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Star Princess or Grand Princess?

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We are  Looking to go on an cruise to Hawaii either in February or March of this coming year (2020   I'm leaning towards the Star Princess verse the Grand Princess because the Star seems to have a little lower prices.    The Star  sails out of  L. A.   (San  Pedro) The Grand  sails from San Francisco and  have sailed out of both ports.   I love  would to have your opinion on the two ships.

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The Grand has Alfredo’s and the Star does not otherwise they are fairly the same. We don’t choose the ship when we sail we choose ports. We have sailed out of San Francisco our home port several time and about 23 out of San Pedro.  If you have to fly to the port to get to your ship then I would go with the cheaper fare.  I would go with the Star because I don’t have to drive or fly to So Cal.  


Edited by toescat
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I would pick the Star.  We did a 14-day cruise around the Caribbean on the Grand in Jan 2010.  It was a good cruise, but the ship was not as nice as the newer ones; mainly it had a tiny atrium, not the soaring atrium on the newer ships.  Never sailed on her again (have sailed Princess 31 times).  We've been on the Star 3 times for 36 days total, including an 18-day Transatlantic.  Other itineraries included the Caribbean and Alaska (in 2014).

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The Star for several reasons:


1. The Grand was the first ship of that design and the closet and wardrobe are half the size of that on all later ships. Very little storage.


2. The Star has Skywalker's.


3. They served Alfredo's in Sabatini's on embarkation and sea days. Don't know if they still do.

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We've sailed several times on both ships. 


If you want to spend any time in the embarkation port before or after the cruise, I'd choose the Grand because there is really nothing within walking distance of the port in LA.  Pier 27 in San Francisco is pretty much right in the center of the Embarcadero with so many attractions within walking distance and many options for nearby public transportation, as well.  If you are going to stay in SF, though, it is pricey for a downtown hotel ... and you really do want to stay downtown, preferably near the pier ... just not out by the airport, which isn't even in San Francisco.  


If you are wanting a special room (although they sell out quickly), again, I would choose the Grand as it is one of the only ships that still has Window Suites in a very convenient midship location.  They are fabulous rooms if you can snag one and the Star doesn't have this room type. 


I have found the service and even the food has always been outstanding on the Grand and I can't say the same for my experiences on the Star ... I suppose that can all change, though, but I've never seen it on my several cruises across both ships.  I usually call the Grand the 'ship of yes' as the staff is phenomenal.  


For any and all other reasons, I would choose the Star.  The Grand is a very old girl and aside from the regular maintenance issues that plague a ship of this age, her design is a bit flawed.  There is no central staircase for passenger use above deck 7, creating a bottleneck of people in the one sided hallway to get from mid ship to the aft on deck 7 and use of the elevators in midship is slow going ... all because of that missing staircase.  Also, I am fan of Skywalkers, which has been removed from the Grand and replaced with the One5 club, which just isn't quite as good IMO.   

In addition, which shouldn't be as big of an issue when going to Hawaii, the AC on the Grand always seems to be on the blink.  And, of all my cruises, I've only had issues on the Grand with the plumbing ... both in my cabin(s) and in the public areas.  The plumber has always showed up in an appropriate amount of time but it is just more of the maintenance issues that may or may not affect you.  


I still think you would have a good time on either sailing ... happy planning and Bon Voyage!  



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Star, because you said it's cheaper and you are flying to your port. :)  Have done both the Star and Grand to Hawaii and both will be a great cruise.  I will say, if it was us we'd do the Grand because it's our home port and I love the staff on the Grand, but the closets are smaller, as Pam mentioned. It's also beautiful to sail under the Golden Gate.  Flying in though, I would pick the less expensive sailing. 

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