We've taken this cruise a number of times specifically because San Francisco is the point of departure. We don't need to fly, worry about parking the car, or leaving our house at the crack of dawn. We also love the Mexican Riviera. Embarkation and Disembarkation were a snap. We arrived at 1:30 pm, dropped off our luggage and were through check-in and on the ship in our cabin within 30 minutes. There was plenty of staff in all areas: all x-ray security lines were open and staffed (first time). Disembarkation was called right on time and we were out and ready to head home within 45 minutes. We lead hectic lives and look to relax and let go of stress on this particular cruise. This is our 4th time on the Grand Princess (Hawaii & Mexico) and while she is an older "work-horse", the recent spring 2019 refurbishments were nicely done and appreciated.
The service all around the ship was great. We were greeted with smiles everywhere. The crew seemed genuinely pleased to be on the ship; no grumpiness or surliness.
We ate all dinners in Club Class dining. We enjoy this because of the specialty dishes, the level of service and attention and the more intimate surroundings. Being able to order a steak from the Crown Grill for a nominal fee was a delightful surprise. The specialty pastas and the beef dishes were delicious. I also had salmon from the 'everyday' selection and that, too, was prepared perfectly. We didn't experience any poor tasting food. We're not big on in-room dining or breakfast so our day usually started with 'brunch' at the Horizon Court. There was a wide selection of food choices and while they did seem monotonous by the end of the cruise, the food was well prepared and tasty. The daily assortment of fresh fruit was perfect...best watermelon ever.
We ate at Alfredo's Pizzeria, the International Cafe, the Salty Dog and the food was good. An afternoon treat was the soft serve ice cream, which tasted smooth and creamy like ice cream...definitely not ice milk.
Entertainment has vastly improved. We attended the nightly shows in the Princess Theater (9:30 pm) and were pleasantly surprised with the improvement in quality of the material and expertise of the performers. I usually pass on a number of shows but not this time. The cruise director and his staff were the best we've experienced.
We explored each port on our own as we've been to each one many times and have taken a lot of the tours.
Relaxing and letting go of stress included spa time. I got the Seaweed Wrap, Thai Poultice Massage, Reflexology and Bio-metric Facial, spread over the 10 days. I've had each on prior cruises and I look forward to this 'me' time. I was not disappointed. Each attendant was knowledgeable and proficient. Many knots and kinks were massaged away. One thing I wish is that the Grand Princess had a Thermal Suite or Thalassotherapy pool.
For swimming and pool time, we avoided Neptune's Pool and headed each afternoon to the Terrace Pool (adults only). It was filled with fresh water and the temperature was refreshing - not too hot or cold. Met a lot of the same people each afternoon; nice social time. We were sorry to learn that the Grand Princess will reposition to Asia next year so this was probably our last time on board. It was a great cruise - a great vacation.
We booked a Club Class Mini-suite and the room was perfect: new lamps with built in charging stations, 2 new TVs, new couch & decorative pillows. The stateroom was clean; the bathroom and tile were clean, no mold in the grout lines. The shower curtains looked new, crisp and clean. Definite improvement from before. The bed was comfortable, plenty of hangars, balcony chairs - while older - were clean and comfortable. Our cabin steward brought extra pillows and towels that we requested and he was pleasant and efficient.