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About norcalcruzr

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  1. Our check arrived today for Feb. 11 - Feb. 21 Grand Princess cruise.
  2. Celebrating a milestone birthday on the Grand Princess was my best moment. Feb. 11th was my 80th birthday, myself, my husband, daughter and her husband, sister and brother-in-law, 6 friends, all did the Feb. 11 - Feb. 21 Mexico cruise on the Grand. We had a late embarkation due to a medical emergency with a passenger on the previous cruise [not corona virus related]. The Princess staff handled our boarding at 8 p.m. very professionally, we were on the ship and in the Botticelli dining room for dinner at 8:30. The dining room staff was great, as was the food, guests were seated as they arrived, servers worked very hard to compensate for the erratic arrival time of guests. After dinner we had the muster drill, we were in the Crown Grill for our station, no longer need to bring life jackets, just be sure and bring your cruise card. My brother-in-law and myself are both unable to do stairs and the Botticelli dining room was a challenge for us to get to, due to limited elevator service. My husband asked if there was another dining room we could access more easily, and Oana, the Maitre D graciously moved us to the Michaelangelo dining room for our evening meals, easy peasy, and we loved our server, George at table 45; the Maitre D there, Luigi, was outstanding, and took great care of us during our stay. Morning coffee became a daily routine at the International Cafe area, then we would head to the buffet for breakfast each morning. The buffet area was clean, nice variety of food, very attentive crew, a couple of days a crew member would carry my plate for me and find me a nice table. Most days we enjoyed trivia, we usually had the maximum team of 6 players, our favorite cruise trivia leader was Guido, he made the game fun even though we never won. There was a card in my cabin with a voucher for a complimentary birthday dessert, you could bring it to any dining room, I asked if I could have the dessert without the happy birthday singing and our waiter granted my request. It was a delicious chocolate dessert with a candle, best dessert ever. Our ports of call were Manzanillo, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo [I stayed on the ship in Cabo as I don't do tenders]. Best shopping, price wise was in Manzanillo, a long walk along the pier. [Tram, please!] My daughter said most expensive shopping was in Cabo. Our cabin was an obstructed view, deck 8, room 618, lots of room, we asked for and received a blue club chair. Plenty of room to move around, right amount of storage space, nice elite bathroom supplies; shower cap, loofah, chap stick, emery board, lotion], blue princess bag on our bed the first night, nightly chocolate candy on the bed, super comfy beds. Our room steward, Romeo, was like a silent Ninja, always had our room prepared when we were out, he was great. All 12 of our group are past the corona virus incubation period, all safe and sound, ready for our next Princess adventure. Our ages on this cruise were from mid 50's to 83. The Grand now has a Salty Dog Grill, we had lunch there one day, efficient ordering system, you give a staff member stationed there your order and you get a pager that lets you know when your order is ready, we had hot dogs and fries one day, outstanding! I didn't try Slice, but my daughter did and enjoyed the avocado toast and stromboli. The ship was in great shape, crew was constantly working hard to keep it clean and fresh, we had a relaxing and memorable cruise, can't wait for our next cruise in Sept. on the Star for an Alaska cruise. We love sailing out of San Francisco, my husband does not like to fly, so Princess is our favorite go to for vacations. We live about 40 minutes away from pier 27 so we use a shuttle service to drive us to and from the port, drop off our luggage with a porter, and we're off!
  3. There was a balloon drop on the Grand Princess Sept 3, 2019 r/t San Francisco to Alaska cruise. Last sea day of the 10 day cruise, in the Piazza, waiters served trays of Champagne on decks 5 and 6.
  4. Thanks, JF, good information. So far, a cell phone is one less thing for me to lose!
  5. My biggest pet peeve; I wish Princess would not allow guests to sit or stand on the outside aisle steps when the seats are filled during a show. I feel this is a safety issue in an emergency situation, or in my case if I wanted to leave during a show, I would not be able to climb the stairs past the guests blocking the stairs as I have limited mobility. Also worst case scenario, could be a definite fire hazard. I'm another guest who needs the barrel chair, it's the only way I can reach down to put on and tie my shoes [I'm short!] On my last cruise, Sept. 3 Alaska, my husband requested a club chair for our obstructed view cabin, the steward brought the chair in about 10 minutes [thank you Sirachai!]. I would like to see a few more hand rails along some open areas of the ship, such as in the casino pass through just along the long walk from one end of the casino through to the Princess Theater area and especially on deck 7 from the Explorer Lounge area to the Vista Lounge [Grand Princess]. I've been jostled many times by people viewing their photos and not watching where they're going. A long hand rail dividing the walkway would be helpful in that area, with enough breaks in the lengths to allow for a wheelchair or walker to fit through. Same reqest for buffet deck areas, and by the pool areas where it's sometimes slippery. Wish more of the live Princess theater shows at night could be shown simulcast in the Explorer Lounge, we did sit there for one show that was simulcast and felt much more relaxed at the end when we were not in fear of being trampled at the exit. I wish the deck 6 area on Grand Princess looking down on the atrium had some seating, also maybe take out a shop and put in a specialty, for fee ice cream parlor! A place like that would be awesome! The kiosk for printing out stateroom accounts was no longer available on my Sept. 3 cruise, I don't have a cell phone due to hearing loss, miss that kiosk. Last thing, the Art Auction in the Explorer Lounge usually happens around 1 p.m. [Grand Princess]. Why do they set up the Auction gallery before 8 a.m. and rope it off all morning so the lounge can't be used all day? That's wasting that space all morning.
  6. Thank you so much for your review and for posting the menus and pictures. My husband and I will be on the Grand tomorrow Sept. 3rd, for the same Alaska bound cruise. This will be our first cruise as elites, we are hoping the mini bar setup is still available to trade for the coffee package. [ I was shocked to read on another thread that some guest sell the elite bathroom amenities on ebay]. Your comments, menus and pictures were so appreciated and made us even more excited to be sailing on the Grand tomorrow!
  7. 3 for free works best for us. The free gratuities really are a good deal, we got them on our upcoming Sept. 3 Alaska cruise and our Feb. 11 2020 Mexico cruise. We will be first time elite members on our Sept. 3 cruise and will trade our mini bar for coffee package, another great perk. Also get the veterans benefit, so we have some nice perks through Princess. We live about 1/2 hour from pier 27 in San Francisco, husband doesn't like flying, so we enjoy cruising out of San Francisco. Noticed Carnival Miracle will cruise out of pier 27 next year as well, I like that the third bunk is a sofa sleeper and not an upper bunk.
  8. Does anyone know the name of the current Captain of the Grand Princess? Thanks in advance.
  9. The new earlier dining time is geared towards elderly guests and their parents.
  10. We've never been able to have Crown Grill leftovers wrapped up, it's good to see that policy has changed. Used to be that leftovers could not be taken due to health issues such as food poisoning from left over food sitting out.
  11. On our Grand Cruise last week dinner time was 5 for early and 7:30 for late. Show times were 6:30 and 8:15, if you had an early dinner time you would need the late show, as early dinner usually ended a little past 6:30, too late to get a seat for the early show. If you had late dining you would have to go to the early show, which made you late for the 8:15 dinner time. Worked out best for early dinner/late show.
  12. On the Grand Princess last week the dining times were 5 p.m. for early seating and 7:30 for second seating. The showtimes changed to reflect the dining changes. First show in the Princess theater was 6:30 p.m and the second show was at 8:15. My husband and I, and sister and brother in law, opted for the early seating for dinner, originally scheduled for 5:30, we didn't find out until we were on the ship that the dining times had changed. It was a little early for dinner but it worked out fine. We had plenty of time after dinner to get seats for the second show. The only thing we missed was afternoon tea, too close to dinner time.
  13. We just got off the Grand Princess Sunday [Pacific Coast 7 day], we had 5:30 early dining time but when we got on the ship, early dining was 5 p.m. and late seating was 7:30, too early [translates to too soon after the afternoon tea!!] Also there was no Pub Lunch, no happy hour. Our travel agent had requested 9 months ago that we would like early dining with a window seat in the Davinci dining room. Instead we got a table in the Botticelli dining room [we call it the Dungeon diner]. Very difficult to get to when you have a hard time walking and climbing stairs. There are only 2 elevators to get to this dining room and they are usually full with wheelchair and walker guests. It was a big challenge for me getting up and down stairs to this dining room. Speaking of dining, the beef was a big improvement this time, very tender and delicious. The International Cafe is still accepting the old coffee cards with unused punches, we were able to use a few punches of the 5 cards we have left. They punch the cards for regular coffee too, which my husband drinks, I used mine for Banoffee Blasts, a delicious blend of caramel syrup, bananas, cream and coffee with whipped cream on top.
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