Grand Princess 29 May - 5 June 2010
Vickie Buckley – 05-06-2010 - Princess Cruises – Grand Princess
Lovely ship, lovely feel aboard her and nice atmosphere, looking slightly tired in certain areas and probably in need of a refurb soon. The only downsides I would say the swimming pools and deck areas were VERY busy on nice days and impossible to get a chair/lounger (obviously not quick enough on this one, NEVER managed it! - same old story of people saving loungers). Quite often there were lines for the Horizon buffet and again quite difficult to find a free table.
All other areas of the ship were less busy and the kids really enjoyed the nightclub in the fin at the back!
I found the food to be very, very good. For the evenings we were on the anytime dining and always managed to more or less eat when we wanted to. There was a good range of different options available from the menu and always enjoyed the meal. The Gala dinner was particularly good and I would recommend their steak to anyone (apart from vegetarians ha!). The food in the Horizon was very impressive for buffet style, the food always seemed fresh and a lot of variety whether it be for breakfast or lunch. Joe was particularly fond of the fresh waffles for breakfast which were served in the ice-cream parlour on deck. The same parlour also did free ice cream throughout the day and free pop corn after 7.30 pm - also a very big hit. We got the drinks package for the kids for $72 dollars for the week including all mocktails, soft drinks, juices and milk shakes etc which were also proved very good.
Lucky enough to have an AC Grade Mini Suite. Much larger than we are used to (four berth inside normally) and it was lovely to have a balcony too - probably spent more time in the cabin than normal because of this. On the down side the bed has to be most uncomfortable I have ever slept in!
We found the service to be excellent, although we did not have the same waiters every evening they were all very efficient and friendly. Our cabin stewardess, Bambi was fantastic, we could have not asked for better service. One day the hair dryer broke and whilst we were waiting for it to be fixed she gave us her own - for 5 days!! She was great with the kids and was always very friendly and wanting to please.
Dancers and shows quite good. Movies under the stars were really good, from a personal opinion, more family movies would have been good.
I have never seen so much hand gel in my life, you could not move for it! They were doing everything possible to make sure there were no viruses on this ship!!!
The kids used the children’s club (they are aged 10 and 11) they thought the club was really good (words not quite as good as QM2 but better than P&O - high praise indeed). There were 500 kids onboard and at the first meeting it was very apparent they did not want any children throwing up or being unwell - if they were they were quarantined until the parents picked them up and were not allowed back in the club until they had had the all clear from the ships doctor. On entering the club there were a couple of staff asking the children to wash their hands immediately before entering. Joe suffers from hayfever and every time he coughed or sneezed was asked to wash his hands (I think he spent more time in the toilet than the club ....) But then again, the kids staff were very good and it was obvious they did not want anything making 500 kids ill.
Taking everything into account we all had an excellent holiday, the weather was fantastic and would definitely cruise with them again anytime, any day.