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I was back and forth.....3 Stars or 4 Stars. I went with 4 Stars because of Alaska. Alaska is why we went on this cruise and Alaska definitely deserves 5 Stars or even 10 Stars. The Grand Princess only gets 3 Stars. First, this is a 21 year old ship and it shows.....everywhere. Our previous cruises have all been with Carnival and we were told Princess was a "step up" so I must admit we were disappointed with this ship. All of the previous Carnival ships were much nicer. The staterooms are small, the carpet is worn and musty smelling (I'll get to that later), the paint on the pool deck floors is bubbling up in places, there is a strong sewage smell outside on Deck 7 and there is rust all over the outside of the ship. This old gal is in desperate need of a refurbishment. The furniture in the public areas is very worn and kind of outdated. In addition, the Grand Princess has plumbing problems. 3 staterooms flooded on this trip, the occupants being awakened at 3:30 in the morning to find their staterooms in 3" of water. Luggage under the beds....soaked. Shoes in the closet....soaked. All had to be moved to different staterooms. When asked if the "broken pipe" was toilet water, Princess staff would not give a straight answer. The water was pumped out of the rooms and large fans were set up to dry out the carpeting. I have no doubt new occupants were put into these staterooms on the turnaround in San Francisco. I personally witnessed water running down a wall on Deck 11. I immediately reported it and out came the pumps and fans to dry out the hallway. Who knows where this water came from? This is probably the reason for the musty smell that comes from the carpet....think about that when you walk around your stateroom in bare feet! Now for the food....the buffet was not good at all. It reminded me of typical Hometown Buffet type food, bland and uninteresting. I skipped breakfast, ate lunch at the Salty Dog Grill on the Lido Deck where they serve very good hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza by the slice. Luckily, the dinner choices in the main dining rooms were better. Not great, but better. We chose Anytime Dining in the Michael Angelo MDR and there was plenty to choose from on the menus. I didn't have any luck with any of the beef dishes I ordered...all were overcooked and tough. The seafood dishes were very good and there were a couple of interesting chicken options. If you want a decent steak your best bet is to go to the Steakhouse Grill where it costs extra. The quality of beef served in the MDR's is not good. Again, we were both surprised and disappointed with the overall food quality, especially after being told Princess was a "step up." I don't know if it's unique to Princess or all cruise lines do it but the constant jewelry sales, art auctions, photo hawking, etc. really began to get old. What is it with this? Not only are you inundated with this on the ship but when you get off at the ports every other store you pass is a jewelry store with some bandito standing out front trying to entice you to come in. I was told by a local merchant in Ketchikan that the cruise lines own all the jewelry stores in the ports and they do not hire local people to work in the stores. Seriously? How much jewelry does a person need? Who goes on a cruise to buy ugly, mass produced paintings? As I stated earlier, Alaska makes up for all of the annoying things the cruise lines throw at you but would I ever sail on the Grand Princess again? Probably not. I might give Princess another chance, sailing on a different ship next time.

Mixed Feelings

Grand Princess Cruise Review by CallyGirl54

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
I was back and forth.....3 Stars or 4 Stars. I went with 4 Stars because of Alaska. Alaska is why we went on this cruise and Alaska definitely deserves 5 Stars or even 10 Stars. The Grand Princess only gets 3 Stars. First, this is a 21 year old ship and it shows.....everywhere. Our previous cruises have all been with Carnival and we were told Princess was a "step up" so I must admit we were disappointed with this ship. All of the previous Carnival ships were much nicer. The staterooms are small, the carpet is worn and musty smelling (I'll get to that later), the paint on the pool deck floors is bubbling up in places, there is a strong sewage smell outside on Deck 7 and there is rust all over the outside of the ship. This old gal is in desperate need of a refurbishment. The furniture in the public areas is very worn and kind of outdated. In addition, the Grand Princess has plumbing problems. 3 staterooms flooded on this trip, the occupants being awakened at 3:30 in the morning to find their staterooms in 3" of water. Luggage under the beds....soaked. Shoes in the closet....soaked. All had to be moved to different staterooms. When asked if the "broken pipe" was toilet water, Princess staff would not give a straight answer. The water was pumped out of the rooms and large fans were set up to dry out the carpeting. I have no doubt new occupants were put into these staterooms on the turnaround in San Francisco. I personally witnessed water running down a wall on Deck 11. I immediately reported it and out came the pumps and fans to dry out the hallway. Who knows where this water came from? This is probably the reason for the musty smell that comes from the carpet....think about that when you walk around your stateroom in bare feet!

Now for the food....the buffet was not good at all. It reminded me of typical Hometown Buffet type food, bland and uninteresting. I skipped breakfast, ate lunch at the Salty Dog Grill on the Lido Deck where they serve very good hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza by the slice. Luckily, the dinner choices in the main dining rooms were better. Not great, but better. We chose Anytime Dining in the Michael Angelo MDR and there was plenty to choose from on the menus. I didn't have any luck with any of the beef dishes I ordered...all were overcooked and tough. The seafood dishes were very good and there were a couple of interesting chicken options. If you want a decent steak your best bet is to go to the Steakhouse Grill where it costs extra. The quality of beef served in the MDR's is not good. Again, we were both surprised and disappointed with the overall food quality, especially after being told Princess was a "step up."

I don't know if it's unique to Princess or all cruise lines do it but the constant jewelry sales, art auctions, photo hawking, etc. really began to get old. What is it with this? Not only are you inundated with this on the ship but when you get off at the ports every other store you pass is a jewelry store with some bandito standing out front trying to entice you to come in. I was told by a local merchant in Ketchikan that the cruise lines own all the jewelry stores in the ports and they do not hire local people to work in the stores. Seriously? How much jewelry does a person need? Who goes on a cruise to buy ugly, mass produced paintings?

As I stated earlier, Alaska makes up for all of the annoying things the cruise lines throw at you but would I ever sail on the Grand Princess again? Probably not. I might give Princess another chance, sailing on a different ship next time.
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