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About DawnInCal

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  1. Great review! We just completed a cruise to Hawaii on the Grand and I believe Rene's twin is working in the Crown Grill. While he didn't snatch the menu from my hands, he attempted to take our plates while we were obviously still eating - not, once, not twice, but three times! Actually, that's not true. Rene's twin tried to take them twice and then a different waiter tried a third time. We thought the CG might be experiencing a plate shortage! Though, I will say that the food on the Grand earned an A from us - it was excellent despite Rene's twin.
  2. Ah, yes. I worded that a bit awkwardly with regard to the months hurricane season runs, didn't I? But, I meant that hurricane season is a concern in Bermuda, not that it would be in New England. I find it interesting that hurricane season wouldn't be a determining factor for you. When I'm planning a trip, the weather/seasons are one of my primary considerations when deciding where to go. Just as I wouldn't go to SE Asia in the summer, I have no desire to be anywhere near the southern United States or the Caribbean during hurricane season. Nor, would I plan a vacation in Canada or Alaska in the dead of winter. But, that's what makes life interesting; we all have our preferences. Yep, I'd go for October in New England/Canada for the reasons I originally stated - beautiful fall weather and foliage vs the potential for hurricanes. And, while I'd prefer to be on Norwegian, I'd book the Princess cruise since that's the ship that is going to New England.
  3. I'd go with the New England cruise because the fall is such a beautiful time of year in that part of the world. Hurricane season is predicted to go thru Nov 30 this year; if it wasn't for that I'd take Norwegian over Princess. We just finished a Princess cruise to Hawaii and I had a much better time on the Norwegian Panama Canal cruise we took two years ago. Norwegian's great; I wouldn't hesitate to cruise with them again.
  4. Yep, I sure do. I also wash my hands frequently when I'm out and about.
  5. I do it mainly to avoid dirt. I don't want what comes in on the bottoms of our shoes (dog poo, spit, motor oil, etc.) to get on the bottoms of my bare feet. I figure the real cooties are on the tv remote, light switches and door knobs and those I do wipe down before settling in to a room.
  6. I wear cheap slippers in the cabin and in hotel rooms. Hubby wears his socks until he goes to bed and then he removes them. I can recall only one hotel room carpet that turned the bottoms of his dry socks black. That was kind of disturbing, but it was only that one time that it has happened and we stay in a lot of hotel rooms. I don't really differentiate between a cabin or a hotel room. They both serve the same purpose and get heavy use/traffic.
  7. Hi Don, I'm new so I hope I'm not overstepping by piping in. You've made such an interesting and astute observation that I felt the need to respond. For me, it's not so much old ship vs new ship (as long as there are no safety issues that are being neglected). I can easily overlook a bit of rust or a worn carpet or dated furniture. In my mind, it's the crew/staff that makes the cruise. If they are fun, friendly and positive, it's going to be a good cruise even if other things aren't up to par. However, if they are cool, indifferent and rude the cruise is going to be a disappointment no matter how new and sparkly the ship is. I'm not singling out the Grand or Princess with my remark above. That's true of any organization be it a cruise line, airline, restaurant, hotel, store or amusement park. The people make or break the experience.
  8. Hi, new poster, long time reader. We just finished (Feb, 2020) a 15 day cruise on the Grand from San Francisco to Hawaii and back. Overall, my husband and I thought the food was excellent. The offerings at the buffet became a bit monotonous after 15 days, but the quality of the food was always good. The desserts were killer! We ate dinner (anytime dining) in the dining room several times and were never disappointed. We weren't overly impressed with the slices of pizza at the place by the pool, but the pizzas coming out of Alfredo's on the piazza were very good. The Salty Dog Grill produces tasty burgers and the best hotdog I've had in a very long time. We also enjoyed stopping by the International Cafe to pick up a few freshly baked chocolate chip and oatmeal/raisin cookies before heading to our cabin for the night. With the exception of the bartenders at the casino bar, we were really disappointed with the service which surprised me because I've heard so much about how great it is on Princess ships. We found most of the crew to be polite, but not particularly friendly. More often than not, they were huddled off to the side talking to each other rather than interacting with passengers. I tried several times to engage a bartender in conversation, but he made it pretty clear that he wasn't interested. Our cabin steward did a great job cleaning our cabin, but we requested that our ice bucket be filled with ice each night. I specifically asked her if filling it would cause her any sort of difficulty, and if so, I'd go up to the buffet to fill the bucket, but she assured me it wasn't a problem. As it turned out, sometimes it was filled and other times it wasn't. One time the ice bucket had been removed from the cabin and found it's way back the next day. The worst experience we had was at The Crown Grill during the free fish and chips lunch. The food was delicious, but the service was horrible bordering on rude. Actually, it was rude. It was so bad, that we didn't stay for dessert and went up to the buffet to have dessert instead. The bad service at The Crown Grill may explain why each day during lunch, a waiter from The Crown Grill was going around to the other restaurants (including the buffet), menu in hand, interrupting people's lunch and trying to persuade them to come to The Crown Grill for dinner! Honestly, we're not difficult, demanding or fussy people, but we do have certain, reasonable expectations of service and the Grand didn't meet them. We very much enjoyed the entertainment, particularly the production shows. I've read in reviews that others didn't think much of them, but we thought they were great. While we thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment, we felt the onboard activities were lacking. I understand it's very popular, but there was way too much trivia and very little else that was of interest to us. However, I do realize this is subjective and that there we probably many passengers who did enjoy the activities. I very much enjoyed spending my afternoons on the Horizon Terrace on the Lido Deck where there is a bar (Al Frescos) and a small pool. For whatever reason, this area didn't seem to have been discovered by most passengers so it was very quiet, peaceful and relaxing. It was so relaxing to sit out there reading, working on my computer or just reflecting. I also enjoyed the convenience of the bar if I wanted something to drink and having the buffet nearby if I wanted a snack. The ship does show it's age. As noted above, there were leaks in the ceiling at the Horizon Court (I actually had water drip on my hair), many of the women's bathrooms had at least one stall closed for repair/maintenance during the entire cruise, elevators were out of service often and I noticed a lot of rust around the outside of the ship (although, the maintenance crew was painting while we were on board). As noted above, the carpets look worn except in some of the main public areas like around the elevators and on the stairs. We had an inside cabin, and while it looked dated, it was perfectly fine and comfortable. We had plenty of room, the bed was comfy and the bedding new. The pillows were a bit soft, but that's a minor thing. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise very much and it exploring the Hawaiian islands was a terrific experience. But, mainly due to the poor service we experienced, I doubt we'll sail on Princess again. We are not experienced cruisers, having only done one other which was on the Norwegian Jewel. While Norwegian didn't have near the quality of food or entertainment we experienced on the Grand, their crew made me feel like a princess from day one until the end of the cruise. So much so, that's all I could talk about for weeks after we got home. Unfortunately, Princess didn't make me feel like a princess and I think that's one of the appeals of cruising - being pampered and having your every need taken care even when you don't know that you need or want something. I certainly don't want to throw rain on your parade, but just be aware that you may experience some service issues while on your cruise. And, then again, you may not. Maybe it was just our bad luck to be onboard the Grand during an off trip. I dunno. Regardless, I send my very best wishes to you for a wonderful cruise and a fabulous time!
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