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My husband and I have sailed three times previously, all with other cruise lines, and we wanted to give Princess a try. We chose the 10 day Mexican itinerary so that we could have a few extra relaxing sea days. The embarkation process was simple. We flew to SF and used the Princess cruise transfer program-a decision we were glad we made both ways as it was cost saving and limited the amount of time we had to manage our own luggage. On the way home there was a ton of rush hour traffic and we just relaxed and enjoyed the driver who was full of fun and interesting information on his city. Once we got to the port, we hired a pedicab driver to take us to Cost Plus to pick up some champagne and a few light cabin snacks. It was a fun ride through the Fishermans Wharf area. My husband had splurged on a penthouse suite to celebrate our wedding anniversary-it was very spacious and beautiful. The tub was larger than what I have at home, holy cow you could get lost in that thing. I had been worried because this was one of the "older" ships we had ever sailed on, but I found the ship to be in excellent overall shape. Yes, there were dings and wear and tear, but nothing that took away from the cruise. The only area that I noted needed some major refurbishment was in the Explorers lounge where the cushions and chairs seemed like all the padding had given away and you sunk right into them. Since they held so many events there, we learned to pick out the more comfortable chairs with the rattan backs. The food was very good everywhere we ate. We ate once at Sabatini's and once at Crown Grill. We also enjoyed the Chefs Table dinner one night which was really over the top-but so fun to see the galley and learn a little about how things work feeding 2000 plus people every day. We enjoyed the shows-they were not too long, most being about 30-45 minutes which was the right amount of time for us. There was an excellent Whitney Houston performer, comedians, magicians, and production shows. We enjoyed a couple of the enrichment talks. We enjoyed the Movies Under the Stars. We used the gym, it was nothing special but the equipment we used was in good shape. One of the downsides was our suite was midship-and the stairs in the Piazza area don't go all the way up-so you have to either go to the front or aft of the ship to use the stairs all the way-that took some getting used to. Our steward, Renato, took excellent care of us and our room. We had the breakfast in Sabatini's each morning (a perk for suite and frequent Princess cruisers) and that was very enjoyable-we felt very spoiled. We also had been given the beverage package as a booking promo-if we would have purchased it we would not have gotten our moneys worth, but if you are planning to drink more than 5-6 drinks a day (including specialty coffees, ect) it would be worth the price. We still enjoyed it very much, not having to pay anytime we had a cocktail or wine with dinner. I went to the international coffee bar every morning for coffee and really enjoyed it. I also bought an expensive internet package. It was 99.00 for 220 minutes-which gave me about 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening for a 10 day cruise to check emails to make sure our pet/house sitter was ok, along with any other possible emergencies. The internet was slow and we could not pick it up at all in our cabin. I learned to check emails when getting my coffee, since it was close to the internet lounge. A lot of people lined up to use that lounge, so if you have an iPad or computer you might want to use that instead, as I did. We went to the Pizza cafe once at the end of the cruise and the pizza was excellent-we would have eaten more pizza had we known how good it was. We also bought some formal pictures from the first night that turned out really nice. If you plan to buy more than a few pictures, be sure to by the 15.00 uncharge for the USB-then for each picture you buy, you can get the digital version for only 5.00 each to send pictures and order them from home in different sizes. We ate at the buffet a few times, the food was always very good. We had full tea service twice. We had anytime dining and always asked to be seated with others, so we could talk to different people on board. We saw some of our cruise critic meetup people here and there. We only did one shore excursion. We did zip lining in Mazatlan. This was our second zip lining excursion there. Last time we did Huana Coa and this time my husband booked us on one over the internet. Both were very fun and we saved a lot of money over booking through the ship. I think we paid about 70.00 each including a full lunch and tequila tour. I would not go into Manzanilla again unless we were on tour-there was not much to see just walking into town from the cruise ship. We loved Puerto Vallarta and of course Cabo is very touristy but still a fun day. Overall, I loved Princess and would definitely cruise with them again. Yes, there were a couple of small glitches but always fixed quickly and the overall service from the crew was outstanding.

Great Princess Vacation: we came home New, as promised.

Grand Princess Cruise Review by pugnutz

18 people found this helpful
Trip Details
My husband and I have sailed three times previously, all with other cruise lines, and we wanted to give Princess a try. We chose the 10 day Mexican itinerary so that we could have a few extra relaxing sea days. The embarkation process was simple. We flew to SF and used the Princess cruise transfer program-a decision we were glad we made both ways as it was cost saving and limited the amount of time we had to manage our own luggage. On the way home there was a ton of rush hour traffic and we just relaxed and enjoyed the driver who was full of fun and interesting information on his city. Once we got to the port, we hired a pedicab driver to take us to Cost Plus to pick up some champagne and a few light cabin snacks. It was a fun ride through the Fishermans Wharf area.

My husband had splurged on a penthouse suite to celebrate our wedding anniversary-it was very spacious and beautiful. The tub was larger than what I have at home, holy cow you could get lost in that thing. I had been worried because this was one of the "older" ships we had ever sailed on, but I found the ship to be in excellent overall shape. Yes, there were dings and wear and tear, but nothing that took away from the cruise. The only area that I noted needed some major refurbishment was in the Explorers lounge where the cushions and chairs seemed like all the padding had given away and you sunk right into them. Since they held so many events there, we learned to pick out the more comfortable chairs with the rattan backs.

The food was very good everywhere we ate. We ate once at Sabatini's and once at Crown Grill. We also enjoyed the Chefs Table dinner one night which was really over the top-but so fun to see the galley and learn a little about how things work feeding 2000 plus people every day. We enjoyed the shows-they were not too long, most being about 30-45 minutes which was the right amount of time for us. There was an excellent Whitney Houston performer, comedians, magicians, and production shows. We enjoyed a couple of the enrichment talks. We enjoyed the Movies Under the Stars. We used the gym, it was nothing special but the equipment we used was in good shape. One of the downsides was our suite was midship-and the stairs in the Piazza area don't go all the way up-so you have to either go to the front or aft of the ship to use the stairs all the way-that took some getting used to.

Our steward, Renato, took excellent care of us and our room. We had the breakfast in Sabatini's each morning (a perk for suite and frequent Princess cruisers) and that was very enjoyable-we felt very spoiled. We also had been given the beverage package as a booking promo-if we would have purchased it we would not have gotten our moneys worth, but if you are planning to drink more than 5-6 drinks a day (including specialty coffees, ect) it would be worth the price. We still enjoyed it very much, not having to pay anytime we had a cocktail or wine with dinner. I went to the international coffee bar every morning for coffee and really enjoyed it.

I also bought an expensive internet package. It was 99.00 for 220 minutes-which gave me about 10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes in the evening for a 10 day cruise to check emails to make sure our pet/house sitter was ok, along with any other possible emergencies. The internet was slow and we could not pick it up at all in our cabin. I learned to check emails when getting my coffee, since it was close to the internet lounge. A lot of people lined up to use that lounge, so if you have an iPad or computer you might want to use that instead, as I did.

We went to the Pizza cafe once at the end of the cruise and the pizza was excellent-we would have eaten more pizza had we known how good it was. We also bought some formal pictures from the first night that turned out really nice. If you plan to buy more than a few pictures, be sure to by the 15.00 uncharge for the USB-then for each picture you buy, you can get the digital version for only 5.00 each to send pictures and order them from home in different sizes. We ate at the buffet a few times, the food was always very good. We had full tea service twice. We had anytime dining and always asked to be seated with others, so we could talk to different people on board. We saw some of our cruise critic meetup people here and there.

We only did one shore excursion. We did zip lining in Mazatlan. This was our second zip lining excursion there. Last time we did Huana Coa and this time my husband booked us on one over the internet. Both were very fun and we saved a lot of money over booking through the ship. I think we paid about 70.00 each including a full lunch and tequila tour. I would not go into Manzanilla again unless we were on tour-there was not much to see just walking into town from the cruise ship. We loved Puerto Vallarta and of course Cabo is very touristy but still a fun day. Overall, I loved Princess and would definitely cruise with them again. Yes, there were a couple of small glitches but always fixed quickly and the overall service from the crew was outstanding.
pugnutz’s Full Rating Summary
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