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Sail Date: August 2019
The food was unbelievably bad. Even the Italian specialty restaurant was the worst Italian food I have ever had. The buffet was seriously worse than and American chain buffet venue. If you like selections such as sliced carrots with peas, ... Read More
The food was unbelievably bad. Even the Italian specialty restaurant was the worst Italian food I have ever had. The buffet was seriously worse than and American chain buffet venue. If you like selections such as sliced carrots with peas, this might just be the place for you. If you want something more inspiring, you are in the wrong place. The pizza restaurant on Deck 5 is excellent and the hamburgers on the pool deck are good, but those were the only bright spots where food is concerned. Stateroom was large and in very nice condition, but the balcony was in old, poor condition and the balcony furniture should have been replaced a long time ago. One day the bath water was DARK BROWN. Not a little, but A LOT. The front desk staff told me not to worry about it but that I should run the bathroom water form a couple of minutes before drinking. Yuk. Service was hit and miss, mostly miss. some staff members are friendly and helpful, but most seemed to have poor, or disinterested attitudes. We found ourselves being practically being pushed around by staff members in the buffet area. They always wanted us to get out of their way and almost never said "excuse me" or "thank you". One disappointment with the ship is that it does not have any indoor venue with a panoramic view. Every other ship I have been on has a lounge in the front of the ship, on a higher floor which is wonderful for taking in the scenery while cruising. This ship had nothing of the sort, no place indoors where you can see both sides of the ship from one location. This is especially important on inside passage cruises. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
The ship is old and dated and cabins are far from promised on website. Nonetheless, service was good and the staff was friendly. The food was decent and common areas were clean and open. Accommodations, however, were far below par and ... Read More
The ship is old and dated and cabins are far from promised on website. Nonetheless, service was good and the staff was friendly. The food was decent and common areas were clean and open. Accommodations, however, were far below par and not worth the price. The balcony room was cramped and the furniture was cheap. Our shower had only scalding hot water for the first 3 days despite repeated requests to have it fixed. The internet did not work. I paid for the premium package and it did not workout all. The only time I was able to use the internet was using a hot spot with my own LTE in ports. The cruise itself was fun because of the people I was with, but the ship itself was underwhelming. I would say if you are going on the cheap with a group of friends then fine. If you are expecting luxury, then this is not the cruise for you. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
I wanted to introduce the family to Alaska. Princess cruises from San Francisco so we did not have to fly. They have lots of on board activities and entertainment for a wide variety of tastes so we rather enjoyed the sea days. The ports ... Read More
I wanted to introduce the family to Alaska. Princess cruises from San Francisco so we did not have to fly. They have lots of on board activities and entertainment for a wide variety of tastes so we rather enjoyed the sea days. The ports were all interesting. And I always promised my wife I would take her to Butchardt Gardens in Victoria. I knew Princess would be a good choice and I could afford the costs for the nine of us. The ship was older but had recently been refurbished and was very elegant and spacious. The cabins were great. They had ample room and nice amenities. The dining was good. The staff was very friendly and made us feel at home. We took shore excursions at three ports and they were all good. There was a wide selections of excursions. Next trip I'll choose new ones. I would go again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Have sailed on Princess many times. This will for sure be the last one. From the embarkation, to debarkation, the entire experience was miserable, rude, and a complete joke. By second day you could only shake your head and laugh at ... Read More
Have sailed on Princess many times. This will for sure be the last one. From the embarkation, to debarkation, the entire experience was miserable, rude, and a complete joke. By second day you could only shake your head and laugh at Princess and how bad they are operating today versus where they were 23 years ago when we first sailed their line. The ship was dirty. The hallways were filthy. The carpeting was filthy. There was debris and dirt, with plenty of dust in our room. The ship was understaffed. Lines everywhere for everything. Several times not able to accommodate any time diners. Waited up to an hour for seating. Children attending the wine tasting events and screaming babies during the wine tasting events...Children running up and down the hallways all hours of the night banging on doors and screaming. The spa not honoring reservation times confirmed in writing by Princess 90 days in advance. Double booking of event locations for different events at the same time. Captains party and Trivia booked at the same location for the same time...Do they not have a calendar they use for scheduling events? Waited in line for 2 plus hours to get disembarkation tickets in Juneau. Princess had one person work the disembarkation table. Never saw many pissed off people and never experienced so much open sarcasm and criticism of Princess staff by customers like we did on this cruise. And the casino is a complete rip off too...never saw a single jackpot paid to anyone in the casino for 10 days. Many people complaining about that too. Complete waste of money, time and a completely miserable experience. Will never sail another Princess Cruise again... Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
The ship is veru old and dated. The bathroom in the cabin was not cleaned well and smell of urine after a few days. The disembarkment was very disorganized. Staff were not available to give instructions or answer questions. The ... Read More
The ship is veru old and dated. The bathroom in the cabin was not cleaned well and smell of urine after a few days. The disembarkment was very disorganized. Staff were not available to give instructions or answer questions. The entertainment was lacking and the variety of entertainment was disappointing. The sheets and pillow cases were not changed the entired ten days of the cruise. The onboarding was easy and quick. Other than not having enough instructions the disembarkemnt was easy as well. The alcoholic drinks were good. Our waiter was friendly and accommendating. I've been a lot of cruise and by far this was the worst experience I ever had. The only reason I choose this cruise was becauase Costco Travel included excussion package for the cruise. Honestly, I not recommend anyone to take this cruise. Others that tried other cruiseline have a far better experience than I had. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
As you can see with the grades I gave in most categories, performance by crew and ship were above average. Allowing for some gaffes in food preparation, and "tendering", I still stand by my ratings---but--and of course their are ... Read More
As you can see with the grades I gave in most categories, performance by crew and ship were above average. Allowing for some gaffes in food preparation, and "tendering", I still stand by my ratings---but--and of course their are some "buts"-- TENDERING: What was baffling to me was how terrifically competent the embarcation and disembarcation process was, yet when it came to the tendering process, the resulting confusion exhibited by large numbers of staff gave me the impression of a crew that was going through the process for the VERY FIRST TIME! It is not that the process took a long time,and yes it did, but that in the process, staff appeared confused, causing frustration to passengers.On this trip, our ship docked on time at 2:00PM-our group's tender landed on the dock at 4:45PM. It was a lesson on the danger of booking a tour with anyone other than Princess. Fortunately, our tour vendor in Juneau(MARV & HARVE) gave us a full refund which of course did not reverse the fact that we lost out on a port experience. I will continue to use shore based vendors but never where tenders are involved. DINING LOCATIONS: We dined almost 90% of the time in the dining rooms, including breakfast & lunch: as for the few times we ate in the buffet, we found the quality and preparation very good using buffet standards. As pointed out by others, there just aren't enough seating in the buffet. I appreciated making gluten free toast available in the buffet as well as the dining rooms. Main dining rooms are DA VINCI AND MICHAELANGELO, STACKED ON TOP OF ONE ANOTHER ON DECKS 5&6. We had evening meals on the "anytime" basis: a word of caution--there were 2-3 nights where there long lines to get into the"anytime" dining room. QUALITY AND PREPARATION OF FOOD: I give high marks for the most part in this category: beef in the form of prime rib and beef filets, as well as roasts were available and nicely done, with lobster and their version of baked alaska served. Same for seafood. I felt the quality of the lunches was extraordinary-two of the best meals we had were at lunch-a wonderful, tasty, thinly sliced london broil, and a few days later, beef bourguignone, tender and reeking of the red wine used in its preparation. Also lots of interesting,difficult to prepare appetizers at both lunch and dinner. Not to be missed are deserts in the evening designated "CHOCOLATE JOURNEYS"-the best I have ever tasted. This is my only criticism---why jeopardize your rep by offering dishes so far from what it should be, as to be laughable-do what you can do and do that well. Two dishes fit this category and were flops, both involve stews or soups. The first flop was CIOPPINO: a dish invented by Sicilian fishermen in San Francisco, it is a fish stew rich in tomato flavors, Italian seasonings, and with whatever seafood you have in your refrig, like white fish, shrimp, crab legs, clams, muscles. Princess' version of Cioppino was a few pieces of dried seafood, sitting in the middle of a few ounces of thin, watery broth. A few nights later came another soupy disaster-Alaska Fish Stew-same criticism-a few ounces of thin broth that hardly covered the bottom of the bowl and a scattering of wilted seafood. INCREDIBLE! One final observation: Princess has done an outstanding job of providng prompt, friendly service at the information desk-I never saw the long lines as I have seen on other ships-this shows a real commitment to passenger convenience. We chose a $ 229 wine package for the 10 night cruise that gave us each night a bottle of wine with menu price of up to $ 45-we thought that was a bargain and highly recommend that if you like wine or sparking wine with dinner. A final comment about dining room service, which overall was good: waiters will happily serve you tea or coffee after dinner, but you may have to flag them down to get a 2nd cup, which I really enjoy at the end of a good meal. RICHARD HURLEY WALNUT CREEK, CA Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
A TRAVEL OF REST AND RELAXATION FORGETTING ABOUT DAY TO DAY ISSUES Meeting great people and exploring alaska. Seeing the ocean and being her guest. All successes brought by this glorious ship. Not focusing in on negatives or ... Read More
A TRAVEL OF REST AND RELAXATION FORGETTING ABOUT DAY TO DAY ISSUES Meeting great people and exploring alaska. Seeing the ocean and being her guest. All successes brought by this glorious ship. Not focusing in on negatives or gotchas that can happen anywhere to anyone. Buckets of beer: groups of beer drinkers can save by ordering buckets of beer. You get four or five beers in a souvenir bucket at a per-beer cost slightly cheaper than ordering individual bottles. Despite the staterooms' slightly aged appearance, princess has kept up with necessary improvements, including the addition of flat-screen tvs and the line's signature luxury beds, which are (not) insanely comfortable and will have you sleeping like a baby gorrilla. Best Tour: https://www.myalaskatours.com Tour itinerary varies depending on the location of your ship! Each tour will include at least 3 stops in some of these famous establishments: The world famous arctic bar, home of the happy bears! The creek street cabaret, home of ketchikans amazing music scene. Bawden street brewing, utilizing local flavors to bring you amazing beers. Sourdough bar, featuring dozens of historic ketchikan photos on display. Fat stans lounge, built on the site of the old spruce mill. Thank you! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was our 18th Alaska cruise. We have done several with Princess and also with four other cruise lines. We have done four Princess cruise to Alaska from San Francisco. EMBARKATION Our travel agency provided transportation from ... Read More
This was our 18th Alaska cruise. We have done several with Princess and also with four other cruise lines. We have done four Princess cruise to Alaska from San Francisco. EMBARKATION Our travel agency provided transportation from Roseville, California and we had a comfortable ride directly to the ship. We arrived about 1:00 PM and were on board within a few minutes. The check in process was very efficient and there was no need to wait to board. Our cabin was ready and we went directly there to drop our bags and then proceeded to the lido deck for lunch. CABIN We had an outside cabin E 712 on deck 8 (Emerald Deck) with a partially obstructed view. On two occasions we had painters working right outside our window. We liked the layout of the cabin with the head of the bed against the side wall. This is much better than having the bed against the window which necessitates your climbing onto the bed to look out the window. The cabin had a vanity for my wife’s use with three drawers. Two night stands each had two drawers, a shelf and reading lamps. The closet was probably the smallest we have had on any of our cruises; perhaps three feet wide. There was a narrow closet with shelves for storage of folded clothing. It had an abbreviated safe that was just large enough to hold our valuables. The bath was adequate with the typical small shower with a curtain. Three shelves for storage were on the right side of the sink. A TV that was probably about 45 inches was hanging on the wall opposite the bed. FOOD We ate most of our meals in the main dining room, but also had some in the lido restaurant. The food in the main restaurant was fair to good. At most lunches and dinners, I had fish and those meals were usually pretty good. The Salmon was especially good. It is available every night and is worth having several times if you like fish. One night I had a rib steak and it was poor quality. The lamb was good. On one formal night, they served lobster and it was very poor quality. It should not have been served. The waiters were always pleasant and excellent. On a couple of nights the service was slow due to problems in the kitchen. The food in the lido restaurant was usually tasteless, which is normal. The quality is also not a good as in the main restaurant. There was a good selection and several types of themes were followed. We noticed Mexican and Asian and one night they had Bavarian food. The first day we had hamburgers with fries at the grill near the pool and they were very good. I also had a slice of pizza one afternoon and it was fair. We have had poor luck at the specialty restaurants in the past so avoided them on this trip. ENTERTAINMENT We don’t care for the productions shows put on by Princess, so we usually avoid them. We did see one on this trip and it was just so-so. Other passengers seemed to like several of the production shows. There was a good comedian. A female singer was so-so. A comedy/magic act did not go over very well. Princess is not known for their entertainment and it showed on this cruise. We were on the Royal Princess in April of this year and the entertainment was much better. One night there was a singing talent show put on by 6 passengers. That was quite good. DISEMBARKATION On the last morning of the cruise, we went to the Vista lounge, which is the area where Elite passengers wait to leave the ship. The Captain’s Club representative was there to assist in the disembarkation process and did a very efficient job of announcing the departure time for the various groups. We left the ship a little ahead of schedule and were on the bus and on our way home within minutes. INTERNET The internet service on the Grand Princess was the worst we have experienced on any of our 50+ cruises. Being Elite members of the Captain’s Club, we were provided with 250 minutes of online time. I tried to get online every day and was only able to do it three times. The first day was fine, but after that the problems were constant. I used up all my time waiting for email to be downloaded and most of it never got to that point. I finally went to the computer room and asked for some of my time back. He gave me another 200 minutes, but it did no good. I still spent most of it waiting for a download that never happened. We were on the Royal Princess in April of this year and the Internet was fantastic during the entire trip. Something is radically wrong with the system on the Grand Princess. I don’t understand why they don’t fix it. SUMMARY It was an enjoyable cruise. The sea was slightly rough on the way north and the weather was cold, foggy and overcast most of the time in Alaska. It was not one of our best Alaska cruises for weather. However, we did not have rain in any of the ports. On the way back, the sea got a little choppy again, but it was not noticeable on board. As we approached the north end of Vancouver Island going north, the captain came on the PA system and announced that a helicopter was coming out to pick up a passenger that needed to be transported to a hospital. About 3 hours later, the helicopter showed up and picked up the passenger. It was necessary to change course to meet the helicopter. Later that day, the captain announced that we would not have enough time to stop in Juneau and would go to Tracy Arm instead. The cost of all cancelled tours was refunded to those passengers with tour reservations. Everyone on board seemed happy that the ill passenger was being cared for properly even though we lost a port day. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This his the 3rd time we've done this cruise from San Francisco. The first went to Glacier Bay and last year we went to Tracy Arm. The reason we went to both this year was due to a Medical emergency that required a helicopter ... Read More
This his the 3rd time we've done this cruise from San Francisco. The first went to Glacier Bay and last year we went to Tracy Arm. The reason we went to both this year was due to a Medical emergency that required a helicopter evacuation from the ship.Captain Smith told us we'd be missing Juneau and that a naturalist would be coming on for our trip in the arm, Saw the boat pull along side, but never heard a thing durning the cruising on the arm. One rough night, the second night at sea, but we love the bumpy ride.We got thumped one time real good and I sat up and said "earthquake". I got a quick pat on the head and told to go back to sleep. We always chose a room as far aft that we can get. This time we had C743, the last balcony room on the Caribe deck. Balcony is little bigger than most as it has a cutout in the ship structure. The new lamps with the USB port one them are fantastic. The other positive about the Grand rooms are the availability of a plug on the bed side of the room, I'm a CPAP user. Room temperature was easily controlled. Still have the shower curtain stuck to my rear, but that's a Princess shower. Is the ship little rough at place, of course, is she still a beautiful ship, of course. Did n't see any water buckets in the hallways till the last few days. Rust on the balcony, constant upkeep work going on, but it's a ship. We did anytime dining and always got a table of 2 when we arrived, no waiting. Typical Princess menu. Was looking forward to the Crab dinner, out of Juneau, but that one disappointed me. Crab was dry. Bring back the breadsticks. Service was excellent and prompt in the dining room. Reservations for Sabatinis and Crown Grill both filled up quickly. Buffet was standard Princess, with no surprises. I do like the asian dishes that are on the buffet everyday, Liked the addition of the Ernesto Burger at the new Salty Dog grill. Pizza was better than last year. International Cafe is always the am starter. Bar service was excellent as always. Had the premium beverage package, and being only a beer drinker, and was very happy with the expanded beer menu. Package was well used. Didn't do Spa activities. Didn't take any ship sponsored excursions this time.. We have previously gone to the dog mushing camp in Skagway and helicoptered to the Glacier for dog sledding in Ketchikan. We've also done the Misty Fiords sea plan trip, and too many tea services in Victoria. Weather in the 3 ports was great, with the coldest being Victoria. Really foggy approach into Glacier Bay, then it opened up and was beautiful. Saw the first comedian, and he was "entertaining", but not overly funny. Same old jokes on the ship. Did 't go to any of the lectures as we've been to them before. Puppies in the Piazza are always a big hit. Saw a few game shows and trivia, but spent most of my time outside enjoying the sea and the scenery. Already miss the different carpet colors in the hallways, and now the placement of the LED boards in the hallways are another thing. Not all are installed and where are installed,not all are aligned properly. The old brass plaques that helped ship orientation were missed. My wife is direction challenged. Biggest complaint would be our bed was horrible. Several years ago when the "new" beds came onboard, my wife wanted one, this time she couldn't wait to get back to her old bed. Ship didn't feel over crowded for a full boat. Lack of mailbox, does actually mean less garbage in the slot. Save paper. Overall, another great cruise. As Princess regulars, no surprise for us. Embarkation was quick and easy. Got to the ship around 11:30 and went right on, no lines. Disembarkation went very smoothly. I love Princesses San Francisco cruise terminal. Aloha Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Alaska was great! Glacier Bay Alaska was amazing to see and watch the ice fall. We unfortunately were not able to go to Juneau Alaska as planned. There was a medical emergency on the ship and we had to change the course so that the ... Read More
Alaska was great! Glacier Bay Alaska was amazing to see and watch the ice fall. We unfortunately were not able to go to Juneau Alaska as planned. There was a medical emergency on the ship and we had to change the course so that the Canadian Coast Guard could helicopter out and pick up the sick person. The captain and authorities in charge of our cruise decided and worked it out so that we could go to Tracy Arms Fjord instead. It was absolutely stunning and beautiful! We saw small icebergs floating in the water. We saw seals riding the icebergs as the ship went by them :-) It did not take the place of Juneau Alaska but was definitely worth seeing. Make sure you do the train in Skagway. Preferably in the afternoon as it was very cloudy in the morning when we went and did not see the full mountain views that supposedly is so beautiful. The views we had were really good but did not experience the full beauty due to the clouds. The zip lining was great in Skagway also. We saw the lumberjack show in Ketchikan and we really enjoyed that. We also did a jeep and canoe excursion in Ketchikan. The jeep ride was fun though may be a little short. The canoe ride was not what we expected as there were 30 people in one canoe and we were hoping for something more personal. The guides were great. They also offered a snack and nature hike during this excursion which we enjoyed. The Butchart Gardens were beautiful! It would have been nice to have more than 1.5 hours there so we hope we can go back someday. We only had 30 minutes in the butterfly gardens and again would have enjoyed more time there. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
Chose this cruise due to departure port leaving for Alaska. I have travelled with Tui, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Cunard before, totalling about 20 cruises. This was my first with Princess so can only compare them to my past ... Read More
Chose this cruise due to departure port leaving for Alaska. I have travelled with Tui, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and Cunard before, totalling about 20 cruises. This was my first with Princess so can only compare them to my past experience. Decor in Ship was very nice, entertainment activities were plentiful and bar staff was very attentive to the heavy drinker. This was the good part. Dining service poor. Had to leave dinner 3 times due to very slow service. Over one hour before main course served. Waiters did not like to be asked to leave their routine. I watched one lady being spoken to very rudely by waiting staff when she asked for water for the third time over a 15 min period. I was spoken to very abruptly by head waiter as I asked for a table change on 1st night due to us being adjacent to a busy and dirty service area. The tables have a strange configuration in regards to positioning. Morale seemed very low from staff in general, from Captain down. I compare this to y other experiences. Cruise Director was also very miserable, entertainment staff were observed celebrating in front of passengersthat they were ending contact next week. On one evening, the cruise Director was even booed on stage at end of show. Ship internet is the slowest I have experienced. It also kept cutting out. For an example, I tried to make a purchase on Amazon, while sitting in the Explorers Lounge, for a birthday I had forgotten. The speed of the internet made this a 25 minute experience. Not worth the extreme price. Shore excursions was a disaster all round. The Ship has problems with organising its tenders which leaves it a gamble if you will arrive at the port on time for your tour. We bought a tour with Princess and it took the 12 hours and a whole day of stress before they refunded us. In our naivety, and due our experiences elsewhere, we thought if you purchase a tour from the ship there are certain guarantees, but not with Princess. Our first day in Alaska was a disaster. The tour was cancelled on the pier due to the late arrival of the ship. There were no Princess cruises reps to be seen and the pier was in chaos. We did not get our tour that we had spent all winter researching and looking forward to. We had to walk back on ship and spend the day trying to find someone who could advise. Guest relations said the could not help as we needed to talk to shore excursions and they were no where to be seen until they open late afternoon. Even then, we were told that we would be refunded and we were not until bedtime. We were questioned as if we were lying, it was only later in the cruise, we found that only those who made an issue about poor service on Princess cruises got a refund. When we emailed to complain, we were contacted with excuses such as it was a busty day in Ketchikan and Princess would offer $50 as a good will gesture off a future cruise. I did explain that the captain made a public apology as he was having difficulty managing the tendering process, but they said that it all they offer when they provide such a poor service. Selection of food limited in dining room and buffet. Waiting staff in buffet very attentive. Cabin very clean and steward very good. Walls are very thin and you can hear conversations of those in next cabin in deck 14. They are also many structural noises as you would find in an older ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We started off cruising on Carnival Cruises 15 years ago. We loved Carnival, but they didn't offer cruises near our house in the San Francisco bay area. We decided to switch over to Princess for the convenience. our last 6 cruises ... Read More
We started off cruising on Carnival Cruises 15 years ago. We loved Carnival, but they didn't offer cruises near our house in the San Francisco bay area. We decided to switch over to Princess for the convenience. our last 6 cruises have been when Princess. 5 on the Grand. Each cruise on the Grand has gotten a little lower quality. This last cruise on the Grand will probably be the last. When we arrived to start the cruise we had priority boarding. We made it to the counter and discovered they had given out my wife's room card. We then had to wait until they figured out who they gave it to. we finally made it on board. we were in cabin L 235. as we opened the door we saw that the carpets were stained and the room smelled like a soured mop. There was long black hair in the bed, night stands and shower. one of the two bath towels had what looked like lip stick stains on it. the sliding door to the balcony would not shut all the way or latch. the lock on the connecting door next to us was also broken and kept opening. I had planned this cruise fro my wife's birthday. I ordered a celebration package. when I arrived at the room the only thing there was, was a couple of balloons on the door with a happy birthday sign. I received a call a short time later from the hotel staff telling me that they did not have the birthday package I ordered. That night we went to the steak house for my wife's birthday. it was the best part of the cruise. I give the steak house a 5 star rating. make reservations early. Between San Francisco and Ketchikan my sister who was next door developed a lung infection. she was treated by the medical staff. the medical staff appeared to be knowledgeable, but by the time we reached Haines my sister had to be removed from the ship and was flown Anchorage for advanced treatment. The cause of the lung infection was unknown and my sister died. FYI we had trip insurance I gave the policy to ship staff, but we were forced to pay the ship $ 4,000.00 for my sister and her daughter to leave the ship. Carry a credit card or plenty of cash. lets get back to the cruise. we were only in Ketchikan for 5 hours. we were tendered to shore. We pick up a debarkation number 1 hour before debarkation started. we sat in the waiting room for over 2 hours. We had an excursion. I went to the crew member passing out tickets and explained to her what was going on. Her response was I can't help you. if you don't make your excursion go to the excursion desk and ask for a refund. She completed her sentence with I hate this job. I found an officer who was able to find the people with my excursion a tender. We were on in port for a few hours. when we tried to go back to the ship there was a long line. I stopped counting the line at 400 waiting. it appears that the grand could not send tenders while the other cruise ships in port finished loading and leaving. The departing ship had to be out of the bay before the next ship could leave. We stood in the tender line for 2.5 hours. Lets move on and talk about the food. The dining room at best had a very limited selection. The buffet also had a very limited selection and was not good. it appeared there must have been a new cook or was just learning. We spent most nights eating hamburgers or hot dogs. Last, my family had all paid for the VIP drink package. the first couple of nights when I had extra tip money service was good. although the tip was included in the VIP package. by day three i was out of small bill for a tip. We then became invisible. at one point I stood at the bar while I was ignored. I finally asked the bar tender if I was invisible. At the time of this cruise I had already book a cruise for next year to Hawaii on the Grand. when I returned I cancelled the Hawaii cruise and i'm now working with my travel agent to find a new cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
First time on Princess. It was ok but less than we expected. They do an ok job and the food was almost ok. Not sure if this was unique to our cruise or if this is the norm for Princess. Service however, was excellent and made the ... Read More
First time on Princess. It was ok but less than we expected. They do an ok job and the food was almost ok. Not sure if this was unique to our cruise or if this is the norm for Princess. Service however, was excellent and made the trip nice. Our main dinning wait staff was the best we have every had. Gee and King should be commended. Made it to the Sawyer glacier in Tracy Fjord. That was the highlight of the trip for sure. We are told getting that far is rare. What a beautiful sight it was. Purchasing ship photos was like shopping in a store run by teenagers waiting to get off work. They were lost and over their heads trying to answers questions they clearly hadn’t expected. We think that Princess was testing a new procedure. . . It didn’t work. We will return to Holland Amercia for our next cruise. I guess there is a cruise line for everyone and this one wasn’t our favorite. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We have never planned a vacation a year out. This one was special and we looked forward to celebrating our 15th Anniversary. I chose a mini-suite and two months prior to the cruise was offered the opportunity to upgrade to a suite. And ... Read More
We have never planned a vacation a year out. This one was special and we looked forward to celebrating our 15th Anniversary. I chose a mini-suite and two months prior to the cruise was offered the opportunity to upgrade to a suite. And I'm so glad we got the suite. A suite offers A LOT more space and some VIP perks including Club Class dining and access to a special lounge (the One-5). We slept with the sliding doors (two of them) open and listened to the wake being churned behind the ship. We awakened to the light of the day. It was awesome. Pretty much everything was GREAT about this experience. We needed this 10-day time to disconnect. We didn't use internet (and the crew joked about the expense of it, so why bother anyway). The two bad experiences - 1) There was a problem with the plumbing and a few times we found "sludge" that had backed up into our toilet. Yep, it was a little gross, but it nothing overflowed and everything was easily flushed. 2) The relaxing massage at the Lotus Spa was completely undone by them when they sat us in hard metal chairs and gave us a hard sell on products and services. This broke our trust as we felt robbed of the experience of relaxation and we didn't schedule with them again. The good experiences: The Suite was awesome and worth the price of the upgrade. It was wonderful and made us feel special being recognized by the second day of dining. Their ability to remember food and beverage preferences is uncanny. The bed is really, really comfortable. The food is tasty (it's not always warm and any style potato needs more salt, but it's otherwise tasty!) The entertainment was fun - there's enough variety that there's something for everyone. Allow yourself to enjoy cheesy fun and you'll have more fun. Ketchikan was a disappointment. It's just a tourist-trap of a cluster of shops. Get out beyond that and it's nicer. Our seaplane excursion was cancelled due to weather. We had a GREAT crab-feed, though. And as a not-quite-as-good substitute, we saw the lumberjack show - that was cheesy fun. Haines was beautiful and quiet. Juneau was interesting - we did the cultural center excursion and learned a lot. There isn't much to see, but what you do see is fantastic. Walk up from the main street of shops and you'll enjoy a little different culture than the tourist "stuff" you can get anywhere. Victoria was a short stop, too short. But Butchart Gardens was beautiful (and will be for months to come). We enjoyed this so much, we booked our next one. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I wanted to try Princess out of SF and since I had never been to Alaska this cruise filled two bucket list check boxes! I was a little concerned about the age of the Grand but she is in fine shape. She has some age related issues but ... Read More
I wanted to try Princess out of SF and since I had never been to Alaska this cruise filled two bucket list check boxes! I was a little concerned about the age of the Grand but she is in fine shape. She has some age related issues but nothing that affected our enjoyment.I have been on other ships that had more visible wear and tear. We got to the port just before noon and dropped our bags w/ a porter. We made a little mistake when getting our parking reserved. We did not realize the garage we selected was all the way down by Pier 39. It was such a nice day we made the best of the hike back to the ship after parking. Only ran into one crazy aggressive homeless guy on the way back. When we got back to the ship we were able to go strait on and our bags were already at our mini suite. This was a huge surprise! I have never had my bags at my stateroom so fast. We got a little snack and I got my first cocktail while we waited for muster. Muster was super smooth.. for us. Of course some missed it and had to do a late muster. After muster we were under way! We were headed toward the Golden Gate and it seemed like everyone was on deck filming and taking pictures. It was such a beautiful day. Right as we got to the bridge the ship blasted its horn, and my camera battery died! Talk about timing. The gopro I was using was brand new and I had not figured out how to work it.. I did not know how to turn it off. We were in club class but we did not know where to go. Our sale cards indicated Anytime and we were instructed to wait at Michelangeloes. The wait was about 40 min which I thought was weird because I was sold on Club Class being such great service. Turns out we went to the wrong place. After dinner we were wondering around and I found the "Club Class" dining entrance. When we found the Club Class dining we were invited for breakfast. So the next morning we stopped in. More on that later. I'm an early riser. I am normally up between 4 and 5 AM so I also hit the sac early. When we hit the sac for the night I was surprised how comfortable the bedding was. Dang, my 2000 dollar mattress is a dog bed compared to this bed! The comforter was way too warm for me and I was never able to get the thermostats to really control my room. I'm an HVAC control technician so this kinda bugged me. I was either too warm or too cold. The couch needs to be replaced as the seats sink and your legs end up on the wooden frame. Our room steward was FANTASTIC. Leonardo was like a room cleaning ninja! I would put the card in the lock for service my room and BAM when I got back he was done. The little mini suite was just the right size to have my daughter and her friend over for a late snack and a chat. The view from the 9th floor room was wonderful We seen whales breach right out of the cabin window! When we finally got to the Club Class dining room we were met by a very nice lady Renatta who addressed us by name every day. Giovani would make sure we got a great seat w/ no waiting. I have never had a head waiter cook for me. Giovani was a fantastic cook and host. His entire team went over and above to make sure we were happy. One night I ordered a Lagunitas IPA as I had seen it on a menu when I boarded. He came back with Lil Sumpin Sumpin. This is the same brewery but the wrong beer. When I told him it was wrong I thought he was going to die. It was very hard to get the poor guy to stop trying to bring me something else. If you can try Club Class dining. There were a lot of kids on board and I don't sit in kid soup.We never got a chance to sit in any of the hot tubs. We had so much fun in port. Alaska was AMAZING! I have video of 100+ foot tall sheets of ice calving from the Tracy Arm. The whisky in Haines was great and should be tried. The wildlife refuge in Haines is not to be missed! I am still blown away at the level of knowledge and commitment to the animals the rescue. The staff is informative and entertaining beyond imagination. They were so good, when I'm done here I am going to do my first trip advisor review. Ketchikan was a lot of fun. We visited another wildlife refuge and got a lesson in local ecology in the most beautiful place on earth. While we were there we were visited by a wild black bear, eagles and salmon. As we were leaving I met a local blacksmith that makes knives onsite from recycled ball bearing from mining equipment! He makes fantastic tools at a price so good I had to have one. This was a fantastic trip. I met super nice people from Cruise Critic and all over the world. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise for our 20th wedding anniversary. The ship was a little difficult to navigate but only took a day or two to figure it out. We booked our cruise through a private agency and chose it primarily on the embarkation port ... Read More
We chose this cruise for our 20th wedding anniversary. The ship was a little difficult to navigate but only took a day or two to figure it out. We booked our cruise through a private agency and chose it primarily on the embarkation port as we did not want to fly. On our cruise we enjoyed the nightly shows, not great but entertaining, and spent time in the Crooners Bar. Ecko is funny and amazing, remembering our names and super friendly. We encountered a slight problem with the laundry facilities but the staff quickly fixed the problem and we were compensated appropriately. Our stateroom was neat and clean and the service was great! By far the highlight of the trip was Sharon and Nilo in the Botticelli Dining. I can’t say enough about them individually and together! The personal touch, the care when I got sea sick and the overall friendliness was way above our expectations! Please tell them we said hello! A few tidbits...the international coffee house is not the best for custom drinks but their pastries are fabulous. Don’t waste your time on the shipboard pizza...go to Anthony’s Pizza onboard, have a seat and enjoy a little piece of Italy! The steakhouse exceeded our expectations as well. The jewelry store onboard is a joke, unless you have $35,000 to spare on a ring. Lastly, take your uggs, you will live in them....amazing anniversary trip! Thanks Princess!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We had never been to Alaska and heard many wonderful things about Alaska. It all was true. Absolutely beautiful! We did not do an excursion in San Francisco since we had been there on a previous cruise. We arrived at the cruise dock ... Read More
We had never been to Alaska and heard many wonderful things about Alaska. It all was true. Absolutely beautiful! We did not do an excursion in San Francisco since we had been there on a previous cruise. We arrived at the cruise dock via Princess Shuttle service, all went well, Princess representatives met us at the Airport and provided luggage Smart Carts. Embarkation was efficient and timely. The ships new carpeting looks very nice . We did the opportunity to upgrade to a Club Class Mini Suite, which included Club Class Dining. It was delicious. The head waiter made omelettes every morning for breakfast. At lunch and dinner he made a different pasta dish. On some evenings there was a extra dinner made (we had lobster thermidor). He also made cherries jubilee and bananas foster. You could at any time order from the menu. Service was immediate and excellent. We attended a few shows. The comedian guitarist was enjoyable. We have seen a lot of the production shows, so did not attend many of them. Ports and Excursions Ketchikan - We were in port from 8am till 5pm. Nice clean port. we did the Duck Tour and the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. The Duck Tour was the better of the two. Had lunch and plenty of time to walk about town. Haines - We were in port from 1pm till 10pm. This is far to much time to be a port that does not have much to do. There is complimentary shuttle service that dropped us off at the Raptor Center, but did not return to pick us up. We asked the driver back at port why he did not stop to get us, he indicated there were too many passengers at the port and he could only go from the port to the visitor center and did not have time to make the other 4-5 stops. The Grand was the only ship docked in Haines that day. From the port we walked to a very nice distillery that served drinks in a very casual deck setting. That was the highlight of Haines. Juneau - We were in port from 8:30am till 10pm. We did whale watching (saw about 8 whales) in the morning and the helicopter glacier walk about in the afternoon. The glacier experience is an amazing experience. Definitely worth the money. Victoria, BC - We were in port from 7am till 2pm. In Victoria we prearranged a pick up with Victoria Pedicabs. We were picked up a the cruise port and could be dropped off in town if you wanted to. Alan was a fabulous guide he was very knowledgeable about his town. Would highly recommend Alan with Victoria Pedicabs. Disembarkment was very easy and did not take much time at all. We went through Customs quickly. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
The Alaska Itinerary and departing from San Francisco was important for the size of our group of 30. The condition of the ship has been maintained but is definitely less luxurious and less comfortable than other Princess ships as well ... Read More
The Alaska Itinerary and departing from San Francisco was important for the size of our group of 30. The condition of the ship has been maintained but is definitely less luxurious and less comfortable than other Princess ships as well as other cruise lines. Some expenditures such as the internet service is a complete waste of money. The efforts of the crew and staff are some of the best and most professional I’ve experienced. The food was average but I would never want to try and prepare a menu for the masses. One of the two specialty restaurants was unremarkable whereas the other was fantastic. Of the four ports of call. The time in Juneau and Skagway are adequate Sitka and Victoria are grossly insufficient Everyone in our group as well as many we interacted with on the ship were disappointed with the lack of time in both Sitka and especially Victoria Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Princess should be ashamed of the long waits at embarkation, the buffet, the Pub Lunch (couldn't make it in), and photo services (an hour and a half)! Amazing cruise director, main dining room, and room steward staff plus itinerary ... Read More
Princess should be ashamed of the long waits at embarkation, the buffet, the Pub Lunch (couldn't make it in), and photo services (an hour and a half)! Amazing cruise director, main dining room, and room steward staff plus itinerary compensate, but there is no excuse for that. Also, I paid more for the ability to stream over the internet, except the internet was so slow that I couldn't stream anything! Shame! And we way overpaid for the excursions, most of which were expensive bus rides when taxis would have been cheaper. The hours for the children's club were very limited. Seriously? What good is that? Trivia games and game shows were so much fun. I wish that I could say more about the production shows. Unfortunately I cannot because my hour and a half in line at photo services prevented me from seeing "Born to Dance" which Princess told me was must-see. Wish I did. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our 54th cruise, various lines, and I was sceptical about the Grand Princess after reading some of the reviews. However, we were pleasantly surprised and pleased overall with food, service and friendly atmosphere. The ship is ... Read More
This was our 54th cruise, various lines, and I was sceptical about the Grand Princess after reading some of the reviews. However, we were pleasantly surprised and pleased overall with food, service and friendly atmosphere. The ship is a little tired but maintenance and cleanliness is ongoing. Excursions were excellent and tour guides well versed in history and culture. In Juneau we especially loved the Salmon bake and visiting Mendenhall Glacier. The time in Sitka was enjoyable as we had never been ther on our past 4 Alaskan cruises...usually Ketchikan is on the itinerary, not Sitka. The cultural center is a short 20 minute walk and the scenery along the harbor is stunning. When in Victoria, our time in Beuchart Gardens was short, but well worth the trip. Our 3rd time to the Gardens and it never gets old. Absolutely gorgeous display of every flower imaginable. Will not hesitate to sail the Grand again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Our cruise was incredible! Embarkment: We departed from San Francisco - PERFECT! It was easy and smooth Ship and Cabin: The ship was incredible, our cabin was perfect, we had a balcony and will never have anything different. ... Read More
Our cruise was incredible! Embarkment: We departed from San Francisco - PERFECT! It was easy and smooth Ship and Cabin: The ship was incredible, our cabin was perfect, we had a balcony and will never have anything different. Dining: We did traditional dining and it was GREAT. The service was spot on. Entertainment and Activities: We went to the comedian/impressionist show 2 nights and he was great. We had our 22 yr old daughter and 17 yr old son with us and they said it was the best vacation they could ever have. Our son went to the teen club and made lots of friends and had a good time doing karaoke in the evenings and just spending time with other kids his age. Service: It was impeccable everywhere we went on the ship we were treated great. Ports and Shore Excursions: We did an excursion at every port and the only one that was unorganized was the one in Victoria, which caused us to not have very much time at Butchart Gardens. We did not have internet or phone while at sea and it didn't bother any of us. We have already started thinking about our next cruise and will only go with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I was looking for a cruise out of San Francisco and Princess fit the bill. The cruise terminal is easy to reach and Princess was well organized to board 3,000 passengers. My advice to cruisers is to exit your vehicle (taxi, Uber or ... Read More
I was looking for a cruise out of San Francisco and Princess fit the bill. The cruise terminal is easy to reach and Princess was well organized to board 3,000 passengers. My advice to cruisers is to exit your vehicle (taxi, Uber or personal transportation) at the curb before turning in and wheel your luggage to the ship's porters the last one hundred yards. The cab ride from the hotel to the cruise port took 10 minutes--the ride from the cruise port's turn-in to the ship took another 20 minutes because it takes time to off-load luggage and once you are in the queue you're stuck. Disembarkation was also well organized. I purchased the airport transfer service and got there in record time. The ship was very nice with subdued decor (my previous cruises were on Carnival--enough said.) I stayed in a balcony cabin, towards the front of the ship. The elevators were slow and sometimes very crowded with scooters, wheelchairs, and a generally older crowd that can't negotiate the stairs too well, but most people took it in stride. The excursions I took were interesting but too short for the money. A naturalist gave talks about Alaska's wildlife, botany, etc. and that helped make the whole experience more interesting. The food was good (lots of fresh fish) and varied although sometimes a bit bland. Service was friendly and efficient. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Our cruise was amazing. It was the perfect time to go as we still got to see snow and the mountains and all the waterfalls created by the snow melting. The entertainment onboard was almost too much to choose from. The comedians and shows ... Read More
Our cruise was amazing. It was the perfect time to go as we still got to see snow and the mountains and all the waterfalls created by the snow melting. The entertainment onboard was almost too much to choose from. The comedians and shows were really good. Food was fantastic in the restaurant and in the buffet, so much to choose from again. Lots of options with the Cafe, pizzeria, burgers and ice cream all included. The Weather was good and not too cold outside even on the balcony we had. The shore tours were definitely worth it especially in Juneau. We did the most expensive tour with 2 helicopter rides over the glacier and landed on it and a airboat ride around the bottom of the glacier. Magnificent views.It was breathtaking. Photos just do not portray what we got to see. The bar service was amazing also. If you enjoy a couple of drinks I would highly recommend the Beverage Package. If you like a bit of fun and need some family photos would also recommend the Photo Package. We ended up with over 150 photo's and they look fantastic. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
This is our sixth cruise on the Grand, and our most disappointing. When we last cruised on this ship, we knew it was going into dry dock, and asked what was going to be refurbished. We realized that most of the crew would not really ... Read More
This is our sixth cruise on the Grand, and our most disappointing. When we last cruised on this ship, we knew it was going into dry dock, and asked what was going to be refurbished. We realized that most of the crew would not really know what the plans were, only corporate big wigs had that info, but scuttlebutt usually gets some good insight. We were told that the staterooms were to be updated, bars and lounges refreshed, dining rooms altered, and new electronics added. Well it was about half right. Two of the lounges were updated, the theater got newly upholstered seats, the staterooms got new tv's, the pools were remodeled, and the ship got new bottom paint and new propellers. The new electronics consisted of prewiring for the new Medalion service coming sometime next year. They should have spent more money on the staterooms, because they are very rundown. The carpet in our room was badly soiled, the sofa bed had some very gross stains, the fixtures were very dusty, and the whole room should have been redone, or at least steam cleaned. While this was a big disappointment, the cruise itself was great. All the destinations were wonderful, the dining experience was first class, and the specialty dining at Sabatini,s was beyond our expectations. We had heard that Sabatini's had redone their menu, and while we had a very bad experience there on a prior cruise, we were willing to try it. We went without reservations, and the receptionist said they were full. He then looked at his reservation book, and relented and fit us in on a small table. The menu actually had Italian food that I recognized, unlike on earlier menus. We had one of the best meals we have ever had in an Italian restaurant. Another disappointment on this cruise was the entertainment. We did enjoy one of the musical groups, The Rhapsody String Trio, but all the other lounge groups were very poor. The Princess Theater entertainers, two comedians and one singer, were sub par, but the Princess singers and dancers were exceptional. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
The Grand Princess went round trip from San Francisco, our local area. We did not want to fly and stay overnight for a cruise to Alaska, and this was convenient. This is an older lady with a newly painted face. The Grand was rehabbed in ... Read More
The Grand Princess went round trip from San Francisco, our local area. We did not want to fly and stay overnight for a cruise to Alaska, and this was convenient. This is an older lady with a newly painted face. The Grand was rehabbed in dry dock in March and all carpets and tile look new. I would call her the Grand Old Lady because while many elements were retrofitted inside, she still shuddered with the propellers feeling out of sync with each other, there was rust peaking out many areas, the dining rooms were very bland feeling. But mostly, for a sightseeing cruise to Alaska, THEY NEVER WASHED THE PUBLIC WINDOWS!! THEY WERE FILTHY!! I was astonished as this is such an easy thing to rectify. Were were forced out onto the windy deck to take photos of the wonderful Alaska mountains and seascapes and it was COLD and WINDY out there. This is unbelievable how terrible an impression it made. It marred an otherwise inside well-maintained old lady of the ships, and she could have been stately, if somewhat dated, but they neglected such an obvious and easy thing to fix. I think Princess has had their day and is on their way out. I will not sail with them again. Read Less
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