1,636 Princess Grand Princess Cruise Reviews

This was our first Princess cruise, so we truly didn't know what to expect other than what we had read and what Princess is known for. Embarkation was a breeze even if we were required to fill out a medical questionnaire stating our ... Read More
This was our first Princess cruise, so we truly didn't know what to expect other than what we had read and what Princess is known for. Embarkation was a breeze even if we were required to fill out a medical questionnaire stating our exposure, or lack of exposure, to Covid-19. No temperature check or screening of any kind. Once onboard, we found evidence of what all the previous reviews had mentioned. This is an older ship and shows it with rust in many areas, disabled elevators, etc. Even with these shortcomings we were still quite excited to begin our 25th wedding anniversary cruise. The first noticeable observation was that this cruise was populated with older adults. The largest age group represented was the 70+ group. Many walkers, canes and electric scooters. Since this itinerary was 15 days and right in the middle of the school year, we didn't expect to see many young people, but we weren't truly prepared for this demographic. All that said, we had a great time. Our dining room staff was top notch, the Broadway-type shows were very good and the magician/comedian(Christopher James) was hysterical! There were several activities during the many sea days and the food was quite good. We paid the up-charge for the Crown Grill steakhouse and felt it was money well spent. Sadly, everything changed on the 12th day. We were informed that a passenger on the previous cruise has contracted the Coronavirus and, regardless of usual cleaning practices, we were now considered exposed to the virus. We were allowed to dine for our lunch meal after which we would be confined to our rooms. Masks were issued and social distancing was encouraged for lunch, but instead most folks treated it as if this would be the last meal they would receive. Taking as much food as they could carry to their rooms. While confined to our rooms, Princess did an amazing job of keeping us fed, amused and informed. The captain would make frequent announcements and we had meals and activities delivered to our rooms. Our stewards would place a tray/container at our door, knock and then stand a safe distance away. We had booked a balcony, so access to fresh air and sunshine was immediate. The folks in inside staterooms were allowed to walk the upper decks, in small groups, on a controlled schedule . Princess also gave everyone free wi-fi and added new content to the "on demand" TV viewing options. Our last port, Ensenada, was eliminated so we could head directly back to San Francisco. We floated in limbo for a couple days until Oakland graciously accepted us. We didn't realize how good we had it until we were placed in the hands of US authorities. Princess did everything right with the information and supplies/services they were provided. The generosity of Princess was exemplary. I have nothing but good things to say about how our crew, and the Princess team, dealt with our constantly evolving situation. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My partner wanted to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge one last time so he convinced me it would be great for both of us. I had expected to have sunny days with a little bump here and there but that is not what happened. No sun, cold ... Read More
My partner wanted to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge one last time so he convinced me it would be great for both of us. I had expected to have sunny days with a little bump here and there but that is not what happened. No sun, cold wind and all kinds of sea bumps. I enjoyed the food in the buffet and the dining room but my partner did not. Our cabin seemed smaller than usual for a balcony cabin but the mattress on the bed was heavenly. Could have spent the entire cruise on that mattress. We did 2 shore excursions with 1 in Kauai which was cooler than I expected and the other one in Hilo which I knew would be cold. However besides being cold it started raining and became very windy. Both of us ended up with a cold. On Maui and Honolulu we shopped since both of us had previously been there. The weather for these two islands was perfect and warm. When the call came that we were to be confined to our cabins, we just enjoyed our balcony more than ever. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We sailed on Grand Princess on February 11th, 2020, out of San Francisco and south along the coast of Mexico. We chose this cruise because friends were going, and because we had never visited any of the ports before, so we thought it was ... Read More
We sailed on Grand Princess on February 11th, 2020, out of San Francisco and south along the coast of Mexico. We chose this cruise because friends were going, and because we had never visited any of the ports before, so we thought it was a good way to get a snapshot of these ports. The cruise got off to a poor start, which was not the fault of the staff, but we felt we paid for it in substandard service for the first couple of days. There had apparently been a medical emergency on the ship on the cruise just prior, and the ship arrived in San Francisco 9 hours late. That meant that passengers like us had to check out of hotels in San Francisco in the morning, with nowhere to go until we were finally allowed to line up to embark at around 9 pm. Princess did give each passenger a $25 US refundable credit, ostensibly to cover dinner, as we were supposed to board in time to sail at 4 pm. They also clawed back $15 of that credit for a tip for a day on which we only spent two hours on the ship. I know tips are optional, but it wasn't the fault of the crew and we didn't feel comfortable punishing them for the late departure. Unfortunately, because of the late arrival and subsequent rushed preparations for the next cruise, it took at least a couple of days before members of our group were able to get things as basic as bathrobes, wine glasses, and distilled water. We were told at one point part way into the cruise that they had not had time to load wine, or relish for burgers on the ship in San Francisco, and the crew was not particularly helpful or even pleasant on occasion. There seemed to be a turning point at dinner time on the third day out, and things were mostly better from that time. Again, we understand the delay on departure day would have been very hard on the crew, but it wasn't easy for embarking passengers (or I expect for those disembarking who missed flights, etc). It was no one's fault, but somehow we felt we paid for it anyway. Other than the initial glitch, embarkation and disembarkation went exceptionally smoothly. San Francisco is an excellent port. Grand Princess is showing her age. The ship has visible rust on the hull, and balconies. There was a bucket catching water dripping from the ceiling in the middle of the corridor a little way down from us for nearly the whole cruise. There were two elevators not working midship for pretty much the entire cruise, and one at the back that was also down by times. That one was one of the only two that went to the 15th and 16th decks, so for anyone who is mobility challenged, getting up there was tough. Unfortunately, there are also no stairs midship, so while I am normally happy to leave the elevators for those folks needing them, there wasn't an option. As a result, the waits for elevators were often very long, and some people resorted to getting on and riding in the opposite direction to where they were going just to be able to get on. That was a lot of fun on disembarkation day when elevators would arrive at the 14th floor full of people with their suitcases while people were trying to leave the buffet. On the up side, the food was excellent, even in the buffet. Breakfast in the main dining room was a real treat, and dinners in Michelangelo were superb. The only drawback is that Princess seemed to want everyone booked into fixed dining, and the wait time to dine in the anytime dining room was awful for the first few days. No matter what time you went, there were lineups and a real push to join a larger table. We did agree to that one day, only to discover that when we were the 4th and 5th people seated at a table for 12, we had to wait for the table to fill up (meaning 7 more people had to agree to sit at a large table) before they would take our dinner orders. We met some lovely people but also missed an activity as a result, despite all of us being asked if there was anything pressing we wanted to make. We did take in a couple of shows, including a magician/comedian, a comedian and former police officer, and the British invasion music show. The shows were of a high quality and we very much enjoyed them. We often don't do the shows, but I would definitely look at them in the future. We also did the second wine tasting, and we always enjoy these activities. We do trivia twice a day on sea days, and I try to go to the crafting group in the mornings. These are activities we have come to really enjoy on Princess, and the staff typically go above and beyond to ensure the activities are fun. We have always been fortunate enough to book mini-suites on Princess, and the cabin was mostly what we have come to expect, other than the issue I noted below in the cabin review. We only did two excursions, but both were enjoyable. We visited the turtle sanctuary in Cuyutlan when we stopped in Manzanillo, and we did the luxury sailboat trip in Cabo. The sailboat excursion was excellent, and we would happily do that one again. We snorkelled, tried paddle boarding, and saw lots of whales. The crew went out of their way to ensure that we had a wonderful time. For perspective, this is our fifth Princess cruise, and we have another Princess cruise already booked for next summer. We have sailed primarily with Princess because we have always enjoyed the ships, the food, and the service. This won't put us off Princess, but I would not sail on this ship again. I would, however, do the same cruise again if offered on another ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We really liked our mini suite cabin location (E729). And the food was delicious, as always. But except for a very small handful of staff/crew, and an amazing bunch of passengers we met on board this cruise , this was actually the worst ... Read More
We really liked our mini suite cabin location (E729). And the food was delicious, as always. But except for a very small handful of staff/crew, and an amazing bunch of passengers we met on board this cruise , this was actually the worst cruise, out of 20, that I've ever been on. Staff/crew was anywhere from dismissive to our requests (like...a basket of rolls at dinner in anytime dining or waiting an hour & fifteen minutes (for prime rib), to requesting, many times,to have a waiter be sent over to take drink orders & bus tables in the outdoor area where upwards of 40 people would be sitting, and never getting one) to downright condescending. I enjoyed the ports, as always. Although once in Manzanillo is all one needs. If that. Make sure you get into port before 10 am, or you will miss port photos. Service in assigned dining is FAR greater than service in anytime dining. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We have cruised with several other lines but always come back to our favorite - Princess This was our 10th with Princess and as always total relaxation and enjoyable. I was in a wheel chair for the first time in my life and bypassing ... Read More
We have cruised with several other lines but always come back to our favorite - Princess This was our 10th with Princess and as always total relaxation and enjoyable. I was in a wheel chair for the first time in my life and bypassing the normal lines was terrific. I wrote Princess prior too the cruise and advised we were celebrating our 42nd anniversary, however there was absolutely no acknowledgement by the cruise line and the only room with a supposed view (Without paying the usual fortune for a balcony) had a 98% restricted view. The Grand Princess seemed to be in need of a serious updating as everything appeared older and more worn than other Princess ships we have sailed in. I do not know how they do it but the Princess crew were as always friendly, smiling, appeared happy to greet and serve us and extremely pleasant to be with. Our cabin was clean as always, but appeared well worn as above stated. We felt our cabin steward was assigned too many rooms (18) to allow time for chatting or getting acquainted as is usual. Everyone from the steward to the waiters and cooks were helpful, and helped us enjoy another cruise of a lifetime. Although the comedians were much better than ever before the entertainment was not up to the usual Princess par, as I believe there were only 2 or 3 production shows for this 15 day cruise and we always look forward to an almost nightly show. The food was fresh enough and of good quality, but we were extremely disappointed in the menu which was definitely NOT up to Princess par. A little more "down home cooking" instead of the "Pretty" gourmet type satisfy and sustains one much better for all of the many available activities. The life or death trip interruption was a sad first as was the warning prior to disembarking at Maui that security was lacking and it might be difficult to get back on the ship. As a result we canceled our looked forward to whale watching at Maui and stayed on board. We were also disappointed that we were unable to complete the trip to Ensenada as planned, but the Captains decision to bypass that stop was understandable and the best decision to make. Speaking of the Captain - CAPTAIN JON PAUL BRYANT IS A DIAMOND IN THE PRINCESS TREASURE CHEST. He was the best communicating Captain and had the absolute best sense of humor in his announcements regarding cruise changes due to the life or death patient and the disembarking/embarking concern at Maui made it almost the best possible cruise we could have ever planned. KUDO after KUDO to Captain Bryant, and please let me select him as our Captain on all future cruises!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Disembarkation was more orderly and better than most past cruises EXCEPT the gangplank walk was extremely long. GREAT CRUISE Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We took the cruise to 4 Pacific Mexican places because we had not been there. The price and dates were also good for us. The towns were interesting. The Princess excursions were reasonably priced, although some turned out to not have a ... Read More
We took the cruise to 4 Pacific Mexican places because we had not been there. The price and dates were also good for us. The towns were interesting. The Princess excursions were reasonably priced, although some turned out to not have a lot to see. Beaches, sun and drinking seemed to be the main reason many took this cruise. We were to board at noon. Since we could not connect from our midwest city in time, we came the day before. We saw more of San Francisco than we planned as we received a message boarding would be delayed. We were told it was a diversion caused by a critically ill passenger. Went to the California Academy of Science which was a good day. As the day went on, the boarding time kept getting later and later. We finally were allowed to board at 8:30 pm. We had a safety drill at 10 pm, which was 1 am to us on EST and went back to our cabin to wait for our luggage to arrive. In essence the first day of our cruise was eliminated. Princess gave each of us $25, which did not begin to cover what we spent in SF, let alone not having the day onboard. The food was okay, although not as good as other cruise lines we use in a similar price range. We really did appreciate that they had some part of the buffet open at all hours. On the down side: no real ice cream except in the dining room. Unexpected nice dining at the pizza place on deck 5. Small bottles of water in the cabin were offered for $2/each! All the ship's staff was top notch for the most part. The program and atmosphere on the ship is not what Princess once was. Both the clientele and what is offered onboard seems to be getting far more like Carnival, which we would not take on a bet. We selected "anytime" dining which turned out to be a misnomer. You can dine anytime as long as it is 5:15 or 7:30 pm. (Set dining is 5 and 7:30 too.) You can call for a reservation when the reservations open at 8 am and you will be offered only too early or too late (see above). Apparently they lack adequate dining space, so they have to fill all dining rooms early and late only to get everyone seated. Our main disappointment was the almost total lack of anything intellectually stimulating. We travel to see and learn about new places. If you are on Princess, there is little chance that will happen through them. They had an excellent Mexico Folkloric dance program once in port and served Mexican one night in the buffet. That was the limit of anything Mexican on the 10 day cruise. The only other presenter of any note was a talk on Dickens one day. We could not attend and found that although they recorded many other things you could see on the tv later, they did not bother to record or show that one, which we would have liked to see. If you like bingo, gambling, lots of dancing, silly athletic contests, guests singing, and shopping of every sort, you would like this Princess cruise. If you want any type of lectures, movies or even available videos about where you are traveling, forget it! The Princess itself was very old and shabby, although the staff kept is spic and span. Storage space and size of cabins also very old fashioned=small. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Ship I’ve been on well over 35 cruises with many different cruise lines so I’ve seen a lot of ships. The Grand Princess is one of the most poorly designed ships I have ever been on. The first few ‎days were cold which eliminated ... Read More
Ship I’ve been on well over 35 cruises with many different cruise lines so I’ve seen a lot of ships. The Grand Princess is one of the most poorly designed ships I have ever been on. The first few ‎days were cold which eliminated the use of outdoor areas. This resulted in interior spaces being ‎quite crowded. The covered pool area was not as well sealed off like it is on many ships. This ‎resulted in being just cool enough that it wasn’t usable for the cold days thus increasing indoor ‎crowding. The doors at the buffet, Horizon Court, rarely closed so during the cold days it was ‎like a frigid wind tunnel blowing through the buffet. There were constant complaints about how ‎cold it was in there; you really needed to wear a jacket to eat there. ‎ Many ships I have been on have an observation deck in the front where you can sit and look out. ‎This is very prevalent on Holland American and Viking ships. Royal Caribbean ships have an ‎observation bar up in the back were you can sit and look out. The Grand Princess did not have ‎this. There was an area called The Sanctuary that may have filled this need but it was at a very ‎high additional daily rate. This makes the ship to be avoided in the future. There were no places I ‎found where you could get a great view of where we were going. Actually, the best view was ‎from the gym which was below the costly Sanctuary. ‎ The ship was very tired. It was maintained but heavily worn. In my view the elevators are a ‎disaster. Several elevators required a card key to activate, I assume for suite passengers or the ‎more elite level returning cruisers. This meant the regular passengers were limited in the number ‎of available elevators. Taking elevators out of service for regular passengers was then ‎compounded by the number elevators that didn’t work and were out of service. One specific ‎elevator was out of commission the entire cruise. In the center of the ship where most traffic was ‎focused there were six elevators. One was restricted. One was out the entire cruise and another ‎was out of order for more than the majority of days. This meant there were only three elevators ‎serving the busiest area of the ship. Long waits were the norm and passenger grumbling was the ‎norm. ‎ The elevator problem was compounded even more by the number of people in walkers, wheel ‎chairs and electric carts. There were a limited number of elevators but then it was then ‎compounded by the walkers etc that took up a large portion of the space inside the elevator. This ‎meant fewer people could get on these small elevators. Future ships must be designed with larger ‎elevators to accommodate the needs of passengers with disability vehicles. One temporary ‎solution is to make interior freight elevators accessible to wheel chairs and electric carts. I’m sure ‎there may be liability issues involved and they aren’t very luxurious but it could be one resolution ‎to this problem. The elevator problem on this ship and the lack of a quality observation deck will ‎be the two main factors that will keep me from ever booking this ship again. ‎ Food We booked this cruise to travel with my son and daughter-in-law. They had taken a couple ‎Princess Cruises and raved about the food. I was disappointed. ‎ The first morning I went to the buffet for breakfast. I couldn’t find any half grapefruits. I had to ‎ask a kitchen attendant to get me one. He then went down 9 floors to the main dining rooms to ‎get a half grapefruit. Then I searched for ham. On every ship I’ve ever sailed on there were ham ‎slices (and usually English bacon) and/or a large ham that is carved on request. On Grand ‎Princess I asked one of the people in the Buffet with the high chef’s hat, “where is the ham?” I ‎got a look that made me feel like it was the most incredulous question he had ever heard. I said ‎‎“ham steaks are from a large ham that is sliced. It is baked ham that you would get on a ham and ‎eggs breakfast.” He pointed me to a counter that ham luncheon meat ham folded in neat slices. I ‎wondered, didn’t they know what baked ham is? But, then I discovered they served little ham ‎steaks in the dining room so why not in the buffet? ‎ We went to the Crown Grill one night. The appetizers were mediocre at best. I love shrimp ‎cocktail but they had some other type of “scampi.” So, I ordered them with cocktail sauce. At ‎the specialty restaurant on Royal Caribbean and Holland America the scampi are huge. On ‎Princess they were about the same size as the shrimp in the regular dining room. Very ‎disappointing. The Chocolate Molten Cake was mostly “molten.” It was undercooked chocolate ‎syrup. However, I had the rib steak and it was a excellent piece of meat, one of the best I’ve ever ‎had. ‎ We did the anytime dining and it worked out very well. About 50% of the time we made ‎advance reservations and requested Natalia. She is one of the best servers we have ever ‎encountered. She has high energy and is extremely efficient. She is all business yet maintains a ‎vibrant personality. If I owned a high class restaurant I would try to hire her as I’m confident she ‎could run the entire operation. She is an amazingly gifted young women. If I weren’t retired I ‎would try and hire her and find a job for her, whatever the job is I’m confident she would soon ‎master it; she is just one of those special people. ‎ The food in the main dining room was adequate. I had to send a couple entree’s back because of ‎taste and I was surprised that the everyday items didn’t include a NY Strip Steak. There were a ‎few days I didn’t find anything appealing and would have had the steak, if it were available. ‎Overall I’d rate the dining room food in the lower quartile of all the cruises I’ve taken. Again, the ‎service was exceptional, the food wasn’t. ‎ The Pizza Parlor was quite good, the best of any cruise line I’ve sailed on. I’ve been to Naples ‎many times and the grand Princess pizza is the closest to authentic I have ever experienced on ‎a cruise ship.‎ The Grill hamburgers were good. The best I’ve had were on the Maasdam. All Grand Princess ‎needs to do is make a smashburger type burger, grill the buns and it would be a great hamburger. ‎ Crew Overall a good crew. Our cabin steward, Raymond, did a very good job and we ‎appreciated him. But, I didn’t connect with the crew as I normally do on a ten day+ cruise. ‎Returning on the tender in Cabo I sat next to the Cruise Director who was buried in his cell ‎phone and didn’t even say hello. I’m not a crew member but out of courtesy I always ‎acknowledge people who sit next to me. It’s just common courtesy. Most of this crew just ‎seemed to on auto-pilot. ‎ Delay and Insult: Embarkation Our embarkation was delayed until 9:00 pm. An ill passenger required the ship to detour for a ‎medical drop-off. I am not angry about the delay because someday I may be the passenger with a ‎medical emergency. We were notified in advance so we located a place to store our luggage in ‎San Francisco ($50 for four passengers). We were then able to be tourists in San Francisco for the ‎day (making lemonade out of lemons). We had dinner at a favorite restaurant ( $200+ for four of ‎us). We were then informed we’d get $25 each per room credit to “help cover our dinner.” ‎Seriously? I believe there was only one comment by the leadership on the ship about this ‎inconvenience and that was it. We arrived tired and late and got one comment and $25: totally ‎inadequate. The $25 credit was a joke among every passenger we encountered. It would have ‎been much better if we had been offered a drink on-the-house when we arrived to help us all ‎relax; just a way to say thanks for being patient (maybe two drinks.). The next night at the shows ‎the Captain could have appeared to thank us all for our patience and understanding. Just ‎basically say “I appreciate all of you.” But unfortunately nothing was done. We had a great day ‎while waiting for embarkation but many passengers were extremely inconvenienced and that ‎should have been acknowledge much more effectively than it was. Prior to retirement I taught ‎organizational leadership at a major university in the masters and doctoral program. I believe this ‎was a real failure on the part of the leadership team on Grand Princess. Ports The port talks were very uninformative. Other than the explanation of tours we got very little ‎information about the ports. I didn’t mind as I’ve been to those ports many times before. But, for ‎people new to these areas it was like their only option was to take ship tours. I know the tours are ‎a big profit center but I’m confident you can give insightful information and still sell tours. ‎ Entertainment We always enjoy the entertainment. The specialty acts were OK. Anne Martinez was exceptional. ‎She is a star and since we live in Las Vegas we will try and catch her as her career progresses. ‎ The singers and dancers, frankly, were horrible in the British Invasion Show. Their voices just ‎didn’t sound right doing the songs. But, they redeemed themselves with the show featuring the ‎‎“oldies” like Stardust. Their voices excelled at these songs. The piano players and lounge singers ‎did a good job. There seemed to be a lot of music on this ship which was a real plus, but we ‎didn’t listen often as there was very limited seating inside and we don’t like standing for 20+ ‎minutes.‎ Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise to see how we liked many continuous sea days. If the weather had been warmer we could have been able to make use of the outdoor spaces. The ship is old and needs major work.(painting,rugs,furniture) The cabin was ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see how we liked many continuous sea days. If the weather had been warmer we could have been able to make use of the outdoor spaces. The ship is old and needs major work.(painting,rugs,furniture) The cabin was great.(beds were comfortable, new tv.,room was spacious ) The Crown Gill was excellent. The buffet was very good with many choices buy they failed to have any turkey the whole cruise. The menu in the main dining rooms need to be updated and had it not been for the excellent wait service it would have been a total loss. The entertainment was lacking the first week but improved the second week. The service on board was excellent and was the highlight of this cruise. All the staff went out of their way to make our handicapped daughter feel comfortable and included.S.F. was interesting and would like to visit and tour again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I understand - - many things are "out of control" when one engages a large cruise. experience On this one for example, a passenger fell sick, the ship aborted a"port of call," and our disembarkment was delayed by ... Read More
I understand - - many things are "out of control" when one engages a large cruise. experience On this one for example, a passenger fell sick, the ship aborted a"port of call," and our disembarkment was delayed by over nine hours. This meant, of course, that over three thousand people missed their planes, hotels and other vacation plans. The staff - mostly Filipinos, Ukrainians and Russians - worked so hard to make this difficult time easier. However, the company offered us nothing. The experience was ripe for customer service; a coupon for a future cruise, an afternoon of "free beverages" - - heck, even a trinket or a gift of sorts would have been appreciated. Instead - and for some odd reason, the company decided to shut down the pools and ban us from some decks. Throughout this entire experience, we weren't offered so much as a complimentary glass of wine. The company gave us "free internet" - and waived our phone charges or one day. This, I guess, was done to make it easier for us to find flights home. It was a nice gesture, but not enough considering the severe inconvenience. Another terrible story - - I fell during an excursion, and tried to secure an "ice pack" for my swollen leg. No one would comply. The medical staff told me to call the kitchen. Room service sent me to the front desk. In the end, I had to put together my own ice bag. . using a plastic bag from the front desk, a bucket of ice (for which I was charged!) for the ice. I kid you not. Nope. Not a good experience. Hard working, desperate and eager staff. Sad, to see them trying so hard - - working or a multi-billion dollar corporation without a soul. Never, never get my business - ever again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Any time dining was a bit of a hassle if you didn't get to the room in the opening we begrudgingly took a seat in the traditional dining room as they had seats there for us. it was louder and much less of a fun time as it felt like I ... Read More
Any time dining was a bit of a hassle if you didn't get to the room in the opening we begrudgingly took a seat in the traditional dining room as they had seats there for us. it was louder and much less of a fun time as it felt like I had to yell across the table but the food was good even if I didnt like what I ordered and we ordered a lot, we enjoyed that we could experiment and if we didnt like we would find something we did at the MDR or the salty dog or slive or alferdo's or the buffet. FOOD WAS NOT LACKING. the coffee and cones attendants knew me by face lets just say it like that. The princess theatre shows wee well done. 1st - British invasion - Wife loved it, I am not a fan of the music from the invasion so I was bias going in but the dancing and set and production were great. 2nd - I forget the name but it was all about the songs from like doris day nat king cole etc. it was ok... the songs were a bit drab Wife enjoyed it but didnt know most of the songs 3rd. - Born to dance - This was amazing I loved this show as did the wife. They were amazing dancers sets and with the boat a rockin as it was the talent was on display. Voice of the ocean finale was fun... great way to pass the time morning trivia was out of my depth. Afternoon trivia I only scored well at once and Im a decent trivia player Miguel Washington the comedian let me say was a funny guy, as we were the only brave enough to say we were newlyweds he didnt hit us too hard. but he had flow and some funny jokes a few were nice to see he was not afraid of the PC CULTURE police out there. Would recommend if hes on your ship to see. Movies under the stars was more our thing though. a few good ones a few get up and leave from cant complain about anything but their popcorn its crunchy and just bland but since you get it at coffee and cones you just snag a free cone if you dont like popcorn like I did. and a second if your wife wants more popcorn. Hilo - We did the Hilo Highlights princess excursion for being on a cruise for the first time It was the best option my wife fell in love with hilo its a return spot. Honolulu - We had a Luau with the ships excurtion so in the day we got off (we love chinatowns) went to some parts of honolulus it was only a 12 minute walk from the ship saw the city hall the federal court house (my wife is in the law profession so I surprised her) mind you this is all within a 10 minute if not less for walking from the pier (DW walks slower than I) On the second time in hawaii (medical evac) we walked the 5 mins to a wal mart to gear up for personal things and snacks and games Nawiliwili - We (my wife mostly) wanted to go to Kalapaki beach - tip get there early or all the shade will be taken but the other pax and the hotel guests that are right there other wise its a awesome beach and being from california beaches have different levels this one is nice theres a strip of grass there so you dont have to sit in sand if you dont wish to.. the surf was a tad small for that day I would assume but with the breaks out there I cant imagine it being too much bigger there were surfers fishing swimming boogie boarding sand castles and fun to be had also theres a bunch of bars and resturants around the beach a great snow cone place thats the size of your head yes its that big. Lahaina - Oh what to say about the tender port. Tendering is fun if the hatches are open if now it was humid and hot I live in a city where the summers are 100 F plus and I sweat less that the first tender ride. but once on the island I cooled down if you walk like we did its shop aftyer shop they have outlets about 20 mins walking from the ship. we went one direction from the ship and by mid day My wallet and I were tired of shopping. plenty of things to be had. My wife Loved all things pineapple so the Maui Pineapple Store is a great stop they have pineapple foods and nic nacs to buy. Tip for shoping all ABC stores are the same so if you find something at one you will find it at the rest. trust me I was in about 5 of them. also in honolulus china town they carry a lot of the same things as the shops but for cheaper a lot cheaper. those hair flower clips are a buck in china town and 3 dollars out side the only difference on is a plastic clip and one is metal. or just the color of the metal. so if you want smaller things CHINATOWN in honolulu is the place to get them also if you like duck and pork belly they have stands there you can get it cooked. wish I would have known I would have skipped breakfast and nom'd on some Pork belly and duck. Embarkation - SF pier 27 Was a breeze we got to the port early dropped pur bags off at the porters then found I forgot my passport and wallet luckily my in laws to who we parked our car at was only a 40 min drive eachway (1 hour and 30 mins round trip back) and we were checking in at 1226 pst and on the gang way ramp by 1245 (yeah it was crowded but the lines went really really fast expect for the people that kept dropping their bags from having to show the crew their alcohol they rushed and didnt close their bags and wine bottles were dropping and lucky none broke my wisdom slow down) we were at alfredos and done eating and the rooms were ready at 1 pm pst so we had a smooth embarkation.. Debarkation - Well it went fast the group were were in was let off 15 mins ahead of the sheets time. I would go again this is a great cruise for groups 15 days is a lot but hawaii is worth it we unplugged from the wedding and all the stress from planning etc for the past year had tons of fun laughs with the crew and fellow passengers who we would run in to all the time *we also had a medical evacuation on this cruise forcing us to miss Ensenada port, I didnt factor that in to the review as it is not a normal thing and yes it caused us in the long run to be 7 hours late overall which isnt princess' fault nor the ships fault. so I will not fault them for saving a life over my vacation to ensenada which I believe is fair* Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We call this the "get out of the snow and cold" trip and did the same cruise.last winter with the same friends. This was a weird one but we enjoyed it greatly. After leaving Hawaii a passenger became critically ill. We doubled ... Read More
We call this the "get out of the snow and cold" trip and did the same cruise.last winter with the same friends. This was a weird one but we enjoyed it greatly. After leaving Hawaii a passenger became critically ill. We doubled back toward Hilo with the thought they could do an emergency evacuation by helicopter. It was determined the patient couldn't tolerate that so we sailed all the way back to Honolulu. This was ABSOLUTELY the correct decision by Capt. JP and Princess. But this put us WAY behind schedule. Princess had to get permission from the US Govt. to not make the stop at Ensenada (Jones Act). Then we hit an extended stretch of rough seas which slowed us down and the ship arrived about nine hours late to SF. We got three separate disembarkation plans as the situation developed. I can't praise the Captain enough. Since we had never left the U.S. (this never happens with ships of a foreign registry as most cruise ships are) we did not have to go through Customs which sped things up getting off the ship. At this point my praise for Princess Ez-Air. Since we booked out flights through Ez-Air we were automatically re-booked, put up at the Hilton Union Square in SF, and given meal allowances all paid for by Princess. Granted the registration at the hotel was a bit chaotic since the hotel had short notice of the arrival of a lot of guests. Princess had a couple people on hand to explain things. Luggage was delivered to our room and then picked up again a few hours later since we had transport to the airport for a VERY early flight out (again paid for by Princess). I know there will be those who'll find fault with this and that. Some people aren't happy unless they're complaining. But I thought overall Princess did an excellent job with this issue. I will have been booking air travel through Princess for quite some time now and after seeing how they handled this will absolutely continue to do so. Kudos to Princess Cruises! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Chose this because dates lined up perfectly with kids school break. Also a desire to go to Hawaii. It was made much more difficult due to a sick passenger, and returning to Honolulu 2 days after leaving. Add to that very high seas/winds ... Read More
Chose this because dates lined up perfectly with kids school break. Also a desire to go to Hawaii. It was made much more difficult due to a sick passenger, and returning to Honolulu 2 days after leaving. Add to that very high seas/winds and big storms making it difficult to enjoy the ship. Cruise did not stop in mexico as planned, and still returned far later than planned. Absolutely unacceptable to have 2 out of 6 elevators out of service all 15 days and no way to take the stairs from Emerald Deck (8). Service was good. Steward was excellent. Food was ok. Maitre'd best ever resulting in great dinner service. Only 20 kids in all classes of kids clubs so they met together. Kids loved their experience. Very pleased how Princess got us all home after we missed our return flights due to needing to leave a day later. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Our very first Princess cruise was 19-night Panama Canal cruise on 3/18/19, and we fell in love with Princess and didn't want to disembark. My husband always wanted to cruise to Hawaii, so we were excited when my cousins wanted the ... Read More
Our very first Princess cruise was 19-night Panama Canal cruise on 3/18/19, and we fell in love with Princess and didn't want to disembark. My husband always wanted to cruise to Hawaii, so we were excited when my cousins wanted the 1/27/20 15-night Grand Princess to Hawaii from San Francisco! Captain JP Bryant is incredibly funny, caring, lighthearted, very personable; his communications were loud, clear, understandable and without an accent! He is a great leader! 1/27/20 Grand Princess cruise activities by the Assistant Cruise Directors Guido, Olivia, Miranda, Mina, Natalie, and Saskia were so fun and hilarious: sail away party dancing, 2 Paper Plane Challenge contests, coloring cards, Discovery at Sea, fresh orchid lei making, Group Renewal of Vows and the certificates delivered to our room; Hawaiian language, Hawaiian Paper Rope artwork, the High Seas Heist Game, Is That Your Final Answer Game, Hula Dancing, line dancing, Majority Rules Gameshow, Marriage Match Gameshow, Mexican face painting, Name that Tune with Rock Hits, Painting in 90 seconds, Princess Pop Choir, ribbon lei making, trivia, True or Moo Game, Valentine card making, and the Yes No Game! Alex Belyy- the Grand Princess House Musician did a super job as he filled in as the Ukulele instructor. I thoroughly enjoyed Musician AJ Clark, Blues Brother Tribute Band; Brian the Hawaiian Ambassador with his beautiful voice and taught us Ukulele lessons; Comedian Impressionist Mike Wilson; Comedian Michael/Miguel Washington; Culinary Show; DJ JaXx playing songs from ABBA and the 70's; the Grand Princess Crew Talent Show; Instrumentalist Doug Cameron; the Love Boat Disco Deck Party; Magician Handsome Jack's variety act; the Martini demonstration by the bar tenders; Naturalist Mark Harris' Bears Everywhere; Production Show British Invasion & Stardust; Vocalist Phillip Brone; the Supersonics band; Leo the Photographer gave an educational photography presentation with very clear words at a nice-and-slow pace so I could understand all his words the first time he said them. My Grand Princess cabin steward Romeo was awesome and always provided what I needed right away. Our clothes were washed and pressed perfectly! My husband and I loved the Grand Princess buffet (especially the Mongolian Stir Fry Station with custom-ordered Asian meal that I became accustomed to from our Panama Canal cruise), the main dining room food, the Salty Dog Grill burgers and fries, and the International Cafe sandwiches, cookies, and salad. Alfredo's Pizzeria was incredible! I usually don't care for pizza but I ate 2 whole pizzas (custom made to my liking) to myself! For the first time in our 9 cruises we've taken in our life time, we played ping pong, and swam in the pool with big waves on the Grand Princess! For the first time I did Tai Chi for many of the mornings. We loved our 2 Grand Princess shore excursions: ITO205 Akaka Falls, and snorkeling in Molokini in which we saw a lot of whales close up and got to swim with turtles! We never feel 15 nights or 19 nights is too long on Princess! We love you Princess and we will cruise you again and again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
On this cruise because a friend found a great deal and needed a travel partner. Embarkation was lightning fast. I'd never left from San Francisco before, my only experience was Seattle, Ft. Lauderdale, LA, & Vancouver. In ... Read More
On this cruise because a friend found a great deal and needed a travel partner. Embarkation was lightning fast. I'd never left from San Francisco before, my only experience was Seattle, Ft. Lauderdale, LA, & Vancouver. In all those ports there were hundreds of people. Things moved niely, but still crowds. For this sold-out cruise there were maybe a few dozen people in process when we arrived about 12:30pm. There was a delay getting the fuel loaded so we didn't leave the dock until around 7pm. The delay was an unexpected bonus because the city lights from the dock area are stunning. Sailing past the Ferry Building and Fisherman's Wharf all lit up on a clear night was something I'll never forget. (I live in SF so I'm used to the lights, but from the water they're something truly special.) Cabin was ready when we boarded. No checked luggage, so no report there. Ship is indeed a bit tired. The public women's restrooms have some issues. One nearest guest services had 1 of 4 stalls and 2 of 4 sinks functioning. Because of the short cruise there were no enrichment lectures and less variety in the comedians and stage shows. One stage show was just 30 min, the other 45. Also no behind the scenes tour because of the short timeframe. The crafts were a little disappointing. One was coloring with colored pencils on a preprinted greeting card. Another was quilling (curled paper strips). That was fun, but the printed sheet was our only instruction. The last was "hanging stars", origami paper cut and pasted into a large 3D star. Impossible to bring that one home, it should have been first so we could enjoy it in the cabin. Food was as expected. Nothing really stands out for me. We ate in the dining room every morning and evening. Lunches were dining room or buffet. Disembarkment was simple and quick. My independent walk-off time was just 30 min after we had to be out of the cabins. I'm Platinum level so had someplace to go. It would have been awkward to hang around the public spaces with my bags until time to go to my departure lounge if I was a lower member level. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I had sailed on with Princess before and loved it so I chose Grand Princess for the 10 day Mexican Riviera cruise from Jan 12 to 22. The ship is aging but they are always working on keeping her looking 'Grand' There are new ... Read More
I had sailed on with Princess before and loved it so I chose Grand Princess for the 10 day Mexican Riviera cruise from Jan 12 to 22. The ship is aging but they are always working on keeping her looking 'Grand' There are new carpets and flat screen tv and the medallion system is almost ready to go. The entire staff works hard and is always friendly and willing to help. Lots oif activities during the day. The captain was very impressive. He participated in some of the entertainment and was visible throughout the cruise. I want to make special mention of an incident on the last day when there was a medical evacuation needed. The captain kept us informed right from the start of what was happening and what was going to happen and how we could help by staying inside our staterooms and decks. Unfortunately a few people didn't listen and made the coast guard helicopter take a little longer than to airlift the patient. I thought it was very well handled by the crew and I for one appreciated being kept up to date. Good job. I loved the service and the food in the Michelangelo dining room - big shout out to Miquel and Delbert, the Horizon buffet, Slice, Salty Dogs, Coffee & Cones, International Cafe. Didn't use any of the specialy restaurants. A big thank you to Edgar for keep our stateroom spotless. He seemed to know the moment we were gone and even if it was just for a short time we would come back and like magic the bed was made the towels were clean and the garbage was gone. Embarkation and Disembarkation was the quickest and easiest I have ever experienced.. Even at the ports there were seldom any lineups or confusion. Ports and shore excursions are a personal choice. We only booked one in Puerto Vallarta for the Countryside & Tequila Tasting and it was well worth the price. Enjoyed it very much. In Mazatlan we walked to the Old Town by following the blue line Then we hired a palmino (the little golf cart) to drive us around to see the divers and sights nearby. Mazatlan was definitely my favourite port. Would likely do an All Inclusive ther in the future. In the other 2 ports we just walked around. My only complaint/disappointment was in the lack and quality of theatrical productions. It was definitely the worst of any cruise I have been on. I understand that it was a new troup of singers/dancers that had just joined the ship in San Francisco but that didn't help to entertain me and all of the Princess Theatre show seemed to be limited to 45 minutes. I guess I just expected better from Princess Cruises. Well to sum this cruise up over all it was a wonderful 10 days. Would I choose Princess again. Darn right I would. But I would want to know their line up for evening entertainment in the Princess Theatre before the ship sails. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
First time on Princess line. Embarking and Disembarking was very organized. Tight security getting on and off ship for excursions. One excursion only and it was not so good. The Estuary tour by our guide "Polo" who very ... Read More
First time on Princess line. Embarking and Disembarking was very organized. Tight security getting on and off ship for excursions. One excursion only and it was not so good. The Estuary tour by our guide "Polo" who very knowledgeable was for the most part ok until he put us in water taxi for trip back to ship. At that point he decided to show us how he feeds the wild life and had a bucket of fish for the birds. Long story short we were (all of a sudden) surrounded by Pelicans swooping down thinking we all had fish for them. One landing on my arm. Not small birds and the fact our guide caused all this is irresponsible. Can still see this bird looking me straight in the eye. While funny now not then. I had a 12 inch beak right at my face. Our mini-suite was delightful as was our cabin Steward, Caesar who took good care of our cabin. The staff on board was wonderful and friendly. The food was absolutely tasteless. Thought it was just me but my husband agreed. Fruit not ripe and so no taste. Scrambled eggs were watered down. Pastries all had no flavor which was surprising. Only spot that had decent pastry was the International Cafe for coffee and lunch/pastry material. Don't get it. Mashed potatoes tasted like boxed. I could go on and on but what was really irritating was a New York strip steak in one of the restaurants that had gristle in every bite that I had to spit out. This is only the tip of the iceberg so I will stop with the food. This particular cruise we went on had many disabled folks. This is not a complaint but a fact. One had to be focused on not getting in the way of motorized scooters, wheel chairs, walkers and canes. These folks were doing the best they could. Elevators are a nightmare to get on. It got so bad that we would get on one going to the 14th floor so we could go back down to the 7th floor. At any given time there was always an elevator out of service on different floors. Just started using the stairs. Several times Captain would give announcements over the loudspeakers and could not understand any of them due to language accents. Now if there was an emergency this would not be satisfactory. I heard this complaint from many people onboard. All and all the cruise was fine but not having any tasteful food would prevent me from sailing Princess again. A shame because cabin and employees were wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Stateroom walls were very thin so that sound was noticeable from the adjoining mini suite. Dining options were the norm for Princess; good food and service in the dining rooms. Unfortunately a large seating area which was adjacent to the ... Read More
Stateroom walls were very thin so that sound was noticeable from the adjoining mini suite. Dining options were the norm for Princess; good food and service in the dining rooms. Unfortunately a large seating area which was adjacent to the bar in the International Café was blocked off for construction during the cruise, which limited available seating; this caused over crowding in the Atrium area Also one elevator was out of order for the whole ten day cruise to Mexico. On other Princess ships we have found a better stocked library than on the Grand Princess. The lectures in the Theatre were excellent, but the evening shows tended to be very loud; not a pleasant experience. Excursions: Good, except on one the bus left a resort without us, resulting in our taking a taxi back to the ship. However, we were compensated later for the taxi fare. This Grand Princess shows its age (22 yrs.) and needs to be painted outside over the rust. We would not travel on a ship this old in future and prefer the newer Princess ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have cruised many times (with another cruise line). This was the lowest quality of food, variety of food, lack of customer service, and mediocre entertainment that we have experienced. Our room with a balcony was good. Lots of space. ... Read More
We have cruised many times (with another cruise line). This was the lowest quality of food, variety of food, lack of customer service, and mediocre entertainment that we have experienced. Our room with a balcony was good. Lots of space. The mattress and pillows were not to our liking (too soft) but tolerable. Our cabin steward was great . Bar/drink staff were hard to find many times around the pool areas. Entertainment was low quality and not a lot of variety. Our regular dinner service was great. If only we could say the same about the food. The best thing we had was a steak ordered off the main dining menu at an extra cost. We traveled with another couple (no children) and they felt the same. We enjoyed our excursion to hike to the El Faro Lighthouse in Mazatlan and the private beach resort in Puerto Vallarta. We also did the Turtle Sanctuary in Manzanillo, that was interesting but sad. Cabo was relaxing and food and atmosphere was good. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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
My family and friends took the Grand Princess on a 15 night New Years cruise. The idea of leaving out of our home port (San Francisco) and visiting Hawaii was quite enticing. My ten-year-old is a Love Boat freak (really), so when my travel ... Read More
My family and friends took the Grand Princess on a 15 night New Years cruise. The idea of leaving out of our home port (San Francisco) and visiting Hawaii was quite enticing. My ten-year-old is a Love Boat freak (really), so when my travel agent called and said there was a sale on this itinerary, we jumped on it. Unfortunately, we had the worst cruise that we have ever experienced. However, I am never one to judge anything by the first go, so despite what you read below, we put in a future cruise deposit and will be trying a 10-day Alaska cruise with Princess next year. The first day was not bad. We arrived early and the embarkation was by far the easiest we have ever experienced. We showed up around 11:00 am and essentially went directly on the ship. They were great about the soda policy and allowed my kids to carry on a 24 pack of their favorites. One downside was that I have one child that is on a restrictive diet. We checked his beverages and they arrived half gone in our stateroom. I chalked that up to it probably falling and breaking open, so no big deal. He still had enough to keep him supplied for the cruise. The views from the ship on the first day were great. We explored the ship and found that unlike many of the other cruises that we were on, this ship's layout made it Very easy to get lost. Some of the stair cases do not go all the way up/down and you need to take the elevator or else walk to another stair case. We also discovered that you cannot traverse the ship on both sides due to various lounges and restaurants. The only path that goes from front to rear is on the starboard side of the ship. We were excited for the sail away party on the top deck,and while several people turned out, the crew canceled the sail away deck party. The muster drill was actually the best we've seen. This was partly due to the cast of the Love Boat doing the safety video, but it was also extremely well organized and done in a timely manner. Our muster station was in the Princess Theater. The theater is substantially smaller that what we are used to seeing and this made for limitations on the kind of productions they could present on the ship. We had several sea days before reaching Hawaii. Normally, I love sea days. There is generally so much to do on board. I was looking forward to the cultural ambassadors' lectures and on this sailing they had a forensic scientist I was looking forward to hearing as well. On other cruises, I've been a trivia champion, winning a "ship on a stick" for every cruise we've been on (well, Carnival anyhow), so I was looking forward to the trivia as well. I was even interested in some of the more relaxed offerings such as the book club and star gazing. I was so excited I even signed up for the behind the ship tour. After only two sea days, it was clear that this cruise would not be meeting my expectations. The first production show was horrid and the comedian told mostly bad puns (okay my son loved the puns) but then all the jokes he told were catered for a very old crowd and we simply didn't get any of it. On formal night, we donned our tuxedos and my children and I opted to share a table. We were sat with a wonderful two 75 year old couples, They lamented that the cruise seemed tailored for cruisers older than themselves. As they put it - “there’s more canes, walkers, and mobility scooters than actual passengers on this cruise.” This was something that we noticed as well, but I was already expecting this based on other cruise critic reviews. We just were expecting that the ship would offer something for everyone as it was voted "best multinational cruise line." That just was not the case. The entertainment wasn’t just bad, it was outright offensive! A 30-minute production show to Motown done by an entirely white cast that changed the key of several songs. This time, my table mates were two African American women who said, “you can teach them moves, but they have no energy and no rhythm; just awful.” I actually Booed for the first time (ever) during any production show called “The British Invasion.” It was so bad at one point, I was embarrassed for the performers. The “born to dance” production was their best and the production and the guy next to me summed it up perfectly when he said, “I’ve seen better performances at six flags and at least they have snoopy!” Decor seemed dated and I heard one person ask when the ship was last in for refurbishment. I however, really liked the style of the ship. It did appear older and dated, but I felt it gave the ship a type of elegance that I have not seen on other ships. I do know that some people complained about carpet and caulking issues, but that seemed minor to me. Others were complaining about water leaks, and that was more of an issue. In fact, six cabins were flooded by a water leak during our cruise and I was speaking to one of the crew about this. They did a great job accommodating people despite being completely sold-out. One thing I have to say is that, but for a few very notable exceptions, the staff was extremely friendly and provided excellent service. I found myself tipping several of them on top of the mandatory gratuities on a daily basis. I wish I could tip the captain. He was definitely the best captain I've ever come across. Captain J.P. handled a medivac emergency on board with extreme professionalism and dealt well with those lookieloos who refused to follow crew instructions. Now on to some of the negative aspects of the cruise: Despite the excellent crew, the trip was not great due to a few bad and very visible members of the crew as well as poor planning by the Cruise Director staff. For example, there was absolutely no thought given to crowd control on this cruise. Do to their ship design, it is only possible to traverse the promenade deck on one side - so let’s go right in the middle of that through way and register people for the art auctions, completely blocking the ability for anyone to get by each day. Brilliant, just brilliant. The cruise director was nearly impossible to find. It’ was like playing “where’s Waldo” he only appears at the end of production shows and on rare occasion you might find him at a “game” show. The assistant cruise director was everywhere but she is snarky, rude, insulting to passengers and should not be in front of people - ever. If someone from princess reads this -PLEASE for your own good, replace her she is just awful! Many of the other cruise director staff were fantastic and any of them would make a welcome change. The trivia caters to teams of six so forget about winning a prize if you are a single player (in my case I always was one question behind the teams of six and I was just one person but they only award to the teams) when I suggested they do an award for teams and award for single players, I was told to just join a team. Well done, however; there will always be those that don’t want to be on a team and considering the grand prize is a coaster (no ships on sticks here) it seemed trivial (pun intended) to give out one extra coaster. While it's certainly not the fault of the cruiseline, given the weather, EVERY on-deck activity (sail away, disco party, star gazing, shuffleboard, etc.) were all cancelled. Some were rescheduled and moved indoors but were not advertised on the computer app. When I asked why not, I was told that most of the passengers were older and only read the printed patter. Again, it essentially costs nothing to put it into the app and everyone in our group never read the printed patter, we relied 100% on the phone app because we always had it with us. It truly seemed like they didn’t plan very well/at all for alternative activities. Then there was the Ensenada incident. The ship was supposed to arrive at 4:00 pm and leave at 7:30 pm, but due to weather, it was announced several days in advance that we would not arrive until 7:30 and depart at 9:30. On the day we arrived, the ship activities had absolutely nothing to do from 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm and then had all the activates starting at 7:30. In other words, despite having DAYS to plan and reschedule the activities, they kept to the original schedule assuming we would be in port at the original 4:30-7:30 timeframe. What a joke! The food on the ship was not what I expected. The buffet was pretty bad. It had pretty much the same foods each day, but occasionally they had a build your burger bar, a ramen bar, and a nacho bar.The main dinning room food was actually very good in general and we spent most of our time eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the anytime dinning halls. The wait staff were all very friendly as well, except on our last night, the waiter was just plain rude! I figured he was having a bad night, so I purchased a bottle of wine for him. He loved that and everything was much better thereafter. The food venues around the ship were okay, but definitely not great, with one exception. The Salty Dog is a winner! Everything they offer was top notch, and while it may not be healthy for you, those bacon cheese fries are AMAZING! The street tacos were my second favorite, and the bacon Princess burger with swiss - oooh soo good. Not quite up to Guy's burgers on Carnival, but really good. The Alfredo's Pizzaria which boasts "best pizza at sea" really wasn't. In fact, I actually preferred the pizza at Slices on deck 14. The International Cafe was also a major disappointment. We were told they rotate their selection throughout the day, but really, it just looked the same no matter when we passed by. A note to first time cruisers: Most of the food at the international cafe is FREE and they are open 24/7. Also, the specialty restaurants were all exceptionally good, more on that in a bit. One more complaint I witnessed "food" related... I saw another passenger in the “tea library” have a complete meltdown. He went up and walked to the wall of drawers of tea leaves and opened several and found minimal leaves there to make his tea. There were several tea kettles available on shelves on the wall and he grabbed one. There is a large water spigot on the counter with a big red warning sign that said “Caution: Hot Water”. Except, it was all FAKE. When the guy realized this, he came undone and went out and walked around the ship ten times (he came back in just to tell me this before finally calming down enough to confront the customer service desk). Customer service attempted to satiate the situation by offering him chocolate covered strawberries. He was not amused. There were two other similar issues that I experienced myself. The first - there is NO mini-golf. Despite the website clearly showing that it is there, it was removed. My kids were disappointed at this. In it's place is a flat golfing green for putting or croquet. We chose to play croquet (despite all the mallets being horribly bent), and the kids loved it! The second, the website advertised an escape room for $8. That also did not exist on this sailing. When I asked a crew member, she said that they do offer the escape room for free on the Grand Princess, but only when they are not sold-out because they just repupose one of the staterooms. On the first day, I went to the spa raffle and they had a really good deal where you could get a massage and several other services for only $99. I took advantage of the special and I was not overly impressed with he spa. It was okay, but not great and the up sell was unforgivable. Despite telling the staff before my massage that I didn't want the product sale at the end, they did so anyway - relentlessly. They also signed me up for a shave, a weight loss program, and another massage - all without my permission! I had to cancel them at a later time because she literally would not let me leave the room without saying it was okay and she made me late for my meeting with my family. My older teen sons enjoyed the gym. It was well served with cardio machines, weight machines, and free weights. I also did one of the yoga classes as I was experiencing leg cramps at night and thought the yoga could help - it did. The casino was the typical Carnival brand casino - horrible odds (worse than Indian casinos). I'll give one tip for those who've read this whole review this far... For you video poker players out there, if you play the spin poker machine in the non-smoking section, you can set the bet to 5 quarters, single line and get 7/5 odds without affecting the game variance due to the "spin poker" nature of the game. While that's still an awful pay scale, it's the highest odds on the ship. The lady I ate lunch with appreciated my tip as she played that machine with three lines and was dealt a Royal Flush on her first hand - winning 12k quarters or $3,000.00 from $1.25 bet! On the first day, I tried asking the cashier staff how many points I'd need to get any kind of comp and they said they had no idea, that it was at least several thousand and it would just show up when I got it. Not very helpful. Despite the negative, there were some highlights and we cannot forget those. As I mentioned at the start, we don't consider one bad experience the end of things. My family put down a future cruise deposit for a 10-day Alaska cruise with Princess next year. The Hawaii ports were great. It would have been nice to have a little more time in Oahu and Maui, but the time spent on the other islands (Kilo, Kauai) was appropriate. The choice of shore excursions was excellent, although we chose to do all of ours independently. A few times I did speak to the shore excursions desk and they seemed quite knowledgeable about the various options. As mentioned above,we also really enjoyed the specialty restaurants and we went to all three. Yes three (well, four if you count the British Pub lunch). While not well advertised, the Grand Princess does a Crab Shack on selected days. They alternate the crab shack between the Horizon buffet and the Crowne Grill for the location. We chose to go on a day when it was hosted in the Crowne Grill. The food was excellent and plentiful. In fact, I think at Sabatini's it was almost too much food. But it was out of this world good. Oddly, the only restaurant that seemed a bit not up to expectations was the Crowne Grill itself. Oh, and despite others complaining about the decor in the English Pub, I found the fish and chips to be the best I've ever had - including those that I've had in pubs in London. One thing that we liked more than other cruises were the pools. The Grand Princess has several and they are both larger and deeper than what we've seen elsewhere. We also really liked that one of the pools/hot tubs is indoors, while others are outdoors. I actually rather enjoy going in a nice steamy hot tub when it is windy, cold, and raining. Plus, the outdoor hot tubs aren't crowded at those times. My son enjoyed swimming in the indoor pool when it was cold outside. One request for Princess though - put in revolving doors! revolving doors are designed to prevent wind from entering a doorway. On our sailing, there were times when we had very high winds that would rip from the outside pool, through the inside pool, and right into the Horizon court! A revolving door would have kept each area climate controlled. The other thing that bumbed me out was that the back of the ship with the aft adult pool and hot tubs were closed for several days due to a maintenance issue with the ship's stacks (apparently, cowling and other material was falling free). We did enjoy the lounge approach to various areas. As a secret for those who took the time to read all of this... while the tea leaf library is a great place to play board games, it is often full, has smallerish tables, and can be noisy as it is an open area near the Piazza. The secret is to take your game to the Wheelhouse Bar. It is a wonderful, quiet, relaxing location, is almost always empty or nearly so (even when they are doing presentations in it), and has a wonderful view of the water. Plus the tables are larger and the chairs are more comfortable. My ten-year-old raved about the kids club. It is up on deck 15 near the spa. He said it was the best one that he's ever been at. I really liked the fact that it was themed with the Discovery channel. They kids even had a chance to do Junior Chef at sea and decorate a cake! Wow. They had a dance party just to themselves up in the club One5 and the kids all seemed to have a lot of fun. He made several friends and we would eat with the other families and play games as well. It was a great way for both him and our whole family to meet new people. Every day he brought a new craft project back to the room and he really liked his kids club T-shirt that he got to decorate himself. My older teens also really enjoyed the Beach house that was just for them. My 16-year-old said the thing he liked most was how many kids there were from foreign countries. Apparently, they enjoyed exchanging stories of how to misbehave in several countries. On one of our shore excursions, some of his friends and their family came along and it made for a wonderful day in Maui. They also enjoyed the free basketball hoop machine and ping pong on the upper deck above the indoor pool. The only issue here was that often times when relaxing at the indoor pool there was always several unattended smaller kids on that level hitting ping pong balls down at people in the pool. They were also very loud, but that is mostly because it was indoors. I could tolerate this as I have several kids of my own, but several older guests were openly complaining about this at dinner time on several days. One thing that I did notice was that the Sanctuary (adults only paid lounge area on deck 16) went completely unused the entire trip. Often when I went by, it was simply closed due to weather, and when the weather was nice, the ship was in port and I did not see anyone in the Sanctuary. It's too bad because I was looking forward to trying it out. It may have been a mistake for Princess to devote so much ship space to such a large area if no one can use it. The other odd thing about the ship is that the kiddie splash pool is located just in front of the Sanctuary in a location that is nearly impossible to locate. Unfortunately, it too was closed every time my son came by. All in all, It was the worst cruise we've ever been on, but it had a lot of positive experiences as well. We will definitely give Princess another go before discontinuing to cruise with them. The embarkation/disembarkation was smooth as could be, there were many very positive crew members, the captain was the best, and we met many nice people. On the flip side, the entertainment was the worst we ever encountered, the activities were lacking, there was very poor planning on behalf of the cruise director and staff, the food was not good except in specialty restaurants, and the ship itself had a few maintenance issues: flooding of six cabins and the cowling falling off the smoke stacks causing them to close the aft section of the ship for a few days). There were many passengers complaining throughout the cruise. All in all, I gave it two stars because the bad slightly outweighed the good on this sailing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Our Granddaughter wanted to visit HI on a cruise having loved it the last time she visited the big island with her parents. She enjoyed the cruise much, having made a few good friends in the kids discovery club. She was happy to be on the ... Read More
Our Granddaughter wanted to visit HI on a cruise having loved it the last time she visited the big island with her parents. She enjoyed the cruise much, having made a few good friends in the kids discovery club. She was happy to be on the Grand Princess as this is her second cruise on the same ship. She felt like she knew all the areas of the ship and wanted to walk around by herself like most other children which we prohibited. She liked the buffet for the ease of helping herself but, disliked the food. Loved the dining room for the service and food but, thought she was wasting her precious time that could be spent with friends. Later on her friends started to join us for lunch and dinner!! We loved the service on the small ship, friendliness of the crew and staff, mainly the Captain for his transparency, willingness to mingle with the guests on all levels, handling of emergency situations that arose when a guest got ill and had to be air lifted. We appreciated his openness and strict but, gentle manner of managing the disobedient and unruly guests. Entertainment would have been superb if we had not already seen the same production shows on prior cruise. The magician of awful, X rated during early show with children watching. The musicians were good. Games were all well played as always and enjoyed both by the players and the audience. Ports are superb in HI but, the time spent is so little in a city so large as Honolulu with much to see and do. We were there only till 10 p.m. Maui also was very little time to be able to really enjoy. One of the ocean liners MUST add 2 extra days with overnight stay in both Honolulu and Maui that will attract a larger crowd. Shore excursions are not as good as our last cruise to HI a couple of years ago. We covered a lot of sight seeing in 5-6 hours. This time the excursions offered were mostly half day or less, each one covering half of the sight seeing stops. As such we catered only to our granddaughter's enjoyment. We had never been to Ensenada and were looking forward to visiting. Due to unforeseeable situations of bad weather accompanied by high waves in the ocean from the winds, we arrived quite late when the sun had set. All the shore excursions were cancelled. It was quite cold on the pier and we decided to stay on the ship, since the time on the port was also cut short. We perhaps would have enjoyed eating out if it wasn't for my diet requirement of allergies to garlic. All in all it could have been better had my back pain not occurred from the discomfort of bed that I am still nursing. Watch out for that firm bed with sags on one side! I ended up cancelling my shore excursion tickets, though my husband and granddaughter enjoyed theirs. The weather in Honolulu was rainy and our beach stop of the shore excursion got cancelled. That was also a bummer for my family for no fault of the ship. Yes, we would cruise again with Princess but, not in a balcony room if there is a third person with us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We loved the chance to sail out of our home town (San Francisco). The embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and pretty fast. Onboard entertainment was a disappointment to say the least. On a 15-day cruise there were only 2 production ... Read More
We loved the chance to sail out of our home town (San Francisco). The embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and pretty fast. Onboard entertainment was a disappointment to say the least. On a 15-day cruise there were only 2 production shows and they were not great. The magician was awful and I think someone's grandkid could have done better. We walked out. We felt that Princess sis not want to pump any money into real good shows and most of the "entertainment" was a terrible deceptive ploy to get you to shop and spend your money. We've already spent THOUSANDS of dollars on this cruise in hopes of having great entertainment. It was just not there. Sales. sales, sales, sales, sales, sales, sale. It was just overwhelming to look at the Princess Patter and try to figure out where the deceptive "entertainment was. Then with the "craft" projects, they limited the participants to 24 people!!! 24 people on a ship of over 3,000!!! That's absurd. All the other "craft" programs were an additional $$$$$$. These soft sell practices just disgusted us and left us feeling like we did not get our money's worth. Mu husband and I discussed what we would rate the cruise on a 1-10 scale and we both said "5". Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Let me start by saying dont not book on this cruise line, unless you are over 65 and caucasian. Do not go on this ship, or cruise line if you have kids, or teens or under 65. Even the food is tailored to an older person's digestion. ... Read More
Let me start by saying dont not book on this cruise line, unless you are over 65 and caucasian. Do not go on this ship, or cruise line if you have kids, or teens or under 65. Even the food is tailored to an older person's digestion. Limited activities on board. Also, do not pay your gratuities in advance, or you will not get appropriate service. I dont know where to start so I will just list the issues: 1. Purchased mini- suite balcony for 3 people and ended up on a roll away bed, couch and floor 2x's. 2. Had to put my own bed up and down nightly 3. Could not access the balcony when bed was up 4. Continuously got the wrong person's mail items 5. My kids and myself only got the activities planner twice out of 10 days. 6. Charged for items we did not purchase 7. Entertainment staff were rude (I even attended a few piano bars during the correct times. I was the only one there and the pianist said they were done early because "no one was there". I said I am here but they said again no one was there. 8. The princess cruise customer service put my credit card in my 12 year olds name and did not attach it to me. I tried to correct it 3 times and explained she is a minor and can not legally have a credit card. NIGHTMARE 9. Had to call customer service to get planner, service, and things that have always been automatic. My past cruise experiences with different cruise lines allowed me to leave all my domestic responsibilities and things behind. I worked as hard as I had to at home. PICK ANOTHER CRUISE LINE AVOID UNLESS 65 AND OLDER AND CAUCASIAN. Also, lots of wheelchair bound guests, elderly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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 22nd cruise with Princess since 2008. We have been loyal to Princess because we like the itineraries, and (in the past) have had great service. We have filled out the post-cruise online survey and would like to include the ... Read More
This was our 22nd cruise with Princess since 2008. We have been loyal to Princess because we like the itineraries, and (in the past) have had great service. We have filled out the post-cruise online survey and would like to include the following comments: Condition of the ship: We enjoy the format of the older ships, primarily the promenade decks. However, because a ship is old does not mean it should be rundown. The Grand Princess was in terrible shape. I have never seen so much rust on a cruise ship as this one. Many scuppers on the promenade deck were plugged causing small local puddles on the deck. I would guess about 10% of the deck caulking was rotted away. Carpeting in many places on the ship (including our stateroom) was coming up in places. There were too many water(?) leaks from the ceilings on almost all decks to count. Crew had to place towels, buckets and yellow caution wet floor signs. As a result of the leaks, the ceilings showed much water damage and warpage. Two nights in a row, the aft elevators that service the Botticelli dining room on deck 6 and the Elite Lounge on deck 15 were not working properly in the late afternoon/early evening. This is the time when those elevators are most needed. We had to mention this to the customer service desk both nights before they were fixed. We very nearly had to cancel our dinner plans because being partially disabled, we couldn't get to deck 6 using the stairs. Wait Staff: With the exception of the excellent service in the Botticelli Dining Room at dinner, and the Club Class Dining Room at Breakfast, the wait service in all other areas was terrible. All the bars were grossly understaffed throughout the day. In one case, in the Elite Lounge (OneFive) I ordered a glass of wine and for 25 minutes, I watched the waitress who took my order stop and chat with customers at three different tables. I finally left without ever having the order filled. There was a noticeable decline in service since even our last voyage. The staff that was there showed an aloof and disinterested attitude towards the customers. We have noticed a decline in bar staff service over the last two to three years, but this cruise was exceptionally bad. I think this is a result of the changes over the years to automatic gratuities. I would rather see an increase in cruise fare in order to better pay the staff and increase the number of staff and go back to the traditional method for gratuities. Twice on this cruise I was tempted to opt-out of the automatic gratuities charged to my account. I didn’t do so because, quite honestly, I believed the word would get out to the staff and, as a result, I would get no service at all. Onboard experience: We have taken this cruise twice in the past and really enjoyed the Ukulele lessons and were looking forward to more of that on this trip. Unfortunately, the “Hawaiian Ambassadors” seemed more interested in selling the goods they brought with them on board (ukuleles &c) than actually teaching the ukulele. Classes were disorganized, materials were not ready at the beginning of class, classes would not start on time because the instructor or the sound equipment was not ready. There was a travel group on board for this trip. I found it really tacky that Princess allowed them to set up their reception tables in the Piazza. Not only on embarkation day, but on many other days throughout the trip. Why not use the Hearts and Minds room for this? It seems as though the onboard activities have been reduced to Trivia, Ballroom Dancing, and Zumba. All other daytime activities are centered around Shopping, Bingo, and Art Auctions. All of which is there to generate revenue for Princess. In conclusion, We have decided we are through with Princess Cruises and most likely, any brand under the Carnival umbrella. We had two cruises planned for 2020 and I have cancelled them both. We will be looking at other cruise lines and, no doubt, it will cost more. But, as always, you get what you pay for. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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