|Launched:||26th May 1998|
Newly enhanced with our latest innovations, Grand Princess continues to offer the signature service for which Princess Cruises is renowned. With our innovative features like Movies Under the Stars®, our Italian-inspired Piazza and The Sanctuary®, there are plenty of ways to help you escape completely. Sip on a variety of soothing teas at Leaves Tea Lounge & Library, or enjoy hand-tossed pizza in Alfredo’s, our full-service pizzeria. Plus, our new nightclub, The One5, provides a vibrant ambience to dance the night away.
Average Ship Rating
Mr Mark Burrows visited on 07/10 and recommended this ship.
Just back from two week cruise of Mediterranean. 2 adults and 2 kids (16 and 10) This was a great cruise; we all had a fabulous time!
Our cabin was E421 advertised as a fully obstructed view, but we were pleasantly surprised to find that between two lifeboats we had a clear straight ahead view. We would recommend this as an excellent value 4 berth outside cabin. Plenty of room for 4 organized people. In our opinion the 2 single bed configuration worked very well with 4 people sharing. Our cabin steward, Nimit, was unobtrusive, polite, friendly and kept the cabin very clean. There were chocolates every night, but alas! No towel animals. Children said bunk bed quilts were too small for the bed. Beware - take care if choosing a balcony cabin, many of them are over looked!
Food was excellent in all restaurants. Sabattinis and Steakhouse both were well worth the extra cost of 20 dollars per head. We found anytime dining a good option for us. We expected to have to queue but felt that it could have been organised more efficiently by the head waiters. Average wait time was approximately 20 minutes. Horizon Court buffet restaurant was generally very good. However, there was no indication of what food was on offer before entering the buffet area resulting in quite a few people milling about before selecting food.
There were 4 heated pools, 2 adults and 2 family pools. Family pools were very crowded on sea days in particular, and pool rules regarding no jumping and diving were not observed/enforced. There were several hot tubs available, and they were HOT! The published 30 minute rule on unattended sunbeds was not enforced either. We could only get a sunbed after 5pm.
Shore excursions/ports of call
Tender service at Alghero was very poor. We waited for over an hour to get a tender. There was no information given by ship staff for the delay. We took the 'Rome by private train' excursion which was unfortunately delayed by over an hour due to signal problems. However, the train was very quick and the tour guide dealt admirably with some very disgruntled passengers. We also took the 'Walking tour of Gibraltar' trip, which was excellent. The guide was very informative and entertaining. We explored other ports of call independently. Although some of the excursion prices seem expensive they get you where you want to go more efficiently with the minimum of fuss. Watch out for pick pockets in all places especially Barcelona - we had a mobile phone stolen in a flash from a zipped backpack in a quiet street in the Gothic Quarter and spent over an hour in the police station.
Shows featuring Princess singers and dancers were pretty average (one of the singers was well below average). Guest acts were not much better with the exception of Diane Cousins and David Copperfield who were very entertaining. Assistant cruise directors Adam, Karen, Little Andy and deputy Dave were all very good but others lacked personality. We really enjoyed the Bingo and trivia quizzes (which is something we don't normally take part in) but found that Movies Under The Stars showed very few family films.
Shockwaves seemed geared more towards the 8 year olds than the 12 year olds. The junior chef, which my ten year old daughter was looking forward to, was only available for 10 children and only advertised at the first registration session. Luckily my daughter was able to take part, but there must have been several disappointed children. Remix was very well organised with lots of interesting activities. Good experienced staff were on hand.
The ship's general decor was slightly shabby and in need of the refit scheduled for next year. However, everything was very clean and kept tidy. We sometimes found it difficult to get a lift at busy times, and as there were no stairs available in the centre of the ship we often had to walk a long way to reach our destination. There were very few signs and we had still not got to grips with the ship's layout by the end of the holiday - or maybe we are just getting old. We found the Internet Cafe connection very slow and therefore expensive. We cancelled the daily charge of $10.50 gratuity for our children as we thought this excessive, especially as a 15% service charge is automatically added to every drink purchased. There was no problem with arranging this at the purser's desk. As expected there were a considerable number of children on board. The top decks were taken over at night by packs of teenagers. They were mostly good natured and easily avoided. The only time any children got out of hand was at the Gibraltar sailaway party where the cruise staff failed to exercise any control and on the last night where spirits were naturally high. We had a fantastic holiday, but please beware - not only were we mugged in Barcelona, my 10 year old daughter also had goggles and a pair of shoes stolen on board!
On a final note, Captain, please do not be anonymous; you are an important part of the cruise experience. The only officer we heard regularly was a trainee giving the 12 noon position announcement. One tannoy announcement at the start of the cruise does not give the impression you are pleased to have us on board! More so that you feel far too important to mingle with the paying plebs!
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