Grand Princess Cruise Review by billco
- Sail Date: April 2010
- Destination: British Isles & Western Europe
- Cabin Type: Balcony
Embarkation: We booked our own air and flew to Ft Lauderdale with stops in Las Vegas and Nashville. A little excitement as we had to abort the landing in Fort Lauderdale due to a plane still on the runway. After a safe landing, we picked up our luggage and contacted Hyatt Place for their shuttle. After a 15 minute wait, we were picked up, told that Hyatt Place was overbooked, and was taken to Hyatt Place South, a new hotel. All worked out fine. The next morning we walked around for a while, picked up 18 cans of Budweiser for me and 12 cans of Heinekens for her. After repacking our suitcases, we took the hotel shuttle to the Grand. We had a 15 minute wait in the Aloha Deck line, vice Platinum line and boarded about 11:30. Everything smooth and uneventful so far.
Our cabin was A742, which was the aft most cabin on the Port side, Aloha Deck, which worked out great for us, as we were near the aft pool and the two hot tubs and just under Horizon Court. I was glad to find that WiFi had a good signal in our cabin. In fact, the only problem with the cabin was a loose tile in the bathroom, which was fixed a day later. During the cruise, we noticed quite a bit of carpet replacement and were even asked if we would mind the carpet being replaced in our cabin. We declined due to the smell of the glue. Though, it is obvious the Grand is due for an overhaul, most things seemed to be in working order and we noticed quite a bit of maintenance effort.
Itinerary: One thing we are taking from this cruise is how well the weather cooperated. We knew going in that the Atlantic can be quite rough this time of year, but we experienced calm seas the entire trip and only encountered a slight drizzle in London the Sunday after we had disembarked. We didn't use the pool, but did use the Spa up until we were in the North Atlantic. Also, we did 10 laps around the Promenade Deck each morning on the sea days. The trip around the bow on the Emerald Deck was a bit windy, but broke up the monotony. I found I could jump and let the wind carry me a few feet. That was fun. In the Gym, I was a bit upset to find that the treadmills didn't open up until 8;00 AM and people staked them out. But, I would just use the elliptical until one opened up, so wasn't a problem.
We enjoyed all the ports, but avoided the ship's excursions as they were way overpriced. We took private tours in Greenock (Loch Lomond and Sterling Castle) and Cobh (Blarney Castle, Kinsale, Cork, and Cobh) and on our own in Bermuda, Dublin (St. Patrick's Cathedral, Guinness, and downtown), and Falmouth (Castle and downtown). We did break down and buy a Princess excursion to Rouen, which was delayed a couple of hours by the strike.
Food: Since we are vegetarians, we were a little concerned, but every menu had great offerings, so no problem. For the first time, we bypassed formal night and had dinner in the Horizon Court. That worked out surprisingly well.
Entertainment: We didn't attend any production shows. Didn't seem worth the effort to get a seat 30 or 45 minutes before a show. We saw a magic show that we felt was ok and a comedian that wasn't. We saw two movies on MUTS, so can cross that off our to do list. Blankets and popcorn were provided. Vista Lounge was a poor option for movies and I only tried it once. We found Skywalker Lounge to be a quiet place for afternoon reading.
Disembarkation: Went smoothly for us. As we were staying at the Heathrow Hilton, we requested early disembarkation. I think the trip only took a little over an hour. The Hilton worked out great for us, as it is only a six minute walk from Terminal 4, reasonably priced with a full free buffet breakfast. The Heathrow Hilton will definitely be our choice on any future trips to London.
This was our best cruise to date. Again, we had good weather, calm seas, and not nearly as cold as we had prepared for. We are flying back to London in the Fall for a return Transatlantic to take advantage of our round trip airfare.
250,000+ people have entered their email