Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
The Mikado

Questions on the Grand Princess...

Recommended Posts

I'm a long-time cruiser from many years back but haven't been on a ship in 10 years (long, boring story). So, taking my 5-year wife on the Grand to Alaska out of SFO on 08/14. She's never been on a ship before so all of this will be new to her and I've never been on Princess before. Whatever, we plan on taking a cruise a quarter now and we live halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco and we plan to never add an airline flight to either end of a cruise unless there's just no other way.

 

Questions: Is the wedding chapel open for prayer/meditation? If so, are there set hours or is it always open except when a wedding is being conducted? Are there usually clergy who volunteer to conduct services?

 

Next: The Princess phone agents have been almost universally clueless so I've ended my calls more confused than when I started. Regarding bringing personal wine on board, my understanding was that wife and I each get 1 bottle free but all additional bottles are $15 corkage regardless whether we drink them in the room or take them to dinner. Latest Princess agent said "no charge" unless you take them to the dining room. What's the correct answer? Also, when bringing wine onboard in SFO, how do we do it? Declare it and they take it or just declare it and carry it on? How do we arrange for a bottle of our own stuff to be served at our table? Seems a bit tacky to carry it to dinner.

 

Thanks in advance; I just couldn't find this info anywhere else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you couldnt find anything on their website?

 

Ironic Ive never cruised and found most of my questions answered on their website.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, I couldn't. I think I stated that clearly.

 

Sorry to trouble you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

So to answer your questions - I've seen the wedding chapel both open and closed when not in use.  Really depends on the ship and the personnel making the decision.  There are no assigned clergy on board.  But there may be a passenger who is a clergy member you might conduct non-denominational services.  As far as the wine goes - yes you can each bring on one bottle of wine at no charge.  But if you take it to the dining room they will charge you $15 corkage.  If you have more then 1 bottle each they will charge you $15 corkage for each one no matter where you consume it.  It is best to have in your carry-on rather than your checked luggage.  When they see it at the security check-in they will direct you to a table where Princess folks will take care of charging you the corkage fee.

Edited by TM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

https://www.princess.com/learn/faq_answer/pre_cruise/bring.jsp

 

Click on the alcohol policy. youll find all the information you need there.

 

or if you wont click. I copied and pasted.

 

As provided in the Passage Contract, guests agree not to bring alcoholic beverages of any kind onboard for consumption, except one bottle of wine or champagne per adult of drinking age (no larger than 750 ml) per voyage, which will not be subject to a corkage fee if consumed in the stateroom. Additional wine or champagne bottles are welcome, but will incur a $15 corkage fee each, irrespective of where they are intended to be consumed. Liquor, spirits or beers are not permitted. Please remember that luggage will be scanned and alcohol outside of our policy will be removed and discarded.*

Alcoholic beverages that are purchased duty free from the ship's gift shop, or at ports of call, will be collected for safekeeping and delivered to the guest's stateroom on the last day of the cruise.  A member of the ship's staff will be at the gangway to assist guests with the storage of their shoreside alcoholic purchases while our Boutiques staff will assist guests with shipboard alcoholic purchases.

*Princess Cruises is not responsible for any alcoholic beverages removed and discarded by shoreside security staff. Such items are not eligible for monetary refund or replacement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We paid corkage for 2 bottles (brought 4 in our carry-on). This was in Fort Lauderdale, but I expect procedures are similar. There was a table for declaring alcohol. They looked at my e-boarding pass, wrote up a receipt, and then I had to select the 2 wines to get the corkage paid sticker. We brought all 4 wines to our room & refrigerated them. The next day I had a $30 charge from Vines on my stateroom account.

 

We then just carried the "corkage paid" wines in to the dining room/ Crown Grill and set them on the table, and the servers took care of the rest. (They did check for the sticker!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mikado, TM gave a pretty good description of the protocol for paying the corkage fee on your wines during the check-in process.  Of course, though, I feel compelled to add my $.02 worth.

 

When you arrive at the "wine" table after going through the security scanner, you will meet some Princess crew members (they usually seem to be bar or dining room staff).  They will prepare a chit for you to sign for the corkage fee.  That charge will appear on your account in a day, or so.  They will also ask you which wines you want to designate as your "free" ones.  They will attach a sticker or a stamp on the other bottles.  This sticker/stamp indicates to restaurant/dining room staff that the $15 corkage fee has been paid at the pier, and, so, is not subject to another charge in the restaurant/dining room. 

 

It has been reported that, sometimes, when people arrive at the wine table, there is nobody staffing it.  If that is the case, do not be concerned.  Just walk onto the ship with your wine.  Since you did not collect any stamps/stickers on your bottles, the restaurant/dining room staff will just assess the corkage fee, when you bring the wine in to have with your meal.

 

It is perfectly fine to carry your wine into the restaurant/dining room with you.  You will, most assuredly, see other passengers doing it.  So, it's cool.  At your table the headwaiter or the server will inspect the bottle and, if there is no sticker, will advise you of the corkage charge.  Generally, the server will uncork the bottle and bring wine glasses, but there have been times when the headwaiter has uncorked for me.  If it is a white wine, after the pours the server will, invariably, immerse your bottle in an ice bath.  There will be several located around the room and, more often than not. there will be multiple bottles in each.  If you don't want your wine to be "frosty," you can, certainly, direct the server to leave it on your table.

 

I have tried to be as clear and complete as possible, Mikado.  Do not hesitate, though, to come back with additional questions or requests for clarification.

 

Have a great cruise.  We have taken the 10-day AK cruise out of San Francisco twice in the past few years, and it is a good one.  Also, by the way, there are a couple of threads currently here on the Princess Board with peoples' reports on their experiences on this cruise.  You might get some good insights if you check them out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TM said:

So to answer your questions - I've seen the wedding chapel both open and closed when not in use...

Thank you for this. I'll check with guest services to see what the plan is for our trip.

 

So much of this stuff seems to be ad hoc. For example, no one can tell us what nights will be formal, just that they're nights at sea or what nights Crab Shack will be. We just have to wait for the newsletter to be delivered to all 2,600 of us so we can get our formal wear pressed and reservations made all at the same time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, toads45froggy said:

https://www.princess.com/learn/faq_answer/pre_cruise/bring.jsp

 

Click on the alcohol policy. youll find all the information you need there.

 

or if you wont click. I copied and pasted...

Thank you. The reason I asked was not because I couldn't find the alcohol policy on the Princess website, it was because of what the Princess rep told me on the phone.

 

In past years on other cruise lines, there were alcohol policies in place that were, more or less, ignored. I took 2 cases of wine onboard a 14-day Celebrity cruise with a policy virtually identical to the current Princess policy. I could have brought a truckload for all they cared. Just don't bring it to the dining room.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Liz_B said:

We paid corkage for 2 bottles (brought 4 in our carry-on)...

Thank you. I didn't know there was a specific table for this. This is the kind of stuff the website doesn't tell you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, XBGuy said:

Mikado, TM gave a pretty good description of the protocol for paying the corkage fee on your wines during the check-in process.  Of course, though, I feel compelled to add my $.02 worth...

 

I have tried to be as clear and complete as possible, Mikado.  Do not hesitate, though, to come back with additional questions or requests for clarification...

 

Have a great cruise.  We have taken the 10-day AK cruise out of San Francisco twice in the past few years, and it is a good one.  Also, by the way, there are a couple of threads currently here on the Princess Board with peoples' reports on their experiences on this cruise.  You might get some good insights if you check them out...

Thank you for your amplification. Again, the website just tells me the policy, not how it's implemented which was what I was looking for.

 

I'm looking forward to it because I miss life on the ship and because it will be my wife's first time.

 

Thank you for the great advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mikado,  My work buddy just return from Alaska, on Grand and gave me his Princess Patters, for July 5 to 14th.  Formal Nights are on the 3rd day (or second Sea Day) and on the 8th day (or 3rd Sea Day-before Victoria).   No where is the Crab Shack mention.  Maybe, many will go to the famous Tracy's King Crab Shack in Juneau !  He said they were serving Crab Cakes up in the Salty Dog Grill, Deck 14.  When we were on Grand, just after the dry dock back in early April, the Salty Dog Grill was just getting up to steam, with a new menus.  I tried everything they offered and there were winners and maybe one miss.  My favorite was the Triple Smoked Burger.  NO CHARGE......made with Smoked Bacon Jam, Sliced Smoked Gouda Cheese and Carmelized BBQ Onion Sauce.  Stan 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the top of the Princess forum you’ll find “See posts about” with a drop down menu of all the ships. Choose Grand and read the “livish.......” one recently posted by Dani24. She gives the current wine package details. There’s a new wine list that is really quite good. It and all bar menus have been posted. I usually just google it and it takes me to the posting on cc. 

I am taking this cruise leaving on the 4th and have sailed several times on the Grand. It’s not new but it’s kept up and has a fabulous crew. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We also did the 10 r/t San Fran 6/15 - 6/25.  Our formal nights were as Gimer stated.  The Crab Shack was on the same day we were in Skagway even though we were there until 8PM.  The wedding chapel is just a small room on deck 15 aft.  I've seen it used for several different things including as a meeting place for the star gazing but I would imagine that they decorate it nicely for ceremonies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Gimer said:

Mikado,  My work buddy just return from Alaska, on Grand and gave me his Princess Patters...

Stan, thank you for this info. Disappointing to hear no Crab Shack. I'll investigate once on board. I think we're going to Tracey's in Juneau after whale-watching.

 

I saw another reference somewhere to that triple-smoked burger and I've been salivating since.

 

Thanks also for the formal nights. I "thought" it was probably going to be the 2nd sea night northbound, thank you for confirming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, HaveDogWillTravel said:

At the top of the Princess forum you’ll find “See posts about” with a drop down menu of all the ships. Choose Grand and read the “livish.......”

Thank you. I've been a little worried about the ships condition based on some other posts but we better like it 'cuz we're sailing it a lot over the next year or so.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mikado, here is what I wrote after the dry dock, about Deck 14.   Stan1189274128_SaltySlice.thumb.jpg.616a59a3fb12453192e32bd3d3d195e0.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, marden1970 said:

We also did the 10 r/t San Fran 6/15 - 6/25.  Our formal nights were as Gimer stated.  The Crab Shack was on the same day we were in Skagway even though we were there until 8PM.  The wedding chapel is just a small room on deck 15 aft.  I've seen it used for several different things including as a meeting place for the star gazing but I would imagine that they decorate it nicely for ceremonies.

We're doing the White Pass (train up, bus back) in Skagway plus some kind of lunch somewhere (I think) there in town. What time was Crab Shack? And was there only one night for it? Somewhere I read there may be 2.

 

Thank you for the info on the chapel. We are Christians and we like to visit with Him in a quiet setting more or less reserved for such things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Gimer said:

Mikado, here is what I wrote after the dry dock, about Deck 14.   Stan...

Stan, thank you! What a great review. We're on deck 12, far aft so I think we'll become familiar with both Slices and The Dog.

Edited by The Mikado

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have all my patters but not able to post them.  I see only one Crab  Shack (6-9PM, $29) but 2 pub lunches (free) one on the first sea day and again on our day in Victoria.,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, marden1970 said:

I have all my patters but not able to post them.  I see only one Crab  Shack (6-9PM, $29) but 2 pub lunches (free) one on the first sea day and again on our day in Victoria...

Thank you, Marden.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am currently on the Grand. Formal nights are the second sea day (or third night), and the night before Victoria (which is a sea day). It's possible that the second formal night could be on Victoria night, as we had that the last time we did this itinerary, and I'm pretty sure I saw that on another set of Patters someone posted 

 

When we embarked I didn't see a wine table. I brought two bottles of wine in my carry on. Nobody said a word. My cabin steward brought me wine glasses, and I've been enjoying them in the cabin.

 

The chapel is frequently open and available. The chairs have always been set up. There are a few times the room is in use. For instance, we signed up for the Escape Room, and they used the chapel for it. There were several sessions on Ketchikan day and the sea day right after. The "Friends of Dr. Bob and Bill W Meetings" also take place in the chapel every day. And there is maybe one or two other things in there on sea days (like a "How to Boost Your Metabolism" or "Secrets to a Flatter Stomach" seminar, or the "Princess Pop Choir" rehearsal). On Friday they had a "Jewish Sabbath Service" listed in there too, but it stated a volunteer would need to lead the service. 

 

There's also an "Interdenominational Church Service" on Sundays in the Vista Lounge at 9 am. This is conducted by the Entertainment Director. On all other days there is an unhosted "Bible Study" at 8 am in the One5 Lounge. 

 

Crab Shack was only offered once on this sailing. It was the night of Hubbard Glacier (scenic cruising day). It fills up fast, so make your reservations by calling the DINE line on embarkation day. We missed it this cruise, unfortunately. 

 

As for the ship's condition, I think this depends on how fussy you are. 🙂 She is showing her age, for sure. But we've found her to be quite lovely and would not hesitate to sail her again. There are some areas that need addressing (e.g. the sofas in the Explorers Lounge badly need replacing). But I see crew constantly painting, staining, cleaning, etc. to keep her looking good. And I have been looking, but still have yet to come across one leak or blower. 

 

The crew on this ship is phenomenal. Probably the best we've had. And the food on the whole has been excellent. I'm sad to be going home in 3 days!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, Dani24 said:

I am currently on the Grand...

 

Thank you, Dani, for that very thorough report. I appreciate the detail you provided as it really helps winnow at the uncertainty of some of the procedures like boarding with wine and the opportunities for worship. 

 

Have a a great rest of your cruise!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't think it was mentioned but The Grand has Alfredos Restaurant. It is free and serves personal size pizzas. It is I believe on deck 6 mid ship. We have been on the Grand many times and always enjoyed it.  We have done the 10 day Alaska on this ship a few times and loved it. Nice having the few extra days on board.Enjoy your cruise. Your wife will be hooked on cruising.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, san diego sue said:

Don't think it was mentioned but The Grand has Alfredos Restaurant...

Thank you. I hope she likes shipboard life as I love it and we now have both the time and means to make regular trips. Her big worry is getting seasick but she got something from her Dr.

 

It's a great adventure: Amtrak roomette from San Luis Obispo to Oakland, then the Amtrak bus to our Fisherman's Wharf-area hotel, on the ship the next day, reverse the procedure on the way back. Same basic idea if we sail from Los Angeles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A with the Coral Expeditions Team
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...