Can anyone tell me since my wife and I are booked on the Grand for a 14 day Carribean in Jan/Feb 09, how the ship is holding up. I have cruised Princess before (2) but never the Grand. I have read mixed reviews that she is showing her age and could use repairs. Also can anyone tell me which dining room is the better (I am on anytime dining)? Also any other helpful hints would help.
We were on the Grand (11/04/05) and the ship looked like it was in good shape back then. 17 days Med & trans-Atlantic cruise.
Both dining rooms serve the same food. On is used for traditional dining and the other for Anytime Dining.
SS Norway (12 times) '85 - '97; Radiance OS 06/01; Island Princess 11/04, Grand Princess 11/04/05, Golden Princess 7/21/06, Golden Princess 2/24/07, Explorer of the Seas 12/23/07, Island Princess 11/15/08
We were on Grand Princess last July, and she certainly wasn't looking tired back then. I know it's now a year on & ships can change quickly, but I would be surprised if she's gone donwhill that much.
As for the restaurants, on our cruise both the Da Vinci & Michelangelo restaurants were used for Anytime Dining, whilst the Botticelli was used for Club dining. The only difference between the 2 Anytime restaurants was that one opened a little earlier, and you could only book your space in that one, the other was purely on a walk-up basis. All 3 restautants served the same food.
We did try out Sabatini's but were very disappointed with the service levels that we recieved. Hopefully this will have improved.
Hope this helps,
Alan & Katrina
Last Cruise: P&O Adonia June 2014
Next Cruise: Azamara Journey August 2014
followed by: Queen Victoria November 2014
followed by: Queen Elizabeth December 2014
Golden, Grand(2), Caribbean, Sea(4+1 aborted)
Adonia(4+2), Arcadia, Artemis(2), Aurora(5), Azura(2), Oceana(3), Oriana(11), Ventura(2), Victoria(5)
QM2(2), QE2(9), QV(5), QE, Caronia(2), Minerva II, Fred.Olsen(8), NCL Jade, =X= Eclipse, HAL Ryndam
The ship itself looks okay. The food was mediocre. We dined in Michelangelo with assigned seating. We stayed on the Emerald Deck (8) and had to have an air purifier due to a strong mildew smell. You could also smell it in the hallway. Try to get a room with a balcony which the other people at our table said was fine. Check to see if the ports have alternative transportation to where you want to go, as in the U.K. they charged us $60-$70 per person to get into the cities. They also cancelled our last stop at Normandy and Omaha beaches, due to a strike. We found out that the strike was over BEFORE they cancelled the port.
I have sailed the Grand /Golden, and one of the dining rooms seemed very confusing for many to get to. I forget which one. These ships have very choppy layouts, which has been a complaint of many who have sailed her.
Trip, with her book & tea!
Chat Hostess & Board Moderator
Have never been on the Grand but did the Crown last year. "Anytime Dining" isn't as liberating as it sounds. We like to have the same waiter every night so we did Anytime but were forced to make a reservation for the entire 10 days in order to do this. The reservation times were set much like the regular dining room so choice was limited. We found this to be an ok solution after leaving dinner the second night and seeing a long line of passengers waiting to be seated. Prime time had long lines every night - something to consider.
travelling on the Grand Princess was great ... no sign of age ... while crossing the Atlantic last year, unused cabins were upgraded ... overall the ship didn't show any age issues ... enjoy your cruise ... she is a beautiful ship.