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Our cabin A323 on the Grand Princess was very nice with a starboard balcony. Loved the elevator when it announced our floor “Aloha!” Enjoyed the near instant circulating water for perfect shower temperatures. Our cabin steward Fernando Vivero kept our room neat, clean, and replenished and even kept my ice bag filled after I broke my toe. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. I am paranoid about picking up bed bugs when we travel. Thankfully it has not happened but without extreme diligence by all parties involved it will and bed bugs are near impossible in a cluttered home environment to eliminate. My research indicates that heat of 140 degrees F with full heat penetration of all objects for at least 30 minutes is necessary. I put a Mouse & Insect Glue Board under the bed to assure myself there were no bed bugs after checking the mattress, etc. Princess you passed with flying colors! The first two of our four ports were at times pouring rain and therefore disappointing. We still went on and enjoyed our excursions but were grateful we wore our hiking rain coats. The weather for the Blue Kawaiian Helicopter tour of Kauai and the van tour on the Road to Hana on Maui made up for it. The band Finesse was our favorite dance music. The Born to Dance production was the best dance show on any ship. Gloeta and Rowena were the two best education and cultural ambassadors we ever experienced on any cruise. Gloeta was hilarious in her descriptions of the mating practices of marine life. We wouldn’t miss a single one of Gloeta’s lectures. I plan to check out her Facebook page “Naturalist Gloeta”. We learned so much about amazing and complex sea creatures and how closely all life on Earth depends on and benefits each other. And we so appreciate hearing Rowena’s historical stories from the Hawaiian people’s perspective, getting to make lava jewelry, tie sarongs, and learn to hula. Now when we see the pinky finger and thumb-up greetings we know that was from the time when sugar cane was grown on the islands and workers’ fingers were cut off by the saw-edged cane. Rowena has the most beautiful and loving smile and hug; she truly embodies the Aloha message and spirit. We enjoyed the Tequila Sunrise free drinks at the Captain’s party. I later competed in the contest to make a Tequila Sunrise where I got the recipe. We will be thinking of Princess Cruises when we make our own Teguila Sunrises at home. It was a treat to make a real orchid lei for free and tour the galley. I missed not having an opportunity to have our picture taken with the captain like on some previous cruises but understand he has more important things to do. Those were always our favorite photos. The advanced photo package was an excellent deal. People, especially on their first cruise or for special occasions, should get the package. One never knows when they will need quality portraits to celebrate future events, display in an artist statement or for work, or use in an obituary! Relaxing on a cruise might even put off the need for an obituary. We very much enjoyed the food and the meal service. We appreciate the extra safety precautions like the soap hand washing station in the Horizon Court, encouragement for passengers to use their cabin bathrooms when possible, and increased cleaning of stair hand-rails, etc. I had picked up a bug during a cruise in the Mediterranean where I experienced “Sudden Hearing Loss” and lost 85% of the hearing in my right ear. That has greatly diminished my ability to comprehend conversations even when wearing a hearing aid. We appreciate all the extra efforts by the entire crew to make this cruise on our 49 and ½ wedding anniversary satisfying and memorable. This was our first visit to Hawaii.

Celebrating 49 and 1/2 years in Hawaii

Grand Princess Cruise Review by Redhen88

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2018
  • Destination: Hawaii
Our cabin A323 on the Grand Princess was very nice with a starboard balcony. Loved the elevator when it announced our floor “Aloha!” Enjoyed the near instant circulating water for perfect shower temperatures. Our cabin steward Fernando Vivero kept our room neat, clean, and replenished and even kept my ice bag filled after I broke my toe. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. I am paranoid about picking up bed bugs when we travel. Thankfully it has not happened but without extreme diligence by all parties involved it will and bed bugs are near impossible in a cluttered home environment to eliminate. My research indicates that heat of 140 degrees F with full heat penetration of all objects for at least 30 minutes is necessary. I put a Mouse & Insect Glue Board under the bed to assure myself there were no bed bugs after checking the mattress, etc. Princess you passed with flying colors!

The first two of our four ports were at times pouring rain and therefore disappointing. We still went on and enjoyed our excursions but were grateful we wore our hiking rain coats. The weather for the Blue Kawaiian Helicopter tour of Kauai and the van tour on the Road to Hana on Maui made up for it.

The band Finesse was our favorite dance music. The Born to Dance production was the best dance show on any ship. Gloeta and Rowena were the two best education and cultural ambassadors we ever experienced on any cruise. Gloeta was hilarious in her descriptions of the mating practices of marine life. We wouldn’t miss a single one of Gloeta’s lectures. I plan to check out her Facebook page “Naturalist Gloeta”. We learned so much about amazing and complex sea creatures and how closely all life on Earth depends on and benefits each other. And we so appreciate hearing Rowena’s historical stories from the Hawaiian people’s perspective, getting to make lava jewelry, tie sarongs, and learn to hula. Now when we see the pinky finger and thumb-up greetings we know that was from the time when sugar cane was grown on the islands and workers’ fingers were cut off by the saw-edged cane. Rowena has the most beautiful and loving smile and hug; she truly embodies the Aloha message and spirit.

We enjoyed the Tequila Sunrise free drinks at the Captain’s party. I later competed in the contest to make a Tequila Sunrise where I got the recipe. We will be thinking of Princess Cruises when we make our own Teguila Sunrises at home. It was a treat to make a real orchid lei for free and tour the galley. I missed not having an opportunity to have our picture taken with the captain like on some previous cruises but understand he has more important things to do. Those were always our favorite photos.

The advanced photo package was an excellent deal. People, especially on their first cruise or for special occasions, should get the package. One never knows when they will need quality portraits to celebrate future events, display in an artist statement or for work, or use in an obituary! Relaxing on a cruise might even put off the need for an obituary.

We very much enjoyed the food and the meal service. We appreciate the extra safety precautions like the soap hand washing station in the Horizon Court, encouragement for passengers to use their cabin bathrooms when possible, and increased cleaning of stair hand-rails, etc. I had picked up a bug during a cruise in the Mediterranean where I experienced “Sudden Hearing Loss” and lost 85% of the hearing in my right ear. That has greatly diminished my ability to comprehend conversations even when wearing a hearing aid.

We appreciate all the extra efforts by the entire crew to make this cruise on our 49 and ½ wedding anniversary satisfying and memorable. This was our first visit to Hawaii.
Redhen88’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin A323
Very nice, loved the balcony, plenty of space. Comfortable beds and linens. From review: Our cabin A323 on the Grand Princess was very nice with a starboard balcony. Loved the elevator when it announced our floor “Aloha!” Enjoyed the near instant circulating water for perfect shower temperatures. Our cabin steward Fernando Vivero kept our room neat, clean, and replenished and even kept my ice bag filled after I broke my toe. The bed and pillows were very comfortable. I am paranoid about picking up bed bugs when we travel. Thankfully it has not happened but without extreme diligence by all parties involved it will and bed bugs are near impossible in a cluttered home environment to eliminate. My research indicates that heat of 140 degrees F with full heat penetration of all objects for at least 30 minutes is necessary. I put a Mouse & Insect Glue Board under the bed to assure myself there were no bed bugs after checking the mattress, etc. Princess you passed with flying colors!
  Grand Princess Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Bodegas de Santo Tomas & Riviera del Pacifico
    Went to the historical casino where Margarittas were invented and enjoyed a drink. There were bargin hand made magnet pressed-metal decorations for sale outside (the artist signed them). The ship was in port less than 4 hours so it was fast-paced. We did get 30 min to shop in nice jewlery stores. Lovely jewlery, photos, and memories is what crusing is all about.
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  • Hilo
    The volcano stopped flowing in August. Since this tour was described as adjusting to the circumstances and get us as close as possible to the active volcano and the park was closed when we booked, I assumed they would take us to the Volcano Natl Park but the driver did not. We did walk on smooth and rough lava. Did not go thru a lava tube since too dangerous to get there and small to walk thru but did get to walk thru a lava tube on a different excursion.
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  • Honolulu
    That evening went to the Germaine's Laua far enough away from port that it was not raining. Enjoyed the food and entertainment. Those gals can move their hips!
    View All 12,636 Honolulu Cruise Port Reviews
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  • Mighty Mo
    Enjoyed the Mighty Mo tour where the Japanese signed the surrender documents.
    View All 25 Mighty Mo Reviews
  • Pearl Harbor
    It was raining (hard at times) plus the platform over the Memorial was closed so we took a launch around the area which was fine. Did not have time to listen to the recorded tour we bought.
    View All 180 Pearl Harbor Reviews
  • Kauai
    The best excursion on our Hawaiian trip was the Blue Hawaiian Helicopter tour of Kauai with Greg on October 31, 2018. We booked it on our own but there were 4 others onboard from the ship. Greg is an excellent pilot and provided an amazing experience from lift off until we got back 1-hour later. The scenery was breath-taking along the craggy Na Pali Coast where the opening scenes of Fantasy Island were filmed, into the Waimea Canyon where Jurassic Park/World movies were filmed, past numerous waterfalls, and get this…into an ancient volcano. If a helicopter flight is ever on your bucket list, this is the place and company! Be sure to wear black to reduce reflections for better photos. The $25 video we purchased was entirely footage from and narration from our flight with Greg.

    The $3 million EcoStar EC-130 helicopter seats 6, two up front with the pilot and 4 in the back. Everything was perfect from the safety briefing to the clearly audible headphone conversations. They even take pictures of you on the landing pad with the helicopter in the background, using your camera. There is an envelope in the gift shop where you can leave a message and tip for the pilot if you so choose. My husband flies remote control helicopters and holds a single engine land pilot certificate so this is his best memory of the trip to Hawaii.
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  • Road to Hana
    Originally I reserved a rental car for my husband to drive the “Road to Hana” on Maui. We even brought our GPS and software to narrate the sights and stops along the 620 hairpin curves and 59 mostly one-lane bridges in 52 miles of incredible views to the tiny town of Hana. After marrying my husband, one of my best decisions was to cancel the car rental and go with the ship excursion. The tour on November 1, 2018, took 11 hours which includes the tender rides back to the ship! Good thing we cancelled the car rental as we would have seen very little except the road and likely been late back to the ship. The ship would have sailed without us had we not booked through Princess. The Polynesian Adventure Tours 25-person van driver, Jennifer, was the most skillful driver we ever experienced. We drive a 37 foot motorhome so know how difficult it is to maintain those speeds on such curvy roads and to know precisely where to stop and honk the horn before going into a one lane curve, and where the best photos should be taken. We saw sea turtles on the beach (while keeping a respectful distance), walked on black sand beaches and through a lava tube to the ocean, enjoyed a box lunch by the sea, and took hundreds of photos. Jennifer kept up a steady narration and made sure we got plenty of bathroom breaks. It was a bit hard hearing at the back of the bus, and at times warm in spite of her efforts but every other aspect was excellent. The road was not too rough nor the tour too long for us, but I am sure the ship captain was not happy with the crew and other passengers having to wait so long for us. Renting a car and using the Road To Hana $10 phone app software would be OK if you were staying in a hotel.
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  • San Francisco
    We took the Bart from the Airport to about 3 stops before the warf and easily connected to the cable cars from there.Spent the afternoon touring on the cable cars. Have seen the cable car museum on a prevous trip but tha is neat and free. Too cold to be on the open deck for very long on the Big Bus. When we took the night tour to Treasure Island, it was the one in Ten No-Fog nights so the skylight of San Francisco was beautiful. The Bay Bridge had LED lights that only cost $8 per night to operate, per the driver. We could save so much electricity in this country if we all switched to LED. It was nice that Big Bus took us back to near the Bart entrance. One night a man exposed himself to us on the Bart. Someone who got off the Bart must have reported it cause Security got on at the next stop and escorted him off. Don't know if he got the mental health help he needed. If you go to the person at the info desk for Bart, you can get a half price senior fare. We ate at the Warf and got the most delicious scone at Starbucks where we used the bathroom.
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