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Grand Princess Review

3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1552 reviews
4 Awards

Good but not great...

Review for Grand Princess to the Western Caribbean
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First Time Cruiser • Age 50s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: Dec 2008

First I want to preface this by saying that we have gone on cruises before with two other companies, so there is something to compare to. Obviously, this review is somewhat subjective. WHAT WENT WRONG: 1. We booked the cruise about 3 weeks before sailing online - this was over xmas and new year's December 2008 for 14 nights (Wester Carib). You have to register online through Princess website, which I promptly did by supplying ONLY required information. You have to print boarding pass from the website before leaving. Pass was not available. I called and was told I have to provide passport no - this was not listed as req'd. I was also told that boarding was to start at 1pm (not noon as posted initially). I called again and gave my passport no and was told that boarding pass link will show up. It never did. As a result, our cabin no was not known to us, we couldn't fill up properly the luggage tags and our luggage arrived hours after the sail off. I was also told that departure was at 2pm, not 1pm. We showed up at the terminal without the passes - for some reason our registration was completely messed up, the key cards (without which you cannot board) had to be reissued on the ship for some odd reason. We waited (not kidding!) almost 2 hours and had to remind them few times to "check into it" - this was very very annoying. When we went to the cabin - someone else's name was posted on it... obviously someone canceled and they never updated keys or names. I had other issues at the spa later on because of the wrong name which was never updated in the computer system. 2. Registration didn't really start at 2pm either... it was later. My advice - go there as late as possible, maybe 3pm if you are sailing at 5pm. Princess is known for leaving behind schedule. Our ship didn't leave until about 6:30pm. The later you go - the fewer people will be in line. Also, there isn't enough room in the terminal for everyone to sit down. 3. Response to comments from Princess - none. I wrote up my comments about our horrible registration process on the first day of the cruise - didn't even get an acknowledgement. 4. The tip of 10.50 per person per day gets charged automatically, I think it's wrong, it doesn't promote good service. Also, many of the crew members expect additional tip - for instance at the spa they present you with the receipt and point out the line for the tip separately. 5. About half way through our trip the thrusters broke, which meant we had to be transported by tender to two of the islands. We also had to skip one of the stops, but were reimbursed via $75 per person credit and free wine at dinner that day. 6. We only booked one excursion during the whole trip - there was some confusion there. We wanted to go in the afternoon which was confirmed. The night before we got a letter saying we had to meet in the morning on the pier. I went to check to the Tour Desk and found out there was a mistake and our time was still unchanged. Not sure what happened but it was annoying.

SERVICE Overall the service was pretty good. Our room was made very quickly and very well every day. We always got extra shampoo (although I would recommend bringing your own especially if you have long hair) and ice was refilled. We ordered breakfast a couple of times and it was pretty good as well.

SPA I thought it was expensive. They run some specials, like 20% off if you get 3 services, which I did and it was still higher than what it would have been at home (plus they expected a tip).

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