We've been on the Grand in 2000, 2001 and December of 2005.
When we were on the last time, the ship still looked very good to me. There were a few minor things like small sections of carpet that needed to be replaced here and there, but that was it. We were in one of the two Grand Suites on the ship, so our cabin may have been in better shape than some of the others. =dunno
Since then, I've read reviews of the ship and the report on the Grand's condition is not good. Here's one of the reviews:
Lady Jag, I've read through the review a few times, and could not find comments on their current opinon vs. that of their prior cruise. The only part I saw that had to do with the ship's condition was the corrosion on the balcony. Could you please direct me? Thanks.
I don't have the time to look through it all, but here are some excerpts I found quickly:
The Grand Princess is showing her age,
The shipÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s age was really showing on our balcony, where some of the metal was badly corroded. I was surprised that something like that would be neglected to this extreme.
I have also read very recent comments on the 'other board' about the Grand showing her age. Perhaps she'll go into drydock soon and these little flaws will be corrected. She's still a great ship, she just needs a little TLC.
I just saw a post from someone on the Grand now who said new carpet is being laid on the Grand, there are "wet paint" signs everywhere on the ship and they replaced the miniature golf fake grass too. Sounds like they might be trying to do some needed maintenance and repairs.
I was on the Grand in April of this year and in my opinion, she's holding up great! I can't of course speak for every balcony railing in every balcony cabin, but I can say that our balcony railing was in tip top condition. I saw no stains on the carpeted areas or anything that would lead me to believe that any area of the ship was in need of repair. As with any ship that's a few years old, it of course didn't look "brand new", but she's a fine ship and I sailed on her in 2004, 2005, and again in April of this year.
Just returned this morning from the 12-day 8/9/07 Grand Princess Northern Europe cruise. Never heard so many complaints from fellow passengers - "lousy food in Horizon Court", "Poor Selection in dining room", "Worst coffee I've ever tasted in Horizon Court", "Imagine paying $4 for an ice cream cone", "indifferent service in DaVinci dining room", "mold in my bathroom", "toilets didn't flush half the time", "horrible lumpy mattress", "Last time I'll ever sail Princess", etc., ad inf. As a TA, I'm always attuned to fellow passengers' comments, and I passed many of them on to Princess management.
Personally, we had a wonderful time. The Grand is due for a bit of updating, but we found the crew to be terrific, the cabin service to be exemplary, Captain Perrin to be exceptionally personable and open to comments, the CD (Billy London) to be friendly and on top of things, and most of the show acts to be professional and very enjoyable.
I would be interested in hearing from other passengers on this cruise to get their critique.
We cruised the Grand this past January with 5 other couples who are all experienced cruisers. It was our first cruise. Everyone felt the ship was excellent and no one had any negative comments. One couple are dedicated RCI people and they were very impressed with the ship.
It seems that the Grand is having a hard time in the dining rooms & with plumbling lately, as the recent cruisers below reiterate many similar comments I've seen within the past few weeks:
I was on the same cruise and although we did have a good time there were lots of things that bothered me. We were one of the people whose toilets didn't flush. I would sday that at some point on every day of the cruise, the toilet didn't flush. I had to make numerous calls to the pursers office to try and get service. It was always fixed, for a while... I found the the dining room staff in Da Vince to be indifferent, and I found the Head waiter to be downright rude to me. We ate in the Michaelangelo dining room after that and it was much improved over Da Vinci. The elevators midship were extremely slow and I think there should have been stairs there as an option.Most times we went out of our way to the aft or forward stairs and walked down. At the time we arrived for embarkation, there were huge lines and then huges crowds in the waiting area. I later found out that the ship arrived late so maybe that was just a one time problem. The cabin staff were always friendly and cheerful. No complaints on the cabin either. Met a lot of nice people but they too complained of either cold food at dinner or no seating in Horizon court. I have sailed on Princess twice before but while I might sail with them again, it would not be on the Grand.
The people that are making these comments are Princess fans, not your newbie cruisers or a new-to-Princess cruisers. =dunno Once again, I'd rather err on the positive side and think that the ship just has a not-so-great crew on it right now and that these numerous comments will change for the better with the next group.
We just oompleted a cruise on the Grand Princess. We chose the cruise for it's interesting itinerary. I would agree with most of what has already been said. The captain and staff captain are excellent ambassadors for Princess. Our room attendant was excellent and friendly. Unlike most passengers, we loved the food at the Horizon Court. There was always a wide selection of well-prepared and varied dishes available. In general, the Horizon Court staff were very personable. To my casual eye, the ship was attractive and in reasonable shape. I didn't look for wear and tear as I focus mainly on the positive aspects of my cruise. On the other hand, we had negative experiences in Da Vinci and in the Sterling Steakhouse. There didn't seem to be enough waitstaff (waiters and assistants) in Da Vinci. Overall, we rated the cruise Excellent. On the last days of the cruise, something was wrong with the Atrium elevators. Let there be no misunderstanding, we had a WONDERFUL cruise. However, when it came time to fill out the End of Cruise Questionnaire, we rated some of the specifics especially, but not limited to, dining room (service and food) Fair or Poor. I doubt if we would book the Grand again. We do have a future bookings on Princess, but on a newer ship.
Just got back from my third time on the Grand. She is showing wear and tear. Still a nice ship but she needs to have a little touch up done. There are definitely plumbing issues going on as they had to shut down the main pool for a day to fix, one couple with us had a leak in their bathroom that took 3 days for them to find (there was water standing on the floor) and there are electrical issues (blew a circuit using the hair dryer which caused a group of rooms to loose power through out the room and my friend had the same thing happen to her on a different part of the ship). Outdoor pool needs some updates, decking needs staining, etc.
Well I just went on the Grand in 2007 and she was in immaculate shape... I believe she was wet docked recently because they added Movies under the Stars, which of course was not an original feature... she is still beautiful despite her age and well she may not be as nice as some of the newer ships but she still puts up a good fight!
I returned the end of January, and althouh it was my first cruise I was impressed. While wandering around the ship one day I noticed an officer doing a white glove test. I always noticed employees cleaning the ship in places I never would have thought about!!!
Sure, the ship could use new carpet, but heck, so does my house!!!
I loved MUTS and although my packers lost, it was a great time watching the playoffs on the ship with the other passengers!!!
I didn't have any problems with my cabin, although I think the room next to ours had a flood as the furniture was in the hall the day after we set sail. Armando was great!!!!
Entertainment was good and food was ok
We just got off on 2/29/08 and thought the ship looked fine. Some wear and tear in a few places, but how would your house look with 2600 people walking through it every week? Are there a few rusty places, sure, but it certainly wouldn't detract from my cruise experience. We were on the Coral exactly a year ago and I thought the Coral which is a much newer ship was prettier, but the Grand held up well.
This was the first cruise for our adult kids and their spouses and they were duly impressed. The food was the same as the year before, exactly the same menu and it was fine. Not gourmet but no one went away hungry.
We enjoyed Princess Cays and it was our first time there. The tendering was handled very well out of the theater and we had rented cabanas which were a good place to dump your stuff while swimming & snorkeling. The buffet was good and there were no bugs or flies around at all. There are some vendors selling some souvenirs if you want something in straw. I didn't bring any cash with me so I didn't bother to look.
It was a very nice cruise experience, number 9 for us, but we liked each one just fine!
Just got off the Grand on 3/22/08. She looked fine to me. As Shofer said, a few rust spots here and there but nothing major. We had a balcony on the Caribe deck and were very pleased. If you are hesitating taking the Grand, DON"T, she is a great ship! Trust me, you will have a blast! We did!:thumb