Not so Grand - The Grand Princess: Grand Princess Cruise Review by Eddie Roberts

Grand Princess 3
Eddie Roberts

Overall Member Rating

Not so Grand - The Grand Princess

Sail Date: June 2010
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Southampton
Checking in at the QE2 Terminal at Southampton was laboured compared with other cruise check ins used taking appx 1 hour from parking the car and entering the check in queue which was snaking out of the entrance door.
First impressions of Grand Princess was a ship in desperate need of a major refit - having said that it was not terrible - just faded and worn in a number of areas, mainly carpets and seating. The ships public room windows accessible from the Promenade Deck 7 were filthy and no excuse for areas which can be accessed so easily.

Cabins were again dated and a little staid. We took a mini suite on Dolphin Deck. The furniture was adequate but not inspiring and the bathroom had certainly been well used. All facilities were fully functional in the room apart from a temperamental hair drier. If you like a cuppa first thing - take a mini kettle - Princess don't provide one.

The food was for the most part excellent, although one or two meals were More considered substandard by all diners on the fixed sitting in the Bottecelli Dining Room. The attending waiters were excellent. Entertainment provided by the ships own singers and dancers was very good which is more than can be said for the hired in entertainers who were for the most part sub standard and this was the view of most passengers not just myself. Drinks on board are well over priced with a 15% service charge added and we aware - you don't get a receipt so note what you spend. The staff throughout were excellent - very attentive without being on top of you and very charming. Our cabin attendant DK always got us what we requested immediately - although we did not trouble him much. Cabins were kept clean and tidy.

We did excursions to Seville, ALgherro, Rome and Florence. Each apart from Algherro were ' On your Own' You got taken - dropped off and collected at the appointed time. This is by far the best way to do the major cities - don't go - the Best of as you get very little free time to explore - we know - we fell in the same trap last year. Barcelona - do on an open top city tour bus - 22 Euros and you can hop on and hop off as many times as you wish. The ship lost all power on 3 occasions I was on board with the loss of lighting, air conditioning and oh yes propulsion. Matters were rectified quickly and identified to a defective generator. I think the skipper was not a happy bunny - by the tone of his voice. The ship got unbearably hot and many passengers were forced out to the promenade deck to cool down. A few days later a lot of passengers and crew were going down with sore throats and very bad coughs. I have told things as I saw them. Having said all I have the cruise/holiday was still lovely and I would go back to Princess but not on Grand Princess until she gets a long overdue refit. Less

Published 07/04/10

Cabin review: AAD215

Grubby balcony seats and although a mini suite - crowded with 3 adults using at the same time. Cabin tired by modern standards - TV rubbish. Princess need to up their game - tea/coffee making facilities a must in rooms. On demand TV for checking accounts - seeing what is on the next day or excursion programme with much more data about port and excursions

Port and Shore Excursions

Get on a local tourist bus - 22 Euros - you get on and off as often as you like - the Spanish Village is excellent - Red Line bus. 9.50 Euros plus 3 Euros for Headphone guide but you get a discount on entry showing your tour bus ticket and on the headphones

Read 1749 Barcelona Reviews

A simply beautiful place - long promenade - lovely buildings and excellent but expensive shops. Take coffee, drinks or food away from the promenade front - 50% cheaper a couple of streets back

Read 367 Cannes Reviews

Second visit to Florence in 2 years so a little of the magic was lost. Still a lovely city with many impressive buildings. Watch out for pickpockets especially around the busy places - do not carry anything you don't need.

An absolute must. Do Rome on your own - we got 5 hours to explore but if you want to see Rome forget the Vatican and Basilica - you will spend most of your time in a queue. We walked all day and saw the Colosseum, The Palace, Trevi Fountain, various churches, statues, piazza and returned to the Basilica at the end just to take pictures - people who queued for the Vatican and tombs - saw nothing - they ran out of time.

We tendered ashore in Algherro - a quaint fishing/port town in the west of the country. We took a coach trip to Bossa - but in all honesty wish we had not - the coach trip was about 1 hour in each direction on tortuous mountain roads and Bossa does not have much to commend it. Algherro - is modern and old - very attractive promenade and beaches close by.

Read 193 Sardinia Reviews

Seville was disappointing - I had images of a city bedecked in Orange Groves - instead it is a busy bustling city of old and new. The Palace gardens were a joy - and it was like a tardis inside - it just went on and on and on - fantastic.

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Eddie Roberts
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