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Carol Bleasdale

Age: 55


Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Princess

Ship: Grand Princess

Sailing Date: 2009-06-13

Itinerary: Mediterranean

I do not like flying so my husband and myself opted for a cruise from the UK. From the moment we arrived at the check-in at Southampton, to the moment we left the ship, the whole experience was one of efficiency and willingness to assist. Every member of staff we encountered on this ship was helpful, friendly and courteous. The overall experience is a pleasant one that will stay in my husband's and my memory for many years to come.

The food was excellent; from the elegance of the dining rooms to the 24 hour buffet style dining. We had to laugh, though, at the amount of food consumed in the 24 hour buffet section each day! Plates were piled high, and it did not matter what time of the day or night you were there; I even went there for a cup of tea at 4.00am, during a thunderstorm, and people were up there, eating! At least it shows how wonderful the food actually was!

We opted for an inside stateroom, and we did wonder if this would seem too claustrophobic. No way! Although it was quite small, mirrors were strategically placed to give an illusion of space. The bathroom was plenty big enough, as was the queen sized bed; the latter was extremely comfortable. There was ample wardrobe space, together with lots of hangers, and plenty of drawer space. Our stateroom stewards (we had 2, as they changed shifts halfway through) were very thorough and friendly.

We did not participate in many of the activities, but everyone seemed to be enjoying them. The shows were very professional and entertaining - top marks to the Grand Princess's onboard entertainment team!

The excursions were a little on the pricey side - we were told by fellow passengers that other cruise companies' tours are cheaper. That said, we enjoyed our excursions, but some of the local guides left a little to be desired in as much as they either spoke too fast, and we could not understand them, or they said nothing at all, e.g. the coach guide for Orvieto put on ear-muffs and slept all the way there and all the way back!! The guide who took over in Orvieto, however, was completely different and rescued what could have been a disasterous tour. Orvieto is an excursion not to be missed, however, although it is on the same day as the Rome excursions. We thought we would try this one and we are so pleased we did. So if you have already visited Rome, give "Undiscovered Italy" a go (but ignore the sleeping guide!)

We had saved up for a few years for a cruise and had been looking forward to it with great excitement. We were not disappointed. Although we met with people on board who did nothing but moan about things, it did not spoil our enjoyment and we would recommend this cruise, and ship, to anyone.

Thank you everyone on the Grand Princess for a wonderful holiday!

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