We were aboard Grand Princess for her Christmas cruise. It was a last minute decision to cruise and we were hesitant, as we knew it would be a busy cruise with lots of kids (not our style) but we decided to go anyway when other plans fell through.
We had not been on a mass-market cruise for about 5 years and not on Princess since the Star in 1995. Most recently we cruised on HAL, Celebrity and RCI and of those, enjoyed HAL the most for overall quality of the experience. All in all, we have been on many big ship cruises since my first in 1969, but these last few years we have been enjoying the river cruise experience in Europe. We do prefer the smaller ship experience overall but thought it would be fun to get back on a big ship and see what had changed since our last one.
We drove to Miami the evening before the cruise to have dinner with friends who live there. We had a wonderful dinner at Cara Mia in Coral Gables and an enjoyable stay at Sofitel.