karatemom2 Posted August 24, 2013 #1 Share Posted August 24, 2013 After a two year hiatus from Princess while we tried out some other lines we were so thrilled to be back home on a Princess ship when we cruised to Alaska on the Grand from San Francisco on August 8. I loved that wonderful familiar feeling that swept over me as I walked onboard, even though we had never been on the Grand before. Although we truly enjoyed our cruises on the Carnival Spirit and HAL Amsterdam last year, for us there is just nothing that lives up to Princess. And once again, Princess did not disappoint! The Grand is a lovely ship, although I can see the need for the upcoming dry dock. As indicated in my title, I have to say that the Grand is a bit leaky! We encountered more drips, pails and towels in the public areas then we have ever seen on any other ship. We even joked about it with the staff. And for whatever reason, it never seemed to fail that I sat or walked under said drips. It was really kind of funny and didn't detract from our enjoyment at all and I'm sure it will all be fixed up during the Grand's servicing in a few weeks. Other than that little critique, I can honestly say that this was as near to perfect as a cruise can be. The food was really amazing, even in terms of our other Princess cruises. I can honestly say there was only one thing I was served during the entire 10 days that I didn't absolutely love (Chilled Pumpkin Curry soup) and it wasn't because it wasn't well prepared - I just didn't love the flavor. Everything was so delicious from appetizers, to entrees to desserts. Even the food from the buffet, pizzeria and grill was just terrific. And although we were signed up for our usual Anytime Dining, we had the great good fortune to be directed up to Traditional Dining on our third evening when we requested a window table. Seems a window table for four had opened up there for the entire cruise and we jumped on it. It was a wonderful table and our servers were outstanding. It reminded me why people really love Traditional Dining and sort of changed our position on the whole Anytime Dining option. I really did like the opportunity to have the same servers who get to know you and your preferences. It made our whole experience all that much better. I think it is going to be traditional dining for us from now on. The weather was so perfect. Last year in Alaska it rained on us at nearly every port, but this year we had perfect bright and sunny days. And I love cruising from San Francisco. We had no trouble at all upon embarkation or disembarkation. In fact, it was downright easy despite a little bit of heavy traffic due to the Giants game and America's Cup the day of our departure. Really the only downside to the entire itinerary on our cruise was the relatively short day in Juneau. But we have been to Juneau several times and the long and beautiful days in Glacier Bay and Haines more than made up for it! But I really have to say beyond the great weather, food, service and lovely Alaskan scenery, what really made this cruise special was the Cruise Staff. We have traveled with some pretty great entertainment staff on our Princess cruises, but this group was very special. The Cruise Director was very good and quite personable, but his Assistant Cruise Directors were all just outstanding - so fun, engaging and creative. They have added a number of unique activities that we haven't enjoyed on other Princess cruises and we especially loved the Music Trivia every night. They were just great and made our vacation so much more lively! So glad to be back on Princess and looking forward to more fun this coming year as we try to work in the final three cruises we need to be Elite before our repeat San Francisco to Alaska cruise next year on the Star! Thanks for the warm welcome home Grand Princess! Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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