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Grand princess Inside Tips.


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I've been on Grand Princess 2X - the Baltic in 2004 and Alaska in 2015.  This afternoon I booked another cruise to Alaska for mid September.  This will be our 5th cruise there and I hope because it will be dark at night we might get a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

 

I enjoyed the last cruise on Grand Princess and especially liked the International Cafe.  I also like MUTS, especially during football season.

 

Oh, and I Iove the aft pool - it 's a very relaxing place with a beautiful view.

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, villauk said:

Are the Vista suites roomy enough for four (family with two teens) on The Grand? The balconies look large enough for us all, but unsure if it’s a double bed settee or there’s a pull-down too?

People travel with 4 in all cabin types, so if they can make it in an inside then a Vista Suite would be the Ritz.

It can be the sleeper sofa and a drop down berth.

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Just now, Colo Cruiser said:

People travel with 4 in all cabin types, so if they can make it in an inside then a Vista Suite would be the Ritz.

It can be the sleeper sofa and a drop down berth.

 

 

Thanks. Sorry, should have explained that we usually sail with us in a balcony and the kids in an inside, but liked the look of the Vista balconies and wondered if it would be tight in the actual cabin. The only thing I think we would possibly miss is the extra toilet; however, it’s a plus having the extra door between the WC and shower. 

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1 minute ago, villauk said:

 

 

Thanks. Sorry, should have explained that we usually sail with us in a balcony and the kids in an inside, but liked the look of the Vista balconies and wondered if it would be tight in the actual cabin. The only thing I think we would possibly miss is the extra toilet; however, it’s a plus having the extra door between the WC and shower. 

We love the VS. Especially the shower and the balcony.

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On 5/26/2019 at 9:04 PM, aimee0715 said:

 I was just on Grand a week ago and missed the puzzles in the conservatory.  I like reading in the conservatory but it was so cold in there this time that I didn't spend as much time there. We spent about an hour one night on a puzzle in the library that someone else had clearly spent a good chunk of time working.  The next day, it was put away and the table was being used for Mahjong.  This happened pretty much every day.   I was wishing there was a dedicated puzzle area.  

What condition is the Grand in now?  We’re booked on her for Oct 2020, LAX to Shanghai (30 nights).

 

 We just disembarked the Golden last month and she still has a lot of leaks...especial in the hallways.  I heard the Golden will be going to PO at the end of next year.  

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On 5/12/2019 at 11:25 AM, josephml1 said:

Hi

 

Please let me know your inside tips for the Grand  Princess

 

Please share your favorite: spot, food, restaurant, inside tips, bar, favorite place, pool, secret place, etc

 

also tips traveling with children 

 

All tips are welcome.

 

The Grand is an old ship, first of Princess' Grand class.  It is due to be moved from it's home port of San Francisco to Singapore in 2020, and the Star Princess (another Grand class ship) is supposed to replace it with San Francisco as it's homeport.  Presuming that you will be embarking from San Francisco, be aware that traffic around Pier 27 is a incredibly congested when the Grand is in port, starting with disembarking passengers early in the morning and embarking passengers later in the morning.  Traffic is controlled by off-duty SFPD officers on the street side, but union porters control everything on the dock.  Mix that in with the usual traffic congestion in the City and you pretty much have a nice mess that you'll have to be patient with.  Avoid driving into the City and parking your car there, use a public conveyance or have a friend drive you to the pier; auto burglaries are common in San Francisco, especially in lots that are recommended for cruise passengers.

 

Contrary to any information (or misinformation) that you might get from Princess, you can usually start boarding around 11AM.  If you get on board early and can drop your carry-on bag in your stateroom, you can go to the DaVinci  dining room for a sit down lunch (ship personnel will try to steer you to the buffet and may fib about the dining room being available.)  DaVinci does close at 1PM for lunch service.  First night dining in the three dining rooms is usually mass confusion, go early (5PM) or late (after 7:30) if you can.  The Horizon Court (14th floor buffet) is good for breakfast, okay for lunch, and absolutely horrid for dinner.  Unless there have been major changes, use the dining rooms for dinner.  If you have Anytime Dining, and plan on eating between 5:30 and 7:30, make reservations in the morning otherwise you'll probably be holding a pager for a while before being seated.  Bars are a big money maker for the cruise lines, you'll find them all over the ship.  Waiters have also been trained to offer you "exclusive" wine tastings (I think they must get a commission for each sale.)

 

Princess has a nasty reputation for trying to sell you something everytime you turn around, and they do live up to that reputation, so be aware.  Also do be aware that much of the merchandise (clothing, souveniers, etc.) that they sell on the ship is made specifically for Princess.   If you're going to Hawaii, do be aware that the first couple of days out of San Francisco can be a little rough, so you might want to pack some OTC motion sickness medications/remedies if you are prone. 

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On 5/12/2019 at 11:25 AM, josephml1 said:

Hi

 

Please let me know your inside tips for the Grand  Princess

 

Please share your favorite: spot, food, restaurant, inside tips, bar, favorite place, pool, secret place, etc

 

also tips traveling with children 

 

All tips are welcome.

 

The Grand is an old ship, first of Princess' Grand class.  It is due to be moved from it's home port of San Francisco to Singapore in 2020, and the Star Princess (another Grand class ship) is supposed to replace it with San Francisco as it's homeport.  Presuming that you will be embarking from San Francisco, be aware that traffic around Pier 27 is a incredibly congested when the Grand is in port, starting with disembarking passengers early in the morning and embarking passengers later in the morning.  Traffic is controlled by off-duty SFPD officers on the street side, but union porters control everything on the dock.  Mix that in with the usual traffic congestion in the City and you pretty much have a nice mess that you'll have to be patient with.  Avoid driving into the City and parking your car there, use a public conveyance or have a friend drive you to the pier; auto burglaries are common in San Francisco, especially in lots that are recommended for cruise passengers.

 

Contrary to any information (or misinformation) that you might get from Princess, you can usually start boarding around 11AM.  If you get on board early and can drop your carry-on bag in your stateroom, you can go to the DaVinci  dining room for a sit down lunch (ship personnel will try to steer you to the buffet and may fib about the dining room being available.)  DaVinci does close at 1PM for lunch service.  First night dining in the three dining rooms is usually mass confusion, go early (5PM) or late (after 7:30) if you can.  The Horizon Court (14th floor buffet) is good for breakfast, okay for lunch, and absolutely horrid for dinner.  Unless there have been major changes, use the dining rooms for dinner.  If you have Anytime Dining, and plan on eating between 5:30 and 7:30, make reservations in the morning otherwise you'll probably be holding a pager for a while before being seated.  Bars are a big money maker for the cruise lines, you'll find them all over the ship.  Waiters have also been trained to offer you "exclusive" wine tastings (I think they must get a commission for each sale.)

 

Princess has a nasty reputation for trying to sell you something everytime you turn around, and they do live up to that reputation, so be aware.  Also do be aware that much of the merchandise (clothing, souveniers, etc.) that they sell on the ship is made specifically for Princess.   If you're going to Hawaii, do be aware that the first couple of days out of San Francisco can be a little rough, so you might want to pack some OTC motion sickness medications/remedies if you are prone. 

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On 5/12/2019 at 11:25 AM, josephml1 said:

Hi

 

Please let me know your inside tips for the Grand  Princess

 

Please share your favorite: spot, food, restaurant, inside tips, bar, favorite place, pool, secret place, etc

 

also tips traveling with children 

 

All tips are welcome.

 

The Grand is an old ship, first of Princess' Grand class.  It is due to be moved from it's home port of San Francisco to Singapore in 2020, and the Star Princess (another Grand class ship) is supposed to replace it with San Francisco as it's homeport.  Presuming that you will be embarking from San Francisco, be aware that traffic around Pier 27 is a incredibly congested when the Grand is in port, starting with disembarking passengers early in the morning and embarking passengers later in the morning.  Traffic is controlled by off-duty SFPD officers on the street side, but union porters control everything on the dock.  Mix that in with the usual traffic congestion in the City and you pretty much have a nice mess that you'll have to be patient with.  Avoid driving into the City and parking your car there, use a public conveyance or have a friend drive you to the pier; auto burglaries are common in San Francisco, especially in lots that are recommended for cruise passengers.

 

Contrary to any information (or misinformation) that you might get from Princess, you can usually start boarding around 11AM.  If you get on board early and can drop your carry-on bag in your stateroom, you can go to the DaVinci  dining room for a sit down lunch (ship personnel will try to steer you to the buffet and may fib about the dining room being available.)  DaVinci does close at 1PM for lunch service.  First night dining in the three dining rooms is usually mass confusion, go early (5PM) or late (after 7:30) if you can.  The Horizon Court (14th floor buffet) is good for breakfast, okay for lunch, and absolutely horrid for dinner.  Unless there have been major changes, use the dining rooms for dinner.  If you have Anytime Dining, and plan on eating between 5:30 and 7:30, make reservations in the morning otherwise you'll probably be holding a pager for a while before being seated.  Bars are a big money maker for the cruise lines, you'll find them all over the ship.  Waiters have also been trained to offer you "exclusive" wine tastings (I think they must get a commission for each sale.)

 

Princess has a nasty reputation for trying to sell you something everytime you turn around, and they do live up to that reputation, so be aware.  Also do be aware that much of the merchandise (clothing, souveniers, etc.) that they sell on the ship is made specifically for Princess.   If you're going to Hawaii, do be aware that the first couple of days out of San Francisco can be a little rough, so you might want to pack some OTC motion sickness medications/remedies if you are prone. 

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47 minutes ago, SiliconCruiser said:

Contrary to any information (or misinformation) that you might get from Princess, you can usually start boarding around 11AM.  If you get on board early and can drop your carry-on bag in your stateroom, you can go to the DaVinci  dining room for a sit down lunch (ship personnel will try to steer you to the buffet and may fib about the dining room being available.)  DaVinci does close at 1PM for lunch service.  First night dining in the three dining rooms is usually mass confusion, go early (5PM) or late (after 7:30) if you can.  The Horizon Court (14th floor buffet) is good for breakfast, okay for lunch, and absolutely horrid for dinner.  Unless there have been major changes, use the dining rooms for dinner.  If you have Anytime Dining, and plan on eating between 5:30 and 7:30, make reservations in the morning otherwise you'll probably be holding a pager for a while before being seated.  Bars are a big money maker for the cruise lines, you'll find them all over the ship.  Waiters have also been trained to offer you "exclusive" wine tastings (I think they must get a commission for each sale.)

For our March 2019 cruise (the first after drydock) we were at the port, through security, checked in and onboard just after 11 a.m. thanks to my parents who we were traveling with being Elite (after this cruise, my husband and I reached Elite) and our puppy dog eyes explaining that embark day was our 20th wedding anniversary and it would be really special to board with my parents.  I think every staff member we encountered attempted to steer us to the buffet and lied about a dining room being open (we knew better!).  We finally said we were in search of an open bar and were directed to the International Cafe bar and low and behold found the DaVinci dining room that was opening for lunch in about 15 minutes.  We had a lovely lunch and my husband got his coveted shrimp and avocado salad!  Since it was our anniversary, we ate in Crown Grill on the first night.

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We loved the aft adult only pool and spent most afternoons in it.  It wasn't warm enough until the third sea day at the beginning to use it, and we were only able to use it on the port afternoons and first sea day back to San Francisco.  We enjoyed every second we got to use it!

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1 hour ago, SiliconCruiser said:

 

The Grand is an old ship, first of Princess' Grand class.  It is due to be moved from it's home port of San Francisco to Singapore in 2020, and the Star Princess (another Grand class ship) is supposed to replace it with San Francisco as it's homeport.  Presuming that you will be embarking from San Francisco, be aware that traffic around Pier 27 is a incredibly congested when the Grand is in port, starting with disembarking passengers early in the morning and embarking passengers later in the morning.  Traffic is controlled by off-duty SFPD officers on the street side, but union porters control everything on the dock.  Mix that in with the usual traffic congestion in the City and you pretty much have a nice mess that you'll have to be patient with.  Avoid driving into the City and parking your car there, use a public conveyance or have a friend drive you to the pier; auto burglaries are common in San Francisco, especially in lots that are recommended for cruise passengers.

 

Contrary to any information (or misinformation) that you might get from Princess, you can usually start boarding around 11AM.  If you get on board early and can drop your carry-on bag in your stateroom, you can go to the DaVinci  dining room for a sit down lunch (ship personnel will try to steer you to the buffet and may fib about the dining room being available.)  DaVinci does close at 1PM for lunch service.  First night dining in the three dining rooms is usually mass confusion, go early (5PM) or late (after 7:30) if you can.  The Horizon Court (14th floor buffet) is good for breakfast, okay for lunch, and absolutely horrid for dinner.  Unless there have been major changes, use the dining rooms for dinner.  If you have Anytime Dining, and plan on eating between 5:30 and 7:30, make reservations in the morning otherwise you'll probably be holding a pager for a while before being seated.  Bars are a big money maker for the cruise lines, you'll find them all over the ship.  Waiters have also been trained to offer you "exclusive" wine tastings (I think they must get a commission for each sale.)

 

Princess has a nasty reputation for trying to sell you something everytime you turn around, and they do live up to that reputation, so be aware.  Also do be aware that much of the merchandise (clothing, souveniers, etc.) that they sell on the ship is made specifically for Princess.   If you're going to Hawaii, do be aware that the first couple of days out of San Francisco can be a little rough, so you might want to pack some OTC motion sickness medications/remedies if you are prone. 

WOW!  All I can say to you SiliconCruiser, is Wow as I reflect on your great answer to a traveler's questions.  Nice response.  Thank you, thank you.

 

I'm a first-timer on Princess and I just now learned a lot.  I have cruised many times with other lines and I love cruising.  I go SF to SF in late November, 2019.  Do you, SiliconCruiser, remember guests playing chess anywhere?  And what about the water in the walkways?  I have C-424 on Carrib Deck - can you speak to it's interior space at all?  Jack

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12 minutes ago, dara90210 said:

We loved the aft adult only pool and spent most afternoons in it.  It wasn't warm enough until the third sea day at the beginning to use it, and we were only able to use it on the port afternoons and first sea day back to San Francisco.  We enjoyed every second we got to use it!

Were you two the only ones using the aft adult pool?  What is there about this pool that makes it for adults only - other than the sign saying so?

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1 hour ago, Lyndonn said:

What condition is the Grand in now?  We’re booked on her for Oct 2020, LAX to Shanghai (30 nights).

 

 We just disembarked the Golden last month and she still has a lot of leaks...especial in the hallways.  I heard the Golden will be going to PO at the end of next year.  

Hello Lyndonn.  In what ways does the ship Grand compare with your Holland-America cruise ship?  I liked Holland vessels and this future Grand vacation is first time  with Princess for me.

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Always eat in the Main Dining room on the first night,  I order the End Cut Prime rib.  Outside is crusty/salty and the other side is rear/pink.  Out of 8 cruises, I've returned it once.  I was over-medium rear.  

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15 minutes ago, 2old4this said:

I'm a first-timer on Princess and I just now learned a lot.  I have cruised many times with other lines and I love cruising.  I go SF to SF in late November, 2019.  Do you, SiliconCruiser, remember guests playing chess anywhere?  And what about the water in the walkways?  I have C-424 on Carrib Deck - can you speak to it's interior space at all?  Jack

 

I'm not sure what areas you mean when you refer to water in the walkways.  You can expect water on the outside decks anytime, as well as on your balcony on occasion.  After all, it's a ship ... in the ocean ... 😁.  As for your suite, it should be adequate for your needs, perhaps close to the size of a small studio apartment (minus kitchen) in a congested urban city.  I'm sure I saw some people playing chess, though it does not stand out clearly in my memory as to where.  As I recall, November would put you on either a Mexico or Hawaii cruise on the Grand.

 

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8 minutes ago, Gimer said:

Always eat in the Main Dining room on the first night,  I order the End Cut Prime rib.  Outside is crusty/salty and the other side is rear/pink.  Out of 8 cruises, I've returned it once.  I was over-medium rear.  

 

8 minutes ago, Gimer said:

Always eat in the Main Dining room on the first night,  I order the End Cut Prime rib.  Outside is crusty/salty and the other side is rear/pink.  Out of 8 cruises, I've returned it once.  I was over-medium rear.  

Does that mean that End Cut Prime Rib is hard to get later in the voyage?  When you write rear/pink, do you mean rare/pink?

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1 minute ago, SiliconCruiser said:

 

I'm not sure what areas you mean when you refer to water in the walkways.  You can expect water on the outside decks anytime, as well as on your balcony on occasion.  After all, it's a ship ... in the ocean ... 😁.  As for your suite, it should be adequate for your needs, perhaps close to the size of a small studio apartment (minus kitchen) in a congested urban city.  I'm sure I saw some people playing chess, though it does not stand out clearly in my memory as to where.  As I recall, November would put you on either a Mexico or Hawaii cruise on the Grand.

 

Hawaii!  As for the water in the walkways, another person mentioned it on another ship and I made the error here.  I like your description of a 'congested urban city'.  I have my son with me and he goes to chess matches no matter where, such is his love for the intellectual challenge.  I'm hoping he will chess-down, stay busy, and be content for those lovely sea days.

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3 minutes ago, 2old4this said:

 

Does that mean that End Cut Prime Rib is hard to get later in the voyage?  When you write rear/pink, do you mean rare/pink?

Prime Rib tends to be on the first night's menu on most Princess cruises.  Lobster is usually on the menu on the last formal night except on Alaskan cruises where they have King crab.

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Just now, 2old4this said:

Hawaii!  As for the water in the walkways, another person mentioned it on another ship and I made the error here.  I like your description of a 'congested urban city'.  I have my son with me and he goes to chess matches no matter where, such is his love for the intellectual challenge.  I'm hoping he will chess-down, stay busy, and be content for those lovely sea days.

I noticed that you're in the Sacramento area.  If you're on a Zoe's tour package, Zoe's husband Luigi, is sometimes the Maître'd on the Grand (if he hasn't retired.)

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1 minute ago, SiliconCruiser said:

Prime Rib tends to be on the first night's menu on most Princess cruises.  Lobster is usually on the menu on the last formal night except on Alaskan cruises where they have King crab.

While I have you . . . Formal nights for dinner.  Are most people in their best attire or what?  I like the Cunard approach of black and white, low lighting, and quiet enjoyment for the grand moment that all of we seated have before us.

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Just now, SiliconCruiser said:

I noticed that you're in the Sacramento area.  If you're on a Zoe's tour package, Zoe's husband Luigi, is sometimes the Maître'd on the Grand (if he hasn't retired.)

No, no tour this time.  Private purchase and off we go.

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35 minutes ago, 2old4this said:

Were you two the only ones using the aft adult pool?  What is there about this pool that makes it for adults only - other than the sign saying so?

It was pretty busy but we were always able to find a spot.  We didn't usually head to the pool until 2 or 3 in the afternoon.  There is only signage about it being adult only.  On all the ships we've been on that have aft adult only pools, I've never seen children in them or children trying to be in them.

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