Grand Princess Cruise Review
We just returned from the Grand sailing 6/30 to the western Caribbean. Unlike the previous review from Keith from AL, we had a wonderful time. Hubby and I were celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary. It was our first vacation without our children and first cruise for both of us.Embarkation - a breeze!! Pre-registered online. Got to the port at 12:45 and were onboard at 1:05pm!Ship was beautiful! I found the atrium very unimpressive! For a ship of this magnitude, I certainly expected much more GRAND! It was only 3 decks high and ordinary, though I had expected this from all the reviews I had read and the virtual tours I had taken. There was always staff working, repairing, painting, polishing this incredible vessel. Pools were lovely - fresh water - how awesome! We had a mini-suite w/balcony. We were upgraded from a cat AE to cat AA! We were smack in the middle of the ship, which was great. Close to the elevators, never felt the ship creak, moan, rock. It was heaven! Had breakfast on our balcony almost every morning. Room service was always prompt and hot! Room steward was very efficient. Our room was always spotless. We asked to have wine glasses in our room since we bought our own bottle of wine and champagne. Within minutes he showed up with the glasses.Food - was excellent! The dining rooms were lovely, although not grandiose by any means. They were only one floor and the ceilings were only 8-9 feet high. The food was exquisite though! Service was always polite and prompt. We chose Personal Choice dining. This worked very well for us. Since we didn't have our children, we didn't want to feel pressured to eat at the same time every night. It also provided us with quality 1 on 1 time. The buffet was somewhat disappointing. There was no midnight buffet to really speak of. Lunch time had a nice variety and some great dishes that we enjoyed. There was no chocolate buffet. The Trident grill (hamburgers and hot dogs) was very enjoyable. Food was fresh and hot. Hubby really indulged there when we were at the pool.Entertainment - again awesome! We thoroughly enjoyed the shows in the Princess Theatre. Singers and dancers were very talented!!Cruise director - Graham Seymour - was absolutely BRILLIANT. We enjoyed him so much. He was hilarious, as well as all his staff. Some of them belong on the big screen!Some of the cons - this cash free cruising can be a killer!! There is no cash on board, so you use your cruise card for everything! We were careful, but it does add up. You can check your account at any time, which is what we did. So we decided the last day we would both go for a massage and facial. It was $79.00 each for 45 minutes. Quite pricey, but we knew we would never get the chance again. Everywhere you turn, there is someone pratically begging you to buy a drink. Granted, you never have to leave your seat to get one, but it seemed bothersome at times. A few times I just asked for ice water and I thought they were going to fall over! Since there is no charge for water, there is no 15% gratuity to be made.Ports of call - we all very enjoyable as well. Princess has tendering down to a science. Very organized. Went snokeling with the stingrays in the Cayman Islands and saw the ruins in Cozumel. Princess Cays was great! Beach was beautiful and the barbecue was terrific!!! Coasta Maya was very nice, but not much to do there. It was nice to shop and relax by the beach or the huge salt water pool. Overall, an absolutely memorable and awesome vacation. If finances permit, there will certainly be other cruises in our future.