Hello Tauni....My wife and are both 47 years of age and she too is at college completing her Master's Degree. So much for that.
It is nice to see some other couples on the same cruise. I read that you have a few concerns. Let me discuss the concern about an inside or outside cabin. That is really up to each individual. The inside cabins aren't that bad if you plan to stay out of the room for long durations of time and not retire so early at night. Our choice is definetly a room with a balcony. Once we tried the room with a balcony, we were hooked. There are words to describe the peacefulness out on the deck. We have breakfest on the deck in the morning, maybe an afternoon snack, then before bed the sound of the water and open air is undescribable. But, there is a massive premium for that. Just to have a balcony adds an extra $2000 to our cost compared to what a couple pays for an inside cabin and everything else is identical, except for the room. You should be fine this first time. Enjoy everything there is on the ship and on shore. I think you will be in heaven with cruising. Most people feel the middle part of the ship is the best, but we haven't noticed that much difference. I would advise bringing a pair of the wristbands they sell in the travel shops for sea sickness. Most of the time you don't feel a thing, but just to be safe, the wristbands work to prevent the motion sickness, at least they work on us.
You will love the shore excursions. They average, depending upon the excursion, $25 to $65 per person. As far as how much more money you will need depends upon your vacation style. As you know, nost of the food is included, however, alcoholic beverages are not. So you will have to allow for that if you decide to have that type of beverage. You will also need to allow for any gambling you want want to do in the casino and any shopping. Again, each couple's spending habits are different. I know in addition to the cruise, we have averaged about another $1200. That included some beverages, gambling, shore excursions and shopping. That could be lower or higher depending upon your interests and financial situation.
You will find tons of activities on ship and off. We hardly ever sleep.
Anyway, I have taken up too much of your time already. If you have any more questions, just ask. I also have a video on the Grand Princess that you are more than welcome to borrow if you want to view the ship. I would be more than happy to mail it to you. It really is a beautiful video on the ship and its activities.
One final note...If you weren't aware, you can pre-register for shore excursions and fill out immigration documents on the Princess website ahead of time before the cruise. This will save a lot of time when you arrive at the port.
Hopefully we can all meet at some point. We are in a mini-suite on the dolphin deck.
Dave and Loni