Ten years ago my wife and I cruised on the Grand Princess during it's inaugural season in the Mediterranean and she was a Grand ship.Today she is showing her age and desperately needs reconditioning.
This was our 15th cruise with Princess and we have cruised on other lines so we have a reference to compare. I must say that this cruise was our most disappointing. There were some good points but overall much improvement is needed. It started with the embarkation which was a not good. This was to start at noon but was delayed and we were taken to a room with not enough seats to wait, and did not get on board until three hours later. We found our cabin had carpet that was stained and worn, the balcony not clean and showing rust and the TV not programmed.
During the cruise the ship had a bow thruster problem which caused changes in the itinerary and resulted in ports not visited and changes at other ports. We overnighted in St. Thomas but no one was allowed off the ship that night. We needed a tug which was not available to clear the ship from the pier. The next day a tug appeared but we had lost one day in our schedule. On another occasion we had one day and night where there was no air conditioning in the cabin. It gets hot in those cabins without air especially when in the Caribbean. We also went 14 days without our sheets on the bed not being changed.
The quality of food and service was not good. Over the years we have noticed a general decline in these areas. On the second night after ordering a steak medium rare it arrived well - well done. it was sent back and another steak arrived well - well done it also was sent back and yes another steak arrived in the same condition. The head waiter arrived to explain away the problem. Our waiters tried very hard but had too many tables to serve which resulted in slow service and a mix up in servings. Sometimes a course such as a salad or soup would not be served due to the rush. On the plus side the pizza and french fries by the pool were great.
The entertainment was very good with a variety of production shows, vocalists, and the Princess singers and dancers. We especially enjoyed Preston Coe a versatile vocalist who had something for all musical tastes. Maurizio, an international piano entertainer had a large following on the ship and entertained in his own unique style which we thoroughly enjoyed. He was good for listening and excellent for dancing.
Would we recommend the Grand! Only if the itinerary was interesting and they were aware that the ship is showing it's age. Would I cruise with Princess in the future, perhaps but our next cruise would be on a newer ship with reliability.
TV is old bulky with small screen and captions unreadable needed to be programed to receive ESPN1 and ESPN2