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Old September 24th, 2001, 11:41 PM
Liz Liz is offline
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Default grand princess, hardly grand

we were on grand princess last week of august, (although it now seems like another lifetime) were with our three kids, ages 8, 11, and 14. have been on many cruises, 4 this year alone , have been on rccl, carnival, celebrity, and this occasion first time on princess. based on this board, travel agents opinions, family members, we were led to believe princess was a notch above the rest. NO WAY. Our accomodations were very nice but not significantly nicer than any others. the service was fine but not extraordinary, as a matter of fact our room steward was a very unfriendly person whom we hardly made any requests of and he was awol most of the time, we had had room service early in the day and when we returned to the room later that evening the beds had been turned down but the dirty food and plates remained, imagine tuna sitting in a hot small space all day, the room stunk. the entertainment was amateurish, the lounge acts were playing to empty rooms one in particular was so awful i felt sorry for them.in the casino the dealers were telling me that this cruise was just not happening in any way, people are telling them alot of things are not up to par. The piece de resistence however had to be the food, it truly sucked. The quality of the ingredients was not top notch and the attempts at preparing it could not compensate for it . The sabatinis bistro was like a plentiful Olive Garden meal. Lots of inferiior food. The best meal we had all week(and this is a relative statement) was the tex mex, When I said that to the Maitre D he replied whats going on this week? Everybody I speak to says this to me. I know that alot of people on this board are going to reply, what a negative crank, go ahead, I am honestly stating what we experienced and having been a frequent cruiser I know of what i speak. To balance this out, we had a great time in the ports, did our own excursions, since we know these places and dont need to overpay to do the same stuff anyway. I cant comment on the kids progam, since my kids hang together and dont use the kids program but it did seem very nice from afar. There were over 250 kids on our cruise and they all seemed busy. The pools were fine nothing great, except the main pool although very crowded was not the cleanest, I think the best overall cruise for the money and even for the experience is now Carnival's newer ships, they really have improved. Our only problem with Carnival is that they dont do the private island thing which our family finds the best part of the cruise. In fact if they could just park the ship there for the whole week it would suit us fine. If anyone has specific questions regarding our cruse experiences i would be happy to share the many positive as well as not so positive times we have had. God bless all of you and hang together in this scary time.
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Old September 25th, 2001, 12:23 AM
Ed Ed is offline
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Default Re: grand princess, hardly grand

Sorry to hear of your bad experience with the Grand. We sailed on her last year and found her the best ship we've sailed on, (16) cruises.
We are sailing on her this coming Sunday and will give my report under your report.

I feel that many people try and sugar coat a bad trip and I respect you for your honest opinion.

Thanks for your input

ED
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Old September 25th, 2001, 08:45 AM
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Default Re: grand princess, hardly grand

Thanks for the honest review. I appreciate that while you can be negative, you are also positive in small ways. I did not sense that you completely blamed the cruise line which is what most people do when they post negative reviews.

My husband and I are what is called baby cruisers, only having been on one before, but we are quickly becoming toddlers with two booked already and thinking of booking another.

We cruised on Princess' Grand last year in Nov and while it was a great trip, there were some negatives, but we had a great stewardess, friendly when we actually saw him which was practically never! The room was always clean. I have to disagree with your comment on Sabitini's (sp?) Unless of course your Olive Garden is much better than ours, we thought the food and the experience was very worth the cover charge. We ate here on our actual anniversary date and it was (when I think of a word to describe it, I will let you know, ).
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Old September 25th, 2001, 08:56 AM
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Default Re: grand princess, hardly grand

Like the previous poster, I have no doubt that you had less than a satisfactory cruise. Nothing can get away from that plain fact. However, I would point out that your experience is somewhat anecdotal... based on one sailing. When a ship consistently gets superb ratings in most areas, from seasoned travelers, and you have a totally different experience, it tells me that either the ship was having a "bad" week or the Princess cruise product may not be for you. And, you had a bad cabin steward too boot!

Ever been to a restaurant that you visit on a regular basis and enjoy? Then, one day you go and it is horrible... you say "if this was the first time at this restaurant, I'd never return"! (Maybe it was the chef's night out... or a substitute inept waiter... or... well, you get the picture). This phenominon occurs with ships too and I suspect may have been the case on your voyage.

Then, too, there is the element of personal taste. Not every line is in sync with everyone's tastes and things tend to mount up as the voyage progresses with the passenger seeing only the negatives at every turn. Princess consistently gets high marks on service, food, entertainment and other shipboard activities and services. It may be that they are just not for you and your family.LIZ wrote:
>
> we were on grand princess last week of august, (although it
> now seems like another lifetime) were with our three kids,
> ages 8, 11, and 14. have been on many cruises, 4 this year
> alone , have been on rccl, carnival, celebrity, and this
> occasion first time on princess. based on this board, travel
> agents opinions, family members, we were led to believe
> princess was a notch above the rest. NO WAY. Our
> accomodations were very nice but not significantly nicer than
> any others. the service was fine but not extraordinary, as a
> matter of fact our room steward was a very unfriendly person
> whom we hardly made any requests of and he was awol most of
> the time, we had had room service early in the day and when
> we returned to the room later that evening the beds had been
> turned down but the dirty food and plates remained, imagine
> tuna sitting in a hot small space all day, the room stunk.
> the entertainment was amateurish, the lounge acts were
> playing to empty rooms one in particular was so awful i felt
> sorry for them.in the casino the dealers were telling me that
> this cruise was just not happening in any way, people are
> telling them alot of things are not up to par. The piece de
> resistence however had to be the food, it truly sucked. The
> quality of the ingredients was not top notch and the attempts
> at preparing it could not compensate for it . The sabatinis
> bistro was like a plentiful Olive Garden meal. Lots of
> inferiior food. The best meal we had all week(and this is a
> relative statement) was the tex mex, When I said that to the
> Maitre D he replied whats going on this week? Everybody I
> speak to says this to me. I know that alot of people on this
> board are going to reply, what a negative crank, go ahead, I
> am honestly stating what we experienced and having been a
> frequent cruiser I know of what i speak. To balance this out,
> we had a great time in the ports, did our own excursions,
> since we know these places and dont need to overpay to do the
> same stuff anyway. I cant comment on the kids progam, since
> my kids hang together and dont use the kids program but it
> did seem very nice from afar. There were over 250 kids on our
> cruise and they all seemed busy. The pools were fine nothing
> great, except the main pool although very crowded was not the
> cleanest, I think the best overall cruise for the money and
> even for the experience is now Carnival's newer ships, they
> really have improved. Our only problem with Carnival is that
> they dont do the private island thing which our family finds
> the best part of the cruise. In fact if they could just park
> the ship there for the whole week it would suit us fine. If
> anyone has specific questions regarding our cruse experiences
> i would be happy to share the many positive as well as not so
> positive times we have had. God bless all of you and hang
> together in this scary time.
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Old September 25th, 2001, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: grand princess, hardly grand

Good response, I'm very sorry that the Grand didn't meet your expectations, but 'personal taste' is a factor to consider here too.

I've been on 43 cruises, 15 on Princess (Grand 3 times) and 10 on Carnival, while I love ALL cruises, I find that Princess best suits my tastes. Less of a 'Las Vegas' atmostphere than on Carnival.
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Old September 25th, 2001, 11:48 AM
Tom Tom is offline
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Default Re: grand princess, hardly grand

I'd like to address a few of your points. Being "touted" by others that Princess is "a notch above the rest" is, at the very least, subjective. Everyone has there own reason for why they like a particular cruise line. I happen to prefer Princess due its attracting a generally older crowd. As for the accomdations, I absolutely love there mini-suite, but would never be "touted" into thinking that their cabins are "significantly nicer than any others". We all like what we like for our own reasons, reasons that may not mean much to others. As for the service, I think it would be terribly naive to think that all service would be "extraordinary" as would every room steward. It is unfortuate that you got the unextrodinary one. As for the state of the room, if you wanted to insure additional cleanings per day, or needed another cleaning, you should have called housekeeping to be sure it was done. I don't like to leave anything to chance. As for the entertainment, if you were looking for a Broadway productions, well, it just ain't happening at sea.
As for the food, again, very subjective. I've found it to be quite good. But our tastes are very different. I also couldn't see myself eating tuna in the room. But I am a 48 year old unmarried male with no children. Could you imagine me recommending a babysitter to someone with kids? But yet we alll seem to accept as gospel here what others recommend when it comes to everything about a cruise.
I have an analogy that I have that I use in cases like this. I've seen Les Miserables on Broadway 13 times. I like the show very much. The problem is, I am too good a critic. I now know a bad performer from a good one. It makes it harder for me to enjoy the show. But conversely, where some people walk away from the show having hated it thinking they saw a terrible performance, I walk away knowing it wasn't a bad performance, but a bad performer that made the show displeasing. The moral of this story is, know the difference between a bad performance and a bad performer. You can always return and enjoy the next perfomance if you saw a bad performer, as performers change. If you did see a bad performance, then it probably doesn't matter how often you return, chances are the peformance will always be bad.
I survived a category 5 hurricane, Luis, on St. Maarten back in 1995. It was truly hell, the worst things you could imagine. But I came away from that experience enjoying everything in life I could and trying to make the best of the worst of times. It is something I wouldn't want to live through again, but I'm glad I have lived through it once as it has had a significant impact on my life.
Enjoy even the worst of times, it helps to make us appreciate the best of times ......
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Old September 25th, 2001, 12:44 PM
Liz Liz is offline
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Default Re: grand princess, hardly grand

Hi , thank you to all who replied , firstly, I feel that as someone who has been cruising since they were 12 yrs old and I am 46 now, I can indeed tell the difference between a bad and a good performance. As I had previously stated, the food was consistently below average, if the meats and seafood were not that good on Sunday, and the same again on Weds. I dont think you can blame the cow, if you get my drift. As I also stated if even the culinary personnel were commenting on negative feedback about the food then there was something amiss. Perhaps as we are from the metro N.Y. area where we can get good Italian food pretty easily and the steak and seafood is easily obtained we are a bit jaded, but I still think even Carnival had much better attempts at great food. The personal choice concept is great, but I like it to taste good too.
As for our room steward, why should he make the beds and not clean the dirty plates, should I have to tell a steward to clean dirty dishes, thats his job, isnt it. As I stated peviously my sister inlaw sailed on Princess to Alaska in July and said the food and service were very good, so I am not condemning the line but the Grand was not even Great. Lets hope that real soon the biggest problems we will be discussing will be chewy steak and rubbery lobster........ God bless you all.
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Old September 25th, 2001, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: grand princess, hardly grand

Liz
I will be on my first Princess cruise on the Grand this Sunday. I have heard good things about Princess and expect it will compare favourably to our other cruises on Carnival, Cunard, RCI, and NCL.
Although not part of your comment and slightly off-topic, I found it interesting that just as passengers have various appraisals of the different ships we have been on, sometimes crew have a similar experience.
When we did a backstage tour with the entertainers on Carnival Paradise last year they mentioned that sometimes the crew/entertainers find a wide swing in the attitude and enthusiasm of the passengers from cruise to cruise which in turn has an effect on the crew.
Here's hoping all goes well on Sunday.
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Old September 25th, 2001, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: grand princess, hardly grand

One thing I have found in taking eight cruises in the past 6 years is that each passenger experiencing the exact same things on a cruise has a widely differing opinion of the experience.
Example: I often hear people complain that they never saw their steward.I don't want to see my steward. What I want is a steward who accomplishes his tasks in a totally invisible manner. Always taking care of, but never interfering with the use of my room
when I am in it.I like a bartender that serves my drink and then goes away until I need another. Other people bond like brothers with the bartenders and would hate my preffered type of service.
Shows , food, crowds ,lines ,rooms and service all seem to be a matter of expectation ,prior experience and personal preference.
I doubt that any two people go through the same vacation experience and enjoy or dislike the same things.
It is helpful I think to read when someone has a bad experience ,
but I would not condemn a ship or an entire cruiseline based on
one persons interpretation of their bad experience.
While waiting in a public area to disembark my last cruise, I listened to the gentleman next to me speak out to anyone who would listen about his rather poor cruise experience. My wife and I wondered as we listened if in fact we had cruised on the same ship at all. Every area he had of complaint, I thought was top notch. Ironically it was often for the same reason as his complaint.
I don't doubt that Liz and her family had a bad experience by
their standards ( and perhaps by mine had I been there).
Don't allow any individuals experience to color your own (good or bad) without knowing all the facts .Unless you are reading that the plumbing is not functional throughout the ship, that food was bologna sandwiches 3 meals a day , that the entertainment staff had all been let go and the waiters were kicking the passengers as they walked by, form yor own opinion from your own perspective.
Happy Sailing everyone. Relax and enjoy, you are on vacation!!!
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Old September 25th, 2001, 08:39 PM
marye
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Default Re: grand princess, hardly grand

Sorry you found this ship lacking. We sailed her in March and again in July. In March we had a mini-suite with all the trimmings, and in July we had the bowels of the ship, and loved it both times. As a matter of fact, out room steward in July was the BEST we have had in 11 cruises. Always there, yet never intruded. Very friendly (we got to know about his family, and he always knew where my husband was going when we were separated.) I LOVE the Grand Princess, and enjoyed it very much. I can't say enough also for the waiters, and assistants that we encounterd, whether at lunch or assigned to our table at dinner. We were treated with the best of intentions, and received wonderful service. Our neighbors, with us on the July cruise, renewed their vows in a touchingly personalized service, and it remains one of their fondest memories ( they have 5 cruises under their belts.).

Sorry you didn't think this ship was great. The many cruise options give us all something to try, and we, hopefully find the one for us.

marye
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Old September 25th, 2001, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: grand princess, hardly grand

Hi,

We sailed the Grand last December and will sail her again in November.

Our service was the best on this ship than any of our previous cruises.

The swimming pools were wonderful - there were several and all were fresh water. No other cruise line that I know of has fresh water. I loved the adults only pool along with the one with the retractable roof which is great when the weather isn't wonderful.

I am sorry you didn't have a good time - we enjoyed our cruise very much. I will take Princess over Celebrity any day.
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Old September 29th, 2001, 03:24 AM
ltc
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Default Re: grand princess, hardly grand

So glad to hear you say you have had some really good Carnival cruises (since you are an experienced cruiser)! By the way, you may already know this, but the Carnival Pride (due out in Jan. 2002) WILL be stopping at a private island - the one Holland American has been using. It may be that Carnival is trying this idea out. For years that kept us off of Carnival (though we did finally try the Destiny when she was new. We were somewhat disappointed in the food & service -though they tried; they just weren't very seasoned, I think, & had more problems communicating. Then there was the feeling of a dorm room for a cabin.-Have not sailed w/Carnival since.) But we are probably going to be trying the Pride next spring. ( We like RCCL a lot - sailed w/them the most - & did 2 NCL cruises, which we also liked, plus some others.) Someone mentioned people sometimes try to sugarcoat their reviews. I think that is true. None of us want to be thought of as picky ol' grouches. I, too, have been on a ship, listening to other passengers complain about things that I thought were wonderful! (Everything from food to how we shouldn't have picked up 3 Cuban refugess dying of thirst on a raft, to why did we even stop in Jamaica ? - which I loved!) So many posters had very good points to make in regard to your subject. Everyone was right in one way or another. But I can see why you are skeptical to shell out a bunch of $ again to go on a line that you didn't care much for the first time. A restaurant is one thing. The price for a cruise is another. Fortunately there are lots of ships to choose from & many ships within the lines. Anyway, it's good to hear your view of Carnival. I still notice the ratings on a few review sights - even for the new Spirit - are generally less point-value wise than most of the other large, mainstream lines. Hope we are pleasantly surprised!
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Old September 29th, 2001, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: grand princess, hardly grand

ErnieMCC,

The only problem is that this is not exactly the first post indicating that there are serious problems aboard MV Grand Princess right now. I don't know why unless Princess pulled a lot of seasoned staff for the inaugural season of MV Golden Princess in Europe. The timing of the sudden deterioration does seem to coincide.

Norm.
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Old September 29th, 2001, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: grand princess, hardly grand

LIZ,

Unfortunately, it appears that you succeeded in stumbling into the worst of Princess as several other recent posts on this board have indicated that MV Grand Princess has been having problems. It appears that they pulled a lot of seasoned crew from that ship to staff MV Golden Princess for her inaugural season, and the replacement staff are struggling to provide the expected level of service.

I hope that you will try MV Sun Princess, MV Dawn Princess, MV Sea Princess, or MV Ocean Princess whenever you have an opportunity to do so. These ships do seem to function much more smoothly in a lot of areas, and they do not seem to have many lapses in service.

Norm.
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