1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Grand Princess
7th cruise with Princess, 4th to Alaska – Princess is just the right amount of nice and value. The Grand used to be #1 in the industry and now it’s criticized as old. There’s some rust spots and sagging furniture but it’s still in good shape. The elevators were slow and taxed in high volume conditions. This cruise had five guide dogs and 2 service dogs that I was aware of, plus Indy the Magic Dog performed (happy Bichon). I used the Princess app to check the schedule but it does not show menus or take reservations. It made it super easy to log onto the internet. Food: Lots of variety, more than I could eat! We had specialty coffee at the I’ntl Café in the morning, lunch in the buffet or DaVinci. Pub lunch was served 1x. Don’t care for hamburgers and the line amazes me. Had dinner in the buffet or Michelangelo, and Crown Grill once. Didn’t have high tea but great hot tea or iced tea in the Piazza. They’ve cut back on special buffets but there were themed buffets (Mexican, German...). Alfredo’s Pizza is the best! ‘Smart Casual’ dress code not enforced... perhaps more prominent signage? Puts Princess in a difficult position when someone thinks their Nike sweats are smart casual. The buffet was often crowded and hard to find seating, even at off-peak times. The Michelangelo could be hectic. We started eating later but then missed some shows. Room: Because of season/destination, we downgraded from balcony to “obscured view.” The room was smaller but not a problem. Several cruises ago, Princess changed bedding to a duvet and I can’t stand it! No top sheet– just a duvet. All or nothing, sleep hot or cold. I can only trust that they are also laundered between sailings. Entertainment: The Princess dancers and singers are sharp, with old and new shows. ‘Street performers’ in the piazza. Lounge singers excellent, but over-miked. A movie is great on a sea day but there weren’t enough offered. The art history lecture (3 of them!) by the Art Director were the best ever. Didn’t like the direction the naturalist took. Glaciers and whales but not Alaska ports or history. Princess advertised Puppies in the Piazza in Skagway. I’m an animal lover and wanted to photo some sled dogs. The handler was obliging and let people hold the puppies. Then the Princess photogs moved in with their backdrop and started a disorganized line. I kept shooting any puppies with my no-flash smart phone. I got yelled at, ‘No photos!’ I may have yelled back. This cruise we finally took the Ultimate Ship Tour. $150 ea, held the last sea day beginning at 8:20am, 14 passengers for 3+ hours. No cameras allowed. We were advised to wear pants and closed shoes. A photographer and security accompanied us. We toured the medical center, anchor room, print shop, photo lab, several kitchen areas, laundry, backstage at the Princess Theater, the engine control room, and the bridge. The captain personally greeted each of us and took a group photo. Enjoyed the insider info and wish I had brought a notepad. Misc: Any bad on the cruise we look at as part of the adventure. Over the years fellow passengers tend to get ruder, like cutting in line, or one guy in the shuffling crowd of the just released theater, honking his scooter. Really? Don’t monopolize a table when people are waiting to be seated, and don’t continue to play cards when the room is scheduled for a lecture . For those that think there’s too much selling, don’t buy. As to Alaska, we had no rough seas and were lucky with the cloudy and cool weather– only a refreshing drizzle in Juneau. I don’t care about souvenir shops but was surprised to see the prices so reasonable. Mostly we hiked till I had blisters (and some people don’t appreciate what a long walk it is from the buffet to the Princess Theater!) The ship did not cruise Tracy Arm but Endicott. I never heard any announcement but watched it on the ship’s location tracking. Very few seemed aware of it. Even the cruise summary referred to Tracy Arm. The naturalist was mostly quiet. Despite conscientious sanitizing, we managed to come home hacking.

4th Princess Cruise to Alaska

Grand Princess Cruise Review by writedesign

15 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview (obstructed view)
7th cruise with Princess, 4th to Alaska – Princess is just the right amount of nice and value. The Grand used to be #1 in the industry and now it’s criticized as old. There’s some rust spots and sagging furniture but it’s still in good shape. The elevators were slow and taxed in high volume conditions. This cruise had five guide dogs and 2 service dogs that I was aware of, plus Indy the Magic Dog performed (happy Bichon). I used the Princess app to check the schedule but it does not show menus or take reservations. It made it super easy to log onto the internet.

Food: Lots of variety, more than I could eat! We had specialty coffee at the I’ntl Café in the morning, lunch in the buffet or DaVinci. Pub lunch was served 1x. Don’t care for hamburgers and the line amazes me. Had dinner in the buffet or Michelangelo, and Crown Grill once. Didn’t have high tea but great hot tea or iced tea in the Piazza. They’ve cut back on special buffets but there were themed buffets (Mexican, German...). Alfredo’s Pizza is the best! ‘Smart Casual’ dress code not enforced... perhaps more prominent signage? Puts Princess in a difficult position when someone thinks their Nike sweats are smart casual. The buffet was often crowded and hard to find seating, even at off-peak times. The Michelangelo could be hectic. We started eating later but then missed some shows.

Room: Because of season/destination, we downgraded from balcony to “obscured view.” The room was smaller but not a problem. Several cruises ago, Princess changed bedding to a duvet and I can’t stand it! No top sheet– just a duvet. All or nothing, sleep hot or cold. I can only trust that they are also laundered between sailings.

Entertainment: The Princess dancers and singers are sharp, with old and new shows. ‘Street performers’ in the piazza. Lounge singers excellent, but over-miked. A movie is great on a sea day but there weren’t enough offered. The art history lecture (3 of them!) by the Art Director were the best ever. Didn’t like the direction the naturalist took. Glaciers and whales but not Alaska ports or history. Princess advertised Puppies in the Piazza in Skagway. I’m an animal lover and wanted to photo some sled dogs. The handler was obliging and let people hold the puppies. Then the Princess photogs moved in with their backdrop and started a disorganized line. I kept shooting any puppies with my no-flash smart phone. I got yelled at, ‘No photos!’ I may have yelled back.

This cruise we finally took the Ultimate Ship Tour. $150 ea, held the last sea day beginning at 8:20am, 14 passengers for 3+ hours. No cameras allowed. We were advised to wear pants and closed shoes. A photographer and security accompanied us. We toured the medical center, anchor room, print shop, photo lab, several kitchen areas, laundry, backstage at the Princess Theater, the engine control room, and the bridge. The captain personally greeted each of us and took a group photo. Enjoyed the insider info and wish I had brought a notepad.

Misc: Any bad on the cruise we look at as part of the adventure. Over the years fellow passengers tend to get ruder, like cutting in line, or one guy in the shuffling crowd of the just released theater, honking his scooter. Really? Don’t monopolize a table when people are waiting to be seated, and don’t continue to play cards when the room is scheduled for a lecture . For those that think there’s too much selling, don’t buy.

As to Alaska, we had no rough seas and were lucky with the cloudy and cool weather– only a refreshing drizzle in Juneau. I don’t care about souvenir shops but was surprised to see the prices so reasonable. Mostly we hiked till I had blisters (and some people don’t appreciate what a long walk it is from the buffet to the Princess Theater!) The ship did not cruise Tracy Arm but Endicott. I never heard any announcement but watched it on the ship’s location tracking. Very few seemed aware of it. Even the cruise summary referred to Tracy Arm. The naturalist was mostly quiet. Despite conscientious sanitizing, we managed to come home hacking.
writedesign’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Grand Princess price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Oceanview (obstructed view)
Cabin OY E715
Value-oriented 'obscured view.' Smaller than normal. Aft. Quick to jump on elevator to buffet, or drop down one floor for Vista Lounge Show or forward to Princess show.
Emerald Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews