Our Granddaughter wanted to visit HI on a cruise having loved it the last time she visited the big island with her parents. She enjoyed the cruise much, having made a few good friends in the kids discovery club. She was happy to be on the Grand Princess as this is her second cruise on the same ship. She felt like she knew all the areas of the ship and wanted to walk around by herself like most other children which we prohibited. She liked the buffet for the ease of helping herself but, disliked the food. Loved the dining room for the service and food but, thought she was wasting her precious time that could be spent with friends. Later on her friends started to join us for lunch and dinner!!
We loved the service on the small ship, friendliness of the crew and staff, mainly the Captain for his transparency, willingness to mingle with the guests on all levels, handling of emergency situations that arose when a guest got ill and had to be air lifted. We appreciated his openness and strict but, gentle manner of managing the disobedient and unruly guests. Entertainment would have been superb if we had not already seen the same production shows on prior cruise. The magician of awful, X rated during early show with children watching. The musicians were good. Games were all well played as always and enjoyed both by the players and the audience.
Ports are superb in HI but, the time spent is so little in a city so large as Honolulu with much to see and do. We were there only till 10 p.m. Maui also was very little time to be able to really enjoy. One of the ocean liners MUST add 2 extra days with overnight stay in both Honolulu and Maui that will attract a larger crowd. Shore excursions are not as good as our last cruise to HI a couple of years ago. We covered a lot of sight seeing in 5-6 hours. This time the excursions offered were mostly half day or less, each one covering half of the sight seeing stops. As such we catered only to our granddaughter's enjoyment.
Balcony cabin was so small for the three of us, though, the youngest is only 8 year old on the bunk bed. The queen size bed had to be separated and sagged like anything. The mattress was firm on one end and the other end it sagged with folks sitting on it. There is only one chair near the desk. No where else to sit except on the balcony. My granddaughter sat in her own bunk bed. We struggled. I developed a severe back ache that I had trouble walking after the first night of sleeping on the bed. The cabin steward brought a newer mattress with 3 egg crates on top, which helped a little. The back ache is still on being treated with rehabilitation at the spine center now. 8 year old complained of buttons hurting her in the back from the mattress on the bunk. An egg crate mattress topper helped a bit. She enjoyed the reading light very much that we discovered when the battery ran out of power on her own reading light. The closet was manageable as our granddaughter lived out of her suit case. All in all, never again 3 people in a balcony cabin. Must choose Junior suite as we generally do - this time they were all booked!