Grand Princess Cabins
- Pro: Offers affordable mix of sailings from the U.S. West Coast
- Con: Older ship shows signs of wear; crowded public spaces
- Bottom Line: Great choice for older couples and multigenerational groups
Grand Princess Cabins
Cabins on Grand Princess are dated in color, worn around the edges and smaller than the industry average -- an industry standard inside cabin, for instance, is typically about 185 square feet, while on Grand Princess an inside is only 160 square feet. On the plus side, they're clean and comfortable, and they make intelligent use of the available space.
Despite the staterooms' slightly aged appearance, Princess has kept up with necessary improvements, including the addition of flat-screen TVs and the line's signature Luxury Beds, which are insanely comfortable and will have you sleeping like a baby.
Standard rooms feature an interesting setup, where the entry door is set to one side. Rather than the closet and bathroom being across from one another with the entry door in the middle, you walk through a closet area to access the bathroom.
Cabins are done up in a blue and cream palette, accented by honey-colored wood. Each standard cabin includes a small closet (oddly with no doors) for hanging clothes, across from a tall, thin cabinet with shelves and a safe. Two twin beds can be bumped together to form a large queen. Each room also has two night stands with reading lamps and drawers, as well as a sitting chair and round wood and glass table; a vanity/desk with a chair, drawers, large mirror, phone and weak wall-mounted hair dryer (bring your own); and a console with a mini-fridge and flat-screen television that offers FOX, CNBC, MSNBC, BBC, ESPN, Discovery, Animal Planet and movie channels for specific genres like romance and family. There are also ship-specific channels related to art, the onboard shops and the vessel's location.
Standard bathrooms each feature ceramic tiled floors (a rarity on modern ships) and a small shower with separate dials for water temperature and pressure (which, by the way, is superb). In the shower, you'll also find a clothesline for drip-drying washcloths and bathing suits, wall-mounted Lotus Spa brand shower gel and a shampoo/conditioner combo, and a too-small space for storing your own toiletries. The sink area is short on storage space, but we were able to find a place for everything elsewhere in the cabin. Ladies be warned: Bathroom lighting is dim; you'll have better luck applying makeup at the vanity.
One particularly nice touch is that there are switches by each bed (or each side of two beds bumped together) so you can turn off the main cabin lights without getting up if you're already under the covers.
Outlets are North American only, and there are three in each standard stateroom: two at the vanity and one behind the TV. There's also a "shavers only" outlet by the sink in each bathroom.
Robes are available by request.
Accessible cabins are available in almost every stateroom category. They have large roll-in showers and rooms large enough to support any turning radius. All show and dining venues are wheelchair accessible, and public bathrooms have accessible stalls. Kits are available for hearing-impaired passengers, and the cruise line even provides ASL translators. Service animals are permitted with advance notice. (We saw six on our sailing.)
One thing we missed was an in-cabin directory of important phone numbers for things like the "Dine Line," the spa and the shore excursions desk. If you need to reach a particular venue or department, simply hit the "Purser's Office" button on your cabin phone, and someone at the front desk will transfer you.
Interior: Averaging 160 square feet, these are the ship's most basic accommodations. They feature everything mentioned above.
Ocean-view: Coming in at just 168 square feet, these cabins offer windows for a view of the sea. They include everything mentioned above.
Balcony: Basic balcony cabins range in size from 214 to 257 square feet each, including the balcony. They feature the setup and amenities mentioned above. Standard balcony furniture consists of a small metal table and two metal and mesh chairs that recline.
Most of Grand Princess' staterooms have balconies, a concept that was new when the ship was built. What's a bit odd, though, is that the verandas are tiered, growing larger the lower on the ship you go. With the way they're positioned, passengers with balconies on upper decks can see onto the balconies of those below them, leaving little privacy.
Mini-suite: These rooms each measure 323 square feet (including balcony) and include everything mentioned above, as well as a sofa bed and a divider between the sitting room and the sleeping area. There are two TVs in each of these cabins; one can be viewed from the bed and the other from the living room. Bathrooms in this category are large and have showers with bathtubs.
Suite: There are several types of suites on Grand Princess. The newest were added on Deck 6, near the casino, during the 2011 refurbishment. They range from 319 to 341 square feet, but don't have balconies.
Suites with verandas range from 468 to 591 square feet and include everything the mini-suites have. The Grand Suite, the ship's largest accommodation, offers 730 feet of space, a faux fireplace and a whirlpool bathtub.
Suite balcony furniture varies by balcony size but generally includes nicer wooden chairs and tables, as well as sun loungers.
Family suites are also available and are essentially two standard cabins with a living room in the center and an extended balcony. Each family suite sleeps eight people.
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