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Cruise Ratings
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Sail Date: November 2018
This was the best all around cruise that we have been on. Embarkation and disembarkation was the most organized we have ever experienced. That alone will make us cruise Norwegian again. The ship was beautiful, clean and very well ... Read More
This was the best all around cruise that we have been on. Embarkation and disembarkation was the most organized we have ever experienced. That alone will make us cruise Norwegian again. The ship was beautiful, clean and very well maintained. Our cabin was beautiful and everything worked perfectly. The food was very good. I will admit that we have had better food; not that the food was bad, because it was very good. It's just that we have had better. We did not participate in any of the activities. The service was excellent, top notch, and the best we have had. It was like the staff could't do enough for us. Every one we came in contact with was helpful, courteous, and so very friendly. The ports and shore excursions were wonderful! Again, everyone involved couldn't do enough to make us comfortable and to make our time on the trip enjoyable. We will definitely cruise with NCL again and highly recommend to all we know to do the same. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
I have sailed on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and now NCL. Other than the ports of call, the cruise was pitiful. The on-board entertainment, food, and service was subpar (except our cabin attendant - she was great!). At $13 per drink, the ... Read More
I have sailed on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and now NCL. Other than the ports of call, the cruise was pitiful. The on-board entertainment, food, and service was subpar (except our cabin attendant - she was great!). At $13 per drink, the pours were barely a shot and the mixers were stale. This cruise line doesn’t allow you to bring water onboard – instead you pay $3.50 per bottle onboard or $30+ for 24 pack prior to the cruise. We paid for the margarita sampling ($20) and that was the best time we had onboard the entire time. The drinks during that special event were a little less stingy. The balcony room was fine, but the rest of the ship was pretty old and tired. The Aloha buffet was average and the average wait for eggs to order was 15 mins. The Brazilian Steak house was below average with bland food as well as Cagney’s – our waiter at Cagney’s was great – 38 years with NCL. Wow! The Italian restaurant was good. Skip the onboard shore excursions and book off ship excursions with the exact same company for 30-50% less. All the ports (except Kona) have Avis rental car shuttles at the pier along with reasonable taxi’s. Highly recommending renting a car on all ports except Kona. At Kona, take the shuttle to the shopping center, Marriot Hotel or beach. Do not book tour bus for the road to Hana! If you get motion sick, consider driving yourself because there are 640+ curves on the 45 mile trip – but it is absolutely breath taking at several stops. Download Shocka and let it be your personal tour guide along the way. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We love cruising round trip from LA (no flying!) and Hawaii is one of our favorite destinations. What made this cruise even sweeter is that we were meeting up with a British couple we had made friends with on a cruise five years ago. The ... Read More
We love cruising round trip from LA (no flying!) and Hawaii is one of our favorite destinations. What made this cruise even sweeter is that we were meeting up with a British couple we had made friends with on a cruise five years ago. The food was excellent, although many special dishes from the past (e.g., rack of lamb) have disappeared. Also, the traditional coffee card is no longer usable on subsequent cruises, which significantly reduces its value. The entertainment on Princess is probably the best in the industry, especially since Steven Schwartz begain creating shows for them. "Born to Dance" is our favorite; we stayed to see it twice on two separate cruises. Fernando, the Cruise Director was outstanding, and the Captain was an approachable and unforgettable character who ended every announcement with "but nevertheless, by-by." Our room steward, Russell, was always there with whatever we needed. The cruise loses a star only due to the uncomfortable cabin that was assigned to us (see below). Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Service was excellent in the Capri Dinning Room. Service was also great at the bars, but no appetizers, just oriental cracker mix or peanuts. Food was average Coffee Shop quality in the Dinning Rooms. Horizon Court was very poor ... Read More
Service was excellent in the Capri Dinning Room. Service was also great at the bars, but no appetizers, just oriental cracker mix or peanuts. Food was average Coffee Shop quality in the Dinning Rooms. Horizon Court was very poor quality food. Eat in Dinning Room or fast food places on ship when you can. Embarkation very fast. Getting off the ship was not as easy. Very crowded . Entertainment was excellent but not enough of it. Ship closes down @11:30pm (Except for the disco). Captain was one of the friendliest we have experienced . The ship showed its age. Lots of areas for activities were beautiful but not used enough. More movies could have been shown in the Vista Lounge. Shops were few for such a large ship. Not many choices. They also closed too early . Got bored after the 9pm show. Not much to do after 10pm. The ship really showed its age even after being dry docked for renovation. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Fabulous trip, crew was awesome, lots of activities and enrichment opportunities. Killed it in trivia, NOT! Hawaiian ambassadors Kimo and Lokelini were most informative. Hula and ukulele lessons with guest show afterwards was awesome. Pop ... Read More
Fabulous trip, crew was awesome, lots of activities and enrichment opportunities. Killed it in trivia, NOT! Hawaiian ambassadors Kimo and Lokelini were most informative. Hula and ukulele lessons with guest show afterwards was awesome. Pop choir fun too! Veronica taught dance classes and fun in the Atrium, Piazza area was great. Captain Tuvo greeted us daily in the dining venues. Food and service in Capri was outstanding. Fish always cooked to perfection. International Cafe has great snacks and designer coffees. Met lots of experienced and first-time cruisers. Loved Nano Prado in Crooners. Cameron was cool too with his guitar. Meet and Mingle was lame, too cliquey. Danced nightly and entertainment was good. 4th trip across Pacific to Hawaii. If you don’t enjoy sea days, don’t take it. Do Noweigian’s Pride of America instead. ATV’s in Ensenada with wine tasting was best excursion ever! A few rocky nights, but that’s okay. Casino paid off! Great trip! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
My parents took this cruise to Hawaii and they both came back extremely happy. My mom were especially happy, saying how there were so many things to do. She wanted to express her gratitude and appreciation for two particular waiters, ... Read More
My parents took this cruise to Hawaii and they both came back extremely happy. My mom were especially happy, saying how there were so many things to do. She wanted to express her gratitude and appreciation for two particular waiters, Norman Lualhati and Roldan Casulla, enough to ask her son (me) to write a review for her just to highlight their excellent service. She also wants to say that all of the staff were great, always serving them with pleasure and always willing to help. There were many things to do, such as shows, dancing, exercise lessons, gambling, and shopping. There were also a lot of chances to meet people and friends. My parents were able to make a great memory on this cruise. They don't know much English so they weren't able to understand most of anything that was said on the cruise, but they still found it fun. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We had heard great things about Princess and liked the dates and itinerary for this trip. It exceeded our expectations by far. Crew, staff, entertainment, food, etc were all excellent. If asked one thing to improve the experience, I have ... Read More
We had heard great things about Princess and liked the dates and itinerary for this trip. It exceeded our expectations by far. Crew, staff, entertainment, food, etc were all excellent. If asked one thing to improve the experience, I have nothing to offer. Highly recommend Princess cruises. Every event we did was fun or relaxing. The spa is great. The shows are great. They even swapped out entertainers at Hawaii so it was all new for the return trip. Dining options are plentiful for any and all tastes. You could eat pizza, dogs, and burgers every day if you want or you could have done dining every day. Or mix it up like we did. The cruise director was phenomenal. He really drove making it a better experience as odd as that might sound. Attending science lectures was fun and informative. Naturalist Gloeta makes you learn and laugh at the same time. Hawaiian ambassador Rowena taught us tons about the islands. It was great hearing directly from the captain and chief engineer. It was fun hearing from the nav crew and the head chef including a walk through the galley. I really appreciated the huge effort made to prevent the spread of germs. Lots of little things that add up to a healthy cruise. It was truly a perfect vacation. I cannot praise cruise director Matt and Princess cruises enough. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because our friends asked us to join them to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. We have cruised from California to Hawaii twice before. So, we expected the cold weather for the crossings but we had never ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our friends asked us to join them to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. We have cruised from California to Hawaii twice before. So, we expected the cold weather for the crossings but we had never experienced such rough seas both going and coming back. We are seasoned cruisers and have never been seasick. However, my husband was sea sick twice. The ship is in need of the upcoming dry dock. It is worn and rusty. The ceiling was leaking in the Vista Lounge and in the hallways. Our cabin was clean and well maintained. The bed was very comfortable. Our cabin stewart was super! The crew was exceptional. The food, however, was lacking. It just was not up to par with the many other Princess cruises we have enjoyed. We ate in the dining room and in the Horizon. It was disappointing. We ate in the Crown Grill which was a delicious dining experience. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Princess has it right on Embarkation and Disembarkation. Smooth process proved to be one of the best. The ship is older and void of all the exciting pastimes of newer ships but full of traditional pastimes for older passengers. Cabin ... Read More
Princess has it right on Embarkation and Disembarkation. Smooth process proved to be one of the best. The ship is older and void of all the exciting pastimes of newer ships but full of traditional pastimes for older passengers. Cabin service was so exceptional that any flaws in furnishings was not noticed. Wow service for sure there! Food was exceptional in all aspects..better than any other cruise line I have experienced. Dining service was exceptional as well. Entertainment left a little to be desired. Needed more productions, more seating and better entertainers...something more breathtaking like "arial" acts, and such. Found myself bored at certain times, but mainly because of the weather and lack of other exciting activities. Not just gambling. Service everywhere was exceptional and I loved the staff. Only a couple of issues there, not worth mentioning. The Islands were awesome, economical and interesting. Less expensive than Ensenada, Mexico (who had ridiculously high prices) and no bargaining. One fan for $7.....really!!!! Don't even get off at that port. The cruise was rough sailing but we never got sick so hats off to Prncess! We would recommend but would not go again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This was our first time on Princess, as we had typically sailed on Carnival in years past. I will say that Carnival cruises can be a lot of fun, but we were going for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation, ideally free from kids and rowdy ... Read More
This was our first time on Princess, as we had typically sailed on Carnival in years past. I will say that Carnival cruises can be a lot of fun, but we were going for a relaxing and enjoyable vacation, ideally free from kids and rowdy groups. Princess delivered. The Ship The Grand Princess is an older ship, but she wears it well. The interiors have been updated probably several times since its construction and I found the decor to be neutral with a side of elegance. It isn't hard to find examples of the ships age all in all, but it wasn't necessarily detracting from the experience. If you want to find something to complain about then I'm sure you can, but if you want to enjoy a laid back vacation on a well laid out and apportioned ship, then I'd recommend the Grand. The amount of public spaces, 4 pools and 8 hot tubs ensured that no area was every overly crowded. The majority of the time, when we wanted to go for a swim or a dip in the hot tub we were by ourselves. Our itinerary involved a lot of sea days, so having a ship that didn't feel crowded made the sea days all the more enjoyable. We were always able to find open seats / loungers in the areas we wanted to be in and usually had a fair amount of privacy at that. The aft portion of the ship has (essentially) 4 decks available: The pool and loungers on 12, the Lido Deck / Horizon Court patio with tables and chairs on 14, the covered lounges on either side of Deck 15, and the hot tubs on deck 16. The amount of available space in this area was awesome and really made the trip for me. The wrap around promenade deck on 7/8 was fantastic as well. They have padded seating on both sides of the promenade deck which allowed us to sit and watch the ocean from a shaded and somewhat sheltered position. The promenade also doubles as the walking / jogging path for most people on the ship and we would spend a good amount of time everyday doing laps to help burn off the excessive amounts of food we consumed. Personally, I love being able to go to the bow (conditions permitting) and stern of the ship and being able to look out from those positions to get some amazing views. I really can't say enough about the layout of this ship. Having been on multiple Carnival ships, the Grand Princess was much more enjoyable. The Food Pretty....pretty...pretty...pretty good....pretty good. For the most part, the food was excellent. There are always dishes that don't suit ones particular fancy, but the selection was plentiful and it was always easy to find something delicious to eat. We opted for anytime dining and once we figured out the schedules, we will never do anything differently. Having the flexibility to adjust our dining time based on our schedule for the day was great, and the dining room staff learned our preferences right away and was able to set us by ourselves most every night, at the same table with the same staff. The menu in the dining room consisted of a dozen or so new options every night with a handful of consistent offerings. There was something good on the variety menu every night and I never had to dip into the "regular" offerings except once when I really wanted to try the burger, and even then I paired it with two 3 items off the variety menu. The Horizon Court had consistent breakfast offerings that grew a little tiring, but it's breakfast and there is only so much to realistically be offered. The breakfast selection was still very extensive with everything from meats and cheeses to a salad bar, granola and cereals, fresh breads and pastries, breakfast meats, pancakes, french toast, biscuits, etc. Lunch and dinner varied a lot and again always had something good to offer. The dessert bar in the Horizon Court will be the death of me, especially the bread puddings they make. Delicious. If you don't want seated dinner or the buffet, Alfredos makes excellent Pizza and the International Cafe (open 24 hours) always had great snacks to keep me stuffed to the brim. We ate at Sabatinis one night, also fantastic and well worth the $25/pp uncharge. We had the pub lunch in Crown Grill one day (highly recommended) but never dined there in the evening. Of course there is also the pizza and grill stations by the pool on Lido deck if that's your fancy. Bottom line: the food is good and there is plenty of it. The International Cafe is way better than just having 24 hour pizza, and I highly recommend a few visits to it. Booze We aren't big drinkers, so we didn't spend much time at the bars / lounges. That said, they had a surprisingly thorough and diverse collection of single malt scotch, which is right up my alley. $8 for a pour of a Highland Park, Cragganmore, Aberfeldy, Talisker, Glenfiddich, etc is definitely worth it if that is your thing. Entertainment The ship has consistent and plentiful activities throughout, though most of it catered to the older crowd. Not a problem for us as we prefer to do our own thing most of the time anyway. The few shows / events we did catch were well done and worth the time spent. The Movies Under the Stars was a favorite evening activity for us. The performers and musicians were all quality and showed a fair amount of diversity in their productions, which was nice. They had a comedian a couple nights in the beginning but not thereafter, probably because no comedian has enough jokes to last for the 6 sea days on the backend of the cruise. The Itinerary This is a long cruise and not for those who don't like sea days. 15 day cruise with 4 of them spent in port, so you can do the math. (Not counting ensenada which is there simply to overcome the Jones Act) I love sea days, so this was the cruise for me. We got around 8 hours in most ports which is enough to get off the ship and do a few activities. We hit Pearl Harbor in Oahu, rented a car and drove around Kauai, went snorkeling and perusing in Maui, and explored Hilo with a friend of ours. We didn't take any ship sponsored shore excursions so I can't speak to that, but there is plenty to do on the island. Given the length of itinerary and time of year, the demographics were probably 85% over 55, which was fine by me. We, in our 30's, liked having a quiet and relaxed group on board. There were very few kids, probably less than 20 that I ever saw. If you want to go on a cruise and rage, this is not the one for you. If you want to go on a cruise and do nothing but eat sleep swim and drink, sign up now. The only downside was the abundance of walkers and motorized scooters which would occasionally congest walkways and corridors. Good luck taking the elevators unless you want to stop on every floor. The stairs were a good excuse to further work off the excessive food that was consumed. The beginning and end of the trip was cold, but the middle was great weather. Bring a jacket and warm clothes if you're taking this cruise in the fall / winter months. Embarkation / Debarkation The embarkation process was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. From the time we arrived to the port to the time we were on the ship was less than 10 minutes. I don't know how they pull it off, but they do a damned fine job. Debarkation took a but longer only because everybody wants to leave at the same time, but even then, once our group was called it was no more than 15 minutes before we were in our Lyft on our way home. Far better than any experience we ever had on other cruises. I'm pretty sure I've conveyed my message well enough. Bottom line is that if you are going on a cruise hellbent on perfection and want to complain about every single thing that doesn't go your way then spend some coin and go on Crystal or something. If you want a quality vacation experience for a good price then Princess and the Grand Princess deliver. Read Less

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