Number of Cruises: 6
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Grand Princess
Sailing Date: December 2nd, 2006Ou
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
cruise on the Grand Princess was very nice with a couple of drawbacks. Embarkation was fine and quick. The ship is clean and well maintained and the crew is very friendly, courteous and attentive. We had a mini suite which was always kept clean by a very efficient steward.
After reading many complaints about the coffee, we were surprised to see the coffee was not bad at all. The food was good and we had a very attentive waiter. We went to Costa Maya, Belize, Roatan and Cozumel. Your best bet in Costa Maya is to take a very short ride into town for $3.00 and get you a nice beach chair or table on the beach. There is some shopping there (junk shops of course) and the beaches are nice, you can wade or snorkel and its safe. The return trip is $2.00 by cab with plenty of cabs around. The shops at the actual Costa Maya port were you first get off the ship were kind of expensive, Cokes were each $2.50 and beer $3.50. In town you can get a coke for a dollar and six beers (a bucket) for ten bucks.
In Belize we just stayed in the shopping area as we were traveling with our parents who weren't up to diving with the sharks and the sort. In Roatan, we booked our own excursion through Bodden Tours (Internet) and we had a van for six people and the driver for the day. Total was $30.00 per person with the tip and we had him for the entire stay and got to see the entire island as well as get in some snorkeling on a nice beach at West End and lunch at the Lighthouse restaurant. Well worth it and much cheaper than a cruise excursion. In Cozumel, "they" just shopped till they dropped. Best port on this trip to do your shopping.
The draw backs:
For some reason, this ship "sways" a lot even in what I would call light seas (6') for a ship this size. We did catch some rough weather on the way back and the ship then really rocked. It appears, from what I've been told that the stabilizers really do not work well when the ship is doing above 18 knots. Well, the ship was always doing around 21-22 knots, so go figure. Anyway, I've been on other ships this size that do not even come close to swaying like this ship, even in rougher weather. That's just my opinion.
Also, don't look for privacy on your balcony. They are staggered and other passengers can see down onto the balconies. It did not matter to us, but maybe it's something that should be considered by others.
If you are into the casino, my better half found the slot machines to be very tight and for the smokers, good luck in finding an ashtray there.
We also went to a couple of "comedy" shows and trust me, you are better off sunbathing at night.
Disembarkation was a nightmare. We put our
luggage out as requested and followed the rules. We were up and about at 7 A.M.
and waited for at least 3-4 hours to get called to get off the ship. Once we got
off the ship, it took us at least another hour to get out. The luggage was where
it was supposed to be, but if you need a porter for your luggage when you get
off the ship, then you have to stand in line for a porter as there were only a
In all, while on the ship, it was very clean and well maintained and the crew was very friendly, attentive and courteous and better than the crews of most ships we've been on.
However, I'm not sure I would return to
this specific ship but only due to the swaying.