8 San Francisco Spring Break Cruise Reviews

I wanted to embark from San Francisco and the timing of this was perfect for spring break. The embarkation and disembarkation were extremely smooth and trouble free. The ship is very efficiently run. I loved how the docking in San Diego ... Read More
I wanted to embark from San Francisco and the timing of this was perfect for spring break. The embarkation and disembarkation were extremely smooth and trouble free. The ship is very efficiently run. I loved how the docking in San Diego and Ensenada were very close to downtown. The tendering in Santa Barbara was very slow with over a 30 minute line heading back to the ship for the last 2 hours onshore. Another positive were the comedians onboard. They were great! And the Scottish vocalist was also excellent. One other entertainment option that was enjoyable was the Voice auditions and competition. We wished there were more good entertainment options than these. The days at sea were very boring. They even repeated the same paper craft activity both sea days. We found the Da Vinci dining experience to be horrible. Several wait staff were rude (when I dropped my fork and politely asked for a new one, the waiter took his time returning with a replacement and made a snide comment about how he guessed I could have a new fork when he finally did bring me one). The maitre d's were also not welcoming or nice. There was always a wait for a table between 5 and 7pm with buzzers given out. When I called for a reservation earlier in the day, I was told there were none available. There were very few tables for 2 guests and sharing was required for a shorter wait. When we agreed to a shared table one night after waiting for some time, we were shown to an empty table for 10 and told we couldn't have a menu and order until the table was filled and we couldn't be told how long that might be. On another night, we witnessed the hostess taking money from a passenger to get seated more quickly. Overall this left us with a negative opinion of the Grand Princess dining experience. The only other negative experience was the condition of our balcony. There was a tacky, discolored mesh tile on the balcony (like you find around swimming pools sometimes). It was warped and not laying flat, so you would trip over it if you were not very careful. The furniture on the balcony was stacked up in a corner and did not look like it had been cleaned in a long time. All cruise lines have their pro's and cons, but after sailing on other lines recently, I was not impressed with the overall Princess experience. 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
We choose this ship and cruise as it fitted with the locations and time. The ship was very nice, cabins without a doubt dated and in need of a makeover but perfectly clean and adequate. Beds and pillows very comfy. The main areas have ... Read More
We choose this ship and cruise as it fitted with the locations and time. The ship was very nice, cabins without a doubt dated and in need of a makeover but perfectly clean and adequate. Beds and pillows very comfy. The main areas have had a refurb and the Atrium is very smart. Staff very friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble. The food in Horizons, excellent so much choice all day long, always hot. Provance dinning room pleasant, waitress was a real gem, full of good humour and professional . Food on the second week maybe not quite so much choice, but none the less a few adaptions here and there asking for extra veg, potatoes was soon organised. We were also lucky enough to have a meal in Sabatinis as a wedding anniversary treat. NB..do not eat before you go as so many delicious courses. It is however very disappointing when passengers do not follow the dress code , example on Formal nights a lot people arriving in the theatre in sports wear, jeans , shorts. The excursions like all cruise excursions not long enough and due to weather the tender was not able to operate to Nicaragua which meant 5 days at sea, its a pity another port on another day could not have been organised. Overall more sea days that land days, but the highlight being the Panama Canal was worth the wait. We did the excursion the day before on the smaller boat so was fantastic being in the canal on smaller boat and then the ship. Also saw plenty of Dolphin pods and a whale. Movies under the Stars , we watched 2 films, popcorn was served. Blanket provided but not needed. Entertainment was good although some not for us, maybe being British made the difference as we did not know the singers from Nashville. The last show Silk was excellent. Downside need to get to the theatre at last 40 minutes early to secure a seat, annoyingly a lot people reserved for friends who did not show. Only 2 waiters generally on duty serving drinks. Wi fi was worth having although it did fail on two occasions. Immigration at the end was awful, over a hour as US Citizens were fast tracked , even though the Non US Citizens queue was very long. We missed our connection taxi due to the delay and had to make other arrangements, plus we were 30 minutes later that the given time to disembark the ship. Very satisfied with the overall cruise, would most definitely sail with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We booked this cruise as we wanted to see the California coast. The ship was definately a tired ship. We have cruised many times but this was below our expectations. The staff and main areas were great. We are in our 60’s but too ... Read More
We booked this cruise as we wanted to see the California coast. The ship was definately a tired ship. We have cruised many times but this was below our expectations. The staff and main areas were great. We are in our 60’s but too many old people with zimmers and wheelchairs. We were last folk to bed - at 11.30!. Our cabin was tired and balcony was a mess. Don’t think we will ever cruise with princess again. We will stick with celebrity. Their standard is what we want. We had a good cruise but it was not what we expected. Even the public toilets were terrible. You couldn’t find one that was working ! The port of Ensenada was just a joke. Worst port we have ever visited Nothing to see and shopping was just a joke. Gifts were cheap rubbish. They chased you to buy gifts. Never again ! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Ship is old but in excellent condition. Service from crew in staff was excellent. Entertainment was the worst we have experienced in 30 years of cruising. There was only one very old and tired production show "The British ... Read More
Ship is old but in excellent condition. Service from crew in staff was excellent. Entertainment was the worst we have experienced in 30 years of cruising. There was only one very old and tired production show "The British Invasion" which Princess has been running for at least 10 years. The solo singers on other show nights tried hard but were not even up to Las Vegas Lounge quality; the magician concentrated on card tricks ( old, cheap) and sawed a woman in half, that's all. The Mexican trio in the Piazza were like some I"ve heard in a bar in the afternoon in Mazatlán. The ship did ru9n some current movies in the Princess Theater on some safternoons. The Cultural lecturers on Whales; Mexican History; etc were excellent. The meals were average or less. On Several nights the beef was so tough that our table and ones near us sent it back , and afyer a second try, we switched to fish. On one day, the Clam Chowder had no clams at all. I asked the Maitre'd why, and he said perhaps the cook forgot to add them. The Horizon buffet was excellent at Breakfast, and lunches there were adequate, but nothing great. The hamburger/hot dog grill was well sued since many did not like what as served for lunch. The Piazza café had soup and sandwiches 24 hours, and was well used. We noted that the sandwiches were fairly tasteless and had little filling, but combining the contents of two sandwiches made it edible./ The gym is smaller than other cruise ships and was crowded, and I often had to wait to use some machines. Embarkation and debarkation were well handled. There is no longer any customs form or inspection. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
It was holiday time and I was looking forward to visiting Hawaii. We arrived in San Francisco two days early to do some sight seeing before boarding Grand Princess. Had a very nice time in spite of Fisherman's Wharf being very ... Read More
It was holiday time and I was looking forward to visiting Hawaii. We arrived in San Francisco two days early to do some sight seeing before boarding Grand Princess. Had a very nice time in spite of Fisherman's Wharf being very expensive. IE breakfast ( bacon, eggs and toast $53.00 American). Hotel not worth 299.00 +. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. The crew did a great job. Service was excellent, friendly, informative and helpful. THE SHIP....WE dealt with issues like a worn out mattress, noises that were caused from the ship needing repair. We were finally given an alternative room which was no better than the first. The ventilation was poor and a soft spot in the floor. The shelf in the fridge was broken. We dealt with sopping wet carpet in the hallway between our cabin and the Horizon Court eatery on a daily basis. The sofa's and side chairs in the Explorer's Lounge and the Vista Lounge were so worn out, when you sat in them it was a struggle to get up. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We last sailed on Princess about 20 years ago, and it was pretty dismal. That being said, it was the itinerary around Mexico which swung it for us this time after having some poor experiences on Carnival and Costa in recent years. Our ... Read More
We last sailed on Princess about 20 years ago, and it was pretty dismal. That being said, it was the itinerary around Mexico which swung it for us this time after having some poor experiences on Carnival and Costa in recent years. Our favourite lines are Holland America and secondly Norwegian. The Grand Princess was high up in this rating. From embarkation at San Francisco, throughout the cruise until the cruise finish, the professionalism and organisational systems were second to none. The staff At San Fransisco were all mature individuals who were intent on providing a superlative experience from the outset. This was quite a change compared to the shambolic chaos surrounding anything Costa and Carnival. We arrived at the port whilst passengers from the previous cruise were still disembarking. We were still able to leave our luggage thus allowing us some time at San Fransisco. Getting onto the ship, even though it was peak time was quick and easy. The ship was in excellent condition having recently been refurbished. Everything was spotless. It was a very laid back atmosphere. No one rushed..... this may be due to the fact of the older age group of passenger! Food was good, although to be honest breakfasts did get a little boring as they never varied the selection. It was also never really hot which was a shame as the quality was good. In all of our 15 plus cruises, this is the only one where we never ate in the main dining room. I could never understand passengers doing this but it gave us the freedom to watch some of the excellent movies and shows which always got in the way of restaurant times. The magician and comedian were so good! Shows quickly filled and often it was standing room only. We booked a guarantee ocean view cabin which was fairly central on Emerald deck. A good choice for us. Staff were exceptional and seemed to have a genuine interest in talking to you.... some lines you do get the impression that they go through the motions when talking to you. Not so on the Grand Princess. As you can tell, I loved this cruise. I would definitely recommend it. It may not be a young persons cruise (that's not to say we were all old codgers on the cruise!). Mexico was wonderful and lived up to our expectations. I have tried to rate the experience below fairly. Dining was marred by the predictability of breakfasts. Entertainment lost points due to the limited programme during the day, but this was a personal choice, although it was great not to get Bingo rammed down your throats! enrichment activities were mainly it seemed to me, shopping advice at ports coupled with the inevitable art auctions. We did not go on any ship excursions but did our own. Didn't use the gym, spa or pools.therefore not rated them. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This is our 2nd cruise with Princess and it was a nice cruise. I think we prefer Carnival though because we have 2 kids and like to have fun. The kids club is way better on Carnival and I thought the food was better there as well. ... Read More
This is our 2nd cruise with Princess and it was a nice cruise. I think we prefer Carnival though because we have 2 kids and like to have fun. The kids club is way better on Carnival and I thought the food was better there as well. Carnival also had more fun things, activities, shows ect. for families The dinners took a really long time and the food was just OK. Everyone was really nice who worked on the ship, friendly and helpful. We stayed in room e117 which is an interior and it seemed roomy enough for our family. Pretty quiet except when the ship was dropping anchor or coming into port. My husband got the unlimited drink package and I would def. recommend that if you like to drink! The ship seemed to have trouble with tender while in Santa Barbara which shortened our trip there which was a bummer. Long Beach we got to go on the Queen Mary for free with your Princess card and San Diego was nice, close to downtown. We ended up taking the public transportation and going out to Old Historic San Diego which was cute. We did not get off in Ensenada, been there...no need to go back. One of the best things about Princess wa embarkation, super fast and efficient!!! Loved the SF port, very nice! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016

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