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Sail Date: December 2017
Frisco Hawaii return Dec.18th. There was a flood in the Horizon cafe.We were near the entrance to the Horizon when a flood of water 4 inches high cam rushing at us. One side was closed for the rest of the cruise.Also there were many ... Read More
Frisco Hawaii return Dec.18th. There was a flood in the Horizon cafe.We were near the entrance to the Horizon when a flood of water 4 inches high cam rushing at us. One side was closed for the rest of the cruise.Also there were many places on the ship where pails were placed to catch water dripping from the ceiling.Hence we renamed the ship "the ship of pails". It is obvious this ship is ready to leave the fleet. We did not feel safe walking around the ship as we were worried about pipes bursting above our heads. The cabin was fine and Jimmy kept it spotless .The staff in general provided great service in all departments except in future cruise where the rep was cool and abrupt on both days that we met with her. Entertainment was good. The Hawaiian Ambassadors Rowena and Brian were awesome. We are planning another Princess cruise but will never sail on the Grand again unless all the pipes are replaced. Bob and Vicki Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our 5th cruise on the Grand. Yes she is older, but a cruise is what you make it. Some people find fault in anything , and there are alot of whiners. Because hubby has a hard time flying we enjoy sailing from SF. Found taking ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise on the Grand. Yes she is older, but a cruise is what you make it. Some people find fault in anything , and there are alot of whiners. Because hubby has a hard time flying we enjoy sailing from SF. Found taking Uber from east bay was a breeze. As soon as we got our luggage we called for one to go home and in 3 minutes they were there. Embarkation was a breeze, very friendly staff. We took advice of others and had lunch in MDR, no crowd and line. We enjoy being waited on so most of our meals were in MDR. We did enjoy Crown grill one night thanks to our TA. The Hawaiian ambassadors Brian and Rowena were awesome. They truly have the aloha spirit and share it with every one. We took uke lessons, tried hula but my knees and back would not co-operate. They taught various Hawaiian crafts, we really enjoyed lei making. Rowena gave many talks on Hawaii. At night we never missed one of their shows in the piazza. The night we renewed our vows Brian played Hawaiian wedding song and Rowena invited us up to dance. Speaking of renewing vows, princess goes all out in making it a special occasion. Enrico, the coordinator made sure everything was set for our special day. He called a couple times to make sure everything was perfect. Captain Wilson did a wonderful job of officiating the ceremony. (This was our 48th anniversary) . The flowers and music were perfect. We had champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, box of chocolates and 2 engraved glasses waiting for us when we returned to our cabin. We had a balcony cabin(would never cruise again without a balcony) unless we'd get upgraded to mini suite. The closet was smaller than we had before but plenty of room in the cabin for 2 people. I did get spoiled with chocolate on my pillow every night, sure don't get that at home lol Shore excursions: first port was Hilo, we rented a car and drove to the volcano, jagger museum, volcano winery and hot springs for swimming. Honolulu ( Christmas eve) shore excursion to Pearl harbor, I would have loved to get off the bus at the punch bowl as I have an uncle there that died on the West Virginia at the age of 19, but understand why they couldn't let a bunch of people off. We did a sunset dinner cruise we thought would be nice for Christmas eve. We were wrong, should have stayed on the ship. Was suppose to be handicap accessible. It had 3 decks, easy to get on first floor where the food was but entertainment was upstairs and no way to get a walker or wheelchair up. The food was not very good and we had 1 complimentary drink. Our friends with us had never been to Hawaii and we told them how wonderful a dinner cruise was, kind of like a mini luau with Hawaiian food and entertainment but was I embarrassed when we spent $129 each for next to nothing. Should have rented a car and drove back to the punch bowl. Live and learn. Christmas day Kauai, we rented a car. Drove to the falls, Waimea canyon (grand canyon of the pacific) and blow hole. Maui was our last port in Hawaii. We were tendered in. We took shuttle to outlet mall and Hilo Hattie. Then just walked around town and of course had to have a shave ice before heading back to the ship. 5 more sea days and we docked at ensenada at 4pm new years eve. Had a shore excursion but was to be back on the ship at 7:30 as the ship sailed at 8pm. That was a formal night so once back on the ship had to change to our new years eve clothes and party. There were plenty of places to chose from to ring in the new year. We chose the Vista lounge for big band and dancing. The other formal nights were 2nd day at sea and Christmas day. The ship was decorated beautifully for Christmas and quite the festive atmosphere. One day they had a gingerbread house village, that was the day they had gingerbread house making contest. The entertainment was so so. We did enjoy the comedian and magician. We do traditional dining as we enjoy getting to know our waiter and junior waiter and fun to joke with them each night. The seas were smooth and weather perfect for the whole trip. A few rain drops in Kauai. If you've never done a Christmas cruise and have time and money I would highly recommend it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
Our main reason for selecting this cruise was the convenience of traveling out of a local city (San Francisco) with no flight required. The cruise had a nice mix of time at sea and time in ports. The ship was very seaworthy and ... Read More
Our main reason for selecting this cruise was the convenience of traveling out of a local city (San Francisco) with no flight required. The cruise had a nice mix of time at sea and time in ports. The ship was very seaworthy and comfortable. The ship's operating crew members were very professional and efficient. Boarding was efficient and boarding personnel were helpful. Off boarding did not seem as efficient and ship personnel seemed stretched to provide necessary service. Shipboard entertainment was average, at best. Of the cruses we have made, I would rate Princess entertainment as the lowest in quality. Shipboard food was quality in selection, preparation, and quantity. The one exception was ice cream cone service. The quantity of ice cream in cones was stingy. The personnel providing the cones seemed motivated to provide as little ice cream, and as little service, as possible. Except for the ice cream personnel, food service personnel were friendly and helpful. Shipboard plumbing, both public and in our room, had problems with toilets operating properly. Bath robes seemed to be in short supply and not always available when needed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
The ship is too old, the cabin too small even though I book a balcony # 522 and my friend and inside cabin #507 was way bigger, great for her but I was not very happy. Dinning, were to start the main dinner room food was so so must of ... Read More
The ship is too old, the cabin too small even though I book a balcony # 522 and my friend and inside cabin #507 was way bigger, great for her but I was not very happy. Dinning, were to start the main dinner room food was so so must of the time not good at all, now the specialty restaurants are amazing food and service A+ but then again you have to pay additional for it. Service was fine but nothing to wow you, not really much to do in sea days, the spa has a claustrophobic felling to it in the massage rooms the gym is fine. Overall I will not travel with Princess or at least with the Grand Princess again maybe a newer boat but I was super disappointed with my experience with them. This is my 6 cruise and will do any of the other lines before thinking of princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
This was our second experience with the Grand. Our first was an Alaskan cruise in 2016. We were very pleased with our first experience on the Grand. Attention to service, quality of service and food was all superb. Our experience ... Read More
This was our second experience with the Grand. Our first was an Alaskan cruise in 2016. We were very pleased with our first experience on the Grand. Attention to service, quality of service and food was all superb. Our experience with this cruise was a little disappointing. The service level crew members seemed to be less knowledgeable, less attentive, and more prone to make up answers or outright lie if they weren't sure. Incorrect orders were served quite a few times in the dining room, and on one occasion an entire course (salad/soup) was omitted and they tried to offer to bring it in the middle of the entree course. Entertainment in the Princess Theater was top notch and it was packed to capacity for the early show every night, including the very first night. It was readily apparent that Princess had invested some money into production shows. Even the nights that featured comedians had the house packed. Their lounge shows in the Vista lounge at the aft section also had some good shows, though they also had their share of mediocre shows. We used more Princess excursions this time than we normally do and they were, of course, more expensive, than the same tours off the ship. The one disappointment was in Mazatlan where an "all day" tour that was supposed to be 9 hours turned out to be a 3.5 hour bus tour where we were dumped at a hotel for a less than appetizing lunch and show, and then provided cab transportation back to the ship at our leisure. Most disappointing was our experience in Cabo as a tender port. My spouse is in a foldable motorized wheel chair. There was no problem disembarking the ship to the Princess tender to go ashore. On the return trip though, a thunderstorm broke out and we were denied boarding on return trip because the Princess personnel said that the ramp was wet and may be dangerous to go down. So the left us standing in the middle of this thunderstorm without shelter. After about 15 minutes of this my wife decided it was enough and told them that she was going down that ramp with or without their assistance (the metal grids on the ramp did an excellent job gripping the tires on the wheelchair.) However at this point, the Princess lifeboat had left and we were left with using one of the Mexican contractors that do tendering. The contractor boat refused to allow the wheelchair on board because two healthy young men in their 20's said it was too heavy for them to lift (about 65-70lbs). So, I, being close to 70, just folded up the chair and picked it up to put on board the boat (!) Needless to say we were totally soaked from head to two with waterlogged shoes by the time we got back to the Grand (of course the rain stopped and the sun came out just as we got to the ship.) As others on this cruise have mentioned, we encountered some rough seas on the northerly return from Cabo. The captain had announced that he would be changing the route a bit and varying the cruising speed to minimize the disturbance to the passengers; he did a superb job and there was minimal disruption (unless one looked out the window and saw how rough the seas actually were. As seems to be the course for all Princess cruises, they are trying to sell you something everytime you turn around. But it appears than many of the more experienced Princess cruisers are familiar enough with this practice to just ignore it, and we're getting to be less attentive to their pitches, though it is still kind of annoying, especially when they are trying to sell second-rate trash most of the time. If it were quality merchandise it might be a little different. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I had just had knee surgery, was unable to work for the next 6 - 8 weeks, and my husband and I were getting tired of looking at our 4 walls inside and the cold dreary skies outside. Suddenly the idea of a 10-day cruise to the Mexican ... Read More
I had just had knee surgery, was unable to work for the next 6 - 8 weeks, and my husband and I were getting tired of looking at our 4 walls inside and the cold dreary skies outside. Suddenly the idea of a 10-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera on the Grand Princess looked very appealing. We live in the Pacific Northwest so a short flight to the departure port of San Francisco was quite easy for us (not many cruises out of Seattle in December), and we were pleasantly surprised by how smooth the embarkation process went, despite boarding a ship much larger, with twice as many passengers, compared to those we usually sail on. Disembarkation went equally smoothly. Debbie from our roll call group had set up a very nice Meet & Greet, with a "white elephant" Christmas gift exchange, which we really enjoyed - as first-time Princess cruisers, it helped us get oriented. My husband used the gym every day and reported that it was very well equipped, though fairly crowded. Given my recent surgery, I didn't use the gym, and we did not take any of the shore excursions since my mobility was limited. We signed up for the late sitting with traditional dining and found the dining room to be lovely with top notch service from Jelena and Nikola. We had a table for 8, though two seats were empty. Our dining companions were delightful; Princess seemed to do a good job of matching us. We found that the food selection in the dining room was rather limited and sometimes nothing on the menu was particularly appealing, but a few pastries from the International Cafe later that night would compensate. Similarly, we found the Horizon Court buffet was often crowded and the food choices rather mundane, though we certainly never went hungry. We saw two of the three production shows and thought they were excellent - great music, outstanding choreography and dancing. We also enjoyed the folk guitar player, the "crooner," and the mariachi band. The dance band Sound was outstanding also. We cruised December 8 - 18 so the ship was beautifully done up with holiday decorations. The Princess Dancers and Singers, and the Grand Princess Orchestra put on a very entertaining Christmas show, with the "Twelve Days of Princess Christmas" leaving everyone rolling in the aisles with laughter. The Cruise Director Matt was great - enthusiastic, well-informed, talking and announcing just enough but not too much. The Associate CD has a dynamite voice, which he proved in the crew talent show. Overall we were positively impressed, thoroughly enjoyed our first Princess cruise, and have already paid a future cruise deposit for our next one. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We took this cruise just for an end of the year pre-holidays get away. It was nice, very relaxing. We left our of San Francisco, which is very convenient as we live in the bay area. The new cruise terminal and Princesses process are ... Read More
We took this cruise just for an end of the year pre-holidays get away. It was nice, very relaxing. We left our of San Francisco, which is very convenient as we live in the bay area. The new cruise terminal and Princesses process are very efficient on both ends of the cruise. The ports of this cruise were Puerto Vallara, Manzanillo, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. There were a few shows and entertainers but I won't comment too much on them as they change so frequently. Our cruise was Dec 8-18 so late in the season. I will mention weather later. Dining experience: The food throughout the cruise was very good. Nothing like a cruise to get to try all sorts of things you'd never want to pay for at home. Go for it. The service for the first couple of days was good but then we noticed a significant decline. We did the "anytime" dining which we prefer so we can meet new people each day. The first few days we were seated on one side of the dinning room, then ended up on the opposite side the remainder. I don't know if the experience level of the staff was more on one side but we noticed a difference in the smoothness of the operation and attentiveness. Puerto Vallarta was nice. This was the second time to this port but we enjoyed it more this time. We went on the Cathedral and Taquilla tour. It started with the typical stop at a jewelry store for shopping opportunities. Then we went to the old cathedral down town. We happened to be there on one of the busiest days of the year as it was the "Lady of Guadalupe" birthday celebration so it was very crowded. The Dona Engracia Hacenda (Taquilla Factory) was nice. A brief tour of the distillery process, a little tasting and good lunch. Mazanillo - the weather was bad so we didn't even get off the ship. Mazatlan - This was our second visit to Mazatlan. Our first time we self explorered. We saw things but didn't learn things. This time we took the old town walking tour. We had a very good guide who took the time to explain a lot of things about physical structures, culture, customs and practices. It was a nice walk. The tour ended with a light snack at a restaurant unless one wanted to order a meal. There was time to eat. The weather turned and started to rain lightly while were finishing the tour (early afternoon). Right after we got back to the ship the downpour really started. Many people came back to the ship absolutely soaked. Cabo - This was our second time to Cabo. We just walked around ourselves. Lots of shops to visit. We like boats so we spent time looking at the nice yachts in the marina. The weather was bright sunny, to overcast with light showers to beautiful rainbows in the late afternoon. The trip back we hit some weather, wind and waves. Knowing southern CA seas to be rough south of Point Conception this late in the year it wasn't surprising. The captain made an announcement about the anticipated seas. They had laid out a course and speed to keep us out of the roughest. They did a good job. Overall we liked this cruise as it was just for a getaway. We chose to have lots of downtown, just relaxing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Great service in cabin and dining. They clean rooms twice a day. The waiters provided great recommendations and would go out of their way to make sure you have a good meal. Mock tails were tasty. Free ice cream but if you want ice ... Read More
Great service in cabin and dining. They clean rooms twice a day. The waiters provided great recommendations and would go out of their way to make sure you have a good meal. Mock tails were tasty. Free ice cream but if you want ice cream sandwiches then those cost extra. Sodas cost extra money :( I was able to hook up my PS4 to cabin TV. Easy entertainment for kids. Wifi allows basic "texting" to other passengers for free. Entertainment options weren't too exciting/interesting - but the comedian was great. Pop choir was a lot of fun. Top deck pizza was better than the restaurant pizza. Fitness room included a cool video game bike machine. But it was pretty small overall. There was only 1 pull up machine and you can't even pull up fully without hitting your head on the ceiling. Majority of fitness classes cost extra money. I wish there were more physical activities to participate in. Tons of food but not enough ways to burn off calories/guilt. They need more outdoor movie selection. They replayed stuff frequently. And its kind of cold outside to watch a full movie. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I came aboard exhausted and I disembarked refreshed and rested. Although the ship is ageing Princess does a fine job keeping it in good and competitive shape. It is yesteryear's Cadillac of cruise ships- comfortable, warm, elegant, ... Read More
I came aboard exhausted and I disembarked refreshed and rested. Although the ship is ageing Princess does a fine job keeping it in good and competitive shape. It is yesteryear's Cadillac of cruise ships- comfortable, warm, elegant, tasteful. The food was excellent, as was the service and selections from both the main dining room and the specialty restaurants. The cabin was sufficiently roomy with a nice-sized balcony, a comfortable and soft bed, and excellent service from our kind room steward. The ship's dancers and musicians were a joy to watch. There are four main pools/hot tub areas, each which provides a different setting and aura to choose from with little crowding overall. The ports were well selected overall, with lots to do and see, especially in Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan. Manzanillo has really improved the last couple years, and Cabo is nice but a bit too touristy. We loved our cruise so much we're planning on sailing with Princess again over the coming months! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We are from southern Oregon and like to cruise out of ports on west coast so we don’t have to fly. This are 3rd cruise on grand princess twice to Hawaii and 1st to mexico. The ship was in great shape and crew was excellent! The ... Read More
We are from southern Oregon and like to cruise out of ports on west coast so we don’t have to fly. This are 3rd cruise on grand princess twice to Hawaii and 1st to mexico. The ship was in great shape and crew was excellent! The ports were clean and safe. Entertainment was great! Food was very good this cruise. We also went to both specialty restaurants the Crown grill food and service worth the cover charge. The ship was decorated for Christmas and also had a mariachis band, with several Mexican theme nights. Boarding and departure was quick and easy. No more custom forms to fill out. We love princess cruise lines for added on board credit for veterans and stock holders as well. We book thru Costco travel and get great deals. Weather was great, even had thunder storm in Cabo and hailed on balcony during happy hour. They still do champagne tower and serve lobster one night. We attended cruise critic get together in the one five bar and white elephant gifts were exchanged. Weather was warm enough to lay by pools on 3rd day of cruising. The cholate donuts and food was great in the international cafe, the coffee card was purchased for specialty drinks. We used princess at sea website to check daily events schedule and to keep track of our ship board account. There are too many activities to do them all, we especially liked attending trivia. The satellite tv is good, with live news and sorts feeds. The new princess beds and pillows are great! We will be booking a 20 day carribean cruise in the near future with princess of coarse. We took to amtrac over night to Emeryville, ca and stayed at the hotel Zoe on fisherman’s wharf. It was great with a great restaurant and is walking distance to pier 27 where ship departs from. We waked to China town and little Italy had great food at tha house of Nanking, waited on by Peter the owner who has won many awards. Read Less
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