Are you going to the Western Carribean or the Eastern Caribbean? Our first ever cruise was on the Grand (7 night Western Carribean beginning on February 16, 2003) and we loved it! The Grand is a beautiful ship, a floating city.
We are going on the Western Carribean Cruise for 7 nights. Sounds like you really enjoyed your trip. What pointers can you share with me... Dress code (what to pack), Must do's, etc... anything you can share with us, would be greatly appreciated!
My friend and I cruised the Western Caribbean on the Grand Princess this year. It was Grand. We really enjoyed our swim with the stingrays at Stingray beach. We had also booked a swim with the Dolphins, but bad weather (we went in January) prevented that. All ground tours were cancelled that day and we just had to shop. We found the food really excellent. We preferred to have set dining rather than free style. I didn't enjoy the wait in lines for free style and we changed after the second night. After the Maitre d sat us (two single women) at a table for two. Not what we had planned. The spa was delicious especially the massages. Service was excellent. We found the entertainment excellent as well. There was absolutely NOTHING for singles to do. So we just enjoyed the trip on our own. We were finally seated with three wonderful couples from all over the county, with whom we stay in touch. It was a very family friendly ship and I would highly recommend it to those traveling with children. But the kids never bothered us, plenty for them to do. We booked our ground tours on the internet on our own. Very pleased with all.
I've been on five other cruises and this ranks very high.
I forgot to mention, clothes. They really did dress on dress up nights. I brought two fancy outfits and wore both. I was glad I also had a sweater, some rooms are cold at night. Our cabin was nice. Plenty of storage room, comfortable beds.
Sound like you really enjoyed the trip! Can you tell me if most ladies wore long evening gowns or short cocktail dresses on formal nights? What about the other nights, what attire would we need? One more thing... are the tips automatically charged to your bill or did you give them out on the last night?
I have seen very few long gowns onboard; a cocktail dress should be perfect. If you have one that you can accessorize differently (i.e., jewelry, jacket, belt, whatever) you can wear the same outfit for both formal nights and save packing space. I have had good luck with separates - a chiffon skirt and two different dressy tops to go with.
Alice, I forgot to include tip info in my previous post. Nowadays the tips are automatically added to your bill, but you can request that the amounts be changed, or left off so you can distribute them yourself, if you like. See the purser's office about this during your cruise (but do it before the last couple days).
Don't bother to pack a hair dryer unless you have long, thick hair. Every room on the Grand has a built-in hair dryer, but they don't have much power. I have short hair, so the dryer worked well for me.
A travel iron isn't needed, either. Most of the decks have a laundry room. Ironing boards and irons are available there free of charge.
We packed pretty light. Most of the time I wore a bathing suit and cover up, shorts, or capri pants T-shirts and sandles. We tended to dress up for dinner, only because we like to do that. For dinner John typically wore slacks, shirt, tie and a blazer; I wore dress slacks and a blouse with blazer, or a dress.
You won't have to dress up in the ports. A bathing suite and cover up is all that's necessary at Princess Cays. Shorts or casual slacks and a T-shirt are fine everywhere else.
If you go to the Mayan ruins, wear sturdy sneakers or walking shoes. The ground is uneven and rocky.
Pack water shoes. The beaches and water tend to be stewn with rocks and coral.
We enjoyed the "anytime" dining option. For us, the freedom to choose when we wanted to eat and with whom, if anyone, was what mattered most. We didn't miss having the same waiter every night. In fact, we enjoyed meeting new ones! We rarely had a wait for a table for 2. One night we waited 20 minutes, but the time went by quickly.
John wore a black suit, white dress shirt and dark tie on formal night. I wore black velvet slacks, a red glittery top, and black velvet sandles.