A little background first.Travelers: Mr. and Mrs. TractorTravel Date: November 4 to 11, 2001Ages: Mid to late 40sCruises: 12 total - CCL, RCI, Premier, HAL, NCL, Celebrity, Windjammer andnow Princess.Stateroom: E227 Deck 8 Partially Obstructed OceanviewI'll give you the summary first and save the rest of you the trouble ofreading my rantings.Rating on a scale of 10 - 5Positives -CleanlinessPool areasFoodEmbarkationCabin StewardCabin size and conditionPriceTender operationsNegatives-DISEMBARKATIONPersonal Choice DiningMass market feelBar serviceLack of rule enforcementSummaryFor those of you like numbers, my overall rating of this cruise would be a 5on a scale of 10. Take away the disembarkation disaster, standing room onlyat the Vista Lounge, the lame port at Costa Maya and PC dining and maybe it's a 7 or 8. It really is a lovely ship with a lot to offer. The cabins, eventhe standard one we had, are comfortable and the pools beautifully tiled.The food was a pleasant surprise and the casino was fine.I judge a cruise on a few simple questions.Did I get my money's worth? - Yes. I think the cruise was a good value atthe price I paid.Would I go on this ship again? - No. I didn't like my first "megaship"experience as much as the smaller ships we've been on. I didn't like Personal Choicedining. I really didn't care for the entertainment that much and I thoughtthe number of passengers created too many logistical problems, at least forPrincess and this crew. Would we sail Princess again? Maybe. Not PC dining and not on this ship. But more importantly would Grand Princess be our firstchoice? I'm afraid the answer is, definitely NOT. There are too many smallerand more manageable ships out there that we would put ahead of this ship.And in general, Princess version of NCL's Freestyle Cruising - PersonalChoice - is just not that great. Their ships weren't built for it and theiron board program isn't quite tuned in.Did we enjoy ourselves? Yes. Well, it was a cruise for crying out loud! Wewent to have fun and nothing could keep us from it! It's just a shame thatthe last few hours left such a bad final impression. Otherwise this cruisemight have gotten a 7 or an 8 overall considering the price we paid.I am sure I will get flamed by Princess fans. The above is just one man'sopinion with a little input from his wife. If you are going on this cruisethis week or any time in the future, I am sure you will find many enjoyablethings about it. If in some way I have helped you avoid some unpleasantmoments or helped you get more out of your cruise, then I am greatlypleased. Any questions just ask. firstname.lastname@example.org.
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