Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Grand Princess
Sailing Date: February 26th, 2005
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Embarkation - We drove into Galveston and arrived around 1pm. The traffic was unbelievable. We spent at least 1 ½ hours waiting in traffic trying to make our way to the terminal. When we finally did get there, I got out with the luggage and my husband went to go and park the car. He said the traffic was also very bad going to the parking lot. We parked in the Port Authority secured lot, but next time we may consider one of the other ones. He could not get a shuttle back to the terminal and ended up running all the way..and it is a very long way to run. Then we waited in a very long line to board the ship. It was 3:30 when we actually got on board and made our way to our room. There were 3 ships there that day, so I assume that is why the traffic was bad and the lines were long. We had been told and had read here on this site that embarkation was a breeze, but that was not our experience.
On Board the Ship! Wow! So much nicer than the ship we had cruised on previously. Our room had a balcony - which we loved! We were celebrating our wedding anniversary and had bought one of the “anniversary packages” online prior to saling. We had a bottle of Dom Perignon and canapes (including caviar and shrimp) waiting for us in the room. We couldn’t immediately enjoy it because we had to go the Muster Drill,(which they took a lot more seriously here than on the prior ship we were on)...but then back to the room and we enjoyed champagne on the balcony while we were leaving Galveston. Fantastic!!
The balcony was so wonderful. I don’t think I’ll be satisifed with anything less ever again. We enjoyed it so much! We had our coffee here every morning.
Our room was on the Lido deck. This was a great location as the Horizon Court Buffet and also the pizza/hamburger grill is on this level. Several times we went to the buffet and then brought our food back to enjoy on our balcony. The room was spacious, plenty of room for us (even though I seriously overpacked!).
The first night we ate at the Painted Desert ($15 each) and did enjoy the steaks there. The food in the main dining rooms was excellent though so I’m not sure if we would do this again because of the added expense. Some of the entrees that were offered throughout our cruise in the dining rooms were veal chops, lobster, beef wellington, chicken kiev and shrimp diavlo. It was all very good and the wait staff was very friendly and accommodating.
The second night was “Oscar Night” and they had a viewing of the Academy Awards in one of the main theaters. They also offered specials on bottles of champagne and complimentary hors d’oeuvres (we ate so many of those we didn’t have room for dinner!) This coincided with formal night, so everyone was very dressy for the “Oscars” and it was a lot of fun Movies Under the Stars was awesome! There is so much to do on a cruise that we were only able to enjoy this one night, but it was great. The pillows and the blankets are a nice touch.
We had a lot of fun in the casino too and entered a couple of slot tournaments. The Skywalkers club was neat and we enjoyed watching the “Princess Idol” contestants sing or at least try to :>).
We played Bingo several times. Entered a few trivia contests. We watched the “Marriage Game” (like the Newlywed game) one night and it was too funny! And of course, the wooden horse races! You’ll just have to see if for yourself but it too is a lot of fun.
Ports We didn’t get off the boat in Belize and instead had a relaxing day on the ship (this is a really good time to the get the hot tub all to yourself!) Costa Maya, Cozumel and Grand Caymans, we did a little bit of shopping, but truth is we are beach bums and spent most of the time lying in lounge chairs. Cozumel is our favorite port though. We enjoy San Francisco Beach. You can take a taxi there for not very much ( I think it was $6-$8?). Access to the beach and lounge chairs is free. Try to get a chair with one of the cushions that is also a float. That’s the best ~ just floating around in the ocean! They also make an awesome pina colada here that they serve in a beautiful pineapple. Be sure and try the shrimp fajitas for lunch! Yum Yum!
Took a long time to get off the ship and an even longer time for my poor hubby to run back to the parking lot (couldn’t get a shuttle this time either) and get the car.
This was a wonderful, fantastic cruise! I recommend it to everyone. We cannot wait to go back!!!
Feel free to email with any questions. Also, if anyone has any tips for me on the parking situation, let me know. Thanks!