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As you can see with the grades I gave in most categories, performance by crew and ship were above average. Allowing for some gaffes in food preparation, and "tendering", I still stand by my ratings---but--and of course their are some "buts"-- TENDERING: What was baffling to me was how terrifically competent the embarcation and disembarcation process was, yet when it came to the tendering process, the resulting confusion exhibited by large numbers of staff gave me the impression of a crew that was going through the process for the VERY FIRST TIME! It is not that the process took a long time,and yes it did, but that in the process, staff appeared confused, causing frustration to passengers.On this trip, our ship docked on time at 2:00PM-our group's tender landed on the dock at 4:45PM. It was a lesson on the danger of booking a tour with anyone other than Princess. Fortunately, our tour vendor in Juneau(MARV & HARVE) gave us a full refund which of course did not reverse the fact that we lost out on a port experience. I will continue to use shore based vendors but never where tenders are involved. DINING LOCATIONS: We dined almost 90% of the time in the dining rooms, including breakfast & lunch: as for the few times we ate in the buffet, we found the quality and preparation very good using buffet standards. As pointed out by others, there just aren't enough seating in the buffet. I appreciated making gluten free toast available in the buffet as well as the dining rooms. Main dining rooms are DA VINCI AND MICHAELANGELO, STACKED ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER ON DECKS 5&6. We had evening meals on the "anytime" basis: a word of caution--there were 2-3 nights where there long lines to get into the"anytime" dining room. QUALITY AND PREPARATION OF FOOD: I give high marks for the most part in this category: beef in the form of prime rib and beef filets, as well as roasts were available and nicely done, with lobster and their version of baked alaska served. Same for seafood. I felt the quality of the lunches was extraordinary-two of the best meals we had were at lunch-a wonderful, tasty, thinly sliced london broil, and a few days later, beef bourguignone, tender and reeking of the red wine used in its preparation. Also lots of interesting,difficult to prepare appetizers at both lunch and dinner. Not to be missed are deserts in the evening designated "CHOCOLATE JOURNEYS"-the best I have ever tasted. This is my only criticism---why jeopardize your rep by offering dishes so far from what it should be, as to be laughable-do what you can do and do that well. Two dishes fit this category and were flops, both involve stews or soups. The first flop was CIOPPINO: a dish invented by Sicilian fishermen in San Francisco, it is a fish stew rich in tomato flavors, Italian seasonings, and with whatever seafood you have in your refrig, like white fish, shrimp, crab legs, clams, muscles. Princess' version of Cioppino was a few pieces of dried seafood, sitting in the middle of a few ounces of thin, watery broth. A few nights later came another soupy disaster-Alaska Fish Stew-same criticism-a few ounces of thin broth that hardly covered the bottom of the bowl and a scattering of wilted seafood. INCREDIBLE! One final observation: Princess has done an outstanding job of providng prompt, friendly service at the information desk-I never saw the long lines as I have seen on other ships-this shows a real commitment to passenger convenience. We chose a $ 229 wine package for the 10 night cruise that gave us each night a bottle of wine with menu price of up to $ 45-we thought that was a bargain and highly recommend that if you like wine or sparking wine with dinner. A final comment about dining room service, which overall was good: waiters will happily serve you tea or coffee after dinner, but you may have to flag them down to get a 2nd cup, which I really enjoy at the end of a good meal. RICHARD HURLEY WALNUT CREEK, CA

A "solid" performance for a ship and crew, but with some blemishes.

Grand Princess Cruise Review by cruiserre

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
As you can see with the grades I gave in most categories, performance by crew and ship were above average. Allowing for some gaffes in food preparation, and "tendering", I still stand by my ratings---but--and of course their are some "buts"--

TENDERING:

What was baffling to me was how terrifically competent the embarcation and disembarcation process was, yet when it came to the tendering process, the resulting confusion exhibited by large numbers of staff gave me the impression of a crew that was going through the process for the VERY FIRST TIME! It is not that the process took a long time,and yes it did, but that in the process, staff appeared confused, causing frustration to passengers.On this trip, our ship docked on time at 2:00PM-our group's tender landed on the dock at 4:45PM. It was a lesson on the danger of booking a tour with anyone other than Princess. Fortunately, our tour vendor in Juneau(MARV & HARVE) gave us a full refund which of course did not reverse the fact that we lost out on a port experience. I will continue to use shore based vendors but never where tenders are involved.

DINING LOCATIONS:

We dined almost 90% of the time in the dining rooms, including breakfast & lunch: as for the few times we ate in the buffet, we found the quality and preparation very good using buffet standards. As pointed out by others, there just aren't enough seating in the buffet. I appreciated making gluten free toast available in the buffet as well as the dining rooms.

Main dining rooms are DA VINCI AND MICHAELANGELO, STACKED ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER ON DECKS 5&6. We had evening meals on the "anytime" basis: a word of caution--there were 2-3 nights where there long lines to get into the"anytime" dining room.

QUALITY AND PREPARATION OF FOOD:

I give high marks for the most part in this category: beef in the form of prime rib and beef filets, as well as roasts were available and nicely done, with lobster and their version of baked alaska served. Same for seafood. I felt the quality of the lunches was extraordinary-two of the best meals we had were at lunch-a wonderful, tasty, thinly sliced london broil, and a few days later, beef bourguignone, tender and reeking of the red wine used in its preparation. Also lots of interesting,difficult to prepare appetizers at both lunch and dinner. Not to be missed are deserts in the evening designated "CHOCOLATE JOURNEYS"-the best I have ever tasted. This is my only criticism---why jeopardize your rep by offering dishes so far from what it should be, as to be laughable-do what you can do and do that well. Two dishes fit this category and were flops, both involve stews or soups. The first flop was CIOPPINO: a dish invented by Sicilian fishermen in San Francisco, it is a fish stew rich in tomato flavors, Italian seasonings, and with whatever seafood you have in your refrig, like white fish, shrimp, crab legs, clams, muscles. Princess' version of Cioppino was a few pieces of dried seafood, sitting in the middle of a few ounces of thin, watery broth. A few nights later came another soupy disaster-Alaska Fish Stew-same criticism-a few ounces of thin broth that hardly covered the bottom of the bowl and a scattering of wilted seafood. INCREDIBLE!

One final observation: Princess has done an outstanding job of providng prompt, friendly service at the information desk-I never saw the long lines as I have seen on other ships-this shows a real commitment to passenger convenience.

We chose a $ 229 wine package for the 10 night cruise that gave us each night a bottle of wine with menu price of up to $ 45-we thought that was a bargain and highly recommend that if you like wine or sparking wine with dinner.

A final comment about dining room service, which overall was good: waiters will happily serve you tea or coffee after dinner, but you may have to flag them down to get a 2nd cup, which I really enjoy at the end of a good meal.

RICHARD HURLEY

WALNUT CREEK, CA
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Balcony
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We thought storage space was somewhat limited. Our balcony on deck 14 was just below the walkway on deck 15 but it was a minor issue. There are no electrical outlets close to the bed, so a short extension cord might be needed if you use some sort of breathing device.
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