24 Princess Grand Princess Fitness Cruise Reviews

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
This was our first cruise while we are world travelers. This cruise was beyond our expectation in every way you could imagine. An amazing organization from the start to the end with impeccable staff & all you need to enjoy in 10 ... Read More
This was our first cruise while we are world travelers. This cruise was beyond our expectation in every way you could imagine. An amazing organization from the start to the end with impeccable staff & all you need to enjoy in 10 days. From the entertainment including great shows, comedy, singers and dancers, then the fitness center with spa, hair & nail salon, relaxation, tanning on the deck, watching top movies, for food, several dining rooms & buffet with variation in taste & freshly prepared meals, & many more to keep every one happy on the cruise. The 4 Mexican ports the ship stopped were really worth visiting. Anything you needed was at your disposal with great services & front desk as your guide. The Captain was always anouncing the big events & keeping us informed of the weather & sailing condition. Thanks to the entire crew. We highly recommend the Grand Princess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We have done over 30 cruises, 28 on Princess. The ship and staff are outstanding. We loved the charm of the ship even though it is showing some signs of wear and tear (Princess Theater seats need to be reupholstered.) Club Class meals were ... Read More
We have done over 30 cruises, 28 on Princess. The ship and staff are outstanding. We loved the charm of the ship even though it is showing some signs of wear and tear (Princess Theater seats need to be reupholstered.) Club Class meals were a highlight. The food and service were outstanding. Every night Giovanni, the Head Waiter, made a special dish. We had seen all of the shows so we did Movies under the Stars and saw a couple of comedians which we enjoyed. Sit away from where food is being prepared which can impact hearing a movie. The Club Class Minisuite was comfortable with a wonderful bed. The room was extremely well-maintained. The lecturers were outstanding especially the series on a Route 66. We love everything about Club Class. We never had to wait and our waiters (Edgar and Alvin were amazing!) The gym was well-maintained with some updated equipment, Especially nice was the international appeal of the cruise. The vast majority of passengers were from the US, China and Canada. The only minor downside was we have seen all of the shows multiple times. The6 need some new ones. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and loved our cruise. In Haines we were lucky enough to see a bear in the wild. We got up close and personal with a couple of glaciers. The ship was lovely and the crew so friendly. Our cabin was a ... Read More
I have always wanted to go to Alaska and loved our cruise. In Haines we were lucky enough to see a bear in the wild. We got up close and personal with a couple of glaciers. The ship was lovely and the crew so friendly. Our cabin was a little small but then we didn't spend a huge amount of time in it.. We thoroughly enjoyed every port but did need more time in Victoria BC. Our 16 year old daughter loved the Beach Hut and made friends. Service was excellent, loved Nino and Alex in the Da Vinci Dining Room. Super service. We would happily cruise with them again. Top service in every bar. There were a lot of activities on the ship, only a few that we enjoy. The tablet based bingo was a bit odd and took the fun out of the game itself. You could however buy just paper tickets but the tablets allowed many more winning opportunities so you really had to be part of that. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We went with the Grand Princess from SFO to Alaska, 10days Roundtrip. The cruise and ports were great. First time in Alaska, Weather was between 40-80 degrees. We packed layers, T-shirts, long sleeves shirts and rain jacket. Don't ... Read More
We went with the Grand Princess from SFO to Alaska, 10days Roundtrip. The cruise and ports were great. First time in Alaska, Weather was between 40-80 degrees. We packed layers, T-shirts, long sleeves shirts and rain jacket. Don't worry about the clothes. If you haven't packed the right clothing, you can buy jackets, hats, sweaters and t-shirts in the stores at the port. Don't forget your binocular (or buy in ship store). We've chosen OV cabin with obstructed view, cabin E619, mid ship on Deck 8- Emerald Deck. Right across from the Laundry- but no noises. Location was great, just go down 1 floor and you have restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment. The cabin interior a little bit outdated and small, bathroom was smelling urine. I guess the steward didn't had much time to clean properly. One thing throughout the ship: all windows were really really dirty, hard to see through- no matter which floor. The grand princess is an older, smaller ship. Needs a deep clean thoughout. The staff very friendly, the food was ok. We had anytime dining, sometimes you needed to wait 30 minutes to get a table (mostly between 6-7pm), but we didn't seen that as an issue, the food in the dining rooms was good, nothing really exciting- lot of fish. Pizza at Alfredo and the International Cafe are great alternative for dinner or snack and is complimentary. Awesome! Recommendation for this area: have stationary water, coffee and tea complimentary as well. The Horizon buffet on the other hand is very small and the food selection very limited, I didn't like it very much. Breakfast alright, Lunch not so much. Entertainment: a lot of singing shows. First day 4 singers and dancers, after that- each of those singers have their own show and then final show all singers together again. I wished, they would offer a bit more variety of show acts, comedy and maybe magic to balance it out. Great option to the shows were Karaoke and The Voice, very entertaining and of course "Movies under the Stars:. So our rating is average, we will give princess another try- with royal princess in December. Casino: small, 1 side smoking, the other side non- smoking, on formal nights non-smoking after 6pm. For our smokers: you can purchase duty-free cartons of cigarettes, you can pick them up by the end of the cruise. ( MSC allows you take it with you) Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because of convenience. We took the ferry to pier 41, then walked a few blocks to our vacation. It was as simple as that. The process of embarking was fairly simple and quick, even being as crowded as it was. The ship. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of convenience. We took the ferry to pier 41, then walked a few blocks to our vacation. It was as simple as that. The process of embarking was fairly simple and quick, even being as crowded as it was. The ship. I had read some reviews of the ship looking tired with well worn carpets and other noticeable blemishes. Didnt notice anything bad about the boat. Our cabin was a balcony cabin on the Aloha deck. I found the cabin to be a little bit small, without many power outlets. I think there were only 2. 1 in the bathroom and on in the room. The bed was super comfortable, and the balcony was nice to have. Our room attendant was very nice, but there was a bit of a language barrier as he did not understand some of our requests. No big deal though. Our dinner restaurant was Bottocelli's. I found the food to be good, but not great. Our 2 servers Rodel and Made' though were excellent, really good people! Most of the entertainment was pretty good, the cruise director Dave is pretty good at keeping the entertainment going. The shore excursions were pretty good all around as well. Disembarkation was easy as well. My list of dislikes is small. What comes to mind is the paid for wifi. If you can avoid it, do yourself a favor and do so, its worse than old dial up internet. I hope to do this cruise again in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was my 12th cruise, but first with Princess. I love cruising and have enjoyed all my previous vacations with other companies. We cruised for our anniversary, and brought along our 3 year old son. I wanted to enjoy our vacation, so I ... Read More
This was my 12th cruise, but first with Princess. I love cruising and have enjoyed all my previous vacations with other companies. We cruised for our anniversary, and brought along our 3 year old son. I wanted to enjoy our vacation, so I tried repeatedly to overlook the negative details, but they were too many to overlook. We tried to bring issues to the attention of the staff, but our complaints were ignored and we were repeatedly lied to and patronized. Princess recently paid a big fine for fraudulent record keeping in blatantly ignoring regulations. I think the company has lost money, and it shows in their nickel-and-dime and corner-cutting which is especially obvious on an older ship like this one. Since the list of Pros is shorter, I will start there: Pros: -Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze. SF has a wonderful and speedy port and the experience was the best of all the ports Ive been to (New Orleans, Miami, Galveston, etc) -The waitstaff were almost all delightful with only a few crabby exceptions. -Movies Under the Stars was a fun addition to the ship playing movies such as "Princess Bride" and Emma Watson "Beauty & The Beast" with many new family movies. -The recently updated Kids Club (Discovery) was inviting and fun. Although they frequently watched movies, I can't complain because our 3-yo son loved it and begged not to leave. -The band on board XtaSea was brilliant. They could hit the high notes in the Bee Gees and low notes in Louie Armstrong doing justice to each song they played. They were versatile and played current music (Blurred Lines, Bruno Mars, etc) as well as oldies. There wasn't a decade of music they left unsung and all of it was great. Being that they are originally from the Caribbean, their Regge versions were perfect. -Sabatini's Italian restaurant was our best meal on the ship. We were told they completely re-did the menu about two weeks ago. The pasta is house-made and it shows. Everything we were served was phenomenal and authentic. Our only complaint was that we were so full we couldn't finish dessert.... but we found a way. If Sabatini's were on land, I would go there frequently for dinner. If any of the rest of the ship's restaurants were on land, they would likely go out of business. Cons: -The ship cut corners everywhere imaginable. If you plan to cruise with Princess, be sure to bring your own toilet paper and Kleenex. The paper products provided are the quality that you would find in a gas station bathroom. The towels are old and rough with stains and holes. The paper towels in public areas are the brown ones that lack absorbency. -The hot water system is antiquated, so taking a shower is a series of scalding and freezing. I would have complained, but other passengers said the whole ship was like this, and I noticed it even when washing my hands in the sinks: too hot, too cold, too hot. -Everything is broken, and no staff is interested in fixing it. The women's sauna and steam room were out of order 8/10 days we sailed. At least one pool was closed at all times, and on several sea days, all but one or two hot tubs were closed for repair. Restrooms around the ship were closed for repairs for days at a time. The women's restroom near the kids club was closed for our entire sailing. Many of the restaurants/bars were out of key ingredients for things they offered for the entire sailing. The countertop in several of the bathrooms was cracked and had been poorly glued back together. The ship was constantly being painted the whole cruise, and that combined with the smell of smoke pouring out of the casino were at times nauseating. The smokers lounge is located directly outside the theater and it's doors don't seal, so the smell wafts into the theater and surrounding areas. I joked with other passengers that I avoided the 6th deck entirely due to the smoke smell and they agreed, if you don't smoke, even the smoke-free day in the casino is unbearable. -Three times (in 10 days) our room was affected by 'Essential Maintenance.' One of these times involved a 3 hour interruption in the water supply. They left a few bottles of water in the room for this water interruption which I appreciated. Of course, murphy's law, my son had to poop during the water outage, so I used the bottle of water to flush the toilet and wash his hands. When the water outage was over, I was asked to pay for the water we used. Even though we had the unlimited drink package, we were told that this water was not included. After much complaining, I got them to remove this charge, but I was shocked that we were even asked to pay. It felt like the constant nickel and diming. -The tea library "Leaves" had a hot water station that did not ever contain hot water for our entire sailing. There were also no cups, and all the drawers of various loose teas looked like they hadn't been refilled in a year. We asked staff about them and were either told that the stations would be filled in the morning, or were told that it was out of order. There were no signs, and we found it this way day and night. -Our balcony door leaked each time it rained, soaking the carpet and anything we had stored near the balcony. Despite repeated complaints, this was never fixed or addressed. -The partition between our balcony and our neighbors, broke on the second day of sailing. Despite reporting, it took two days for anyone to address the issue and the partition would BANG rhythmically in the wind, all day and all night. Finally, they came by with wooden door stops and wedged the partition into place. When the wedges came out and we asked for a more permanent fix, they came by with more wedges. All of this wouldn't have been so bad, but we were repeatedly told someone would fix it "right away" and it took days. Each time we asked they would apologize, claim someone would come right up, then never show. -Everyone on the ship is a gimmick to get you to buy something or spend more money. I went to a free "Stretch and Release" at the gym. Turns out this is not really a class at all, it is an infomercial for Good Feet shoe inserts. After a few minutes of stretching, the high pressure sale tactics start. "Normally these are $300... today only $200" The man teaching the class is the head of the gym, with his photo on the wall as you enter. He said "I don't work for princess, I am a paying guest just like you, so selling these is my livelihood" When I declined the purchase, he got angry. Why had I volunteered for the demonstration if I was not interested in buying. Finally, I said "I am sorry, $200 is a bit out of my price range for insoles" and he said "If you are on a cruise, you can afford it- I can't believe I let you volunteer, I always get a sale out of a volunteer, so I have wasted a sale." -Speaking of the gym, it is smaller than any other ship I have been on, so it was always crowded and dirty. They only had one bottle of wipes for the machines, and it was not attached, so it roamed and was hard to find. There isn't a running track on this ship, though they pretend the 7th deck has one, it is just a shared walkway. 3 times is a mile, but you must go up and down stairs and around banisters. It isn't a complete circle. There were only two classes offered: yoga at 7:30am and PDX-type, both were $12/session. They also had personal training for astronomical fees. Outside the gym, in the atrium area there is a free zumba class daily, but I did not attend so I can't say if they were also selling something. -The food was inconsistent. They use real parmesan cheese, but fake olive oil. The staff will swear up and down that the imitation crab is real, even when the giant spiraled chucks with the dyed red edge are obvious. The pizza place was OK, but the pizza's were soggy in the middle and undercooked. We started ordering them well-done, which helped, but we were sometimes told they were too busy to cook them well-done. The creme brûlée came out with a soft and mushy top. Most seafood dishes were overcooked and therefore chewy, I also suspect that much of the seafood had been frozen. The hollandaise sauce on the eggs Benedict came out as a 'crust' I assume perhaps it sat under a warmer too long? I have never seen browned hollandaise sauce. The gazpacho and Ceaser salad were consistently fantastic, and they also did a good job on any kind of stewed dish or anything served cold. In other words, things that are good even if they sit were good. Dessert was mostly good too, but it is difficult to mess up chocolate and sugar. -Specialty Dining: After having the terrible frozen crab legs in the dining room, we decided to skip the Crab Feast. The Crown Grill Steak restaurant was OK. My son got a pork chop which might have been the best thing on the menu. It was explained to me that there isn't any fire on the ship, all the cooking is electric (for obvious safety reasons) but steak and BBQ aren't good without fire, so it seems silly to offer something that you know won't be good. (BBQ at the trident grill tasted like it was boiled and then smeared with BBQ sauce) -This ship offered limited entertainment or activities. I think perhaps it is geared towards retirement age folks, and maybe they enjoy spending money all day? I don't know but 80% of the 'activities' offered in the Princess Patter were sales of some sort. Jewelry, clothing, art, shoe insoles, excursions, acupuncture, spa materials, etc. Even at dinner, they were pressuring us to attend the wine tastings for $25. -While in port, we had a security officer tell us it would be "5 more min" to board while the moved the walkways for the change in tide. He said this repeatedly for 45 minutes. The women behind me in line had a walker, but was stuck in line with us and no where to sit down. We had a hungry child and the line stretched so long, the prospect of fighting backwards in the line to get out got worse and worse. When we finally boarded the ship almost 90 minutes later, I went to the desk to suggest they consider an announcement when the walkways needed to be moved. They can't help nature, but it is a predictable event. I explained that if we had been told "45-90 min" instead of "5 min" we would have left and had lunch elsewhere instead of returning to the boat. The guy at the desk was patronizing and basically told me it wasn't their problem. The lady with the walker, thanked me for trying to complain, but clearly they have no intention of being honest or transparent. -When I finally got in touch with the manager of customer service, he pretended to be apologetic, he pretended he wanted to make it up to us, and offered my son a chance to meet the captain. We were so grateful and excited. He told me the time, and I read it back to him. On the day we were supposed to meet the captain, the manager lied and said that we had gotten the time wrong and that he had repeatedly called our room. We were in our room at the time he said he called, which made him back track. Perhaps he called the wrong number, or didn't let it ring enough times... perhaps his accent caused us to get the time wrong. I reminded him that I had read the time back to him, so his accent didn't matter, and he didn't have a response. He just stared at me and said he was sorry. All of the ports were amazing. The train is Skagway is worth the price. Watch the Discovery Channel documentary on it (on youtube). I would happily go back to Alaska, and all of the ports. I will just never sail Princess again. While in Juneau, we ate at "Salt" and had the best Salmon of our lives and best local beer from Arkose Brewing Company and even the ling cod was flavorful (not something I would normally say about whitefish). They have a fermented chili aioli that was so good I could have drank it, and they were generous with the truffle oil. In Ketchikan we really enjoyed eating at the "Cape Fox Lodge" and they offer a $3 tram ride down the mountain. For the experienced hiker, I recommend the Rainbird Trail. You need shoes with good grip, and preferably waterproof, but the views are breathtaking and worth it. No need for a guide, the trail is easy to follow, but strenuous at times. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Great trip. First time to Alaska, a must see for all. The crew was wonderful, not one negative thing to say about the staff. Everyone was very positive and accommodating. Food, Food, Food. Good entertainment with lots of things to do. Our ... Read More
Great trip. First time to Alaska, a must see for all. The crew was wonderful, not one negative thing to say about the staff. Everyone was very positive and accommodating. Food, Food, Food. Good entertainment with lots of things to do. Our dining experience was the beat, Rosaleo and Nicanor in the Davinci Dining room were the best, top notch fun and entertaining. We had 4 stops all were unique to there own with easy access on and off the boat, All the stops have a lot to do even if you gust get off the ship and explore your self like we did at 2 stops. Do worry about things to do and shuttles are cheap and walking is not that far. We were aboard for 10 days and could have gone more without feeling like it was time to get off. We would sure do this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This will be our ONLY cruise on Princess. We had high hopes as my brother in law likes Princess and recommended it. We however hated it and here's why: Food - The meat and seafood was grossly overcooked. We sent stuff back, we ... Read More
This will be our ONLY cruise on Princess. We had high hopes as my brother in law likes Princess and recommended it. We however hated it and here's why: Food - The meat and seafood was grossly overcooked. We sent stuff back, we ordered it "Medium Rare" - it sill came out slammed. The sides were disappointing as well. For the most part everything friend came out soggy. The buffet was horrible, food way soggy and overcooked. Beds - The Grand Princess beds were replaced just a few weeks before our voyage. We found the beds lacking in support and too soft and uneven. My back hurt for most of the cruise as a result. Crowds - The ship was like an Ant hill. Other cruise lines we've been on pack far fewer people onto a ship the size of the Grand Princess. There were lines and crowds everywhere. We've never had to wait in line for an hour for anytime dining before. We took to calling in at exactly 8AM to make reservations. So that pretty much killed doing anything else around that time. We found it very stressful. Embarkation - I've never seen a crowd that big in a terminal. We showed up a tad early for our appointed check in time but still had to queue up for almost 2 hours before we could board. There was also a 30 minute line to check in suitcases. Never seen a mess like that before. Rust Bucket - while the interior of the ship was worn but in pretty good cosmetic shape the exterior was horribly rusty. Systems such as the Vacuum toilets also broke down repeatedly. Cabin - We booked a mini-suite. It was the size of a regular veranda cabin on some of the other lines we were on. The storage was ample and there was a nice sofa seating area, but calling it a mini-suite was quite an exaggeration. Fitness - the Gym equipment was insufficient for the crowd on board and there was often a long wait for treadmills and ellipticals. The classes were too crowded and unpleasant. The public rooms were inadequate for the crowd. There's only one real theater on the Grand Princess, but the staff had it offline for "rehearsals" and shuffled off the popular enrichment activities to venues way too small for the audience. The only bright spots on the cruise were the Hula and Ukulele instructors and the Naturalist and Forensic Lecturers. They made the cruise for us, otherwise we'd have disembarked at the first port and flown home. I must point out that the staff was uniformly courteous and friendly even when they were not empowered to fix anything. Out cabin attendant was fantastic. All in all, we had a great time, because we didn't let the problems with the cruise get to us, but we'll never cruise on Princess or any Carnival property again. We'll stick with Celebrity and Oceania. Possibly trying some of the other higher end cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We love Princess Cruise Line and especially being able to sail from a port near our home. It was so easy getting aboard; everything went so smoothly and the ship was as ready to have us aboard as we were to embark. Our bags were ... Read More
We love Princess Cruise Line and especially being able to sail from a port near our home. It was so easy getting aboard; everything went so smoothly and the ship was as ready to have us aboard as we were to embark. Our bags were delivered to our door almost as soon as we got to the room so we were unpacked and ready to explore even before the Life Review. Leaving the SF Bay and getting out in the Pacific waters we experienced a bit of rough seas but our Capitan's Team had things under control and of course the entire staff on board were great and used to the tilting of the ship. Our sail from SF to the Islands was 4 days but with all the things to do on board those days, evenings and nights were filled with lots of good things to keep us busy and entertained. The dining was great with friendly and gracious wait-staff. We chose anytime dining and enjoyed being seated with many different people, exchanging entertaining dinner conversation with a wide variety of folks from the US and England as well. We had chosen our tours ahead of time from the descriptions on line and we were not disappointed. Princess had taken care of the hard part of getting to our tour. Although it was the rainy season in Hawaii, we lucked out in not only NOT having rain but to having sunshine every day. We enjoy very much our days with Princess and their choice of staff and entertainers. This was our 15th cruise with Princess and we always feel welcomed and at home during our days afloat. We are looking forward to our next adventure with a Princess cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I chose this cruise because the price was good and it was the destination I wanted to go . This was the first time I used princess and they were rated the best Alaskan cruise line so we chose them. Overall the cruise was pretty good with ... Read More
I chose this cruise because the price was good and it was the destination I wanted to go . This was the first time I used princess and they were rated the best Alaskan cruise line so we chose them. Overall the cruise was pretty good with some areas were excellent and others were not good at all. The destination was excellent although we did not spend enough time in each port. The main dining room the food was good and the service was excellent. The buffet the food was average and the service was ok. The shows were well below average and they were trying to sell too much stuff. The comedian AJ was excellent but the activities guy named Mark was offensive and not very talented everything he did had a sexual overtone which I did not like. Most of the people on the cruise were over 60 which was a surprise. We did a whale watching tour booked through the ship at British Columbia Canada for 3 hours but we did not see any whales so it was disappointing. In the future the cruise should have shows that have a PG rating, more selection in the area of food choices and a 10 day menu on the website or when you check in. They should also have more activities for younger people. They should also give a partial refund on excursions if guests are disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We booked this because we enjoy the resort feeling of days at sea. We begin our day early with specialty coffee at the International Cafe. After walking have a leisurely breakfast in the Horizon Court, love their waffles. Zumba is a ... Read More
We booked this because we enjoy the resort feeling of days at sea. We begin our day early with specialty coffee at the International Cafe. After walking have a leisurely breakfast in the Horizon Court, love their waffles. Zumba is a blast! Then there are lectures where we learn new things. On this cruise we were visiting military bases in Honolulu so the new information we learned about submarines in the Pearl Harbor attack was very interesting. It is difficult to chose what to do, but fortunately most lectures are replayed on the ship's tv if you do something else when they are live. We used the fitness center most sea days too. We did not participate in the choir but some of our table mates did so we went to the performance, and the fashion show to cheer them on. The Happy Hour in the Wheelhouse is a great way to have a before dinner drink, at an affordable price. If you are not traveling with a group then you usually sit with other travelers and it is another opportunity to learn about the adventures of other travelers. We really enjoyed our dinner group! Our waiter and his assistant were so fun. Also, one person was ill and did not come to dinner so our waiter took an order from her travel companion and sent it to her cabin. They have room service 24 hrs. but the dining room menu is special so I was very impressed he did that for them. Since we get up early we don't go to many evening events, but the performances we attended were fun. The British Invasion featured music from our teenage years and was a lot of fun. The ship was decorated with special banners before Hawaii and Mexico, as well as St. Patrick's Day decorations. They also provided special eye protection so when the sun peaked out during the solar eclipse we got to look at that too. I just roll my eyes when people say cruises are boring. We had a blast! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
When friends of ours asked if we would be interested in joining them on an Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Princess Cruise Line's Grand Princess we immediately said yes! We had heard so many raves about Princess Cruise Lines, and never ... Read More
When friends of ours asked if we would be interested in joining them on an Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Princess Cruise Line's Grand Princess we immediately said yes! We had heard so many raves about Princess Cruise Lines, and never cruised with them before, so we looked forward to this opportunity. Unfortunately, we did not think this Cruise Line lived up to its reputation in several areas. Although the food was very good, the choices were very limited and the same foods served over and over with very few variations. The crew, although very efficient, did not come across as friendly and welcoming, and that was the biggest surprise and disappointment of all...i have been on more than 30 cruise and no matter what else, always found the crew to be so much fun and so warm and good natured...not so here...way too many grumpy faces and cold demeanor! Our cabin steward and one waiter (on the last evening)were our only really positive encounters, and that was amazing to us! On the positive side, the activities were plentiful and fun, and our cabin was lovely. The excursions at the ports were very well done, and off ship we had a very nice time. Nightly entertainment was only mediocre as were the Casino games. All in all, I don't think we would choose Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We have returned, recently, from a 14 days cruise on Grand Princess (Dec 22, 2012- Jan 5, 2013). The itinerary was split in two (seven days each). First one was Fort Lauderdale, Puerto Rico, San Martin, San Thomas, Princess Cays and second ... Read More
We have returned, recently, from a 14 days cruise on Grand Princess (Dec 22, 2012- Jan 5, 2013). The itinerary was split in two (seven days each). First one was Fort Lauderdale, Puerto Rico, San Martin, San Thomas, Princess Cays and second one Fort Lauderdale, Aruba, Curacao, Princess Cays. It was our first time on a Christmas & New Year cruise and we were very happy that we have been on it. The entertainment on the ship, was excellent with several bands playing at all bars each evening. The atmosphere was festive with beautiful season decorations and everybody's mood was cheerful. Our favorite band was "Soundtrack", playing at Wheelers bar. Their singer Ana, from Colombia, has a beautiful voice, a variety of songs and always tries to accommodate the customers' requests. We have stopped most of the evenings there, before dinner, having few drinks and listening to the music. Also very entertaining evenings were a Crooners bar, where the pianist Maurizio was one man band singing crowd favorites. We like to dance and we were pleasantly surprised that all bands played music we could dance to. It was a party night each of the 14 days we were on the ship. We did not eat at the buffet or specialty restaurants. We ate each lunch and dinner at "Da Vinci" restaurant (anytime dinning). Their menu was great and food was very well prepared, especially fish dishes. They had good selection of fine vines, reasonably priced. We didn't care about desserts, but we liked the pastries at International Cafe which served, also, an excellent espresso and cappuccino. That was our breakfast place and sometime afternoon coffee break. It is advantageous to purchase a coffee card at the beginning of the cruise. If one can't finish the pints on the card, it can be used on next cruise (does not expire). The service was very good at restaurants and bars with a lot of personnel ready to help and accommodate our requests. We have watched four shows (Stardust, You Can Dance, British Invasion, Crew Talent Show) and all were very good. There are two show times, in order to, better, accommodate passengers' dinner times. Our cabin was on deck 12 (Aloha) forward. Our cabin attendant was Joan, a very helpful attentive and courteous. On port days we took shore excursions: some with Princess and some offered by independent tour companies, which have reps at each port. On St Martin we did a full island tour (best stops: Marigold & Orient Beach). At St Thomas, we did book, through Princess, a very nice tour with Magens beach, Blackbeard castle and Amber Museum stops. This was our first time on Aruba and we were on an island tour with stopping at a rock formation and one of the beaches. The island is very dry and covered, mostly; by desert vegetation (would not be our preferred vacation spot). We liked Curacao which we did explored it on foot enjoining Willemstad, with colorful houses, outdoors cafes, restaurants and full of shopping opportunities. We have stopped twice at Princess Cay and had great time, as the weather was warm and water calm and very clear (best snorkeling place). However, be aware of mosquitoes. They bite in plain daylight and are not bothered by repellents. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Embarkation This was the area where we were very impressed. We were unsure about staggered boarding but it obviously works. We arrived at the terminal at 12:55 and were sitting in our cabin at 13:10 which was the quickest time we have ... Read More
Embarkation This was the area where we were very impressed. We were unsure about staggered boarding but it obviously works. We arrived at the terminal at 12:55 and were sitting in our cabin at 13:10 which was the quickest time we have ever boarded a ship. Cabin As this was a short cruise we were not too bothered about which cabin we had and settled on E208 on Emerald deck. This is one of 4 cabins on each side towards the bow which has a balcony overlooking the promenade on the deck below. There is mirrored film on the glass to keep the balcony and cabin private. The cabin is well laid out with sufficient storage and was comfortable enough. Now for the downside particularly if you retire early - the Princess theatre is on the other side of the corridor and the soundproofing isn't too good as you get a lot of sound and vibration in the cabin particularly when there is a production number on. Atrium(Piazza) This is a problem area in my view as it is only two decks high and therefore became very congested in the evenings particularly when the officers were introduced in this area. Dining We ate in the Boticelli which is the one used for traditional dining. This restaurant does not have direct access from deck 6 and can only be reached via the aft stairs or lifts. Very pleasant environment and waiting staff very attentive. I require gluten free meals and had no complaints regarding the meals where there was varied and tasty. The Horizon Court is the main buffet area and there appeared to be plenty of variety throughout the day with sufficient places to sit. Only drawback is that at busy times queues are likely to form as space between counters is limited. There are plenty of areas to sit and relax and although this cruise was full there were still plenty of places to relax. The Grand looks very good for her age obviously benefiting from an upgrade last year and even the areas that were not touched still look good. All staff we encountered were polite friendly and courteous and it was always nice to be acknowledged which doesn't always happen these days. Overall we were very impressed with the overall product Princess provide and would certainly not hesitate to book another one. I also used this cruise to scatter my mums ashes and I only have praise for Maria from passenger services and the other crew who were kind and thoughtful in providing an area on the stern for us to carry out this task, again I have nothing but praise for Princess for their organisation from the first e-mail a year ago to the night itself. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Having last sailed on the Grand in Dec.2001 we were curious to see how the ship had been refurbished.The public rooms looked impressive but clearly our cabin had not been updated. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Staff were friendly ... Read More
Having last sailed on the Grand in Dec.2001 we were curious to see how the ship had been refurbished.The public rooms looked impressive but clearly our cabin had not been updated. Embarkation was smooth and efficient. Staff were friendly and whole process took less than 30 minutes. The cabin was smaller than expected and a little tired looking and surprisingly the carpet was badly stained. The balcony was rusty in places but of a good size. The cabin steward was excellent, efficient and nothing was too much trouble. Food varied from good to superb and the waiting staff were excellent, if not a little too attentive on occasions. To be fair we mostly ate in the dining rooms as Horizon Court looked a bit of a bun fight on occasions. Entertainment was varied in both content and quality.We would have welcomed a day time programme that was not so heavily reliant on trivia quizzes and bingo etc. Princess should look at the scholarship at sea programmes offered by some other cruise lines.The entertainment director seemed to have come straight from a 1950's holiday camp. We found him patronising and very long winded. However, a superb guitarist, an amazing acrobat, an amusing comedian and energetic shows with very high production values redeemed the experience. Ports of call: we missed Bruges (foul weather!) but did venture into Blankenburge (free bus) - quaint and friendly small seaside town. We made the best of our time in Copenhagen by having pre-bought Copenhagen cards which gave entry to various attractions and the public transport system which was easy to negotiate. However Tivoli was a disappointment and we were glad not to have paid the excessive price Princess were charging for this excursion. Having visited Helsinborg previously and not being keen to queue for a tender we disembarked late and were limited to a short stroll which was, nevertheless, pleasant.The sail into and out of Oslo is extremely picturesque and worth being on deck for. The ship docked very close to the city centre and we quickly found a tourist information office(close to the Radhus - town hall) with staff who were friendly and spoke fluent English from whom we purchased 24 hour Oslo passes(270NOK). These proved excellent value (Oslo is very expensive!)as they provided free admission to many attractions and also free transport including the ferry to Bygdoy where the Fram and Viking museums are a must see.We managed to visit 5 museums in our time in Oslo but we were not impressed by the Nobel Peace Centre (glad we didn't pay 80 NOk each for it.) Diembarkation was the most efficient and quick that we have ever experienced. Well done Princess! To sum up a good value for money holiday on a friendly ship with staff who really tried to look after us. We will travel with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Pre-cruise We booked through Bolsover Cruise Club, the booking was handled by Craig very efficiently and we were pleased with the service. An unexpected bonus was that our P&O loyalty was acknowledged by Princess (it doesn't go ... Read More
Pre-cruise We booked through Bolsover Cruise Club, the booking was handled by Craig very efficiently and we were pleased with the service. An unexpected bonus was that our P&O loyalty was acknowledged by Princess (it doesn't go the other way though) this put us straight into Platinum. However as my wife did the booking only she got the upgrade, a quick call to Princess fixed this, apparently this does happen when transferring loyalty. We had booked a guaranteed balcony cabin on E deck, when the cabin was confirmed we had been upgraded to A deck. The Roll Call on Facebook was useful, just a shame that more people did not join in, we even had a get together in the Wheelhouse bar, time to put names to faces. Embarkation This ran very smoothly, though the traffic in Southampton was heavy with four ships in port. This was the first time to get a combined cruise card and room key, it just makes better sense. From handing over our luggage to walking into the cabin took about 30 minutes, and our first case was already in the cabin. General Impression This is the biggest ship we've cruised on and we were expecting it to be a complicated layout, but it works and it's 'relatively' easy to find things without walking miles. The atrium is quite small, only three floors and can become congested. Cabin The cabin was functional rather than glamorous, and a bit dull/tired. The fridge is a good size and replenished with ice every morning. The 220V power point under the bed is not very convenient, but we had been recommended to take an extension lead. The balcony was in need of some TLC, the doors rattled (fixed this with a cardboard wedge), and large area of pealed paint on a down pipe (back to bare metal) and the bottom of the patio door was sealed with duct tape. Our cabin steward Dixon was excellent, nothing was too much trouble. Things that go bump in the night, we knew that being under the Lido deck there was potential for noise, and most of the time it was perfectly quiet. Our cabin (A312) was under the doors leading from the Lido area and around 04:30 most mornings a heavy trolley would clank over the grating (we should have mentioned it); similarly some mornings when the deck was being hosed at 06:30 could be disturbing. The internet access wasn't great and kept dropping off; I even went and stood by the access point in the corridor. Near the end of the cruise I had a chat with the Internet Manager who pointed out that because I was using an iPad I needed to change some settings. I wish that had been mentioned in the guide in the cabin, iPads have been around for a few years now. Dining We're up for trying most things! There's a good selection of places to eat and we tried most of them. Prego pizza was very good, thin and crispy as it should be, but it appeared to be under used. Not so with the Trident Grill, busy, great sausages and burgers. We selected anytime dining which worked well for us. We are not too bothered about the entertainment, preferring a leisurely meal, and never had to wait to get into the Michelangelo dining room. The choices for breakfast were very American orientated, but you could ask for just about anything if you were prepared to wait a little. The Horizon Court was particularly good for breakfast with a good selection of fresh fruit. Alfredo's was good for lunch a couple of times, but the menu is limited and unchanging; daily special or extra toppings would be nice. The quality of the pizza is again excellent, thin and crispy. Sabatini's was a great experience, beautiful food and attentive service, well worth the extra $20. Crown Grill is definitely for those with big appetites, and a taste for good meat. We thought the menu was a little limited, but a good experience, worth the extra $25. I particularly liked being asked to cut my steak to ensure it was cooked to my taste, before the sauce was poured on. The only room service we tried was the champagne breakfast which offered exceptional value for $32. Seven plates of food arrived at our cabin at the requested time along with coffee, juice and half a bottle of champagne, the only downside was that the weather was not quite good enough to eat it on the balcony. The show put on by the catering team was highly enjoyable and amusing; the 'tasting' chef is definitely a larger than life character! Bars and Drinks We enjoy our drinks on holiday and every night will have bottle of wine with dinner, therefore we did find the prices high particularly with the 15% non-negotiable gratuity. A two times uplift on the price of a bottle of wine is not unreasonable, but most were closer to three times. The bar sweep cards are not well publicised, we managed to complete seven! Our favourite inside bar was the Wheelhouse, shame it was not open at lunch time. The two organised wine tastings were both interesting and entertaining, hosted by the resident sommelier Andre Smith. Vines is pleasant but seems under used, didn't see any evidence of the sushi or tapas in the evenings. One of the advantages of Platinum tier is access to Bar One5 and the food action station before dinner, this was very enjoyable and the chef was very attentive. Gym We did use the gym several times; it is very well equipped with modern equipment, although it could use a second rowing machine. Photography I have to say this was disappointing; the quality of the casual portraits was not great. Out of the 15 or so pictures they took we thought that we might have three, and then we found out that they were $19.95 for each 10x8 print. This is the first cruise that we have not purchased any pictures. It's also the first time I've seen the photographers trying to sell the photos on the day of disembarkation, there were an awful lot of unsold photos. Ports of Call We had been to some of the ports before, and were looking forward to trying the ones we had not. The organisation of the crew to get you off on your trip was very slick, and waiting time was kept to a minimum. We took Princess organised trips in Malaga, Barcelona, Cannes, Rome and Ajacio; all were well organised and enjoyable. In Rome we took the trip to Orvieto. There were only 19 on a 50 seater coach, it was almost like a private tour and absolutely delightful. Orvieto is a small hilltop town with a large cathedral, very pretty and pleasant to walk through. In Naples what with having to dock, undock, tender and redock, we just took a walk round the terminal. Gibraltar, where we have been many times, was the usual fun place, good for some last minute shopping before the sea days taking us home. The sail away was lively, but not much evidence of a 'cocktail of the day'. Overall A good cruise, although areas of the ship (particularly our cabin) are looking tired and in need of updating. But we have paid our deposit for our next Princess cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
This was my first time sailing with Princess Cruises (7th overall), and my boyfriends first time cruising all together. The ship was pretty nice, and other than the hot tubs was in great shape for its age. We booked a guaranty oceanview ... Read More
This was my first time sailing with Princess Cruises (7th overall), and my boyfriends first time cruising all together. The ship was pretty nice, and other than the hot tubs was in great shape for its age. We booked a guaranty oceanview and got a fabulous room on the Lido deck that made bar and pool access a breeze! The food was lackluster to say the least... the buffet provided food that was no better than a Ryan's Steakhouse at best, and there weren't a lot of other options unless you wanted to eat pizza, burgers, and hotdogs for every meal. I will say that Sabotini's, the speciality Italian restaurant onboard, was fabulous in every aspect of the dining experience, but reservations had to be made days in advance to get a dining time that would allow you enough time after to at least grab the late show. The other speciality restaurant onboard, the Crown Bar and Grill, had a menu that included shrimp with almost every entree which my boyfriend and I are both allergic to, so we never tried the food there. So if you are looking to cruise, and have amazing food I would suggest Celebrity where they have both a buffet and a casual dining boulevard where you can get sushi any time that is properly prepared, as well as a mMicheline star restaurant onboard. :) In my experience in cruising with Celebrity I learned that that line tends to cater (on average) to the 65+ crowd mostly due to price, but the ships, crew, and guests are generally fabulous. I had hoped that Princess, being kind of in the middle of the road on price, would cater somewhat to a younger crowd especially with the active itenary we had...but I was wrong. I personally do not have any interest in doing the hokey pokey and/or chicken dance anymore which is where the evening dances on deck always seemed to go. It was difficult to find anyone to talk to or make friends with onboard due to the age differences and the entitlement driven attitudes of the older crowd we were cruising with. I understand that we are still young at the age of thirty, but we are no longer crazy spring breakers out getting trashed and starting trouble constantly... and no our parents didn't buy our tickets either. With all of that being said, my boyfriend and I are incredibly close and thankfully do not require outside stimulation to be entertained... We made our own fun, and had a blast! I do want to say that this is more of an informational post than a complaint driven post, but we will still be booking Royal Caribbean instead of Princess next time. -Cheers! Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
My wife and I have been on eight cruises, two on Princess. This time we travelled with friends. My review, amateur as it may be, is based on our other cruise experiences and information from our friends and other passengers on this ... Read More
My wife and I have been on eight cruises, two on Princess. This time we travelled with friends. My review, amateur as it may be, is based on our other cruise experiences and information from our friends and other passengers on this voyage. Rating is done using the A,B,C,D and F method. I hope you find this helpful. EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION Boarding was done by deck. Our deck was first to board at 1130. Clearly there were many passengers on other decks also boarding during this time slot. Even so the process was fairly painless. We were on board in about 30 minutes. Our luggage was in our cabin within 30 minutes of boarding. Again painless. The day before disembarkation the ships television station broadcast details of the process. This was a relief from having to gather in the main theatre for this information as we have done on other cruises. Those of us that could carry our luggage off the boat were allowed to disembark earliest, between 0700 and 0725. The TV broadcast did not mention that those of us doing walk-off disembarkation were required to have a "Walk-Off Card". This was to be turned in just prior to leaving the ship. A trip to the Cruise Desk, a wait in line and I had said card in hand. The plan was for all walk off passengers to gather in the Michelangelo Dining room and leave by groups (A, B, C) We were in Walk Off group B and were would be allowed to leave at 0715. As it turned out virtually everyone left the Dining room at the same time and headed for the gangway. No one ever asked for me for the infamous Walk Off Card. Friends we were travelling with had checked luggage. They were advised they could leave the ship at 0815. As it turned out, they were not called to disembark until 1100. Our rating for EMBARKATION/DISEMBARKATION Rating= C- SHIP OVERALL The exterior of the Grand Princess appeared to be well maintained. No rust or corrosion. Exterior equipment seemed to be in good order (no overpainted rusticles). The removal of the "shopping cart handle" from the stern of the ship left no impression that it had ever been there. Interior of the ship was clean and in good order. Corridors were well lit and carpets/walls were pleasing to the eye. During the voyage some of the elevators appeared to be in a constant state of repair. The Piazza was underwhelming; smallish with a good deal of room occupied by the stairway. I'd be interested in knowing what it looked like before the recent refurbishment. The interior design of the vessel is dated but as I said, in good order. Overall the ship showed only slight wear. Cabins were comfortable, nice decor. Ours (C-222) had a large balcony with room enough for a small table and four comfortable lounge chairs. The single power outlet in the sleeping area was 120 Volt (US). The one in the bath operated either at 120 or 240. Shower was of good size for cruise ship. There was a hair dryer at the bedside vanity. A small refrigerator held bottled water and a few sodas. All at moderate cost. The balconies on the top tiers of cabins are staggered in wedding cake fashion so that those standing on the higher balconies are looking down on those below them. I could see where this might be a little disconcerting to some. But on the positive side it is a safety feature for those traveling with young children. I like to work out in the gym. Though the gym is somewhat undersized compared with other vessels of this size it was well equipped. The problem was the layout of the gym complex. The locker rooms were down a hallway from the gym. Locker rooms had lockers, towels, robes, toilet, but no showers. To shower off it was necessary to go outside to an open pool area, here were open showers. Also in this area, and outside of the gym, were the sauna and steam rooms. Neither of these were adjacent to the locker room. I overheard many people in the gym complain about this arrangement. The two main dining rooms were elegant and spacious. The smaller dining rooms were comfortable with an air of intimacy. The Horizon Court buffet served from 0600 until 2300. Seating was never in short supply (unless you wanted to dine alone). The Princess Theatre held 1000 people on two levels. With seats trimmed in polished wood and box seating the theatre had plenty of character. The casino was complete with slots, roulette, craps, blackjack tables and tons of stale cigarette smoke. We don't' do casino so I can't comment on other aspects of it. I never counted the pools on this ship. There were at least four. Each with two to four hot tubs . The little private spaces one finds on other cruise ships were in short supply on the Grand Princess. It's also worth mentioning that a stroll around the promenade deck (three times around = 1mile) required climbing a flight of stairs at the aft end of the ship. My wife did the outside movie theatre which was adjacent to the main pool. In cool weather warmed blankets are provided. Movies are shown during the day and at night. Because of the November weather in the North Atlantic attending the night showings were not an option for us. The cabin's flat screen TV had a nice assortment of movies. The on screen TV guide did not give accurate times. However this may have been due to crossing multiple time zones during this repositioning cruise. The ship has number of Wi-Fi hot spots, available at cost. Library was more of a nook off a main thoroughfare. The internet café appeared to be busy most all day. Of course there was shopping, including a variety of paintings shown for the ships art auctions. This is a large vessel and we did not get a chance to visit other venues so as to adequately provide comment here. Our SHIP OVERALL Rating = B- FOOD ABOARD THE GRAND PRINCESS As with most other cruise lines food is included with the cost of the cruise. For those wishing "truly gourmet" dining there were Sabatini's and the Wheel House. These were smaller, more intimate, restaurants. Charge for this was $20.00 per person. We chose to eat one of the two main dining rooms (the DiVinci and the Michelangelo). Tables were set with fresh linen tablecloths, polished flatware and fresh flowers. Menu's offered a good variety in each of the five courses. Included in the menu were options for those wishing more traditional fare. We chose the Michelangelo dining room The first few nights onboard we found the food disappointing. "Fresh" shrimp had a strong smell; meat lacked flavor; poultry was dry. As the cruise progressed, quality of the food seemed to improve, though it was still a bit of catch-as-catch-can. Four of us dined together and found that some of the dishes, e.g. Chateaubriand, were delicious. On another night the Prime Rib had little resemblance of anything to do with this normally splendid cut of meat. The lobster was good. That said, most of the time the food was quite good. Desserts were typically outstanding (The traditional baked Alaska was the best I'd ever tasted). Doubtless everyone on board had eaten at the Horzion Court buffet at least once. This was a popular breakfast spot. I especially liked the large platters each passenger was given upon entering the food line. Breakfast fare varied from morning to morning. Food was plentiful and good. From doughnuts, danish to eggs, bacon, pancakes, sausage, oatmeal (aka porridge), waffles, French toast and some ethnic goodies, even grits. The Horizon Court never let us down on choices. Coffee and tea were included. The Horizon Court was an option open for all three meals. We thought a visible omelet station would have been a nice addition to the breakfast buffet. Two other eateries deserve mention here. The International Cafe was a light deli and dessert bar located adjacent to the Piazza. Here one could pick up a light sandwich and some sweet treats, sit down at one of the Piazza tables and take in the sounds of the talented string quartet or the pianist on the grand piano. There was no cost for the food at the International Cafe. Charges were made for drinks. I bought a small pot of tea for $2.00. Adjacent to the midship pool was a real live pizzeria complete with pizza ovens. Choose which pizza you wish to have from the menu and in a few minutes a delicious piping out pizza is ready. Drinks are available at cost. The ice cream bar was opened after lunch. Located on the pool deck one could get a free soft serve cone (chocolate, or vanilla). Shakes were extra. Considering the trend in cruise ships to have less food of lower quality food we felt the Grand Princess did pretty well. Our FOOD ABOARD THE GRAND PRINCESS rating = B. ON BOARD ENTERTAINMENT Most every night we attended functions held either the Princess Theatre or the Vista Lounge. Most nights we thought the entertainment was good. Some nights it was not so good. Some other nights it was very good. The two extremes- the mind reader was awful. The Princess Dancers were terrific. Clearly we were not able to be witness to all the onboard shows. What we did see we rate ON BOARD ENTERTAINMENT a B- ON BOARD ACTIVITES Since this was a repositioning cruise we had about a week of sea time. There were four consecutive days as we did the transatlantic portion of the voyage. There was no shortage of activities. The big hit on the boat was the lectures on the US Space program as presented by former director of Kennedy space center, Jim Kennedy. His easy going lectures and dynamic slide shows was a shipboard favorite. Other activities included everything from arts and crafts to a meeting of Freemasons. A small sampling of other activities included a Wellness Lecture; Ceramics Painting; Interdenominational Bible Study; Trivia Contest; Dancing (everything from two step to ballroom); Bridge lessons; Bridge games; Singles Ping Pong; 50& 60's quiz and of course multiple opportunities to win money in the casino, including a growing bingo jackpot. No one should ever have a reason to be bored on this cruise. Also offered was a one time "behind the scenes tour" of the Grand Princess This was a three hour tour of the ship from stem to stern. Only 16 people were allowed on this tour. Among them were our travelling companions. They raved about this remarkable tour. Not only did they get a great tour but tour participants were given a heavy duty embroidered chefs tunic, heavy terrycloth robe, personalized ships stationery, a Grand Princess picture frame. This was a great thing until our friends got their final statement of account. They were charged $75.00 apiece for this tour. At no time prior to getting the statement were they told there was a charge for this tour. Of course the bathrobes alone went for $110.00. Still, would have been nice if they were advised up front of this charge. We rate ON BOARD ACTIVITES A- TOURS There were lots of tours available for each of the six venues. My wife and I choose tours only in Belgium, France and Portugal. Other places we went on our own. One of the problems with our tours was no fault of the cruise line---The weather in this part of Europe is typically crummy in November. Light to moderate rain was a key feature. We were prepared for this. We were not prepared for the tour guide in France whose English was not quite good enough for the tour guide business. Nor the tour guide in Portugal who went through the tour too quickly. We heard others who had language issues on their tours. One final word on the weather. The ship's forecast seemed to miss the mark substantially on weather forecast at an upcoming port. At least three times we were told the weather would be nice only to find that the weather was wet, cold and windy. We rate TOURS Rating=C- SERVICE Service on the Grand Princess was superb. Our cabin steward, Joselito, handled our every request perfectly. When we left the cabin for breakfast our cabin was always made up we returned 60 minutes later. If we needed him he was there. When we didn't need him, he was invisible. During our cruise we had two minor problems with our cabin, a stopped up shower drain and a balcony door that would not close properly. After reporting these problems they were repaired quickly and unobtrusively. The day after the repair we had a personal visit from the Maitre d' Hotel checking to see that the repairs had been done to our satisfaction. Roberto, the head Maitre D' in the Michelangelo dining room was great. My request for a table for four next to a window was not only taken care of but Roberto assured me we could have that table every evening. We did Anytime Dining, despite the name it is key that reservations be made each day, otherwise diners may have to wait in line for a table. Thanks to Roberto we had the same table every night at our requested time of 6:00. No reservations necessary. Thank you Roberto. Our dining room stewards Allan and Carmelo did their job perfectly. Food was delivered in a timely manner. Requests were met quickly and without issue. Their friendly welcome and cheerful attitude went a long way to make this a memorable cruise. Just one dark spot. Our first three days were at another table in the same dining room. Service there was slow, especially waiting for the entre. On one occasion one in our party asked the waiter about an optional item on the menu and received a rude response. SERVICE Rating=A. VALUE Not much comment needed here. We got this cruise at a very good price. Balancing what we paid for with what we got we give VALUE Rating= B. End of this review Bon Voyage ! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Had a great time on Grand Princess . People say ship run down but I didn't see hardly any signs of that. Ship was always clean , Decks were freshly painted. Pools were neat and clean , Our room was nice. I didn't notice signs of ... Read More
Had a great time on Grand Princess . People say ship run down but I didn't see hardly any signs of that. Ship was always clean , Decks were freshly painted. Pools were neat and clean , Our room was nice. I didn't notice signs of wear other than there were spots of white paint on 2 of deck chairs and table in sitting area showing signs of use . Very convent room . By elevators that were located around corner so you didn't get noise from people and Elevators . ,Located in center of ship so you are half way to everything . Ive been in rooms in ft and rear of ship but you walk twice as far to get to everything . . Room was neat and clean , Balcony was nice .Only thing that took time to get used to was to get to the Botticelli Fixed seating dining room . You walked to rear of ship on deck 7 then walk down stairs to deck 6 . its not convenient . And there was some vibration in dining room when ship was underway because you were located above propellers . Shows were excellent . MUTS was very good . I v been on 28 cruises and this was one of the best Ive been on . Hardly any motion noticed , 1 to 3 ft waves after 3rd day . 3 ships before us and 2 after didn't tender to Princess cays because of high waves . About the only thing I can really complain about was the Casino was the tightest of any casino Ive ever played in . Ive played in a lot of Casinos and when you hit over 90 bonus rds . over 7 days and of the 90 only get $50 with max bets its time to quit . I hit 8 bonus rds one day and 7 of 8 paid nothing . Ive never seen this anywhere . But I toned way down my betting and just made mim . bets to kill time . Horizon Ct . Buffets were always hot , Well taken care of neatly displayed and a little variety daily . I do like the fresh waffles at Ice Cream station each morning . The fresh fruit toppings were nice. Evening meals were excellent . I had no complaints of what I ordered . The steaks arrived hot and cooked as I ordered . I enjoyed both of The specialty restaurants . Food again arrived hot and was as ordered . I did enjoy the PUB lunch . The fish and chips were very good . The best meal was the Chefs table that I really enjoyed . Food was outstanding , Presentation was 2nd to none . I would recommend it to anyone .I really enjoy the food on ships and I had no complaints at all on the grand . Ships personal was very friendly and always ready to help. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
I have read some of the negative reviews and, while I understand that some people just can not be pleased, I wanted to set the record straight. This is a great cruise line and and great ship. The embarkation was amazing. I arrived at noon, ... Read More
I have read some of the negative reviews and, while I understand that some people just can not be pleased, I wanted to set the record straight. This is a great cruise line and and great ship. The embarkation was amazing. I arrived at noon, and was scanned, processed, and in my room by 12:15. The ship had recently been refurbished and it showed. It was clean, polished, and in perfect form. The service on board was impeccable, with crew members calling me by name by the 2nd day. The only quarrel I had was with the excursion staff. Their help, while adequate, had no real warmth or desire to help. It was, in a word, perfunctory. The room steward was fantastic and his desire to please was obvious from day one. The gym could use some updating, as equipment was adequate, but just barely. The lido breakfast and lunch areas [I did not use the dining room for these meals] was always clean, foods was varied, and very pleasantly presented. The ports of call, which is what drew me to this cruise were great. My one disappointment was the substitution of San Juan, Puerto Rico for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. I had called Princess 2 weeks prior to sailing, as I had heard that we would not be going there. The Princess agent assured me that there had not been a change. I asked to speak to a supervisor and she said she'd check to make certain. After checking, she also confirmed there had not been a change. When I got on board, the purser said the change had been made several months ago. I was disappointed, particularly since a management employee had told me otherwise just 2 weeks ago. The food, both in Lido, as well in the restaurants was always superb and with great variety Food staff was excellent. Entertainment was great, particularly the 4 production numbers which, I thought equal to most I've seen on Broadway. I saw them all twice. The energy and sets were terrific. I had elected to disembark with my luggage with me. The told me hat disembarkation for me would be 7:30 AM. I was off, went through customs and was on my hotel shuttle service by 7:40. Despite the few minor criticisms, I rate the cruise very enjoyable and very well done by officers and crew. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
My wife and I mainly pick a cruise based on where it is going vs a specific cruise line or ship. Therefore we picked this cruise because we wanted to tour Europe on our own for two weeks and then hop on a ship coming back to the States. ... Read More
My wife and I mainly pick a cruise based on where it is going vs a specific cruise line or ship. Therefore we picked this cruise because we wanted to tour Europe on our own for two weeks and then hop on a ship coming back to the States. Overall we knew what to expect and have been to most of the ports we visited. Except for a couple of ports we plan our own exclusions and use the local hop on-hop off buses, subways or trains. We had a Balcony room on the Baja Deck and it was very nice and well appointed. The Grand Princess in my opinion is a beautiful ship. We used flexible dining and it worked very well for us. In fact it gave us the opportunity to meet some nice folks. We will never use fixed dining again. We made some friends on the ship and have kept in touch with them. The entertainment with a couple of occasions was poor but the Princess dancers and singers were great. We saw them occasionally on the ship but I didn't notice them acting out of line or behaving badly like another reviewer wrote. The male dancers were very friendly and the girls were quite attractive. Every evening in the Atrium they had a piano player that was excellent and some string trio that was outstanding. The food was good but and there was a lot of it. I like spicy foods and a cook in the Lido was kind enough to get some jalapenos for me. Room attendant Richard was Excellent also. There are a lot of sea days on a transatlantic trip and basically we entertained ourselves with exercise, reading, the pool at the aft of ship, friends, bingo and some cigars and drinks. We have been on Princess ships before and in our opinion they are Top of the Line. I didn't want to leave at the end of the cruise. On a final note the online check-in and on/off ship was easy. Read Less
Sail Date November 2009
Our arrival into Rome was flawless and our B&B had arranged transportation from the airport. As we exited the baggage area the driver was there waiting and our trip was uneventful except for the Rome traffic. The B&B we chose was ... Read More
Our arrival into Rome was flawless and our B&B had arranged transportation from the airport. As we exited the baggage area the driver was there waiting and our trip was uneventful except for the Rome traffic. The B&B we chose was located close to the Vatican and our hostess met us at the door and helped us get settled. Our accommodations were excellent but small. Breakfast was served daily in our room and consisted of sweet rolls and yogurt. There was free Wi-Fi which was a terrific bonus in staying in touch with those back home. Our travel agent did a great job with all the arrangements. Embarkation was flawless, we arrived at the ship around 2pm and were in our cabin 45 minutes later. The cabin was clean and our luggage arrived within an hour. No complaints at this point! The lifeboat drill was the easiest I have ever experienced so no complaints here. The Grand Princess is old and is showing her age in lots of ways. The venues for entertainment were dated and the public areas were small. I understand what happens with age though so I am willing to be a little forgiving in this area. Crew. This was the first ship I've ever been on where the crew went through the buffet line with the passengers and sat in the passenger areas to eat. There were several times I saw crew members sitting in a bar, smoking a cigarette and drinking a drink. I knew they were crew members because they were wearing uniforms and or name tags. There was no professionalism! We were in one of the theaters waiting for a show to begin and a waiter approached the passengers in front of us. He was wearing jeans, a casual shirt and a name tag. I would have been a little hesitant to give him my cruise card to order a drink. The cruise director and staff were less than friendly and it seemed that anytime you were participating in an activity you were imposing on them. They were also quite sarcastic and offensive at times. The staff in the Horizon Court were acceptable but there were many times that you couldn't get anyone to stop and help you. They would walk by with eyes downcast to avoid making eye contact. Our waiter and his assistant in the dining room were acceptable but didn't make you feel special as I am used to. Food. The food choices at Horizon court never did improve. I can't really complain about the quality here, but I will say it was nothing special. The choices for free drinks were tea, coffee and water. We did ask about lemonade after the second day and found out that they have it but you have to find a server in the dining area to go get it for you. I asked once and watched the server go pour a glass of water and squeeze lemon slices into it. Needless to say this wasn't lemonade and I could have done this myself. The food in the dining room was just OK, nothing remarkable. I will recommend the pub lunch in The Painted Desert, one of the specialty restaurants. The lunch doesn't require a cover fee and the food was consistently good. The service here was the best we had experienced the entire cruise. Entertainment. The guest entertainers were good and the ships entertainers were also very good. The production shows were flawless but the venues need updating. No complaints here. Ports. We chose this cruise based on itinerary and we had no complaints here at all. I wish we had more time in each port but then we wouldn't have been able to visit as many great places. Tours/excursions. Because these ports were all unfamiliar we decided to book excursion through Princess. As always they were quite expensive but we were assured we would make it back to the ship in time for departure. The day we visited Istanbul the Eurasian marathon was being held and streets were closed to traffic. This resulted in much more walking than originally anticipated but we were notified ahead of time and the day was still great. We had wonderful guides on all of our excursions as well. Disembarkation. No problems and baggage was just where it was supposed to be. I wish I had more good things to say but overall I was disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
This was our 5th Princess cruise and we definitely enjoyed it. We heard that the boat is going to into dry dock next year and it could use some work. The ship does look like it has some wear and tear and could use a sprucing up. We ... Read More
This was our 5th Princess cruise and we definitely enjoyed it. We heard that the boat is going to into dry dock next year and it could use some work. The ship does look like it has some wear and tear and could use a sprucing up. We left from Southampton, United Kingdom. It is a hassle to get to Southampton from London. We traveled by bus this time which is the cheapest option if you book online and travel from Victoria Station. However, we don't suggest traveling this way unless you are strong and fit and have very little luggage, since there are no elevators(lifts) at Victoria underground and it is a couple of blocks from the underground to Victoria Coach Station. Getting on the ship was great. There were no long lines to wait on. Our room was typical. Small, with a comfortable bed, a chair, a window, enough storage, a refrigerator, a tv and a tiny bathroom. Food was very good. We ate breakfast and lunch at the buffet which had a varied enough offering and we ate free style in the dining room. The dining room meals were excellent, with wonderful service. We ate with different people every night and especially enjoyed dining with people from the United Kingdom. It is interesting to hear their view on things. The shows were enjoyable. They had two excellent comedians which we enjoyed, eventhough it is sometimes hard for Americans to catch the English humor. The magician was great. However the song and dance shows with the staff were pretty amaturish. The dancers never seem to be together and the singing for the most part isn't anything special. There were a lot of movies shown and the tv in the rooms had a lot of good movies too. Only low point was the Cruise Director, Martyn Moss. He came out at the end of the shows and had some juvenile humor. When he was telling us about the ports we were to visit, he had nothing positive to say and just complained about how expensive the beer was. The other activities on the ship were never announced during the day and you had to study the Princess Patter, the newsletter, like a bible. Some of the other members of the entertainment staff were more enthusiastic and did some fun activities like the Newlywed game and the Liar Game. The cruise director and assistant cruise director, however, never seemed to be around for any of these activites. When we left Oslo to get back to Southampton and had to travel on the North Sea, the water was incredibly rough. They had to cancel the dancing show. A lot of people on the boat weren't feeling well, but we were fine. We take ginger pills whenever we travel by ship and it seems to work well for us. Haven't had to miss a meal yet. Read Less
Sail Date August 2009
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

Find a Grand Princess Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click