Years cruise. The idea of leaving out of our home port (San Francisco) and visiting Hawaii was quite enticing. My ten-year-old is a Love Boat freak (really), so when my travel ... Read More
My family and friends took the Grand Princess on a 15 night New Years cruise. The idea of leaving out of our home port (San Francisco) and visiting Hawaii was quite enticing. My ten-year-old is a Love Boat freak (really), so when my travel agent called and said there was a sale on this itinerary, we jumped on it. Unfortunately, we had the worst cruise that we have ever experienced. However, I am never one to judge anything by the first go, so despite what you read below, we put in a future cruise deposit and will be trying a 10-day Alaska cruise with Princess next year. The first day was not bad. We arrived early and the embarkation was by far the easiest we have ever experienced. We showed up around 11:00 am and essentially went directly on the ship. They were great about the soda policy and allowed my kids to carry on a 24 pack of their favorites. One downside was that I have one child that is on a restrictive diet. We checked his beverages and they arrived half gone in our stateroom. I chalked that up to it probably falling and breaking open, so no big deal. He still had enough to keep him supplied for the cruise. The views from the ship on the first day were great. We explored the ship and found that unlike many of the other cruises that we were on, this ship's layout made it Very easy to get lost. Some of the stair cases do not go all the way up/down and you need to take the elevator or else walk to another stair case. We also discovered that you cannot traverse the ship on both sides due to various lounges and restaurants. The only path that goes from front to rear is on the starboard side of the ship. We were excited for the sail away party on the top deck,and while several people turned out, the crew canceled the sail away deck party. The muster drill was actually the best we've seen. This was partly due to the cast of the Love Boat doing the safety video, but it was also extremely well organized and done in a timely manner. Our muster station was in the Princess Theater. The theater is substantially smaller that what we are used to seeing and this made for limitations on the kind of productions they could present on the ship. We had several sea days before reaching Hawaii. Normally, I love sea days. There is generally so much to do on board. I was looking forward to the cultural ambassadors' lectures and on this sailing they had a forensic scientist I was looking forward to hearing as well. On other cruises, I've been a trivia champion, winning a "ship on a stick" for every cruise we've been on (well, Carnival anyhow), so I was looking forward to the trivia as well. I was even interested in some of the more relaxed offerings such as the book club and star gazing. I was so excited I even signed up for the behind the ship tour. After only two sea days, it was clear that this cruise would not be meeting my expectations. The first production show was horrid and the comedian told mostly bad puns (okay my son loved the puns) but then all the jokes he told were catered for a very old crowd and we simply didn't get any of it. On formal night, we donned our tuxedos and my children and I opted to share a table. We were sat with a wonderful two 75 year old couples, They lamented that the cruise seemed tailored for cruisers older than themselves. As they put it - “there’s more canes, walkers, and mobility scooters than actual passengers on this cruise.” This was something that we noticed as well, but I was already expecting this based on other cruise critic reviews. We just were expecting that the ship would offer something for everyone as it was voted "best multinational cruise line." That just was not the case. The entertainment wasn’t just bad, it was outright offensive! A 30-minute production show to Motown done by an entirely white cast that changed the key of several songs. This time, my table mates were two African American women who said, “you can teach them moves, but they have no energy and no rhythm; just awful.” I actually Booed for the first time (ever) during any production show called “The British Invasion.” It was so bad at one point, I was embarrassed for the performers. The “born to dance” production was their best and the production and the guy next to me summed it up perfectly when he said, “I’ve seen better performances at six flags and at least they have snoopy!” Decor seemed dated and I heard one person ask when the ship was last in for refurbishment. I however, really liked the style of the ship. It did appear older and dated, but I felt it gave the ship a type of elegance that I have not seen on other ships. I do know that some people complained about carpet and caulking issues, but that seemed minor to me. Others were complaining about water leaks, and that was more of an issue. In fact, six cabins were flooded by a water leak during our cruise and I was speaking to one of the crew about this. They did a great job accommodating people despite being completely sold-out. One thing I have to say is that, but for a few very notable exceptions, the staff was extremely friendly and provided excellent service. I found myself tipping several of them on top of the mandatory gratuities on a daily basis. I wish I could tip the captain. He was definitely the best captain I've ever come across. Captain J.P. handled a medivac emergency on board with extreme professionalism and dealt well with those lookieloos who refused to follow crew instructions. Now on to some of the negative aspects of the cruise: Despite the excellent crew, the trip was not great due to a few bad and very visible members of the crew as well as poor planning by the Cruise Director staff. For example, there was absolutely no thought given to crowd control on this cruise. Do to their ship design, it is only possible to traverse the promenade deck on one side - so let’s go right in the middle of that through way and register people for the art auctions, completely blocking the ability for anyone to get by each day. Brilliant, just brilliant. The cruise director was nearly impossible to find. It’ was like playing “where’s Waldo” he only appears at the end of production shows and on rare occasion you might find him at a “game” show. The assistant cruise director was everywhere but she is snarky, rude, insulting to passengers and should not be in front of people - ever. If someone from princess reads this -PLEASE for your own good, replace her she is just awful! Many of the other cruise director staff were fantastic and any of them would make a welcome change. The trivia caters to teams of six so forget about winning a prize if you are a single player (in my case I always was one question behind the teams of six and I was just one person but they only award to the teams) when I suggested they do an award for teams and award for single players, I was told to just join a team. Well done, however; there will always be those that don’t want to be on a team and considering the grand prize is a coaster (no ships on sticks here) it seemed trivial (pun intended) to give out one extra coaster. While it's certainly not the fault of the cruiseline, given the weather, EVERY on-deck activity (sail away, disco party, star gazing, shuffleboard, etc.) were all cancelled. Some were rescheduled and moved indoors but were not advertised on the computer app. When I asked why not, I was told that most of the passengers were older and only read the printed patter. Again, it essentially costs nothing to put it into the app and everyone in our group never read the printed patter, we relied 100% on the phone app because we always had it with us. It truly seemed like they didn’t plan very well/at all for alternative activities. Then there was the Ensenada incident. The ship was supposed to arrive at 4:00 pm and leave at 7:30 pm, but due to weather, it was announced several days in advance that we would not arrive until 7:30 and depart at 9:30. On the day we arrived, the ship activities had absolutely nothing to do from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm and then had all the activates starting at 7:30. In other words, despite having DAYS to plan and reschedule the activities, they kept to the original schedule assuming we would be in port at the original 4:30-7:30 timeframe. What a joke! The food on the ship was not what I expected. The buffet was pretty bad. It had pretty much the same foods each day, but occasionally they had a build your burger bar, a ramen bar, and a nacho bar.The main dinning room food was actually very good in general and we spent most of our time eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the anytime dinning halls. The wait staff were all very friendly as well, except on our last night, the waiter was just plain rude! I figured he was having a bad night, so I purchased a bottle of wine for him. He loved that and everything was much better thereafter. The food venues around the ship were okay, but definitely not great, with one exception. The Salty Dog is a winner! Everything they offer was top notch, and while it may not be healthy for you, those bacon cheese fries are AMAZING! The street tacos were my second favorite, and the bacon Princess burger with swiss - oooh soo good. Not quite up to Guy's burgers on Carnival, but really good. The Alfredo's Pizzaria which boasts "best pizza at sea" really wasn't. In fact, I actually preferred the pizza at Slices on deck 14. The International Cafe was also a major disappointment. We were told they rotate their selection throughout the day, but really, it just looked the same no matter when we passed by. A note to first time cruisers: Most of the food at the international cafe is FREE and they are open 24/7. Also, the specialty restaurants were all exceptionally good, more on that in a bit. One more complaint I witnessed "food" related... I saw another passenger in the “tea library” have a complete meltdown. He went up and walked to the wall of drawers of tea leaves and opened several and found minimal leaves there to make his tea. There were several tea kettles available on shelves on the wall and he grabbed one. There is a large water spigot on the counter with a big red warning sign that said “Caution: Hot Water”. Except, it was all FAKE. When the guy realized this, he came undone and went out and walked around the ship ten times (he came back in just to tell me this before finally calming down enough to confront the customer service desk). Customer service attempted to satiate the situation by offering him chocolate covered strawberries. He was not amused. There were two other similar issues that I experienced myself. The first - there is NO mini-golf. Despite the website clearly showing that it is there, it was removed. My kids were disappointed at this. In it's place is a flat golfing green for putting or croquet. We chose to play croquet (despite all the mallets being horribly bent), and the kids loved it! The second, the website advertised an escape room for $8. That also did not exist on this sailing. When I asked a crew member, she said that they do offer the escape room for free on the Grand Princess, but only when they are not sold-out because they just repupose one of the staterooms. On the first day, I went to the spa raffle and they had a really good deal where you could get a massage and several other services for only $99. I took advantage of the special and I was not overly impressed with he spa. It was okay, but not great and the up sell was unforgivable. Despite telling the staff before my massage that I didn't want the product sale at the end, they did so anyway - relentlessly. They also signed me up for a shave, a weight loss program, and another massage - all without my permission! I had to cancel them at a later time because she literally would not let me leave the room without saying it was okay and she made me late for my meeting with my family. My older teen sons enjoyed the gym. It was well served with cardio machines, weight machines, and free weights. I also did one of the yoga classes as I was experiencing leg cramps at night and thought the yoga could help - it did. The casino was the typical Carnival brand casino - horrible odds (worse than Indian casinos). I'll give one tip for those who've read this whole review this far... For you video poker players out there, if you play the spin poker machine in the non-smoking section, you can set the bet to 5 quarters, single line and get 7/5 odds without affecting the game variance due to the "spin poker" nature of the game. While that's still an awful pay scale, it's the highest odds on the ship. The lady I ate lunch with appreciated my tip as she played that machine with three lines and was dealt a Royal Flush on her first hand - winning 12k quarters or $3,000.00 from $1.25 bet! On the first day, I tried asking the cashier staff how many points I'd need to get any kind of comp and they said they had no idea, that it was at least several thousand and it would just show up when I got it. Not very helpful. Despite the negative, there were some highlights and we cannot forget those. As I mentioned at the start, we don't consider one bad experience the end of things. My family put down a future cruise deposit for a 10-day Alaska cruise with Princess next year. The Hawaii ports were great. It would have been nice to have a little more time in Oahu and Maui, but the time spent on the other islands (Kilo, Kauai) was appropriate. The choice of shore excursions was excellent, although we chose to do all of ours independently. A few times I did speak to the shore excursions desk and they seemed quite knowledgeable about the various options. As mentioned above,we also really enjoyed the specialty restaurants and we went to all three. Yes three (well, four if you count the British Pub lunch). While not well advertised, the Grand Princess does a Crab Shack on selected days. They alternate the crab shack between the Horizon buffet and the Crowne Grill for the location. We chose to go on a day when it was hosted in the Crowne Grill. The food was excellent and plentiful. In fact, I think at Sabatini's it was almost too much food. But it was out of this world good. Oddly, the only restaurant that seemed a bit not up to expectations was the Crowne Grill itself. Oh, and despite others complaining about the decor in the English Pub, I found the fish and chips to be the best I've ever had - including those that I've had in pubs in London. One thing that we liked more than other cruises were the pools. The Grand Princess has several and they are both larger and deeper than what we've seen elsewhere. We also really liked that one of the pools/hot tubs is indoors, while others are outdoors. I actually rather enjoy going in a nice steamy hot tub when it is windy, cold, and raining. Plus, the outdoor hot tubs aren't crowded at those times. My son enjoyed swimming in the indoor pool when it was cold outside. One request for Princess though - put in revolving doors! revolving doors are designed to prevent wind from entering a doorway. On our sailing, there were times when we had very high winds that would rip from the outside pool, through the inside pool, and right into the Horizon court! A revolving door would have kept each area climate controlled. The other thing that bumbed me out was that the back of the ship with the aft adult pool and hot tubs were closed for several days due to a maintenance issue with the ship's stacks (apparently, cowling and other material was falling free). We did enjoy the lounge approach to various areas. As a secret for those who took the time to read all of this... while the tea leaf library is a great place to play board games, it is often full, has smallerish tables, and can be noisy as it is an open area near the Piazza. The secret is to take your game to the Wheelhouse Bar. It is a wonderful, quiet, relaxing location, is almost always empty or nearly so (even when they are doing presentations in it), and has a wonderful view of the water. Plus the tables are larger and the chairs are more comfortable. My ten-year-old raved about the kids club. It is up on deck 15 near the spa. He said it was the best one that he's ever been at. I really liked the fact that it was themed with the Discovery channel. They kids even had a chance to do Junior Chef at sea and decorate a cake! Wow. They had a dance party just to themselves up in the club One5 and the kids all seemed to have a lot of fun. He made several friends and we would eat with the other families and play games as well. It was a great way for both him and our whole family to meet new people. Every day he brought a new craft project back to the room and he really liked his kids club T-shirt that he got to decorate himself. My older teens also really enjoyed the Beach house that was just for them. My 16-year-old said the thing he liked most was how many kids there were from foreign countries. Apparently, they enjoyed exchanging stories of how to misbehave in several countries. On one of our shore excursions, some of his friends and their family came along and it made for a wonderful day in Maui. They also enjoyed the free basketball hoop machine and ping pong on the upper deck above the indoor pool. The only issue here was that often times when relaxing at the indoor pool there was always several unattended smaller kids on that level hitting ping pong balls down at people in the pool. They were also very loud, but that is mostly because it was indoors. I could tolerate this as I have several kids of my own, but several older guests were openly complaining about this at dinner time on several days. One thing that I did notice was that the Sanctuary (adults only paid lounge area on deck 16) went completely unused the entire trip. Often when I went by, it was simply closed due to weather, and when the weather was nice, the ship was in port and I did not see anyone in the Sanctuary. It's too bad because I was looking forward to trying it out. It may have been a mistake for Princess to devote so much ship space to such a large area if no one can use it. The other odd thing about the ship is that the kiddie splash pool is located just in front of the Sanctuary in a location that is nearly impossible to locate. Unfortunately, it too was closed every time my son came by. All in all, It was the worst cruise we've ever been on, but it had a lot of positive experiences as well. We will definitely give Princess another go before discontinuing to cruise with them. The embarkation/disembarkation was smooth as could be, there were many very positive crew members, the captain was the best, and we met many nice people. On the flip side, the entertainment was the worst we ever encountered, the activities were lacking, there was very poor planning on behalf of the cruise director and staff, the food was not good except in specialty restaurants, and the ship itself had a few maintenance issues: flooding of six cabins and the cowling falling off the smoke stacks causing them to close the aft section of the ship for a few days). There were many passengers complaining throughout the cruise. All in all, I gave it two stars because the bad slightly outweighed the good on this sailing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Selected cruise for its Hawaiian ports and warm weather plus sailing on the Grand via San Francisco. Amazing cruise, amazing service by Grand Princess staff, and beautiful islands. Highly recommend Grand Princess for its world class ... Read More
Selected cruise for its Hawaiian ports and warm weather plus sailing on the Grand via San Francisco. Amazing cruise, amazing service by Grand Princess staff, and beautiful islands. Highly recommend Grand Princess for its world class service, wonderful and warm staff, and clean ship. Though it's an older ship, staff work hard to maintain the Grand Princess, and officers and staff were present throughout the ship 24/7. Had an excellent cabin steward and professional and wonderful dining room wait staff. Amazing trip onboard the beautiful Grand Princess! Like our waiter, Jonel Bola said, "The Grand Princess is known for #1 service out of its entire fleet of 18 vessels." The entire dining room staff was amazing and wonderful to all its dining passengers. The food was good, plenty of desserts to choose from, and staff are generous with service, extras/portions, drinks, and smiles! All staff throughout the ship were kind, courteous, warm, and provided consistent service and were very hard working. Service throughout the ship was consistent and amazing! Ship Captain, JP Bryant, was very nice and courteous and always greeted passengers pleasantly. This was a 16-day cruise! Have done shorter and longer cruises, but a 16-day is a perfect amount of time for a winter getaway! I highly recommend the beautiful Grand Princess! Others might be concerned that it's an older ship but I find it to be quaint, comfortable, has character, beautiful, has internet service, and has excellent and consistent customer service. I've sailed on the Grand 6 times and each time I've experienced consistent customer service! And, if something wasn't right, staff will work quickly and very hard to make the problem right! No complaints when I'm on the Grand! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We went for Renewal of Vows and a Holiday get away to a warmer climate. We had a fantastic time on this Hawaii cruise! Weather in Hawaii was perfect in December, 75F-90F. We didn’t find any all day excursions, but didn’t want to do ... Read More
We went for Renewal of Vows and a Holiday get away to a warmer climate. We had a fantastic time on this Hawaii cruise! Weather in Hawaii was perfect in December, 75F-90F. We didn’t find any all day excursions, but didn’t want to do only 1/2 day. We just took Uber to local beaches for snorkeling, lunch, and drinks. All in one location. Beaches were not crowded and we had a blast! Most of the passengers on this cruise were elderly, hardly any kids. It was nice: quiet and not crowded. Only during breakfast it was quite difficult to find a table. There were too much food, so we usually skipped lunch. Pools and jacuzzi were not crowded as well. We really enjoyed the whole experience, very friendly service, great captain, food was delicious and well presented. We loved Formal nights and went to the Crown Grill, and Sabatini restaurants. Both were great! Balcony dinners were our favorite experience! Private and very personal dinners with fantastic waiters! Highly recommend. Captain did a very romantic Renewal of Vows, it was a touching moment. Then photographer took us to several locations and we loved our photos so much, we bought a $400 photo package. We loved the Spy Lectures Series and last Dancing Show. Made many great memories and loved this vacation! If you purchase any packages, print summary. Stuff gets confused what’s included in what package and it’s easier to show them a paper to claim all of the services. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was a pre Christmas cruise that we extended to Dec 28.Exploring San Francisco before and after the cruise was an added bonus.We had the amazing itineraries of Hawaiian ports and then Mexican ports back to back.The ship was so ... Read More
This was a pre Christmas cruise that we extended to Dec 28.Exploring San Francisco before and after the cruise was an added bonus.We had the amazing itineraries of Hawaiian ports and then Mexican ports back to back.The ship was so beautifully decorated for the season,embarkation and disembarkation so easy,the cabin larger than the standard.The servers were enthusiastic and gracious.The food was excellent -the steaks on the Crown Grill done to perfection.The main dining room had offerings from Curtis Stone and the Vista was a reliable and tasteful place to dine.The afternoon tea in the dining room was delightful and an elegant experience. Sabatinis the Italian Restaurant even had the best desserts.Vines had Opus One bottles of which we bought 2 as gifts. Faouzzi, the pizza chef at Alfredo's pizzeria even created his favourite pizzas for us on request.The One 5 disco had a great DJ.Many fun activities on board for everyone-trivia a favourite, hula dancing classes and lei making before reaching Hawaii pleased everyone.There was even a native show when we were docked in Hawaii. The excursion at Honolulu visiting Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona Memorial and even to explore the submarine USS Bowfin was a once in a lifetime experience. The music especially the music of piano man Liam Stewart was exceptional.He even had his own 2 performances of Elton John songs in the Vista Lounge which were well attended. A couple of hundred children joined the ship with their families on Dec 18 and their spirit brought new joy to the ship and passengers. Adam Gorst the Hotel Manager was always visible with his wit, charm, and vigilance.The first woman Head maitre'd on Princess ships- interacted constantly with everyone during the dining with warmth and interest. A great time for every passenger on a newly renovated ship with lots of history and charm! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We flew from London and stayed 2 nights pre-cruise in San Francisco. As Elite members check in was quick and easy and we were on board within 20 minutes. The outside of the ship was rusty in places but inside the ship was fantastic. ... Read More
We flew from London and stayed 2 nights pre-cruise in San Francisco. As Elite members check in was quick and easy and we were on board within 20 minutes. The outside of the ship was rusty in places but inside the ship was fantastic. Our balcony cabin was lovely but had no footrest on the balcony or a cabin kettle.Our cabin steward got us a footrest but couldn't get a kettle. Our Elite mini bar set up was very welcome. We had Any time dining and the first 5 nights we dined in the Michaelangelo restaurant on deck 5 and as we wanted a table for 2 we were given a buzzer to wait for a table. The other 10 nights we dined in DaVinci restaurant which was anytime dining after 7.15pm and we were shown to a table immediately. After 4 sea days we arrived at a wet Hilo. Next day we were in Oahu and took a tour to Pearl Harbor. Next day in Kauai we did a fantastic movies tour. Next day was maui where we got a tender and being Elite we met the loyalty rep in Michaelangelo restaurant and give Priority tender tickets. We then had 4 sea days before reaching Ensenada in Mexico. Another sea day later we were back in San Francisco. The food and service was fantastic in every venue. After a quick walk off disembarkation carrying our own cases we quickly got a taxi to take us to a hotel where we had a day room booked so we could explore more of San Francisco. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Great trip great crew but the boat is getting a little bit dated. My parents pick this cruise as they like to sail out of San Francisco. It was a family trip you’re a little concerned that there would be a lot of sea days however there ... Read More
Great trip great crew but the boat is getting a little bit dated. My parents pick this cruise as they like to sail out of San Francisco. It was a family trip you’re a little concerned that there would be a lot of sea days however there was plenty to do on the ship. The crew was fantastic except for the cruise director Kevin he was just OK. They had a new game called high seas heist which was fun but poorly executed by the Cruise staff. There were terrific people onboard. I really enjoyed interacting with fellow Cruise critic members. We were in club class and the service was wonderful everyone on board was very nice. The Ship is getting very old in our room things were starting to fall apart the couch was saggy and the ceiling tiles kept falling. We took two tours offered by princess one on Hilo which was great we went on a small hike around the volcano. The tour in Ensenada was a joke the bus windows were so dirty you couldn’t see out of it. The tour director provided commentary such as, “on your right you’ll see a building that used to be a family home but is now a daycare center.” And that was the good portion. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
The first couple of days at sea was a challenge as the ocean swells were high. Cold for the first 3 days. Lots to do on the ship. Ports went by quickly and we started to head home. Then it hit. A little sinus drip turned into a fever and a ... Read More
The first couple of days at sea was a challenge as the ocean swells were high. Cold for the first 3 days. Lots to do on the ship. Ports went by quickly and we started to head home. Then it hit. A little sinus drip turned into a fever and a hard cough. Fever took 5 days to finally subdue. Too many sick people on the ship with lots of them coughing without covering their mouth. So it took 15 days to do an 8 day cruise. I don’t think I will go that long of a cruise with so many sea days. My wife and daughter enjoyed all the shopping both on the ship and on the islands. The Grand itself was in good condition after the dry dock. Staff were excellent and the food was good. Alfredo’s had a really good pizza. Room service was fast but the menu needs more work. I’m looking forward to being on one of the newer ships the next time we are on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Embarkation and disembarking were the best I've experienced! The cruise was the absolute worst! The crew for the most part were very rude. Our cabin steward would not fill up our ice and did a horrible job at cleaning the cabin. The ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarking were the best I've experienced! The cruise was the absolute worst! The crew for the most part were very rude. Our cabin steward would not fill up our ice and did a horrible job at cleaning the cabin. The casino was always packed and impossible to find a machine to play. The grand princess is very dated. We noticed numerous water leake, they put buckets in the halls. There is rust all over the ship which they could easily fix. Princess obviously doesn't care about the guest's experience in a number of different ways. The entertainment was horrendous unless you are the older generation. If you are under 40, you will find that sea days are for sleeping and eating. The comedian, joe, was great. The comedy showtime was an absolute joke and they should not be considered entertainment, alot of guests were leaving. Please stay away from the "less than grand" princess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My two sisters and I chose to go on this cruise because we had never been on a cruise before and we wanted to do so before we got to be too old to enjoy it. We left out of San Francisco, being raised in California, we didn't do ... Read More
My two sisters and I chose to go on this cruise because we had never been on a cruise before and we wanted to do so before we got to be too old to enjoy it. We left out of San Francisco, being raised in California, we didn't do any exploring of the city because we had all previously been there and done that. The first thing we learned about cruising was don't judge the cruise by the disembarkation experience...this was a cluster cram (for lack of a more suitable word). We got on board the Grand Princess and we were all in awe of the ship its self...It was huge and luxurious. Five swimming pools, six hot tubs, I can't even tell you how many bars. Five restaurants and several other dining options available. There seems to be one employee for every three passengers, so what ever you needed was tended to almost immediately. We were first time cruisers, so we didn't know how to go about without advice and other passengers seemed to be the most logical people to ask, so we did. Most people were quick to lend a hand and advice was sound and friendly. We expected our cabin (stateroom) to be crammed and cluttered, but we were pleasantly surprised to find it roomy and adequate for all three of us (and our luggage). We chose the stateroom that had twin beds and expected to find a roll away bed for the third bed. We were glad to see that there were beds above the twin beds that could be folded down to provide a bunk bed experience. We only needed one of these, at that is where I slept. If there is any advice that I could offer a first time cruiser, it would be to read the Princess Patter every evening and circle the things that you are interested in participating in. Downloading the app onto your phone is just as helpful (maybe more so, but I didn't down load it, so I can't speak on it with any real knowledge). Catch every show that you are interested in and plan your meals around your entertainment, not the other way around. Don't be too shy to participate in the activities...they will make your experience more personal and memorable. Buy the photo package and maybe even the video...you won't regret it. Individual photos are expensive, but the quantity and quality of their photographs are worth it, if you have the prepaid, all inclusive package. You are never going to have enough time ashore, so plan your time on land wisely. Shore excursions are worth the cost, but they are meant for tourists, so if you want a personal experience, do your research and plan accordingly. If I had the opportunity to do this again, I would definitely do it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
San Francisco still has only one Princess ship home ported there, the Grand Princess. Los Angeles has maybe four ships, Seattle a couple, Florida too many and Australia so many I can't recall all of them. San Francisco, that beautiful ... Read More
San Francisco still has only one Princess ship home ported there, the Grand Princess. Los Angeles has maybe four ships, Seattle a couple, Florida too many and Australia so many I can't recall all of them. San Francisco, that beautiful city, has but ONE. The food on board is good but needs some help. I remember years ago on the very old Fair Princess, the dining room was outstanding and everyone loved the menu. I fondly remember that old ship. Sabatini's used to be good but since its remodel, I suggest you skip it. The Crown Grill is very good but the cost is too much for the food you get. Staff is extremely nice and seem to be happy. All in all, Princess needs to come into the present day a bit more and get TWO ships in San Francisco, one to do Hawaii and Alaska and one to do Mexico and the two coastals. Getting on and off the ships are the easiest of all the ships I have ever been on. So fast and efficient. The Hawaii itinerary is awesome. From the moment you step on board, yo are in Hawaii. Brian and Rowena Vasquez your Hawaiian Ambassadors made the guests feel welcome. The stops are wonderful but I miss not seeing Kailua-Kona on the Big island. Even though, all the ports are beautiful and the late night in Honolulu is great. I have sailed on the Grand maybe 10 times and find it always clean and comfortable. The fantastic Hawaii ports make it even better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because it's San Francisco round trip and convenient to our North Bay home. Our ship Grand Princess was showing her age but was in pretty good shape. The main anytime all meal dining room Horizon Court suffered a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it's San Francisco round trip and convenient to our North Bay home. Our ship Grand Princess was showing her age but was in pretty good shape. The main anytime all meal dining room Horizon Court suffered a water leak, soaking the Carpet and closing half the dining area making for crowds every meal. Our starboard cabin on Caribe deck was comfortable, clean and the balcony was more spacious than the decks below or above with a partial overhang. The 15 day cruise itenerary was fine as were the shore excursions (the best excursion for us was on main island to Volcanos National Park, visit to Volcano winery). Entertainment was good - the Hawaiian Ambassadors Rowena and Chris were superb, entertaining an very informative. Comedian, magician, ventriloquist and dancers were all good. But for us the best entertainment/lectures were by Blues Guitarist Barry Big B Brenner on the blues origins and his depth of knowledge and appreciation for and performance of the music proved to be the highlight of our cruise. Service on the ship in the main dining rooms was ok but lacking at times. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
If you fly from the East Coast to Hawaii you may spend 11 hrs flying. However, 5 1/2 hrs to SFO, hop in a cruise ship and you maybe saving $1500 if you count airfare, hotels, food, tours etc./ Things to remember: passport, book your ... Read More
If you fly from the East Coast to Hawaii you may spend 11 hrs flying. However, 5 1/2 hrs to SFO, hop in a cruise ship and you maybe saving $1500 if you count airfare, hotels, food, tours etc./ Things to remember: passport, book your tours before you leave home, otherwise you may find later on the ship your tour is closed. If you are traveling from SFO remember the avg temp is 61degrees. from Nov-May. Be prepared to feel cold weather, rocky seas and winds upwards of 25 knots for 6 of the 15 days you are sailing. Bring warm clothes for 10 days at sea. We brought bathing suits but the pool temperature was in the low 70s. If you are courageous you may watch movies outdoors. Book your transportation from SFO airport to Pier 27 and back as soon as you sign up for the cruise. Warning, it may take up to 1.5 hours from the airport. Our trip took that long on a Sunday at Noon. It took 35 minutes to travel two blocks at Embarcadero. Tours are very short, the best is the Arizona-Missouri Memorial. Be prepared to just bring a camera, tons of people go thru everyday and the security folks make you rent lockers at the reception center. This forces the rest of the tour group to wait for you to return to the bus. Hilo, Maui and Makawao are excellent tours. Unless you need to find a Pharmacy, the Ensenada tour is not worth getting. Oh, yes, the Pharmacy is 50 meters from the ship. The activity crew keeps you busy all 8 days at sea. Between Hula, line dancing, Ukulele lessons, Hawaiian history, art, photography lectures, Who can forget gambling? How about Bingo? At Happy Hour you can BOGO at 1/2 price. You can eat practically 18 hours a day and just in case you get up in the middle of the night hungry, just walk to the coffee shop and get a snack and a latte. Feel nostalgic? Go to the nightly shows and listen to your favorite tunes, magicians, dancers and stale jokes comics. Feel hungry after the show? Go to the pizzeria for a couple of slices. After all of these, you only wish to had less time at sea and more time in Hawaii. After we arrived home we couldn't wait to go back to work, we needed the rest........ Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We did not have a chance to explore San Francisco before departure since we travel from the east coast the same day as departure. Don't expect to get airport transfers from Oakland to the ship, there aren't any...so, you'll ... Read More
We did not have a chance to explore San Francisco before departure since we travel from the east coast the same day as departure. Don't expect to get airport transfers from Oakland to the ship, there aren't any...so, you'll need to take a taxi, Uber or public transportation. The embarkation process was outstandingly proficient, and we could not believe our bags were delivered to our stateroom within 90 minutes of drop off at the pier. Great views from deck 14/15 of the bay at the sail-away party as the ship departs -- especially when passing under the Golden Gate Bridge. The ship is not the newest of the fleet and definitely shows its age (kind of like a lot of the passengers). The cabin was in good condition but very, very small! The maitre'd helped us with dining arrangements and gave us a specific table for all 15 days in the Da'Vinci dining room (make sure this is one of your first stops after boarding). The food was spectacular! Our waiters provided the best service we've experienced on any prior cruise. The entertainment was okay but does not compare to the superclass ships out of Ft Lauderdale with promenades and ice skating rinks. There were plenty of activities going on around the ship every day and seems any age person would find something to do. Though, a lot of the common space seating was occupied with folks reading and taking siestas (often!!) - it was hard to find an open seat. We took this cruise primarily for the Hawaiian island ports and they did not disappoint! Hilo - first time to this island and we went with a private tour from Island Wide Family Tours. Seeing the lava flow from the active volcano (even if from a distance) at Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park was the highlight of this tour. We spent the entire day with Kyle on this private tour and it was simply amazing! Oahu - great to come back and see it like a tourist. When you live on the island you take so many things for granted and can miss the islands' true beauty (at least I did). We arranged for a private tour through Oahu Private Tours. It was a fantastic around-the-island day trip with gorgeous views! Kauai - this was our favorite island stop. You absolutely MUST see it by helicopter or airplane for the spectacular views not reachable by land. It was a toss-up on which aerial tour to take. We ended up taking flight from Wings Over Kauai and it truly was a bargain with the 1 hour narrated by Marcus. Views Na Pali coastline, tropical waterfalls and Waimea Canyon were breathtaking! We found the ABC Store has the best price on souvenirs and macadamia nuts & chocolates – so, don't wait for Maui to buy that Hawaiian tea shirt. Maui - we chose to relax a little on this stop. Took the tender ride to town and walked the streets of Lahaina and for a moment we thought we were in Cedar Key (central Florida's equivalent to Key West). Maui was our last Hawaiian island stop on this marvelous vacation and no matter what you chose to do here you will not be disappointed! It was also nice having a nearly empty ship to enjoy the sunshine and pool. Ensenada - in our opinion this was absolutely a terrible stop...guess this was thrown in just to make it a legal cruise since we understand the Passenger Services Act says no cruise ship under a foreign flag can depart from a US port and return to a US port without making at least 1 international port of call. 3 hours just ain't enough time and we did not enjoy this stop at all. We would not take this cruise again in April for a number of reasons but primarily because there are too many sea days with somewhat rough seas -- in our opinion there were only 2 good outside pool days on 9 sea days. The service onboard was phenomenal, the food was exceptional and the 4 Hawaiian island stops were fantastic! We definitely will consider Princess again in the future but only on a ship with an itinerary consisting of more port of calls and less “cold” sea days. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The OLD Grand Dame is still mighty fine My Family of four (53 me, 44 DW, 14 DS and 11 DD years old)just finished a 15 day cruise to Hawaii in a mini suite on the Grand Princess, and boy, we had a blast. I am going to write a review ... Read More
The OLD Grand Dame is still mighty fine My Family of four (53 me, 44 DW, 14 DS and 11 DD years old)just finished a 15 day cruise to Hawaii in a mini suite on the Grand Princess, and boy, we had a blast. I am going to write a review listing some of our highlights, a few LOW lights, and a few things for general consumption. Grand Princess is the original Old Lady of the Grand class ships, beginning in 1998 the evolution of this popular princess class into SUB classes such as the Gem class, Caribbean Class, Crown class and Ventura Class ships. Anyone familiar with the later classes (Ruby and Emerald are OUR 2 favs) will easily navigate the Grand, with some significant (one whole floor missing, Sky walkers club missing and one less buffet /dining room) and some minor differences (pizza, Ice-cream and grill moved around but still locatable). The Grand is a stunning but older women who has been dressed and pampered, but shows her age in MANY subtle and NOT so subtle ways. Rust abounds, at floor joints and railings, and some of the carpeting is getting worn down. On our recent cruise, Princess had carpet crews replacing stairwell carpeting throughout the long nights, disappearing in daylight only to reappear night after night like carpet vampires. The Linen, bathroom towels and comforters are well used and some have stains that show up in direct light. Bathroom fixture plates and covers fall off and have to be replaced, and TV’s and room appliances need fiddling to work, or simply need to be replaced (such as one of our stateroom TV’s. STILL, the Grand Princess staff is very attentive and proactive, and they seem cognizant of the Grand’s age and are determined to fight her maturing condition at considerable costs. Septic odors and brown water at the end ofthe 15 day cruise were simply beyond human intervention, and resulted in some passenger complaints. There were SO many excellent things about this cruise and here are a few of my most memorable. 1. Dinner service in the three Main dining rooms was exceptional and the food consistently delightful. The Steaks were Amazing (From NY Strip to Chateaubriand, all were moist, flavorful and delicious), the soups and appetizers fantastic, and the deserts memorable. In my opinion, the consistently best Dinner service and food at sea. 2. The Covered and mostly enclosed Calypso pool, which is the location of the MUTTS screen on other class ships, was open almost 24 hours, and was warm and swim-able even in cold weather (more on that later). 3. The great Pizza debate raged in my family, with the NY style pies on lido deck 14, and the individual specialty pizza on five (sit down but free restaurant) getting equal love. Either choice is great; you WILL be able to get an excellent piece of pizza on the cruise. 4. The Ice Cream/Coffee shop on lido 14 was open most hours, and served lots of great frozen treats, many for free. Coffee cards were taken here as well, but the Latte and Cappuccino’s were better on 5 at the; 5. International Café. Open 24 hours, the morning pastry and donuts and mid night panini (The Cuban on a toasted ciabatta roll was my fav) are free and available round the clock, and the Specialty Coffees top notch (for a charge) Here’s a tip, if you have a single punch left on your coffee card, you can get all the fresh brewed regular coffee you want all cruise long right here, which SOME people find better than the dispensers on the lido deck and in the Dining rooms. 6. We used room service every morning as our wake up call, and it was fantastic, with a selection of cereal, fresh rolls, pastries and croissants, coffee and milk for free. Simply leave the card out at night and great service every morning. (Ordering Room service during the day/night via phone was MUCH slower, and not as tasty.) 7. Our room steward WAS FANTASTIC, and was our number one ally in fighting the aged conditions of Grand. On day one, he laid it out there for us on the challenges/limitations of a 20 year old ship, and let us know the steps he would take to mitigate and to make it a great cruise for us. He lived up to his word. Daruisz Pawel Kujawa on Dolphin (D-731 mini suite) was in the top 3 room stewards we have ever had on any cruise ship. Superb. 8. The Gym located on 15 forward near the spa was great, and I formed a friendship with the 10-12 folks waiting in line for it to open at 0600 every day. Good modern equipment and few lines made for a good experience. One HUGE negative however was no showers in the tiny locker rooms. The only showers were at poolside in the spa next to the sauna and steam rooms. AWKWARD! 9. The Show “Born to Dance” was excellent, worth getting there early and jostling in the crowds (I am not kidding, people were verbally fighting and shoving for this one). The other comedians and shows were good, but BTD was exceptional. 10. Brian and Rowena the Hawaiian ambassadors were excellent, offering cruise long classes, crafts and Hawaiian themed entertainment in lots of different venues. The Ukulele classes (instruments provided) were particularly well attended. 11. Morning trivia with the cruise staff was fun, but the questions were VERY British focused. When you form your 6 member team, find a Brit to play along with. They were everywhere on our cruise. 12. The Crown Grill offered English Pub Lunch twice (2nd and Last sea day), and Scotch eggs were on the second menu. Free and delicious. 13. The Buffet offered an amazing collection of cheese (Gruyere, Provolone, Gouda, and many more) with crackers and other bread products. The FRUIT and mixed fruits bowl was also plentiful, tasty and available almost round the clock. Another nice touch for the Buffet was whipped butter to spread on breads and rolls, an alternate to the hard frozen butter that tears the bread up when you try to spread it. MY DW LOVED the Chocolate croissants that princess does so well, available in the buffet, at breakfast and at Tea in Da Vinci, and at the international cafe. 14. Embarkation was a dream, fast and efficient with room’s available at 1200 noon. Debarkation was slower (no fault of Princess, but due to CBP backups) and Platinum (and Black) card holders were provided a lounge for Platinum and above to chill with coffee and Danish. NICE touch. 15. I normally NEVER book an excursion through the ship (less money and easier from land), but the Snorkeling adventure to Molokini was the VERY nice exception. Ship Priced LOWER than the outfitter directly, we were provided two SUPERB snorkeling stops, a continental breakfast, delicious sandwich lunch and plenty of snacks and salads. Superb highlight to the cruise. 16. The Sanctuary is a favorite of my DW, and she used it almost every day. Service was top notch and the pampering was in full effect. I pay for it as her gift every cruise, and she loves it. 17. We took MOST breakfast and Lunch meals in Da Vinici, and though SLOW, it was very pleasurable. If you “Shared” a table you sat right away, and we met some very nice people that way. Less sociable folks waited in chairs for a table to open up for eating alone. Don’t understand that concept, but hey, to each his own. BONUS, my favorite dessert is Napoleon and it was served at lunch only and only once. The chocolate version was served in the buffet often, but THAT is NOT the real thing in my humble opinion. The Lunch version was flaky layered pastry, with soft whipped vanilla cream and strawberries and was just marvelous. 18. We had a “Glitch” on the first formal night with a staff photographer. We addressed the issue with the Photo manager, and the staff bent over backwards to make things right for us. A Highlight of the cruise and Princess in general is our consistent experience in GREAT customer relations we have had. These guys GET IT, and make things right for maximum customer satisfaction. A negative made into a HUGE positive for us on this cruise. Well Done asst manager Hoffman R. of the Grand Photo team. 19. We love(d) high tea in Da Vinci every afternoon. Princess is the only main stream line that does it (or does it this well), with the white gloves, delicious delectable pastries, mini savory sandwiches and amazing scones, with Cream and Jam. A Family favorite and the Grand did not disappoint. Now, there were SOME negatives, many of which we addressed with the ship staff. We LOVE Princess and want to be part of the solution to problem's , and to keep my favorite Cruise line the best it can possibly be. We do NOT complain just to complain. There was some of THAT on this cruise, and we did not feed into it. SOLUTIONS and getting better are what Princess is about, it's why we love them. CON 1. This trip was COLD. The Temperatures in the first three days leaving San Francisco and the last three days was often in the 50’s, with high winds making it feel worse. The MUTTS, usually one of our family favorites were intolerable, unless you bundled up and mummified yourself with the blankets princess provided. The sight of a few brave people bundled up and lying on the loungers with just their eyes visible through the blanket was a common sight on movie nights. The strong cold winds would flip pizza and fries off your plates if you dared cross the open deck (And the pizza, Ice cream and grill were all ON the open deck). Most people wore hoodies, winter coats and jackets for 6 whole days of the “Hawaiian” Cruise. NOT Princess’s fault for sure, but a major bump for most people on the cruise. 2. The Horizon Buffet spotty service. I have NEVER seen so many people on a Princess cruise getting their own beverages, cutlery, and condiments. SOME of the wait staff was working hard for sure, but too many stood around as people waited on themselves and awkwardly carried plates looking for a clean table. At peak times (when Dining room staff augmented the Horizon workers), service improved immensely, but returned to mediocre at best when the Horizon staff was left to their own resources. Early on we addressed this issues with Head waiters, supervisors and finally the head Maitre D, and to their credit, they all looked troubled and pained by our report of the service issues. Still, the problem persisted, even with the obvious response of more supervisors to the area over the remainder of the cruise. New Staff, Poor training, bad communication? We never figured it out, and no real permanent solution every materialized. 3. Leaky ceilings. Several times during the cruise I watched ceiling/roofs leak water drips onto people in the buffet and the dining room. Buckets collecting water drippings were common in the hallways in the stateroom areas. Sad really. 4. Horizon Court layout. Without the extra buffet area (Caribe on the newer class ships), the Horizon’s layout becomes hard on people trying to find tables. The extra desert/break/utility area located adjacent to the main buffet areas are very functional, but take up lots of premium seating space. The tables near the extreme rear and the mid ship entrances were hardly being used due to the cold strong winds that would hit people seating there when the automatic doors opened and closed. We much prefer the improved layout and functionality on Ruby, Emerald and newer class ships. 5. The main pool deck and Mutts station is at the MID deck pool, not Calypso as in the other class ships. As I stated earlier, uncovered, cold and windy, this area was little used during most of the cruise. A bummer, since the ship offered LOTS of great first run movies throughout the cruise, which most folks had to watch in their cabins rather than brave the elements on deck. Popcorn was provided for the movies at the Ice Cream shop, but many folks complained at how greasy it was. A matter of putting the popcorn in the preheated HOT kettle instead of a cold one with oil which leaves it saturated. Again, a simple training issue would have corrected that problem, but it never was. 6. Suffocating Smoke Stink (SSS) was TERRIBLE on the decks and atrium near the casino, near the lower Theater deck next to Snookers (Smoking/cigar Bar) and on aft deck 14. I applaud Princess’s ban of smoking in staterooms, balconies and other common areas, but the smoke from the sanctioned areas needs to be contained better. Our room balcony was occasionally subjected to the SSS from a nearby cabin’s passenger who decided the rules did not apply to them, and smoked on her balcony anyway. THIS is why smokers get a bad name. Rude, Boorish and self-absorbed, many smokers inflict there addiction on the rest of us as if our health concerns were imagined, unimportant or over stated. Many smokers DO observe the rules, and I have NO PROBLEM with them and their right to smoke and do as they please, IF they in fact respect the rights of those who do NOT smoke. The Scofflaws are the ones I have a problem with, and ruin whole sections of the cruise ship for us. 7. The ship run excursion to the Arizona memorial at Pearl Harbor got LOTS of complaints. People felt rushed and in a cattle call, without the opportunity to show reverence and respect, and all at a very high cost in dollars. “Handlers” rushed people along and the museums and exhibits people wanted to see were either hurried through or deleted altogether. 8. This “Complaint” is from me as a foodie AND a grill master. The Grill guys on 14 were good, but they butterflied the hot dogs and sausages (Sliced wide open stem to stern) to finish them on the flat top, and cut open the center of burgers (letting out all the juices and moisture), two rookie mistakes and CARDINAL sins for any grill guys out there. The fries were great, and condiments (including onion and Kraut) were plentiful, but cutting open any meat during cooking should be punished with keel hauling. NEVER have I seen this method of finishing on any other Princess Grill. Terrible way to lose the sandwich. 9. My Kids loved the kid’s clubs amenities and friends, but had nothing good to say about most of the Kids club staff. I made several unannounced visits to the area, and the staff looked bored and uninterested, even sitting on couches with their feet up on one occasion. No tip from here ladies. 10. We were alarmed at the lack of hand washing/sanitizing we observed throughout the ship. The Horizon buffet has a really nice full service hand washing stations at all four entrances, but they were little used by passengers and unsupervised by ship staff. Hand Gel stations were present at the Restaurants, but again, no staff enforced and use by passengers was sporadic. I know people hate being babysit on this issue, but the fact is that when not enforced, MANY people do NOT use these features, and that is eventually going to go very bad for the health of some folks. Other ships man these stations with staff, and gently but strongly encourage people to use them for the safety and health of others. Grand dropped the ball on this one. So, to sum up, we had a GRAND time on this cruise, loved the Staff and really enjoyed the sea days, food, itinerary, service (for the most part), ports, amenities and fellow passengers(for the most part). We would definitely cruise Hawaii again, and we would do the Grand again as well. Now, if we could get on the Ruby or the Emerald AND sail Hawaii?!?!?! All the better!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Chose this cruise by the itinerary. Wanted to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge, lots of sea days and visit 4 islands. Encinada was a waste of time, even the photographers didn't take photos of our arrival as they did on all the ... Read More
Chose this cruise by the itinerary. Wanted to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge, lots of sea days and visit 4 islands. Encinada was a waste of time, even the photographers didn't take photos of our arrival as they did on all the islands. The crew was fantastic, all friendly, professional and helped in every way. My main complaint was the Princess theater, the seats were too narrow for me, so I was unable to see any of the shows on board or any event that took place in there. There were no bench seats or big enough areas for wheelchairs. Place looked dated. Our cabin got free WiFi but we were unable to connect unless we went out on our balcony. They no longer give free little bottles of shampoo and stuff, the soap and shampoo were mounted on the wall in the shower, but the problem is that it took over 20 pumps of the bottle to get a good amount of shampoo. Annoying. Everything sponsored was very well attended and one had to go an hour early to get a seat or ticket for an event, making attending things not worth the time and effort. Overall disappointed in the aged look to many things. Our suite was noisy....it had a creaky sound to it with every wave or roll of the ship, like a spooky haunted house door. Very annoying when it happens 24/7. Thank God we had a balcony for some peaceful ocean watching. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
The Grand Princess is grand no more. The dry dock in December 2016 brought new carpet in some public areas, amd new mattresses. The state room carpets are still in need of replacement, and the old girl is showing her age in many other ... Read More
The Grand Princess is grand no more. The dry dock in December 2016 brought new carpet in some public areas, amd new mattresses. The state room carpets are still in need of replacement, and the old girl is showing her age in many other ways. Uneven flooring, creaking joints between ceiiling panels and wall parts, resulting in very loud noises when we hit rougher water. Dining: Anytime Dining is our choice. Reserving a table is almost impossible. They open the reservation line at 8 am and allow only 20% of the tables to be reserved. I cannot imagine why. The food is no longer as good as it was on voyages past, although things did improve mid voyage when a new chef boarded the vessel. The soups are consistently salty, according to all the people with whom we dined. The Maitre Ds were great with my odd food allergy. Entertainment: fewer show numbers than I expected, lots of vocalists, who were not to my personal taste. The shows we attended were brief, usually less than 30 minutes in duration. Music, as always is way too loud. Ear plugs are a standard travel item for me. Onboard activities: trivia, excellent as usual. A couple of the presenters were prone to soeeding through the sessions, most presenters and their questions were great. A scavenger hunt, provided at my request, (kudos to the staff for that) was hastily slapped together, and it showed. The ultimate disappointment was how the end of the hunt was handled. It turned out to be a participation award rather than the contest all the participants had anticipated. As the Grand allows smoking in an area of the casino, and the doors may not be closed, the atrium (all 3 decks) smelled strongly of smoke. I was told the ventilation officer,would change the suction in the casino. If anything changed I did not notice it. Many passengers (and the passenger services desk staff) were heard complaining about the smell. A similar issue was noticeable in the One5, on deck 15. The smoking area outside it is accessible through the lounge, so every,time a smoker entered or exited the area the smoke filtered into the One5. Not an idea set up, especially for those with allergies. Ports in Hawaii are great, and it was nice not to have to run the gauntlet of a lot of vendors. We never use the ship excursions, so no issues there. Ensenada was even more of a joke than expected. I know the legal requirement of going there, but less than 4 hours, mostly after dark, did not make the port attractive. It seemed most people planned to do their packing while we were in port! As we could not set foot on shore due to bad weather, it was a non issue, but rearranging the timing to give passengers a little more time in Ensenada might make both the cruise line and the Ensenada vendors a little more money. Disembarkation: as this cruise attracts a lot of elite passengers, the Platinum lounge was overfilled, meaning we had to find other places to wait. It,would be better if they had more,areas,set aside for Platinum and Elite guests. Otherwise disembarkation was handled well. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
FUN
We cruise about twice a year to relax and to have fun and we did on each cruise.The dinning and the fitness room are very good. The serve from the staff people are very good. You might get one or two staff people that is not nice on a ... Read More
We cruise about twice a year to relax and to have fun and we did on each cruise.The dinning and the fitness room are very good. The serve from the staff people are very good. You might get one or two staff people that is not nice on a given day, but most of all I found the staff very nice and helpful on all my cruises we have been on. I enjoyed the cruise tours and all the stops, they were a lot of fun. Some are a little high priced, but most I was able to afford. Getting on and off the cruises, sometimes it was hard and sometimes it was easy. As an Elite Princess traveler it is a little better getting on and off the ship. I like the pricing for the cruises. I find them OK priced. Overall I can't wait for our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise because it was supposedly a round trip ,SF-SF; but it was not meant to be. The Grand Princess had a structural damage, that we had to sail back to Honolulu , and be flown to SF via Kahului. Flying was so much of a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was supposedly a round trip ,SF-SF; but it was not meant to be. The Grand Princess had a structural damage, that we had to sail back to Honolulu , and be flown to SF via Kahului. Flying was so much of a hassle, ie, excess baggage, connecting flight from Honolulu to Maui to SF. I was traveling with a handicapped, that it was really a hassle. I have yet to receive my 50% refund. They credited it to a different passenger. I emailed my baggage fee, requesting a response. Still waiting. The crew was exemplary. Dined at The Michaelangelo - they were very accomodating, respectful, considerate, had a great sense of humor. Special mention : Bien, Fernando, Bogdan, Joe Marie .Emabarkation/disembarkation went smoothly. Entertainment were varied. Dining was ok.Loved the pork belly. Some soups were a little bit salty. The ports were fine. The tender needs upgrade. The Boutique shops were ok. Sad that I had to return my liquor, because I could not hand carry it in the plane. The Westin in SF was a great compensation. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We chose this cruise mostly because San Francisco is so close to home. No flying! Embarkation was a breeze, and we were able to get into our stateroom right away. Our room was on deck 14, which we loved. Sail away was delayed a bit due ... Read More
We chose this cruise mostly because San Francisco is so close to home. No flying! Embarkation was a breeze, and we were able to get into our stateroom right away. Our room was on deck 14, which we loved. Sail away was delayed a bit due to them loading carpet for the upcoming dry dock, so it was dark when we sailed under the Golden Gate. We only ate two times in the dining room, but both times the service and food were very good. The Horizon Court was what we preferred for this trip, and we were very happy with the food quality and variety. The service was exceptional here! I must say, Princess has wonderful desserts compared to other lines. Everything we tried was delicious. Entertainment was great. We always enjoy the comedians onboard, and they had a production show called Born to Dance that was outstanding. The casino was closed a lot of the time due to being in Hawaiian waters. We took a Princess excursion in 3 of the 4 ports. We enjoyed them all and they were well organized. On Hilo we took an excursion that only had six of us in a van. It included the volcano, a small coffee farm, and a nice luncheon at a hidden gem of a place called Volcano Garden Arts. That was a very enjoyable stop! We do wish Princess would offer golf excursions while in Hawaii as there are many wonderful courses there to play. I was a bit disappointed in the condition of the ship. I don't think I will book a cruise again right before a scheduled dry dock. It was quite evident that the Grand Princess needed some work, so hopefully she will be in tip top shape for the next cruise passengers. There were many leaky ceilings, broken tiles in public restrooms, soggy carpeting in our hallway, rusty railings in the pool, etc., that were neglected, but hopefully have been taken care of by now. There was some construction going on while passengers were on board, which did interfere just a bit. We did have an issue on this trip and were forced to end our vacation a bit early. However, in my opinion, Princess went above and beyond to take care of the passengers onboard and we were well compensated for the interruption and the inconvenience. The staff at the front desk worked hard to answer each and every question thrown at them by frustrated passengers. They did an amazing job handling us all. We were flown back to San Francisco (instead of cruising back) and were greeted at the baggage claim area by Princess reps who helped us with our final travel arrangements home. We were quite surprised and pleased by this after a long travel day. Way to go Princess!!! We will definitely sail with Princess again, and are already planning to do this trip again in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We flew to San Francisco 2 days early to explore the city. We enjoyed riding on the hop on, hop off bus. We went around the city. The weather was a little bit cold but manageable. I chose this cruise because I would like to experience all ... Read More
We flew to San Francisco 2 days early to explore the city. We enjoyed riding on the hop on, hop off bus. We went around the city. The weather was a little bit cold but manageable. I chose this cruise because I would like to experience all the itineraries of Princess cruise. I had been cruising with princess all the time because I always come home with good experiences. I never cruise with any cruise lines. Our cabin is C523 and I loved sitting in the balcony. The size was just enough to move around and that's all we need. Our cabin steward is Renato and he did a fantastic job. Our room is always clean and every time we meet him he always ask if we need something else. There are so many varieties of places to eat and the crews are all great. Our dining room is DaVinci and our waiter Jeffrey Manantan and his assistant, I Ketut Purnawan are so nice and very good and did a great job. In spite of their busyness they still put time to entertain us by doing some tricks and good jokes. They always wait for us. On our second night they already know what are our favourites. Michael their head waiter is also wonderful. On our second day he knew us right a way and knows where we want to seat. Fatima Santos, who served us with drinks is very accommodating and always got her smile. Another lady I want to mention is April Mercado, anywhere we see her she always smile. Overall everyone did a great job. They are too many to mention. Enterainment is first class especially the "Born to Dance". There are shows that we even repeat to watch. Activities are great. There are quite a few of them where my husband and I join in like; line dancing, ballroom dancing, horse racing, airplane throwing, human slot machine, etc. Services are great. Ports and excursions are awesome. Cant't ask for more. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Davinci Dining room Rodriguez,Raul and Correa's service were great . Food were little salty. Cabin room service was very nice. Entertainment princess production show, like broadway style show, was excellent. Zumba dance classes were ... Read More
Davinci Dining room Rodriguez,Raul and Correa's service were great . Food were little salty. Cabin room service was very nice. Entertainment princess production show, like broadway style show, was excellent. Zumba dance classes were fun. Captain was very responsible and trustworthy. Hawaii dance by kids was so great. The entertainment head did great job. We like that fact that ship has more than 3 pools. The weather was great for outdoor swimming. We were disappointed that there was no DVDs player in regular cabin or there were no DVDs players even for rent. Not too many books in library were available for reading. The afternoon tea was not special. I really enjoyed the port talk about what to see at port and the video about the history and geography for the places we are going to visit. That was very informative and impressive. Overall, services were great. That was our first Princess cruises. We will come back as a repeat customers. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This is the worst of over a dozen cruises we've taken. THE SHIP: Grand Princess is a very old ship. It is constructed so that you can't get there from here. You must take elevators to go almost everywhere due to the ... Read More
This is the worst of over a dozen cruises we've taken. THE SHIP: Grand Princess is a very old ship. It is constructed so that you can't get there from here. You must take elevators to go almost everywhere due to the vertical breakdown of the ships areas. They've covered the rusted balconys with indoor/outdoor carpet so you don't notice. Getting anyware requires an elevator. At least in each area was always out of service. Waits for a ride averaged five minutes, which is unforgivable. When an elevator did arrive it was pushing and shoving to get onto one. More often than not, it was full when it stopped so you had to await another. THE CABIN: The balcony cabin was very small. We had to turn sideways to get into the bathroom. THE FOOD: Don't waste your time with the buffet. It's fit for pigs. The food is cheap with lost of pasta which doesn't cost them much. Noting on it was tasty. There isn't enough room in the buffet areas to sit down, so you wind up wandering around waiting for an open table. Dining room food was very redundant and slow, especially breakfast and to some extent dinners. You are better off getting sandwiches delivered to your room. Dinner was an hour and a half each night. THE EXCURSIONS: We had a very poor experience with a beach day on Maui. It was a long hot walk from the bus to the Sheriton beach site. If the undertow didn't kill you the tiny umbrella that you have to pay $21 for is so short it breaks your back to get in or out. This island requires a tender which was an hour late leaving due to mass confusion. It got back to the ship so late that we could not shower and go out again the explore the island. The ship refused to refund our money. COST: Princess will nickel dime you at every opportunity. That coke costs you $2.50 when the $ .50 mandatory tip is added. ENTERTAINMENT: Their were no first run movies. The magician was awful. The British themed singing was excellent. OVERALL: The cruise was expensive and overrated. We've had much better cruises with Carnival which is considered the Wal-Mart of cruises. We'll never cruise princess again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Grand Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 3.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 3.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

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