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  #1  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 01:41 PM
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Default Live from the grand - may 22

Embarkation

Let me start by saying I am ashamed to be British today! Compared to embarkation on our previous cruise (from Vancouver) the embarkation process was a shambles; but that won't spoil our cruise in any way.

We received both an email and phone call from Princess informing us that embarkation was delayed until 2pm for disinfection due to Norovirus on the previous sailing. We had valet car parking booked so we decided to arrive just after 1pm. We were directed to a holding area and told that even though embarkation would commence from 2pm, we would not be going anywhere until 2.45 at the earliest. Fortuntely, I drove away from the cruise terminal and was told that if we returned at 2.30 we could proceed directly to the ship.

Upon returning I was directed back to the holding car park - I flatly refused and drove in the opposite direction to join the queue for the ship. Fortunately we were out of the car within 15 minutes. There must have been 1,000 people in the queue to embark - fortunately having access to the priority line meant we had just 6 people in front of us.

After clearing security, we were given a number and told to wait as priority boarding was only for platinum/elite and we had a gold card. I pointed out we were in a full suite and could we board - the lady on the door said she had no idea and to ask her colleague; fortunately we were waived through on proceeded directly to the pursers desk to sign up for the Ultimate Ship Tour (we are first on the list - hope they get another 10 people!).

We stopped to get an Ultimate Soda Card for my wife who will drink mocktails this week, and a soda card for me as I will be on Whiskey & Brandy mostly! We finally arrived in our suite (D737) where our bags were already waiting for us. We were met by our steward, Noel, who has so far been superb.


Our Cabin - D737

I have promised a couple of people on here photos of the suite. They can be viewed here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/freddie1974/

The cabin is in excellent condition - the balcony perhaps a little worn (the rails could do with a lick of varnish) but really nothing to complain about.


The Ship

There have been lots of posts recently about the condition of the Grand. We have had a good look around so far and found perhaps a few areas where carpet is a little worn etc. but really, you would have to be looking for things to complain about... get a life and enjoy your cruise!!

In a word, the Grand is still, Grand.

Off to join my wife sunbathing on our balcony now as we are basked in glorious sunshine as we sail along the Solent. (wireless connection excellent in the cabin but patchy on the balcony - speed is excellent although may be due to location at the moment).

I shall try to update this thread a few times over the course of the week.
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  #2  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 01:54 PM
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Have a fantastic cruise...

Lew
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  #3  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 02:21 PM
Latteluver Latteluver is offline
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Have a wonderful cruise!
We are on the Grand in July so I am looking forward to your reports!
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  #4  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Latteluver View Post
Have a wonderful cruise!
We are on the Grand in July so I am looking forward to your reports!
have you joined teh roll call?
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  #5  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 04:06 PM
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Default Could you give us a Lobster Report?

I know I am obsessing over this but it has been bad the last 2 Princess Cruises to the point where I probably will not order it on the Grand for My October Cruise. Is it stillt wo tiny, mushy tails with a plate of Shrimp?

Thanks!

Mike in San Bruno hoping for USC Sanctions so Cal can go to the Rosebowl! :>)
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  #6  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 04:07 PM
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Keep the reports coming please Freddie! Can't wait til we sail a fortnight today
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  #7  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 04:12 PM
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Thanks for checking in.
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PRE CRUISE WITH FAMILY IN MILAN!
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  #8  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 05:17 PM
morgansroad morgansroad is offline
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Freddie - glad to hear you are having a lovely time.....

we are on the grand next week with my husbands elderly parents. just a little concerned about the recent outbreaks of the Norovirus....

what's the word on the decks?

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  #9  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 05:17 PM
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freddie1974 freddie1974 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oskidunker View Post
I know I am obsessing over this but it has been bad the last 2 Princess Cruises to the point where I probably will not order it on the Grand for My October Cruise. Is it stillt wo tiny, mushy tails with a plate of Shrimp?

Thanks!

Mike in San Bruno hoping for USC Sanctions so Cal can go to the Rosebowl! :>)
Sorry no, I don't eat lobster and my wife is allergic. I'm sure they would give you more if you asked for it though.
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  #10  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by morgansroad View Post
Freddie - glad to hear you are having a lovely time.....

we are on the grand next week with my husbands elderly parents. just a little concerned about the recent outbreaks of the Norovirus....

what's the word on the decks?

A little early to tell - they are still code red so no salt & pepper pots, enforced hand washing in every dining room (I think this should be a permanent policy) and no self service in HC. I will post updates as we receive them.
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  #11  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 05:22 PM
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The Maitre D' was great tonight - we requested a table for 2 which we didn't get in 2nd seating in Trad so he had a waitress personally escort us to Michaelangelo dining room where they were expecting us; we had a lovely secluded table for 2 so we are keeping it for the duration although he did offer to set us up a table in the Botticelli dining room from tomorrow.

Dinner was excellent - skipped dessert or they'll have to roll us off the ship next weekend!
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  #12  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 05:33 PM
Megsdad Megsdad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie1974 View Post
Embarkation

Let me start by saying I am ashamed to be British today! Compared to embarkation on our previous cruise (from Vancouver) the embarkation process was a shambles; but that won't spoil our cruise in any way.

We received both an email and phone call from Princess informing us that embarkation was delayed until 2pm for disinfection due to Norovirus on the previous sailing. We had valet car parking booked so we decided to arrive just after 1pm. We were directed to a holding area and told that even though embarkation would commence from 2pm, we would not be going anywhere until 2.45 at the earliest. Fortuntely, I drove away from the cruise terminal and was told that if we returned at 2.30 we could proceed directly to the ship.

Upon returning I was directed back to the holding car park - I flatly refused and drove in the opposite direction to join the queue for the ship. Fortunately we were out of the car within 15 minutes. There must have been 1,000 people in the queue to embark - fortunately having access to the priority line meant we had just 6 people in front of us.

After clearing security, we were given a number and told to wait as priority boarding was only for platinum/elite and we had a gold card. I pointed out we were in a full suite and could we board - the lady on the door said she had no idea and to ask her colleague; fortunately we were waived through on proceeded directly to the pursers desk to sign up for the Ultimate Ship Tour (we are first on the list - hope they get another 10 people!).

We stopped to get an Ultimate Soda Card for my wife who will drink mocktails this week, and a soda card for me as I will be on Whiskey & Brandy mostly! We finally arrived in our suite (D737) where our bags were already waiting for us. We were met by our steward, Noel, who has so far been superb.


Our Cabin - D737

I have promised a couple of people on here photos of the suite. They can be viewed here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/freddie1974/

The cabin is in excellent condition - the balcony perhaps a little worn (the rails could do with a lick of varnish) but really nothing to complain about.


The Ship

There have been lots of posts recently about the condition of the Grand. We have had a good look around so far and found perhaps a few areas where carpet is a little worn etc. but really, you would have to be looking for things to complain about... get a life and enjoy your cruise!!

In a word, the Grand is still, Grand.

Off to join my wife sunbathing on our balcony now as we are basked in glorious sunshine as we sail along the Solent. (wireless connection excellent in the cabin but patchy on the balcony - speed is excellent although may be due to location at the moment).

I shall try to update this thread a few times over the course of the week.
never be ashamed to be British
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  #13  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freddie1974 View Post
Embarkation

I shall try to update this thread a few times over the course of the week.
Freddie, are you going to the meet & greet in the skywalkers on the 24th May from 11 to 12? if so say hi to Stu for me!!!
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Forthcoming Cruises:
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Completed Cruises:

August 2013 - Ventura - Western Med
May 2013 - P & O Aurora
2012 P & O Ventura - Bruges.
June 2012 P & O Azura - Western Europe.
Oct 2011 RCCI - Independence of the Seas - Canaries
July 2010 Grand Princess - Scandanavia
Oct 2009 P & O Oceana - Western Med
May 2009 NCL - Norwegian Jade - Guernsey
Oct 2008 RCCI - Independence of the Seas - Canaries
Sept 2008 - P & O Ventura - Bruges.
Oct 2007 - OV1 - Cruise & Stay, Crete to Southampton.
Oct 2006 - OV1 - Southampton to & around Western Med.
May 2005 - OV1 - Western Med.
Oct 97 - Dawn Princess - Carribean
Nov 96 - QE2 - Canaries
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  #14  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 06:59 PM
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Have a great cruise.....

Bob
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Diamond Princess AUS/NZ 01/09 - 12 Days
Emerald Princess Med/Trans Atlantic 10/08 - 18 Days
Celebrity Constellation British Isles/Norway 07/06 - 14 Days
Celebrity Summit Alaska Repo 05/05 -14 Days
Celebrity Summit Panama Canal 10/02 - 14 Days
RCCL Rhapsody OTS Alaska 09/01 - 7 Days
RCCL Splendour OTS Baltic/Northern Europe 09/99 - 12 Days
HAL Veendam Eastern Caribbean 07/96 - 7 Days
Carnival Holiday Western Caribbean 07/93 - 7 Days

187 Days At Sea: 112 Days Princess , 42 Days Celebrity. 19 Days RCCL, 7 Days HAL, 7 Days Carnival.....

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  #15  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 07:55 PM
Happybywater Happybywater is offline
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Default Embarkation problems

We are just back from this cruise. We have embarked many times from Southampton and have never experienced the problems we had with embarkation for this cruise. It was an very unusual experience. So do not judge either Princess or the British embarkation process by this example.

The cruise itself suffered from the problems with the Norovirus and the service was not up to the standard we would normally expect on a healthy ship. We tried to explain to new cruisers who shared our table in Da Vinci that they were not seeing Princess at its best.

I also have to say that Princess does appear to be reducing what it offers and cutting out many small things that made Princess different from other cruise lines.
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  #16  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 08:00 PM
caribill caribill is offline
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Originally Posted by Happybywater View Post
I also have to say that Princess does appear to be reducing what it offers and cutting out many small things that made Princess different from other cruise lines.
This is not limited to Princess. For example, Royal Caribbean has eliminated chocolates on the pillow at night.
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  #17  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 10:56 PM
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This is not limited to Princess. For example, Royal Caribbean has eliminated chocolates on the pillow at night.
That's unconscionable. (I'm actually sorta serious. How the heck much could those little choccies cost? It's not like they're giving you Valhrona or Neuhaus.) Please, Princess, do NOT follow RC's lead in this. Pillow chocolates are a sacred thing to me.

Oh, and thanks for the Live, Freddie. That suite looks amazing -- enjoy it. Looking forward to more updates from you, in between having fun, of course!

Last edited by rdsqrl; May 22nd, 2010 at 10:57 PM.
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  #18  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 11:17 PM
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kath00 kath00 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caribill View Post
This is not limited to Princess. For example, Royal Caribbean has eliminated chocolates on the pillow at night.
When? We were just on the Mariner of the Seas in late March and we had chocolates on our pillow every night!

Katherine
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  #19  
Old May 22nd, 2010, 11:56 PM
caribill caribill is offline
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Originally Posted by kath00 View Post
When? We were just on the Mariner of the Seas in late March and we had chocolates on our pillow every night!
None on my pillow on the Navigator of the Seas in February.

From posts by others on the RCCL board:

Serenade of the Seas posted May 6,2010: We always told people there was something about an RCCL cruise that made you feel special, but not so this time. No pillow chocolates.......

April 25th, 2010: First no more chocolate....

April 25th, 2010: I would like to have the candy back. It was such a nice treat everynight.

April 26th, 2010: We would like RCCL to bring back the pillow chocolate for those of us that like them.

April 26th, 2010: The cabin stewards do the usual evening cabin cleaning, towel animals, etc., but no more chocolates. We brought our own on our last cruise.

April 26th, 2010: I brought my own bag of Dove chocolates and put one on each pillow after dinner. OK, so it's not quite the same as coming back and seeing it already there, waiting for you, but it was better chocolare and only cost me about $2.50 to cover three of us for a week.

March 30th, 2010: what I don't understand is the angst about not receiving a small bit of low quality chocolate on one's pillow. I never even missed it.

March 30, 2010 Brilliance of the Seas: No longer chocolate on your pillow
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  #20  
Old May 23rd, 2010, 02:29 AM
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freddie1974 freddie1974 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Happybywater View Post
We are just back from this cruise. We have embarked many times from Southampton and have never experienced the problems we had with embarkation for this cruise. It was an very unusual experience. So do not judge either Princess or the British embarkation process by this example.
Thanks, that's good to know. It was bedlam yesterday!
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