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Grand Princess - Pros and Cons?


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7 minutes ago, AF-1 said:

cr8tiv1

  Wow that is some great feedback.  My wife wants the balcony and I want the Window Suite. We have only sailed in regular suites on Royal, Norwegian, and now Princess.  DW  thought since this was 5 night going to Cabo we would sit on balcony during the sea days and sit out there when in port.  On your item #22.  What do you mean a moot point now?  Thanks again.

 

 

Cruise credits mean nothing now without the loyalty benefits that Princess removed.  You receive 1 credit for interior to mini suites.  2 pointes for suites.

 

Getting a Window Suite is very difficult.  When I first started cruise in them, no one knew about them and there was always availability.  Now you have to book them the week they open.  Everyone has so much FCCs from cancelled cruises that they are booking all the suites.  

 

Try to avoid F301.  It is a tad smaller than the rest of the suites.  F315 is an accessible Window Suite.  The higher the number, the close the cabin is to mid-ship.

 

I'm sure that if you booked a window suite, you will be able to convert your wife.  I have shared my love for these staterooms with many.

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9 minutes ago, cr8tiv1 said:

 

Cruise credits mean nothing now without the loyalty benefits that Princess removed.  You receive 1 credit for interior to mini suites.  2 pointes for suites.

 

Getting a Window Suite is very difficult.  When I first started cruise in them, no one knew about them and there was always availability.  Now you have to book them the week they open.  Everyone has so much FCCs from cancelled cruises that they are booking all the suites.  

 

Try to avoid F301.  It is a tad smaller than the rest of the suites.  F315 is an accessible Window Suite.  The higher the number, the close the cabin is to mid-ship.

 

I'm sure that if you booked a window suite, you will be able to convert your wife.  I have shared my love for these staterooms with many.

Thanks for your feedback.  I appreciate it.  There are two window suites available for my sailing 301 and 305.  I will have my travel agent book change my mini suite to 305

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Grand Princess Inaugural Cruise -- 1998

 

I listed detail of the “Grand” ship recent dry dock in 2019.

 

Grand Princess (Grand Class) - Dry dock  March  2019 (Portland, Oregon)

  • Reupholster lounge chairs in Explorer's, Crooner's, Wheelhouse, Crown Grill, Library, and Snookers. 
  • New information screens throughout elevator lobbies
  • New bathtubs in staterooms
  • New sofas for Explorer's and Crooner's 
  • Replace Mini-suite sleeper sofas 
  • Replace astro turf deck covering on upper decks 
  • Replace Horizon Court carpeting and tiles 
  • Replace Wheelhouse Dance floor 
  • Refurbish elevator interiors
  • Repair/Refinish beverage station cabinets in Horizon Court 
  • New carpeting in the dining rooms and Crooner's. 
  • New carpeting in hallways
  • Refurbish swimming pools
  • General maintenance and upkeep
  • Painted hull of ship
  • New propellers
  • New hot tub tiling around both Calypso and Neptune pools
  • Ocean Medallion wiring install (not active until subsequent dry-dock March 2022)
  • SHIP SYSTEMS: Inspection and repair of propellers, exchangers, propulsion as well as hot and cold water lines.   
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I’ve been on the Grand a few times.  There are pros and cons ..

 

Pros:

she is smaller so you don’t have an extra deck of passengers to contend with 

there is a wonderful covered outdoor seating are behind the One5 club

Window Suites … I can’t stress this enough how wonderful they are

they also have some unique floor or to ceiling oceanview rooms up on the lido deck

always seems to have the best staff and crew onboard 

 

Cons:

she is old and it really shows 

poor ventilation system (AC goes out, temp control has been tough to maintain) 

poor plumbing system (leaks and overflowing toilets) 

lack of maintenance is obvious  (I think they can only do so much)

no middle staircase for passenger use causing bottlenecks in front of the photo booth area 

closets are smaller in regular staterooms 

 

you may still have a wonderful sailing as the crew will do their best to make sure you have a great time.  Unfortunately, she is really missing her WOW factor.  

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Cruise Raider said:

I’ve been on the Grand a few times.  There are pros and cons ..

 

Pros:

she is smaller so you don’t have an extra deck of passengers to contend with 

there is a wonderful covered outdoor seating are behind the One5 club

Window Suites … I can’t stress this enough how wonderful they are

they also have some unique floor or to ceiling oceanview rooms up on the lido deck

always seems to have the best staff and crew onboard 

 

Cons:

she is old and it really shows 

poor ventilation system (AC goes out, temp control has been tough to maintain) 

poor plumbing system (leaks and overflowing toilets) 

lack of maintenance is obvious  (I think they can only do so much)

no middle staircase for passenger use causing bottlenecks in front of the photo booth area 

closets are smaller in regular staterooms 

 

you may still have a wonderful sailing as the crew will do their best to make sure you have a great time.  Unfortunately, she is really missing her WOW factor.  

 

 

 

 

All the maintenance problems you mentioned were addressed at the last dry dock in 2019.  I sailed on the Grand Princess shortly after that dry dock and she was in fine condition.

Even the pools had been rebuilt.

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Just now, brisalta said:

 

All the maintenance problems you mentioned were addressed at the last dry dock in 2019.  I sailed on the Grand Princess shortly after that dry dock and she was in fine condition.

Even the pools had been rebuilt.

 I sailed on her on right before the pandemic hit (after the dry dock) and experienced all those problems on that sailing.  
I am not buying it!  
 

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4 minutes ago, Cruise Raider said:

 I sailed on her on right before the pandemic hit (after the dry dock) and experienced all those problems on that sailing.  
I am not buying it!  
 

 

Are you sure you were on the Grand Princess ?

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There was also elevator issues. Years ago after the first big drydock when they removed skywalkers, we were on that very first sailing. Toilet issues were major, not flushing and over flowing. Elevator issues, getting stuck in them. I had an awful issue in one of the front area elevators. Years later,same elevator was always out of order.

Over the years we still cruised on the Grand because of the itinerary, not because we liked the ship. Balconies had so much rust on them and the carpeting in cabins was so old and tired. We are booked on the Grand again in January and hope to see some upgrades in the cabins itself. We will be booked in a mini suite on deck 8.

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Love Grand.  Our most sailed ship in the Princess fleet.  Like Crown wouldn't hesitate to sail her again.

 

Grand is definitely showing her age as she is now well past her 20th birthday.  The last dry dock did much to spruce up especially tired areas.  We were on one cruise prior to DD and two cruises after, the changes were positively jarring.  As noted, medallion was all but operational for the final sailing.  No medallions, but all of the wifi and VOD upgrades had been completed and were a lifesaver while in quarantine (though even the upgraded service couldn't support the entire ship confined to cabins).

 

Still, we're booked twice on her in '22 even with the move from SF to LA, that's how much we love her.  Why?  In no particular order:  Lower passenger density / more space, Alfredo's, we're quite positive on the One5 though I admit the loss of Skywalkers takes away a great enclosed sea view, a consistently great crew, in the past Window Suites which we always picked over CC mini's.  For us though, no more WS's, OV or inside cabins.  Being locked inside for a week without a breath of fresh air has probably changed us forever.

 

We feared Grand would fleet exit after the covid experience, so happy she remains in the fleet for a bit longer.  

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5 minutes ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

All Princess ships before Royal need to be scrapped.  Outdated, horrible ride at sea, claustrophobic, crowded, etc.  

I disagree. The older ships in the Grand and Crown classes have that wonderful wraparound Promenade deck, with the forward section being up the stairs on Emerald. I love that! I'll miss it sadly when the last of these ships is gone.

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26 minutes ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

All Princess ships before Royal need to be scrapped.  Outdated, horrible ride at sea, claustrophobic, crowded, etc.  

That post will surely stir the pot!

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19 hours ago, John99 said:

Grand Princess (Grand Class) - Dry dock  March  2019 (Portland, Oregon)

 

Great info, John99. Thanks! Where do you find the dry dock worklist for the ships?

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4 hours ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

All Princess ships before Royal need to be scrapped.  Outdated, horrible ride at sea, claustrophobic, crowded, etc.  

No No and No.  We love the Ruby, Sapphire and Coral ships for sure.  Have never cruised on a Royal  class and am only sailing on the Majestic next year since it is a free balcony plus casino cash

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2 hours ago, mtnesterz said:

Great info, John99. Thanks! Where do you find the dry dock worklist for the ships?

Try -- cruisingrobsblog . blogspot . com  --  There are 5 “posts” for March of 2019.   There are many pictures plus some narrative.  John

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Posted (edited)

I would think that all the down time the past 16 months that all the ships would get painting and stuff like that while they were sitting at sea.  Are the Princess ships sailing this summer and into the winter sailing at full capacity or are they limited to 30/40/ 0r 50%

Edited by AF-1
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The Grand has her fans and those that think she is too old.  I am a fan.  I cruise the ship when brand new in l998 out of Istanbul,  then when home ported in San Francisco, I have cruised 10 times.  Last on the Grand Feb 2020.   Now Ruby will be in San Francisco.  Have no problem going on the Grand again.  We always book a mini suite and eat in the Crown Grill or Buffet most nights... the MDR menu on Princess has slipped so prefer the Crown Grill.  Like the size of the ship, don't care for the Royal class too big. 

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7 hours ago, Steelers36 said:

That post will surely stir the pot!

Cruise on the ships you like, I prefer all the ships before the 'Royal class... went on the 

Royal a few years ago, on a TA... not impressed.  Very similar to Celebrity ships of the same age... not impressed with them either.  I will take the older ships any day. 

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23 hours ago, Cruise Raider said:

I’ve been on the Grand a few times.  There are pros and cons ..

 

Pros:

she is smaller so you don’t have an extra deck of passengers to contend with 

there is a wonderful covered outdoor seating are behind the One5 club

Window Suites … I can’t stress this enough how wonderful they are

they also have some unique floor or to ceiling oceanview rooms up on the lido deck

always seems to have the best staff and crew onboard 

 

Cons:

she is old and it really shows 

poor ventilation system (AC goes out, temp control has been tough to maintain) 

poor plumbing system (leaks and overflowing toilets) 

lack of maintenance is obvious  (I think they can only do so much)

no middle staircase for passenger use causing bottlenecks in front of the photo booth area 

closets are smaller in regular staterooms 

 

you may still have a wonderful sailing as the crew will do their best to make sure you have a great time.  Unfortunately, she is really missing her WOW factor.  

 

 

 

Agree with your pros.  Don't totally agree with the ocns.  I always book a mini suite, same on all ships.  Agree great crew and staff... I have cruised on the Grand 10 times in past 15 years, last on board Feb 2020.  I would go again, but Ruby will now be in my home port of San Francisco.  Love the Ruby too. 

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Posted (edited)

Did the Grand for a 5 night little cruise out of my home port (SF) in Jan 2020 because it was just super-convenient.  Basically: San Diego and Ensenada,  Did my own thing in San Diego, but the Princess cheese, winery and lunch shore excursion to Valle de Guadalupe (about 40 minutes NE of Ensenada) was exceptional.  A real treat.

 

I don't have any real gripes.  The exterior was showing some need of upkeep (paint) and the cabin decor is dated, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the trip.  Club class mini suite.  Dated, but very comfortable.  The important stuff is newer.

 

Food was uniformly excellent.  Club class dining was so good I don't think I'd bother booking a specialty restaurant again on Grand.

 

My only two small gipes are that unlike newer ships (as others have mentioned), you're going to do a little up and down traversing fore and aft.  Not an issue for me, but someone with mobility restrictions may find it annoying, which leads me to gripe #2 -- out-of-service elevators all over the ship.  I just took the stairs mostly, but there were a lot of confused people in elevator lobbies waiting.

 

I'd still sail Grand again though.

Edited by mk-ultra
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I love Grand!  Our first cruise was on Grand so she has a special place in my heart.  We were on the cruise to Hawaii that had some "misfortune" that another commenter mentioned.  I think that was my favorite cruise so far--gotta love a free 15-day Hawaiian cruise and $200 per person refundable OBC and an amount equal to 50% of whatever you originally paid for your cruise toward a future sailing (we took a TA from FLL to Southampton with that).  The trip back from Hawaii was awesome because so many people opted to fly home from Hawaii.  It was a real treat to be on a ship that was well below capacity.  But, I digress.  I really like the size of Grand and the promenade deck and Alfredo's.  I also love to sail out of San Francisco but would definitely follow Grand to LA.  

 

I'm not one to look for rust spots and stains on the carpet.  I didn't notice any of that when we took Grand to Alaska in 2019.  

 

The only con for me is the lack of a thermal suite.  

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13 minutes ago, aimee0715 said:

I love Grand!  Our first cruise was on Grand so she has a special place in my heart.  We were on the cruise to Hawaii that had some "misfortune" that another commenter mentioned.  I think that was my favorite cruise so far--gotta love a free 15-day Hawaiian cruise and $200 per person refundable OBC and an amount equal to 50% of whatever you originally paid for your cruise toward a future sailing (we took a TA from FLL to Southampton with that).  The trip back from Hawaii was awesome because so many people opted to fly home from Hawaii.  It was a real treat to be on a ship that was well below capacity.  But, I digress.  I really like the size of Grand and the promenade deck and Alfredo's.  I also love to sail out of San Francisco but would definitely follow Grand to LA.  

 

I'm not one to look for rust spots and stains on the carpet.  I didn't notice any of that when we took Grand to Alaska in 2019.  

 

The only con for me is the lack of a thermal suite.  

 

You can thank Princess for flying everyone home and giving you the generous bonus.  You can thank the Captain for making the voyage safe.  AND you can thank Cruise Director Dave Cole for pulling his fabulous team together under very demanding conditions.  

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