7 San Francisco Holiday Cruise Reviews

Usually try and sail from San Francisco. The ship was full as travelled over New Year. Holiday decorations were still up for the first few days so looked very festive. Weather was not so hot travelling to Mexico at this time of year. We ... Read More
Usually try and sail from San Francisco. The ship was full as travelled over New Year. Holiday decorations were still up for the first few days so looked very festive. Weather was not so hot travelling to Mexico at this time of year. We have been to Mexico on Princess ships several times so only took one shore excursion in Manzanillo. Very good as we saw the volcano erupting. Had a balcony cabin on Baja deck and we were only the 2nd cruise after The Grand had been refurbished. New bedding and very comfortable. Wish they had more seating in the atrium as always full. People standing on stairs whenever had entertainment. Shows OK but wish they would change British Invasion in the theatre. This show been around for several years. Food good but not as much choice in main dining rooms as on previous cruises. Wonder how the washing of hands before eating survives in the buffet area. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
After many cruises with Princess, the crew of the Grand Princess was outstanding, from the Passenger Service desk, to the staff in all of the dining venues, to our pleasant and always smiling cabin stewards as well as the ever present ... Read More
After many cruises with Princess, the crew of the Grand Princess was outstanding, from the Passenger Service desk, to the staff in all of the dining venues, to our pleasant and always smiling cabin stewards as well as the ever present Captain. As many have said before... Happy crew.... happy passengers! It was a joyful trip over the Christmas holidays, even with so many children on board. They were well behaved and it was much appreciated.There were so many things planned for all age groups that you really didn't see many of them. The teenager in our group was busy 24/7. Embarkation and disembarkation were the smoothest I have ever experienced. I love the new pier Princess has in San Francisco. I will travel out of this port anytime. I just can't wait for the next one. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We are a family of 2 adults and 2 teens and we are Elite cruisers on Princess. We booked this 15 day cruise to be away for both Christmas and New Years. It was wonderful. Our last two cruises were Hong Kong to Shanghai and Yokohama to ... Read More
We are a family of 2 adults and 2 teens and we are Elite cruisers on Princess. We booked this 15 day cruise to be away for both Christmas and New Years. It was wonderful. Our last two cruises were Hong Kong to Shanghai and Yokohama to Vancouver in the spring (2014) on Celebrity Millenium. They were truly horrible cruises in all ways so we have dropped Celebrity from our cruising list and have returned to Princess. Everything with Princess was superior. Embarcation was quick. I've noted other comments on this cruise about the ship leaving late - but so what??? We were on the ship, getting comfortable in our 2 oceanview cabins, eating a great lunch and an even better dinner and watching a show. Whether we were in port or on the sea is totally irrelevant as far as we are concerned - we were on shipboard! Our cabins were clean, spacious and comfortable - loads of closet and drawer/shelf space. Our steward was unexceptional but competent. Almost all the staff were friendly and accommodating. There was very seldom a line-up at Guest Services compared to Celebrity were most of the entertainment seemed to be meeting hoards of people in the Guest Services lines because there was so much to complain about on Celebrity. The on-board entertainment was the usual, and included a couple of fabulous magicians and the theater is lovely. All the decor was attractive, bright and cheery. The food in the dining room was fantastic almost without exception. And hot. We thought the whole menu Celebrity was cold food only since none of our meals arrived warm on the Millenium. On Princess the fish was to die for. The beef was so/so, but we cruise for something different than we eat at home. We can eat good steak at home but fabulously prepared fish and lobster tails (served twice) are a real treat. The desserts were good too. Room Service was fine. Biggest complaint is the coffee which is crappy. But we remedied that by buying a few coffee cards which get you premium teas, hot chocolate and espresso drinks (lattes and cappucinos). Our girls enjoyed the teen club, although would have preferred less freedom and a few more structured activities. I had a great massage onshore in Ensenada and the 4 Hawaiian ports were also great. We rented cars on Hawaii and Kauai, taxied on Oahu and visited with friends on Maui. Our only complaint was on Maui. It was a tender port and the lineup to reboard was over an hour and a half. When we approached the front of the line we requested the top deck on the tender so we could get some photos of the ship and indicated our willingness to wait for the next tender we were referred the officer in charge who was a total jerk and a Hitler clone. We were treated very disrespectfully but refused to let it spoil an otherwise lovely cruise. You always meet the odd idiot when travelling. We took independent debarkation in S.F. and exited swiftly. All in all a lovely 15 days. Thank you Princess. We're already booked for 2 cruises totalling 35 days on Princess for 2016. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
We have sailed to Hawaii 5 times during the Christmas and New Year combined and this was one of our best. We departed very late but was no problem--once on board we escape completely! Everything is wonderful-- Food, Shows, Happy Hour, ... Read More
We have sailed to Hawaii 5 times during the Christmas and New Year combined and this was one of our best. We departed very late but was no problem--once on board we escape completely! Everything is wonderful-- Food, Shows, Happy Hour, Music, and a total floating resort. We have already sailed under the Golden Gate before during the day but we still stayed up for this one and it was great and exciting at about 2:30 am. We select the Christmas time mainly because everything is very festive and Princess really knows how to make everything festive. The decorations are beautiful and the music around the ship and TV makes it even more special. This was our first cruise on the Grand and one thing that made this cruise and ship most special was the live music provided in several part of the ship. Our favorite was the music provided by the group Makani E. Their Hawaiian music is the best! Their selections, harmony, instruments, voices, and movements made this cruise a true Hawaiian Cruise. Several times they also played music other than Hawaiian that added to even like them more--rock, folk, country, and a lot of good dancing music. We will continue to sail during the holidays and we hope the music in the future is as good as this one, and hope that Makani E will be on our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Booked our dream vacation and were generally disappointed. Poor value for the money and the ship is in poor condition (showing wear and tear). Better value in the Caribbean. The five days at sea going over to Hawaii were OK. Lots to do ... Read More
Booked our dream vacation and were generally disappointed. Poor value for the money and the ship is in poor condition (showing wear and tear). Better value in the Caribbean. The five days at sea going over to Hawaii were OK. Lots to do exploring the ship, attending great lectures and eating. Great weather and getting excited about going to Hawaii. Had an obstructed ocean-view room and were pleased with the space and layout. Bed was good and loved having daylight in the room during the day. Booked into the late sitting for dining (Bottecelli 210) and had great people at our table. Our waiters were EXCEPTIONAL and made the dining experience something to look forward to (not to mention the food quality). Had great time in Nawiliwili, Kauai. Amazed with ability of crew to steer into this awkward harbor. Great tour of waterfalls then Wailua riverboat to Fern Grotto. Definitely walk trough the Marriott right beside the dock - nice beach and great garden area in the middle of the complex (great koy pond). Honolulu was everything expected: Diamondhead, Royal Palace, and Nu`uanu Pali Lookout, Waikiki Beach was a bit of a disappointment (hard to see with all the tall buildings), but a great city tour and nice to see all the landmarks you see on TV. Pearl Harbor was OK - BUT, the Federal shutdown created problems touring the Arizona Memorial (a real letdown for many people). Been there - done it! Stopped in Lahaina, Maui and had the greatest fun snorkeling at Molokini Creater , but, the highlight was swimming with the sea turtles not far from the dock in town - GREAT!!! Nice town to just walk up and down the front street and shop, eat & drink. NICE PLACE!!! Last stop - Hilo, Hawaii -- WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!!!! Thought we would drop the expensive excursions to the mostly closed volcano sites and just spend time in town relaxing - wrong.... The small city of Hilo has absolutely nothing to offer tourists (no beach, no front street, no character - just a long bus ride through industrial area to a Walmart and and a Sears shopping mall. This was a total waste of a day in paradise!!!!!!! Now for 5 days back at sea to the mainland. Got a little tired of the sea days but the entertainment and food kept us going. Got really tired of non-functioning bathrooms and elevators throughout the ship. Now here is the confusing part - for some reason, the ship came back to a little town called Encenada in Mexico. This town had nothing to offer other than a crowded market street with the usual cheap crap being peddled by annoying marketers - not to mention the little children trying to sell you chicklets and beds. Nothing to really do bu find a bar and have a margerita. TOTAL WASTE OF ANOTHER DAY!!! One more day at sea and were are back at San Francisco. Princess would be well advised to modify this trip and make the stop for 2 more days in Hawaii and drop Ensenada. Also get out of Hilo - it is a dump..... Probably would not advise any friends to go on this cruise as it is a waste of time and money for the sites that you get to see. Fly and stay instead........... Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We weren't too sure about embarking on a holiday cruise since we had never been away from the family over Christmas before. We were surprisingly pleased with the atmosphere created on board by the Princess Star. The lovely decor, ... Read More
We weren't too sure about embarking on a holiday cruise since we had never been away from the family over Christmas before. We were surprisingly pleased with the atmosphere created on board by the Princess Star. The lovely decor, special music including Christmas caroling with snow showers, the candlelight dinner in the dining room on Christmas evening,and MOST enjoyable for us was the special channel on the cabin TV that featured a crackling fire and the playing of Christmas carols. It was a lovely way to fall asleep every night for almost 2 weeks !!' Santa's visit for the children on Christmas morning was an added treat for them as well as games, face painting etc. for the kids (200 of them !) The gingerbread house decorating contest was amazing....what talented and creative people ! WE had absolute SMOOOOOOTH sailing for the first 10 days....like a lake! Next couple of weeks had some "rock and rollin' " for sure. The ports of call were a delight for the most part. The Princess tours were VERY expensive and not always rated correctly as far as E--M--S. For those with mobility problems that can be and WAS an issue where excessive walking was required on what was rated E. We saw some magnificent sights...especially "Glacier Alley"...the Beagle Channel from the Skywalker's lounge. That morning was worth the cost of the entire trip! Some of the ports were rainy or heavily clouded obscuring the view of the volcanoes etc...which is a shame....but can't be helped...nature is nature. We were blessed beyond measure to have a calm sea and SUN the morning we rounded Cape Horn...something the port expert, Joe May said he had NEVER seen in his 120 trips around the Cape. The ship food was outstanding...except for the temperature of some hot foods up in Horizon court....too tepid for fowl dishes. The entertainment was just OK....nothing to rave about....some really good....some pretty awful...some just mediocre. We happened to have a very uncaring substandard cabin steward...which is not our usual experience. Was disappointed in his performance...and we are NOT demanding kinds of passenger. I was disappointed in the service of the photo dept. as well. At several ports they were not out taking photos as usual. The service in the anytime dining room was usually painfully slow...almost always had to figure on a 2 hour dinner at a table for 6....not good ! There also needs to be a better informed shore excursion office and better communication skills. Overall.....I would give this cruise an 8 out of 10. WE thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, met some lovely people, ate some wonderful meals saw some awesome sights and had several truly relaxing "at sea" days. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Writing this review I will try and be impartial, although I think I will find it difficult. We have just returned from a 10day cruise to the Inside Passage of Southwest Alaska. We boarded at San Francisco and were treated to the ... Read More
Writing this review I will try and be impartial, although I think I will find it difficult. We have just returned from a 10day cruise to the Inside Passage of Southwest Alaska. We boarded at San Francisco and were treated to the most efficient service we have ever received when boarding a ship. We were just 20 mins from getting off the bus to our state room. The check in staff of Princess were all so efficient while being extremely friendly and professional this may have been because they were of the more mature age range but I think it was because they were all good at their job. Sailing out from San Francisco is one of these magical moments, we sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge and it was spectacular, beautiful blue skies and no fog. The next two days were sea days and were quite rough, this is were I feel the ship could have been a bit better organised, there wasn't a lot to do on these days if your not a bingo or dart player and just felt that some quizzes or some talks indoors would have been more appropriate given the conditions we were sailing in. The movies under the stars was a dead loss and one stage the swimming pool was hitting the screen. That coupled with the fog made watching a movie a complete No No. However it gave you a chance to get to talk to your fellow passengers and make new friends.This is definitely one of the friendliest ships I have been on it may be because it's smaller. I had read negative reviews the Horizon Court and although we only used it for lunch a couple times it was O.K . We used the M.D for most of our meals and the waiting staff were great. All the staff that we meet were very professional, helpful and pleasant and nothing was to much trouble for them. We had a balcony cabin which was adequate with enough space for everything. The suitcases fitted under bed and there was enough wardrobe and drawer space.it was kept immaculate by our steward. We didn't see that many shows because of our schedule preferring to stay off the ship and enjoy the towns we were visiting but we did go to see the comedian and he was good.Glacier bay :, it is a day of scenic cruising into one of the most fascinating area's. The park rangers come onto the ship and make announcements over the tannoy so you are informed throughout the day of exactly what you are seeing. The also hold a slide show talk in the theatre which is informative and interesting. We picked this cruise so we could see Glacier Bay and it did not dissapoint. Coming out from Glacier Bay you see an abundance of wildlife because the waters are so rich, the scenary is so vast and so clear again we had blue skies all day. Our main reason for choosing Alaska was to see the scenery and the animals and that was spectacular. We were lucky enough to have pure blue skies for most of our trip and no rain except in Victoria. I don't think I will ever better this trip. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011

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