Sail Date: March 2019
I wanted to embark from San Francisco and the timing of this was perfect for spring break. The embarkation and disembarkation were extremely smooth and trouble free. The ship is very efficiently run. I loved how the docking in San Diego ... Read More
I wanted to embark from San Francisco and the timing of this was perfect for spring break. The embarkation and disembarkation were extremely smooth and trouble free. The ship is very efficiently run. I loved how the docking in San Diego and Ensenada were very close to downtown. The tendering in Santa Barbara was very slow with over a 30 minute line heading back to the ship for the last 2 hours onshore. Another positive were the comedians onboard. They were great! And the Scottish vocalist was also excellent. One other entertainment option that was enjoyable was the Voice auditions and competition. We wished there were more good entertainment options than these. The days at sea were very boring. They even repeated the same paper craft activity both sea days. We found the Da Vinci dining experience to be horrible. Several wait staff were rude (when I dropped my fork and politely asked for a new one, the waiter took his time returning with a replacement and made a snide comment about how he guessed I could have a new fork when he finally did bring me one). The maitre d's were also not welcoming or nice. There was always a wait for a table between 5 and 7pm with buzzers given out. When I called for a reservation earlier in the day, I was told there were none available. There were very few tables for 2 guests and sharing was required for a shorter wait. When we agreed to a shared table one night after waiting for some time, we were shown to an empty table for 10 and told we couldn't have a menu and order until the table was filled and we couldn't be told how long that might be. On another night, we witnessed the hostess taking money from a passenger to get seated more quickly. Overall this left us with a negative opinion of the Grand Princess dining experience. The only other negative experience was the condition of our balcony. There was a tacky, discolored mesh tile on the balcony (like you find around swimming pools sometimes). It was warped and not laying flat, so you would trip over it if you were not very careful. The furniture on the balcony was stacked up in a corner and did not look like it had been cleaned in a long time. All cruise lines have their pro's and cons, but after sailing on other lines recently, I was not impressed with the overall Princess experience. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This particular itinerary appeals to me; sailing out of and back to San Francisco. I've sailed this itinerary many times for the ease of access. The airport at San Francisco easy to navigate and Customs personnel at the Port ... Read More
This particular itinerary appeals to me; sailing out of and back to San Francisco. I've sailed this itinerary many times for the ease of access. The airport at San Francisco easy to navigate and Customs personnel at the Port accomodating. I'd like to see additional spring sailings out of San Francisco; ideally later in the spring when the weather would be warmer and drier. The last several times I've sailed this itinerary, the ship has been sold out so there is a market for additional sailings. The ship is showing its age, though. Cosmetic upgrades are nice but new paint and carpet can't cover up areas of aging, although not affecting the ship's seaworthiness. Disappointing that solo travelers are charged for two. I can understand a surcharge, but paying double is excessive. Solo travelers don't use twice the amenities so we shouldn't have to pay for what we don't use. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
great service but the Grand Princess is worn and tired from 20 years at sea. Features & Details: Although it was a decent value for the money, the cabins and amenities were basic accommodations. Food: The Cruise Director ... Read More
great service but the Grand Princess is worn and tired from 20 years at sea. Features & Details: Although it was a decent value for the money, the cabins and amenities were basic accommodations. Food: The Cruise Director kept announcing to the audience about the wonderful food but it was very average and the choices were predictable for an average cruise experience. Desserts tasted like it was from a grocery store. Mostly tasted bland taste and with soggy crust. Service & staff were mostly very good. Its a difficult job to be working 10-12 hours a day for 9-months but these are real hard workers with an amazing attitude - friendly and helpful. Dance Production entertainment was very good and, had some very talented performers. Although the costumes could use some critical reviews the choreography and execution by the performers were excellent. Plus, the small theater gave everyone a fabulous seat experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We choose this cruise for a quick short getaway. Even tho the ship just came out of dry dock two weeks ago, we didn't have too many things go wrong. Yes, we did have water issues with the shower one day, but was seen to quickly. ... Read More
We choose this cruise for a quick short getaway. Even tho the ship just came out of dry dock two weeks ago, we didn't have too many things go wrong. Yes, we did have water issues with the shower one day, but was seen to quickly. The service and food was excellent in the main dining room. Horizon Court buffet had a nice variety of food. There was a Great comedian on board, Carlos Oscar! Had everyone laughing the whole show! He was so good, we went to see his second show. The Port stops we good, but not much to do in Los Angeles unless you did a tour or drive over an hour to get somewhere. Would have rather stopped at Long Beach. Love the larger TV in our balcony cabin. Zumba class was a blast. Would definitely go on the Grand Princess again. She may be 20+ years old and not have all the bells and whistles a newer ship has, but she is still a Grand gal with a great crew. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because it leaves from & returns to SF - super easy! No flying!!! We also chose it because it was only 7 days and we’d never sailed south from the Bay Area. The Grand is nice - it’s been here in SF too long and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it leaves from & returns to SF - super easy! No flying!!! We also chose it because it was only 7 days and we’d never sailed south from the Bay Area. The Grand is nice - it’s been here in SF too long and needs to switched up for something new & different. It also JUST came out of dry dock and some things were still being worked on and updated. Sprinklers were dripping in the halls and there were electricians or plumbers working in the halls a good portion of the week. The new “Astro turf” on the outside upper decks looks great and gives a fresh look. They are preparing to become one of the Medallion Class ships. The food is pretty lackluster! I would expect it to be FAR BETTER! The good & service in The Crown Grill were terrible especially given you’re paying $29pp extra to dine there. They are limited reservations available BUT the restaurant is always empty! Very disappointing!!! The Diet Coke is also unpredictable from bar to bar, lounge to lounge - sometimes good, sometimes terrible. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Easy to do, we live near San Francisco, only need to take a taxi to the ship. We had only done a 7 day coastal once before, wanted to visit Santa Barbara again. We have cruised Princess 27 times, including this cruise. Did the ... Read More
Easy to do, we live near San Francisco, only need to take a taxi to the ship. We had only done a 7 day coastal once before, wanted to visit Santa Barbara again. We have cruised Princess 27 times, including this cruise. Did the first cruise on the Grand from Istanbul to Barcelona in l998. Have cruised the Grand repeatedly since it was home ported in San Francisco. We missed the Mat'red Luigi who we knew for many years, he retired. We noticed several changes on this cruise. We could no longer write in an order for scrambled eggs to our room service breakfast menu which we have done for years; we also requested the pub lunch be sent to our cabin through room service and were promised by the person in charge on the first pub lunch they would send us 2 orders of fish and chips between 1-1:30 pm, order never arrived. We checked with Room Service at 2pm - Crown Grill did not send the order or charge us. So we skipped the pub lunch on the last sea day. We do not enjoy have lunch in a crowded Crown Grill. Wrote a critique to Princess on the electronic review about both of these incidents. Do not see why Princess can't add eggs to breakfast Room Service menu, HAL does it and we have been use to getting eggs by writing in a request for years. They are sending a tray any way?? Same goes for the Pub Lunch, would guess they would made money on the lunch if they would allow passenger to take the lunch to go or send to the cabin on request. We have 2 more Princess cruises planned and asked the head office to consider these suggestions, would love to see such a change by our 15 day Panama Canal on the Coral and our 10 day Feb 2020 on the Grand. We will see. We also suggested Princess consider Monterey and/or Catalina on the 7 day California coastal vs a LA port stop, neither Long Beach or San Pedro are enjoying ports in our book. There is a local shuttle in San Pedro we took to down town San Pedro area. Very poor ... not much there. It makes a loop to some other port features, navy vessel, maritime museum and fish market, we did not stop for these. In Santa Barbara we took a local shuttle up State Street, main shopping area, .$.25 each way. Another option we considered is taking a tax to Santa Barbara Mission, $15.00 each way, member of our party did not want to do that, otherwise we might have done that as well. We enjoyed our stop in Ensenda. Have been there 2 times prior, it was obvious town is benefiting from cruises, shopping area near port was more developed then in the past. There is a local shuttle to and from good for folks like us seniors, only $4 round trip. Folks running the shuttle also promoted a $17.50 pp tour while we were on the bus to a Silver Market in another part of the town, we based on it. Otherwise, we enjoyed the cruise, we had good spring weather, no rain. We enjoyed 2 dinners at the Crown Grill, we love the Sea Bass item on the Crown Grill menu. Suggested in our review Princess offer Fish and Chips on the Crown Grill menu at dinner, we would love another fish item on the menu since we do not eat sea food and as seniors we find the meat items a bit chewy, LOL. Seriously some other fish vs sea food items on the Crown Grill menu would be nice. We would eat at the Crown Grill every night if we had more fish items. Entertainment at the Las Vegas style shows were very good. Staff very talented. We always book a mini suite and had an excellent Cabin Steward, one we have had previously, he remembered us and gave us the same level of excellent service - his name was Marlin. Hope to see him again. The ship is in excellent shape, even though 21 years old. We will be back on the Grand in Feb 2020. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first cruise experience. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and timing. Embarkation and debarkation is close to where we live. Additionally, the timing coincided with spring break. It's a big ship and fun to find ... Read More
This was our first cruise experience. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and timing. Embarkation and debarkation is close to where we live. Additionally, the timing coincided with spring break. It's a big ship and fun to find my way around. There is plenty to do at all hours. However, my stateroom was not ready at the designated time. One of the highlights for us was dining. From formal to casual dining, there were a lot of well prepared and delicious meals everywhere we chose. My preference was the buffet, because I got to meet people while sharing a table. Movies under the stars was fun as were the other activities. Funny thing, the comedians were fun to watch. Three movies playing at the same time, made it easy to watch what you wanted. The service was wonderful. I appreciate the crew's ability to maintain a professional demeanor while handling all situations. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Love to sail out of our home port . We are the first to sail on The Grand Princess after she came out of dry dock. We are in one of the Grand Suites L301. They replaced or reupholstered the couches and chairs, which was well needed. They ... Read More
Love to sail out of our home port . We are the first to sail on The Grand Princess after she came out of dry dock. We are in one of the Grand Suites L301. They replaced or reupholstered the couches and chairs, which was well needed. They put new 42” TVs in the living room and bedroom. However they removed the DVD players which was a big disappointment as we bring our own DVDs to watch. I don’t think I need to tell you how bad the programming is on the ship. We were told they are going to put “on demand “in the near future,but on this cruise it is not available. If you love reruns of " The Love Boat" enjoy. We have been sailing on Princess for many years and appreciate their product, Princess Cruises should be so proud of their crew, they are second to none. We love Club Class dining. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The balloons have fallen and we safely sailed into San Francisco just before dawn on March 30, 2019. SF was lit up as well as the Bay Bridge. I did get an actual Navigation Map for this particular cruise, showing the chart from SF to ... Read More
The balloons have fallen and we safely sailed into San Francisco just before dawn on March 30, 2019. SF was lit up as well as the Bay Bridge. I did get an actual Navigation Map for this particular cruise, showing the chart from SF to Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, then back to SF. I almost missed getting the photo of the map as they auction the chart off during the cruise on the last sea day and whomever got it had not picked it up yet .We sailed on the Grand Princess which had just come out of a 2 week dry dock in Portland, Oregon. They had 1200 contractors working around the clock to get everything done. The contractors stay on the ship in the passenger cabins. The crew also stays on the ship as they must feed and sleep all the contractors. They had a DVD showing the dry dock process which was very interesting. The Grand is an older ship i.e. 1998 and has been refurbished several times as all ships are. I do love this ship. The woodwork in the ship is wonderful. Unfortunately, the newer ships have removed most of the woodworking and gone to almost a minimalistic (not sure this is an actual word, but hopefully, you get the idea) look. There were a few hiccups that had to be worked out since she was just out of dry dock but everything pretty much got back to normal. The food and service is really good on the Grand. The Princess ships have always been service oriented. They do what they have to, to please the passengers. The second officer in charge gave a great presentation on exactly how they navigate these babies, equipment, software, port considerations, etc. etc. He also went into what one has to do to go through the ranks to finally arrive at Captain. He started on tankers, ferries, then cruise ships - interesting stories. We had a 3 hr Segway tour on Puerta Vallarta which was really fun. I called the company prior to the cruise and set up the tour since normally they don't work on Sunday, but did arrange for our tour. There were only two of us on the tour as well as Sara, our informative guide. Great fun. Love those Segway machines. Although most of the places we visited have beautiful Malacons (promenades along the water front), they also have cobblestone streets. That was a new challenge for us on the Segway but certainly made it more fun. We stopped at a family run Tequila making factory. Tequila is a Mexican liquor made chiefly from the fermented sap of the blue agave plant. It is subjected to two separate distillations. I always thought Tequila tasted like floor varnish, but after tasting all the new types they have, have changed my mind. They have one called Pecan Tequila, which tasted like Bailey's Irish cream - really good. Even the straight Tequila has several different qualities and some is very smooth - much better than floor varnish. We got to taste them all !!! Not sure we could pass a breathalyzer test but we had just had lunch, so that helped and we got the Segways safely back to the Segway shop. In Cabo San Lucas we went in search of whales on a zodiac. The end of March is the end of the migration season for this area but we did find a mother and a fairly new born. Mom was teaching the little one how to breach i.e. jump out of the water. It was thrilling to see. The ride on the zodiac was thrilling as well, as they go at speeds similar to a jet ski i.e. fast. In Manzanillo and Mazatlan, we enjoyed the promenades, walking tours and shopping. In Mazatlan they make a delicious marshmallow and coconut candy. Be careful when you try it however, as it is quite addictive! We went with a travel agency that provides bus transportation in CA from Sacramento, Stockton, Lodi, Modesto, and Manteca to the ship. Once you give your "checked" luggage to the bus driver, one doesn't have to see it again until it arrives at your cabin door. After the cruise, one identifies their luggage in a very orderly fashion, porters take the luggage to a bus, and then homeward bound. The agency provides a hospitality desk on the ship with daily hours to help with any issues as well as distributing a different gift each day. If the ship goes to Cabo, there is a fiesta party with music, lunch and drinks at the public area at a condo in Cabo. It is right on the ocean with great views. It is very close to where the tenders come into Cabo, so an easy walk. When the ship didn't go to Cabo, then there was a big party on the ship for the our group. Likely this time, there were perhaps 250 people in our group. I didn't actually count them, but am guessing. On one of the cruises we took, the party was on the ship. They had the ship's photographer get everyone together at the party and took a photo of likely 275 people. They did a fantastic job. We were given an 8 x 10 photo of the group. That is really a challenge for any photographer. Prior to the party day, one of the gifts was a T shirt with the destination on the shirts which most of us wore to the party. Great fun. This is really a great service for us that live in the valley as otherwise one goes into SF a day early, and stays in a hotel - just to be sure there is no traffic jam going into SF which could mean missing the ship. All of this, at no extra cost for the cruise. We do appreciate this service. We had a mini-suite with club class service meaning that you have a separate dining area and never have to wait in line for anytime dining for dinner. The mini-suites provide extra room and storage capacity. For us, it makes the cabin more usable and home-like. We both photograph and have computers which means charging stations and table room for the computers and cameras for a work space. The beds on the Princess ships are fantastic - best beds at sea, as far as we are concerned. Getting on and off the ship was quick, easy and efficient. Princess really has their act together when it comes to Embarkation and Disembarkation. They are also efficient at getting people on and off for ports that need to use tenders to get the passengers to shore. They had several types of entertainment day and night. Thankfully they list everything in a daily newsletter (as most ships do) as well as providing maps of the ports and things to see while in port and transportation available to get around the area. There were several other things we did and saw, but won't bore you any further - that is if you in fact, got this far. As you might have guessed, we love cruising. So much to do on and off the ship and everyone is always so friendly. You get to meet people from all over the world, passengers and crew and learn so much about other cultures; also, great photographic opportunities. 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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a family cruise with my elderly in laws. From the moment we boarded things were broken. Elevators were being repaired the whole 10 days, toilets were not flushing the air conditioner blowers were broken there were leaks and they ... Read More
This was a family cruise with my elderly in laws. From the moment we boarded things were broken. Elevators were being repaired the whole 10 days, toilets were not flushing the air conditioner blowers were broken there were leaks and they were drying out carpets, varnishing railings on deck 7 making it impossible to actually hold onto railings. We saw a ceiling tile fall on a patrons head during our last day at sea. One particular day at sea we were at the horizon court and they refused to serve my father in law juice because it was past breakfast and they wanted to charge him. Sabatini’s was the best dining experience Crown Grill was a disappointing Davinci anytime dining (ask to sit In Anthapol’s section) It was SO bad we’ll never cruise princess on an old ship again. Put this ship in dry dock and leave it there never to sail again. It’s old and dated and needs too many repairs Read Less
Grand Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 3.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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