Grand Princess Cruise ShipPrincess Cruises
"were on this ship in september 2011 in the med.It was very good the food was great staff very friendly and polite.enjoyed it so much have booked to go again this september.have also traveled on the Golden princess.again it was great'previously always went with P&O.but prefer food and standards of princess.the cabin was great very spacious and cabin steward could not have been more helpful"
- Holiday details: Sep 2011, full board, booked with Thomas Cook
7 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"having just returned from a cruise on this vessel i can only say what a wonderful holiday it was.i travelled with my wife and she is of the same
The crew members which we came in contact with were of a very high standard,cheerful,helpful,and efficient.
The food was of a high standard.
Cabins with balcony were spacious, but the beds hard.Especially if you joint problems.The shower room was a little on the small side
Unfortunately there were two cons.for us (1)Photographers they were very intrusive,and appeared to be everywhere.(2)We wre unable to find anywhere to have a quiet drink and chat.
The on board entertainment was various and plentiful."
- Holiday details: Feb 2012, full board, booked with princess cruises
- Advice: take your own toilet paper
6 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
" Ships captain welcome aboard party was in between 1st and 2nd set
sittings, we never got to it.
(2) The information desk had double standards one for new members and one for gold card holders.
(3) Photo department very pushy and expensive $20 for one photo
 Fitness department spinning $15.
 Horizon closers at 11pm for food.
 Must be in a seat at any of the showtime events before 45mins to
one hour for a 45 min show.
Could dance because your seat had been taken if you did.
Captains circle cocktail night members only.
Lotus Spa center always selling their wears around the ship, and saying [ Have a nice day Guys ] ugh!!!
This is the first and last time on this line,and we have done many a cruise."
- Holiday details: Oct 2011, All Inclusive, booked with Coop travel
- Advice: Take plenty of money
4 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Just returned from a fabulous 2 weeks on the Grand Princess in the Med and what can I say, my wife and I were just blown away by it all.
The ship itself is magnificent and is clean, fresh, tidy & just plain posh. The cabins also are very homely, clean & tidy and looking very fresh.
The food was excellent. We did anytime dining and mainly ate in Horizon. There was plenty of choice every day and it was cooked beautifully.
The crew are superb. Very courteous, friendly and bent over backwards for us. Our Cabin Steward would always be singing when we saw him & he clearly loved his job.
Nothing was left to chance. The organisation of everything was fantastic. The excursions were all brilliant and went like clockwork as did embarking and disembarking.
The Princess Patter newsletter received everyday was informative and all the entertainment and events on during the day were equally varied and good.
A balcony cabin is a must! Great for watching docking, sunsets & sun rises or just chatting with the neighbour briefly!
Yes there were extras that you had to pay for but nothing was a surprise and overall, you got what you paid for.
All in all we made some great new friends and mentally it was very relaxing as well as our every need was catered for. We are definitely looking to go again with Princess."
- Holiday details: Sep 2011, All Inclusive, booked with Thomas Cook
22 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"we have just returned from cruising the med we went on recommendation of relatives who were on it last september 2010 they decided to go back this year in july because of their children not being able to go in school term their children went free last year but this year cost nearly the same price as an adult.also with the ship being refurbished they thought it would be better they say it wasnt as good as last year and the only thing that had changed was the main areas so they were dissapointed at having to buy coffee cards to have coffe in the international cafe .we had been on board two days when we recieved a letter to go to the pursers desk cos we hadnt registered a card for payments on board we had registered a maestro debit card we do not have credit cards we like to pay directly out of our bank they informed us that they didnt accept maestro but they acceptied it to pay for holiday so ihad to change some english money and pay some up front so it cost me for changing money then we had things added to our bill we hadnt had and we wernt the only ones we then found out they had an atm in the casino that took my maestro card of course charging money again.the tips are atrocious 11.50 per person including children although you can stop them if you report to the pursers desk and inform them that you dont want to pay them.all drinks had 15% on them and these you had to pay also when you were in port in spain you had an extra 8% added for spanish tax i paid $8.80 for a can of fosters lager i can get a tray ful in the supermarket for that .the food in the botticelli dining room was good however it could have been better if it hadnt been cold food in the horizon buffet was freezing,in fact the only hot food was the burgers or pizzas that was served by the pool.i paid $112 for the cold drinks package and was lucky to have used $20 on it so that is a rip of nearly every night i forgot to get my "free" coke to take to the bedroom so had to pay $4.69 for a can of coke out of the fridge .after about ten days i was pulled up at the dinner table to say my husbands cruise card had been blocked because the money i had put on it had ran out but i had $160 left on mine and seeing as i booked the holiday i said i was responsible for any monies owed but i was disgusted to be approached at the dinner table they should have automatically have taken it off mine ,i didnt put anymore money on my husbands card and made sure i kept in credit as i didnt want to be showed up againon the last night i was going to put some money on mine for our drinks that night but then decided not to bother they had had enough money off me $900 to be precise this was only for 3 drinks per night and our coke card so it was expensive for what we had i didnt even buy any photos and this was only because of the way the staff on the pursers desk tret us i went down at 7.30 to get my final balance and i was $8.60 in credit which i asked to be refunded,then at 7am got a phone call from our friends on the pursers desk to ask me to settle my bill i told them i settled it the night before and made sure we had not purchased anything but they said i owed $4.69 for some water out of the fridge i hadnt had anything from the fridge for two nights i payed them and told them i will never travel with them again.the entertainment was so so the comediens were crap two different comediens two nights in a row told the same jokes .the shows by the princess dancers were very good .im pleased we wernt first time cruisers or this experience would have put us off but we had cruised twice before on the m.s carousel and that was class on the princess even on formal nights you had people wandering about in jeans and scruffy t shirts that would never be so a few years ago .even our relatives admitted it had changed for the worse and became a greedy ship and had expected it to be better after its refit so they were dissapointed after praising it up to us there was twelve of us in our party so thats quite a bit of money but we have all decided on trying another boat next year but it wont be with princess lines im sorry to say even though it wasnt all bad."
- Holiday details: Jul 2011, All Inclusive, booked with www.cruise deals .co.uk
- Advice: the staff on the pursers desk could be a bit more pleasant
14 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"my friend and i rencently had the opportunity to sail on the grand princess what a fantastic cruise it was, some of the trips of ship where expensive but very interesting,on one occasion i had to ask for my money back from one trip as both my friend and i were disappointed with the coach company that ran the trip to gravdel, the driver went the wrong way we were ill informed of what was at our destination there was NOTHING there so i complained on our return to the ship,our money was refunded there and then others not so lucky because they left it til the following day, the staff were all polite, very clean and tidy in appearance,the cabins were cleaned regularly,as was the ship. it was a brill experience it was my 1st cruise but not my last, i would however like to have seen by spending statement in british pounds not american dollars, perhaps a daily conversion chart would help just one by the main reception area would be ideal,all in all a fab ship to sail on."
- Holiday details: Jun 2011, All Inclusive, booked with co-op travel
- Advice: daily currency convertion chart displayed at main reception area
8 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"What a dissapointment, we have cruised before mostly on the " budget " cruise lines, Thomson, Airtours and Marco Polo. However we pushed the boat out for our Ruby Anniversary and paid over £3000, more than twice as much as ever paid before to cruise with a top of the range line and chose the Canary trip on Grand Princess in June 2011.
First of all the food, dining rooms, bars, staff entertainment and facilities on board first class, I am also quite happy to follow all tipping recommendations as I just consider this to be a part of the cost of the holiday.
However negative observations are
1. Check in at Southampton was unacceptable over an hour long queue in a departure hall with no toilet facilities!! One of the reasons we chose a cruise from UK was to avoid hassle of airports.
2. We chose the top rated outside cabin only to find a cabin smaller than a cross channel ferry, we had asked for the bed to be set up as a double, it was but one side against a wall and try as we might we could not rearrange so ended up having to have single beds set up, remember this was our Ruby Wedding Anniversary.
3. You are not able to have a served breakfast after 9:30 am, this cruise had 5 days at sea so there was no rush to get out of bed on your holiday, so most mornings we had to have breakfast in the self service cafe, again no issue with quality or choice of food but paying over £3000 and having to serve oneself with a meal is unacceptable.
4. We chose traditional dinner at 8:30 pm on a table of 6 and had a great evening with our fellow diners but unfortunately to make the 10:30 show we had to rush off before 10:00 to get a seat in the Theatre, it seemed that the popular shows were mostly located in the smaller theatre Vista Lounge.
We have often wondered how a cruise on a Premier Cruise Line could be any better than our " Budget " Cruise and now we know, " you do not get any better for paying more ""
- Holiday details: Jun 2011, Full Board, booked with Tesco
18 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"My wife and I have just finished a trip to the Canary Islands on the Grand Princess. We had an excellent trip and although there was still some odd touching up of paint here and there it did not detract from the holiday. The captain and crew were excelent and were polite and very helpful when ever you approached them.Our interior cabin was very comfortable and all it lacked was tea and coffee facility,however this was available 24hours aday through a steward(free). The food was excellent and available 24 hours day from burgers to formal dining. The entertainment was very good andthe shows in the theatre played to a full audience most nights of our 11 day cruise,"
- Holiday details: Jun 2011, All Inclusive, Booked Independently
- Advice: The speciality restaurants are very good but they are a one off as the food is excellent in the various dining rooms.
27 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"I have just come off this cruise with my family and have to say that some of the reviews posted on this site are making the ship and Princess cruises out to be rip-off agents which they are not. So I thought that I would post my own review. It is quite long, but I want to try to cover everything.
I am new to cruising - this was my first and I really didn't know what to expect. The check-in at Southampton was quote smooth, the porters arrived as soon as our taxi stopped at the terminal and took our luggage away to our cabin, and we were left with only our hand luggage. To be completely honest, even if I hadn't known this, I would have been glad to get rid of all our cases so that we wouldn't have to lug it all over the terminal along with 2 small kids. Yes the check-in queues can be quite long, but when you're embarking a ship that takes 2500 passengers, then you should expect to wait. However, we found that we didn't wait that long as the check-in staff are extremley efficient, and we were on board less than an hour after we arrived at Southampton. (I have waited at longer check-in queues than this at an airport.)
We have a 4 berth inside cabin which were basically twin bunkbeds, but this was an advantage to us as we used to put the top bunks down whilst we were getting dressed so that the kids were out of the way and it gave us a bit more room. There was a long dressing table, but also a long mirror on the door to the bathroom.
Each guest is automatically charged $10.50 per day regardless of age for tips/gratuities- BUT THIS IS AN OPTIONAL CHARGE!! All it took was one visit to the Purser's desk and these charges were removed. We opted to not tip for our kids and gave our own tips to the individual staff members at the end of our cruise.
You can do a soft drinks package on your first day which costs $4.95 per day (£3approx). We did this for one of our party and it gives unlimited coke or sprite.) I would go to the bar first and then my husband would go after me. The alcoholic drinks aren't as badly priced as some reviews make them out to be. The beers, wines and cocktails started from about $5.75 (£3.70 approx). We even had a bottle of champagne one night which cost us $69 (£45approx) which to be honest is less than I have paid at a local hotel. There is a 15% surcharge on all drinks ordered on board, but this is in the small p[rint of the brochure and also is clearly marked on all menus and bars on the ship. An update of your shipboard account is available from the Purser's Desk so that you can keep an eye on what you're spending. If you have cash to pay all or some of your bill, then it is best to do this the day before you disembark. If you have registered a credit card for express check-out, your card will be debited on the last day so will be too late to pay cash then.
The health of guests was taken seriously especially at the buffet restaurant Horizon Court. There were hand sanitisers placed at the entrance. There were also crew members also situated at each open end of the restaurant ensuring guests did not enter the restaurant without using the sanitisers.
Our kids used the kids club and they were treated very well. they were in a secure air conditioned room and were kept busy the whole time they were there. So much so that they never wanted to be with us (which was great!). We were given pagers so that we could be contacted in an emergency whenever the kids were in the club. We even felt secure enough to leave them in the care of the staff during port days whilst my husband and I went off exploring.
Princess cruises do offer shuttle buses that run from the port to the centre at a cost of $10pp return, but again these are optional (depending on the location). The trip are expensive, but they are in line with most other cruise companies that I have looked at, and some people would rather be escorted than try to find out things independantly. It is all down to personal choice.
There were about 120 kids on board when we travelled, but the staff were strict about keeping them away from the adults only pools. It was only crowded at Neptunes outdoor pool & Calypso indoor pool. We found that the pool at the rear of the ship was too deep for kids, so most of the time, I was the only one in there along with the 2 hot tubs!
Although it is not advertised, we were able to take on some of our own wine on board at Southampton. It was packed in our luggage. You could also take it into the restaurant, but they will charge a corkage fee. There is a little fridge in the cabins and the cabin steward will get ice or wine glasses for you.
It is an American ship, so the sockets are american, however there are a couple of european sockets which you can use your adapters. (They are usually located behind the beds where the lamps are plugged in.)
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay on the Grand Princess and would definitely go again."
- Holiday details: Sep 2010, Full Board, booked with Trave House
177 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"This was our first ever cruise: we did the 7 day "Iberian interlude" to Vigo, Lisbon, La Rochelle & St. Peter Port. On the sailaway day, check in was between 11:30-15:00. we arrived at about 11:45, and had to queue for around 45 minutes to board the ship. You print off your luggage labels from Princess' website so there's no delay when you arrive at the terminal. The first thing we did was purchase their soda package, at around $9.25 per person for unlimited draft soda for the week. (there were also separate kids packages and "mocktail" packages, but we didn't bother with those.) we weren't impressed as our travel agent (Thompson) told us soft drinks were included. The second thing we did was head to the purser's desk to waive the $10.50 per person, per day gratuity that they automatically add to your bill. we also had to hire a travel adaptor for $20 (which you get back at the end as long as you return the adaptor) as the round pin one we had brought did not fit in the square pin plug in the room. The plug was behind the bed, which we kept having to pull forward to use, and the plug socket was hanging out of the wall, exposing the wiring behind. we did mention this at the purser's desk, but no-one came to investigate. In your room you are assigned a steward, and you get given his pager number should you have any problems with your room itself. We did find that the alcohol was pretty pricy - around $7 for a cocktail and therefore we didn't drink much apart from one bottle of wine with dinner, which was $38. As others have said, if you purchase alcohol from the duty free shop you are not allowed to have it until the last night when it is delivered to your room in a wine carrier and left outside your door. Another bad point is that there were designated smoking areas, but being in international waters they weren't enforced, so people seemed to pretty much smoke anywhere except the main resturants: as non-somkers this was annoying as it's hard to enjoy a drink at a bar when people are smoking round you constantly.
On the plus side - all the staff are very attentive and friendly: all the staff you pass by in the corridors will greet you, and they all act as if nothing is too much trouble. The food was lovely, and you can have a full cooked breakfast, plus pastries, lunch, afternoon tea and a 5 course evening meal if you can manage it! After dinner coffee is free as long as you choose a "regular" coffee i.e. filter coffee, but you will have to pay around $2 for a latte or a cappucino. We chose anytime dining, and found no problems getting a table, and met some fantastic people at dinner too.
All in all we had a great time, and we will definitely cruise again. Throughout our voyage we heard nothing but good things about P&O and we may try them next time, although we would cruise with Princess again if the right itinery came up."
- Holiday details: Sep 2010, All Inclusive, booked with Thomson
- Advice: bring lots of spending money!
53 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Have just completed a second med cruise in 18months on this ship I feel she needs an update. The seating around is worn out, to the extent of needing cushions to sit at the dining tables. The lounge seats were also uncomfortable which meant I didn't have many drinks. The entertainment was almost the same as last year and it seems less of it. The solo acts were a massive let down in the main and let down this cruise lines great reputation badly."
- Holiday details: Sep 2010, All Inclusive, booked with Thomas Cook
16 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes
"Just returned from a lovely cruise on board the Grand Princess around the Med. Weather was fantastic, the ship is also fantastic as were the staff in every department. Having been a P & O regular for a number of years, we thought we would try a different company just for a change. Unfortunately there were a few differences that I was far from happy about.
Firstly, the drinks were extortionate. about £5 for a can of beer/cider/small wine, plus 15% gratuity charge on top which was not optional.
You had to pay 10 dollars per person to use shuttle buses. P & O are free!!!!
If you bring duty free items onto the ship after a port visit, (apart from 1 bottle of wine per person per cruise!!!) they are taken off you and given back at the end of the cruise, like naughty children.
You could buy duty free on board the ship, which was reasonably priced, but again this was taken away and given back at the end of the cruise.
If you like to have a drink in your own cabin before dinner for instance, you could buy alcahol for your room. This However was rediculously expensive. So we didnt
The silly thing is, had the prices on board been realistic, we would have spent a lot more money, as it was, our bill was less than half the norm for us, purely because I dont like being ripped off
There are no tea/coffee facilities in the room.
The electrical sockets in the cabins are American, so you have to hire an adaptor with a deposit if you didnt bring one.
Coffee after dinner is another cost, not free as with P & O.
When you buy drinks (if you can afford them) on other cruise ships you would automatically get a copy of the bill, so you can keep an eye on your spending. This is not the case with Princess cruises. You have to ask for a copy everytime.
As I said at the beginning, we still had a lovely holiday with Princess cruises, but unfortunately they have proven to be a good advert for booking P & O next time"
- Holiday details: Sep 2010, All Inclusive, Booked Independently
61 readers found this review helpful. Did you? Yes