25th anniversary celebration cruise
Cons... The first day of the cruise was overwhelming, for having been the first cruise. I realize people that have experienced cruises, know what to expect, but being a first timer it was overwhelming. I was disappointed that there weren't people directing and asking how they could help. The expense of extra things were exorbitant. We are not big drinkers, so having to pay for a glass of wine at $7-8 plus 15% gratuity, was excessive. A bottle of wine that we can get locally for $6 was $28. Our first day at sea we pampered ourselves to the spa, our gift to each other. The $119 for a 50 min massage was a little steep but was very disappointed to find that there is an automatic 15% gratuity on top of that and then you are encouraged to pay a tip was frustrating. We then had an appointment for a manicure and pedicure. I knew the prices would be a bit higher than the average salon so I knew going into it that it was, but again just hadn't figured for the gratuity. Lesson learned... But on day 3 of cruise the whole nail came off as I was eating, I was very disappointed the gal that had originally did them repainted it but then that evening while in the hot tub, 2 others came off. I then just pealed them all off, I have never had this happen, I never needed any nail polish remover. Not sure what product they used to have this happen, but growing up in a salon ( my mother is a salon owner and stylist)always using top of the line products, this was a very big disappointment especially for the money. Lesson learned was that you can get a very good hour massage at the ports for $25. The other exorbitant expense was the pictures. It was fun to get pictures done on the formal nights with nice backgrounds and the random photographs taken throughout the cruise. Since this was a special occasion for us I would have liked to have the photos but just the 1-8x10 formal, 5x7 formal dining, and before cruise picture 5x7 on 8x10 sheet we paid $65. Yes 3 sheets for $65. While I'm grateful to have them the affordability was impossible. Doing the math it doesn't make since, the stack of photos we had to go through was therefore going to be destroyed, when we didn't take them. When had they just charged a package deal if you took them all, that was reasonable, I imagine everyone would purchase them. The only other complaint i would have is a little more time at ports, but if you know that ahead of time, you just adjust.
Pros.... The food on the Grand Princess was excellent and I can't give them enough of a compliment. The wait staff went above and beyond. I never met a single staff member that wasn't kind and helpful. The movies under the stars where very enjoyable. The staterooms were more than adequate. The room cleaning and service was overwhelming. Everything was clean at all times the hot tubs and pools clean with fresh towels always plenty of sun bathing chairs and spaces for everyone. Overall I felt the cruise was a great, much needed get away for our 25th anniversary celebration. With lessons learned, I would do it again!
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Last day going into sanfransisco was rough so I suggest a motion sickness medicine even just for that day.