Live from the grand - may 22

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#1
London, UK
212 Posts
Joined May 2009
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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#4
Super Sunny IoW!
458 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by Latteluver
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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Forthcoming Cruises:
July 16- HAL Oosterdam : Rome - Venice



Completed Cruises:
October 2015 - NCL Escape - Pre-maiden Taster Cruise
July 2015 - HAL Zuiderdam: Venice - Rome
December 2014 -P&O Aurora - Bruges
August 2014 - HAL Nieuw Amsterdam:Barcelona - Venice
August 2013 - Ventura - Western Med
May 2013 - P & O Aurora - Bruges & Guernsey
Sept 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
#5
SAn Bruno California
1,429 Posts
Joined May 2000
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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Oskidunker
Elite Cruiser
#6
Southport, UK
319 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Keep the reports coming please Freddie! Can't wait til we sail a fortnight today
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Always looking for the next cruise!

P&O Ventura - June 2015 - Portugal, The Canaries & Spain.
Grand Princess - June 2012 - Mediterranean
Grand Princess - June 2010 - Mediterranean
#8
north of london
10 Posts
Joined May 2010
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?

#9
London, UK
212 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by oskidunker
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
London, UK
212 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by morgansroad
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
London, UK
212 Posts
Joined May 2009
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
524 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
Originally posted by freddie1974
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
#13
Super Sunny IoW!
458 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by freddie1974
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:
July 16- HAL Oosterdam : Rome - Venice



Completed Cruises:
October 2015 - NCL Escape - Pre-maiden Taster Cruise
July 2015 - HAL Zuiderdam: Venice - Rome
December 2014 -P&O Aurora - Bruges
August 2014 - HAL Nieuw Amsterdam:Barcelona - Venice
August 2013 - Ventura - Western Med
May 2013 - P & O Aurora - Bruges & Guernsey
Sept 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
#14
Palmdale, Ca
32,530 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Have a great cruise.....

Bob
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Future: Golden Princess Hawaii, Tahiti & South Pacific Crossing (Sydney to LA) 04/19
Future: Emerald Princess Alaska R/T From from Los Angeles 04/18
Pacific Princess Panama Canal Cruise 05/17 - 17 Days
Caribbean Princess Iceland/Norway T/A 09/16 - 17 Days **First Princess Elite Cruise**
Caribbean Princess Iceland/Norway T/A 09/15 - 16 Days
Golden Princess West Coast Getaway 04/15 - 3 Days
Royal Princess Med/Trans Atlantic 10/13 - 18 Days Inaugural T/A Crossing
Sapphire Princess Hawaii R/T From LA 03/13 - 14 Days
Ruby Princess Med/Trans Atlantic 10/11 - 18 Days
Golden Princess Hawaii R/T From LA 02/11 - 14 Days
Ruby Princess Med/Trans Atlantic 10/09 - 18 Days
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

240 Days At Sea: 167 Days Princess , 42 Days Celebrity. 19 Days RCCL, 7 Days HAL, 7 Days Carnival.....

My Cruise Pictures on Flickr

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#15
23 Posts
Joined Aug 2009
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.
#16
League City, TX
38,664 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by Happybywater
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.
#17
9,516 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
Originally posted by caribill
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!
#18
San Diego, CA USA
3,338 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Originally posted by caribill
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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Coming up:

Westerdam Mexico Nov 2016.
Emerald Princess LA round trip Alaska April 2018
#19
League City, TX
38,664 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by kath00
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
#20
London, UK
212 Posts
Joined May 2009
Originally posted by Happybywater
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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