1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Grand Princess
This was our second experience with the Grand. Our first was an Alaskan cruise in 2016. We were very pleased with our first experience on the Grand. Attention to service, quality of service and food was all superb. Our experience with this cruise was a little disappointing. The service level crew members seemed to be less knowledgeable, less attentive, and more prone to make up answers or outright lie if they weren't sure. Incorrect orders were served quite a few times in the dining room, and on one occasion an entire course (salad/soup) was omitted and they tried to offer to bring it in the middle of the entree course. Entertainment in the Princess Theater was top notch and it was packed to capacity for the early show every night, including the very first night. It was readily apparent that Princess had invested some money into production shows. Even the nights that featured comedians had the house packed. Their lounge shows in the Vista lounge at the aft section also had some good shows, though they also had their share of mediocre shows. We used more Princess excursions this time than we normally do and they were, of course, more expensive, than the same tours off the ship. The one disappointment was in Mazatlan where an "all day" tour that was supposed to be 9 hours turned out to be a 3.5 hour bus tour where we were dumped at a hotel for a less than appetizing lunch and show, and then provided cab transportation back to the ship at our leisure. Most disappointing was our experience in Cabo as a tender port. My spouse is in a foldable motorized wheel chair. There was no problem disembarking the ship to the Princess tender to go ashore. On the return trip though, a thunderstorm broke out and we were denied boarding on return trip because the Princess personnel said that the ramp was wet and may be dangerous to go down. So the left us standing in the middle of this thunderstorm without shelter. After about 15 minutes of this my wife decided it was enough and told them that she was going down that ramp with or without their assistance (the metal grids on the ramp did an excellent job gripping the tires on the wheelchair.) However at this point, the Princess lifeboat had left and we were left with using one of the Mexican contractors that do tendering. The contractor boat refused to allow the wheelchair on board because two healthy young men in their 20's said it was too heavy for them to lift (about 65-70lbs). So, I, being close to 70, just folded up the chair and picked it up to put on board the boat (!) Needless to say we were totally soaked from head to two with waterlogged shoes by the time we got back to the Grand (of course the rain stopped and the sun came out just as we got to the ship.) As others on this cruise have mentioned, we encountered some rough seas on the northerly return from Cabo. The captain had announced that he would be changing the route a bit and varying the cruising speed to minimize the disturbance to the passengers; he did a superb job and there was minimal disruption (unless one looked out the window and saw how rough the seas actually were. As seems to be the course for all Princess cruises, they are trying to sell you something everytime you turn around. But it appears than many of the more experienced Princess cruisers are familiar enough with this practice to just ignore it, and we're getting to be less attentive to their pitches, though it is still kind of annoying, especially when they are trying to sell second-rate trash most of the time. If it were quality merchandise it might be a little different.

Pleasant experience but there is room for improvement

Grand Princess Cruise Review by SiliconCruiser

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2017
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Oceanview (obstructed view)
This was our second experience with the Grand. Our first was an Alaskan cruise in 2016. We were very pleased with our first experience on the Grand. Attention to service, quality of service and food was all superb.

Our experience with this cruise was a little disappointing. The service level crew members seemed to be less knowledgeable, less attentive, and more prone to make up answers or outright lie if they weren't sure. Incorrect orders were served quite a few times in the dining room, and on one occasion an entire course (salad/soup) was omitted and they tried to offer to bring it in the middle of the entree course.

Entertainment in the Princess Theater was top notch and it was packed to capacity for the early show every night, including the very first night. It was readily apparent that Princess had invested some money into production shows. Even the nights that featured comedians had the house packed. Their lounge shows in the Vista lounge at the aft section also had some good shows, though they also had their share of mediocre shows.

We used more Princess excursions this time than we normally do and they were, of course, more expensive, than the same tours off the ship. The one disappointment was in Mazatlan where an "all day" tour that was supposed to be 9 hours turned out to be a 3.5 hour bus tour where we were dumped at a hotel for a less than appetizing lunch and show, and then provided cab transportation back to the ship at our leisure.

Most disappointing was our experience in Cabo as a tender port. My spouse is in a foldable motorized wheel chair. There was no problem disembarking the ship to the Princess tender to go ashore. On the return trip though, a thunderstorm broke out and we were denied boarding on return trip because the Princess personnel said that the ramp was wet and may be dangerous to go down. So the left us standing in the middle of this thunderstorm without shelter. After about 15 minutes of this my wife decided it was enough and told them that she was going down that ramp with or without their assistance (the metal grids on the ramp did an excellent job gripping the tires on the wheelchair.) However at this point, the Princess lifeboat had left and we were left with using one of the Mexican contractors that do tendering. The contractor boat refused to allow the wheelchair on board because two healthy young men in their 20's said it was too heavy for them to lift (about 65-70lbs). So, I, being close to 70, just folded up the chair and picked it up to put on board the boat (!) Needless to say we were totally soaked from head to two with waterlogged shoes by the time we got back to the Grand (of course the rain stopped and the sun came out just as we got to the ship.)

As others on this cruise have mentioned, we encountered some rough seas on the northerly return from Cabo. The captain had announced that he would be changing the route a bit and varying the cruising speed to minimize the disturbance to the passengers; he did a superb job and there was minimal disruption (unless one looked out the window and saw how rough the seas actually were.

As seems to be the course for all Princess cruises, they are trying to sell you something everytime you turn around. But it appears than many of the more experienced Princess cruisers are familiar enough with this practice to just ignore it, and we're getting to be less attentive to their pitches, though it is still kind of annoying, especially when they are trying to sell second-rate trash most of the time. If it were quality merchandise it might be a little different.
SiliconCruiser’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Grand Princess price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Oceanview (obstructed view)
Cabin OV E304
Cabin was good as it has been with our other Princess experiences, but we may have been more fortunate this time as everything in the stateroom was actually functioning.
Emerald Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Glass Bottom Boat Tour
    Cost much less to book it on-shore, as it normally is. The tour itself is a common one in Cabo and has many service providers. Not my first time on it, but it seemed pretty comparable to previous experiences.
    View All 21 Glass Bottom Boat Tour Reviews
  • Whale Watching
    We were fortunate and had several whale sightings, including a couple of humpback breaches.
    View All 76 Whale Watching Reviews
  • City Tour
    Deceptive 9 hour tour that was less than a 1/2 day. Taken to Cliff diving show and then shopping mostly. Left at a hotel for a show and not very appetizing lunch and then provided cab transportation back to the ship. Seemed like a waste of money.
    View All 49 City Tour Reviews
  • Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe
    Not sure of the actual name of the tour, but it did stop near the church. Unable to actually to to the church since it was the festival day and the streets were lined with parishioners. Tour guides begging/whining for tips was a little annoying.
    View All 14 Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe Reviews
  • San Francisco
    Traffic direction at cruise terminal is a mess, mostly because that have the porters directing traffic. While they have 5 or more SFPD officers directing traffic in and out of the terminal, it would appear that the terminal is probably union-controlled.
    View All 332 San Francisco Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's San Francisco Cruise Port Review