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PoohUnderstands

JUST OFF THE "GRAND" OLE LADY

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Posted (edited)

Just got off the Grand Princess on Saturday and she looks just great for her age after this dry dock.  Yes, if you look really hard you can see some used areas(mainly carpet and furniture) that could have been replaced too, but all in all, very great ship.

 

We were in the WS and I just loved the room and especially its central and private location!  Just wish more ships had these rooms!  It was great to just walk out of our private hallway and across the deck six atrium to CC dining!  Also, every one is right when they say they loved the suite breakfasts in the Crown Grille.  Best part of the suite experience.  As far as suite amenities went for us we got all that I believe was mentioned you get except for the complimentary umbrella and the complimentary printed with your name letterhead paper.  You do get the upgraded pen though!  Grin.  I also got the small credit card leather holder which I loved for my princess card, pills to take at meals, and other items I would need.  Now I have two to use on future cruises (without the suites, sigh).  Having the mini-bar wasn't necessary for us, but it was nice to bring back the small bottles of booze and gave them to my kids as a souvenir! Grin.  Also, in the WS, the sofas were not replaced, but ours was in pretty good shape(F307).  Looks like they replaced the hairdryers.  They are mounted on the wall next to the desk.  They are ok in the power department, but the cords are so new and short and unstretched that it was hard to maneuver.  Fine for me as I have a short pixie haircut, so if you have long hair or need to use to curl your hair, bring your own.  There is also a ridiculous amount of drawers and storage space.  As for noise, our experience was either there were no early walkers or joggers on our cruise because very little noise from that on the promenade above us.  We did have a couple days were there were occasional louder noises from the crew repositioning the deck chairs but that was all.  There were times when you could smell the smoke of cigarettes in our hallway, but never in the room. You could hear a very muffled sound from the casino machines in the hallway, but again never in the room itself.

 

The food was as expected, no better no worse.  It was fine for us.  The only thing I got known for in the dining venues was that for my coffee they better go back to the galley and pour fresh and bring out right away as I like my coffee HOT, and this was the only way to get it so.  Also same for the soups, which were pretty good but always lukewarm.  Soooooo, I would say to please ladle my soup out personally so that I would receive it hot.  That did make a difference.   They have on the menu now on the last night or so, in place of the meatloaf they usually had, a Moroccan meatball dish.  I ordered it out of curiosity and it ended up being one of my favorite dishes.  Also the beef wellington was still good.  I ordered it and a lobster tail and had my own free surf and turf night and it was good.  Lobster was eatable and ok.  

 

One major thing I noticed and it took a few days to notice it and it did last the entire cruise, was that literally 100% of the crew we came in touch with were friendly, helpful, wanting to serve your needs, and all acted like they wanted to be there!!! Yes, even in Crown Grille breakfast they had to hustle, but not too bad.  Just remember, if you are not served your menu right away, or it takes a few minutes to get your drink, or your courses, relax and have a nice meal.  The staff are working hard and cheerfully.

 

Had several issues with the A/C which were handled well by Guest Services, superbly in fact.  We, and were not looking for anything because the A/C issue became kind of like a contest between me and the "ventilation manager"(which I won of course!  Grin), but were given several nice surprises of chocolates, chocolate covered strawberries, and a free meal for two in the Crown Grille.

 

Had to eat in the buffet on port days as the Alfredos on this ship only serves pizza, and I liked the soup and salads and sandwiches on the Royal/Regal.  If you wanted a salad or soup, you had to go over to the International Cafe across the way and get your salad and soup and bring it back to the table!  Now I hate the Horizon Court, and I still do, but the set up is smaller than the Royal/Regal which I really liked because you could look around and get what you wanted quickly and enough of a selection.  So that part was ok.  Getting a table was still a nightmare though.  We ended up having to go the very aft or front of the ship to find a seat.  Also if you wanted to eat in the dining area where the buffet is located it was like a sauna.  But other than that, the crew was great and got your drinks in a very efficient manner.

 

The ports of call were ok, but I went mainly for the WS and the sea days.  The weather the entire time was fantastic, and after our last cruise (missed two ports due to weather) that was very nice.

 

So all in all, this ended up being one of my top three cruises to date, and mainly because of the crew of the Grand ole lady.  Thanks go out to all the crew and especially those whom I made sure to make out comment cards for!

 

Pooh

 

 

Edited by PoohUnderstands

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Thank you for sharing your experience! We're in a WS in July (F301). Bummer to hear that the sofas weren't replaced, but that yours was at least in decent condition.

 

Did you go to any of the shows in the theater? I saw that they upgraded the sound system in there. Curious how that was?

 

Did you try the new Salty Dog grill too?

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14 minutes ago, Dani24 said:

Thank you for sharing your experience! We're in a WS in July (F301). Bummer to hear that the sofas weren't replaced, but that yours was at least in decent condition.

 

Did you go to any of the shows in the theater? I saw that they upgraded the sound system in there. Curious how that was?

 

Did you try the new Salty Dog grill too?

 We have done the Salty Dog on previous trips and not our cup of tea.  So didn't try it on this trip.

Don't have any way to compare sound as we have been on the newer ships lately.  But the sound sounded the same as on the Royal/Regal.  To me it sounded "normal" for a  Princess cruise theater.

 

Pooh

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We have sailed in the WS last year and have one booked for this year as well.  The condition of that sofa was one of only two of my complaints about that room so am very disappointed to learn they didn't replace them in the WS staterooms.  Why would it be important to replace them in the mini's and not the WS's is puzzling.  

My only other complaint about these staterooms (and it stops here) is that the water in the tub came out rusty.  You didn't happen to take a bath, did you?  If so, did you notice the water was clear or still rusty?  

Otherwise, everything is was great in those cabins.  I also love the breakfast in the Crown Grill and of course, the club class dining.  And yes, faint noise and smoke from the nearby casino ... and no sign of either in the room!!  

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I just watched a video Princess put out about the Grand's dry dock. They mentioned in there that there were some more upgrades/fixes coming in the next couple of months. I wonder if it's possible the WS sofas might be among that. 

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the staff/crew on the Grand are spectacular 

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1 hour ago, Cruise Raider said:

We have sailed in the WS last year and have one booked for this year as well.  The condition of that sofa was one of only two of my complaints about that room so am very disappointed to learn they didn't replace them in the WS staterooms.  Why would it be important to replace them in the mini's and not the WS's is puzzling.  

My only other complaint about these staterooms (and it stops here) is that the water in the tub came out rusty.  You didn't happen to take a bath, did you?  If so, did you notice the water was clear or still rusty?  

Otherwise, everything is was great in those cabins.  I also love the breakfast in the Crown Grill and of course, the club class dining.  And yes, faint noise and smoke from the nearby casino ... and no sign of either in the room!!  

My shower (which they fixed very quickly I will say) only was cold water when I needed to use it, so I had to use the tub shower apparatus.  When I first turned on the water, yes it was light rusty color for literally about 6 seconds or so. After that it was fine.  Used the shower thingy a couple times and no rusty water after that.  Thought it occurred because of non-use over dry dock.  Grin.

 

Pooh

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1 minute ago, PoohUnderstands said:

My shower (which they fixed very quickly I will say) only was cold water when I needed to use it, so I had to use the tub shower apparatus.  When I first turned on the water, yes it was light rusty color for literally about 6 seconds or so. After that it was fine.  Used the shower thingy a couple times and no rusty water after that.  Thought it occurred because of non-use over dry dock.  Grin.

 

Pooh

 

Keeping my fingers crossed.  When using the tub, I noticed it was all filled with rusty water ... drained it and refilled it but the same thing occurred.  Living in California through at least 2-3 historic droughts, I hate wasting water ... so I just gave up.  I noted it on my post cruise survey because I get it is an older ship but it's disappointing, nevertheless.  I just love taking a nice soak while on a cruise .. with the jets, even better.  

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Thank you for your review!  We’re in a WS on the Grand in about 3 weeks.  Just curious, did you get escorted on the ship as I’ve been reading prior to Drydock?  Use the laundry perk?  Looking so forward to trying out the “Suite Life” for the first time!

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2 hours ago, SpareBrew said:

Thank you for your review!  We’re in a WS on the Grand in about 3 weeks.  Just curious, did you get escorted on the ship as I’ve been reading prior to Drydock?  Use the laundry perk?  Looking so forward to trying out the “Suite Life” for the first time!

 

We had gotten an email that stated boarding would be put off to 1:30 as just coming off dry dock and needed extra time to prepare ship for us.  But with nowhere else to go after checking out of our hotel at noon, we went straight to the ship to find out they were boarding already so we missed the big rush.  That said, when we checked in (took about 2 minutes), someone immediately escorted us over to the escort who did escort us onto the ship and took us to the MDR that was open and we were able to have our embarkation lunch that I thought we were going to miss, so that was a nice way to start our cruise.  If the room had been ready, we would have been escorted to our room itself.  After lunch, about 1:15pm, went to our room and our luggage was there waiting for us inside the room!

 

We did not use the laundry perk as they left us a nice note on the pillow that the free laundry perk turnaround time was 72 hrs. period, even for suite guests.  So very awkward to use on such a short cruise.  Am glad I packed with no laundry in mind.  Would have been used if it was just one overnight turnaround, but 3 days was a little long.

 

You will love the suite life and the WS and its location.  Did not miss veranda at all!  But it will spoil you.  Just can't get myself to pay regular suite prices yet!!! But this cruise the WS cost us less when we booked then the regular minisuite closer to cruising time.  Now that IS my price range!  Grin.

 

Pooh

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The upstairs Pizza menu was updated; the Grill was renamed to be the Salty Dog-- we didn't see anymore Brats, chicken wings, ribs, nor onion rings.  The smoked gouda cheese burger  had a tasty cooked onion jam spread.

Overall the service personnel were friendly and helpful.  By day 10, at anytime dining, we had 2 days of tired wait staff and some off putting responses.  - We will be cruising again on the Grand this summer.

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Did you happen to outside the One5 to the two lounges (1 smoking 1 not).

If you did, did you see new furniture? Hope so.  Thanks.

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Thank you for posting your review; and thanks for talking about your window suite.

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10 hours ago, Belle said:

Did you happen to outside the One5 to the two lounges (1 smoking 1 not).

If you did, did you see new furniture? Hope so.  Thanks.

Hate to say this, but hardly ever got above deck 7, and then only to deck 14, 3 times for imposed lunches as MDR not open during port days! Grin.  Can you tell we are not outdoor, swimming, tanning, people?

 

Pooh

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Thanks for the review.  I'm in the very same cabin starting Saturday (grin).  Sorry to hear the loveseat was not replaced, sorely need when we were on in March.  I agree with everything you've written about the WS including your regret that the fleet will have only two ships left with these cabins on deck 6 after Golden exits.  Fingers crossed Grand and Caribbean stick around a few more years.  

 

Thanks so much for fixing the shower and AC!  Two less things I'll have to handle next week.

 

As for the deck space behind the One5.  I know nothing about any upgrades from the dry dock but can report that when we sailed in March this became one of my favorite spaces and the furnishings were in good shape even then.  I'll pay attention to the space for any upgrades next week.

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Anyone book the WS on SKY?

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56 minutes ago, jondfk said:

Thanks for the review.  I'm in the very same cabin starting Saturday (grin).  Sorry to hear the loveseat was not replaced, sorely need when we were on in March.  I agree with everything you've written about the WS including your regret that the fleet will have only two ships left with these cabins on deck 6 after Golden exits.  Fingers crossed Grand and Caribbean stick around a few more years.  

 

Thanks so much for fixing the shower and AC!  Two less things I'll have to handle next week.

 

As for the deck space behind the One5.  I know nothing about any upgrades from the dry dock but can report that when we sailed in March this became one of my favorite spaces and the furnishings were in good shape even then.  I'll pay attention to the space for any upgrades next week.

See you Saturday. We are next door in 305

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ok, guys I am jealous!  Grin.  Now maybe I don't know how to work the Grand's A/C thermostat(which is in celsius- 10-35), but was told I was correct.  Anyway, it never worked.  I mean, you could put down all to 10 which was like 59 degrees or so and if A/C was off (you could tell by noise coming from the two vents if on or off), it would NOT come on.  Once you turned it off (that part worked ok!) or it went off on own mysteriously as I had it at 10-12 so wouldnt!), you could not get it to come back on.  That is why I made a trip to Guest Services 4 times!  It was either on or off and since I hate stuffiness I chose on, so bring some warm coverups!  Was told by crew member that "ventilation manager" put whatever made A/C work on 50% for economizing and that is when ours would not come back on or stay on.  Amazing once I called about 30-40 minutes later, our A/C came back on and was fixed from some central location, not our room.  I did this for the first 5 days of back and forth and then I guess the "ventilation manager" gave up and my air stayed on for the rest of the trip.  Just a heads up!

 

Oh, jondfk, I also had two lights replaced that were burned out.  So you are really good to go!  Grin

 

Pooh

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Pooh thanks for answering back. Thank you for telling us about the Grand after dry dock.

 

jondfk outside One5 is a favorite spot of mine too. You get the fresh air and warmth

but not in the sun. Last year the cushions were flat and dirty. Thanks for seeing how

they are on your cruise and reporting back.  Bon Voyage.

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We were escorted on to the Caribbean Princess in October, by a member of the bar staff. The funny part was that he had no idea where the Window Suites were located, so we had to show him! Our embarkation had been delayed due to Coast Guard scheduled inspection, so we were led past a long line of people waiting to board.

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12 hours ago, donswife said:

We were escorted on to the Caribbean Princess in October, by a member of the bar staff. The funny part was that he had no idea where the Window Suites were located, so we had to show him . . . 

 

Yeah, many of the suite perks are big whoop sorts of things for me (aside from the breakfast which is fantastic).  The addition of an escort to boarding however was a genuine treat even if, as you say, we have to help the escort find the hidden cabins.  But you know how people are, we arrived at the pier a bit after boarding had started.  Our escort deftly navigated us past a small line of folks and we heard immediate muttering (who do these people think they are, why are they being taken past us, all manner of sniping).  Anyway, a genuinely nice perk, worth the money - no - but as a part of the value of booking a suite, yes, certainly. 

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Did you get the special Priority Disembarkation in San Francisco where your luggage was given silver tags and you received a Priority Disembarkation card and your luggage was placed in a special area for quick retrieval.  We did in January and when we showed out card we were escorted to the head of the line.

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1 hour ago, LARGIN said:

Did you get the special Priority Disembarkation in San Francisco where your luggage was given silver tags and you received a Priority Disembarkation card and your luggage was placed in a special area for quick retrieval.  We did in January and when we showed out card we were escorted to the head of the line.

We went on a tour to use up time because we had a late flight out, so didn't use this service.  Going as part of a tour, we were first group off the ship (except for walking off yourself groups) and right through customs and right to luggage which took just a minute to do and then led right to our waiting buses.  Very smooth and very Princess like!  Grin.  So in a way, it was like priority disembarkation!

 

Pooh

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On 4/2/2019 at 7:03 AM, PoohUnderstands said:

Hate to say this, but hardly ever got above deck 7, and then only to deck 14, 3 times for imposed lunches as MDR not open during port days! Grin.  Can you tell we are not outdoor, swimming, tanning, people?

 

Pooh

Did I understand correctl, no dinner in the main dining room on port days?  I don’t remember that from all our cruises.  Is that new?

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