The Grand Princess was launched in 1998, and at the time was the largest cruise ship to sail the sea. She was the first of four ships in Princess line's Grand Class which includes the Golden Princess, the Caribbean Princess, and the Star Princess. The ships carry fewer passengers than other mid-class ships, so public areas are less crowded than on other ships, and the ship has a more intimate atmosphere. At times, some areas of the ship almost seem deserted, but is a feature that many passengers like. The Grand Princess accommodates 2,600 passengers, and a crew of 1,100. Weddings and vow renewals are popular on the Grand Princess, and a digital photography studio will photograph the momentous event in the Hearts and Mind Wedding Chapel, with ceremonies officiated by the captain.
- Large outdoor deck areas
- Four pools
- Nine hot tubs
- Buffet open 24 hours
- The first wedding chapel on a cruise ship
- Beautiful library with hundreds of books
Unlike many other ships, Grand Princess has three main dining rooms which serve Continental-style dishes. Sabatini's Trattoria is the alternative dining venue and serves excellent Italian antipasti, pizza, soups, salads, and bread. Seafood entrees dominate the menu, and the Italian pastries are delicious.
Entertainment and Nightlife
The Vista Show Lounge is the main entertainment venue. Guests are treated to production shows, cabaret-style shows, magicians, and comedians. Skywalkers Disco offers an amazing view as you ride up 18 stories above sea level on the moving sidewalk. Explorer's lounge and the Wheelhouse Bar offer dancing before dinner, cabaret, art auctions, and trivia competitions. Churchill's Lounge is for those who enjoy cigars and cognac. The Casino is huge and features 285 slot machines. The atrium is the main spot on the ship to visit boutiques, cafes, and all of the public rooms.
Staterooms on the Grand Princess are built directly out of the ship, so they're larger than on some other ships. Of the 1300 staterooms, seven hundred ten have balconies. Closets are small, but balconies with a beautiful view make up for it. The mini-suites have private verandahs. Vista Suites, known as mini-suites on other Princess ships, are somewhat larger. Standard amenities include color TV with CNN and movies, radios, and refrigerators. Bathrooms are large and have hair dryers.
The fitness center on the Grand Princess is excellent, with state-of-the-art equipment. The gym tends to be more crowded in the afternoon, so plan your schedule accordingly. A variety of spa treatments are available.For sports enthusiasts, a nine hole putting green, basketball, volleyball, and tennis courts are available. Swim in one of the four pools, including a "swim-against-the-current-" lap pool.
The standard $10.00 per day per passenger gratuity applies. This includes children. A 15% gratuity is automatically added to beverage bills. Tipping for other services is at the discretion of the passenger.
Taking the Kids
Grand Princess has an abundance of activities for children and teens, and the programs are superior to what is found on similar cruise ships.