52 Princess Grand Princess Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Hawaii

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
Grand Princess is 21 years old and still in good shape with many attractive public rooms. The multinational crew is well trained and friendly, the food and dining room service is fine, the entertainment is varied and well presented. ... Read More
Grand Princess is 21 years old and still in good shape with many attractive public rooms. The multinational crew is well trained and friendly, the food and dining room service is fine, the entertainment is varied and well presented. There are many sea days on this itinerary and lots of activities to fill your days. The Hawaiian Cultural team was excellent with talks, music, dance, arts and crafts, ukulele and hula lessons . The ports were easy to access on your own, tho we did do a whale watching tour in Maui that was excellent, a ship’s tour that was good value. Weather was mostly good, a little windy and rocky a few days, but not bad. We did this itinerary once before from Seattle, this cruise was very convenient since we live near SF. Embarking and disembarking was fast, easy and efficient. The balcony cabin was nicely appointed and our steward was friendly and efficient. The bathroom is a little small and there is a shower curtain not a glass door. there is enough storage. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Excellent diner service staffs, cheerful and knowledgeable, specialty restaurant has excellent food quality but frankly was too much for us, tradition diner has good choice of food and menu every nights for 15 nights, deserts were so good ... Read More
Excellent diner service staffs, cheerful and knowledgeable, specialty restaurant has excellent food quality but frankly was too much for us, tradition diner has good choice of food and menu every nights for 15 nights, deserts were so good all over every dinning facilities, can't stop eating even we are not sweet lovers. Entertainment was so great, we were at princess theater every single night except may be the night out to excursion, Breakfast buffet has so many variety of fruits and never short of, staffs was so helpful to find for us on some special requests, Ship captain always keep us in the loop for unexpected and he was seen touring around decks always, One main reason for us to book Grand Princess again is because we loved its shows when we cruised with them to Mexico in 2017, was such an unforgettable experience then and now too, our next cruise to Alaska in May should be them too but unfortunately the itinerary won't suit us, so choose our 2nd choice Holland America instead, We even put down future cruise deposit, so we will be cruising with them to either Europe or Australia next year. 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
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
Beginning at SF was our reason for taking this cruise. We also wanted to see Hawaii again. Third, we liked the length of the cruise: 15. We three entered the ship expecting all things would be excellent; we had positive attitudes and, ... Read More
Beginning at SF was our reason for taking this cruise. We also wanted to see Hawaii again. Third, we liked the length of the cruise: 15. We three entered the ship expecting all things would be excellent; we had positive attitudes and, sure enough, the vacation was excellent. We found many things to do given there were 15 days and nights to do them. My son, the artist in the family, spent countless hours drawing wonderful pen and pencil sketches of the staff in our restarurant. Eventually, be began giving them away. Staff was overjoyed and the relationships were enhanced. One lead server said he sent a photo copy to his wife, she liked it, and she planned to frame and display it. We liked the islands and enjoyed the ship when it did its tight, slow turn on Kuai. My daughter became horribly sick when she rode on a ship tour for snorkeling at Maui. It was to be a 5 hour on water dive and they increased it to 6 while she vomited the whole time. When she returned, she remained sick that night and got up the next morning able to go have breakfast. The tour leader apologized and sent her a bottle of wine. She doesn't drink. I'm not a complainer, I know people get sea sick, and may I suggest something for Princess to pursue regarding passengers who do water-related tours? Why not encourage island entrepreneurs to estabblish small water taxi services so that passengers fallen sick can leave in first minutes of illness. When passengers buy a tour ( say, $150) they can option to buy the quick recovery insurance (say $25) and be returned to where the ship's small boats are working or to the pier. Others not insured and who need the service costs whatever depending on the entrepreneur. As a wrap up, part of our happiness was due to our suite C424. We liked its size, the balcony, the layout, and the perks that came with it. We had speedy boarding, and departure, as well. All in all, it became a vacation we expected on boarding. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We've been on this cruise many times. So all was as expected. There are many sea days filled with activities or just relaxing. Loved the lectures about Hawaii...culture/history/natural wonders...what to see and food. Loved the hula ... Read More
We've been on this cruise many times. So all was as expected. There are many sea days filled with activities or just relaxing. Loved the lectures about Hawaii...culture/history/natural wonders...what to see and food. Loved the hula and ukulele lessons, and all the Hawaiian crafts and music. Food was as always consistently good. Effy was giving out charms if you attended some of their workshops. These cute charms are great to give to grand daughters. Amazing to see the mass of women wanting these inexpensive freebies (and I was one of them :)). British Invasion singers were excellent. The Voice of the Ocean was funny and fun. We were surprised by the very talented contestants. Already taken many tours in past trips so this time we did the following local things... Hilo:Took free Farmers' Market bus took us to their local farmers' market and crafts' market downtown. Ate delicious Ono fish at a local restaurant. Shopped for inexpensive Hawaiian candy/cookies and coffee at local grocery store. Took taxi back from bus stop...$5 each for car load. Honolulu:Took bus (with Medicare card only $1) to Waikiki beach near zoo, visited best place for inexpensive trinkets/souvenirs...Duke's Marketplace, and walked all the way to end of Hawaiian Village Shopping (ate in food court) center. Took bus to Ala Mona shopping center. Thought it was too big and commercial so took bus back to ship. Arrived in time to see ship's visiting Hawaiian show. Mau,Lahaina: Walked all of Front Street (full of beach/ocean views, cute shops and cafes) to outlet shopping mall. Took local bus to Konopoli ($1 for senior). Walked beautiful beach. Had delicious Hawaiian lunch plate at Whaler's food court.Then took a taxi($17 or $5 per person if 4 or more) back to tender area. Kuai, Nawiliwili: Took free bus to tiny local shops/restaurants nearby (Also in walking distance.). Walked the nearby beach and grounds (otanical garden with koi pond) of Marriott Resort. Ate at Duke's. Took a free shuttle to Walmart to buy macadamia nut products and 100% Kona coffee. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We love Princess and enjoyed the 15 day Hawaii cruise. The ports were amazing and our room steward DeDe was outstanding. We have 2 more Princess Cruises planned. The new TV service is amazing. It was nice to have a relaxing cruise with 10 ... Read More
We love Princess and enjoyed the 15 day Hawaii cruise. The ports were amazing and our room steward DeDe was outstanding. We have 2 more Princess Cruises planned. The new TV service is amazing. It was nice to have a relaxing cruise with 10 Sea Days. We enjoyed just doing things we wanted to do and not feel rushed. We did Princess Excursions and enjoyed the winery visit in Mexico. We met nice couples in MDR and will stay in touch with them. Fast embarkation. The port was very busy and took awhile for our driver to get to the port but once there was fast getting on ship. The movie selection was mostly new movies which was nice and we looked forward each day to the new release for the day. One day F18’s flew over the ship several times and that was the talk of the ship. Would do cruise again. We met one man that had done the cruise 28 times. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Hawaii round trip from S.F. a Ideal itinerary. Food in dining rooms have become Nothing to brag about. A surprise to us from a Princess product. Horizon court has a good selection, Drinks are now offered in Smaller Glasses instead of a ... Read More
Hawaii round trip from S.F. a Ideal itinerary. Food in dining rooms have become Nothing to brag about. A surprise to us from a Princess product. Horizon court has a good selection, Drinks are now offered in Smaller Glasses instead of a regular glass. Why ? Guess they want you to order more and keep the dish washer busy. Service in the Horizon lacks as employees seem to have a attitude. Ship does show its wear and age, surprised after the dry dock it was in weeks before we sailed. Must be more important to upgrade the medallion system and newer TV's , rather than older worn furniture, water pipes and overall the skeleton of the ship. Major problem in room as the Toilet did not flush and slow response to rectify the situation, after an hour I called front desk and asked for an estimated arrival of maintenance personal, as well as notifying them that it sounds as if water is running down the interior of the walls. Wife was going to use facilities elsewhere when she saw Water poring down the Elevator door, maintenance was busy everywhere. Note elevator were taken out of service (caused a bottleneck of people trying to go up or down). Electrical systems were effected and floors on effected elevators need replacement now. Entertainment on board was nothing to brag about, mostly ships dancers and band. Magician was the best venue. The "Come Back New" motto was definitely not part of this cruise. Is it all about cost cutting ? Maybe so, But losing loyal customers may be the end result. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Club Grazie Palazzo Venetian gifted me this cruise. I am thankful as it was a great restful vacation. We chose it as it had a lot of restful sea days and princess cruise slogan is come back new and the relaxation and fabulous beds ... Read More
Club Grazie Palazzo Venetian gifted me this cruise. I am thankful as it was a great restful vacation. We chose it as it had a lot of restful sea days and princess cruise slogan is come back new and the relaxation and fabulous beds ensured that. We were pampered the whole trip and the service cannot be exceeded anywhere else. Mauii was great to walk around and touch toes in ocean. The plantation farm train ride and waterfall viewing in Kauai was great fun, feeding baby pigs and seeing chickens everywhere The botanical garden and waterfall tour in hilo was great. In Honolulu you can't get close enough to memorial which is a bummer but still great to review the history and honor our fallen military. Stopping in Ensenada to pick up handmade purses was a bonus. The food service on this cruise was the best I have ever encountered anywhere. Princess Cruise should be proud of all these employees. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Aniversary birthday, 15 days what a big ship, excursions were not worth the money go on you own. room was small but the price was right, the casino everyone won, Its been 72 hrs and I'm still rocking. The time changes were ... Read More
Aniversary birthday, 15 days what a big ship, excursions were not worth the money go on you own. room was small but the price was right, the casino everyone won, Its been 72 hrs and I'm still rocking. The time changes were confusing. The inside tv was good room service had hot tasty hamburgers. Pizza not so good, ice cream wasn't icecream. The charges for drinks were slow and confusing. The buffet was the same every day lots of fruit, can't get a table in the buffet, you have to get there early or late. dinning was great but having to share, some people talked your head off, cafe lounges can't get a seat they save them for others. The pool loungechairs were taken up with people putting stuff on them to save for others The pool was closed a lot due to rocking on the boat. hot tubs had all the kids in them to get warm. The movies unde rthe stars was way to cold. I won playing slots Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Looking for a restful cruise. Our first walk around the ship was very impressive. We’ve cruised on Grand Princess many times. This is the first time after the ship came out of dry dock. Our first impressions were, what a beautiful ship. ... Read More
Looking for a restful cruise. Our first walk around the ship was very impressive. We’ve cruised on Grand Princess many times. This is the first time after the ship came out of dry dock. Our first impressions were, what a beautiful ship. It is truly the BEAUTIFUL GRAND PRINCESS. this is a MUST cruise again for previous Grand Princess passengers or people who are thinking of cruising on the Grand Princess. Wonderful experience in the dinning room. Especially if you have the good fortune of meeting Head Waiter Giovani. Weather he is in the Horizon Court Buffet or the Dinning room Constantly, ensuring the food well presented in the Buffet (nice variety) and guests in the dining room are happy and satisfied at dinner. At all times, wait staff were excellent. The gym was well equipped as well as many wellness programs were provided. Theater has many interesting entertainers. There was a nice show one evening but was spoilt by the loud sound system. I urge anyone who is thinking of cruising, try Grand Princess. For previous Grand Princess passengers, you MUST try again. Looking forward to our next Grand Princess destination. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
HAL Cruisers Give Princess a Try Our last HAL cruise was to Alaska on the Eurodam last July – August (2018). We have been dedicated HAL cruisers for some time now. DW decided she wanted to do another cruise so we did some exploring. ... Read More
HAL Cruisers Give Princess a Try Our last HAL cruise was to Alaska on the Eurodam last July – August (2018). We have been dedicated HAL cruisers for some time now. DW decided she wanted to do another cruise so we did some exploring. The dates, itinerary, cabin choice, and price lined up for us doing the 15-day Hawaiian out of San Francisco on Grand Princess. This was our first Princess cruise and this review will be specific to that cruise. However, comparisons to HAL will also figure in my narrative. About Us: We live in Minnesota and have cruised extensively. Originally on Royal Caribbean until RCCL started building the floating amusement parks. Since then we’ve been with HAL. We are both retired. Yes, we are foodies and we are also detail orientated so we notice the little things (décor, condition of the ship, attention to detail) but without losing the big picture. Embarkation: We flew to San Francisco a day early, as we do with any cruise, and stayed with my oldest friend in life (we grew up across the street from each other in SF), and enjoyed a French restaurant for dinner along with several Bay Area friends that we travel to France with every five years. On embarkation day we dropped our luggage with a porter at Pier 27 then went across the street to Fog City Diner for brunch. Check-in and boarding was seamless and we went immediately to The Sanctuary to book our space for a port day in Hawaii (Sunday Feb. 3). We did not find any port excursions that were of interest for that stop so we decided to kick back and Veg. Besides, it was Super Bowl Sunday and the game started at 1:30PM Hawaii time and God forbid DW would miss Super Bowl. Our business at The Sanctuary complete we headed to our cabin. Muster Drill on Grand Princess is done indoors and does not require life jackets. The weather was beautiful and sunny for our sail away and I felt such pride at being a native San Franciscan since the skyline and bay and Golden Gate Bridge are all so stunning. Our Cabin: We had booked a Mini-Suite that has a slightly larger veranda the other cabins in that class. Unpacking, we found that our stuff fit in the closet, drawers, and bathroom quite nicely. No lacking for space. We never over pack so we knew there would be no problem. On our HAL cruise to Alaska we had a Neptune Suite so this was a big downsizing. Hey, it was fine. We enjoyed the mini-suite and our cabin steward Abriham was fantastic. Entertainment: We are not big fans of shows on cruise ships so I’ve got nothing to report on that score. We did attend two events in the Princess Theater however. The first was a very informative lecture/slide show with one of the ships officers about how cruise ships work and navigation. The person was nervous and spoke too quickly to be heard clearly but he was quite humorous. The second event was a cooking demonstration featuring the ships two main chefs. It was interesting but the corny humor was a bit dull although I found it somewhat interesting what people will laugh at. We played Trivia during the first week of the cruise and that was lots of fun. Also, DW has had a big streak of luck with the slots in the casino during our last three cruises, winning big within an hour of sitting down to play. The streak ended on this cruise. Oh well! Food: Here is the big difference between HAL and Princess. While we had several meals that were quite delicious, the food on Princess is way below the standard on HAL, including the Horizon Court Buffet. We ate in the Botticelli dining room for a fixed 7:30PM seating. On the last formal night (there are three on this cruise) I ordered the Beef Wellington. Now, Beef Wellington is a filet wrapped in a pastry shell with a layer of Foie gras (duck or goose liver pate) in between the shell and the meat. The grayish matter that was supposedly Foie gras definitely wasn’t. What it was I have no idea. If the chef is going to put that item on the menu it should be properly prepared or left off entirely. Our waiters, Alan and Komang were marvelous and we quickly established a wonderful relationship with them. During our diners they would always bring plate of another entrée for us to share. We tipped them heavily at the end of the cruise. Not wanting to be totally negative about the food on Grand Princess I must say that we enjoyed several deserts from all venues serving desert. They were excellent! One menu item that is a must do if it’s offered is the Goat Cheese Soufflé. It’s absolutely stunning. One huge disappointment is what Princess offers as the Cheese Plate on the desert dinner menu. It was the exact same cheese (only one cheese) and dollop of dried/fruit/nut mix every night on the 15 day cruise. On HAL the Cheese Plate is different every night with at least four cheeses and fruit per serving. We had one meal at each of the specialty restaurants. Crown Grill for steak and Sabatini’s for Italian. The Crown Grill was top notch and had a lovely ambiance. We also enjoyed the Pub Lunch three times in that venue. Pub Lunch is only served on sea days and is a limited menu with only one desert offered. We enjoyed it a great deal and would recommend it to anyone cruising with Princess. Sabatini’s was a wonderful seven course dinner that I would highly suggest you book. However, the ambiance (décor) of the space is horrible. It looks like Princess threw together a bunch of faux walls and columns with the intention of finishing the space later on but never did. The ceiling was a scatter of painted boards with the ventilation system visible. Probably the most egregious decorating sin was the lack of table cloths. All the tables were some sort of faux wood that was totally unappealing. The restaurant was not busy at all and two crew from high up the chain in the food and beverage department asked to speak with us after we were finished. We shared with them what I’ve written here. Based on their response it would seem like they had heard our concerns many times before. We had lunch at the Alfredo restaurant off the Piazza and that was quite good as were the pastries and coffee at the International Café (open 24 hours). We did not do the Burger place near the Lido pools nor the Pizza place also located there. Ports of Call/Shore Excursions: Our first Port of Call was Hilo. We had originally booked the Princess Excursion to the Botanical Gardens. Then we cancelled when we found out we could do it on our own for at least half the price. We did Uber to the Gardens and our driver agreed to pick us up two hours later. We paid the entry fee and did our walk. The Gardens are beautiful and the walk is only slightly strenuous. Our Uber guy was waiting for us and we made our way back to the ship after a short stop at a Target store to pick up a belt which I forgot to pack, and one other item. Our second Port was Honolulu where we did the 5 hour Pearl Harbor/Mighty Mo Tour offered by Princess. Money well spent. Our third Port was Kaui where we had decided to stay on board. We had booked the Sanctuary for the day thinking it would not be crowded. We were the only people there as it turned out. The menu for that venue was perfect for our purposes. It was also Super Bowl day with the game starting at 1:30PM Hawaii time so we watched it on the big screen used for Movies Under the Stars and finished up the game in Snookers Cigar Bar when we had had more than enough Sun for the day. The next and last Port was Maui where we had booked the early Catamaran Sail. This tour was the highlight of our entire cruise. Whales abounded and during our sail at least a hundred Dolphins ran along the sides of the catamaran jumping above the waves. An amazing sight to behold. Also, the food offerings were plentiful and delicious. This shore excursion is a must do if you are even slightly interested. The crew were all wonderful and knew what they were doing. We did not get off the ship in Ensenada, Mexico since we’ve been to Mexico numerous times and I believe once you’ve seen one Mexican town you’ve seen them all. Sorry folks, that’s just the way it is. If you’ve never been to Mexico then you should go ashore by all means. The problem with the Ensenada stop is the only reason the ship stops there is to be in accordance with the Jones Act. You should Google that for information if you are interested. Also, you are only there for just 4 hours, and late in the day. The Grand Princess: The ship is 21 years old and it shows. A big shout out to the crew of worker bees that are constantly at work on repairs, painting, and polishing. However, it’s time for a major, major make over for this old gal. Grand Princess will be going into dry dock in Portland, OR during most of March but I’ll bet they will not address the stuff that needs the most work. By that I mean the chipped chairs, worn and frayed fabric in countless areas, worn to the bone panels in elevators, more rust on the outside areas than you can count, etc. Having talked with several of the ships officers I learned that Princess is upgrading the Internet system on all the fleet but it will take this dry dock and at least one other before the system will be functional on the Grand. Please note: this is only my opinion, but…I’m constantly amazed and alarmed by the public’s obsession and addiction to the Internet. There is so much more to life than the stupid Internet. DW and I love to totally disconnect from all that stuff when we cruise and wish others could discover that freedom. I believe the money and time spent on Internet upgrades would be better spent on correcting the items I’ve mentioned. Regardless of a new Internet system I’ll wager that passengers will still find reception to be slow and spotty. Speeding up the movement of the elevator doors would be a real plus. On our cruise they opened and closed at the speed of a glacier. Cruise ship décor is, like the food, a very subjective thing. Grand Princess is close to Carnival Line ships (although not nearly as gaudy and offensive) in that most of the décor is meant to imitate something. Totally unnecessary. Fortunately a lot of new builds are moving away from this tired old style. I’ll explain by example; say you have an Italian upscale restaurant….well, whomever is doing the décor thinks, Roman architecture. And what do you get? Roman columns and photographs of Rome, or some other Italian city, or, God forbid, badly done watercolors hanging on the walls. It’s so much better to design a space with sleek but unobtrusive walls and ceilings and muted colors and let the food itself represent the country. As I said, this is just an example, but it applies to any interior public space on a ship. Smoking: We both smoke but are very conscious of the rights of non-smokers. At home we never smoke inside, always outside. Grand Princess has three smoking areas that will work for those that need to burn a heater; deck 15 outside of the One 5 bar/lounge has a large space with tables/chairs and individual padded chairs and couches. A steward was always available in that section. Snookers Cigar Bar is the inside smoking area and is available 24/7 but the bar itself is not staffed until 12 noon or 1PM. Ventilation is fairly good for an indoor smoking area but it still smells like and ashtray. Also, on deck 7, outside the Vista Lounge and towards the aft on the deck there is a little smoker’s station. Conclusion: Scale of 1 – 5 with 5 being the highest Embarkation/Disembarkation: Princess 5; HAL 5 Cabin: Princess 4; HAL 5 Food: Princess 3; HAL 5 Entertainment: NA Shore Excursions: Princess 4; HAL 4 Ship Condition: Princess 2; HAL 5 So, the bottom line? We are staying with HAL (doing a Panama Canal cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Seattle in April) and not going back to Princess. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Easy to sail from San Francisco. Had friends who had taken this cruise and were fairly content, but this was years ago. Ship tired and way to full of “up sale” events. Charge for everything you might expect to have included. ... Read More
Easy to sail from San Francisco. Had friends who had taken this cruise and were fairly content, but this was years ago. Ship tired and way to full of “up sale” events. Charge for everything you might expect to have included. Kids at Xmastime pushing all of the elevator buttons...Really irritating. Room carpets need deep cleaning and I’m sure that must be difficult with their immediate turnaround. Very limited room service breakfast if you didn’t want to trek up to the Horizon Court that was FREEZING cold with a lot of difficulty finding a place to sit. Found in the Horizon Court the table attendants to be quite surly. They would constantly walk right in front of you and practically knock you over. Too much standing around talking to each other. We would have a hard time recommending this trip. A lot of older seniors with flip phones and a lot of kids trying to get online. The Hawaiian Couple who taught Ukele and Hula were delightful. Need more of that kind of friendless. VERY UNHAPPY with sale of deceptive internet package. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise line because a friend said it would fit us better than Carnival, since we are older. The ship was out dated but the service was great. Not much variety in music. The entertainment in the theatre were great. Dining was ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because a friend said it would fit us better than Carnival, since we are older. The ship was out dated but the service was great. Not much variety in music. The entertainment in the theatre were great. Dining was good. Food was not always warm enough at the buffet. They did meet my gluten free diet needs in the dining room. Our steward was wonderful and met all our needs. Room was fine but again, needs to be upgraded. I would cruse again but at a different time of year, due to weather. The staff at guest services were not as friendly as I expected. WiFi was terrible but we did get out money back due to lack of services. Shore excursions were good but to many people at a time. We felt that we were second class due to those with disabilities getting service first on the excersions. Bus loading was long and delayed making the excursion rushed. It would be better to have more ADA excursions for these people that needed it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Princess has it right on Embarkation and Disembarkation. Smooth process proved to be one of the best. The ship is older and void of all the exciting pastimes of newer ships but full of traditional pastimes for older passengers. Cabin ... Read More
Princess has it right on Embarkation and Disembarkation. Smooth process proved to be one of the best. The ship is older and void of all the exciting pastimes of newer ships but full of traditional pastimes for older passengers. Cabin service was so exceptional that any flaws in furnishings was not noticed. Wow service for sure there! Food was exceptional in all aspects..better than any other cruise line I have experienced. Dining service was exceptional as well. Entertainment left a little to be desired. Needed more productions, more seating and better entertainers...something more breathtaking like "arial" acts, and such. Found myself bored at certain times, but mainly because of the weather and lack of other exciting activities. Not just gambling. Service everywhere was exceptional and I loved the staff. Only a couple of issues there, not worth mentioning. The Islands were awesome, economical and interesting. Less expensive than Ensenada, Mexico (who had ridiculously high prices) and no bargaining. One fan for $7.....really!!!! Don't even get off at that port. The cruise was rough sailing but we never got sick so hats off to Prncess! We would recommend but would not go again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I would never suggest this cruise. The sea days sucked. 1 or 2 sea days aren't bad but 4 or 5 at a stretch is too much. If your under 70 you will feel like a teenager. I have never seen more elderly people in one place at a ... Read More
I would never suggest this cruise. The sea days sucked. 1 or 2 sea days aren't bad but 4 or 5 at a stretch is too much. If your under 70 you will feel like a teenager. I have never seen more elderly people in one place at a time. 1 lounge area was nicknamed "Gods waiting room" The ship was very outdated and had very few activities like newer ships have. The service and food were great! Don't waste your money on any internet package. We bought a "streaming package" You could barely get dial up speeds. A total waste of money. Take a laptop with at least 30 good movies because you will be bored to death! Be sure to take a HDMI cable. I said that I would never do another princess cruise the last time and I haven't changed my mind. I canceled my Alaska cruise and booked on RC. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Our cabin A323 on the Grand Princess was very nice with a starboard balcony. Loved the elevator when it announced our floor “Aloha!” Enjoyed the near instant circulating water for perfect shower temperatures. Our cabin steward ... Read More
Our cabin A323 on the Grand Princess was very nice with a starboard balcony. Loved the elevator when it announced our floor “Aloha!” Enjoyed the near instant circulating water for perfect shower temperatures. Our cabin steward Fernando Vivero kept our room neat, clean, and replenished and even kept my ice bag filled after I broke my toe. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. I am paranoid about picking up bed bugs when we travel. Thankfully it has not happened but without extreme diligence by all parties involved it will and bed bugs are near impossible in a cluttered home environment to eliminate. My research indicates that heat of 140 degrees F with full heat penetration of all objects for at least 30 minutes is necessary. I put a Mouse & Insect Glue Board under the bed to assure myself there were no bed bugs after checking the mattress, etc. Princess you passed with flying colors! The first two of our four ports were at times pouring rain and therefore disappointing. We still went on and enjoyed our excursions but were grateful we wore our hiking rain coats. The weather for the Blue Kawaiian Helicopter tour of Kauai and the van tour on the Road to Hana on Maui made up for it. The band Finesse was our favorite dance music. The Born to Dance production was the best dance show on any ship. Gloeta and Rowena were the two best education and cultural ambassadors we ever experienced on any cruise. Gloeta was hilarious in her descriptions of the mating practices of marine life. We wouldn’t miss a single one of Gloeta’s lectures. I plan to check out her Facebook page “Naturalist Gloeta”. We learned so much about amazing and complex sea creatures and how closely all life on Earth depends on and benefits each other. And we so appreciate hearing Rowena’s historical stories from the Hawaiian people’s perspective, getting to make lava jewelry, tie sarongs, and learn to hula. Now when we see the pinky finger and thumb-up greetings we know that was from the time when sugar cane was grown on the islands and workers’ fingers were cut off by the saw-edged cane. Rowena has the most beautiful and loving smile and hug; she truly embodies the Aloha message and spirit. We enjoyed the Tequila Sunrise free drinks at the Captain’s party. I later competed in the contest to make a Tequila Sunrise where I got the recipe. We will be thinking of Princess Cruises when we make our own Teguila Sunrises at home. It was a treat to make a real orchid lei for free and tour the galley. I missed not having an opportunity to have our picture taken with the captain like on some previous cruises but understand he has more important things to do. Those were always our favorite photos. The advanced photo package was an excellent deal. People, especially on their first cruise or for special occasions, should get the package. One never knows when they will need quality portraits to celebrate future events, display in an artist statement or for work, or use in an obituary! Relaxing on a cruise might even put off the need for an obituary. We very much enjoyed the food and the meal service. We appreciate the extra safety precautions like the soap hand washing station in the Horizon Court, encouragement for passengers to use their cabin bathrooms when possible, and increased cleaning of stair hand-rails, etc. I had picked up a bug during a cruise in the Mediterranean where I experienced “Sudden Hearing Loss” and lost 85% of the hearing in my right ear. That has greatly diminished my ability to comprehend conversations even when wearing a hearing aid. We appreciate all the extra efforts by the entire crew to make this cruise on our 49 and ½ wedding anniversary satisfying and memorable. This was our first visit to Hawaii. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Chosen as the only one leaving from San Francisco --Hawaii Although clean, our room was much smaller than our staterooms on previous cruises . The ship is very tired dark & depressing , not how you want to feel on holiday . There ... Read More
Chosen as the only one leaving from San Francisco --Hawaii Although clean, our room was much smaller than our staterooms on previous cruises . The ship is very tired dark & depressing , not how you want to feel on holiday . There was a lot of ceiling leaks with buckets catching drips all over the ship quite a few of the restrooms were out of order . The entertainment was poor . We were at sea for 4 days going & 4 days at sea on the return & this ship does not have the facilities to entertainment to keep you occupied for this long at sea . With 2500 passengers & the facilities were first come first served , so you would stand in a queue but may not get in . The best place to sit in the evening was the Piazza area where it was lighter but not enough seating . The best things about this ship was the staff & the food . Grand Princess badly needs attention Thank goodness our trips ashore in Hawaii was worth the journey . Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
15 day Hawaii Cruise from San Francisco. We are senior couple, cruise was easy and enjoable for us, in total 10 days at sea, in mostly bad weather, went fast, did not feel long or boring. Very clean, nice ship, in great condition, we did ... Read More
15 day Hawaii Cruise from San Francisco. We are senior couple, cruise was easy and enjoable for us, in total 10 days at sea, in mostly bad weather, went fast, did not feel long or boring. Very clean, nice ship, in great condition, we did not see any sign of age at all. Crew was constantly cleaning, washing, painting in each port. Delicious cuisine, in main dining room and buffet, better than at our previous cruises. Healthy, small portions in the main dining rooms, various enough for any taste and culture. Overall good Service, friendly staff, talented, funny, very enjoable Cruise Director, sea days and evening activities for all ages, enjoable and various evening entertainment. Well organized, easy boarding and disembarcation. We took two island excursions with Princess, both were very good. Silcon Valley Tech Tour was not good, uninformative and boring. Internet, like at our previous cruises, had problems, though I purchased the most expansive all-time package, was able to connect most of the time. Texting was working only IOS to IOS, Apple to Android did not work. Would be nice to know it in advance. Despite those minor things, we definitely enjoyed the cruise, and recommend this cruise to others, especially to senior people. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This is the third time we have cruised on the Grand Princess. The ship has been renovated since the last time. The new decor was very nice. The ship was sparkling clean and felt new. We enjoy sea days so this cruise is a nice break from ... Read More
This is the third time we have cruised on the Grand Princess. The ship has been renovated since the last time. The new decor was very nice. The ship was sparkling clean and felt new. We enjoy sea days so this cruise is a nice break from others where we have more ports and excursions than rest. Those are a different type of vacation, seeing places we have heard so much about for the first time. Since we have been to Hawaii before, and cruised there too this isn't one of those once in a life time experiences. We will be doing it again in the near future. There are so many activities to chose from if you want to be out there doing things. The entertainment opportunities as well as enrichment lectures are available with some of the lectures being broadcast later on the ship's tv if you had a conflict and couldn't attend the live lecture. The food was very good. The traditional dining options rate in line with places like McCormick and Schmick's for sea food, though the steaks were almost always quite tough. Chicken and poultry dishes were great. The service was awesome. If our waiters Ronaldo and Bernardo notices you weren't eating they were quick to offer a remedy. The Buffet was better than your average buffet, except the english muffins in things like Eggs Benedict were almost always tough and difficult to eat. There was a great number of choices and a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. We used the ships excursions and were very happy with them. Our cabin was noisier than others we have had on ships which was due o neighbors slamming their door and yelling and loud music. It helps to carry earplugs for times like these. It would be nice if they had more recumbent bikes for people who have hip and knee problems. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We had hoped for a few sunny sea days and some island tours for enlightenment of the areas. The Tours were okay, but not great. Scenery was spectacular on the 3 tours. The Sea Days were cloudy and coolish. Deck days were a non starter ... Read More
We had hoped for a few sunny sea days and some island tours for enlightenment of the areas. The Tours were okay, but not great. Scenery was spectacular on the 3 tours. The Sea Days were cloudy and coolish. Deck days were a non starter (weather is not guarantee, that is understood. First night waves were severe enough to modify route, but it was a expensive and scary amusement ride. A stench emanating from the bow the ship lasted several hours during the hard weather on the first night. The food service for the most part was good, sometimes great. Ice Tea tasted like coloured ice water. Pastries plentiful and tasty. Evening dining Service was good and very good. My menu likes and dislikes and desire for simpler foods, made it difficult for me to enjoy the good presentations of food on evening menus. But the waiting staff was very accommodating.for special requests. The entertainment was for the most part very enjoyable. The TV presentation and shows, sucked, and repeated the same schedule for two days in a row in some cases. Most were old shows, but surprisingly had some new shows. The TV guide on the tv was hard to read. The Cruise director and his staff were everywhere and did a good job of keeping the masses amused and busy. (the passenger age average was close to 70 and not many young people and fewer children). But the ship is in dire need of a makeover, but rumours have it will vanish from the fleet within the year. There were leaks between the floors noticeably and I am sure the crew did their best to cover up/fix other problems. Read Less
Sail Date February 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
Have read some negative comments but I knew I was going on a ship that was 20 yrs old so my expectations were a little lower. I have been on newer ships that I did not enjoy nearly as much as this ship. The staff were great. And I loved ... Read More
Have read some negative comments but I knew I was going on a ship that was 20 yrs old so my expectations were a little lower. I have been on newer ships that I did not enjoy nearly as much as this ship. The staff were great. And I loved our at sea days. I knew in advance we only had 4 ports, and I was looking forward to the sea days. I love sea days so I can relax and unwind. If I wanted fewer sea days, I would choose a different cruise. I make a point not to take a cruise that is a different port every day and no down time......There was the issue with the water leak/flood in one side of Horizon Court but I think Princess did a great job of trying to make things as good for the passengers as they could. It meant sometimes sharing a table in buffet area but hey what a great way to meet new people....The service was really good on the ship, esp room steward and wait staff. My husband and I renewed our wedding vows, and Princess made it so special.....I would definitely take this cruise again. I would not do it at Christmas again, but that has nothing to do with Princess and more to do with so many children. I really enjoyed the Grand but I think the larger newer ships have more to offer children. In fact if I were taking children, I would have chosen a Disney cruise or Royal Caribbean. One reason I like Princess overall is the slower pace. I look forward to doing this cruise again. I have cruised since 2005 and on NCL, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Princess. Princess is my favorite. My husband has only cruised twice....the 1st was NCL to Alaska in 2016. Horrible ship and staff and he was not sure he wanted to cruise again. But he was amazed at how much better this cruise was, esp the staff. He said he would do this cruise again even though the ship was older. We are planning cruise to Caribbean next year and it will definitely be on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
It is always a REALLY FUN CRUISE. In spite of the flooding, we have booked it for next year again. AND 7 of the people we met on this cruise are also booked for the 12-23-18 Christmas cruise. The Grand was in Dry Dock 12, 2016, new ... Read More
It is always a REALLY FUN CRUISE. In spite of the flooding, we have booked it for next year again. AND 7 of the people we met on this cruise are also booked for the 12-23-18 Christmas cruise. The Grand was in Dry Dock 12, 2016, new Carpets (very nice), new mattresses (WONDERFUL), and always a great crew. It is our understanding that when she sailed on 1-2-18 Princess had brought 40 private licensed contractors aboard to make the necessary repairs and check for any that have not materialized as of our past sailing. I would think that would solve the problems. The Grand is the oldest ship of her class in the fleet. The flooding was a problem due to old sprinkler pipes, a few cabins and the Port side of the Horizon Buffet for over 1/2 of the trip. Also some sound/electrical problems in the theatre for 5-6 performances. All in all, it was handled one way or the other, to let "THE SHOW GO ON". Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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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