I’ve been on well over 35 cruises with many different cruise lines so I’ve seen a lot of ships. The Grand Princess is one of the most poorly designed ships I have ever been on. The first few days were cold which eliminated the use of outdoor areas. This resulted in interior spaces being quite crowded. The covered pool area was not as well sealed off like it is on many ships. This resulted in being just cool enough that it wasn’t usable for the cold days thus increasing indoor crowding. The doors at the buffet, Horizon Court, rarely closed so during the cold days it was like a frigid wind tunnel blowing through the buffet. There were constant complaints about how cold it was in there; you really needed to wear a jacket to eat there.
Many ships I have been on have an observation deck in the front where you can sit and look out. This is very prevalent on Holland American and Viking ships. Royal Caribbean ships have an observation bar up in the back were you can sit and look out. The Grand Princess did not have this. There was an area called The Sanctuary that may have filled this need but it was at a very high additional daily rate. This makes the ship to be avoided in the future. There were no places I found where you could get a great view of where we were going. Actually, the best view was from the gym which was below the costly Sanctuary.
We had an inside stateroom which I have avoided in our previous 35+ cruises but I was pleasantly surprised by how much we enjoyed the cabin. The room was small, but very livable. There was enough closet space and drawer space to accommodate 10 days of clothing.
We had problems with the sink draining and the shower often backed up. Eventually it would drain out: eventually. Our cabin steward, Raymond, had a plumber come and fix it within a couple hours. Since the bathroom requires a step up I accidentally didn’t step high enough one morning and slammed my second toe under the lip resulting in a minor cut and scrape. The toe may have been dislocated and self-reduced because it became stiff and slightly swollen. I will have it x-rayed when I return home.