68 San Francisco Entertainment Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the departure port and itinerary, but I wouldn’t change anything. The ship is older and doesn’t have all the wizz bang features of the new ships, but that’s not why you cruise to Alaska. I didn’t notice any ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the departure port and itinerary, but I wouldn’t change anything. The ship is older and doesn’t have all the wizz bang features of the new ships, but that’s not why you cruise to Alaska. I didn’t notice any maintenance issues or problems with cleanliness. No funny sewerage smells or problems with air conditioning. Our stateroom was always clean and very comfortable. The size was not massive, but more than enough considering the amount of time we spent outside our cabin. Overall the crew were very friendly and efficient. I agree with some of the comments about the buffet, but if you choose carefully you can still have a good meal every time. If you time your meals correctly there are virtually no queues and we always found a table. Remember there is another seating area towards the back of the ship on both sides. We chose traditional dining for dinner and were able to get a table for two after requesting it on the embarkation day. We had to share for the first night, but had our own table for the rest of the cruise. The menu is adequate and again with careful choices you can have a lovely meal every night. The Crown Grill was excellent. Great food and service. Alaska was amazing! We even saw the Northern Lights (on the departure out of Haines and only for about fifteen minutes). I would happily cruise on the Grand Princess again. We’re already planning to repeat this cruise with our kids in a couple of years. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
So being a cruise virgin, my wife elected to take me on the Alaska cruise from San Francisco. It was a 10 day journey, ten very interesting days. Before anything, I need to mention how poor the security was. When we got on board in San ... Read More
So being a cruise virgin, my wife elected to take me on the Alaska cruise from San Francisco. It was a 10 day journey, ten very interesting days. Before anything, I need to mention how poor the security was. When we got on board in San Francisco, you could have walked on with whatever you liked. Nobody was actually paying attention. The girls on the metal detectors were talking about boy problems, and boy did they have problems, and casually waved us through. I walked through with my phone and inhaler in my pocket, didn't set off the detector. Later on the journey I came to find out our neighbor had metal rods throughout his body and those didn't set them off either. In today's world, this is unacceptable. I am not saying there needs to be a crazy amount of security like an airport, but the gaps in what was provided were astounding. Not to mention an update in cannabis policy needs to be made. Threatening to throw you off the ship for something that is legal in literally every port you're visiting is a joke. So lets start with the bad, I am one of those who prefers the bad news first. My first and biggest issue with this cruise was the food. The quality of the food was atrocious. Mainly in the main dining room, we were in the Botticelli, which was the biggest surprise to myself considering I was told it was going to be great quality from every person I have asked about cruising. So maybe I went in with high expectations, but what we were given was not acceptable. I honestly felt as though we were given canned vegetables every night, meats were often overcooked and tough. Not to mention the over complication of certain dishes, which ruined the overall meal. For example there was a spinach flan accompanying steak one night, which tasted like boxed flan that had just been mixed with rotting spinach juices. Not pleasant to taste, or listen to my mother in law complain about it. You can really tell they're pushing for you to dine in the boutique restaurants, Crown Grill and Sabatini's for this journey. The gap in quality is astounding and honestly I wish I would have known or I would have planned to dine in those areas every night. Secondly, I would have to chime in on the service. 99% of the trip we received amazing service. From Albert and Carlos in the dining room to Marlon who serviced our stateroom daily. But there were a few bad apples that really left a sour taste in my mouth. Forgive the cliche, but as someone who comes from a hospitality background, that one bad apple can ruin all the hard work you put in. Mainly it was a gentleman who worked the Coffee & Cones stand. More than once, I got rolling eyes when I asked for two latte's for me and my wife. And one night I was walking up to get an after dinner coffee, because the coffee provided everywhere else was not even passable for coffee it was so weak, they just shut off the lights and stared at me as if to say "cant you see we are closed." Forgive me for not realizing the time while I was on vacation, a simple "Sorry sir we just closed, come back tomorrow" would have been fine but this experience really left a bad taste in my mouth. I wish I remembered his name, because I would call him out on here, every other staff member I encountered at this stand was pleasant and very helpful. My third and final complaint is related to the fitness area. I used this 9 out of the 10 days we were on board and don't get me wrong the facilities are nice. But, there were two things I observed. One the cleaning is very minimal if not at all, I broke my Fitbit and the clasp fell off while I was using the Lat Pull Down machine on the 2nd day of the cruise. Well on the last day of the journey, I found it on the floor of the gym next to the machine. Which tells me they do not clean the floors at all during the voyage and if they are, they're doing a skimpy careless job. Some people may think this is a baseless complaint, but in the area of the ship where tons of people go, get sweaty and 90% of the people don't know what to do (i.e. clean the machines after they use them) well then it becomes an issue, or a petri dish. Also the amount of kids going through here unsupervised, even though there are signs everywhere saying "Under 16 needs to be supervised" , was ridiculous. I had one kid climb on the leg extension while I was using it, I had to yell at him and he ran off without his parents anywhere to be seen. So maybe the Spa desk staff can do a little better at observing who is walking in and enforce their own policies before someone actually gets hurt. Last gripe about the gym is that the Leg Press was broken when we boarded, I checked out the gym before we even left San Francisco, and it was not fixed the entire time, although a sign saying it was broken kept appearing and disappearing. Your card dealers in the casino need to be more consistent too. I know rules are different on a ship, but consistency doesn't have to be. I had one guy who moved so fast, he would mess up deals or make it seem shady, anyone with fast hands in a casino is a major red flag in my experience. Not to mention I jokingly said to him "I've gotta win back my money you took last night at roulette" and he proceeded to scold me (or at least it came off that way) saying "Its not me who took your money, we are just the dealers, don't blame me sir." I was obviously kidding and everyone sitting at the blackjack with me immediately got uncomfortable. If you're going to take my money in the casino, at least do it with a smile, it comes off much better. All that complaining out of the way, I did really enjoy the rest of the journey. The shows were decently fun, we saw Rollin Jay Moore, the comedy magician (forgot his name sorry) and Vern Cotter. So for the comedy side of things, it was a good job. Although I felt bad for Mr. Cotter, as we were there for the last show of the last night, which was about 30 people in the crowd. But that just lead to a really cool intimate experience that you normally wouldn't get anywhere else. But please, please, please add some actual soul singers to the Motown show. That was the only show that was painful to watch. We also joined in with the trivia's and other game shows. All of which were a great time, from Harry Potter trivia which was good for family fun. All the way to the 18+ adult game show, which my ribs still hurt from laughing so much. Our shore excursion we chose to do was fun as well. We elected to do the nature walk and crab feed in Ketchikan. Everything about that was awesome, from Sharon the bus driver who was hilarious, all the way down to the servers at the crab feed. So overall this experience was a great first cruise, yes there were negatives, but the positives out weigh those greatly. I only wrote so much on the negatives, because realistically those are areas for improvement and the more knowledge they have the better they can get. I will be back. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
A TRAVEL OF REST AND RELAXATION FORGETTING ABOUT DAY TO DAY ISSUES Meeting great people and exploring alaska. Seeing the ocean and being her guest. All successes brought by this glorious ship. Not focusing in on negatives or ... Read More
A TRAVEL OF REST AND RELAXATION FORGETTING ABOUT DAY TO DAY ISSUES Meeting great people and exploring alaska. Seeing the ocean and being her guest. All successes brought by this glorious ship. Not focusing in on negatives or gotchas that can happen anywhere to anyone. Buckets of beer: groups of beer drinkers can save by ordering buckets of beer. You get four or five beers in a souvenir bucket at a per-beer cost slightly cheaper than ordering individual bottles. 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 (not) insanely comfortable and will have you sleeping like a baby gorrilla. Best Tour: https://www.myalaskatours.com Tour itinerary varies depending on the location of your ship! Each tour will include at least 3 stops in some of these famous establishments: The world famous arctic bar, home of the happy bears! The creek street cabaret, home of ketchikans amazing music scene. Bawden street brewing, utilizing local flavors to bring you amazing beers. Sourdough bar, featuring dozens of historic ketchikan photos on display. Fat stans lounge, built on the site of the old spruce mill. Thank you! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
First time on Princess. It was ok but less than we expected. They do an ok job and the food was almost ok. Not sure if this was unique to our cruise or if this is the norm for Princess. Service however, was excellent and made the ... Read More
First time on Princess. It was ok but less than we expected. They do an ok job and the food was almost ok. Not sure if this was unique to our cruise or if this is the norm for Princess. Service however, was excellent and made the trip nice. Our main dinning wait staff was the best we have every had. Gee and King should be commended. Made it to the Sawyer glacier in Tracy Fjord. That was the highlight of the trip for sure. We are told getting that far is rare. What a beautiful sight it was. Purchasing ship photos was like shopping in a store run by teenagers waiting to get off work. They were lost and over their heads trying to answers questions they clearly hadn’t expected. We think that Princess was testing a new procedure. . . It didn’t work. We will return to Holland Amercia for our next cruise. I guess there is a cruise line for everyone and this one wasn’t our favorite. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We started off cruising on Carnival Cruises 15 years ago. We loved Carnival, but they didn't offer cruises near our house in the San Francisco bay area. We decided to switch over to Princess for the convenience. our last 6 cruises ... Read More
We started off cruising on Carnival Cruises 15 years ago. We loved Carnival, but they didn't offer cruises near our house in the San Francisco bay area. We decided to switch over to Princess for the convenience. our last 6 cruises have been when Princess. 5 on the Grand. Each cruise on the Grand has gotten a little lower quality. This last cruise on the Grand will probably be the last. When we arrived to start the cruise we had priority boarding. We made it to the counter and discovered they had given out my wife's room card. We then had to wait until they figured out who they gave it to. we finally made it on board. we were in cabin L 235. as we opened the door we saw that the carpets were stained and the room smelled like a soured mop. There was long black hair in the bed, night stands and shower. one of the two bath towels had what looked like lip stick stains on it. the sliding door to the balcony would not shut all the way or latch. the lock on the connecting door next to us was also broken and kept opening. I had planned this cruise fro my wife's birthday. I ordered a celebration package. when I arrived at the room the only thing there was, was a couple of balloons on the door with a happy birthday sign. I received a call a short time later from the hotel staff telling me that they did not have the birthday package I ordered. That night we went to the steak house for my wife's birthday. it was the best part of the cruise. I give the steak house a 5 star rating. make reservations early. Between San Francisco and Ketchikan my sister who was next door developed a lung infection. she was treated by the medical staff. the medical staff appeared to be knowledgeable, but by the time we reached Haines my sister had to be removed from the ship and was flown Anchorage for advanced treatment. The cause of the lung infection was unknown and my sister died. FYI we had trip insurance I gave the policy to ship staff, but we were forced to pay the ship $ 4,000.00 for my sister and her daughter to leave the ship. Carry a credit card or plenty of cash. lets get back to the cruise. we were only in Ketchikan for 5 hours. we were tendered to shore. We pick up a debarkation number 1 hour before debarkation started. we sat in the waiting room for over 2 hours. We had an excursion. I went to the crew member passing out tickets and explained to her what was going on. Her response was I can't help you. if you don't make your excursion go to the excursion desk and ask for a refund. She completed her sentence with I hate this job. I found an officer who was able to find the people with my excursion a tender. We were on in port for a few hours. when we tried to go back to the ship there was a long line. I stopped counting the line at 400 waiting. it appears that the grand could not send tenders while the other cruise ships in port finished loading and leaving. The departing ship had to be out of the bay before the next ship could leave. We stood in the tender line for 2.5 hours. Lets move on and talk about the food. The dining room at best had a very limited selection. The buffet also had a very limited selection and was not good. it appeared there must have been a new cook or was just learning. We spent most nights eating hamburgers or hot dogs. Last, my family had all paid for the VIP drink package. the first couple of nights when I had extra tip money service was good. although the tip was included in the VIP package. by day three i was out of small bill for a tip. We then became invisible. at one point I stood at the bar while I was ignored. I finally asked the bar tender if I was invisible. At the time of this cruise I had already book a cruise for next year to Hawaii on the Grand. when I returned I cancelled the Hawaii cruise and i'm now working with my travel agent to find a new cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Worst cruise I’ve taken. There was a lot of smoke, the casino was the worst casino I’ve ever been in. It was dirty, and one of the slot attendants was very rude. I never met a casino host. The food st the Michelangelo wasn’t very ... Read More
Worst cruise I’ve taken. There was a lot of smoke, the casino was the worst casino I’ve ever been in. It was dirty, and one of the slot attendants was very rude. I never met a casino host. The food st the Michelangelo wasn’t very good. The portions were small. Three years ago they weren’t charging for a filet mignon, and on my last trip they charged for it. It wasn’t easy to find a table at the buffet. I have taken five cruises and I will make sure that I will never again cruise on the Grand. I will go on three cruises in the next six months, and I made sure that I won’t travel on that ship. I was planning to cruise with a friend of mine, and when I saw that it was in the Grand, I decided that it’s better if I stay home. The air conditioning in our cabin didn’t work for two days, and the lamp on the night table went on and off constantly in the middle of the night. One evening they offered me a drink “on the house” and I ordered a soda; they charged it. I don’t recommend the Grand cruise Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I was back and forth.....3 Stars or 4 Stars. I went with 4 Stars because of Alaska. Alaska is why we went on this cruise and Alaska definitely deserves 5 Stars or even 10 Stars. The Grand Princess only gets 3 Stars. First, this is a 21 ... Read More
I was back and forth.....3 Stars or 4 Stars. I went with 4 Stars because of Alaska. Alaska is why we went on this cruise and Alaska definitely deserves 5 Stars or even 10 Stars. The Grand Princess only gets 3 Stars. First, this is a 21 year old ship and it shows.....everywhere. Our previous cruises have all been with Carnival and we were told Princess was a "step up" so I must admit we were disappointed with this ship. All of the previous Carnival ships were much nicer. The staterooms are small, the carpet is worn and musty smelling (I'll get to that later), the paint on the pool deck floors is bubbling up in places, there is a strong sewage smell outside on Deck 7 and there is rust all over the outside of the ship. This old gal is in desperate need of a refurbishment. The furniture in the public areas is very worn and kind of outdated. In addition, the Grand Princess has plumbing problems. 3 staterooms flooded on this trip, the occupants being awakened at 3:30 in the morning to find their staterooms in 3" of water. Luggage under the beds....soaked. Shoes in the closet....soaked. All had to be moved to different staterooms. When asked if the "broken pipe" was toilet water, Princess staff would not give a straight answer. The water was pumped out of the rooms and large fans were set up to dry out the carpeting. I have no doubt new occupants were put into these staterooms on the turnaround in San Francisco. I personally witnessed water running down a wall on Deck 11. I immediately reported it and out came the pumps and fans to dry out the hallway. Who knows where this water came from? This is probably the reason for the musty smell that comes from the carpet....think about that when you walk around your stateroom in bare feet! Now for the food....the buffet was not good at all. It reminded me of typical Hometown Buffet type food, bland and uninteresting. I skipped breakfast, ate lunch at the Salty Dog Grill on the Lido Deck where they serve very good hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza by the slice. Luckily, the dinner choices in the main dining rooms were better. Not great, but better. We chose Anytime Dining in the Michael Angelo MDR and there was plenty to choose from on the menus. I didn't have any luck with any of the beef dishes I ordered...all were overcooked and tough. The seafood dishes were very good and there were a couple of interesting chicken options. If you want a decent steak your best bet is to go to the Steakhouse Grill where it costs extra. The quality of beef served in the MDR's is not good. Again, we were both surprised and disappointed with the overall food quality, especially after being told Princess was a "step up." I don't know if it's unique to Princess or all cruise lines do it but the constant jewelry sales, art auctions, photo hawking, etc. really began to get old. What is it with this? Not only are you inundated with this on the ship but when you get off at the ports every other store you pass is a jewelry store with some bandito standing out front trying to entice you to come in. I was told by a local merchant in Ketchikan that the cruise lines own all the jewelry stores in the ports and they do not hire local people to work in the stores. Seriously? How much jewelry does a person need? Who goes on a cruise to buy ugly, mass produced paintings? As I stated earlier, Alaska makes up for all of the annoying things the cruise lines throw at you but would I ever sail on the Grand Princess again? Probably not. I might give Princess another chance, sailing on a different ship next time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our first cruise and Wow what a cruise. We flew into San Francisco from Florida a couple of nights before the cruise. We stayed near Fisherman's Wharf which made it very easy the morning of the cruise to get to the port. We ... Read More
This was our first cruise and Wow what a cruise. We flew into San Francisco from Florida a couple of nights before the cruise. We stayed near Fisherman's Wharf which made it very easy the morning of the cruise to get to the port. We went through security which was so easy (nothing like the airport). The Embarkation process was smooth as well. We were not able to settler into our rooms for about an hour though, which was okay because we were entertained, fed and were able to have a drink and watch us take sail. How beautiful going under the Golden Gate Bridge. Amazing experience. Our Stateroom was perfect for us. We had a balcony and can not imagine going on a cruise without one. Waking up to the amazing scenery and hearing the ocean at night was scerene. Dennis our Steward took such good care of us. We didn't want for anything. There were choreographed shows, piano pain, folk singer, bingo, trivia, karaoke, amongst so many other fun events. Kevin our cruise director and his great team kept us entertained. Joey the "Piano man" is so very talented. The dining in all the dining rooms were delicious.However the Horizon Court buffet had variety but everything from breakfast, lunch and dinner were bland. The baked goods were dry and tasteless. There are two pizzarias the first is on the Lido deck pool side that is pizza under hot lamps and taste like pizza under hot lamps. The second pizzaria on deck 7 with a brick oven and freshly backed looked and smelt delicious. Getting a seat was impossible (they were always busy) and you have to be sitting in the dining room to order from them. It would be nice if there was a to go option. The International fast food had a limited variety. the sandwiches and salads were good but baked goods were dry. Coffee was great though. The Crown grill was very good and Sabitini's was superb. The shore excursions were so wonderful. We had a great time. The train ride to the Yukon in Skagway was filled with scenery from a picture. This was our favorite excursions. My husband and I prepaid as much as possible including gratuities and gave additional grattuities as we thought individuals deserved. You can also prepay Excursions, photos, drink packages (which I suggest). Even pre-pay for ship spending. Next time I would pre pay ship spending. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We choose this cruise for a quick short getaway. Even tho the ship just came out of dry dock two weeks ago, we didn't have too many things go wrong. Yes, we did have water issues with the shower one day, but was seen to quickly. ... Read More
We choose this cruise for a quick short getaway. Even tho the ship just came out of dry dock two weeks ago, we didn't have too many things go wrong. Yes, we did have water issues with the shower one day, but was seen to quickly. The service and food was excellent in the main dining room. Horizon Court buffet had a nice variety of food. There was a Great comedian on board, Carlos Oscar! Had everyone laughing the whole show! He was so good, we went to see his second show. The Port stops we good, but not much to do in Los Angeles unless you did a tour or drive over an hour to get somewhere. Would have rather stopped at Long Beach. Love the larger TV in our balcony cabin. Zumba class was a blast. Would definitely go on the Grand Princess again. She may be 20+ years old and not have all the bells and whistles a newer ship has, but she is still a Grand gal with a great crew. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Best crew and service. Loved it and WILL return. Average age on our cruise was 87...lots of old goobers with "Hurry Canes", Walkers, and Scooters....you had to fight your way in the Buffet through the sea of blue hairs. We had ... Read More
Best crew and service. Loved it and WILL return. Average age on our cruise was 87...lots of old goobers with "Hurry Canes", Walkers, and Scooters....you had to fight your way in the Buffet through the sea of blue hairs. We had anytime dining and utilized the dining rooms below. What a godsend, from the hyenas at the buffet. Book your tours online and not on the ship any you will save 75%. Love the cruise and will seek out this ship and crew again, our family loved it. Food was great and presentation was over the top. Ship was clean and orderly. It had just came out of dry dock and some little items were still being addressed. The only thing that didn't work that we noticed was no Mini Golf. Our kids had a great time and utilized the kids groups and other functions. If you are looking for a first time cruise I would recommend it!!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Only ship doing full Panama Canal transit at time of the booking. May be the first person to loose weight on a cruise ship Ship just came out of dry dock. Suppose to be in Ft Lauderdale night before cruise but didn't arrive ... Read More
Only ship doing full Panama Canal transit at time of the booking. May be the first person to loose weight on a cruise ship Ship just came out of dry dock. Suppose to be in Ft Lauderdale night before cruise but didn't arrive until 10 am cruise day prior to cruise. Long wait in terminal. Ship was dirty. Mud / salt on cabin balcony walls & floor. Finally used pool towels to clean area and furniture ourselves. Most exterior public areas filthy. Deck furniture filthy. Cabin bathroom. First 4 days sink drain plugged. Had to dip dirty water from sink with glass to use sink. For 5 days toilet valve was stuck causing toilet to overflow on floor. Every morning bathroom floor was flooded and carpet outside bathroom was wet. Cabin Stewart said maintenance didn't have any repair parts to fix toilet valve. Next 3 days toilet didn't leak but didn't have any water to flush toilet. Had to get water from the shower to flush toilet. Drink service in public areas was terrible. some times 15-20 minute wait for drinks. Most of the time went to bar, tired of waiting on servers. First 2 days of cruise not allowed on upper & sport decks. Crews were still working on ship from dry dock. Sport deck equipment poor. Shuffle Board some equipment missing, deck so rough the pucks wouldn't slide. Court netting loose / torn at several areas. Prominade deck at one end cluttered with shipping crates and rolls of carpeting. Barley room to walk through. Daytime entertainment almost didn't exist. Almost no entertainment on exterior deck. If you did play Trivia or Rip-Off Bingo there wasn't much of anything else to do. Movies under the stars was highly promoted but out of service most on the cruise. Night theater entertainment was excellent. Theater was over crowded and difficult to get seating if not there 45 minutes early. Don't expect drink service, only 2 waiters for the whole theater. Show time scheduled later so both early & late dinners could attend the show at same time causing over crowding of the theatre Getting cocktails in the casino was impossible. One time I seen a waiter walk through but never stopped. Had to go to another bar and get drinks yourself. Food quality was poor. Buffet special was only 1-2 pans. Rest was repeat every day. Food at bottom of pans stuck from being warmed over. Main dining room menu almost the same everyday, usually only had 1-2 changes. Rest was same items every day. Dinner rolls at all dining areas were hard and dried out. Couldn't cut through crust with dinner knife. Dissert was good Probable never again travel with Princess Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was my 4th cruise. We had a balcony cabin. Bright, clean and well kept throughout the cruise. The ship needs some refurbishing, a bit tired but comfortable and welcoming. Service was amazing, staff is the best. Because we were ... Read More
This was my 4th cruise. We had a balcony cabin. Bright, clean and well kept throughout the cruise. The ship needs some refurbishing, a bit tired but comfortable and welcoming. Service was amazing, staff is the best. Because we were far out on the ocean the ship rocked, I felt like a child in a cradle being rocked to sleep. I don't get seasick, but some did suffer if they weren't prepared. Would have liked more time on shore in Hawaii. The excursions were wonderful. I highly recommend the Blue Hawaii helicopter ride over any island, but only if you get a window seat. The rear middle seat allows all the other riders to block your view. Food was great, a good variety though I would have enjoyed more middle-eastern fair (Lebanese, Greek, etc.) seemed the focus was Chinese/Japanese (Chinese New Year was that week). Thoroughly enjoyed the Hawaiian fact session by speakers, both Hawaiian, Rowena, and National Parks representative, Ranger John. Entertainment was a nice mix, some wonderful some not so much our taste. I wouldn't go back to Hawaii on a cruise though. I'd rather stay on an island to experience all it has to offer. The time in port was too short. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Wanted to spend the holidays at sea since we couldn't spend it with our grandchildren. The embarkation process was the BEST I've ever experienced. Easier than checking into a hotel on Michigan avenue. No waiting for your ... Read More
Wanted to spend the holidays at sea since we couldn't spend it with our grandchildren. The embarkation process was the BEST I've ever experienced. Easier than checking into a hotel on Michigan avenue. No waiting for your group, just go up to an empty spot and get your cruise card. No waiting to get in the room AND miracle of miracles all four pieces of our luggage were already outside our room. We've waited till late evening on some cruises. The room was spacious with a shower and a tub. Loved to soak in the tub. Room was very clean and nothing was worn out. The balcony however was a disaster. Dirty and the furniture was all rusted. Paid for a balcony and really didn't really want to sit out there. Too depressing. Room steward was a disappointment, very aloof and even had a bad attitude at times. The ship overall is tired and old despite the refurb. Very clean throughout, although some of the bathrooms could use more frequent cleaning. Time to retire this one. Very health conscious. Crew members at the entries to all food venues with sinks and soap (more effective than hand cleaner). Bathroom receptacles by the doors so you can use a towel to open the doors. A lot of the men's room doors were left open. All food venues were very clean. No pens to sign bills to keep down transfer of germs (a real good idea). The BEST front desk staff I've ever experienced. A moderate line the first day (as usual) but after that you could just walk right up. Always had at least 3-4 crew members at all times except late at night. Excellent. Food was the big disappointment. Our waiter told us they had not changed the dining room menu in 4 years!!?? Really? Food in the dining room was mediocre at best. Actually got sick by the fifth day and started eating pizza and burgers. Lido deck buffet was never crowded but the food was generally cold and severely under-seasoned. Even the soup was cold. They use overhead heat lamps instead of heating with steam from underneath so the food gets cold quickly and the tops of the dished get crusty, ugh. All fish was frozen and when thawed out was awful. All the chicken dishes were bad except the chicken strips. Salads and fruit were fresh and my wife ate this most of the time. At times they ran out of ice. BIG BONUS the desserts were as good or better than any we've had. No matter where you got one, they were exceptional. (Watch that waistline). We started eating at the up-charge Crown Grill. Steak and food there was excellent. Onion soup to die for and the meat was expertly cooked. Great experience. Highly recommended. Other than that, pack a lunch. Our wait staff was superb, really excellent. A real bright spot. Crew in general were a little friendlier than most . Drinks. We drank mostly beer since we only found one bartender that actually knew how to make a drink. Complained to bar manager. Very inexperienced in general and need a lot of training. Best on board entertainment ever!! Almost Broadway quality. Specialty acts were unique and top shelf. All the entertainers, when encountered around the ship were friendly and engaging. Don't miss any of the shows. Great New Years Eve party, a real blast. What is there to say about Hawaiian excursions. You can't go wrong. Had a great time whale watching. Saw a lot the beasts on a Maui excursion. Great tender organization with tickets. No mass of people jamming the stairs and isle ways. Ship did not seem crowded. Lots of kids running around, but hey it was Christmas and New Years. Although I saw more motorized carts than at our golf club. Had to keep your head on a swivel. Other good items were the little deli in the main atrium. Great food and never crowded. Also the gourmet coffee (extra charge) shop right next to it was great. The pizza and burger areas were never crowded and the food was good. Also the pizza restaurant off the main atrium was excellent. Debarkation was well organized although a REAL mess once at the curb. Totally disorganized. Worst I've ever experienced. Not enough cabs and no way Uber or Lyft could get through all the traffic to pick you up. Took us 1 1/2 hours to get a ride to the airport. Ugh. Use Princess transfers. San Francisco is not our favorite port to sail out of. Won't be back. When sailing domestic we like Miami, New Orleans, and Vancouver much better. Future cruise director was in the wrong job, but I did book another Princess Cruise while on board for Alaska. We've made the exact trip in the past and just decided, why not! Happy sailing! Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We love the Grand Princess. It's getting a bit old but for some fleets, it is a perfect ship. The ship is still rather large but it's also small enough that you can easily find your way to anywhere you need to get to. I love ... Read More
We love the Grand Princess. It's getting a bit old but for some fleets, it is a perfect ship. The ship is still rather large but it's also small enough that you can easily find your way to anywhere you need to get to. I love Desk 5 and the Piazza area. The international cafe and coffee bar is fantastic. Alvin, Sonny, Lala and others really take care of your coffee needs. The pastries/desserts and sandwich area is always packed with delights to satisfy your cravings. Alfredo's pizzeria is the best on the ship. They even made a gluten free pizza for my wife and baked in a separate oven to avoid cross contamination. Our favorite dining room, the Michelangelo is on Deck 5 with the Da Vinci on deck 6. Both are the same as they share the same kitchen and the wait staff went out of their way to ensure my wife had a pleasant voyage with her food allergy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I was invited to cruise this itinerary and the price was great! Our shore excursions that we took were city highlights because I had never been to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, or Cabo San Lucas. The walking tour with Princess Cruises in ... Read More
I was invited to cruise this itinerary and the price was great! Our shore excursions that we took were city highlights because I had never been to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, or Cabo San Lucas. The walking tour with Princess Cruises in Mazatlan was the best because we were able to see the city highlights while doing some preferred shopping. From the Cathedral to the Cliff Divers, the tour was great and Akino was fun, funny, and helpful. The bus tours in Puerto Vallarta were rich with culture and knowledge. The Mama' LuciaTequila factory people were super gracious-bring money or your card to buy this great product that is only available in this village. I need to watch Night of the Iguana so I can learn more about the movie greats who brought so much business to this lovely area of the world. Los Cabos was beautiful! The glass factory with the handblown glass items was stunning. And the artists who were making the products did a great job. And our tour guide made sure we knew the difference between a "pachanga" and a "fiesta". LoL. Pachangas are a bit wilder. Dining on board was delicious. We had "any time dining" and sometimes made a reservation for two for the Michelangelo dining room, but mostly we sat with others because my husband and I love hearing and sharing our stories with people from around the world. Sabatini's rocked with the Northern Italian dairy-inspired dishes. But I know my husband really enjoyed the bounty of the sea southern Italian meals. Dancing, night clubs, sitting by the pool. It was all good. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We wanted to experience Hawaii. There were 10 in our group. 8 are high school friends celebrating our 60th birthdays. I found the ship was old and the chairs in the lounges were outdated and uncomfortable. The food at dinner needed more ... Read More
We wanted to experience Hawaii. There were 10 in our group. 8 are high school friends celebrating our 60th birthdays. I found the ship was old and the chairs in the lounges were outdated and uncomfortable. The food at dinner needed more selection throughout the cruise. It seemed the same food was on the menu every 2 todays. Not much choice for desserts also. There needed to be more poolside entertainment. Evident that this cruise is catered to an older crowd. the cruise director and his staff were excellent in the shows and trivia type events they hosted. We only purchased 1 ship excursion that was well done and exciting. The other days we found our own excursions off ship. Our dinning wait staff did a great job. We had no problems with the staff service - only with the condition of the ship. This was our second trip with Princess and both were poor experiences with the conditions. Probably stay with our past cruise lines in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
low cost. beware of laundry, ok for cotton under ware and t-shirts etc. do not clean fine woolens like suit etc. they are not using a dry cleaning method they are using a water type system which ruined my fine wool suit. My silk Hawaiian ... Read More
low cost. beware of laundry, ok for cotton under ware and t-shirts etc. do not clean fine woolens like suit etc. they are not using a dry cleaning method they are using a water type system which ruined my fine wool suit. My silk Hawaiian shirts came came back stiff like they were starched. service was was good. food in dining room was good but, too salty. food in buffet was OK but desserts plain. Dance floors were in poor condition, the wheel house floor is wood and is buckled in places. the floors in the Explorers club and the Plaza were sticky. The Princess cruise line used to have the best dance floors that were kept in good condition but in last few years they let them go to save money too bad there are still alot of people that like to ball room dance not just line dance. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We booked our cruise originally as a California Coastal cruise. Then it was changed to Pacific Northwest Coastal we had not been to a couple of the ports on this new itenery so we decided to stay on our ship the Grand and take the new ... Read More
We booked our cruise originally as a California Coastal cruise. Then it was changed to Pacific Northwest Coastal we had not been to a couple of the ports on this new itenery so we decided to stay on our ship the Grand and take the new route. We are glad we did. We were expecting it to be quite rainy or damp at this time of year. We were both born in Vancouver and have more family in Victoria. The good weather fairies were out in full measure. The weather was fabulous. Some mornings looked a little iffy but every day turned out beautiful and sunny. Astoria, quaint and lots of history. Seattle, Chihuly glass museum and garden, my favorite, Vancouver, Gas Town and old friend. Victoria private walking tour from my niece. We called ahead a told her to plan a walking tour that we had 3 hours to use up. We told her to show us her Victoria. We had a great time. Saw their Fisherman's wharf. It is a cute and colourful houseboat community. Saw things I hadn't seen before . I would do this cruise again for sure. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Booked a cruise with Grand Princess as part of the California Dreamin package through the Scottish Cruise Centre. Had been on a couple of cruises with Royal Caribbean before, which were amazing so very excited to be doing another cruise ... Read More
Booked a cruise with Grand Princess as part of the California Dreamin package through the Scottish Cruise Centre. Had been on a couple of cruises with Royal Caribbean before, which were amazing so very excited to be doing another cruise and to California. However, within 20 mins of arriving on the Grand Princess our spirits were dampened as we soon came to realise that the ship was old, run down and certainly nothing like the wonderful breathtaking experience we had with Royal Caribbean. Our cabin was old fashioned and basic, our balcony which we had treated ourselves to for the first time was grubby and grim. The majority of the people on the ship were very elderly and entertainment was geared towards their needs rather than being accommodating for people under 60 - one key event that sticks in my mind was 'Knit and Natter', which I think says it all. The food was very poor (including serving 'hot' food that was frozen all the way through, the entertainment terrible, and drinks were limited, on occasions the ship ran out of basics such as sparking wine, gin and vodka. The other major disappointment was the route. Our planned stop at Long Beach, near LA was changed at the last minute to San Pedro (a deserted, dangerous industrial estate) which was approximately 2 hours from downtown LA via 2 buses and a subway leaving us limited time to see the sites. We were given no advice or assistance as to how to get to LA and were left to our own devices. The final stop of the cruise Ensenada was by far the worst. This terrible, run down town had nothing for tourists and felt very unsafe - most people on the cruise spent no more than 10 minutes there before getting back on the ship - a total waste of time and a risk to our safety! The only saving grace of the whole cruise was making some lovely friends, who like us were extremely disappointed and vowed never to travel with Princess Cruises again like ourselves, sticking to Royal Caribbean a far superior company in every way or trying an alternative company. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The cruise starts from San Francisco and ends in San Francisco. The cruise ship grand princess is great. Very organized embarkation and disembarkation. Just a little delay due to an emergency whic was handled with care. Cabin was great ... Read More
The cruise starts from San Francisco and ends in San Francisco. The cruise ship grand princess is great. Very organized embarkation and disembarkation. Just a little delay due to an emergency whic was handled with care. Cabin was great always clean. We had the aloha with balcony cabin. Beautiful and comfortable. You get the fresh air coming from the ocean. You see the awesome view of the vastness of God's wonderful creation.dining was great. Service food serve wherever dining you choice to go horizon. Anytime dining snack place at piazza or whatever you need in terms of food was very satisfying. Entertainment was all covered. I commended the program planner because we were kept busy on watching all the programs presented. Participation of the crew was always a delight. We took all the excursions in every place to see the points of interest in a day, few hours or just enjoying your moments at the port. No kids but with adult friends. Yes we'll do it again. We are scheduled to sail in February. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We like Princess. Enjoyed Glasier Bay and Sitka very much. Also Victoria was Beautiful. Our room steward, Miguel, was Excellent. the best we've ever had. He took excellent care of our room every day. Tony Delaney was a great ... Read More
We like Princess. Enjoyed Glasier Bay and Sitka very much. Also Victoria was Beautiful. Our room steward, Miguel, was Excellent. the best we've ever had. He took excellent care of our room every day. Tony Delaney was a great lounge singer singing different types of music every night so it was always fresh. The showroom entertainment was excellent every night but take ear plugs as the band is way to loud for the singers. If the singer is playing guitar forget about the guitar as the band blasts away. The food was not up to our expectations. Mostly the main courses. Starters, Soups and Salads were very good and creative but main courses left a little to be desired.Desserts were great. Don't take Southwest to get to the ship. The morning of our cruise they texted us that they canceled our one hour flight from Burbank. We ranged a new flight from LAX at 11:15 but they loaded us at 12:30 and we sat on the tarmac until 3:15 Called Princess and they were great. They got the Captain to delay leaving for 15 minutes. 3 couples involved. we got to the ship in cabs arranged by Princess between 5:05 and 5:10. thanks to Princess and the Captain. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This trip was a 10-day Alaska cruise round-trip out of San Francisco. This was our 5th Princess cruise, and 2nd time on the Grand Princess. Our most recent cruise was aboard the Carnival Splendor five months ago (a 7-day trip to Mexico out ... Read More
This trip was a 10-day Alaska cruise round-trip out of San Francisco. This was our 5th Princess cruise, and 2nd time on the Grand Princess. Our most recent cruise was aboard the Carnival Splendor five months ago (a 7-day trip to Mexico out of Long Beach), and I’ll reference some comparisons later. Our travel agent provided bus transportation from Sacramento to San Francisco; we left Sacramento at 10am and arrived at the pier at 12:10. Traffic on the Embarcadero is often heavy, and more so on a cruise departure day, so we were thankful not to be driving (or having to deal with parking). Within 8 minutes of our bus pulling up at Pier 27, we were in the security line (our luggage is automatically transferred from the bus to the ship). Four minutes later we were in the check-in line, and five minutes from that we were walking aboard the ship. It was a pretty impressive process; only 20 minutes between when our bus pulled up to when we were on the ship. Since we made it on board before 1pm, we decided to hit the Da Vinci dining room for lunch. We don’t usually make it early enough for this. I was surprised at how empty it was in there, only a small scattering of people here and there. The staff had been directing people to the buffet immediately after boarding, and later in the cruise the Cruise Director mentioned that there were some 1700 first time cruisers on board (yikes!), so maybe not many people knew about the dining room option. One thing that surprised me in the dining room – there were a couple of little bugs (gnats maybe?) flying around the table. I can’t recall ever seeing bugs in a ship’s dining room before. At dinner the first night I had vegetable spring rolls and a chicken dish. While the chicken was a little dry, the meal was otherwise pretty good. I’ve noted on other reviews that the Carnival food options seemed to be better not only in variety but also in presentation and flavor, but the food on the Grand didn’t disappoint. The buffet had good selections, if not somewhat predictable and not terribly varied due to the comparably smaller size of the facility. The Carnival Splendor had the advantage of having different sections within the buffet, such as the Wok and Burrito Bar and BBQ, which made for a much more exciting dining experience. I noted though that at least on this trip, I rarely found lines at the buffet, whereas I most often found them on the Splendor. Part of that may be the opening times – for example breakfast started at 6am on the Grand, but 7:30am on the Carnival Splendor. Things were just open longer on Princess, which helps spread out the herd. One thing I’ve found true on both lines – anytime you order a steak in the MDR, you need to order it one level rarer than you want. I’ve consistently found that to be the case. Side note – our young child loves his apple juice, and while this was available at breakfast and in the dining room, he won’t touch the Princess apple juice. Admittedly it tasted a little weird to me…hard to describe, just off and with an unnatural sweetness to it. Anyways. On our first sea day we had a scheduled Cruise Critic meet and mingle in the One-Five lounge. Unfortunately when we got there, there was competition with a group of several dozen Chinese passengers having some sort of class. I heard from some other seasoned CC members that this sort of thing happens often on Princess. After trying for 10 minutes to have our own conversations, between the dozen of us in attendance, my wife finally went and spoke with someone at guest services, who told us our meeting had been changed to the Wheelhouse Bar. Too bad no one told any of us about the change. So we moved our group and ultimately had a nice time. The customer service manager later sent all of us apology notes to our staterooms along with a plate of desserts, either chocolate covered strawberries or crème puffs. The shows on the Grand were the same ones I had seen previously over a year ago, but they were still entertaining. Motor City, British Invasion, Stardust, and Born to Dance (we saw this last one when it debuted on the Grand, and it is quite excellent! No wonder they saved it for the last night on board). The big advantage Princess has over Carnival is that they use live musicians for their stage shows. There’s also a lot more live entertainment throughout the ship, though again I hear from more-seasoned Princess cruisers that they’ve cut back on the amount of this. One area Carnival truly excels in is their comedy offerings. We saw three different comedians doing multiple shows both family friendly and R-rated. On Princess, one comedian doing shows on two different nights. And honestly it was the same comedian I saw before and a lot of the exact same routines I’ve seen before. Not that they weren’t entertaining per se, but you’d like to hear some fresh material. On the 2nd night and next morning the seas were quite choppy, with 8-foot swells. Most of trip actually had calm seas (and sunny, cloudless skies). But trying to swim in the Calypso (indoor) pool at 6:30am was quite interesting. I was glad they had towels available. My last time on the Grand, there were no clean towels at the pool deck before 7am, so I had to get one the night before. You can’t really go swimming much before 6:30am, as they’re usually cleaning the pools at that time. And the spas don’t tend to get uncovered till 7am. On our 3rd night we had our first of two formal nights. Our early traditional dining time, which before the cruise was “confirmed” for 6pm, was actually at 5pm (on our last Princess cruise it was 5:30pm). With our young child (now 4.5 years old), we like to get formal photos done (at one of the stations they set up around the ship) before dinner, for obvious reasons. Unfortunately there was no one ready to take photos prior to the first dining seating, so we didn’t end up getting formal shots done. Too bad. On our second sea day we decided to try Alfredo’s for lunch. I understand on larger ships, Alfredo’s also offers salads and pasta, but this one just does pizza. It was fairly crowded, and after waiting about 25 minutes we were seated and had drinks ordered. Apparently one of their ovens had broken down, causing a slow-down of service. Five minutes later we got notified that the other one broke down…so no pizza this day. Actually we went up poolside and got some pizza up there. The pizza on Princess, incidentally, is one thing that is vastly superior to Carnival’s. Before we make it to port I should mention the Princess at Sea site. Their web-based page runs off the ship’s wifi, is free to use, and provides instant updates on onboard purchases, allows you to view the schedule and setup your own list of events you want to attend, and more. It also has a messenger service, which was pretty useful to get messages to my wife or my parents who were also on this trip. Unfortunately being web-based, it doesn’t allow push notifications, and the only way you know if you have a new message is to open it up and refresh it. They offer internet packages in which you can use social media sites on your phone for $14.99 a day. We actually used a similar service on our last Carnival cruise (but it was only $5 a day…). Our first port was Ketchikan. We did our own walking around here, as it’s an easy one to do, going to Creek Street and exploring on our own, before having drinks and light food at Dwyer’s Crab & Fish Company. Ketchikan is a short day, 7am-2pm (1:30 all aboard time), but we were surprised to find about 300 people in line waiting to get back onboard at 12:50. Fortunately it went fairly quickly at about 15 minutes. Our next port was worse… In Juneau we were scheduled to tender (I’ve never had to tender here before). In the morning it seemed pretty promising, as we arrived in the scheduled dining room early to get tender tickets. By the time the first tender began boarding (right on time at 8am), there wasn’t enough people yet to fill it all the way, so it was a pretty easy process. We were underway at 8:05. While in Juneau we rented a car. I booked late, only a couple of weeks before our trip (booking in advance is a necessity as they sell out), but still got a full size sedan at Avis for $134 including the kid’s booster seat. The shuttles to Mendenhall Glacier have gone up – way up – now running $45 per person round trip (it was $20 last time we were here in 2016). So for five of us, it would have cost $225. So we had a nice day on our own schedule, and also visited Auk Bay and the Wickersham House in town, along with the Hanger By The Wharf for drinks and a late lunch. Then things got interesting with the tenders. We were scheduled in Juneau until 9pm, but got in line for the tenders at 5pm. I guess everyone wanted to get back to the ship for dinner as there were over two hundred waiting in the sun. (I should note though that on this day, there were no set dinner seatings in the MDR. They basically ran every dining room as anytime dining. We had been notified of this by our waiter the night before). But back to the tender line. Turns out, there were only two tenders running (there were at least four running that morning), so only one was loading at the pier at a time. And then we all had to wait for the next to arrive. It was nearly a half-hour wait before we finally boarded a tender (I actually got a little sunburned waiting). Part of our group had actually gone back a half hour earlier, and they actually sat waiting on a tender for a half hour before it would depart the pier, as all service was halted whenever another cruise ship came in our out of port (there were 5 there that day). I’ve certainly heard worse tendering stories, but this was for us the most inefficient tender experience we’ve had. Our next port was Skagway, in which we booked an excursion on board to do the Chilkoot Trail hike and river float. This was just for the two of us; our child stayed behind with his grandparents (minimum age on this trip was 7). Although it was a bit pricey at $169 a person, it was a fun trip. We had a small group of only 7, and took a van ride up to Dyea to start on the 2-mile hike. The first half was fairly hilly and strenuous, while the second half was pretty flat. It was beautiful scenery all around, though we saw little wildlife. Our guide Sarah pointed out local edible plants which we all tried. After the hiking part we donned water boots and life jackets for the 30-minute raft float back to our van’s staging area. With all the warm weather melting the glaciers up there, the river was riding quite high and much faster than normal. But it was still a calm yet exciting trip on the water, as we saw glacier capped peaks and bald eagle nests. Back in town we enjoyed a leisurely walk through the main street and capped the day off with drinks at the Red Onion. Our 3rd sea day, and it was our first sign of cloudy weather as up till now it was all sun and mid to upper 70s. This is also when we spotted our first breaching whales. Keep your eyes open especially in the relatively narrow stretches. We saw a school of dolphins, and whole lot of jellyfish streaming by the boat, and even caught some bubble net feeding. I only knew what this was as we had attended the naturalist talks on board from Tess Julianna. It’s good to learn a little something… This trip visited Tracy Arm, which we had not been to in quite some time. We were suddenly awakened at 5:30am by our TV, which was on the bridge cam channel and suddenly came to life with the naturalist speaking. They used to have music on that channel, so you would naturally turn it down before going to bed. But now it’s a quiet channel. Until the crack of dawn on scenic cruising day, apparently. It was nice seeing all of the immaculate scenery, with a lot of huge chunks of floating ice, geological treasures such as circle-shaped valleys showing evidence of past glacial presence. And as it was sunny and clear, and recent warm temperatures had helped to break up larger ice chunks, the Grand was able to get pretty close to Sawyer Glacier. Far closer than we had ever been, really. They couldn’t quite turn around all the way, so the viewing was in its prime on the port side, and aft as the ship turned around. There was actually too much sun, as it was directly over the glacier and made picture taking tricky due to the glare. But it was beautiful. I should point out some of the kids club info, as we used it periodically on this trip. Obviously the kids club provides time for mom and dad to do events both on the ship and ashore that wouldn’t really work with a small child. With that in mind we were fairly disappointed on the schedule they offered. They were open from 8am-5pm in Juneau and Skagway (we were in both those ports till 9pm however), but every other day the schedule was 8am-Noon, 2pm-5pm, and 7pm-10pm. This proved to be problematic in Victoria for example, which is a great town to just walk around but a bit far for a little kid to walk. We were in port from 7am-2pm, but couldn’t drop the kid off till 8am, and then one of us at least had to be aboard before noon to get him. So our port time was drastically reduced. On Carnival it was a normal thing to keep kids through lunch, and take them all to the buffet where they had a secluded spot setup with food for them. That was a nice option to have, giving parents a lot more flexibility with their schedules. Hopefully Princess will step up their game here. Anyways, in Victoria we took a nice walk from the cruise ship terminal past the fisherman’s wharf and floating houses, into downtown. We booked a horse drawn carriage ride right across from the Legislative Buildings, which is really easy to do. They have rides in increments of 15 minutes; we took the 30-minute Heritage ride, which cost $125 Canadian (but if you don’t have Canadian dollars you can use a credit card) for the carriage which nicely held the four of us (the kid was back in the kids club on the ship). It went up to Beacon Park and cut across to and travelled down Government Street, and our guide pointed out some of the historic homes and talked about the history of Victoria. Our horse, Sarge, was slow and opinionated on where he wanted to go, but it was a fun and relaxing ride. One of the downsides of the ship arriving so early in Victoria (7am) is that a lot of things were not open yet, and even at 10am there were still street vendors just starting to setup their wares. All in all I wish we had much more time to spend there, as it seems there’s so much to see and do. On our last sea day I tried hitting the indoor pool in the morning, but unfortunately it was netted and drained and remained so all day. I hadn’t seen that before for a full sea day. Maybe some kid pooped in it. I don’t know. The outdoor main pool was being cleaned, so I ultimately skipped the swimming idea. The indoor pool was back open on disembarkation morning. Go figure. We did get to go to Alfredo’s for lunch this day, as their ovens were back working. It was good, though the menu could use more variety. This disembarkation process was quite smooth. As we were with my parents who are Elite, we waited in the Wheelhouse right near the exit. It took awhile for them to start calling groups, and our group was near the end and scheduled to be called at 10am. We actually got to start heading off at 9:30. There was a long line but it went fast; we hit the security line at 9:37 and were through at 9:40. It’s nice not having to have customs forms filled out and turned in (though curiously we had to fill out forms for Canada – before we arrived there. Hard to declare anything when you haven’t stepped foot there yet). All in all it was a great trip. The crew we encountered were friendly and helpful, especially our dining room waiter Kadek, the bar server Rea in Crooners, and the dancer Lindsey (who also helped with the art auctions), and customer relations manager Paolo (who helped with our Cruise Critic meeting snafu). 90% of random crew members we passed in the halls would say hello. Our service in the MDR was quick (our last time on the Grand it was painfully slow). We were in and out of dinner in well under an hour and a half. The ship is in pretty good shape considering how long it’s been running. Though on deck 8 there were crew members systematically replacing the ceiling insulation throughout the whole trip, and on the last sea day there appeared to be some flooding on deck 14 near the buffet entrance, coming through the ceiling. And of course you will see things like stained grout tile, scratches and nicks, and so on, throughout the ship. If you look for those things. But there was nothing that dissuaded us from having a wonderful time. And unlike our last cruise on the Carnival Splendor, the drain in our stateroom shower and the refrigerator both worked. So that was a bonus! Now we’re back at home trying to figure out where and when our next cruise will be…we’ll be Platinum on our next Princess cruise, so looking forward to the added little perks! 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Sail Date July 2018
I like that I do not have to fly anywhere to go on a cruise. San Francisco Port is really attractive and makes cruising much easier but I wish they have more options, more different itineraries. Wait Staff, those providing daily ... Read More
I like that I do not have to fly anywhere to go on a cruise. San Francisco Port is really attractive and makes cruising much easier but I wish they have more options, more different itineraries. Wait Staff, those providing daily service are very friendly. Even if they work long hours, they always have the positive attitude and smiles on their faces. you can really feel the dedication they have in doing their job. Cabin is very clean, our room steward did a marvelous job on that part. Our room steward is always available, if you call him for something, he will be knocking on your door in few minutes. No long wait unlike on other cruises. Shows are very entertaining and I love the International Crews Show - which showcases the ship's very own crews talents. I wish there were more activities for seniors and handicapped people so at least they can do more aside from just listening to music or watching movie. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I would still be married if I took my ex-wife's advice on taking this cruise. My response always was, "why would want to be on an Hotel on water". Well, she was right, ( many times she was right, but this subject she ... Read More
I would still be married if I took my ex-wife's advice on taking this cruise. My response always was, "why would want to be on an Hotel on water". Well, she was right, ( many times she was right, but this subject she was very, very right ). It was a trip of a life time, and it won't be my last. Gained 8lbs, but every oz. was GRUB'n, Shows and Bands were top notch Staff was TOTALLY professional Excursions were like the Discovery Channel live in person And met so, so many new friends, and even have dates with new lady friends lined up at Levi Stadium through out the next season ( GO 9ers ) I am season ticket holder ( 4 seats ) Only set back was one of my excursions was cancelled due to an plane crash the day before, yet , then I realize SAFETY was first with the Staff, " how do you make safety last?, you put it first" However, next trip I will not use AAA as my agent, I fill I was over charged and not given the VETERAN on board credits, but, believe me I am TRUELLY thankful for the service the STAFF on board provided Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We went with the Grand Princess from SFO to Alaska, 10days Roundtrip. The cruise and ports were great. First time in Alaska, Weather was between 40-80 degrees. We packed layers, T-shirts, long sleeves shirts and rain jacket. Don't ... Read More
We went with the Grand Princess from SFO to Alaska, 10days Roundtrip. The cruise and ports were great. First time in Alaska, Weather was between 40-80 degrees. We packed layers, T-shirts, long sleeves shirts and rain jacket. Don't worry about the clothes. If you haven't packed the right clothing, you can buy jackets, hats, sweaters and t-shirts in the stores at the port. Don't forget your binocular (or buy in ship store). We've chosen OV cabin with obstructed view, cabin E619, mid ship on Deck 8- Emerald Deck. Right across from the Laundry- but no noises. Location was great, just go down 1 floor and you have restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment. The cabin interior a little bit outdated and small, bathroom was smelling urine. I guess the steward didn't had much time to clean properly. One thing throughout the ship: all windows were really really dirty, hard to see through- no matter which floor. The grand princess is an older, smaller ship. Needs a deep clean thoughout. The staff very friendly, the food was ok. We had anytime dining, sometimes you needed to wait 30 minutes to get a table (mostly between 6-7pm), but we didn't seen that as an issue, the food in the dining rooms was good, nothing really exciting- lot of fish. Pizza at Alfredo and the International Cafe are great alternative for dinner or snack and is complimentary. Awesome! Recommendation for this area: have stationary water, coffee and tea complimentary as well. The Horizon buffet on the other hand is very small and the food selection very limited, I didn't like it very much. Breakfast alright, Lunch not so much. Entertainment: a lot of singing shows. First day 4 singers and dancers, after that- each of those singers have their own show and then final show all singers together again. I wished, they would offer a bit more variety of show acts, comedy and maybe magic to balance it out. Great option to the shows were Karaoke and The Voice, very entertaining and of course "Movies under the Stars:. So our rating is average, we will give princess another try- with royal princess in December. Casino: small, 1 side smoking, the other side non- smoking, on formal nights non-smoking after 6pm. For our smokers: you can purchase duty-free cartons of cigarettes, you can pick them up by the end of the cruise. ( MSC allows you take it with you) Read Less
Sail Date June 2018

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