We choose this cruise for a couple of reasons. First, it was going to Hawaii during our anniversary and second, we wanted a step up from Carnival. Step up it wasn't. Let me say that we will give Princess another try, just not on the ... Read More
We choose this cruise for a couple of reasons. First, it was going to Hawaii during our anniversary and second, we wanted a step up from Carnival. Step up it wasn't. Let me say that we will give Princess another try, just not on the Grand Princess. This ship needs to retire with all the issues it had with water leaks, toilet not flushing and not just your room toilets which was so un-sanitizing, staff ignoring us and the pricing was beyond what we thought it should be for photos and such, they weren't going to make deals with you, you pay or you don't get your photos....
We weren't impressed with this cruise and It did NOT meet our expectations, in fact it was the worst cruise we've been on. This cruise had many retired people with wheelchairs, walkers, scooters and such that it was hard getting around. There were lots of folks with health issues that I'm sure shouldn't have been on this ship and I was surprised were allowed on the ship. One man whom was in the ships hospital said the waiting room was so filled with sick people trying to get in that they sent him back to his cabin after a blood transfusion. This man hit his arm on something and couldn't stop the bleeding, lost half his blood and needed a transfusion, which I had heard the announcement for donors to help save his life at midnight just two days before. I was shocked that they wanted him out of there so fast, but as he said, there were a lot of sick folks waiting to get in. My husband became sick the day before we arrived back at port and I got sick couple of days after that. It's taken me a week to get over this illness and I'm still not %100. We are in our 60's and far from being young chicks, but we are very active people so this has been hard for us to say this least...
The entertainment was very good but if you wanted a seat you had to get there one hour before the show, or 30 minute for an OK seat. I've never seen so many people arrive to the theater 1 hour before the show. We learned this quick so we also got a seat, we would talk and have a drink but it was a long night having to wait. Maybe it was because these were seniors, but they get there early, it could be that the theater was small too.
Our personal waiter and steward were good, but some ship staff didn't want to make eye contact with people, maybe they are uncomfortable with the elderly, or maybe of their demands, which was way more then we had even seen before. The food was good, Not great just good, except when we did the Chief's Table, now that was great, we paid $95 per person for that, but it was great.
Our cabin was just OK for the money, we've gotten a bigger cabin for the money on Carnival and Love it. One thing we did find on the door knobs was feces, which luckily for us I bring along disinfected wipes. I cleaned all door knobs, handles, the toilet and shower floor, which I was happy to do as I've found the stewards don't clean as well as you think they do, they didn't past my sneaky test. I put a couple of towels on the floor after marking them with a pin only to find them hanging back on the towel racks. Now you know that floor isn't clean, but those towels from the floor were back on the rack for us to use on our faces. If it weren't for the fact that my hubby and I Love to cruise, I wouldn't take another cruise knowing some of the stuff we saw and experience, but we do Love to cruise. So what to do, well take along your own cleaner, but aware of what your steward is cleaning or not cleaning in your cabin. I order bottled water for our cabin so I didn't have to drink the water on the ship and or from the cups provided. WIPE everything down. It's not just the seniors who get sick, so just keep it clean. Pull your sheets back and make sure it clean, if you have to make it over, so be it.
Please, Don't lose your coffee card or give it to a waiter and forget to ask for it back. I gave my coffee card to a waiter and he didn't give it back, as I was getting ready to leave the restaurant I realized I didn't get my card back so I went back to the table and asked for it, they said they gave it to me, now I know they didn't because I kept that card in a pouch around my neck, had he handed to me, it would have been there. I was the one made to feel was at fault by the maître d', needles to say I wasn't very upset. It took some doing but they gave me another card after taking out the 7 punches for the coffee I had, rightly so, but they should have done that from the beginning instead of making feel it was my fault. I can't believe they put their coffee at a higher importance than their customers. The regular coffee was horrible on this ship so I was grateful to have my card to get specialty coffee's.
For us, the stay at ports was just OK, the excursions were way to short and didn't give us the time we wanted and needed at places like Pearl Harbor, you need a whole day there. I think they could cut the Punchbowl and City Tour from the Pearl Harbor tour in order to see more of Pearl Harbor. We were sad that we didn't really get to see more than we did.
Maui was great, we did enjoy the Maui Ocean Center, although we could have used another hour or two there. My favorite at the Ocean Center was the tunnel, Loved the sea life swimming right over your head, Amazing.
My favorite of all excursions was, Wailua River Cruise, Luau & Romantic Ceremony in Kauai (Nawiliwili). The river cruise was beautiful, Mother Nature was at it's best. It was the most beautiful experience we had on this trip. Jim and I renewed our vows and had a nice lunch at the luau. The walk up into the Fern Grotto was just breath taking. The food was great as well as the people.
In Hilo there is a free shuttle in to the city if you sign up fast enough, but that stops at noon in order do tours with his bus which means you have to find your way back or pay a driver that may or may not overcharge you. The taxi drivers at the port where we arrived tried to over charge by saying it was $20 a person even though Princess told us it was about $12 a cab and that if we shared a cab with someone, we could split it. These taxi drivers were trying to take advantage of everyone. Lots of people were upset and were trying to figure out how to get into the city, which by the way is closed on Sunday's which was the day we arrived there. Only a few people were open their shops, so they got all the business, but was very expensive. I can't believe that Princess would bring you into a city that is closed, so unless you signed up for an excursion, there wasn't much to see or do in Hilo on a Sunday. We had already spend a lot of money on 4 excursion so had we known that Hilo was closed up on Sunday's, we may have made different plans. Sure they was a very, and mean very, small farmers market that took all of 10 to 15 minutes to go through.
We didn't really care for Ensenada, Mexico. We just walked around the port area, which wasn't much and returned to the ship. They need restaurants and more shops in the port area for those that don't want to go out into the city. This city could use some lessons from Cozumel, we really enjoy Cozumel's port.
We didn't get in the pools or hot tubs on the ships because there were to many people with skin issues that shouldn't have been in the pools, so we opted not to get in which was disappointing. I think as much as the ships personal tries to keep things clean and when you walk in the any eating area they ask you to use the hand sanitizer, people still don't do it. I think that what my hubby and I got wasn't from not washing our hands, but from people that were sick not taking precautions. We had one man come to our table at breakfast coughing so bad that he finally left, now I'm no doctor but if your coughing like that maybe you should stay in your cabin.
As I said, this was the worse cruise we ever had, but there were some awesome times.
If your young and want to be around young people, The Grand Princess isn't for you. If I had to guess how many people were seniors on this ship, I would guess that at least 75 percent of the passengers were seniors and above 75 years old.
While there were other little things here and there that were good and not so good, I think you get the idea. As I said, it wasn't so bad that my hubby and I wouldn't try another ship, but they only get one more try. I do hope that we find a ship with Princess that we can say we Love.
We can't do our 20th over again, but we look forward to our next anniversary cruise.
Embarkation was great, disembarkation was as well. Entertainment was very good.
I could tell more but you get the picture. Be safe, be sanitary. Read Less