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This was our first time cruising with Princess with us picking the itinerary rather than ship, although the Ship is quite old (1998), it was in better condition in public areas and our cabin than I expected and certainly did not cause us any problems. Balcony Cabin was almost identical to that on P&O Azura, both layout and decor. Yes we had a shower curtain but the shower was large enough for it not to cling to you. Once again the main layout of the ship resembled Azura. Entertainment was pretty good, with the pianist and house band, the Offenders both excellent. Shows in the Theatre were good, but we could have done with more production shows. The American comedian on board was very funny with a bit of innuendo but no swearing at all, showing you can be funny without crudeness and swearing. The Cookery demo in the main theatre must not be missed and its not because of the cooking, it really is Panto at its best. The cruise Director was always around the Ship and very approachable. We are not big drinkers so declined the $60pp a day charge and had the soda package instead which worked well enough for us at around $7 a day. I was miffed with Princess when they removed the happy hours after we had booked, which we would have used to get our alcoholic drinks and occasional cocktails. Food was generally very good, we ate in both the Crown Grill and Sabattini's and both were excellent with top service, we were really well looked after. The MDR was also good, with a couple of exceptions, the Lobster tails were very poor and tasted nothing like Lobster I have had on several cruises, the Princess Buyers need to get their Product suppliers chased on this one. The only other issue we had were some very chewy short ribs. All staff we dealt with were helpful and polite. We enjoyed our Trolley Tour in Santa Barbara which was nice to have a stroll round and my wife found a lovely Bar in the Marina who did Pina Colada's just the way she likes them, which is on the rocks rather than blitzed with ice which gives us both brain freeze. None of the bar staff on board could grasp this concept. The Los Angeles trip was not so good, 20 miles of queuing traffic (which we were warned about), but then the Chinese Theatre and the stars in the pavement seemed to lack the wow factor and is on a very ordinary street. We went on the Queen Mary back at the Port and that was good. San Diego was lovely, docked right in the city centre, had a great trip round to see the city, Balboa Park and La Jolla, the only thing I would say that the trip could have been extended a bit to allow some more time at the various stops. USS Midway is docked right next to the Cruise ships and is a great museum, entry around $20. Ensenada was not so good, the shuttle bus was an antique and the one bringing us back felt as if it was going to break down at any time. We walked the main street, were hassled to go into every shop which were selling the usual tourist things and then had a number of young children pushed towards us by their Parent to beg. Nothing there that we liked and we returned to the ship pretty quickly. The area did not feel great. All in, a very enjoyable cruise with a two day stay in San Fran tagged on and we cruised past Alcatraz and then under the Golden Gate Bridge on our way out of the Port. We met many Americans on the cruise and they were all really good company and great to talk with. We had anytime dining which was a bit of a scrum on first night and we chose to dine on a table for 8 which was great to meet people, but not so good in the delays with service. After that we either chose to wait for a table of 2 or go for 4. I would book with Princess again, but their Directors need to be aware they are in danger of alienating us if they continue to penny pinch on some food offerings and remove the likes of happy hours that they have had for a good number of years.

Better Condition than expected

Grand Princess Cruise Review by Dexie13

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our first time cruising with Princess with us picking the itinerary rather than ship, although the Ship is quite old (1998), it was in better condition in public areas and our cabin than I expected and certainly did not cause us any problems. Balcony Cabin was almost identical to that on P&O Azura, both layout and decor. Yes we had a shower curtain but the shower was large enough for it not to cling to you. Once again the main layout of the ship resembled Azura.

Entertainment was pretty good, with the pianist and house band, the Offenders both excellent.

Shows in the Theatre were good, but we could have done with more production shows. The American comedian on board was very funny with a bit of innuendo but no swearing at all, showing you can be funny without crudeness and swearing.

The Cookery demo in the main theatre must not be missed and its not because of the cooking, it really is Panto at its best. The cruise Director was always around the Ship and very approachable.

We are not big drinkers so declined the $60pp a day charge and had the soda package instead which worked well enough for us at around $7 a day. I was miffed with Princess when they removed the happy hours after we had booked, which we would have used to get our alcoholic drinks and occasional cocktails.

Food was generally very good, we ate in both the Crown Grill and Sabattini's and both were excellent with top service, we were really well looked after. The MDR was also good, with a couple of exceptions, the Lobster tails were very poor and tasted nothing like Lobster I have had on several cruises, the Princess Buyers need to get their Product suppliers chased on this one. The only other issue we had were some very chewy short ribs.

All staff we dealt with were helpful and polite.

We enjoyed our Trolley Tour in Santa Barbara which was nice to have a stroll round and my wife found a lovely Bar in the Marina who did Pina Colada's just the way she likes them, which is on the rocks rather than blitzed with ice which gives us both brain freeze. None of the bar staff on board could grasp this concept. The Los Angeles trip was not so good, 20 miles of queuing traffic (which we were warned about), but then the Chinese Theatre and the stars in the pavement seemed to lack the wow factor and is on a very ordinary street. We went on the Queen Mary back at the Port and that was good. San Diego was lovely, docked right in the city centre, had a great trip round to see the city, Balboa Park and La Jolla, the only thing I would say that the trip could have been extended a bit to allow some more time at the various stops. USS Midway is docked right next to the Cruise ships and is a great museum, entry around $20.

Ensenada was not so good, the shuttle bus was an antique and the one bringing us back felt as if it was going to break down at any time. We walked the main street, were hassled to go into every shop which were selling the usual tourist things and then had a number of young children pushed towards us by their Parent to beg. Nothing there that we liked and we returned to the ship pretty quickly. The area did not feel great.

All in, a very enjoyable cruise with a two day stay in San Fran tagged on and we cruised past Alcatraz and then under the Golden Gate Bridge on our way out of the Port. We met many Americans on the cruise and they were all really good company and great to talk with.

We had anytime dining which was a bit of a scrum on first night and we chose to dine on a table for 8 which was great to meet people, but not so good in the delays with service. After that we either chose to wait for a table of 2 or go for 4.

I would book with Princess again, but their Directors need to be aware they are in danger of alienating us if they continue to penny pinch on some food offerings and remove the likes of happy hours that they have had for a good number of years.
Dexie13’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB B322
Cabin almost identical to P&O Azura with the sort of walk in wardrobe on the way to the Bathroom, plenty of hanging space and shelves for 2 people. Safe was a bit small to take all our valuables and papers for what was a multi stay trip.
Bed was comfortable and of ample size.
Furniture was looking a little tired, as was the Balcony with rust showing in places.
TV was fine, no facility on it for checking your on board account and as a Brit a lack of English channels, however we were not in the cabin that much and after all we are cruising thousands of miles away from home.
Shower had a curtain but it was big enough so it never snagged on us.
Decor very plain compared to MSC Divina which was a beautiful cabin with rich colours, however this is one of the few areas MSC score higher than Princess.
Aloha Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews