3 Princess Grand Princess Cruise Reviews for Holiday Cruises to Hawaii

My family (parents and husband) and I recently returned from this cruise (11/19-12/4/2014) and were very happily surprised after reading a few bad reviews about the Grand Princess. Yes, she needs a rehab to the cabins (public areas were ... Read More
My family (parents and husband) and I recently returned from this cruise (11/19-12/4/2014) and were very happily surprised after reading a few bad reviews about the Grand Princess. Yes, she needs a rehab to the cabins (public areas were rehabbed a few years ago) and you will see rust, etc. but this is still a beautiful ship! We would very gladly take this cruise again on the same ship next year! Pros: The crew is genuinely friendly and accommodating. They obviously have great management and leadership, and have many activities that help to keep them happy (we spoke to several crew members about their lives onboard). We loved the Cruise Director, Mike Witte, one of the best we have experienced in 20 cruises. The food was also better than expected - we had cruised on the Sapphire in January, which had a much smaller buffet, and we were very surprised to see that the Grand Princess' buffet was larger. These are older ships, so unfortunately the buffets are not as large as on the newer Celebrity or Royal Caribbean ships, which are quite amazing. The pizza at Alfredo's is the best on the sea. Wish our pizza was that good in LA! The entertainment was very good - several comedians, magicians/illusionists, and musical acts such as twin musicians who played the violin and viola, and the best was Lovena B. Fox - gorgeous, amazing voice, and tons of energy - a real star! The Princess dancers and singers were also very good. The Movies Under the Stars is also really fun. The ports: Loved Oahu and Maui, Hilo there isn't really much there unless you go to visit the volcano, which we didn't do, and we went to the beach in Kauai (within walking distance of the ship). Cons: The sea was a bit rough crossing to Hawaii and back, and we were told that is normal. This is an older ship, so she does not have the stabilizers that the newer builds have. Be prepared for a bit of rocking for the sea days. We did not see anyone get sea sick, just wanted to make that note. Would love to see the ship rehabbed, otherwise, an amazing cruise. The cabin: Our cabin was nicer than we expected, although the bathroom counter and shower curtain left a lot to be desired - very cheesy (especially compared to the Celebrity Silhouette). The balcony was quite large - they took some space from the cabin to enlarge the balconies. The bed linens and towels were very nice and you can request an egg crate and featherbed to soften the otherwise hard mattress which does not have a boxspring. We had 9 sea days, and loved every moment of relaxation! We all read several books and completed a few jigsaw puzzles, and there are always activities to do onboard all day long, every day. We would love to do a Christmas cruise - the crew were already decorating Christmas trees a couple of days before we disembarked. We did celebrate Thanksgiving with a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings and there was a very large cake and decorations in the Piazza, which was nice. The crew is very special on this ship - they really go the extra mile to make you happy. It was fun to see the impromptu entertaining in the piazza. I can see why people are loyal to the Princess brand, because they do strive to make their passengers feel special. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We have sailed to Hawaii 5 times during the Christmas and New Year combined and this was one of our best. We departed very late but was no problem--once on board we escape completely! Everything is wonderful-- Food, Shows, Happy Hour, ... Read More
We have sailed to Hawaii 5 times during the Christmas and New Year combined and this was one of our best. We departed very late but was no problem--once on board we escape completely! Everything is wonderful-- Food, Shows, Happy Hour, Music, and a total floating resort. We have already sailed under the Golden Gate before during the day but we still stayed up for this one and it was great and exciting at about 2:30 am. We select the Christmas time mainly because everything is very festive and Princess really knows how to make everything festive. The decorations are beautiful and the music around the ship and TV makes it even more special. This was our first cruise on the Grand and one thing that made this cruise and ship most special was the live music provided in several part of the ship. Our favorite was the music provided by the group Makani E. Their Hawaiian music is the best! Their selections, harmony, instruments, voices, and movements made this cruise a true Hawaiian Cruise. Several times they also played music other than Hawaiian that added to even like them more--rock, folk, country, and a lot of good dancing music. We will continue to sail during the holidays and we hope the music in the future is as good as this one, and hope that Makani E will be on our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Booked our dream vacation and were generally disappointed. Poor value for the money and the ship is in poor condition (showing wear and tear). Better value in the Caribbean. The five days at sea going over to Hawaii were OK. Lots to do ... Read More
Booked our dream vacation and were generally disappointed. Poor value for the money and the ship is in poor condition (showing wear and tear). Better value in the Caribbean. The five days at sea going over to Hawaii were OK. Lots to do exploring the ship, attending great lectures and eating. Great weather and getting excited about going to Hawaii. Had an obstructed ocean-view room and were pleased with the space and layout. Bed was good and loved having daylight in the room during the day. Booked into the late sitting for dining (Bottecelli 210) and had great people at our table. Our waiters were EXCEPTIONAL and made the dining experience something to look forward to (not to mention the food quality). Had great time in Nawiliwili, Kauai. Amazed with ability of crew to steer into this awkward harbor. Great tour of waterfalls then Wailua riverboat to Fern Grotto. Definitely walk trough the Marriott right beside the dock - nice beach and great garden area in the middle of the complex (great koy pond). Honolulu was everything expected: Diamondhead, Royal Palace, and Nu`uanu Pali Lookout, Waikiki Beach was a bit of a disappointment (hard to see with all the tall buildings), but a great city tour and nice to see all the landmarks you see on TV. Pearl Harbor was OK - BUT, the Federal shutdown created problems touring the Arizona Memorial (a real letdown for many people). Been there - done it! Stopped in Lahaina, Maui and had the greatest fun snorkeling at Molokini Creater , but, the highlight was swimming with the sea turtles not far from the dock in town - GREAT!!! Nice town to just walk up and down the front street and shop, eat & drink. NICE PLACE!!! Last stop - Hilo, Hawaii -- WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!!!! Thought we would drop the expensive excursions to the mostly closed volcano sites and just spend time in town relaxing - wrong.... The small city of Hilo has absolutely nothing to offer tourists (no beach, no front street, no character - just a long bus ride through industrial area to a Walmart and and a Sears shopping mall. This was a total waste of a day in paradise!!!!!!! Now for 5 days back at sea to the mainland. Got a little tired of the sea days but the entertainment and food kept us going. Got really tired of non-functioning bathrooms and elevators throughout the ship. Now here is the confusing part - for some reason, the ship came back to a little town called Encenada in Mexico. This town had nothing to offer other than a crowded market street with the usual cheap crap being peddled by annoying marketers - not to mention the little children trying to sell you chicklets and beds. Nothing to really do bu find a bar and have a margerita. TOTAL WASTE OF ANOTHER DAY!!! One more day at sea and were are back at San Francisco. Princess would be well advised to modify this trip and make the stop for 2 more days in Hawaii and drop Ensenada. Also get out of Hilo - it is a dump..... Probably would not advise any friends to go on this cruise as it is a waste of time and money for the sites that you get to see. Fly and stay instead........... Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
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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