1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because it's San Francisco round trip and convenient to our North Bay home. Our ship Grand Princess was showing her age but was in pretty good shape. The main anytime all meal dining room Horizon Court suffered a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it's San Francisco round trip and convenient to our North Bay home. Our ship Grand Princess was showing her age but was in pretty good shape. The main anytime all meal dining room Horizon Court suffered a water leak, soaking the Carpet and closing half the dining area making for crowds every meal. Our starboard cabin on Caribe deck was comfortable, clean and the balcony was more spacious than the decks below or above with a partial overhang. The 15 day cruise itenerary was fine as were the shore excursions (the best excursion for us was on main island to Volcanos National Park, visit to Volcano winery). Entertainment was good - the Hawaiian Ambassadors Rowena and Chris were superb, entertaining an very informative. Comedian, magician, ventriloquist and dancers were all good. But for us the best entertainment/lectures were by Blues Guitarist Barry Big B Brenner on the blues origins and his depth of knowledge and appreciation for and performance of the music proved to be the highlight of our cruise. Service on the ship in the main dining rooms was ok but lacking at times. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I came aboard exhausted and I disembarked refreshed and rested. Although the ship is ageing Princess does a fine job keeping it in good and competitive shape. It is yesteryear's Cadillac of cruise ships- comfortable, warm, elegant, ... Read More
I came aboard exhausted and I disembarked refreshed and rested. Although the ship is ageing Princess does a fine job keeping it in good and competitive shape. It is yesteryear's Cadillac of cruise ships- comfortable, warm, elegant, tasteful. The food was excellent, as was the service and selections from both the main dining room and the specialty restaurants. The cabin was sufficiently roomy with a nice-sized balcony, a comfortable and soft bed, and excellent service from our kind room steward. The ship's dancers and musicians were a joy to watch. There are four main pools/hot tub areas, each which provides a different setting and aura to choose from with little crowding overall. The ports were well selected overall, with lots to do and see, especially in Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. Manzanillo has really improved the last couple years, and Cabo is nice but a bit too touristy. We loved our cruise so much we're planning on sailing with Princess again over the coming months! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We took this cruise just for an end of the year pre-holidays get away. It was nice, very relaxing. We left our of San Francisco, which is very convenient as we live in the bay area. The new cruise terminal and Princesses process are ... Read More
We took this cruise just for an end of the year pre-holidays get away. It was nice, very relaxing. We left our of San Francisco, which is very convenient as we live in the bay area. The new cruise terminal and Princesses process are very efficient on both ends of the cruise. The ports of this cruise were Puerto Vallara, Manzanillo, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. There were a few shows and entertainers but I won't comment too much on them as they change so frequently. Our cruise was Dec 8-18 so late in the season. I will mention weather later. Dining experience: The food throughout the cruise was very good. Nothing like a cruise to get to try all sorts of things you'd never want to pay for at home. Go for it. The service for the first couple of days was good but then we noticed a significant decline. We did the "anytime" dining which we prefer so we can meet new people each day. The first few days we were seated on one side of the dinning room, then ended up on the opposite side the remainder. I don't know if the experience level of the staff was more on one side but we noticed a difference in the smoothness of the operation and attentiveness. Puerto Vallarta was nice. This was the second time to this port but we enjoyed it more this time. We went on the Cathedral and Taquilla tour. It started with the typical stop at a jewelry store for shopping opportunities. Then we went to the old cathedral down town. We happened to be there on one of the busiest days of the year as it was the "Lady of Guadalupe" birthday celebration so it was very crowded. The Dona Engracia Hacenda (Taquilla Factory) was nice. A brief tour of the distillery process, a little tasting and good lunch. Mazanillo - the weather was bad so we didn't even get off the ship. Mazatlan - This was our second visit to Mazatlan. Our first time we self explorered. We saw things but didn't learn things. This time we took the old town walking tour. We had a very good guide who took the time to explain a lot of things about physical structures, culture, customs and practices. It was a nice walk. The tour ended with a light snack at a restaurant unless one wanted to order a meal. There was time to eat. The weather turned and started to rain lightly while were finishing the tour (early afternoon). Right after we got back to the ship the downpour really started. Many people came back to the ship absolutely soaked. Cabo - This was our second time to Cabo. We just walked around ourselves. Lots of shops to visit. We like boats so we spent time looking at the nice yachts in the marina. The weather was bright sunny, to overcast with light showers to beautiful rainbows in the late afternoon. The trip back we hit some weather, wind and waves. Knowing southern CA seas to be rough south of Point Conception this late in the year it wasn't surprising. The captain made an announcement about the anticipated seas. They had laid out a course and speed to keep us out of the roughest. They did a good job. Overall we liked this cruise as it was just for a getaway. We chose to have lots of downtown, just relaxing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We are from southern Oregon and like to cruise out of ports on west coast so we don’t have to fly. This are 3rd cruise on grand princess twice to Hawaii and 1st to mexico. The ship was in great shape and crew was excellent! The ... Read More
We are from southern Oregon and like to cruise out of ports on west coast so we don’t have to fly. This are 3rd cruise on grand princess twice to Hawaii and 1st to mexico. The ship was in great shape and crew was excellent! The ports were clean and safe. Entertainment was great! Food was very good this cruise. We also went to both specialty restaurants the Crown grill food and service worth the cover charge. The ship was decorated for Christmas and also had a mariachis band, with several Mexican theme nights. Boarding and departure was quick and easy. No more custom forms to fill out. We love princess cruise lines for added on board credit for veterans and stock holders as well. We book thru Costco travel and get great deals. Weather was great, even had thunder storm in Cabo and hailed on balcony during happy hour. They still do champagne tower and serve lobster one night. We attended cruise critic get together in the one five bar and white elephant gifts were exchanged. Weather was warm enough to lay by pools on 3rd day of cruising. The cholate donuts and food was great in the international cafe, the coffee card was purchased for specialty drinks. We used princess at sea website to check daily events schedule and to keep track of our ship board account. There are too many activities to do them all, we especially liked attending trivia. The satellite tv is good, with live news and sorts feeds. The new princess beds and pillows are great! We will be booking a 20 day carribean cruise in the near future with princess of coarse. We took to amtrac over night to Emeryville, ca and stayed at the hotel Zoe on fisherman’s wharf. It was great with a great restaurant and is walking distance to pier 27 where ship departs from. We waked to China town and little Italy had great food at tha house of Nanking, waited on by Peter the owner who has won many awards. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Round trip, port closed to home. No flying involved, prefer not to have to fly. Any time dining, well not exactly. First night we showed up to see a line of passengers in front of the dining room doors. When we finally made it up to the ... Read More
Round trip, port closed to home. No flying involved, prefer not to have to fly. Any time dining, well not exactly. First night we showed up to see a line of passengers in front of the dining room doors. When we finally made it up to the front of the line we were given a pager, it took close to an hour to be called. If you want any time dining, YOU NEED TO MAKE A RESERVATION. You could not make your reservation for the following night in the dining room, you had to phone in after 8 a.m. for a reservation that same night. The quality of the food was very disappointing, especially breakfast. The eggs, in every shape and form were tasteless. The cooked vegetables had no flavor. The shrimp in the surf and turf was undercooked. The Piazza area needs more seating. During events in the Piazza there was not enough seats available. Many passengers had to stand. There was a hard push for jewelry shopping on board. The Shopping Spotlight Show presented to cover shopping in ports only covered jewelry that the ship also carried. When we asked for locations/areas where to shop for local craft specialties, they had no idea. They were TOO focused on selling jewelry. Flowers were mistakenly delivered to our cabin. It took four hours and repeated calls before staff picked up the flowers for re-delivery. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Our main reason for selecting this cruise was the convenience of traveling out of a local city (San Francisco) with no flight required. The cruise had a nice mix of time at sea and time in ports. The ship was very seaworthy and ... Read More
Our main reason for selecting this cruise was the convenience of traveling out of a local city (San Francisco) with no flight required. The cruise had a nice mix of time at sea and time in ports. The ship was very seaworthy and comfortable. The ship's operating crew members were very professional and efficient. Boarding was efficient and boarding personnel were helpful. Off boarding did not seem as efficient and ship personnel seemed stretched to provide necessary service. Shipboard entertainment was average, at best. Of the cruses we have made, I would rate Princess entertainment as the lowest in quality. Shipboard food was quality in selection, preparation, and quantity. The one exception was ice cream cone service. The quantity of ice cream in cones was stingy. The personnel providing the cones seemed motivated to provide as little ice cream, and as little service, as possible. Except for the ice cream personnel, food service personnel were friendly and helpful. Shipboard plumbing, both public and in our room, had problems with toilets operating properly. Bath robes seemed to be in short supply and not always available when needed. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Great service in cabin and dining. They clean rooms twice a day. The waiters provided great recommendations and would go out of their way to make sure you have a good meal. Mock tails were tasty. Free ice cream but if you want ice ... Read More
Great service in cabin and dining. They clean rooms twice a day. The waiters provided great recommendations and would go out of their way to make sure you have a good meal. Mock tails were tasty. Free ice cream but if you want ice cream sandwiches then those cost extra. Sodas cost extra money :( I was able to hook up my PS4 to cabin TV. Easy entertainment for kids. Wifi allows basic "texting" to other passengers for free. Entertainment options weren't too exciting/interesting - but the comedian was great. Pop choir was a lot of fun. Top deck pizza was better than the restaurant pizza. Fitness room included a cool video game bike machine. But it was pretty small overall. There was only 1 pull up machine and you can't even pull up fully without hitting your head on the ceiling. Majority of fitness classes cost extra money. I wish there were more physical activities to participate in. Tons of food but not enough ways to burn off calories/guilt. They need more outdoor movie selection. They replayed stuff frequently. And its kind of cold outside to watch a full movie. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our second experience with the Grand. Our first was an Alaskan cruise in 2016. We were very pleased with our first experience on the Grand. Attention to service, quality of service and food was all superb. Our experience ... Read More
This was our second experience with the Grand. Our first was an Alaskan cruise in 2016. We were very pleased with our first experience on the Grand. Attention to service, quality of service and food was all superb. Our experience with this cruise was a little disappointing. The service level crew members seemed to be less knowledgeable, less attentive, and more prone to make up answers or outright lie if they weren't sure. Incorrect orders were served quite a few times in the dining room, and on one occasion an entire course (salad/soup) was omitted and they tried to offer to bring it in the middle of the entree course. Entertainment in the Princess Theater was top notch and it was packed to capacity for the early show every night, including the very first night. It was readily apparent that Princess had invested some money into production shows. Even the nights that featured comedians had the house packed. Their lounge shows in the Vista lounge at the aft section also had some good shows, though they also had their share of mediocre shows. We used more Princess excursions this time than we normally do and they were, of course, more expensive, than the same tours off the ship. The one disappointment was in Mazatlan where an "all day" tour that was supposed to be 9 hours turned out to be a 3.5 hour bus tour where we were dumped at a hotel for a less than appetizing lunch and show, and then provided cab transportation back to the ship at our leisure. Most disappointing was our experience in Cabo as a tender port. My spouse is in a foldable motorized wheel chair. There was no problem disembarking the ship to the Princess tender to go ashore. On the return trip though, a thunderstorm broke out and we were denied boarding on return trip because the Princess personnel said that the ramp was wet and may be dangerous to go down. So the left us standing in the middle of this thunderstorm without shelter. After about 15 minutes of this my wife decided it was enough and told them that she was going down that ramp with or without their assistance (the metal grids on the ramp did an excellent job gripping the tires on the wheelchair.) However at this point, the Princess lifeboat had left and we were left with using one of the Mexican contractors that do tendering. The contractor boat refused to allow the wheelchair on board because two healthy young men in their 20's said it was too heavy for them to lift (about 65-70lbs). So, I, being close to 70, just folded up the chair and picked it up to put on board the boat (!) Needless to say we were totally soaked from head to two with waterlogged shoes by the time we got back to the Grand (of course the rain stopped and the sun came out just as we got to the ship.) As others on this cruise have mentioned, we encountered some rough seas on the northerly return from Cabo. The captain had announced that he would be changing the route a bit and varying the cruising speed to minimize the disturbance to the passengers; he did a superb job and there was minimal disruption (unless one looked out the window and saw how rough the seas actually were. As seems to be the course for all Princess cruises, they are trying to sell you something everytime you turn around. But it appears than many of the more experienced Princess cruisers are familiar enough with this practice to just ignore it, and we're getting to be less attentive to their pitches, though it is still kind of annoying, especially when they are trying to sell second-rate trash most of the time. If it were quality merchandise it might be a little different. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
The ship is too old, the cabin too small even though I book a balcony # 522 and my friend and inside cabin #507 was way bigger, great for her but I was not very happy. Dinning, were to start the main dinner room food was so so must of ... Read More
The ship is too old, the cabin too small even though I book a balcony # 522 and my friend and inside cabin #507 was way bigger, great for her but I was not very happy. Dinning, were to start the main dinner room food was so so must of the time not good at all, now the specialty restaurants are amazing food and service A+ but then again you have to pay additional for it. Service was fine but nothing to wow you, not really much to do in sea days, the spa has a claustrophobic felling to it in the massage rooms the gym is fine. Overall I will not travel with Princess or at least with the Grand Princess again maybe a newer boat but I was super disappointed with my experience with them. This is my 6 cruise and will do any of the other lines before thinking of princess. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I had just had knee surgery, was unable to work for the next 6 - 8 weeks, and my husband and I were getting tired of looking at our 4 walls inside and the cold dreary skies outside. Suddenly the idea of a 10-day cruise to the Mexican ... Read More
I had just had knee surgery, was unable to work for the next 6 - 8 weeks, and my husband and I were getting tired of looking at our 4 walls inside and the cold dreary skies outside. Suddenly the idea of a 10-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera on the Grand Princess looked very appealing. We live in the Pacific Northwest so a short flight to the departure port of San Francisco was quite easy for us (not many cruises out of Seattle in December), and we were pleasantly surprised by how smooth the embarkation process went, despite boarding a ship much larger, with twice as many passengers, compared to those we usually sail on. Disembarkation went equally smoothly. Debbie from our roll call group had set up a very nice Meet & Greet, with a "white elephant" Christmas gift exchange, which we really enjoyed - as first-time Princess cruisers, it helped us get oriented. My husband used the gym every day and reported that it was very well equipped, though fairly crowded. Given my recent surgery, I didn't use the gym, and we did not take any of the shore excursions since my mobility was limited. We signed up for the late sitting with traditional dining and found the dining room to be lovely with top notch service from Jelena and Nikola. We had a table for 8, though two seats were empty. Our dining companions were delightful; Princess seemed to do a good job of matching us. We found that the food selection in the dining room was rather limited and sometimes nothing on the menu was particularly appealing, but a few pastries from the International Cafe later that night would compensate. Similarly, we found the Horizon Court buffet was often crowded and the food choices rather mundane, though we certainly never went hungry. We saw two of the three production shows and thought they were excellent - great music, outstanding choreography and dancing. We also enjoyed the folk guitar player, the "crooner," and the mariachi band. The dance band Sound was outstanding also. We cruised December 8 - 18 so the ship was beautifully done up with holiday decorations. The Princess Dancers and Singers, and the Grand Princess Orchestra put on a very entertaining Christmas show, with the "Twelve Days of Princess Christmas" leaving everyone rolling in the aisles with laughter. The Cruise Director Matt was great - enthusiastic, well-informed, talking and announcing just enough but not too much. The Associate CD has a dynamite voice, which he proved in the crew talent show. Overall we were positively impressed, thoroughly enjoyed our first Princess cruise, and have already paid a future cruise deposit for our next one. Read Less
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 4.2
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 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.0

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