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Princess is my preferred line and I have always had excellent experiences with their ships, staff, and programs. I am at platinum level with Princess and plan on continuing to sail with them, despite this not so great experience. For this cruise, we were a party of 4 (myself, DD7, DS3, and grandma). We booked two staterooms - owners suite B750 and the balcony next door B744. We purposely booked early to get rooms next to one another and at the aft of the ship. The suite was great - no complaints as such, though it was definitely showing signs of wear and tear and was in need of an update. However, the balcony room was completely unusable due to the intense smell of mold and damp (grandma is allergic to mold and immediately had breathing difficulties that required medication when she entered the room). We ended up all staying in the suite (fortunately it was large enough to accommodate all of us) and thus paid for a room that was not used. We did not request a different room as we did not want to be at different ends/decks of the ship. Throughout the ship were many buckets collecting water leaks - one cabin we passed on Baja deck had a mini waterfall outside the door (sure hope they had an umbrella - they would have needed one to enter their room). This was not something I was expecting from Princess and certainly did not portray the standards I am used to with them. The youth centre on this ship was tiny compared to the centre on other Princess vessels. There were signs and notices saying that waitlists would be implemented if too many children registered for the program - not something any parent relying on kid programs wants to see! We were fortunate that our sailing had relatively few kids, but we did get turned away from a few events as they were at capacity. I was also shocked to find that there was only one staff member for each room - I am used to 3-4 staff in each program. The one person in Pelicans was unprofessional and gave the impression that she hated her job. She put my 3 year old in time out for "not listening" on several occasions, berated and chastised him in front of the group, and told me that he would need to leave if there was a waitlist as other kids would get more out of the art activities. Needless to say, I was shocked, upset, and angry at the treatment of my son - he has gone to daycare since he was 11 months old and is not a stranger to cruising or drop off childminding. I have never had any complaints about him before and was more than a little unhappy that a staff member would speak about my child in such a way. I did complain to both the front desk and the manager of the youth centre, but ended up just keeping DS with me the majority of the time. Needless to say, I did not "come back new"! Overall, the staff were excellent. I was a little put out by the lack of follow up from front desk regarding my complaint about the youth centre. However, the rest of the staff we encountered were friendly, enthusiastic, professional, and gave the impression that they enjoyed what they were doing. Our steward was amazing - the best we have had. He was invisible, and never once disturbed us but always made sure we had everything we needed! The cruise director and his team were lively and fun, particularly Karen! We enjoyed the shows, the music, the Hawaiian duo, and the many activities. We were not able to pre-clear US immigration in Vancouver prior to boarding, so at the first port the officers came onboard to clear passengers before they could disembark. There were very long line ups, but it was well organised and took about one hour - the exact time frame that we had been given by the staff. I heard lots of passengers complaining about the lines and the waiting, but it was not unexpected and not under the control of Princess. Hawaii was beautiful. We chose not to do any ship excursions, but opted for private tours. In Hilo we toured with MaryLou's Tours and shared with another couple. We visited the black sand beach, saw turtles, volcano national park, an orchid farm, coffee plantation, and the macadamia nut factory. It was very enjoyable and less expensive than anything the cruiseline offered. In Kauai we took a flight with Wings Over Kauai. This was the highlight of the trip - an unforgettable experience with a wonderful company! Afterwards we spent some time on the beach near the ship and wandered through the beautiful gardens at the hotel nearby. In Maui we booked a private tour with Jay Freney. This was another great tour, which he customised for us. We started at a beach and he fed us freshly picked bananas, still on the branch! We then went to look for whales (and saw many) from a beautiful lookout. At the Iao needle park, he gave the kids fishing nets and took them to a beautiful stream where they paddled, fished, and had a great time. We shelled our own fresh picked macadamia nuts, squeezed orange juice, and ate fresh picked avocado. After lunch we drove to a beach where we watched turtles coming out of the water to bask in the sun. Amazing! In Honolulu we did the hop on hop off trolley (which wasn't great as it took so long in between trolleys) and spent time on the beach at Waikiki. Disembarkation in Vancouver was one of the smoothest and fastest I have experienced. We went to the platinum lounge at 8:30am (meeting time was at 9am), got called off at 8:50am, and collected our bags, got through customs, into a cab, and home by 9:30am! Overall, an enjoyable vacation - loved the sea days and would have found it even more relaxing if the kids club had been better. I would not cruise on Grand again but will continue to cruise Princess - unless I discover that the waitlist policy is on other ships.

Not So "Grand" Princess

Grand Princess Cruise Review by ceilidh1

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2015
  • Destination: Hawaii
Princess is my preferred line and I have always had excellent experiences with their ships, staff, and programs. I am at platinum level with Princess and plan on continuing to sail with them, despite this not so great experience.

For this cruise, we were a party of 4 (myself, DD7, DS3, and grandma). We booked two staterooms - owners suite B750 and the balcony next door B744. We purposely booked early to get rooms next to one another and at the aft of the ship. The suite was great - no complaints as such, though it was definitely showing signs of wear and tear and was in need of an update. However, the balcony room was completely unusable due to the intense smell of mold and damp (grandma is allergic to mold and immediately had breathing difficulties that required medication when she entered the room). We ended up all staying in the suite (fortunately it was large enough to accommodate all of us) and thus paid for a room that was not used. We did not request a different room as we did not want to be at different ends/decks of the ship. Throughout the ship were many buckets collecting water leaks - one cabin we passed on Baja deck had a mini waterfall outside the door (sure hope they had an umbrella - they would have needed one to enter their room). This was not something I was expecting from Princess and certainly did not portray the standards I am used to with them.

The youth centre on this ship was tiny compared to the centre on other Princess vessels. There were signs and notices saying that waitlists would be implemented if too many children registered for the program - not something any parent relying on kid programs wants to see! We were fortunate that our sailing had relatively few kids, but we did get turned away from a few events as they were at capacity. I was also shocked to find that there was only one staff member for each room - I am used to 3-4 staff in each program. The one person in Pelicans was unprofessional and gave the impression that she hated her job. She put my 3 year old in time out for "not listening" on several occasions, berated and chastised him in front of the group, and told me that he would need to leave if there was a waitlist as other kids would get more out of the art activities. Needless to say, I was shocked, upset, and angry at the treatment of my son - he has gone to daycare since he was 11 months old and is not a stranger to cruising or drop off childminding. I have never had any complaints about him before and was more than a little unhappy that a staff member would speak about my child in such a way. I did complain to both the front desk and the manager of the youth centre, but ended up just keeping DS with me the majority of the time. Needless to say, I did not "come back new"!

Overall, the staff were excellent. I was a little put out by the lack of follow up from front desk regarding my complaint about the youth centre. However, the rest of the staff we encountered were friendly, enthusiastic, professional, and gave the impression that they enjoyed what they were doing. Our steward was amazing - the best we have had. He was invisible, and never once disturbed us but always made sure we had everything we needed! The cruise director and his team were lively and fun, particularly Karen! We enjoyed the shows, the music, the Hawaiian duo, and the many activities.

We were not able to pre-clear US immigration in Vancouver prior to boarding, so at the first port the officers came onboard to clear passengers before they could disembark. There were very long line ups, but it was well organised and took about one hour - the exact time frame that we had been given by the staff. I heard lots of passengers complaining about the lines and the waiting, but it was not unexpected and not under the control of Princess.

Hawaii was beautiful. We chose not to do any ship excursions, but opted for private tours. In Hilo we toured with MaryLou's Tours and shared with another couple. We visited the black sand beach, saw turtles, volcano national park, an orchid farm, coffee plantation, and the macadamia nut factory. It was very enjoyable and less expensive than anything the cruiseline offered. In Kauai we took a flight with Wings Over Kauai. This was the highlight of the trip - an unforgettable experience with a wonderful company! Afterwards we spent some time on the beach near the ship and wandered through the beautiful gardens at the hotel nearby. In Maui we booked a private tour with Jay Freney. This was another great tour, which he customised for us. We started at a beach and he fed us freshly picked bananas, still on the branch! We then went to look for whales (and saw many) from a beautiful lookout. At the Iao needle park, he gave the kids fishing nets and took them to a beautiful stream where they paddled, fished, and had a great time. We shelled our own fresh picked macadamia nuts, squeezed orange juice, and ate fresh picked avocado. After lunch we drove to a beach where we watched turtles coming out of the water to bask in the sun. Amazing! In Honolulu we did the hop on hop off trolley (which wasn't great as it took so long in between trolleys) and spent time on the beach at Waikiki.

Disembarkation in Vancouver was one of the smoothest and fastest I have experienced. We went to the platinum lounge at 8:30am (meeting time was at 9am), got called off at 8:50am, and collected our bags, got through customs, into a cab, and home by 9:30am!

Overall, an enjoyable vacation - loved the sea days and would have found it even more relaxing if the kids club had been better. I would not cruise on Grand again but will continue to cruise Princess - unless I discover that the waitlist policy is on other ships.
ceilidh1’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin B750
The owners suite was looking a little dated and shabby and in need of some TLC. However, it was very comfortable, was a great size, and had a wonderful bathroom! The large aft balcony was great for the many sea days as, when it was windy on deck, the balcony had no wind at all! The jets in the bathtub had not been cleaned and when I turned them on for the first time, the water became brown and rusty from them. I did not try it again, but stuck with the walk in shower, which was wonderful!
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