Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because our friends asked us to join them to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. We have cruised from California to Hawaii twice before. So, we expected the cold weather for the crossings but we had never ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our friends asked us to join them to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. We have cruised from California to Hawaii twice before. So, we expected the cold weather for the crossings but we had never experienced such rough seas both going and coming back. We are seasoned cruisers and have never been seasick. However, my husband was sea sick twice. The ship is in need of the upcoming dry dock. It is worn and rusty. The ceiling was leaking in the Vista Lounge and in the hallways. Our cabin was clean and well maintained. The bed was very comfortable. Our cabin stewart was super! The crew was exceptional. The food, however, was lacking. It just was not up to par with the many other Princess cruises we have enjoyed. We ate in the dining room and in the Horizon. It was disappointing. We ate in the Crown Grill which was a delicious dining experience. 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
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Embarkation and disembarking were the best I've experienced! The cruise was the absolute worst! The crew for the most part were very rude. Our cabin steward would not fill up our ice and did a horrible job at cleaning the cabin. The casino ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarking were the best I've experienced! The cruise was the absolute worst! The crew for the most part were very rude. Our cabin steward would not fill up our ice and did a horrible job at cleaning the cabin. The casino was always packed and impossible to find a machine to play. The grand princess is very dated. We noticed numerous water leake, they put buckets in the halls. There is rust all over the ship which they could easily fix. Princess obviously doesn't care about the guest's experience in a number of different ways. The entertainment was horrendous unless you are the older generation. If you are under 40, you will find that sea days are for sleeping and eating. The comedian, joe, was great. The comedy showtime was an absolute joke and they should not be considered entertainment, alot of guests were leaving. Please stay away from the "less than grand" princess. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
A very nice, not too long or too short cruise. We live north of San Francisco, so just a bus ride to the ship. The Grand is older but still a great ship. We had a great cruise and met some nice people. The staff is wonderful and friendly. ... Read More
A very nice, not too long or too short cruise. We live north of San Francisco, so just a bus ride to the ship. The Grand is older but still a great ship. We had a great cruise and met some nice people. The staff is wonderful and friendly. Entertainment was great, themed around Mexico with entertainment and food choices. Lots of bar areas with entertainment, lots of things to do or just relax & sit on the outside deck or inside. Lots of places to sit and read or talk or play games. There is a small library too. So much food, and so many choices of where to eat. Dining room, cafe, afternoon tea, pizzeria, coffee/cones bar, hot dogs/hamburgers grill, buffet, extra fee restaurants. Loved the afternoon teatime. Lots of shore excursions to choose from. I would take this cruise again in the future but after I cruise to some new places. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We have sailed the Grand Princess to Mexico (x2) California Coast (x2) Hawaii and Alaska. We reside in the SF Bay area, can easily reach cruise terminal, and enjoy cruising. The Grand Princess has aged, but not too gracefully: Many of ... Read More
We have sailed the Grand Princess to Mexico (x2) California Coast (x2) Hawaii and Alaska. We reside in the SF Bay area, can easily reach cruise terminal, and enjoy cruising. The Grand Princess has aged, but not too gracefully: Many of the public areas now show very worn furniture, some of which is now not comfortable due to loss of seating softness; the pool areas show lots of wear and use, and on multiple occasions the jacuzzis were not working. The entertainment has also gone downhill, with Princess keeping the same big shows ( "the British Invasion", etc.) for 7-8 years. the quality of the individual entertainers varies always, but it seems that magicians are less magic, and the comedians less funny ( not so on other cruise lines we also take). The main dining room menu has also suffered: On several occasions we had to return the Salmon entrée because the center was still raw, reflecting that the cooks used undefrosted frozen salmon, and paid no attention n as to cooking time; on several occasions on the last cruise everyone at our table for 6 who ordered the beef skewers selected another main dish because the meat could not be chewed.. The number of tables for each waiter/assistant has increased, making the dinner service very slow. We observed no change at the buffet breakfast/lu9nch, and cab in stewards do not get rooms made up as promptly because each steward has more cabins to clean.. The quality and number of enrichment lectures has diminished, with Princess now showing recent movies in the main auditorium on sea days. Embarkation and debarkation are unchanged. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Chose this cruise as a 10 day out of San Francisco. Reason for low score is Grand Princess allows smoking in Casino which perimates throughout atrium and smoking on promenade walking deck. It lacks a Thermal Suite and saunas are outside. ... Read More
Chose this cruise as a 10 day out of San Francisco. Reason for low score is Grand Princess allows smoking in Casino which perimates throughout atrium and smoking on promenade walking deck. It lacks a Thermal Suite and saunas are outside. Buffet now closes between meal times and at 11pm not midnight anymore. Full suites still lack nice balcony furniture. Staff and food was exceptional. Embarkation was awful as we had a porter who threatened our luggage as we did not tip enough, wanted more, we reported it and luggage showed up fine. The movies on MUTs were very good. Buffet was great. Sanctuary staff sold our chairs, purchased for duration of cruise to people who wanted sea days, that was a nightmare. Princess shore ex in Manzanillo was good, shopping to flea market with time to walk on beach. Itinerary and many sea days made for a nice cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We took the 10 day Mexico out of San Francisco on the Grand Princess. Departed on 8 November and had wonderful weather till the last dayout of San Francisco on the Grand Princess. Had outstanding the entire cruise till the last day. the ... Read More
We took the 10 day Mexico out of San Francisco on the Grand Princess. Departed on 8 November and had wonderful weather till the last dayout of San Francisco on the Grand Princess. Had outstanding the entire cruise till the last day. the return to San Francisco saw the city quite cool and blanketed in smoke fro the fires near Chico. The Grand Princess is a medium sized ship with a capacity of around 2600 guests but was far from full. The only time we encountered any crowd was during the Emergency drill The ship was comfortable but is showing the wear. We were in A517 an oversized inside cabin. Princess offered us an "upgrade" to a midships cabin that would have been smaller, further from the elevators and under a bar. We declined the offer. The cabin was comfortable but had totally inadequate power outlets for modern electronics. We had a mechanical issue with the shower valves which was corrected immediately. Our room steward was excellent and procured us an extra chair when requested. Have to comment on the bed. It was marvelous, if I could buy that mattress I would. As I mentioned the ship is showing wear and could use a refurbishment Not really any problems just general wear giving the ship a somewhat shabby dowager image. The crew was without exception excellent. any request was met and expectations were routinely exceeded. The crew seemed genuinely friendly without being overly intimate. Food was adequate, well prepared and resented without being exceptional. The exception were the soups and salads many of which would have been at home in a 3 star restaurant. We ate in both specialty restaurants and had a mixed experience. the Crown Grill wa a decent steakhouse experience with good quality beef well prepared and presented. Sabatini's was disappointing. the quality varied throughout the meal with courses ranging from outstanding to poorly prepared with overpowering sauces and poorly cooked pasta. Probably the most disappointing food was the buffet. It was no better than you would find in a cheap Reno venue. I have to comment on the wine. While not outrageously priced the wine list was nothing to justify the level of pride and promotion it was presented with. With the exception of a couple of high value bottles it was no better than I would expect to see in any mid range restaurant. The wine list is in serious need of an upgrade. Still we quite enjoyed the cruise and would happily have spent another week or longer onboard. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
I was invited to cruise this itinerary and the price was great! Our shore excursions that we took were city highlights because I had never been to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, or Cabo San Lucas. The walking tour with Princess Cruises in ... Read More
I was invited to cruise this itinerary and the price was great! Our shore excursions that we took were city highlights because I had never been to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, or Cabo San Lucas. The walking tour with Princess Cruises in Mazatlan was the best because we were able to see the city highlights while doing some preferred shopping. From the Cathedral to the Cliff Divers, the tour was great and Akino was fun, funny, and helpful. The bus tours in Puerto Vallarta were rich with culture and knowledge. The Mama' LuciaTequila factory people were super gracious-bring money or your card to buy this great product that is only available in this village. I need to watch Night of the Iguana so I can learn more about the movie greats who brought so much business to this lovely area of the world. Los Cabos was beautiful! The glass factory with the handblown glass items was stunning. And the artists who were making the products did a great job. And our tour guide made sure we knew the difference between a "pachanga" and a "fiesta". LoL. Pachangas are a bit wilder. Dining on board was delicious. We had "any time dining" and sometimes made a reservation for two for the Michelangelo dining room, but mostly we sat with others because my husband and I love hearing and sharing our stories with people from around the world. Sabatini's rocked with the Northern Italian dairy-inspired dishes. But I know my husband really enjoyed the bounty of the sea southern Italian meals. Dancing, night clubs, sitting by the pool. It was all good. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
The staff of the Grand Princess went beyond my expectations to provide me with a wonderful and relaxing vacation. Our purpose on this cruise was to relax and unwind. I loved the itinerary with the days at sea before and after arriving at ... Read More
The staff of the Grand Princess went beyond my expectations to provide me with a wonderful and relaxing vacation. Our purpose on this cruise was to relax and unwind. I loved the itinerary with the days at sea before and after arriving at the ports of call. I only wished we had more time at Cabo San Lucas, it was my favorite stop. The staff in the dining room made our experience quite enjoyable and we looked forward to every meal. The ship was clean and we always had something to do while on board. We enjoyed the hot tubs on the upper deck on the rear of the ship where we had a wonderful view. Our cabin was spacious enough for us but if you like to spend more time in your cabin I would definitely recommend a mini suite. We have sailed with Princess before and we will definitely sail with them again. Read Less
Grand Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.8
Public Rooms 3.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 3.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

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