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Grand Princess Cruise Review
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,613 Reviews

Princess gets more Carnival like every cruise

Grand Princess Cruise Review by cat's staff

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2020
  • Destination: the Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: undefined

We took the cruise to 4 Pacific Mexican places because we had not been there. The price and dates were also good for us. The towns were interesting. The Princess excursions were reasonably priced, although some turned out to not have a lot to see. Beaches, sun and drinking seemed to be the main reason many took this cruise.

We were to board at noon. Since we could not connect from our midwest city in time, we came the day before. We saw more of San Francisco than we planned as we received a message boarding would be delayed. We were told it was a diversion caused by a critically ill passenger. Went to the California Academy of Science which was a good day.

As the day went on, the boarding time kept getting later and later. We finally were allowed to board at 8:30 pm. We had a safety drill at 10 pm, which was 1 am to us on EST and went back to our cabin to wait for our luggage to arrive. In essence the first day of our cruise was eliminated. Princess gave each of us $25, which did not begin to cover what we spent in SF, let alone not having the day onboard.

The food was okay, although not as good as other cruise lines we use in a similar price range. We really did appreciate that they had some part of the buffet open at all hours. On the down side: no real ice cream except in the dining room. Unexpected nice dining at the pizza place on deck 5. Small bottles of water in the cabin were offered for $2/each!

All the ship's staff was top notch for the most part. The program and atmosphere on the ship is not what Princess once was. Both the clientele and what is offered onboard seems to be getting far more like Carnival, which we would not take on a bet.

We selected "anytime" dining which turned out to be a misnomer. You can dine anytime as long as it is 5:15 or 7:30 pm. (Set dining is 5 and 7:30 too.) You can call for a reservation when the reservations open at 8 am and you will be offered only too early or too late (see above). Apparently they lack adequate dining space, so they have to fill all dining rooms early and late only to get everyone seated.

Our main disappointment was the almost total lack of anything intellectually stimulating. We travel to see and learn about new places. If you are on Princess, there is little chance that will happen through them. They had an excellent Mexico Folkloric dance program once in port and served Mexican one night in the buffet. That was the limit of anything Mexican on the 10 day cruise. The only other presenter of any note was a talk on Dickens one day. We could not attend and found that although they recorded many other things you could see on the tv later, they did not bother to record or show that one, which we would have liked to see.

If you like bingo, gambling, lots of dancing, silly athletic contests, guests singing, and shopping of every sort, you would like this Princess cruise. If you want any type of lectures, movies or even available videos about where you are traveling, forget it!

The Princess itself was very old and shabby, although the staff kept is spic and span. Storage space and size of cabins also very old fashioned=small.


cat's staff's Full Rating Summary
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Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Old fashioned and small. Sink stopper kept breaking. Inadequate storage space. Cabin steward kept it clean and was excellent, however.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

City Tour

a good overview

View All 71 City Tour Reviews
City Tour

we saw what there was, there just wasn't much really hot!

View All 7 City Tour Reviews
City Tour

They did not tell us the bus could not go into the old city, so to see it, you had to walk which you could have done from the boat dock just as well.

View All 66 City Tour Reviews
Harbor Cruise

The harbor tour was great. We were supposed to also go to the beach but it was just too cold to swim.

View All 22 Harbor Cruise Reviews

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