Grand Princess Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Experience
4-6 cruises

Reviews
0

Helpful Vote
1

3 out of 5

Great Cruise on Grand Princess!

Sail Date: November 24, 2012

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

Embarkation onto the Grand Princess was a breeze - this was the first time I did not have to wait in an endless line to board a ship. We went directly to our balcony stateroom (Baja deck room 630) which was large and had plenty of storage. The staterooms themselves could use a little sprucing up\, but by no means were they in 'bad' shape - just a tad bit worn. These are regular sized balconies\, but the great thing is\, there is no balcony on the Aloha deck above you. The balconies below this deck are staggered out\, so we could see the people on the balconies on Caribe deck and lower. Our room steward\, Gemsen Swanson\, greeted us with a very warm and friendly greeting and was wonderful through our whole trip. We set sail and tried to familiarize ourselves with the ship. For 16 years old\, the ship is in good shape with great common areas.

We had late seating for dinner - I think next time I will go with Anytime dining so that we can decide when we go to eat and work that around our ports. We had four in our party and were seated with 2 other couples so always had good conversation. I must admit\, the very first night I was not impressed with our dinner and was worried that perhaps Princess food would not live up to what I was accustomed to on Royal Caribbean. However\, meals on the 2nd day and beyond were excellent. Our options for appetizers\, soups\, and entrees was always good and desserts were incredible. My final overall impression of the food could best be summed up as excellent.

We only saw one show which was what I would consider comparable talent to other cruises I've been on. The exception is that they had a great pyrotechnic display in this show. We did watch a movie under the stars one night which was fun and is a great touch that Princess offers. They supply chair covers and blankets as it did get cool at night. Popcorn was also available at the ice cream stand -- perfect for watching a movie. We saw the new Batman movie which w

Pros: Excellent Service\, Excellent Food\, Coffee Card

Cons: No towel animals for first time cruisers\, No midnight buffet with ice sculptures\, No charge for ice cream\, but charged for malts or shakes (really??)

Recommends Grand Princess? Yes!

Ship Quality
Although she is an older ship\, Grand Princess was still nice and was kept clean.
Food and Dining
Food was excellent with great selection at any time of day. Desserts were incredible. I will probably go with Anytime dining on future cruises as I feel it will provide the most flexibility for us. Ambiance was good - dining staff extremely nice and proficient. We did eat at Crowne Grill on our last night at sea (specialty steak house). The food was fabulous. Sides served family style which I liked. We had Ribeye steak and lobster -- coming from a state that produces some of the best beef around I can say that the steaks in the Crowne Grill were some of the best I've had. The lobster was also the best I've ever had - not rubbery and served with a couple types of drawn butter.
Cabin / Stateroom
Size was excellent and seemed to be larger than balcony staterooms on Royal Caribbean cruises I've been on. Beds were comfortable as were the pillows. We were almost midship on the Port side -- a perfect location! Decor could use some updating as could carpeting - but overall\, it was still great.
Service and Staff
Most of the staff was hands down the best I've seen on cruise ships. Exception to that would be the staff working the shore excursion desk and the pursers desk. While I understand that they can have some frustrating guests that may try their patience\, I saw them more than one time be downright rude to a customer. If I had any advice at all for Princess\, I would recommend they observe the way this staff interacts with customers as I feel that there is plenty of room for improvement here. I did not see that with any other staff on the ship.
Entertainment
Comparable to other cruises with the addition of pyrotechnics which gave them the edge.


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