I don't post much anymore, but I do enjoy reading this board daily. I just have to say thanks to the many posters who recommended Captain Marvin in Grand Cayman. We opted for his "Swim with the Sting Rays" tour on our recent cruise on the Grand to the Western Caribbean. Only one other couple was on our tour, so it was like a private charter! Just the four of us and the 'Rays. What a wonderful experience.
But what made this cruise extra special, three days before sailing we found out we were upgraded to a Penthouse Suite! All I can say is WOW! We felt like we should be on "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". We just kept telling each other - Enjoy, but don't get too used to it! We always have great cruises, and this was certainly one to remember.
Since so many have cruised the Grand, I'm not posting any kind of review, but if I can answer any questions, I will be happy to do so.
Need to talk to Nancy about getting me that same upgrade ;-). Everyone should have a suite at least once in their life on a cruise. Other people (like me) deserve suites each time :-). Unfortunately I have only had 1 so far.
Question -how was the food? Same as other sailings on Princess? Did you do PC or traditional?
Laurie, we had booked a mini-suite AD Guaranty. Each time I checked our booking on-line, that's what it still indicated. Three days before sailing, as we were about to enter info on our luggage tags regarding stateroom, I decided to take a last look at our booking. Couldn't believe it! Actually I couldn't imagine what Cat PS was! When I got the brochure and saw Penthouse Suite, I immediately called my TA, and she verified it with Princess! I hope you are lucky enough to be upgraded to one. It was fantastic. The living room and the bedroom were really very roomy, the jacuzzi was just great. So much marble in that bathroom! But the balcony was huge! The furniture was wooden as opposed to vinyl and included a round table with 4 chairs, and 2 lounge chairs with comfy cushions and a snack table. Plenty of room for 4 or more. Good luck! I also think you'll enjoy Costa Maja. We thought they had tried very hard to please the cruisers and were successful.
Theresa, we did PC because we like the flexibility. Food was good to very good. Just about the same on all other cruises in my opinion. Horizon Court was good for b/f and lunch, but not my favorite for dinner. Dining room b/f were very good; dinners varied according to my food preferences. Although I think cruise food is nicely presented and sometimes very good, I never rate it excellent. And that's fine. To us it's not the main reason for cruising - tho' I certainly try to eat everything on the ship.
Thanks, Mgram. I really enjoy this BB. A lot of great info is passed along. Captain Marvin for example. If I hadn't read about him here, I would have booked with the cruiseline and have 30 other people in my group. We paid less and there were only 4 of us.
I was really looking forward to the mini-suite. This Penthouse Suite - Leif Eriksson - was more than I ever dreamed of having. Oh well, I'm sure I'll be back to reality on our next cruise!
Congrats, Marti, on such a "grand" upgrade. We're booked in a PS 3/17 on the Grand. I didn't know much about the suite other than some website pics & description until you described it above. Sounds like my husband & I will absolutely love this one!!
P.S. We were determined when we booked our first suite several cruises ago that we were NOT going to get used to it...HAHA; now we wait until we can afford a suite before we cruise. So we don't cruise as much as we used to, but that's ok, because we find that even a small suite makes our cruise that much better. I hope you have better will power in the future than we do when it comes to suites.
The marble bathrooms really are nice, aren't they? Congrats for your upgrade! It must be nice when you don't have to pay for that cabin.
Carol - The balconies are really roomy. The cabin is a bit choppy, but very comfortable and more than enough room for 2 people. The bathroom is separated: the sink & toilet are in one area and the shower and jacuzzi tub are in another area. There is a marble entry, a sofabed, a wet bar, refridgerator, 2 TVs, a double bed and two sliding glass doors. We tipped our cabin steward a partial tip at the beginning of our cruise and I think it made a difference in service. We had a bon voyage party on our balcony and he was very, very helpful in bringing extra chairs, wine glasses, snacks we pre-ordered, a cork screw, tons of ice, etc. for us to enjoy. It's hard to go back to a regular cabin after having a suite!
Just want to make one correction to my response to Laurie - I indicated that we had been upgraded to PS Penthouse Suite. I was right about the Penthouse Suite, but the Category is PH. Don't want to mislead anyone. But it does seem from the brochure that the PS and PH are basically the same.
Bobbie is correct about the layout being a bit choppy. Several times I walked into the closet rather then the bathroom and vice-versa!
I'm sure that's why the cruiselines upgrade! We were always happy in an outside stateroom until we booked a balcony. Now I can't imagine cruising without one. They sure know what they're doing!
Thanks for the 'Suite' news. We are booked also in a AD minisuite (Guaranteed room #), so I will watch the internet for any upgrades.
We booked a year in advance to our sailing date . . . so hopefully that will help. How far ahead had you booked your cruise?
You mentioned we will love Costa Maya . . . any specific ideas as to what we should do will be appreciated. Remembering we are traveling w/ a lot of family (folks 50th Anniverary). However, everyone seems to be doing their own thing @ port. We do have 2 kids traveling w/ us . . . one 4 & the other 12.