Great ports, mediocre entertainment!: Grand Princess Cruise Review by jooles

Grand Princess 4
Member Since 2005
3 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Great ports, mediocre entertainment!

Sail Date: July 2011
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Southampton
Two weeks cruise from Southampton, not a bad price £999 room with a view! Food good, had anytime dining, especially Michelangelos where never had to wait for seating this meant we got to see most of the entertainment rather than restricted dining times. However, some did say they waited 20 mins, there is a pager system so not really a problem. Horizon Court food was sometimes cold but it was a buffet with lots of choice and good quality. But usually went to the waited breakfast /lunch options. Meals in the dining room were very good and served with the high quality usually found on Princess.

Entertainment mediocre- there were only three production shows in 14 days, they were quite good, can't count the first night as this was a shambles as one of the guest entertainers had missed the boat in Southampton so entertainment manager rambled on and on. The guest entertainers were mostly good, except for the two comedians on separate evenings, one male one female, whose main More joke was to insult the audience and anyone who moved, and they seemed to have seen each others shows the amount of jokes/comments they shared!

The boat has recently had a facelift and it was very nice, also very stable as felt nothing through Bay of Biscay or Med. Some people moaned about cost of drinks, but think this might be because they forgot the charges are in dollars not £s- Screw driver= $4.95 not too bad but of course there is then the 15% bar tip they add on to all bar charges!

I liked the fact that the 24 HOUR food was actually a very small area with paninis/ sandwiches/salad and desserts on deck 5- not the ridiculous amounts of waste seen on other boats- but the coffee/tea/chocolate were extra no free drinks available after 11.30pm! Points to note;

1.Take your driving licence or other form of government issue ID with you or you have to take your passport in all of the ports.

2.Make sure you visit the pursers desk to remove the voluntary daily tipping! They have a form ready for us Brits!

3. Use the free room service on port days so you are not queueing for breakfast and can get off quickly to make the most of the time in port.

4. Although the Princess website says jacket/tie required for men for meals in dining rooms, most only wore short sleeve shirts and some tee shirts on non formal nights. I was quite surprised how casual every one dressed. I did see one man refused entry wearing shorts though. Even formal nights were not that dressy not many Tuxedos/long frocks like on Cunard/PO.

5. Think before purchasing the Soda package for kids- unless coke is required the free lemonade served on deck 14 is lovely! There is always iced water/tea available too.

6. Don't automatically go for the ships excursions, be adventurous, the cruise desk are very helpful and the port lectures are useful! Less

Published 08/09/11

Cabin review: Ee320

Port and Shore Excursions

Barcelona- easy access to Las Ramblas however,this does depend which port docked in as one is only a few streets from start of Las Ramblas about 10 min max. Also the open top buses stop right outside here, 23 Euros for a tour around Barcelona with 4 different routes you can utilise. The other port is a long walk about 45 mins, but there are shuttle buses and taxis easily available.

Read 1729 Barcelona Reviews

Ajacio lovely port but unless want to see the Island or honey farm no need for ship excursions as centre of the town and beaches a few minutes from the port. There is a road train, 7 Euros which takes you around and gives a commentary but not hop on/off. The open top bus hop on/off costs more and takes you along the coast a little way.

The ports were great! Gibraltor don't do the cruise excursions unless need wheelchair help. Right outside boat are minibus taxis for 12 Euros will take you on a great tour to see the monkeys, caves and the Rock and drop you in the main street. The port shuttle will take you direct to the main shopping street for 3 Euros return, or you can walk about 20-30 mins.

Monaco- beautiful place. Very accessible without the ship excursions as so small. A road train and small open top bus accessible directly from port, we were tendered into the port. They go to all the main places hop on/off as you wish. Palace is 8 Euros to enter and the Casino 10 Euros. You need passport to get into the Casino, worth going to look if only to see the exhibition of expensive cars on the car park!

Naples- dirty city! but Pompeii worth a visit! Go by train as only a few Euros and station in Pompeii itself. Worth having a taxi from ship to train station as not nice walking through Naples itself, still a lot cheaper than ship excursion. There is an open top bus which takes you along the coast. It is a long drive to Sorrento and Amalfi coast so recommend the ship excursion but beware the roads can be narrow and winding.

Read 1162 Naples Reviews

Rome 1 1/2 hours from port, so went with the ship excursions but did our own thing once there. Plenty of time to see inside Basilica, and went on open top bus only 18 Euros, really good value saw most places if a little quickly. The coach and guide provided by ship was very good and worth the money imo.

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Member Since 2005
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