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357 San Francisco to Mexican Riviera Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise to see how we liked many continuous sea days. If the weather had been warmer we could have been able to make use of the outdoor spaces. The ship is old and needs major work.(painting,rugs,furniture) The cabin was ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see how we liked many continuous sea days. If the weather had been warmer we could have been able to make use of the outdoor spaces. The ship is old and needs major work.(painting,rugs,furniture) The cabin was great.(beds were comfortable, new tv.,room was spacious ) The Crown Gill was excellent. The buffet was very good with many choices buy they failed to have any turkey the whole cruise. The menu in the main dining rooms need to be updated and had it not been for the excellent wait service it would have been a total loss. The entertainment was lacking the first week but improved the second week. The service on board was excellent and was the highlight of this cruise. All the staff went out of their way to make our handicapped daughter feel comfortable and included.S.F. was interesting and would like to visit and tour again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I had sailed on with Princess before and loved it so I chose Grand Princess for the 10 day Mexican Riviera cruise from Jan 12 to 22. The ship is aging but they are always working on keeping her looking 'Grand' There are new ... Read More
I had sailed on with Princess before and loved it so I chose Grand Princess for the 10 day Mexican Riviera cruise from Jan 12 to 22. The ship is aging but they are always working on keeping her looking 'Grand' There are new carpets and flat screen tv and the medallion system is almost ready to go. The entire staff works hard and is always friendly and willing to help. Lots oif activities during the day. The captain was very impressive. He participated in some of the entertainment and was visible throughout the cruise. I want to make special mention of an incident on the last day when there was a medical evacuation needed. The captain kept us informed right from the start of what was happening and what was going to happen and how we could help by staying inside our staterooms and decks. Unfortunately a few people didn't listen and made the coast guard helicopter take a little longer than to airlift the patient. I thought it was very well handled by the crew and I for one appreciated being kept up to date. Good job. I loved the service and the food in the Michelangelo dining room - big shout out to Miquel and Delbert, the Horizon buffet, Slice, Salty Dogs, Coffee & Cones, International Cafe. Didn't use any of the specialy restaurants. A big thank you to Edgar for keep our stateroom spotless. He seemed to know the moment we were gone and even if it was just for a short time we would come back and like magic the bed was made the towels were clean and the garbage was gone. Embarkation and Disembarkation was the quickest and easiest I have ever experienced.. Even at the ports there were seldom any lineups or confusion. Ports and shore excursions are a personal choice. We only booked one in Puerto Vallarta for the Countryside & Tequila Tasting and it was well worth the price. Enjoyed it very much. In Mazatlan we walked to the Old Town by following the blue line Then we hired a palmino (the little golf cart) to drive us around to see the divers and sights nearby. Mazatlan was definitely my favourite port. Would likely do an All Inclusive ther in the future. In the other 2 ports we just walked around. My only complaint/disappointment was in the lack and quality of theatrical productions. It was definitely the worst of any cruise I have been on. I understand that it was a new troup of singers/dancers that had just joined the ship in San Francisco but that didn't help to entertain me and all of the Princess Theatre show seemed to be limited to 45 minutes. I guess I just expected better from Princess Cruises. Well to sum this cruise up over all it was a wonderful 10 days. Would I choose Princess again. Darn right I would. But I would want to know their line up for evening entertainment in the Princess Theatre before the ship sails. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
First time on Princess line. Embarking and Disembarking was very organized. Tight security getting on and off ship for excursions. One excursion only and it was not so good. The Estuary tour by our guide "Polo" who very ... Read More
First time on Princess line. Embarking and Disembarking was very organized. Tight security getting on and off ship for excursions. One excursion only and it was not so good. The Estuary tour by our guide "Polo" who very knowledgeable was for the most part ok until he put us in water taxi for trip back to ship. At that point he decided to show us how he feeds the wild life and had a bucket of fish for the birds. Long story short we were (all of a sudden) surrounded by Pelicans swooping down thinking we all had fish for them. One landing on my arm. Not small birds and the fact our guide caused all this is irresponsible. Can still see this bird looking me straight in the eye. While funny now not then. I had a 12 inch beak right at my face. Our mini-suite was delightful as was our cabin Steward, Caesar who took good care of our cabin. The staff on board was wonderful and friendly. The food was absolutely tasteless. Thought it was just me but my husband agreed. Fruit not ripe and so no taste. Scrambled eggs were watered down. Pastries all had no flavor which was surprising. Only spot that had decent pastry was the International Cafe for coffee and lunch/pastry material. Don't get it. Mashed potatoes tasted like boxed. I could go on and on but what was really irritating was a New York strip steak in one of the restaurants that had gristle in every bite that I had to spit out. This is only the tip of the iceberg so I will stop with the food. This particular cruise we went on had many disabled folks. This is not a complaint but a fact. One had to be focused on not getting in the way of motorized scooters, wheel chairs, walkers and canes. These folks were doing the best they could. Elevators are a nightmare to get on. It got so bad that we would get on one going to the 14th floor so we could go back down to the 7th floor. At any given time there was always an elevator out of service on different floors. Just started using the stairs. Several times Captain would give announcements over the loudspeakers and could not understand any of them due to language accents. Now if there was an emergency this would not be satisfactory. I heard this complaint from many people onboard. All and all the cruise was fine but not having any tasteful food would prevent me from sailing Princess again. A shame because cabin and employees were wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Stateroom walls were very thin so that sound was noticeable from the adjoining mini suite. Dining options were the norm for Princess; good food and service in the dining rooms. Unfortunately a large seating area which was adjacent to the ... Read More
Stateroom walls were very thin so that sound was noticeable from the adjoining mini suite. Dining options were the norm for Princess; good food and service in the dining rooms. Unfortunately a large seating area which was adjacent to the bar in the International Café was blocked off for construction during the cruise, which limited available seating; this caused over crowding in the Atrium area Also one elevator was out of order for the whole ten day cruise to Mexico. On other Princess ships we have found a better stocked library than on the Grand Princess. The lectures in the Theatre were excellent, but the evening shows tended to be very loud; not a pleasant experience. Excursions: Good, except on one the bus left a resort without us, resulting in our taking a taxi back to the ship. However, we were compensated later for the taxi fare. This Grand Princess shows its age (22 yrs.) and needs to be painted outside over the rust. We would not travel on a ship this old in future and prefer the newer Princess ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We have cruised many times (with another cruise line). This was the lowest quality of food, variety of food, lack of customer service, and mediocre entertainment that we have experienced. Our room with a balcony was good. Lots of space. ... Read More
We have cruised many times (with another cruise line). This was the lowest quality of food, variety of food, lack of customer service, and mediocre entertainment that we have experienced. Our room with a balcony was good. Lots of space. The mattress and pillows were not to our liking (too soft) but tolerable. Our cabin steward was great . Bar/drink staff were hard to find many times around the pool areas. Entertainment was low quality and not a lot of variety. Our regular dinner service was great. If only we could say the same about the food. The best thing we had was a steak ordered off the main dining menu at an extra cost. We traveled with another couple (no children) and they felt the same. We enjoyed our excursion to hike to the El Faro Lighthouse in Mazatlan and the private beach resort in Puerto Vallarta. We also did the Turtle Sanctuary in Manzanillo, that was interesting but sad. Cabo was relaxing and food and atmosphere was good. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because we could be with family members of various ages. And that was accomplished. However, we are experienced cruisers and found the food poor (expected more from Princess) and not particularly fresh; the staterooms ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we could be with family members of various ages. And that was accomplished. However, we are experienced cruisers and found the food poor (expected more from Princess) and not particularly fresh; the staterooms were quite dingy (but clean); and the entertainment lackluster, Pluses were embarkation and disembarkation; both of which went quite smoothly. The children that were with us really enjoyed the services available and this was a plus. There did not appear to be any enrichment activities other than art shows to sell product. While the steward tried there were gaps in service. For instance, we were unable to secure tissues for the stateroom for the first 3 days. Even the fruit in the cafe seemed "worn." It seemed that it had been cut before being put on the ship and just got dished out. The bread was quite lacklustre and were the rest of the baked goods--they looked pretty but were tastless. We had heard that the ship had been refurbished--perhaps that only referred to the public areas as the cabins were really poor. The couch in our cabin seemed to be listing to the side and was not comfortable to sit on. We had cruised Princess previously but will not be going with them again. They can do better. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was a cruise my brother put together for our parents. In total, we had 16 family members spread across 5 rooms. Overall, the service was great. Our waiter for dinner was exceptional. Our stateroom person, Shendy, was awesome. The ... Read More
This was a cruise my brother put together for our parents. In total, we had 16 family members spread across 5 rooms. Overall, the service was great. Our waiter for dinner was exceptional. Our stateroom person, Shendy, was awesome. The food was OK. The ports were OK. The onboard entertainment was lacking. They didn't have a place for youngsters to get their energy out especially being on water 3 days straight there and back. But, here's what I learned the hard way. * Don't get sick. Not only is it expensive to see a doctor on the ship, you also have to pay $28 to just get a copy of the itemized work done so you can file it to your insurance. It's not free. They have the report already generated. They make you pay $28 to print it out. That's really low. It's like going to see your doctor but you need to pay $28 to get the work so you can file it to your insurance. Way to screw your sick guests, Princess Cruises. * Don't have a cabin anywhere near Princess theater section of the boat or near Deck 5 area. This ship was refurbished in March of 2019 but guess what, you can clearly hear the music 3 decks up as if they were playing it right in your room. And, they played it till 11pm every night. The customer service guy had to come to my room to make sure I wasn't lying to him about the noise. He said, "oh yeah.. i can feel it vibrating from the floor." No kidding. You think I complain if it wasn't that loud? I got comped a teddy bear and chocolates. Whoohoo! Go big, Princess. * Very little place for your youngsters to have an outlet. Outside of swimming, there really isn't a how lot to do for youngsters. My youngest needs to get his energy out and the pool water is freezing. Table tennis is always packed with people who never get off. The kids club doesn't have much active things to do. It's definitely not that kid friendly. There's more places for Adults only than for kids to run around. * The room service menu is very limited. When my youngest got sick, he was tired of eating the same thing. Anything else I tried to get would cost money. Nickel and diming here and there. It's just not very good tactic to get us back on their ship again. Internet cost a boatload. drink packages went up.. can't get refill as part of room service. Charge you if you do! Overall, I would look at another cruise where it's more kid friendly. Nothing against the crew who were great and accommodating. I believe Princess Cruises fall shorts in a lot of places or that they don't really cater to families with younger children. They're definitely not Carnival or Disney. What really ticked me is making us pay for the medical report so I can claim it against my insurance. Also, the $14.50 per person per day gratuity charge isn't mandatory but they make it so. I wish they were more honest about it but I get it. Big crew who works hard and deserves the tips. I wouldn't be surprised this is how all other cruise liners do business. it'll be a long time before we set sail again especially with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our first cruise while we are world travelers. This cruise was beyond our expectation in every way you could imagine. An amazing organization from the start to the end with impeccable staff & all you need to enjoy in 10 ... Read More
This was our first cruise while we are world travelers. This cruise was beyond our expectation in every way you could imagine. An amazing organization from the start to the end with impeccable staff & all you need to enjoy in 10 days. From the entertainment including great shows, comedy, singers and dancers, then the fitness center with spa, hair & nail salon, relaxation, tanning on the deck, watching top movies, for food, several dining rooms & buffet with variation in taste & freshly prepared meals, & many more to keep every one happy on the cruise. The 4 Mexican ports the ship stopped were really worth visiting. Anything you needed was at your disposal with great services & front desk as your guide. The Captain was always anouncing the big events & keeping us informed of the weather & sailing condition. Thanks to the entire crew. We highly recommend the Grand Princess. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Loved the itinerary and love to sail on Princess One of our shore excursions was the WORST we have ever taken on a cruise line. It was to include lunch and what was served was inedible. Reported it twice. The other two shore ... Read More
Loved the itinerary and love to sail on Princess One of our shore excursions was the WORST we have ever taken on a cruise line. It was to include lunch and what was served was inedible. Reported it twice. The other two shore excursions were fabulous! Entertainment was superb except for the comedian and magician. The Mariachis in the Piazza were terrific but entirely too loud. Star gazing was superb but not the expert on board speaking about the history of ships. A lot of the activities centered around selling you something. There were many children on board, the ones we met liked the activities in the new facilities. Food was vintage Princess.. Good fish, Cornish hen and excellent appetizers. I ordered Indian food and it was probably the best I have ever had. Overall this ship has to be retired! Disembarkation day we noticed several cabins on this deck had flooded overnight and our push button flush mechanism quit working four days into the trip. A face lift will not work! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This trip was a very enjoyable way to spend the holidays. My favorite moment was when the ship came to a full stop for a while to allow Santa to board. While the ship was stationery in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we witnessed ... Read More
This trip was a very enjoyable way to spend the holidays. My favorite moment was when the ship came to a full stop for a while to allow Santa to board. While the ship was stationery in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, we witnessed sharks swimming leisurely along. That was very cool! Our room stewards on Princess are always prompt and attentive. The food is amazingly good and the selection is decent. The waiters heed every wish and remember your preferences. I wish there were less musical productions and more comedy, etc shows. The few craft classes that were offered filled up quickly. Only the first 24 people can attend. This could be solved by having a sign up instead of arriving an hour early to make sure you can get one of the coveted spots. I highly recommend Princess Cruise Line if you prefer a lower key cruise. There is a lot of quiet available and not many children are on board. ~Bon Voyage! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Organized embarkation. Had lunch at buffet and luggage was waiting in room. I always practice extreme sanitation— wipe down room (doorhandles, light switches, remote, desks, patio furniture, bathroom), frequent hand washing, no ... Read More
Organized embarkation. Had lunch at buffet and luggage was waiting in room. I always practice extreme sanitation— wipe down room (doorhandles, light switches, remote, desks, patio furniture, bathroom), frequent hand washing, no touching handrail/elevator buttons (elbow) and being very selective about exposure to crowds. Did not get sick, and I notice this cruise did not have a lot of sick coughing people by the end of cruise (sorry, but that’s been the norm). This is our 11th cruise, all on Princess, and the 4th on the Grand. It was our 50th anniversary and did not disappoint. We made it restful and relaxing and did not overdue things. FOOD: First, I want to compliment the food. Where do these reviewers normally eat that they find the Princess food below standard? There are so many places and things to eat on the ship, how can you not find something? We started in the buffet— even mundane things like rice or carrots were perfectly cooked and seasoned. The pasta was al dente. The buffet had some basic things that would be there every time, and many things were switched out. A seafood salad contained shrimp, baby scallops, oysters with no grit– sweet! The Grill (hamburger stand) had great offerings, this time including tacos, and a pizza stand. We didn’t eat there, but our travelmates did. Alfredo’s Pizzeria is gourmet. More selection than in the past, and they will customize, ie: adding pepperoni to your vegetarian pizza. The International Café is perfect for a light snack. The main dining rooms were great with a mainstay menu on the left, and changing offerings on right. I love the salmon and am hard-pressed to stay with it or try something new. Service is still slow and harried– they’re too busy. We did not see any lines except when passengers gathered prior to opening, but we also showed up to eat on the later side, around 7, when early diners were leaving. Here’s a secret for anytime dining— go to DaVinci from 7pm on and the maitre D (head waiter) will get you right in. On our anniversary night, we ate in the Crown Grill and it was stupendous! They now limit the steak and lobster and have a $10 additional fee to have both. Probably from that cruise our party of 5 ate too many! Food complaints? The coffee cards are different. We brought an unfinished card from the last cruise and it was ‘confiscated.’ The barista keeps them in a cup and punches them each time you order. When that card was used up, we purchased another, calculating using the last on departure morning. Otherwise, you’re out of luck! And there’s so much card swiping and key entry on the part of the barista it was hilarious– what industrial engineer thought that up? You can’t get a large orange juice in the buffet— have to order 2 small. I’ve been a critic of the 2 sink hand-washing station in the buffet but it is closely monitored. It’s still glitchy in that you have traffic heading to the pool, or returning from the rear dining area but it’s not disastrous. I like the ‘smart casual’ dress code in the main dining room. It needs to be more proactively displayed so it doesn’t put the maitre D in a tough spot. On formal night, there were several diners who were not formal; a group of 4 girls next to us were in their bluejeans and Ts, except one had her jammies on. PHOTOGRAPHY: The photogs make you look good. Picked our favorite photos and got digital files too. Included one with Captain John Smith who was very obliging. There were not as many set-ups on formal night, but there would be photogs on ‘casual’ night. Hate the port jackass photos and ducked out of every one. ENTERTAINMENT: CD Steve Campbell was talented. Attended every art event, especially the history or artist lectures, and the auctions. Art Director Henry was a walking encyclopedia. The Crew Show is always entertaining. The last night was a new Princess production, Born to Dance. It was fabulous! No Spanish class, no port lectures. CABIN: The cabin size is fine. You want to hear about my brother’s facilities in the USN? We booked with adjoining travelmates and kept the patio door open between balconies for memorable visiting. There’s shampoo/conditioner, bath wash, soap, lotion, hair dryer. There’s now plug-ins on bedside lamps to recharge phones. I don’t go on a cruise to watch TV, but it’s limited– you select an on-demand program or movie, it plays, then ends until you select another program. The ‘live feed’ includes 2 sport channels, MSNBC, CNBC, and Fox but they don’t have ‘news,’ only politicizing. Entry is a swipe of key card, no more mail box or name on room. Greatly reduced ship mail, tucked under door handle. We had a problem with shower temperature water– tepid at best. Reported, argued, and it was never fixed. SHIP: The Grand is in good condition, with the expected rusty places the sea demands. The numerous repainting causes drips on the balcony— painters don’t bother with drop cloths. The elevators can be slow. The sofas in the venues sit too low. The public can lack consideration: jumping on elevator before riders can get off, stopping to have a conversation in an aisle, and please, don’t take your shoes off and put your bare feet on the table!! This was a wonderful, relaxing cruise to a warm place. I’m happy to celebrate with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
My friends live in SF and they choose it. I had to fly from So. CA up there. Our group saw about 12 very large turtles near the shore when we were in Cabo San Lucas. I never saw that many big turtles before. Very nice and ... Read More
My friends live in SF and they choose it. I had to fly from So. CA up there. Our group saw about 12 very large turtles near the shore when we were in Cabo San Lucas. I never saw that many big turtles before. Very nice and interesting to see. I will wait a few years before going on another cruise. Maybe go on a newer ship. Dining was so-so. I sent back a few dinners due to tasteless, and touch to cut chicken. Cold soups were the best item on the menu. Creme Brule was very good too. Nightly entertainment was excellent. Our group went every night. We definitely enjoyed the 'Blues Brothers night'; and the piano player. International cafe had very good food, quick and easy to get. We liked the Elton John concert that was on the BIG screen, out side, near the pool. The spa was too expensive. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The staff are wonderful and so helpful, but the ship is old. I’ve cruised on the Grand numerous times. The elevators were alway having problems. Not being able to take the stairs was always an inconvenience and having to wait. The ... Read More
The staff are wonderful and so helpful, but the ship is old. I’ve cruised on the Grand numerous times. The elevators were alway having problems. Not being able to take the stairs was always an inconvenience and having to wait. The ladies restrooms always had at least one stall that was “under maintenance” and sometimes two out of the three were not working. Disembarkation and embarkation went smoothly. The menus have pretty much been the same for the past years. It would be nice if there was some new dishes added. Same with the entertainment. The Princess dancers and the band are great. We did a b/2b and during the change, they had a person with one of those sprays, like the gardner uses to spray the yard with a wand, spraying deodorizer throughout the public areas. It was quite overwhelming. Their photo package has changed and is more expensive. Very few photos are included, which included the small ones and should have been cheaper. Their port excursions were pretty much the same. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We've taken this cruise a number of times specifically because San Francisco is the point of departure. We don't need to fly, worry about parking the car, or leaving our house at the crack of dawn. We also love the Mexican ... Read More
We've taken this cruise a number of times specifically because San Francisco is the point of departure. We don't need to fly, worry about parking the car, or leaving our house at the crack of dawn. We also love the Mexican Riviera. Embarkation and Disembarkation were a snap. We arrived at 1:30 pm, dropped off our luggage and were through check-in and on the ship in our cabin within 30 minutes. There was plenty of staff in all areas: all x-ray security lines were open and staffed (first time). Disembarkation was called right on time and we were out and ready to head home within 45 minutes. We lead hectic lives and look to relax and let go of stress on this particular cruise. This is our 4th time on the Grand Princess (Hawaii & Mexico) and while she is an older "work-horse", the recent spring 2019 refurbishments were nicely done and appreciated. The service all around the ship was great. We were greeted with smiles everywhere. The crew seemed genuinely pleased to be on the ship; no grumpiness or surliness. We ate all dinners in Club Class dining. We enjoy this because of the specialty dishes, the level of service and attention and the more intimate surroundings. Being able to order a steak from the Crown Grill for a nominal fee was a delightful surprise. The specialty pastas and the beef dishes were delicious. I also had salmon from the 'everyday' selection and that, too, was prepared perfectly. We didn't experience any poor tasting food. We're not big on in-room dining or breakfast so our day usually started with 'brunch' at the Horizon Court. There was a wide selection of food choices and while they did seem monotonous by the end of the cruise, the food was well prepared and tasty. The daily assortment of fresh fruit was perfect...best watermelon ever. We ate at Alfredo's Pizzeria, the International Cafe, the Salty Dog and the food was good. An afternoon treat was the soft serve ice cream, which tasted smooth and creamy like ice cream...definitely not ice milk. Entertainment has vastly improved. We attended the nightly shows in the Princess Theater (9:30 pm) and were pleasantly surprised with the improvement in quality of the material and expertise of the performers. I usually pass on a number of shows but not this time. The cruise director and his staff were the best we've experienced. We explored each port on our own as we've been to each one many times and have taken a lot of the tours. Relaxing and letting go of stress included spa time. I got the Seaweed Wrap, Thai Poultice Massage, Reflexology and Bio-metric Facial, spread over the 10 days. I've had each on prior cruises and I look forward to this 'me' time. I was not disappointed. Each attendant was knowledgeable and proficient. Many knots and kinks were massaged away. One thing I wish is that the Grand Princess had a Thermal Suite or Thalassotherapy pool. For swimming and pool time, we avoided Neptune's Pool and headed each afternoon to the Terrace Pool (adults only). It was filled with fresh water and the temperature was refreshing - not too hot or cold. Met a lot of the same people each afternoon; nice social time. We were sorry to learn that the Grand Princess will reposition to Asia next year so this was probably our last time on board. It was a great cruise - a great vacation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Grand lived up to her name! Great staff and amazing service! The wife and I vacationed alone and enjoyed our times on deck getting street tacos and then working them off in the gym! Always a smile and friendly face from the staff and ... Read More
The Grand lived up to her name! Great staff and amazing service! The wife and I vacationed alone and enjoyed our times on deck getting street tacos and then working them off in the gym! Always a smile and friendly face from the staff and the best bartenders around! Embarking was fast and easy with guides along the way to help out. Disembarking whether for an excursion or at the end was handled with prose and professional expertise. The times in Mexico were great and the people warm and welcoming. Some excursions were better than others but that is normal. When reading the description for your excursion, picture what that should look like. If it’s a shopping excursion you will be bombarded by people selling you anything. If it says it’s strenuous but you haven’t seen a gym in a couple years, choose another. If your over 70, a sailboat with an open bar might not be right for you. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
1. Overall comments: This cruise exceeded all my expectations. I’d give it 10 stars if I could. I had read many reviews of this ship on Cruise Critic and they were decidedly mixed. Thus, I wasn’t sure what to expect. This cruise was ... Read More
1. Overall comments: This cruise exceeded all my expectations. I’d give it 10 stars if I could. I had read many reviews of this ship on Cruise Critic and they were decidedly mixed. Thus, I wasn’t sure what to expect. This cruise was amazing! The ship was wonderful and I saw no signs of the age and decay that I had read about. Everyone from Princess we met was great. The food was excellent. Our mini-suite cabin was very comfortable. I don’t know why people are so negative about this ship. Perhaps some people have ridiculously high expectations that no ship could live up to. For us, the experience on the Grand Princess was truly “grand.” How much did we enjoy this cruise? We only got off the ship one time even though we visited four ports in Mexico! 2. Food a. Horizon Court: The food in the buffet was uniformly excellent. Things were very fresh and everything was really tasty. So many people posted negative things about the Horizon Court, but I don’t get it. The staff was very friendly and the hand-washing station at each entrance was very comforting to see. All passengers entering were gently encouraged to wash their hands. There wasn’t a piece of brown lettuce in sight, typically the sign of a bad buffet. The smoked salmon was plentiful at breakfast, one of our favorites. The baked goods and fruit was all fresh. What REALLY surprised me was the overall atmosphere in the Horizon Court. It was downright calm and low-key. The indirect lighting, the carpeting, the comfortable chairs all worked together to create a very pleasant ambiance. b. Sabatini’s: We ate there one night and it was spectacular. The food was very rich and tasty. So many great flavors. The 3-pasta course was amazing. Service was also great. This was worth every extra penny. c. Crown Grill (Daniel from Brazil): We ate there early in the cruise. One of the steaks (the Sterling Chop) was perfect while the 14oz ribeye was a bit disappointing, although my partner ate it. The next day, he casually mentioned it to someone at the Guest Services desk. That person was named Oana who turned out to be an Assistant Maitre’D. She was very apologetic and said she would make this right. She invited both of us to dine again at the Crown Grill at no cost. This we did a few nights later. This time, the waiter (a wonderful guy named Daniel from Brazil) brought the raw steak to our table to get our approval before cooking it. The piece of meat was great and was cooked exactly as requested. d. Alfredo’s Pizzeria: Several Cruise Critic reviews suggested having lunch here on departure day, since it would be a lot less crowded. They were right. We had some wonderful pizzas that kicked off the cruise deliciously. They are hand-tossed and made to order. The view outside the window as the ship was getting ready to sail was a bonus. I thought about eating again at Alfredo’s later in the cruise but didn’t make it there. e. Salty Dog poolside: Food here was fresh and VERY tasty. The regular burger was great, but the Ernesto Burger made with prime rib and pork belly ($5 extra) was well worth it. Two thumbs up here! f. Coffee and Cones: Right between the two big pools, this location was great. I am not a coffee drinker, but I sure do like soft-serve with sprinkles on a hot pool day. There were almost never an lines waiting to get served here. g. International Café: Very popular spot located in the Piazza area. Even at peak times, I didn’t need to wait too long. The offerings were fresh and the options changed all the time. The sandwiches and soups were very tasty. This is a great concept. 3. Condition of cabin: Despite reviews to the contrary, everything worked in E729. All the doorknobs matched (a common complaint), the safe was handy, and the bed was very comfortable. The linens were like silk. The twin LG flat-panel TVs worked just fine. There were a number of lighting options. Closet space was more than ample, and the large bathroom was great. Having a tub was nice, and the water pressure in the shower was STRONG! 4. Elevators: On two occasions, elevators were out of commission. But, in both cases, crew members were working on the issue and the elevators were back in business very shortly. 5. TVs in cabin with on-demand programming: I knew that all-new LG flat panel TVs had been installed during the retrofitting earlier in 2019. We had two of these and they worked great. The choice of live TV channels was limited but acceptable. The on-demand programming was quite extensive. We watched several movies from the comfort of our mini-suite. 6. Production shows (Motor City, comedian, British Invasion) and movies in the Princess Theater. The two production shows we saw were quite good. The one comedian we saw was also very funny. We also took in the film “Rocketman” in the Princess Theater. That worked very well and the sound and picture quality were great. 7. Balcony: We carefully chose our mini-suite because it had the double-width balcony that was private. Nobody could see onto it and the balcony wrapped around the stern of the ship providing views in two directions. That was great! 8. Ease of boarding and disembarking: Nothing could have been easier. The relatively new cruise port at Pier 27 in San Francisco worked super well. In the ports, people seemed to be getting off and on the ship with no major issues. I didn’t see a single “pier runner!” 9. Pools: We mostly used the Neptune and Calypso pools, neither of which were ever very crowded. There were always plenty of chairs and loungers available; space was never an issue. The pools were large enough and the water was just warm enough. With one pool exposed and one covered, these were great choices. I didn’t visit the other pools on the ship, but they looked nice. I didn’t watch any “Movies Under The Stars” poolside, but I did see some other shows shown there. Watching an NFL game on the giant screen while lounging in the pool was a major highlight of this cruise! 10. Casino: I spent some time there. It was decent sized but a bit dark and forbidding. The smoke smell was strong, but not on the smoke-free days they had there. Most of the staff was Eastern European and not uniformly friendly. Still, it was a positive experience. 11. Internet: Despite what cruise lines say, internet speeds are slow. Princess claims to be fixing this with its Ocean Medallion service, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Speeds were no slower or faster than I’ve experienced on other ships. 12. Cabin steward: We had the best steward ever: Roberto Leynes. He was always hanging around in the hallway outside our cabin, but not in a creepy way at all. He was just so friendly all the time! 13. Friendly staff: Leo and Oana at the Guest Services deck were exceptionally helpful. Knowing all the crap they must deal with on a daily basis, I was so happy to receive such excellent service from them. 14. Walking on the Promenade Deck: This was our regular form of exercise with great views and fresh air to boot. In order to completely circumvent the ship, one had to go up a flight of stairs to the Emerald Deck at the bow and back down the stairs to the Promenade Deck on the opposite side. The deck narrows down quite a bit in some locations, but things never got too crowded and it was easy to work up a sweat while circling the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I was on the Grand Princess 2 years ago with friends and family and everybody was surprised how good the food was. This time however the menu and quality have deteriorated so much that it is the worst out of over 30 cruises I've been ... Read More
I was on the Grand Princess 2 years ago with friends and family and everybody was surprised how good the food was. This time however the menu and quality have deteriorated so much that it is the worst out of over 30 cruises I've been on. Hamburger instead of steak is now on the everyday dining room dinner menu. Menu lacks variety such as pork belly multiple times and salmon on both sides of the menu. Horizon Court is even worst with the same pasta, rice, vegetables everyday. Roast chicken was served many times at lunch. Sea day daytime activities are boring with a lot of seminars trying to sell you stuff. Good selection of movies including current ones. Singers and dancers and production shows are excellent. The best thing that save this cruise was the professional and friendly crew. The outstanding service of the staff at Horizon Court is the best I've seen on a cruise ship. They are quick to offer beverage as soon as you sit down. They are particularly good with helping the elderly passengers with their plates and leading them to the tables, Our dining room waiter and assistant waiter were very attentive, professional and caring. It is very annoying that there is no mdiship staircase so the midship elevators are crowded. Elevators are very slowest. Many Princess ships including the new ones have this same design flaw. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
10 days from SF to Mexico. 1. Boarding very easy. No one paid any attention to the suggested staggered boarding schedule. 2.Alcohol checked in carry ons. 2 people checking, slowing things down. 3. On arrival at cabin, there was ... Read More
10 days from SF to Mexico. 1. Boarding very easy. No one paid any attention to the suggested staggered boarding schedule. 2.Alcohol checked in carry ons. 2 people checking, slowing things down. 3. On arrival at cabin, there was no water running in washbasin which was fixed almost immediately. 4. Toilet an issue for entire 10 days. Had to call several times. "Delayed flush". Sometimes the flush would occur maybe 15 minutes after pushing button. 5. Room service on boarding day and next day virtually non-existing. Some times no one would answer phone at all, I was told that there was one person to answer the phone and only 2 people to deliver the order. Service got better as trip went on. 6. No room service wine for under $40. Was told once by room service that the least expensive wine was $90.!!!! 7. No cork screws in cabin. Was told by several that once there was a murder on board with the corkscrew as the weapon. They could not help laughing when they told me that explanation. I suspect the policy was to control the alcohol policy. When the bottles were declared or ordered a sticker was put on them to indicate corkage had been paid. 8Balcont door was very hard to open. My roommate could not open the door. 7. We had open dining. Food was very good. Never made a reservation but always got a table within 15 minutes. 8. Dress code not really enforced. Saw one guy in shorts on the "formal" night. 9. Staff were all very nice and tried to be helpful. 10. Horizon Court was like a wind tunnel and very cold on the trip from Cabo to SF. Wind would rush in from the open mid ship pool, through the Horizon and out the aft doors to the horizon. All in all had a good time but would be careful about taking a first cruise after dry docking. And the ship was too big for me but that is my personal preference, But I thought a good value for the money(except for wine.) Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
this was our first cruise with Princess Itinerary was good and ease of boarding was great. As always most of the crew are tremendous. We found the entertainment EXCELLENT - the booked main stage performers and stage shows were great. ... Read More
this was our first cruise with Princess Itinerary was good and ease of boarding was great. As always most of the crew are tremendous. We found the entertainment EXCELLENT - the booked main stage performers and stage shows were great. The "orchestra" was one of the best I've heard on a cruise ship. Although there were some main stage sound issues most people wouldn't know it. Food was just average - nothing outstanding - including Crown Grill. We found our cabin comfortable and our balcony enjoyable except for one of our neighbors "vaping" and occasionally smoking pot. We were surprised to find out that the Casino is no smoking except for one area. We couldn't go near it because we couldn't breathe for the overwhelming smoke. Apparently dress code on Princess is just on paper - always saw shorts- tshirts- sandals and ball caps in dining room even on formal nights. We had an issue with our shower for the first five days - unable to shower. Finally day 6 was fixed. Almost half of the cruise - we received a free dinner at the Crown Grill - glad we could shower for dinner. Felt ignored for days. Not sure we want to keep our upcoming 15 day Hawaii booking on Princess?? 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
This was a family cruise with my elderly in laws. From the moment we boarded things were broken. Elevators were being repaired the whole 10 days, toilets were not flushing the air conditioner blowers were broken there were leaks and they ... Read More
This was a family cruise with my elderly in laws. From the moment we boarded things were broken. Elevators were being repaired the whole 10 days, toilets were not flushing the air conditioner blowers were broken there were leaks and they were drying out carpets, varnishing railings on deck 7 making it impossible to actually hold onto railings. We saw a ceiling tile fall on a patrons head during our last day at sea. One particular day at sea we were at the horizon court and they refused to serve my father in law juice because it was past breakfast and they wanted to charge him. Sabatini’s was the best dining experience Crown Grill was a disappointing Davinci anytime dining (ask to sit In Anthapol’s section) It was SO bad we’ll never cruise princess on an old ship again. Put this ship in dry dock and leave it there never to sail again. It’s old and dated and needs too many repairs Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
After all that time in Dry Dock, they were still doing a ton of work on the ship. The paint fumes were nauseating. They shut down the smoking section for several days but no one seemed to be working on it . Although they allowed the crew ... Read More
After all that time in Dry Dock, they were still doing a ton of work on the ship. The paint fumes were nauseating. They shut down the smoking section for several days but no one seemed to be working on it . Although they allowed the crew to sit in there the night of the crew party. Our cabin was always cold, the shower water went hot and cold intermittently and there weren't very many interesting activities to do. There were also times in the dining room that food took 30+ minutes to get to our table. But thanks to about 30 passengers that we met, we had a great time. I will say though, that despite the slow food in the dining room, the service was always excellent as was the service on the deck outside the Disco, although it would have been nice to have somebody wait on us after 11 when our waiter got off work. Thousands of dollars they missed because no one would come out and wait on us. The dolphin tour in Cabo would have been great if it had lasted as long as advertised. And the zipline, ATV, water slide tour in PV was great but more information should have been provided. Such as the fact that we were not in fact required to wear pants, that it was in the jungle so wearing white was a bad idea and that mosquito repellent would be a good idea. We were the only ones that brought any. It was also a lot more strenuous than explained Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Love to sail out of our home port . We are the first to sail on The Grand Princess after she came out of dry dock. We are in one of the Grand Suites L301. They replaced or reupholstered the couches and chairs, which was well needed. They ... Read More
Love to sail out of our home port . We are the first to sail on The Grand Princess after she came out of dry dock. We are in one of the Grand Suites L301. They replaced or reupholstered the couches and chairs, which was well needed. They put new 42” TVs in the living room and bedroom. However they removed the DVD players which was a big disappointment as we bring our own DVDs to watch. I don’t think I need to tell you how bad the programming is on the ship. We were told they are going to put “on demand “in the near future,but on this cruise it is not available. If you love reruns of " The Love Boat" enjoy. We have been sailing on Princess for many years and appreciate their product, Princess Cruises should be so proud of their crew, they are second to none. We love Club Class dining. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The balloons have fallen and we safely sailed into San Francisco just before dawn on March 30, 2019. SF was lit up as well as the Bay Bridge. I did get an actual Navigation Map for this particular cruise, showing the chart from SF to ... Read More
The balloons have fallen and we safely sailed into San Francisco just before dawn on March 30, 2019. SF was lit up as well as the Bay Bridge. I did get an actual Navigation Map for this particular cruise, showing the chart from SF to Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Mazatlan, Cabo San Lucas, then back to SF. I almost missed getting the photo of the map as they auction the chart off during the cruise on the last sea day and whomever got it had not picked it up yet .We sailed on the Grand Princess which had just come out of a 2 week dry dock in Portland, Oregon. They had 1200 contractors working around the clock to get everything done. The contractors stay on the ship in the passenger cabins. The crew also stays on the ship as they must feed and sleep all the contractors. They had a DVD showing the dry dock process which was very interesting. The Grand is an older ship i.e. 1998 and has been refurbished several times as all ships are. I do love this ship. The woodwork in the ship is wonderful. Unfortunately, the newer ships have removed most of the woodworking and gone to almost a minimalistic (not sure this is an actual word, but hopefully, you get the idea) look. There were a few hiccups that had to be worked out since she was just out of dry dock but everything pretty much got back to normal. The food and service is really good on the Grand. The Princess ships have always been service oriented. They do what they have to, to please the passengers. The second officer in charge gave a great presentation on exactly how they navigate these babies, equipment, software, port considerations, etc. etc. He also went into what one has to do to go through the ranks to finally arrive at Captain. He started on tankers, ferries, then cruise ships - interesting stories. We had a 3 hr Segway tour on Puerta Vallarta which was really fun. I called the company prior to the cruise and set up the tour since normally they don't work on Sunday, but did arrange for our tour. There were only two of us on the tour as well as Sara, our informative guide. Great fun. Love those Segway machines. Although most of the places we visited have beautiful Malacons (promenades along the water front), they also have cobblestone streets. That was a new challenge for us on the Segway but certainly made it more fun. We stopped at a family run Tequila making factory. Tequila is a Mexican liquor made chiefly from the fermented sap of the blue agave plant. It is subjected to two separate distillations. I always thought Tequila tasted like floor varnish, but after tasting all the new types they have, have changed my mind. They have one called Pecan Tequila, which tasted like Bailey's Irish cream - really good. Even the straight Tequila has several different qualities and some is very smooth - much better than floor varnish. We got to taste them all !!! Not sure we could pass a breathalyzer test but we had just had lunch, so that helped and we got the Segways safely back to the Segway shop. In Cabo San Lucas we went in search of whales on a zodiac. The end of March is the end of the migration season for this area but we did find a mother and a fairly new born. Mom was teaching the little one how to breach i.e. jump out of the water. It was thrilling to see. The ride on the zodiac was thrilling as well, as they go at speeds similar to a jet ski i.e. fast. In Manzanillo and Mazatlan, we enjoyed the promenades, walking tours and shopping. In Mazatlan they make a delicious marshmallow and coconut candy. Be careful when you try it however, as it is quite addictive! We went with a travel agency that provides bus transportation in CA from Sacramento, Stockton, Lodi, Modesto, and Manteca to the ship. Once you give your "checked" luggage to the bus driver, one doesn't have to see it again until it arrives at your cabin door. After the cruise, one identifies their luggage in a very orderly fashion, porters take the luggage to a bus, and then homeward bound. The agency provides a hospitality desk on the ship with daily hours to help with any issues as well as distributing a different gift each day. If the ship goes to Cabo, there is a fiesta party with music, lunch and drinks at the public area at a condo in Cabo. It is right on the ocean with great views. It is very close to where the tenders come into Cabo, so an easy walk. When the ship didn't go to Cabo, then there was a big party on the ship for the our group. Likely this time, there were perhaps 250 people in our group. I didn't actually count them, but am guessing. On one of the cruises we took, the party was on the ship. They had the ship's photographer get everyone together at the party and took a photo of likely 275 people. They did a fantastic job. We were given an 8 x 10 photo of the group. That is really a challenge for any photographer. Prior to the party day, one of the gifts was a T shirt with the destination on the shirts which most of us wore to the party. Great fun. This is really a great service for us that live in the valley as otherwise one goes into SF a day early, and stays in a hotel - just to be sure there is no traffic jam going into SF which could mean missing the ship. All of this, at no extra cost for the cruise. We do appreciate this service. We had a mini-suite with club class service meaning that you have a separate dining area and never have to wait in line for anytime dining for dinner. The mini-suites provide extra room and storage capacity. For us, it makes the cabin more usable and home-like. We both photograph and have computers which means charging stations and table room for the computers and cameras for a work space. The beds on the Princess ships are fantastic - best beds at sea, as far as we are concerned. Getting on and off the ship was quick, easy and efficient. Princess really has their act together when it comes to Embarkation and Disembarkation. They are also efficient at getting people on and off for ports that need to use tenders to get the passengers to shore. They had several types of entertainment day and night. Thankfully they list everything in a daily newsletter (as most ships do) as well as providing maps of the ports and things to see while in port and transportation available to get around the area. There were several other things we did and saw, but won't bore you any further - that is if you in fact, got this far. As you might have guessed, we love cruising. So much to do on and off the ship and everyone is always so friendly. You get to meet people from all over the world, passengers and crew and learn so much about other cultures; also, great photographic opportunities. 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Sail Date March 2019
We have been on many cruises but over the last 6 years we have been sticking with princess cruises. We will NO LONGER cruise with princess after our last cruise and cancelled our next cruise with princess. This ship had just gotten out of ... Read More
We have been on many cruises but over the last 6 years we have been sticking with princess cruises. We will NO LONGER cruise with princess after our last cruise and cancelled our next cruise with princess. This ship had just gotten out of dry dock and we watched them work on pipes over the eating area outside of the Horizon buffet and the pool deck, it was disgusting ! Floors wet with sewage on decks with rooms, plumbing in rooms that did not work, cold showers and smells, fans in hallways 24/7. Some people had to be sent to an unused room to shower. Marijuana smells that went right into our grandsons room every day all day. Head room steward ignored the problem even tho he knew where the pot smell was coming from. Many guest complained, at least 10 rooms complained about the same group of guest smoking on their balcony every single day, nobody did anything. Room service was terrible if they showed up at all. Order food at 5;00pm and it came at midnight after guest services called them 3 times. Excursions poorly planned and ship held up for hours waiting for guests to come back to ship. Over charged many times and made 4-5 trips to guest services to fix the financial issues that princess could not keep straight. This was by far the worst cruise we have ever been on and to pay that much for a vacation and be that disappointed is not right. We will NEVER sail with princess again, especially because our complaints and concerns went unresolved and ignored like we were nothing. If Princess cannot appreciate its guest we will not longer consider them a vacation option. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019

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