Have returned from the Grand Princess cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. We had a wonderful cruise on a very 'happy' ship. The staff, including the Captain, Nicholas Carlton, were brilliant. We have never seen so many happy smiles! We honestly could not fault any member of staff we were in contact with throughout the 12 days on board. The new production show was fantastic and it was only the second performance for that troop of dancers.
We were on Grand last October and since then there have been many upgrades and makeovers - new menus, new crockery, new matresses, new furnishings, new carpets, to name but a few. The ship is in great shape!
The only niggle on the whole trip was that Horrizon Court became overloaded on occasion at breakfast and lunch. This was caused by the weather being fairly cold and everyone wanting to eat indoors. Since we never went hungry this was not really a problem for us.
I know this is subjective but we thought the food, especially the meat quality, had improved since our previous cruise. The portions seemed a little smaller (but you can always request 2), but the presentation, sauces and combination of flavours we thought were much improved. Also the 'Chef's Table' option was available. (see separate post). We ate mainly in the Michaelangelo dining room (anytime dining) and thanks to Marios, our Head Waiter, we never had to wait more than about 5 mins.
We took ship's tours in all the ports apart from Stavanger and Bergen and enjoyed all of them. It is necessary to book the tour to the North Cape in advance. There are only so many buses and virtually no taxis. It does seen expensive, but it is a 'must do' trip. We were able to stay as long as we wanted as the Princess buses virtually ran a shuttle service back to the ship. The tour does not have an official guide, but each bus runs with an 'escort' who is able to answer questions. You do stop at a Sami camp and you will see reindeer. The shop, cafe and restaurant at the North Cape Centre is no more expensive than anywhere else in Norway. The Captain cruised close to the North Cape both at 5.00am and around 6.30pm and we got some really great photos.
We also thought that the ship's photography department had improved and were very much more creative - we have returned with some great photos.
Would we cruise with Grand again - definitely - all we need to do is earn the money!
Welcome back esrosa, sounds like your cruise was a success. I totally understand about making the money. If I could, I'd be on a ship every month, but have to hit the lottery to do that! Can't wait to see where your next cruise will take you!
Hi, and thanks for your very interesting post. I was glad to hear about your trip on the Grand Princess recently as we hopefully will be on her in December travelling to the Carribbean for Christmas and New Year.
Good to hear that the furnishings are upgraded to give that sparkly first impression. Did you have a mini-suite?We would love to do the Norwegian Fjords - one day. Regards hellybelly
Welcome back, and thank you for the great trip report! We were to be on Grand Princess right now for a British Isles itinerary, but had to cancel months ago.
Thanks for the information on North Cape. It's one of my favorite places. What a treat it must have been to also view it from the ship. We didn't have that opportunity...nor did we stop at the Sami camp...so I guess I'll have to go back! Even so, I agree with you that a visit to North Cape is worth every penny.
Thanks for your comments they are very helpful. I am sailing the Grand in Jan/Feb 09 for a 14 day Carribean. Although I have sailed Princess before never the Grand. I would like to ask you one question and that is why did you prefer Michael Angelo for your dining? Also any other little helpful comments would be great.