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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
My boyfriend and I chose this cruise in particular because it left from LA (where we both live) and the price was right. I've cruised on Princess before, but it's been almost exactly 10 years so I was interested to see what had changed. ... Read More
My boyfriend and I chose this cruise in particular because it left from LA (where we both live) and the price was right. I've cruised on Princess before, but it's been almost exactly 10 years so I was interested to see what had changed. For reference, I am 27 and my boyfriend is 30. Embarkation was easy. The people that work in the cruise terminal clearly deal with people boarding the ship every week so they have everything down to a science. From being dropped off at Pier 93 to opening the door to our cabin, I think it was about 15 minutes. Our cabin was nice. We were on Baja deck, cabin B623 which is a balcony cabin. It was clean and well maintained. The bathroom though, and the shower in particular, was pretty small. It was barely manageable for me (at 5'9"), but my boyfriend is 6'4" and he had a really hard time in the shower. I chose Baja deck specifically because the deck above you cannot look directly down to see your balcony. We could see the balconies of the people below us (decks 9 and 10). So if you want more privacy, Baja deck is nice. Our cabin steward, Dennis, was great. He had an uncanny ability to know when we were out of our cabin and it was almost always cleaned when we got back. I don't know if he learned our schedule or if we were just lucky, but no complaints there. We had an issue with an unpleasant fishy smell in our cabin one night. I left him a note before we went to dinner to see if it was something in the plumbing or what, and he called later that night. He offered to have the carpet shampooed, which I really appreciated. We had early dining in the Botticelli dining room. I had requested a table for two since we were celebrating our anniversary and was pleasantly surprised when we were given a table for two. The dining room was beautiful and the our waiter and assistant waiter were nice and attentive. I was almost always happy with the food in the dining room. I had a gnocchi dish one night that I wasn't the biggest fan of, but all the meat dishes were delicious. The portions were perhaps small if you compare them to a typical American restaurant, but I thought everything was a good size since you're eating an appetizer, main course, and dessert. If you're expecting Claim Jumper portion sizes, then you'd be disappointed. But I was happy, and never left the dining room hungry. The food in the Horizon Court, which was the ship's buffet area, was a bit of a let down. I get that breakfast buffets are a bit of a challenge. Scrambled eggs (and eggs in general) get weird pretty quickly, but I was disappointed with the offerings for breakfast. Nothing really impressed me and I found myself reaching for the pastries instead of the hot items. The seating area in the Horizon Court always seemed to be crowded so it was often hard to find a table. We ended up sitting outside on the Lido deck most mornings. However, I did eat one of my favorite items the whole cruise in the Horizon Court for dinner one night. The pumpkin gnocchi with mushroom sauce was delicious! I ate two servings of that and wanted more if I wasn't so stuffed. The pizza, hot dogs and hamburgers served up on the deck were tasty. We ate that for lunch most days instead of risking the buffet. They offered calzones on the last day of the cruise, which I was excited for, until I took a bite. The whole calzone was empty! No cheese, sauce or any kind of filling. Not sure if I got a dud or what exactly happened there. We ate dinner one night in the Crown Grill, which is an additional charge of $29 per person. The food was delicious! We both thought it was a great deal since a steakhouse of that quality would have been at least triple the cost on land. Shout out to our great server Sheldon who really went above and beyond to make sure we enjoyed ourselves and that our food was perfect. Entertainment was great for the most part. I loved the cruise director, Peter, and his staff. Martin, Andrew, Kassia, and Renee were all very entertaining and seemed to genuinely enjoy their jobs. There were different game shows each night that were fun to watch and participate in. My boyfriend and I were kind of meh about the one production show we went to, Magic to Do. I wasn't particularly impressed with any of the singers and they "magic" tricks they do aren't particularly impressive. The comedian on board, Phil Tag, was great! Very funny and entertaining. Service overall was good. We went to happy hour in the Wheelhouse Bar almost every day from 3-4. It was buy one get one for $1. The servers were quick to bring us drinks and always offered a last call before the happy hour was over, which I appreciated. There was always a lot of staff working for happy hour, which was nice since it got crowded. I also don't think we ever waited more than 5 minutes in one of the lounges for someone to take our drink order. There always seemed to be a lot of people working in the bars so service was quick. We didn't get to try the Salty Dog gastropub but I really wish that Princess would have that open for lunch instead of just dinner. We definitely would have tried it for lunch. They did offer a complimentary pub lunch on one of the sea days which was good. I wished they had offered it more than once. Though we were one of the younger couples on the cruise, we had a great time. The ship was well maintained and we always found stuff we wanted to do. I think you can always find stuff to nitpick and I feel like a lot of reviews on this ship are nitpicky. I was kind of worried after reading a lot of these reviews because it seemed like a lot of people had bad experiences. But I was really pleasantly surprised by the crew and food (for the most part). I think if you go into the cruise with an open mind and a positive attitude, you'll have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Wanted to go somewhere warm. Cruise to Mexico was smothe all the way south. Coming back we had a little front to back motion. No side to side motion. We had a balcony cabin at the front of the ship on deck 15. We enjoyed the cabin and ... Read More
Wanted to go somewhere warm. Cruise to Mexico was smothe all the way south. Coming back we had a little front to back motion. No side to side motion. We had a balcony cabin at the front of the ship on deck 15. We enjoyed the cabin and the view. The cabin closet is open and has plenty of room to hang clothes. Plenty of room to story your luggage also. There is a area with a door with shelves to store other clothes. The safe is here also, it is a great size. My wife loved the bed. The bathroom was a fair size but the shower is small. There are news channels on the tv. They do have newer movies playing on the tv. The food at the buffet was ok but not a big selection as other cruise lines have. Food in the main restaurants was fair to good. They do have a lobster night. There is entertainment in the main theater every night. The singers at the karaoke were excellent. The crew was great. If you go on the yelpa excursion try to go on boat #4. The guys on it were great,they waited on us hand and foot, they performed various skits it was so funny. I was surprised as the ship was not crowded. Only saw a few children on this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We booked this trip because the embarkation/disembarkation port was close to home and we were interested in the itinerary. The embarkation was a little slow, the port was understaffed and it seemed a little confused. Our port agent ... Read More
We booked this trip because the embarkation/disembarkation port was close to home and we were interested in the itinerary. The embarkation was a little slow, the port was understaffed and it seemed a little confused. Our port agent did not tell us that we needed a boarding number so we were just sitting around until we started asking how we know what group we were in. A port representative then told us we were supposed to have a number then gave us one. All went well after that. I expected Princess to be an upscale large line with their service and accommodations. I usually cruise Celebrity and have heard many comparisons between the two lines. As far as a luxurious line Princess needs to improve to be considered in the same league. In general the staff was very friendly and helpful. Top service is definitely missing from Princess. For example; when I get up to leave the table in the middle of dinner and come back, refold my napkin, offer a wine list in the specialty restaurants without having to ask, provide something other than plastic dining plates and glasses in the buffet, make sure the wine glasses match in specialty restaurants. The service n Crown Grill and Sabatini's was HORRIBLE almost pushing unfriendly. It is surprising this ship was just in dry dock a little over a year ago. During this cruise there were several locations of buckets catching leaks throughout the ship,including dining areas. The carpets were always wet and musty in the common areas. Most of the cruise I saw carpet dryers all over the ship. The furniture in many of the bars was stained or was threadbare. I have come to expect more than what Princess provided while cruising, especially for the price point. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our 2nd time sailing with Princess Cruises, and 2nd time on the Grand Princess. Overall this is our 10th cruise with many different lines. I have to say living right in the Bay Area is so convenient. We took a 20 minute drive to ... Read More
This was our 2nd time sailing with Princess Cruises, and 2nd time on the Grand Princess. Overall this is our 10th cruise with many different lines. I have to say living right in the Bay Area is so convenient. We took a 20 minute drive to the cruise terminal and from curbside to the ship took less than 10 minutes. It was absolutely fabulous. The terminal was very well maintained and the porters and staff on the ground were very helpful. It was the fastest check in/debarkation process from any other port I have been to. We stayed in a Mini Suite Cabin (D314) as we did so last time we were on the Grand. The Cabin was very nice, 2 tv's and a separate sitting area. We were welcomed by our very friendly Room Steward Dominador and made our way around the ship. You can definitely see some spots where the ship is showing its age however for a 20 year old ship, its in pretty damn good shape. Last time we took this cruise we were cut 2 days short and an overnight in SF. Due to technical difficulties on the last cruise before us which sent the ship into dry dock to get necessary repairs. Fortunately departed right on time, and also a different Captain. The sail away out of San Francisco is extraordinary it's unlike any other port. The Iconic Golden Gate Bridge. The really exhilarating part was there was 10 people on the bridge waving down at us as we passed under! It was great. Food options were great in the dinning room and buffet. We dined at the Crown Grill 4 times as well as the Sabatini's Italian Trattoria once. The Crown Grill is definitely the best restaurant on the ship, all though it does cost extra to dine there, it's definitely worth it. On the other hand, wouldn't recommend the Sabatini's. They completely changed the menu from the last time we were there and wasn't all impressed with their options... Wait staff and Matîre D's were very kind, especially a shoutout to Oana (Assistant Matîre D) and Aleksander (Head Waiter Crown Grill) They were simply amazing. Entertainment onboard was great, there was something for everyone. From outstanding piano players, magicians, vocal groups, and of course the ships dancers and singers. All the ports were great but wasn't so impressed with the stop in Manzanillo, more of an industrial port and was lacking stuff to do. Not to impressed. However the rest of the ports were great! Overall I would definitely recommend this ship especially if you are within the Bay Area or near to San Francisco. It is totally worth the money and even though the Grand is one of Princess's oldest ships it's still very well maintained. I will definitely be sailing on the Grand again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We had a party of 20 on a New Years Cruise out of Los Angeles. The embarcation process was simple and efficient. Once we boarded the excitement set in. Then came dinner time and everything went down hill from then on. The food was cold ... Read More
We had a party of 20 on a New Years Cruise out of Los Angeles. The embarcation process was simple and efficient. Once we boarded the excitement set in. Then came dinner time and everything went down hill from then on. The food was cold and not well prepared. Not enough wait staff. Although, I had communicated I had a severe peanut allergy two months before sailing, it took them over an hour to even have the waiter get someone who would take my special order. The next day was no different. The food was simply horrible. Forget about ordering room service. I actually timed the hold time, and the least hold time was 35 minutes. The steak house was good and the service excellent. The Crab Shack was awful. The staff was not knowledgeable and frankly rude. There was no entertainment, but the same comic every night. I have sailed on many cruise lines and this one deserves an F in the main dining room and wait staff service. The front desk staff was beyond awesome. Pfofessional, courteous and knowledgeable. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This is our 5th Princess cruise and each trip seems to be not quite as WOW as the last. I feel something has been lost with group tipping. Staff were friendly enough but didn't seem to go out of their way. If asked, they were fine. ... Read More
This is our 5th Princess cruise and each trip seems to be not quite as WOW as the last. I feel something has been lost with group tipping. Staff were friendly enough but didn't seem to go out of their way. If asked, they were fine. The only Princess shore excursion was to the Hotel California in Todos Santos. Long ride for a very little bit. I was with my mother who is somewhat limited in mobility. We wanted to shop so had the driver drop us a few blocks closer to Hotel California, missing the church. I have no idea if there had been any touring of the hotel itself. The included lunch was good if a little slow in coming. Once our table ordered alcohol, the waiters were more attentive. I would not do this one again. Ship's food was good. Wait staff was inconsistent. Speculation was that the experienced staff had taken the time for the holidays and the second and third string staff were working. Guest entertainment was great! We had Paul Baker of British theater and his stunning voice and skill in entertaining. The magician RJ Lewis is also just as professional and headlined the stage show called Magic to Do. Jammin Jay Lamont was so funny and talented. We saw him both times he performed. I hope Princess reads these reviews. I hesitate to book another cruise. Or at least, my expectations will be lower. And speaking of future bookings, read the fine print on deposits on future bookings. I am afraid Princess is becoming more like Carnival. And I won't sail Carnival. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This cruise was chosen because I my work closes down Christmas week and I was looking for a cruise and the cruises out of Florida were too expensive so I went with this cruise. I had been on two previous Mexican Riviera cruises so I didn't ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because I my work closes down Christmas week and I was looking for a cruise and the cruises out of Florida were too expensive so I went with this cruise. I had been on two previous Mexican Riviera cruises so I didn't really go for the destination, just to cruise. Embarkation was very easy and we were on the ship by approximately 11:15am. A local Christmas singing quartet was on the ship and was performing in the Atrium; it was very nice to sit and listen to them perform. The other entertainment was fairly good including a singer from the West End in London named Paul Baker; this man was a fabulous singer. There was another entertainer named Jammin Jay Lamont and he was very good also. The production shows were good and the orchestra was very good. This was my first time on a Christmas cruise and there was a lot of holiday songs and events. The service and staff on this cruise was not up to my previous Princess cruises. The staff seemed a bit grumpy at times, it took 20 minutes for my waiter to show up on the first night, the Maitre'D was rude when I wanted to talk to him about the service, my orders were forgotten twice in the International Café, and I felt that the staff was just not as good as in the past. I also feel that the food was average (my medium well filet was done well, nothing was outstanding except for one dessert, selection was just so so). We did take a Princess excursion in Puerto Vallarta: Deluxe Sunset Cruise. The excursion was fine but the sunset wasn't the best since it was very cloudy, but it is always nice to be out on the sea on an excursion. We also did a non-Princess whale watch in Cabo San Lucas. The cruise overall was ok but it was just not as good as previous Princess cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise as it was cheaper than the NCL for the same itinerary to Mexico etc. Absolutely nothing stood out for us on this cruise as far as the food, entertainment and service. We had been on a NCL the previous year and even ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was cheaper than the NCL for the same itinerary to Mexico etc. Absolutely nothing stood out for us on this cruise as far as the food, entertainment and service. We had been on a NCL the previous year and even though it was full we had a wonderful time. Food was superior, service was top notch, and the entertainment was excellent compared to what we experienced on this Ruby Princess. The only bright spot was the balcony room we had which was larger by virtue of its location above the minisuite floor. We found the dining room food was lack luster and we found the same stuff in the buffet. One time it took 1.5 hrs to have lunch and later we saw the same food at the buffet. So we were joking that the waiter probably had to run over to the buffet and bring us back a plate of food!! Also, we had dinner in one of the dining rooms one night and didn't think it was very good. I asked what the Norman Love dessert was (chocolatier for Princess as per all the advertising on the cruise site) and they looked at me as if I was from another planet LOL!!!! The idea of the afternoon tea seemed nice so we tried it. Well, the sandwiches looked delicious, however the bread was dry, as if they had made them earlier and left them sitting without wrap on to keep fresh...... Service was substandard in our opinion. In one of the bars waiters kept walking past us and did not ask if we would like a drink, even though it was obvious we had none. My husband resorted to pushing the drink menu off the table so a waiter would stop to put it back, and that is how someone finally paid attention to us..ggrrrrr We could have forgone the entertainment and not missed anything....the area was way too small and if you didn't get there early, forget getting a seat. We will go back to NCL and/or try another line next time. Also, we didn't go on any cruise excursions and we have been to Mexico before and besides wouldn't pay ship prices anyways. Just walked around and explored ourselves and tried to enjoy ship while most had left.....that was the best time on the ship sad to say. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
I would like contribute my 5 cents comments. We flew all the way from VCR (Vancouver, BC, Canada) to LAX to catch Ruby Princess sailed from Dec 16-23rd 2017. This is our 3rd time cruising and it’s the worst among the three. The first ... Read More
I would like contribute my 5 cents comments. We flew all the way from VCR (Vancouver, BC, Canada) to LAX to catch Ruby Princess sailed from Dec 16-23rd 2017. This is our 3rd time cruising and it’s the worst among the three. The first time with HAL( Holland America)/5 Stars in 2013, Norwegian/4 Stars in 2016 & Ruby Princess/3.5 Stars in 2017. Planning to go to Hawaii in future with any ship but Princess. First day was very disappointed as 1) free coffee (dark roast) was tasteless (even McDonald’s coffee is way better than your free tasteless coffee). I ended it up buying the Americano from International Café but it’s also was waste of money. Ice tea is meaning Ice and tea, no flavour at all. Lemonade is also awful without enough sugar. Look at the positive side that I was quite healthy on the ship as I had been only drinking water all the way. I bought coffee at Puerto Vallarta and the Mint Mocha and Dark Roast coffee were so good, feeling like holiday at that moment. HAL had great free dark roast coffee and juice all day long (fresh juice at breakfast and tasty juice all day long). 2) The two servers assigned to our table at Da Vinci Restaurant was impolite the first day (table no. 443) – they were very laid back and with bad attitude/not respectful to us that I was feeling like dinning at a food court. I did talk to the customer service located at the front desk right after dinner and it seems the two servers attitude has changed the following night and after – don’t know whether it was coincidence or not. 3) the server who served the big table behind ours was very rude to my kids. Four of us sitting at table 443 and our small round table was very cramped for 4 people. An old grumpy grandpa waiter had to go thru our table each time when he carry a food tray passed by our table . Each night he had to ask my daughter (she is sitting on my left hand side) to move her chair forward to give him enough space to pass by for 7 nights non-stop. For the first night my daughter was fine but after 7 night in a row my daughter said she will not travel by Princess as the waiter was mean to her. Also, when my son was standing up and talking with his Daddy (my husband was sitting on my right hand side) while waiting for the food to come, the old grumpy grandpa waiter was again asking my son to give him space so he can pass by our table to serve the table behind us. So basically each night we couldn’t move ourselves until the old Grumpy Server settle down with his customers – he was rude to my kids but he was very nice to his own table. 4) I have bought two sliver plated rings (Viamar) for my daughter which cost USD35ish but they are very expensive for a Dollarama quality as I found out one of the stones already fell off when we get home and opened the pouch. Even though the sales girl kept telling us it’s life time warranty but when I read the little sheet carefully, it said it’s only for American resident! Nice trick. 6) Ruby Princess is old and small that the ship was quite choppy in the sea and need to go to dry dock for maintenance next year. 5) It was so boring on the boat – there was not much family event. A lot of EFFY (jewelry) on sale, casino, Art Auctions etc. I missed the Rock Climbing on Norwegian ship, Cooking class and Dance with the Star at HAL. After the 2nd night of Ruby I already missed home and I preferred to stay at home with my dog instead of cruising with Ruby during the Christmas season. My travel agent told me Princess is very competitive to HAL and is a 5 STARS cruise ship company. What a waste of time and money but I still insist to write you something to share my experience. Even my daughter against it why waste more time on Princess. Here I come and will put it on Trip Advisor and more review online. By the way, both of kids lost 2-3 pounds during this trip for only 7 nights, isn’t great news ;) 6) Talking to my girlfriend who cruises a lot in the past also comments her daughter did not like Princess – the little girl of 11-year old thinks it’s boring on the boat. Royal Caribbean is the best for her family. I will find out myself next time Read Less
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