Cruise Diary by Cruise Diva
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Copyright © 1995-2003 
Linda Coffman


Cruise Diva's CRUISE DIARY
~ Grand Princess Caribbean ~

Grand Princess in Istanbul, 1999

Flashback: June 1999

We stood on the verandah of Istanbul's Dolmabahçe Palace, admiring the view of the Bosphorus. As our guide pointed out the sights along the waterfront, a member of our tour group asked him if that building off in the distance was a hotel.

With a gleam in his eyes, our tour guide solemnly said, "No, that is the Shopping Cart." Of course it was Princess Cruises' Grand Princess, then the world's largest cruise ship. When the group looked puzzled by his answer, he explained that Shopping Cart was an affectionate nickname given to the ship when guides in Istanbul first saw her rakish profile. From a distance, Grand Princess reminded them of the grocery carts they had spotted in American television programs.

What would it be like to gaze down at the sea from the height of the Shopping Cart's "handle"—Skywalker's Disco—at 150 approximately feet above the water? Would I feel dizzy? Are the interiors on Grand Princess as grandiose as those inside Dolmabahçe Palace? I'm about to find out.

Fast Forward: September 2003

The Grand Princess Cruise Diary takes a bit of a turn this time as Mel Coffman joins Linda in offering observations and commentary, in addition to his usual photo handiwork. Join us to follow our "he said" and "she said" Grand Journal.

The itinerary:

  • Fort Lauderdale Embarkation
  • Princess Cays
  • At Sea
  • Grand Cayman
  • Majahual, Mexico (Costa Maya)
  • Cozumel
  • At Sea
  • Debarkation Fort Lauderdale
We could have been sailing into troubled waters—this is hurricane season, after all. With good luck and fair weather, our Western Caribbean itinerary proved uneventful, except for a few sprinkles and a serious downpour ashore.

For the most part, we enjoyed everything the Grand Princess and our mini-suite had to offer.

The Grand Princess Cruise Diary -> Part One

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