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267 San Francisco to Hawaii Cruise Reviews

45 trips with Princess, and the food was not as good as any of our previous cruises. The last show was very good, but the rest were old and older. Met an officer and we talked about the cruise and told him of our thoughts about the food. ... Read More
45 trips with Princess, and the food was not as good as any of our previous cruises. The last show was very good, but the rest were old and older. Met an officer and we talked about the cruise and told him of our thoughts about the food. He said the home office had cut costs for food to a level where the ship could not buy as much as they wanted. I told him we were on the Caribbean Princess in Jan.and that ship was super. He said there had been a problem two years ago, and the company had 4 new production shows on that ship as well as the largest food expense per person in the fleet, trying to bring the ship up to a proper level in the public eye.The Grand needs work! The main show-room had a problem. The center section (where we sat) had water landing on the seats from above. They said they knew about it but nothing seemed to change. As usual, the crew was always very friendly and helpful and we even recognized some of the crew from previous cruises. We both did a lot of reading and enjoyed meeting and talking to a lot of interesting and knowledgeable people from many walks of life. The wait staff did the best they could under the circumstances, but believe it or not, we both lost weight on this cruise!! So much for the food! Since we have taken this cruise several times we only did one shore excursion and had a wonderful day in in Maui. We have always felt that Princess gives the passenger the best value for the buck and we will use them again but we do not intend to go cruising on the Grand Princess any time soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Hawaii round trip from S.F. a Ideal itinerary. Food in dining rooms have become Nothing to brag about. A surprise to us from a Princess product. Horizon court has a good selection, Drinks are now offered in Smaller Glasses instead of a ... Read More
Hawaii round trip from S.F. a Ideal itinerary. Food in dining rooms have become Nothing to brag about. A surprise to us from a Princess product. Horizon court has a good selection, Drinks are now offered in Smaller Glasses instead of a regular glass. Why ? Guess they want you to order more and keep the dish washer busy. Service in the Horizon lacks as employees seem to have a attitude. Ship does show its wear and age, surprised after the dry dock it was in weeks before we sailed. Must be more important to upgrade the medallion system and newer TV's , rather than older worn furniture, water pipes and overall the skeleton of the ship. Major problem in room as the Toilet did not flush and slow response to rectify the situation, after an hour I called front desk and asked for an estimated arrival of maintenance personal, as well as notifying them that it sounds as if water is running down the interior of the walls. Wife was going to use facilities elsewhere when she saw Water poring down the Elevator door, maintenance was busy everywhere. Note elevator were taken out of service (caused a bottleneck of people trying to go up or down). Electrical systems were effected and floors on effected elevators need replacement now. Entertainment on board was nothing to brag about, mostly ships dancers and band. Magician was the best venue. The "Come Back New" motto was definitely not part of this cruise. Is it all about cost cutting ? Maybe so, But losing loyal customers may be the end result. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Club Grazie Palazzo Venetian gifted me this cruise. I am thankful as it was a great restful vacation. We chose it as it had a lot of restful sea days and princess cruise slogan is come back new and the relaxation and fabulous beds ... Read More
Club Grazie Palazzo Venetian gifted me this cruise. I am thankful as it was a great restful vacation. We chose it as it had a lot of restful sea days and princess cruise slogan is come back new and the relaxation and fabulous beds ensured that. We were pampered the whole trip and the service cannot be exceeded anywhere else. Mauii was great to walk around and touch toes in ocean. The plantation farm train ride and waterfall viewing in Kauai was great fun, feeding baby pigs and seeing chickens everywhere The botanical garden and waterfall tour in hilo was great. In Honolulu you can't get close enough to memorial which is a bummer but still great to review the history and honor our fallen military. Stopping in Ensenada to pick up handmade purses was a bonus. The food service on this cruise was the best I have ever encountered anywhere. Princess Cruise should be proud of all these employees. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Looking for a restful cruise. Our first walk around the ship was very impressive. We’ve cruised on Grand Princess many times. This is the first time after the ship came out of dry dock. Our first impressions were, what a beautiful ship. ... Read More
Looking for a restful cruise. Our first walk around the ship was very impressive. We’ve cruised on Grand Princess many times. This is the first time after the ship came out of dry dock. Our first impressions were, what a beautiful ship. It is truly the BEAUTIFUL GRAND PRINCESS. this is a MUST cruise again for previous Grand Princess passengers or people who are thinking of cruising on the Grand Princess. Wonderful experience in the dinning room. Especially if you have the good fortune of meeting Head Waiter Giovani. Weather he is in the Horizon Court Buffet or the Dinning room Constantly, ensuring the food well presented in the Buffet (nice variety) and guests in the dining room are happy and satisfied at dinner. At all times, wait staff were excellent. The gym was well equipped as well as many wellness programs were provided. Theater has many interesting entertainers. There was a nice show one evening but was spoilt by the loud sound system. I urge anyone who is thinking of cruising, try Grand Princess. For previous Grand Princess passengers, you MUST try again. Looking forward to our next Grand Princess destination. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We had never been to Hawaii and thought it would be a great relaxing trip. Embarking and disembarking was very smooth with plenty of assistance available. We had great expectations for a pristine ship after a long refurb. How disappointing ... Read More
We had never been to Hawaii and thought it would be a great relaxing trip. Embarking and disembarking was very smooth with plenty of assistance available. We had great expectations for a pristine ship after a long refurb. How disappointing to see the poor shape the passenger areas are in. The 8 days of rockin' and rollin affected even those who never had been before and we all thought a ship, 949 feet long, would handle the 8 foot seas better. In general the food was wonderful and our wait staff at table 223, Cyril and Presert, were excellent. The ship is rather noisy with everything done, loudly. It took a bit of investigating to find a place where you were not assaulted by the din and overly excited CDir and his staff. I suppose everyone will mention the slow elevators or the ones that pass you by, but all 2600 of us took it in stride as we tried to move about the ship. Overall the service on the ship was very good even though many of the international staff were rather hard to understand. We didn't take in much of the entertainment so we cannot comment on the theater or Vista lounge offerings. The guitar player in Crooners was nice but the piano player in the plaza seemed to attack the keys rather than play them. It was fun though to see all the ukulele students learning to play and the hula instruction. It was Hawaii, and the ports tried hard to make you think you were there. It had been a long time since we had been there and were shocked at how commercialized it has become. There was no "smell of the Islands" or the relaxing feeling, that is so heavily advertised. Just the realization of why the Hawaiians are so sad at what their land has become. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Amazing, amazing trip. Everything, except for casino, was beyond and above expectations. Casino needs more variety on slots. I loved the robes (waffle), and would love to purchase one for my husband for Father’s Day. Please help ... Read More
Amazing, amazing trip. Everything, except for casino, was beyond and above expectations. Casino needs more variety on slots. I loved the robes (waffle), and would love to purchase one for my husband for Father’s Day. Please help with this. The food was ok, but need more variety. Lots of curry in the food. This is not a good choice for all people. Os e of the shipboard staff, such as line dancer teachers were rude and not very helpful as teachers. I enjoyed all the shows that we saw, but he singers were not very good in any of the shows. I do have to say that anything we asked for was supplied right away as far as our room accommodations went. Roberto was an excellent steward. The ship itself, left a lot to be desired as far as luxury went..so much wear and tear showing all over the ship. Very disappointing. Very disappointing. The name, Grand Princess, does not fit this ship. Entirely to much for gratuities....... Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was to be a once in a lifetime cruise so we spared no expense. Money spent was worth it. Suite was perfect. Club Class dining option and various perks were great. The ship was built in late 90's and they have done a great job ... Read More
This was to be a once in a lifetime cruise so we spared no expense. Money spent was worth it. Suite was perfect. Club Class dining option and various perks were great. The ship was built in late 90's and they have done a great job with upkeep. We did not sign up for many activities and entertainment. Preferred chilling out. Music at the various bar venues could have been better. Shore excursions were great. If we were to do again we would go with mini suite to get the club class dining. Also might go a bit later. Weather in San Fran and two days to and from there were cool. Shore excursions: Hilo - Rainbow Falls, Black Sand Beach, Orchid Farm, and Volcano Winery Tour - excellent. Nawilliwili - Napali Coast Cruise and Snorkel was great - got wet and loved it. Maui - Trilogy Catamaran Sail - very good, although too short. Loved the relaxing sea time to and from San Francisco. Rode cable cars and should have gotten a two day pass. Great restaurants near pier 39. Stayed at the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental. We should have stayed at the Fairmont across the street. But the Mark was OK. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The first couple of days at sea was a challenge as the ocean swells were high. Cold for the first 3 days. Lots to do on the ship. Ports went by quickly and we started to head home. Then it hit. A little sinus drip turned into a fever and a ... Read More
The first couple of days at sea was a challenge as the ocean swells were high. Cold for the first 3 days. Lots to do on the ship. Ports went by quickly and we started to head home. Then it hit. A little sinus drip turned into a fever and a hard cough. Fever took 5 days to finally subdue. Too many sick people on the ship with lots of them coughing without covering their mouth. So it took 15 days to do an 8 day cruise. I don’t think I will go that long of a cruise with so many sea days. My wife and daughter enjoyed all the shopping both on the ship and on the islands. The Grand itself was in good condition after the dry dock. Staff were excellent and the food was good. Alfredo’s had a really good pizza. Room service was fast but the menu needs more work. I’m looking forward to being on one of the newer ships the next time we are on a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Aniversary birthday, 15 days what a big ship, excursions were not worth the money go on you own. room was small but the price was right, the casino everyone won, Its been 72 hrs and I'm still rocking. The time changes were ... Read More
Aniversary birthday, 15 days what a big ship, excursions were not worth the money go on you own. room was small but the price was right, the casino everyone won, Its been 72 hrs and I'm still rocking. The time changes were confusing. The inside tv was good room service had hot tasty hamburgers. Pizza not so good, ice cream wasn't icecream. The charges for drinks were slow and confusing. The buffet was the same every day lots of fruit, can't get a table in the buffet, you have to get there early or late. dinning was great but having to share, some people talked your head off, cafe lounges can't get a seat they save them for others. The pool loungechairs were taken up with people putting stuff on them to save for others The pool was closed a lot due to rocking on the boat. hot tubs had all the kids in them to get warm. The movies unde rthe stars was way to cold. I won playing slots Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I love cruising out of San Francisco...and I have enjoyed my many cruises on the Grand Lady...The Hawaiian Ambassadors were warm and welcoming...The entertainers at Crooners were great...the Captain Circle Hostess was ... Read More
I love cruising out of San Francisco...and I have enjoyed my many cruises on the Grand Lady...The Hawaiian Ambassadors were warm and welcoming...The entertainers at Crooners were great...the Captain Circle Hostess was excellent...friendly...calming and welcoming...The Captain was also very welcoming and patient spending time with passengers and always willing to stop talk and pose for a shot...the botticeli servers at table #233 were excellent...willing to do what is necessary to make your meal a pleasant experience The only fly in the ointment was the service elsewhere on the ship...the service desk personnel made it clear that they wanted all issues to be settled by the Passengers someplace else...the Excursion desk when confronted with an issue would instruct us to call the main office after the cruise was over...and the bar staff pretty much were either not present...or if present managed to ignore passengers actively waving for their attention...there were some very friendly special needs individuals who loved to say hi to everyone...and the server in Crooners was borderline rude...activities that would appear to the same groups were scheduled at the same time...Pop Choir at the same time as Ukelele class...Trivia at the same time as a cruise long mystery puzzle...with my 5 other 15 day Hawaii cruise they managed to schedule activities at the same time that would appeal to different interests...There was a promise of a Passenger Talent show...but that was all...a Promise...and for evening activities...second seating Passengers had the choice of participating with the activities or eating dinner But these incidents did not keep us from enjoying my cruise and will not keep us from cruising on the Grand Lady in September Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise as a "get out of the snow and cold" getaway and also for the number of sea days involved. We wanted a relaxing time rather than a cruise where almost every day you're up early to make an excursion. ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a "get out of the snow and cold" getaway and also for the number of sea days involved. We wanted a relaxing time rather than a cruise where almost every day you're up early to make an excursion. Specialty dining at Sabatini's and Crown Grill (French onion soup!) was outstanding. I'd heard griping from other Princess cruisers about Sabatini's and I don't understand why. It was so good we went back a second time. Also the pizza at Al Fredos is great. I do wish that Princess (and all other lines) sould make sure that at least one bar is at all times reserved for peace and quiet conversations. I understand people like to be entertained but I think there is a need for places to just go have a quiet drink with friends. It could be a different bar at different times but needs to be away from the noise. One of our group broke an ankle (her own doing) and she raved about the quality of the medical care on board Grand Princess. We liked the cruise so well we signed up to go again in '20. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
HAL Cruisers Give Princess a Try Our last HAL cruise was to Alaska on the Eurodam last July – August (2018). We have been dedicated HAL cruisers for some time now. DW decided she wanted to do another cruise so we did some exploring. ... Read More
HAL Cruisers Give Princess a Try Our last HAL cruise was to Alaska on the Eurodam last July – August (2018). We have been dedicated HAL cruisers for some time now. DW decided she wanted to do another cruise so we did some exploring. The dates, itinerary, cabin choice, and price lined up for us doing the 15-day Hawaiian out of San Francisco on Grand Princess. This was our first Princess cruise and this review will be specific to that cruise. However, comparisons to HAL will also figure in my narrative. About Us: We live in Minnesota and have cruised extensively. Originally on Royal Caribbean until RCCL started building the floating amusement parks. Since then we’ve been with HAL. We are both retired. Yes, we are foodies and we are also detail orientated so we notice the little things (décor, condition of the ship, attention to detail) but without losing the big picture. Embarkation: We flew to San Francisco a day early, as we do with any cruise, and stayed with my oldest friend in life (we grew up across the street from each other in SF), and enjoyed a French restaurant for dinner along with several Bay Area friends that we travel to France with every five years. On embarkation day we dropped our luggage with a porter at Pier 27 then went across the street to Fog City Diner for brunch. Check-in and boarding was seamless and we went immediately to The Sanctuary to book our space for a port day in Hawaii (Sunday Feb. 3). We did not find any port excursions that were of interest for that stop so we decided to kick back and Veg. Besides, it was Super Bowl Sunday and the game started at 1:30PM Hawaii time and God forbid DW would miss Super Bowl. Our business at The Sanctuary complete we headed to our cabin. Muster Drill on Grand Princess is done indoors and does not require life jackets. The weather was beautiful and sunny for our sail away and I felt such pride at being a native San Franciscan since the skyline and bay and Golden Gate Bridge are all so stunning. Our Cabin: We had booked a Mini-Suite that has a slightly larger veranda the other cabins in that class. Unpacking, we found that our stuff fit in the closet, drawers, and bathroom quite nicely. No lacking for space. We never over pack so we knew there would be no problem. On our HAL cruise to Alaska we had a Neptune Suite so this was a big downsizing. Hey, it was fine. We enjoyed the mini-suite and our cabin steward Abriham was fantastic. Entertainment: We are not big fans of shows on cruise ships so I’ve got nothing to report on that score. We did attend two events in the Princess Theater however. The first was a very informative lecture/slide show with one of the ships officers about how cruise ships work and navigation. The person was nervous and spoke too quickly to be heard clearly but he was quite humorous. The second event was a cooking demonstration featuring the ships two main chefs. It was interesting but the corny humor was a bit dull although I found it somewhat interesting what people will laugh at. We played Trivia during the first week of the cruise and that was lots of fun. Also, DW has had a big streak of luck with the slots in the casino during our last three cruises, winning big within an hour of sitting down to play. The streak ended on this cruise. Oh well! Food: Here is the big difference between HAL and Princess. While we had several meals that were quite delicious, the food on Princess is way below the standard on HAL, including the Horizon Court Buffet. We ate in the Botticelli dining room for a fixed 7:30PM seating. On the last formal night (there are three on this cruise) I ordered the Beef Wellington. Now, Beef Wellington is a filet wrapped in a pastry shell with a layer of Foie gras (duck or goose liver pate) in between the shell and the meat. The grayish matter that was supposedly Foie gras definitely wasn’t. What it was I have no idea. If the chef is going to put that item on the menu it should be properly prepared or left off entirely. Our waiters, Alan and Komang were marvelous and we quickly established a wonderful relationship with them. During our diners they would always bring plate of another entrée for us to share. We tipped them heavily at the end of the cruise. Not wanting to be totally negative about the food on Grand Princess I must say that we enjoyed several deserts from all venues serving desert. They were excellent! One menu item that is a must do if it’s offered is the Goat Cheese Soufflé. It’s absolutely stunning. One huge disappointment is what Princess offers as the Cheese Plate on the desert dinner menu. It was the exact same cheese (only one cheese) and dollop of dried/fruit/nut mix every night on the 15 day cruise. On HAL the Cheese Plate is different every night with at least four cheeses and fruit per serving. We had one meal at each of the specialty restaurants. Crown Grill for steak and Sabatini’s for Italian. The Crown Grill was top notch and had a lovely ambiance. We also enjoyed the Pub Lunch three times in that venue. Pub Lunch is only served on sea days and is a limited menu with only one desert offered. We enjoyed it a great deal and would recommend it to anyone cruising with Princess. Sabatini’s was a wonderful seven course dinner that I would highly suggest you book. However, the ambiance (décor) of the space is horrible. It looks like Princess threw together a bunch of faux walls and columns with the intention of finishing the space later on but never did. The ceiling was a scatter of painted boards with the ventilation system visible. Probably the most egregious decorating sin was the lack of table cloths. All the tables were some sort of faux wood that was totally unappealing. The restaurant was not busy at all and two crew from high up the chain in the food and beverage department asked to speak with us after we were finished. We shared with them what I’ve written here. Based on their response it would seem like they had heard our concerns many times before. We had lunch at the Alfredo restaurant off the Piazza and that was quite good as were the pastries and coffee at the International Café (open 24 hours). We did not do the Burger place near the Lido pools nor the Pizza place also located there. Ports of Call/Shore Excursions: Our first Port of Call was Hilo. We had originally booked the Princess Excursion to the Botanical Gardens. Then we cancelled when we found out we could do it on our own for at least half the price. We did Uber to the Gardens and our driver agreed to pick us up two hours later. We paid the entry fee and did our walk. The Gardens are beautiful and the walk is only slightly strenuous. Our Uber guy was waiting for us and we made our way back to the ship after a short stop at a Target store to pick up a belt which I forgot to pack, and one other item. Our second Port was Honolulu where we did the 5 hour Pearl Harbor/Mighty Mo Tour offered by Princess. Money well spent. Our third Port was Kaui where we had decided to stay on board. We had booked the Sanctuary for the day thinking it would not be crowded. We were the only people there as it turned out. The menu for that venue was perfect for our purposes. It was also Super Bowl day with the game starting at 1:30PM Hawaii time so we watched it on the big screen used for Movies Under the Stars and finished up the game in Snookers Cigar Bar when we had had more than enough Sun for the day. The next and last Port was Maui where we had booked the early Catamaran Sail. This tour was the highlight of our entire cruise. Whales abounded and during our sail at least a hundred Dolphins ran along the sides of the catamaran jumping above the waves. An amazing sight to behold. Also, the food offerings were plentiful and delicious. This shore excursion is a must do if you are even slightly interested. The crew were all wonderful and knew what they were doing. We did not get off the ship in Ensenada, Mexico since we’ve been to Mexico numerous times and I believe once you’ve seen one Mexican town you’ve seen them all. Sorry folks, that’s just the way it is. If you’ve never been to Mexico then you should go ashore by all means. The problem with the Ensenada stop is the only reason the ship stops there is to be in accordance with the Jones Act. You should Google that for information if you are interested. Also, you are only there for just 4 hours, and late in the day. The Grand Princess: The ship is 21 years old and it shows. A big shout out to the crew of worker bees that are constantly at work on repairs, painting, and polishing. However, it’s time for a major, major make over for this old gal. Grand Princess will be going into dry dock in Portland, OR during most of March but I’ll bet they will not address the stuff that needs the most work. By that I mean the chipped chairs, worn and frayed fabric in countless areas, worn to the bone panels in elevators, more rust on the outside areas than you can count, etc. Having talked with several of the ships officers I learned that Princess is upgrading the Internet system on all the fleet but it will take this dry dock and at least one other before the system will be functional on the Grand. Please note: this is only my opinion, but…I’m constantly amazed and alarmed by the public’s obsession and addiction to the Internet. There is so much more to life than the stupid Internet. DW and I love to totally disconnect from all that stuff when we cruise and wish others could discover that freedom. I believe the money and time spent on Internet upgrades would be better spent on correcting the items I’ve mentioned. Regardless of a new Internet system I’ll wager that passengers will still find reception to be slow and spotty. Speeding up the movement of the elevator doors would be a real plus. On our cruise they opened and closed at the speed of a glacier. Cruise ship décor is, like the food, a very subjective thing. Grand Princess is close to Carnival Line ships (although not nearly as gaudy and offensive) in that most of the décor is meant to imitate something. Totally unnecessary. Fortunately a lot of new builds are moving away from this tired old style. I’ll explain by example; say you have an Italian upscale restaurant….well, whomever is doing the décor thinks, Roman architecture. And what do you get? Roman columns and photographs of Rome, or some other Italian city, or, God forbid, badly done watercolors hanging on the walls. It’s so much better to design a space with sleek but unobtrusive walls and ceilings and muted colors and let the food itself represent the country. As I said, this is just an example, but it applies to any interior public space on a ship. Smoking: We both smoke but are very conscious of the rights of non-smokers. At home we never smoke inside, always outside. Grand Princess has three smoking areas that will work for those that need to burn a heater; deck 15 outside of the One 5 bar/lounge has a large space with tables/chairs and individual padded chairs and couches. A steward was always available in that section. Snookers Cigar Bar is the inside smoking area and is available 24/7 but the bar itself is not staffed until 12 noon or 1PM. Ventilation is fairly good for an indoor smoking area but it still smells like and ashtray. Also, on deck 7, outside the Vista Lounge and towards the aft on the deck there is a little smoker’s station. Conclusion: Scale of 1 – 5 with 5 being the highest Embarkation/Disembarkation: Princess 5; HAL 5 Cabin: Princess 4; HAL 5 Food: Princess 3; HAL 5 Entertainment: NA Shore Excursions: Princess 4; HAL 4 Ship Condition: Princess 2; HAL 5 So, the bottom line? We are staying with HAL (doing a Panama Canal cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to Seattle in April) and not going back to Princess. Read Less
Sail Date January 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
We chose this cruise line because a friend said it would fit us better than Carnival, since we are older. The ship was out dated but the service was great. Not much variety in music. The entertainment in the theatre were great. Dining was ... Read More
We chose this cruise line because a friend said it would fit us better than Carnival, since we are older. The ship was out dated but the service was great. Not much variety in music. The entertainment in the theatre were great. Dining was good. Food was not always warm enough at the buffet. They did meet my gluten free diet needs in the dining room. Our steward was wonderful and met all our needs. Room was fine but again, needs to be upgraded. I would cruse again but at a different time of year, due to weather. The staff at guest services were not as friendly as I expected. WiFi was terrible but we did get out money back due to lack of services. Shore excursions were good but to many people at a time. We felt that we were second class due to those with disabilities getting service first on the excersions. Bus loading was long and delayed making the excursion rushed. It would be better to have more ADA excursions for these people that needed it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Great cruise, the weather was a bit of a let down and the seas quite rough at times. The Entertainment was excellent from all the acts and the ships dancers and singers to the cruise directors staff team. Overall the food was very good ... Read More
Great cruise, the weather was a bit of a let down and the seas quite rough at times. The Entertainment was excellent from all the acts and the ships dancers and singers to the cruise directors staff team. Overall the food was very good as it is on all the Princess ships we have been on. They could do better with some gluten free options but overall the food was great. The ship is showing some signs of its age but they are not obvious eg on the balcony the aluminum doors are literally rotting. As long as you don't mind sea days this is great way to see Hawaii and to celebrate Xmas and the new year. Unfortunately on this cruise the internet was dreadful which is partly because of the lack of satellite coverage in the middle of the pacific ocean and partly because the ships WiFi system needs to be upgraded, so if you go on this ship don't expect great internet service, when it works its Ok to check emails but that's about it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Chose for the 15 days away. Aggravating voyage. The food is not what it used to be. The ship is run down and in desperate need of a major overhaul. Creaks and groans in moderate seas. Elevators are being serviced and the doors open very ... Read More
Chose for the 15 days away. Aggravating voyage. The food is not what it used to be. The ship is run down and in desperate need of a major overhaul. Creaks and groans in moderate seas. Elevators are being serviced and the doors open very slowly. The worst is no internet from San Francisco to just before Hawaii, and then for a half hour. Next time we had internet was just before Ensenada. Lied to by internet manager who blamed the satellite, the weather, the part of the ocean. All not true. It was a deficiency on the ship itself. Tell the truth! The best part of the cruise were the on board lecturers, Gloeta Massie the naturalist and Hal Timberg who lectured about DNA, crime solving, CSI,etc. The staff was great, as usual. The shows were not top notch, but helped you pass the time. A doowop group, the Alleycats we're great and they scheduled an extra show for them because of the demand. Finally, the ship transfers to and from SFO were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Wanted to travel during the Holidays and wanted to be in Hawaii. Excursions are abundant and worth the time. About 400 children on this cruise and they were entertaining and well mannered. However, we would have liked the Grand to be ... Read More
Wanted to travel during the Holidays and wanted to be in Hawaii. Excursions are abundant and worth the time. About 400 children on this cruise and they were entertaining and well mannered. However, we would have liked the Grand to be Princess QUALITY. My husband and I cruised the Grand in Sept 2017 to Alaska and noticed ship quality had diminished, but because the Grand is easily accessed to & from San Francisco we decided to make the Holiday Cruise to Hawaii our next sailing. Of course embarkation was excellent, as always. Our Stateroom Attendant- Edwin, above excellent and the Crown Grill continues to be a favorite for the food and service. However, the Grand is a SICK Ship! We expected sea sickness (not us) and saw it a lot. However, we did not expect other sicknesses - head colds mostly, but a few other illnesses and we did not expect to return to San Fran sick, again. We believe the sickness is in the venting system through the ship. We have NEVER gotten sick on prior Princess Ships, including the Grand which we sailed when it was on the east coast (New England/Canada) years ago. We noticed the obvious wear in the stateroom furnishings and balcony furniture, also the theater seating is well worn and counters in the public restrooms broken, cracked or chipped, but have never seen so much on one ship. The quality of food in sit down restaurant and buffet was not Princess quality, as previous cruising. The entertainment was lacking in quality (elevator roulette) as was the Cruise Director who could use training in customer service. There are 2+ other cruises from San Fran we would like to take, however until the Grand is replaced or totally overhauled we are avoiding the Grand. We will be watching for future reviews about the Grand Princess from other Cruise Critic contributors to see if that happens. BTW, we reported all this to Princess in the Survey. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Easy to sail from San Francisco. Had friends who had taken this cruise and were fairly content, but this was years ago. Ship tired and way to full of “up sale” events. Charge for everything you might expect to have included. ... Read More
Easy to sail from San Francisco. Had friends who had taken this cruise and were fairly content, but this was years ago. Ship tired and way to full of “up sale” events. Charge for everything you might expect to have included. Kids at Xmastime pushing all of the elevator buttons...Really irritating. Room carpets need deep cleaning and I’m sure that must be difficult with their immediate turnaround. Very limited room service breakfast if you didn’t want to trek up to the Horizon Court that was FREEZING cold with a lot of difficulty finding a place to sit. Found in the Horizon Court the table attendants to be quite surly. They would constantly walk right in front of you and practically knock you over. Too much standing around talking to each other. We would have a hard time recommending this trip. A lot of older seniors with flip phones and a lot of kids trying to get online. The Hawaiian Couple who taught Ukele and Hula were delightful. Need more of that kind of friendless. VERY UNHAPPY with sale of deceptive internet package. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My family and I have gone on 2 princess cruises, one previously and one now. Last time, we felt a little disapointed but still fairly happy. Granted, that was only 7 days to Alaska. We went on a 15 day cruise to Hawaii, and it has been ... Read More
My family and I have gone on 2 princess cruises, one previously and one now. Last time, we felt a little disapointed but still fairly happy. Granted, that was only 7 days to Alaska. We went on a 15 day cruise to Hawaii, and it has been just lame all around. I don't wanna sound snobby, but I unfortunately will. The food tastes like garbage. All of the available "deserts" have this disgusting creamy/gelatine taste to them. They look nice, but honestly taste like curdled goat milk. The entrees aren't much better. The best thing ive had on this ship was some barbecue slathered meatballs, which even then, the meat was overworked and burned. The grill on deck 14 specifically has really rude workers. It varies from worker to worker, but majority are not "grand". i've been wishing to go home for the past couple days and to think that I must endure 7 more days here makes me pissed. They show the same episodes of a show every day. I have seen Tim Allen chastize his kids for stealing a knife in home improvement like 6 times now, and I'm starting to hate him. My family bought a DVD player to avoid this in Hawaii. I guess its kind of like a saw trap. Being here is horribly boring, but now I will REALLY appreciate the things back home. I am currently wishing for an in-n-out burger with animal fries and a chocolate shake. Do yourself a favor and probabaly don't go on the grand princess. The other ships may be better, but I wouldn't know. Ive only ever been on the grand princess. Wish me luck on the days back. I will definately need all the luck that I can get. I hope I don't regret posting this. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
The cruise route of SF to the Hawaiian islands roundtrip is great, but the amenities were not so great. We learned this ship was built in 1998 of all steel, meaning that internet doesn't work well at best. The ship is old and worn ... Read More
The cruise route of SF to the Hawaiian islands roundtrip is great, but the amenities were not so great. We learned this ship was built in 1998 of all steel, meaning that internet doesn't work well at best. The ship is old and worn and needs to either be mothballed or renovated from top to bottom. The Vista Lounge has a walk ramp to the front that is uneven and amateurishly done, making it tough to walk on open seas. Our TV was small (22" monitor) and the picture grainy; and there were only a few older TV episodes that repeated continuously - they neeed better TV entertainment, possibly some Hallmark movies and some recently released movies and they should publish a TV schedule on TV, in the Patter and on their ship app so people will know what's playing when and where. Also, the internet was practically non-existent at sea - we were told it was spotty or that the IT dept was working on it, but internet never improved.. Many customers were complaining to the Internet Cafe Manager that they took cruise because Princess promoted it as having Internet but many passengers who relied on internet for work had none. The food was better than our last Princess cruise to the Mediterranean but the menu seemed to repeat after about 7 days. Excursions on Princess website showed only positive features but excursion vouchers indicated warnings such as uneven steps or long distances to walk that might not be suitable for those with mobility issues - as disabled members, if we had known that at the beginning we would not have booked - had to cancel some excursions once we read warnings on vouchers. Entertainment was spotty. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I am not an experienced cruise customer. Only 1 other cruise and that was over 2 years ago. However, several friends wanted to take the cruise, so we booked a mini-suite. Embarkation went very smoothly. Disembarkation was very slow with ... Read More
I am not an experienced cruise customer. Only 1 other cruise and that was over 2 years ago. However, several friends wanted to take the cruise, so we booked a mini-suite. Embarkation went very smoothly. Disembarkation was very slow with no explanation given for the 1 hour delay. The cabin was ok. Sufficient room and storage. A little worn. Bathroom tiles worn and stained. Grout was failing. Cabin steward was very good. Food was slightly disappointing.. Entrees ranged from marginal to adequate to excellent. Specialty dining was very good. Many parts of the ship were well worn. A prime example was the widespread rust throughout the exterior. Entertainment was adequate. A good mix of different styles. Activities were somewhat limited unless you happened to be a trivia buff. On the other hand, virtually all the staff were exceptional. Polite, efficient, courteous, and helpful. Not so much with the ship's officers, however. They were aloof and at times dismissive. But I will never cruise with Princess again. The fare for the 2 of us was just under $10,000 and it included a $300 credit for our cabin which was clearly noted on the booking documentation that was sent to us. However, the credit did not appear on our account. Princess refused to honor the credit telling us that we had the responsibility to resolve the issue with our travel agent. Are you kidding me? We spend almost $10,000 and they can't fix the problem between them and the agent? The customer service desk did send a message to the main office, which failed to help, but then never contacted us with a response. Gotta be a better cruise company out there. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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
This was our first time on Princess, as we had typically sailed on Carnival in years past. I will say that Carnival cruises can be a lot of fun, but we were going for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation, ideally free from kids and rowdy ... Read More
This was our first time on Princess, as we had typically sailed on Carnival in years past. I will say that Carnival cruises can be a lot of fun, but we were going for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation, ideally free from kids and rowdy groups. Princess delivered. The Ship The Grand Princess is an older ship, but she wears it well. The interiors have been updated probably several times since its construction and I found the decor to be neutral with a side of elegance. It isn't hard to find examples of the ships age all in all, but it wasn't necessarily detracting from the experience. If you want to find something to complain about then I'm sure you can, but if you want to enjoy a laid back vacation on a well laid out and apportioned ship, then I'd recommend the Grand. The amount of public spaces, 4 pools and 8 hot tubs ensured that no area was every overly crowded. The majority of the time, when we wanted to go for a swim or a dip in the hot tub we were by ourselves. Our itinerary involved a lot of sea days, so having a ship that didn't feel crowded made the sea days all the more enjoyable. We were always able to find open seats / loungers in the areas we wanted to be in and usually had a fair amount of privacy at that. The aft portion of the ship has (essentially) 4 decks available: The pool and loungers on 12, the Lido Deck / Horizon Court patio with tables and chairs on 14, the covered lounges on either side of Deck 15, and the hot tubs on deck 16. The amount of available space in this area was awesome and really made the trip for me. The wrap around promenade deck on 7/8 was fantastic as well. They have padded seating on both sides of the promenade deck which allowed us to sit and watch the ocean from a shaded and somewhat sheltered position. The promenade also doubles as the walking / jogging path for most people on the ship and we would spend a good amount of time everyday doing laps to help burn off the excessive amounts of food we consumed. Personally, I love being able to go to the bow (conditions permitting) and stern of the ship and being able to look out from those positions to get some amazing views. I really can't say enough about the layout of this ship. Having been on multiple Carnival ships, the Grand Princess was much more enjoyable. The Food Pretty....pretty...pretty...pretty good....pretty good. For the most part, the food was excellent. There are always dishes that don't suit ones particular fancy, but the selection was plentiful and it was always easy to find something delicious to eat. We opted for anytime dining and once we figured out the schedules, we will never do anything differently. Having the flexibility to adjust our dining time based on our schedule for the day was great, and the dining room staff learned our preferences right away and was able to set us by ourselves most every night, at the same table with the same staff. The menu in the dining room consisted of a dozen or so new options every night with a handful of consistent offerings. There was something good on the variety menu every night and I never had to dip into the "regular" offerings except once when I really wanted to try the burger, and even then I paired it with two 3 items off the variety menu. The Horizon Court had consistent breakfast offerings that grew a little tiring, but it's breakfast and there is only so much to realistically be offered. The breakfast selection was still very extensive with everything from meats and cheeses to a salad bar, granola and cereals, fresh breads and pastries, breakfast meats, pancakes, french toast, biscuits, etc. Lunch and dinner varied a lot and again always had something good to offer. The dessert bar in the Horizon Court will be the death of me, especially the bread puddings they make. Delicious. If you don't want seated dinner or the buffet, Alfredos makes excellent Pizza and the International Cafe (open 24 hours) always had great snacks to keep me stuffed to the brim. We ate at Sabatinis one night, also fantastic and well worth the $25/pp uncharge. We had the pub lunch in Crown Grill one day (highly recommended) but never dined there in the evening. Of course there is also the pizza and grill stations by the pool on Lido deck if that's your fancy. Bottom line: the food is good and there is plenty of it. The International Cafe is way better than just having 24 hour pizza, and I highly recommend a few visits to it. Booze We aren't big drinkers, so we didn't spend much time at the bars / lounges. That said, they had a surprisingly thorough and diverse collection of single malt scotch, which is right up my alley. $8 for a pour of a Highland Park, Cragganmore, Aberfeldy, Talisker, Glenfiddich, etc is definitely worth it if that is your thing. Entertainment The ship has consistent and plentiful activities throughout, though most of it catered to the older crowd. Not a problem for us as we prefer to do our own thing most of the time anyway. The few shows / events we did catch were well done and worth the time spent. The Movies Under the Stars was a favorite evening activity for us. The performers and musicians were all quality and showed a fair amount of diversity in their productions, which was nice. They had a comedian a couple nights in the beginning but not thereafter, probably because no comedian has enough jokes to last for the 6 sea days on the backend of the cruise. The Itinerary This is a long cruise and not for those who don't like sea days. 15 day cruise with 4 of them spent in port, so you can do the math. (Not counting ensenada which is there simply to overcome the Jones Act) I love sea days, so this was the cruise for me. We got around 8 hours in most ports which is enough to get off the ship and do a few activities. We hit Pearl Harbor in Oahu, rented a car and drove around Kauai, went snorkeling and perusing in Maui, and explored Hilo with a friend of ours. We didn't take any ship sponsored shore excursions so I can't speak to that, but there is plenty to do on the island. Given the length of itinerary and time of year, the demographics were probably 85% over 55, which was fine by me. We, in our 30's, liked having a quiet and relaxed group on board. There were very few kids, probably less than 20 that I ever saw. If you want to go on a cruise and rage, this is not the one for you. If you want to go on a cruise and do nothing but eat sleep swim and drink, sign up now. The only downside was the abundance of walkers and motorized scooters which would occasionally congest walkways and corridors. Good luck taking the elevators unless you want to stop on every floor. The stairs were a good excuse to further work off the excessive food that was consumed. The beginning and end of the trip was cold, but the middle was great weather. Bring a jacket and warm clothes if you're taking this cruise in the fall / winter months. Embarkation / Debarkation The embarkation process was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. From the time we arrived to the port to the time we were on the ship was less than 10 minutes. I don't know how they pull it off, but they do a damned fine job. Debarkation took a but longer only because everybody wants to leave at the same time, but even then, once our group was called it was no more than 15 minutes before we were in our Lyft on our way home. Far better than any experience we ever had on other cruises. I'm pretty sure I've conveyed my message well enough. Bottom line is that if you are going on a cruise hellbent on perfection and want to complain about every single thing that doesn't go your way then spend some coin and go on Crystal or something. If you want a quality vacation experience for a good price then Princess and the Grand Princess deliver. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
I would never suggest this cruise. The sea days sucked. 1 or 2 sea days aren't bad but 4 or 5 at a stretch is too much. If your under 70 you will feel like a teenager. I have never seen more elderly people in one place at a ... Read More
I would never suggest this cruise. The sea days sucked. 1 or 2 sea days aren't bad but 4 or 5 at a stretch is too much. If your under 70 you will feel like a teenager. I have never seen more elderly people in one place at a time. 1 lounge area was nicknamed "Gods waiting room" The ship was very outdated and had very few activities like newer ships have. The service and food were great! Don't waste your money on any internet package. We bought a "streaming package" You could barely get dial up speeds. A total waste of money. Take a laptop with at least 30 good movies because you will be bored to death! Be sure to take a HDMI cable. I said that I would never do another princess cruise the last time and I haven't changed my mind. I canceled my Alaska cruise and booked on RC. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Princess has it right on Embarkation and Disembarkation. Smooth process proved to be one of the best. The ship is older and void of all the exciting pastimes of newer ships but full of traditional pastimes for older passengers. Cabin ... Read More
Princess has it right on Embarkation and Disembarkation. Smooth process proved to be one of the best. The ship is older and void of all the exciting pastimes of newer ships but full of traditional pastimes for older passengers. Cabin service was so exceptional that any flaws in furnishings was not noticed. Wow service for sure there! Food was exceptional in all aspects..better than any other cruise line I have experienced. Dining service was exceptional as well. Entertainment left a little to be desired. Needed more productions, more seating and better entertainers...something more breathtaking like "arial" acts, and such. Found myself bored at certain times, but mainly because of the weather and lack of other exciting activities. Not just gambling. Service everywhere was exceptional and I loved the staff. Only a couple of issues there, not worth mentioning. The Islands were awesome, economical and interesting. Less expensive than Ensenada, Mexico (who had ridiculously high prices) and no bargaining. One fan for $7.....really!!!! Don't even get off at that port. The cruise was rough sailing but we never got sick so hats off to Prncess! We would recommend but would not go again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018

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