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Sail Date: March 2012
Let me first start by stating that my wife and myself are long time Princess cruisers and have sailed on the Grand Princess three times in the past and have enjoyed ourselves each time. But for Princess Cruises times have changed and the ... Read More
Let me first start by stating that my wife and myself are long time Princess cruisers and have sailed on the Grand Princess three times in the past and have enjoyed ourselves each time. But for Princess Cruises times have changed and the "Grand" is not as grand as it used to be. The ship. The ship was recently overhauled and while the public areas have changed it was not really and improvement, just a change. The Skywalker lounge was removed. This lounge which was on the seventeenth floor used to be a great quite place to read during the day, have a drink during the afternoon and dance at night. It was also nice for shade during the day and protection fron the rain. While there are still many places to dance and drink, the quite of Skywalker's was missed during the day when you wanted quite. With music blaring at you from every direction sometime a little quite is appreciated. Three new eating places were added on the fifth deck. In my opinion each can be removed with no loss. The International Cafe sells expensive coffee and tea drinks and has free pastry and four salads and five sandwiches. The salads and the sandwiches never changed during the entire seven day trip. The new pizza place is no better than the one on deck ten was had very little attendance during our trip. The Vines Wine bar was completely empty every time I passed by and with the prices they charges for a glass of what would be inexpensive wine in any stateside liquor store you can understand why it was empty. The new Club One on the fourteenth floor and the smokers lounge was very well done but it was not large enough for the Captains club members to find seating during the afternoon cocktail hour. The rest of the ship remains as it was and I find it one of the more comfortable ships afloat. The Mattresses need to be changed out and the carpets are looking a little old, but the ship itself is still a kindly ship to sail on. The Cabin. Our cabin number was C722. This is the tenth deck in the rear of the ship. The room was quite, a little on the small side, but quite nice overall. A problem experienced by all I spoke to was the lack of cold water. The water from the tap while tasting fine was warm when it came out. This necessitated our poor steward to constantly bring fresh ice into the room. This particular cabin had a motion problem when going into the wind that produced a felling that you were being shaken awake. The motion disappeared when sailing in any other direction. Having sailed on the Grand a number of times before, but only a midships I can only attribute it to being in the back of the ship. We never felt it before and for the first two nights did cause us to lose some sleep. The Food. Princess has greatly downgraded the food served on the ship. For three night on a seven day cruise I found nothing that I wanted to eat on the menu. I was told the reason for the change was that Princess was having trouble finding adequate amounts or Rack of Lamb and other foods for their fleet. I find this hard to believe since the dish is still available in the pay for restaurants. My feeling is that they have dumb downed the menu to try and force you into the more expensive restaurants. On Italian night the best thing on the menu was Veal Marsala. The veal was tough and the marsala sauce was the worst I have ever eaten. If you are from any major city with good and cheap Italian food expect to cry in despair when you eat it. It looks like they roasted the Veal and then poured some type of dark sauce over it. The same could be said for the lamb shanks served one other night. The best comment our table was able to say was, "Well it was tender" The lamb shanks was served over a bed of lentils. YUCK! On the Good side the Standing Rib Roast was excellent,the seafood dishes generally good, and on Lobester night, plentyfull. The Lido deck buffet is now closed after 11:00 pm so except for the five sandwiches and four salads at the international Cafe or the Pizza place no after show snack was available on the ship. Even if you got one of the sandwiches it was to be eaten indoors instead of the outside area on the lido deck in the warn Caribbean night. Iced tea at night is gone. I can not comment on the pay for restaurants since I consider the very idea of them an abomination, and refuse to try them even when offerd a free upgrade. Entertainment: Excellent every night. While I am not a production show type of person. the ones I did watch were excellent. The staff should not be allowed to put on the staff show since it was very amertuerish, and karaoke is not a form of entertainment for those forced to listen. In general the comedians and singers were all good. Staff & Crew: Excellent as ever and when compared to every other cruise line I have traveled on, the best. The one weird thing about this cruise is that the Captain refused to shake hands with anyone at the Captain's party. It was like we had leprosy and he was afraid to catch it. You put out your hand and he never took it. He never said hello or welcome back. Almost everyone I spoke to about it felt very insulted. Embarkation and debarkation. Smooth as silk. Less than 5 minutes to get on the ship and less than ten to get off. As A final note My wife and I had a great time on this cruise and we will return again to Princess. As I heard about playing golf, "The worst day on a Golf course is better than the best day at work". The same can be said about our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
We went on the Emerald Princess on February 6th for a 10 day cruise. It was our first time with Princess. We were nervous about trying another line after the horrible time we had with MSC. We read trip advisor for all our travels. ... Read More
We went on the Emerald Princess on February 6th for a 10 day cruise. It was our first time with Princess. We were nervous about trying another line after the horrible time we had with MSC. We read trip advisor for all our travels. Especially the negative comments about Princess and Emerald, in particular was the "hard" beds. This was not evident to us. Just to be on the safe side we pre ordered the mattress toppers. They were so thin I do not think they were of much benefit. But we did not find the beds to be "hard" They were not as nice as the beds on HAL but we had no problem sleeping on them. The food was another area that was of concern as mentioned here as well. We found the food to be good. It is not quite as good as HAL but we had no problem with the meals. There will be somethings that are not to every ones taste, but that does not make it horrible food. We found the staff very friendly and helpful. We lucked in to the best waiter in the dining room we have ever had on any cruise. His name was Romeo (assistant Ariel). We had traditional seating. We have never had a waiter who was so funny and friendly and still was professional!! We miss him still. Our room attendant was o.k. Not as knowledgeable as some to your comings and goings. We have been HAL fans for a while but Princess came in a close 2nd! We are booked to do the 16 day South Pacific Cruise on the Ocean Princess in March 2013. We had a great time. NO complaints with embarking and only a "snag" on disembarking. When we are still in the terminal we were constantly being yelled at to "keep on moving". How fast did they want us to move? A running Jog?. It's not like we were standing still. Do they forget you have all your luggage with you? (we needed a self disembarkation for one member of our party so we all decided to go at that time) My 85 year old mother was having trouble with her luggage and I started to go back to help her and was yelled at to keep on moving! The people who wear the "Princess" name tags that work on the pier should take a lesson from the staff on the ship. The lady organizing the people to the proper buses for airport transportation was a b...h. She was rude, rude, rude. Yelling at people unnecessarily. She ordered us to "hurry and get on the bus"!. There was only 4 people on the bus at this time. The bus never left for 20more minutes!The luggage handler was also rude and grabbed the bags and told to "GET ON THE BUS!" as well. These two must have been having a really bad day earlier that morning. It made me fell like now we have your money, your cruise is over so now we want you out of our faces. ASAP! This was the only down to the cruise. Just wonder if Princess knows that this is the way these "off ship" people are treating their customers? Read Less
Sail Date: February 2010
This was our third cruise, but first on Princess. We have booked an Alaskan cruise this summer on Coral Princess, so we were anxious to see how Princess does things. Embarkation was so easy! We breezed thru in no time and were on the ship ... Read More
This was our third cruise, but first on Princess. We have booked an Alaskan cruise this summer on Coral Princess, so we were anxious to see how Princess does things. Embarkation was so easy! We breezed thru in no time and were on the ship within a few minutes of being dropped off at the dock. (Fortunately, we live within an hour of FLL, and were lucky to have a friend drive us to the port. We were traveling with another couple and we have been looking forward to this week for months! We headed to the Horizon Buffet where we encountered the Crowd! The food was adequate, and we ate a quick lunch before taking off to explore the ship. Our first stop was the purser's desk. We had been wait listed for Early Dining and the purser suggested that we go to the dining room after 2 pm to speak to someone. Evidently there were a lot of requests that were similar. We were given a standing 6 pm reservation in the Da Vinci Dining Room, where we had excellent service by our waiter Randy, and his assistant, Maria (from Chile). One evening we had a reservation for Sabatini's and the food was delicious. Jose (from Mexico) was a fabulous waiter for the 3+ hr. dinner! Most mornings we would have room service and enjoy our continental breakfast on our balcony. We also chose to eat in the dining rooms during the day, as opposed to going to the buffet. We thought that the singers and dancers were only mediocre on this cruise. Not on a par with Celebrity or Royal Caribbean. But the comedians were better, especially Phil Tag, who was hilarious. We played Bingo, went to art auctions, and enjoyed time in the casino. The street entertainment was enjoyable and there was always something to do. The week flew by and before we knew it, it was time to leave. Disembarkation was delayed by about an hour and was not was smooth as previous cruises, but it was uneventful. We had a great trip and it was especially fun to share it with good friends. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2009
I've just read two "reviews" of the December 2009 P & O Sun cruise out of Fremantle One called the ship a rusty old bucket....which I do NOT agree with. In fact that poor miserable traveler didn't have a very good ... Read More
I've just read two "reviews" of the December 2009 P & O Sun cruise out of Fremantle One called the ship a rusty old bucket....which I do NOT agree with. In fact that poor miserable traveler didn't have a very good trip... but maybe it's their attitude. The other review was closer to my point of view... though I do have some complaints about dining room service. we skipped dessert a few times because it NEVER arrived and the waiters had master that 'I don't see you stare'. Over all I preferred the buffet...more choices, more vegetables and you could eat and go. I've been on 7 other cruises, none on this line, they were a bit more expensive and a few years back. The food on those ships was better...but... food on this ship was quite good most of the time. Though the 'lobster bisque' should be renamed 'oxtail soup' - for that is what it Though the 'lobster bisque' should be renamed 'oxtail soup' - for that is what it looked and tasted like. I thought there was more vibration then on other ships I've been on. it didn't cause me any sleepless nights...but was noticeable not only in the cabin but even more so on some of the upper decks. Yes, there was a problem with the water system for a couple of days salty water and ice. but ....things happen. Three days out I developed 'shingles' I thought the medical staff was excellent.... I didn't have travel insurance so I don't get my money back.. but wasn't that expensive...and worth the price. Even received a typed up report to take back to my regular GP. There were a few issues with excursions. Overall I'd do it again! just maybe not the singles part!. There were a few issues with excursions. Overall I'd do it again! just maybe not the singles part!. NOTE: your comment section does not give FREMANTLE as an options and none of the port-o-calls we went to were listed in the drop down menus Read Less
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