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Old 12-29-2005, 11:42 PM
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I am planning a cruise with my girlfriend (both of us 34) and our good friends (couple also in 30s) on the Grand Princess out of Galveston the last week of March on spring break. My girlfriend is the only previous cruiser of the bunch (Carnival and Celebrity). I am a little concerned about the age of the Grand Princess. What is it like from those of you who have been on other ships? I'm not sure it really matters to us first timers but I want to make sure we all have a good time! Thanks for the help!
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Old 12-31-2005, 09:07 AM
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While I have not yet gone on the Grand (will be in July) she is the Flagship for the line.
Princess (in my opinion) does an exellent job keeping their ships in condition & upgrades them in both wet & dry docks.

I think you will love the Grand & wish you a wonderful cruise.
Be sure to let us know what you think.

Cathy
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Old 01-03-2006, 06:24 PM
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I was on the Grand for their Inaugural season, and was very impressed. LOVED the Wyland dolphins at the pool.

Depending upon your dining options, you might want to study the floor plan for how to get to your dining room. There are several dining rooms, but some it seems are located in a "you can't get there from here" type location (only one way in and out)

Overall, I prefer the smaller ships and longer trips.
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Old 01-03-2006, 07:53 PM
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I just got off the Grand out of Galveston and it was the worst cruise i have ever taken and most importantly learned

(1) Never depart out of Galveston
(2) Never take Princess again

If you are set on Galveston, good luck to you, but beware of the embarkation. Please read reviews on other websites about the embarkation prior to going.

KC Cruiser
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:20 PM
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What was so bad about embarkation and the cruise in general??

Please a little advice to another Missouri native!
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Old 01-07-2006, 01:19 PM
HRP HRP is offline
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Hi Schwank. I was on the Grand Princess last Spring Break. My family and I had the best time! As for embarkation, we were one of the first on the boat because we got down to the port quite early. I understand that it might be hectic to others, but we were on the boat in no time! So I would recommend getting down there quite early.

The cruise boat itself is gigantic! It is so big inside and there is so much to do. One of the things it has that most do not is a big tv above the pool deck where you can lay out and watch movies during the day and at night.

I personally thought thought the staff was very friendly and we made a lot of friends on the boat. Although, we were not able to go to Belize because of an unfortunate accident with one of the passengers. We made lots of friends and would go back on it in a heartbeat!
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Old 01-10-2006, 05:36 PM
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Sorry to hear the Grand wasn't so Grand. Would appreciate it if you could elaborate. We're going on 3/4 and your remarks make me nervous. We're cruised several times on Princess and had marvelous cruises. Always left from FL though. Any hints on how to best navigate Galveston? Thanks!
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Old 01-13-2006, 09:49 PM
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Sorry everyone for the vague description of my horrible Princess Cruise. I don't want to bore you with the details, however, a couple things that made it bad were #1 - Galveston. What a nightmare. First the distance to the port doesn't sound like much, however, on a Saturday morning or afternoon the traffic can get pretty backed up. For future passengers my advice is to (1) Get Princess transportation from IAH, NOT HOBBY. There are several buses from IAH, however, 1 or 2 the entire day from Hobby. (2) Be careful inside the terminal. If your used to Fort Lauderdale you are in for quite a shock, its dirty, gloomy, not well lit, etc. You think your in there for a short time, however, it does matter, beware of the flithy bathrooms too. On both the embarkation and disembarkation the men and women in our party were disgusted.

My understanding is that only 2 weeks out of the year Princess has to use a hotel to check in their guests (I was in the lucky 2 week time frame). It took over 7 hours to check in (2 1/2 hours at the airport)(1 hour at the pier dropping off our bags) (3 hours out in the 40 degree temperatures standing in line outstide of the hotel waiting to get in).

Anyway, we finally got on board, the seas were very rough, this of course was not Princess' fault, however becuase of the embarkation we left Galveston 4 hours late and arrived in Costa Maya late and several shore excursions were canceled.

The tenders, that was another nightmare, for whatever reason Princess used local tenders for 3 of the 4 ports and we literally waited 1 - 2 hours to get ashore after getting a tender ticket. Once on the tender they were incredably packed. Most people on the tenders were expierenced cruisers and had never seen anything like this before. We survived though.

Service - It was amazing how different the Grand was from the Caribbean Princess - the same line but yet like night and day. The staff at the Pursers desk was painfully impolite and unaccomadting, although their lines were huge most days of the cruise.

The service in the 2 personal choice dining rooms was adequate, however nothing to write home about.

The disembarkation, that's another nightmare, first everyone had to wait for the "walk off" passengers. We had no idea what that was or would have done it. The "walk off's" took more than 2 hours, there were over 750 people who did that (we knew that becuase they kept calling the ticket numbers).

Anyway, i am a huge fan of HAL, and have been on the Zuiderdam, and have booked the Oosterdam in September.

I guess I want more out of a cruise, besides the weather problems and and the fact that the city of Galveston is not willing to spend any money to upgrade their facilities, i won't be taking Princess agian, or ever going out of Galveston.
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Old 01-15-2006, 07:54 AM
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HRP - What time do you recommend arriving at the port to avoid the chaos? We're flying into Huston the day before and spending the night with a relative so we could get there any time. Thanks in advance for your suggestion!
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Old 01-16-2006, 12:11 PM
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I can't remember exactly what time but I am guessing around noon. Since the boat does not even leave until 4, passengers had all day to board. We were one of the first ones on the Grand, as well as NCL's Sea the previous year. We immediatly got on the boat and began our vacation!
 
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age, cruises, date, galveston, grand, inaugural, inauguration, princess, season

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