Grand Princess

3.7 out of 5
Price: $ $ $ $     Size: L     Refurbished: 6 yrs ago     Questions? 1-888-296-3978
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About Grand Princess

Grand Princess is a large ship, carrying 2590 passengers and 1150 crew, and sails from San Francisco, California.

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Recent Review

A true time away from the daily routines!

Princess Cruises got it right in regards to entertaining their guests!  The top rated... Read more
Read 506 Grand Princess reviews


Contributor Level: Purser
4 out of 5

A true time away from the daily routines!

Verified Review
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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Princess Cruises got it right in regards to entertaining their guests!  The top rated entertainers and shows included comics, singers, and a magician, plus the ships own song and dance team.  We thoroughly enjoyed every evening of top notch shows.  

The food and choices for dining were excellent and varied, served by a doting staff whose friendly and positive attitude add to the experience.

 

When our toilet would not flush, it was fixed within the half hour.  

 

We save money by not booking excursions through the cruise line.  Our recommendation would be that Princess provide guests with information on self walking tours.

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Contributor Level: Purser
4 out of 5

Wonderful, but a couple of suggestions.....

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The service was fantastic on this cruise and the food was consistently good. The issues that need work are the entertainment times in the Princess Theater and handicap seating sections in the dining rooms. A number if us on the cruise discussed a need for an afternoon matinee instead of a late night show. Many or most of the guests were in their 70s and 80s. These folks packed the 8:00 shows and many people could not get in to see the performances. We actually thought ourselves lucky to get seats by arriving at 30 minutes before the performance. A 4:00 matinee would help alleviate this crowding problem. If you take this trip and want to see a live show in the Princess Theater , you will have to get your seat early The next issue is the access for people with disabilities or mobility problems. There were hundreds of these folks; some with scooters, wheelchairs, and rolling walkers. These apparatuses were causes problems in the dining rooms because they were hazards that dining guests and wait staff were tripping over. Not sure how this can be fixed, but future guests need to keep an eye out for these when walking through the dining rooms. These are just tips; all in all a fabulous cruise. We would go again.

 

 

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Contributor Level: Third Mate
5 out of 5

Pampered all the wah

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The service over the 14 day sailing was impeccable. Every dining experience was memorable. The anytime dining was the best. Each of the restraints accepted reservations and we were escorted in with flair when we learned that it was better than showing up and waiting for a table.

The wait service was exceptional. The detail and service was that of the finest dining service.

The food in all of the various eateries was outstanding, well prepared and delicious.

The entertainment was more than you can see in two weeks.

Did I say if you can do it.

 Big Smile

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Contributor Level: Purser
5 out of 5

My happy vacation

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

This was our second cruise to Hawaii with Princess Cruise ,always enjoy  great vacation with Princess Cruise .good food , good entertainments ,good services ,thanks to all friendly staffs, this was our second .

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Contributor Level: Purser
3 out of 5

Hawaii Cruise from San Francisco

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The cruise was uneventful, but relaxxing .  The Grand Princess is 20 years old and lacks some of the amenities of newer ship.  Cabins are on the smaller side with the bathrooms being cramped.

We've been on many Princess cruises and the food on this ship was particularly good with excellent fish preparation.

There were two lecturers on board.  The gentleman who organized film clips into various categories was excellent.  The other lecturer/naturalist was somewhat obtuse at times.  The other presentations were all sales pitches for art, the spa and jewelry.  We didn't go to any of these presentations as they are usually extremely boring after having been on 15 cruises with Princess.

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Contributor Level: Cruise Director
3 out of 5

Not what I expected from Princess

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

It was just an ok cruise. Best thing was the itinerary. Though 4 ports in a row is exhausting when you do an excursion in each port, we loved 3 (four if you count the day we left) sea days in a row. Great chance to relax. Loved all ports except maybe not Manzanillo . That was a very unpleasant excursion and port in general. All other ports were great and excursions too. The Ship in dire need of some TLC. Very shabby in areas. Angry about enormous fee tacked on for Serenity area. $40 a day just to be in the adults only quiet area!! Never on any ship had there been a charge for that! Not stated on their website description of the ship either. Food was well prepared but not variety. By end of 10 days was tired of the same thing everyday. Buffet food was never hot enough. Cold waffles with cold syrup! Yuk! Many other foods as well were cold. Wonderful desserts on Lido, but not in dining room. Why was that? Coffee very good, which is rare for cruise ships, so that was a plus. Also a plus, ate more salads because had good dressings. First time I found French dressing on a ship. Loved that. First formal night, menu was terrible. We are use to extra good food on formal nights. Second formal was good. Lobster night and Beef Wellington. Not a Lobster person, but husband enjoyed it. I would of preferred a good steak or Filet Mignon as we were use to on other ships. In general, feel they went cheap on food with a lot of chicken dishes. No milk in little cartons for breakfast and milk in pitchers was not cold. Even had meatloaf featured on a formal night! Seriously, not impressed. All the staff was very attentive and on top of things. Loved our dining room waiters. Room steward too did a very good job. But their superiors, specially in the food areas, hawked and scowled over them to the point they appeared nervous and didn't take time to chit chat or have fun with the passengers which happens on Carnival and keeps a fun comfortable air to things. I know Princess wants to come off as a little classier than Carnival, but I felt sorry for the employees that always had a hard watchful eye on them. We were bugged to death in the buffet area with every staff member trying to get us drinks or grab our dishes almost before we were done with them because they needed to appear busy at every moment. Room was smaller than usual, but did the job and bed was amazing comfortable. We were sad that there were no towel animals. Weird that we had no stairs by the set of elevators by our room. That annoyed us, because we often prefer taking stairs. Seemed unsafe as well. Entertainment was so-so. Singers and dancers were good, but not that many shows by them. Magician was amazing. A few shows we had to miss because they only offered one show and it was right during our late dining time. That annoyed us too. Karaoke was only for one hour a night and not every night. That is not near long enough for those who like Karaoke. Most ships dedicate on lounge for that and it lasts a few hours. Other house bands and singers around the ship were good and did a nice variety of music. Loved they had a country western night, but again, lasted a little over an hour! Why so short? I will say that although Princess caters to an older crowd, I was happy to see they had a decent amount of activities to do during the sea days. Most fun to do or watch. Didn't fault them for lack of pool activities because the weather wasn't good enough for that most the time. It was an older ship so the atrium and theater didn't have that wow factor of the newer ships, but had several nice lounges and we loved the back 3 deck area of the ship, which we didn't know till about day 4, was an adult only area, so that was nice. Although didn't have the nice cushioned chairs Serenity would of had. Some cushioned chairs in that area, but it was were the smokers hung out and stu nk in there. And it was dark for reading. Speaking of dark..Library was dumb. On a main hallway near atrium, with 3 walls, so completely open to the noise of the hallway and very dark inside. Much too dark to read or play board games. Useless to be used as a library. Back to dining experience...the dining room during our late dining was almost empty, yet we were put back in a tight corner by a large noisy table of 12 or more people. Because that table was so demanding, our table sometimes got our food slow. Not blaming the waiters. They did amazing considering what pressure they were under. And our fondness for John and Ronald, the waiters, is why we didn't ask to be moved to a different area. But honestly, we shouldn't of been there to start with since most tables were unused. Plus engine vibration was terrible where we were sitting. I think in the middle of the room or front area, that would not of been as bad. Again, we could of asked to move, but liked our waiters and didn't want to hurt their feelings. This was our first time on Princess and we have done pretty much every cruiseline. We were so excited to try Princess. We had always heard it was a step above all the rest. So very disappointed with what we experienced. We are trying to keep in mind it is a very old ship and maybe their newer ships would be better. But honestly, the Serenity policy alone would probably keep us from booking another cruise with them. They really need to eliminate or greatly reduce that fee or they may find others like us will go to other cruise lines. We cruise every year at least once a year, and I was hoping to be a loyal customer. We may give them another try in the future on a newer ship, but as of right now, I don't see it. Sticking to Celebrity or Carnival from now on.

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Contributor Level: Purser
4 out of 5

Great way to see Hawaii

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Good selections of excursions that were worth the money. Would love to have a "learn to play" offering for those of us who don't know how to play bridge or mahjong but would love to learn. Having a separate water bottle "fill up" station would prevent people from using the drinking water stations which is a health hazard. Food was good, nice variety, always fresh fruit and salad greens. 

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Contributor Level: Purser
1 out of 5

Never again on Princess

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

We are very experienced cruisers who have been cruising since the 1970s on a variety of ships and lines. This was our worst experience in almost 50 years. The only saving grace on this cruise were the Hawaiian Ambassadors who taught Ukulele, Hula, and gave the Hawaiian enrichment lectures. If it wasn't for them we would have bailed out at the first stop on Hilo. The other lecturers were very good too. Also the staff was very courteous and friendly. Pretty much everything else about this cruise was horrid:

The bed in our room didn't offer proper support and was too soft - my back hurt the entire cruise. 

The food was ghastly. All the meat and seafood was overcooked and tough. Most of the seafood was flavorless - especially the lobster and shrimp. The buffet featured unidentified stuff floating in glop. The fried items were mostly soggy and flaccid.

The ship was horribly overcrowded with lines everywhere, especially at anytime dining where sometimes the wait exceeded an hour. The cruise staff often scheduled activities in venues that were way too small for the audience. There were also long hold times on the dining reservation line and for onboard customer service.

Large swaths of the public area were effectively unusable due to the reek of cigarette smoke from the Casino and Snookers bar.

The crew insisted on varnishing woodwork in public areas during peak hours sickening many passengers. Princess also nickels and dimes you to death. The amount of in your face selling of junk on board was repulsive. The photographers trying to get you in their pictures with their ridiculous outfits was extremely intrusive.

Overall the ship needs a total makeover and a lot of upgrades - subsystems such as the vacuum toilets failed repeatedly, the air conditioning in our room never got it cold enough. Vast areas of the public spaces were either too cold or too hot. The exterior of the ship has large areas of peeling paint and rust.

In spite of all this we had a fun time - we're not going to let a crummy cruise company destroy our good time.

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Contributor Level: Purser
3 out of 5

Nothing Special

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

So Grand Princess is a little dated... But what does that matter... The staff tries hard and the food is pretty good..

 

Most passengers were seniors from the conservative central valley of California..  

 

The production shows were great and it's always nice to get out in the January sun in Mexico... No reason to get up early or rush around ....

 

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Contributor Level: Cruise Director
5 out of 5

Great way to see the islands on the Grand Princess: a detailed review.

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Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

We had a great time on this cruise even with the unusual circumstances.

 

We are a young married couple in our late 20's/early 30's and had never been to Hawaii. We chose this cruise because we wanted to see multiple islands on a budget. We loved leaving straight out of San Francisco since we live in the East Bay and it was just a quick Uber ride to the port. It was a unique way to see the city from the water! 

 

The first 4 days at sea were very rocky but I think in general we had some strange weather. This was my husband's very first cruise and he did fine but if you don't have sea legs you may want to bring a lot of dramamine patches. We spent those first few days exploring the ship's many bars, playing in the casino, enjoying live music, watching newly released movies, and just relaxing in the lounges with a coffee and a good book.  We wish the weather would have been better for those first days because the pools were beautiful. We got one good sunny day out of those first 4 sea days but we had plenty to do on the boat otherwise.

 

The food was surprisingly good. We knew not to expect the Bay Area gourmet quality that we've come to be spoiled with but considering this is food for the masses we were impressed. The food was overall fresh, flavorful, and was diverse. I remember the cafeteria quality of the buffets on Carnival cruise lines and was not looking forward to the Princess version however I found this was one of my favorite places to eat! The Horizon Buffet had a huge selection of fresh greens, salad toppings, and paninis which I really enjoyed. They also had a lot of hearty warm foods like roasted potatoes, rice and vegetables, and soups/stews. Of course there were some junk food favorites we couldn't resist like chicken fingers, mac and cheese, and french fries! All were good quality in my opinion. Other places for quick bites were the two pizza bars and the trident grill. For dinner we mostly ate in our dining room. We chose the fixed time with the same servers, Diana and Nichola, who were fantastic. The food in the dining room was good, not necessarily excellent. Again, we are extremely spoiled in San Francisco with our restaurants so we didn't hold the Princess dining room to these standards. Some meals did surprise us though! We tried two of the specialty restaurants: The Crab Shack and Sabatini's. Both were a cover charge ($29/person) and you could order whatever you like. The crab shack was nothing to write home about. The seafood was definitely frozen (which is probably the only way to keep it on the boat) and the atmosphere was a bit silly. They closed off part of the Horizon Buffet seating and dressed it up as a seafood restaurant. The Italian restaurant, Sabatini's, was worth it for us! The atmosphere was quiet and romantic. The food was good and the service was excellent. We enjoyed it so much that we stayed until we finished an entire bottle of wine!  

 

Speaking of wine, I recommend for most people who are not heavy drinkers to stay clear of the beverage package. My husband and I drink moderately on vacation but we worked out for the package to be worth it you would have to each drink at least 5 drinks a day to get your money's worth. And those drinks have to be under $10 which means no bottles of wine or high shelf liquor and they charge you for the days you're on shore. The wine selections were good for those of you who are from Napa/Sonoma they had a lot of choices from California wine country. Their beer selection on the other hand was lacking. Not many craft beers, mostly bud light and dos equis. I do recommend the coffee card. Their drip coffee is not very good so we liked to get americanos in the morning down at the International cafe. The card is $30 for 15 coffee drinks and you can get more expensive drinks like lattes and dessert coffees. That comes out to about $2 a drink, well worth it!

 

Some reviewers complained the ship is showing her age. I have to say I disagree. The ship looks very well kept for her age and Princess had spent a lot of time updating the public areas to keep them looking modern. The ship is over 18 years old and has been sailing almost non-stop on the salty seas since she was built. There is going to be a bit of rust in places, get over it, she's still a beauty! 

Our room was great! We chose a balcony room and were upgraded to a premium balcony though this website. If your on a tight budget an interior or port hole window room will do just fine (even for 15 days) but its certainly a luxury to walk out onto the balcony to look at the ocean. The bed was comfortable, I prefer soft beds and this was somewhere in between. We requested our twin beds be converted to a queen and I barely noticed that it was two separate beds. I think they put a thick mattress topper on so you don't feel the seam. The bathroom was plenty big and they had a desk and vanity mirror in the room where I could do my makeup and hair while my husband used the bathroom. The shower was always hot, no waiting for the water to come to temperature. We also felt there was plenty of space for all of our stuff: clothing/toiletries/make-up.

When we finally made it to Hilo, Hawaii we had less than perfect weather but we chose a bike ride excursion in Volcano National Park. The rain was actually kind of nice on our bike ride and we were still able to see the park sites with ease. 

In Honolulu, the weather didn't hold up either for some of the outdoor activities we had planned so we rented a car and were able to see Pearl Harbor, Waikiki Aquarium, Diamond Head Crater, and drive through the beautiful neighborhoods. We had until 11pm in that port and the rain let up that night so we spent a great evening having drinks and dinner on the beach in Waikiki at Dukes. I highly recommend this place!

In Nawiliwili, Kauai we received better weather. We were able to go on a tubing tour of the manmade pineapple plantation water trenches. So much fun! After the tour we had time to lay out on Kalapaki Beach and grab a drink. My husband found a great little music shop that sold ukuleles, we purchased one and played the rest of the time on the ship.

Maui was our favorite port although this is where a few problems arose. This was the only port that we required a tender. The port side Maui security forgot that our ship was coming in that day and didn't have enough staff to accept our disembarkation tenders so we were delayed several hours to get into port until they retrieved enough security personnel. There was not much the Princess crew could do but once we were OK'd to go on shore they sped the process along quickly. The captain also delayed our embarkation by one hour to try and make up for the time we had lost. Because of the delay we missed our excursion to the Kaanapali Beach, which Princess refunded us. Instead we took an Uber to the beach and rented a cabana at the Westin which ended up being cheaper than our excursion anyways! Unfortunately the wind kicked up after about an hour and we had to run to the bar and wait out the rain but still had a great time! Apparently this was an exceptionally wet week in Hawaii, terrible luck but we still enjoyed ourselves.

Here comes the interesting part of our itinerary. After 1 day at sea, back towards Mexico, we received damage to one of the tender platforms overnight. The door was forced open and damage occurred in the hull of the ship. We spent about half of the day halted in the ocean while the door was secured and the damage accessed waiting to here from the captain on the state of our itinerary. Although we were safe and the tender platform was "not part of the watertight integrity of the ship" the decision was made to return back to Honolulu and fly all the passengers home. I'm assuming a transpacific trip was not worth risking an already damaged vessel. Honestly since we had less than great weather in Hawaii we were happy to come back and have another chance to enjoy the islands! Princess did an amazing job organizing thousands of passengers' flights home and accommodating us during this unusual situation. They went above and beyond paying for all flights and baggage fees, offering a 50% refund on our cruise, AND an addition 50% off any future cruise booked through them! We felt safe and secure the entire time and they acted professionally and with great hospitality! We will definitely travel with Princess again.

 

 

 

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Cruises and Itineraries

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Explore Cabins

Grand Princess has 1301 cabins and 33 cabin categories. See what each category
has to offer and read cabin reviews from the community.

Avg. Size: 161 sq. ft.
Avg. Cost: $117 per night

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Avg. Cost: $131 per night

Avg. Size: 240 sq. ft.
Avg. Cost: $195 per night

Avg. Size: 461 sq. ft.
Avg. Cost: $247 per night

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Deck Plans

Explore the layout of all 14 decks on
Grand Princess.

Sun

The Sun Deck features the Lotus Spa, Salon, Pool & Fitness Center, Movies Under the Stars, Sea Breeze Bar, Teen Center, The Conservatory, The One5, Wedding...

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Plaza

The Plaza Deck features staterooms in categories EE, D, K, L, and M, as well as the Piazza that includes Alfredo's Pizzeria, International Cafe, Bar Piazza,...

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Fiesta

The Fiesta Deck features staterooms in category WS, as well as the Grand Casino, Botticelli Dining Room, Da Vinci Dining Room, Boutiques, Calypso Cove,...

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Promenade

The Promenade Deck features the upper level of the Princess Theatre, the Crown Grill, Leaves Tea Lounge & Library, Crooners Lounge & Bar, Essence, Meridian...

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SanJoseDan
Contributor Level: Purser

Room service coffee is the only good complimentary coffee (much better than in the dining room or buffet). De-caf coffee is not available in the bars. The fitness Center is well equipped. There is no dedicated outdoor track for running / walking. Pizzeria pizza is outstanding.

pekes317
Contributor Level: Purser

If you book on The Grand Princess Alaskan cruise definitely book a balcony. If your budget doesn't allow for a balcony - the morning of the Glaciers go up to the aft 16 floor and sitting in the hot tub what an amazing sight!

kraspe
Contributor Level: Third Mate

We were happy to have booked two balcony rooms - trying to squeeze a family of four into one cabin would be very tough unless your kids are young.

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