My boyfriend and I will be on the April 22nd Grand Princess. This is our first cruise and we are sooo excited and a bit nervous, we are not sure what to expect. If anyone can provide any tips we would trully appreciate it. We are both 24 years old and have been dating for 6 years. Is anyone else going? I checked the Meet On Board and only one other person has a positng.
Question, is there a fee to use the gym? How does the Personal Choice Dinning work? We wanted the 2nd sitting but are on a waiting list (# 147). If we can not make the first sitting what happens? Are we supposed to tip during each meal? Is room service free all the time?
Questions are Good. That is how we all learn. You will not be alone. Check on other cruise forum boards, too. That week is school vacation in NH, so you probably will find some families on board. There is no charge for the gym, just spa & beauty treatments; i.e. massage, hair do, manicure, facial, etc. and Personal Trainer session. The gym is small for this size ship, so you will need to sign up for Treadmill time. Take part in lots of activities so you can enjoy a full cruise experience, but don't try to do it all.
As a first timer, you may like Personal Choice. You will be assigned to the Michelangelo dining room and can either make daily reservations for the evening dining time of your choice, the table size of your choice (say you meet other young singles and want to get together for dinner) or you can just show up and wait to be seated just like going out to dinner at home. I also understand you can seat with others like open seating. There may be a little wait if you show up between 7-8 p.m. as this is the busiest time to dine. It is open seating in the main (DaVinci) dining room for breakfast & lunch and which is also served in the Horizon Court buffet dining room. Tips are not necessary at each meal. A Room service provider should be tipped $1-$2 per couple at the time of service as you may not see this server again. On some cruise lines the server could be your cabin steward, but on the Grand, it is a room service provider. Also, now on the Grand, your ship board account which you secure with a credit card upon embarkation will be automatically charged for $6.50 per day per person to be shared by all of the dining rooms staff. If you choose to make a reservation (recommended) at the Painted Desert (Southwestern) $3.50 pp service fee and Sabatinit's (Italian) $15pp service fee will be added to your room account. All alcholic and extra beverages; i.e. Mineral Water, Soda, Special Coffees, will be charged to your account and will include a 15% tip automatically, so it is not necessary to tip more. Who do you tip?- Luggage Porters at the terminal, Tour operators/guides, taxi drivers, anyone who may have performed a real special task for you on board ship. You also still tip your room steward personally although this too can be charged to your cabin account, by going to any bar on Friday or Saturday. Average tip for steward is $50 per couple ($3.50 x 2x7). You can bring alcholic, soda or other beverages on board in your carry-on, buy it at the pier, or in port and consume it in your cabin. Wine may be ordered through your asst. waiter (busboy) who now serves as the bar server at dinner time. Any other questions, don't hesitate to ask. Oh, one special hint, make sure you each take some time by yourselves. Do what you wish and he the same. You will enjoy your time together even more with new experiences to share. The disco is super. Take in as many shows as you have time as Princess entertainment is great. You can go to shows before and after dinner depending on your time schedule.
My husband and I will be on the cruise with you. I am 29 and my husband is 31. We went on our first cruise in 99 on the Sea Princess. You will love it. The first night at sea was bit rough for me after that though I was feeling fine. If you are prone to any motion sickness they have these wristbands that work on your pressure points. We are also waitlisted on 2nd seation #97. I am not sure what happens if you can't make 1st seating. If you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me.
Nanatravel covered lots of things very thoroughly and made some great suggestions. I would like to offer a few of my opinions as well.
In addition to the treadmills, stairsteppers and stationary bikes in the gym, there is also an excellent 1/10th mile track on the top level above the gym around the basketball court and teen area. The surface is designed for running and has excellent traction even when wet. I ran two miles early every morning before breakfast. What a fantastic way to exercise!... Beautiful scenery, warm breezes, incredible sunrises! However, I did discover that my times got slower and slower and slower during the week. It may have had something to do with the six meals a day that I was eating. <he,he,he>
On the Grand Princess, from my experience, I would recommend FIRST SEATING in traditional dining. We had second seating last year and first seating this year. I've expounded on my reasons for preferring traditional dining in another post on this board. In addition, if you enjoy the live stage shows (singing and dancing production shows, comedians, individual vocalists, hypnotists, jugglers, etc.), the shows on the Grand are fantastic and not to be missed. If you are on first seating, this allows time to see two shows each evening in two different venues, whereas second seating limits you to one. There is usually about an hour between shows which gives you just enough time to make you daily contribution in the casino.
There is a premium cover charge for Sabatini's Italian Restaurant, but there is no longer the $3.50 per person charge at the Painted Desert since auto-tipping has been instituted.
I think you will find an excellent mix of ages on your cruise, particularly with school breaks occurring in some parts of the country. We had lots of kids and teens on our cruise, as well as young adults, many newlyweds. You may find that some of us with the slightly graying temples can be fun as well. <grins> My wife and I had a ball playing the interactive video games. One night they had tripped all of the video games to free play... man, it was tough fighting off all those little boogers. <he,he,he>
I wish you smooth sailing and a fabulous cruise. Just relax and have fun. It will be an experience you will never forget.
Don't even talk about packing, I don't have a thing ready! I also booked my cruise three weeks ago and went of the Princess Web site to book my excursions. I got lucky and found two opening for the St. Thomas Sailboat and Snorkeling Adventure!
We are on Baja Deck 11, this is my first time on a cruise so I don't know how great this room is? I also did not have a fortune to spend on a balcony, even though it sound wonderful!
three days to go!!!!! Well two in my case, I am leaving New York of Saturday and spending the day in Florida!
Hope to see you on the boat, if not, HAVE A WONDERFUL CRUISE!!!
I'm back from the Grand Princess and I was also on Baja deck. Regardless of where your room is located, you will love it...
If you are anywhere near Baja 230 (B230), please drop by and give our (<u>Bob and Judy McNair</u> from North Carolina) regards and thanks for his wonderful service to our room steward, Mirabou (pronounced MEAR-uh-boo).
If you see the Commodore, please give him our regards as well. I've told him all about our cyber-friends and the conversations that we have on the Internet about cruising and Princess in particular. He would be interested to know that you communicate with others about cruising and his ship. Don't be shy, he is a very friendly fellow.
Thanks and have a safe journey to Florida and a marvelous cruise. I can't wait until you return to hear your experiences.
<font face="Comic Sans MS" size=+1 color=blue>It's more than a cruise... It's duh LUUUUUV Boat!!</font>
<BGSOUND balance=0 loop=1 src="http://tv.acmecity.com/madefortv/91/loveboat.mid" volume=-500>