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


Cruise Diva's CRUISE DIARY
~ Grand Princess Caribbean ~

by Linda & Mel Coffman

Princess Cays—Monday
Uh oh... rain. We spotted Princess Cays (Eleuthra, Bahamas) in the distance and it looks so enticing. By the time tendering began, the sun was shining.

Pure pleasure... Princess Cays

She said: I'm not much of a beach and sun person, but I love cruise line "private islands" and this was our first visit to Princess Cays. I got a kick out of the reminder in the Princess Patter to take beach towels ashore and bring them back to the ship at the end of the day because, "Although locals may offer to do this for you, unfortunately we seldom see the towels again!"

He said: We were pleasantly surprised at how smoothly the tendering operation was handled. Tickets were handed out in the lounge, we took a seat, and within five minutes were called to the tender landing.

She said: From the tender landing, our little group of six headed to the left of the boardwalk and found shaded lounge chairs. Even with the South Beach area to the right closed, the North Beach, swimming, and watersports facilities were generous enough for Grand Princess passengers. While our husbands went exploring, Rox, Deb, and I ordered Rum Runners... whew, we found out later they contained FIVE shots of rum!

He said: FIVE shots of rum? Maybe she won't notice the shops on the way back to the ship.

She said: There aren't many children on our sailing—they are mostly infants and toddlers—but they are having a great time playing in Pelican's Perch. It's nice to see well-behaved children. The few teenage girls are going "island" and getting their hair braided.

He said: Great photo ops. The water is really clear and I'm glad Linda is having such a good time relaxing with her friends. She's staying ashore longer than she usually does.

She said: Oh, look. Shops.

He said: Mike found the 'unofficial' local vendors behind the fence. Same stuff, lower prices.

She said: Purchases in the "Tropical Treasures" Boutique can be charged to shipboard accounts. Local vendors accept cash only—be sure to take some ashore with you.

The Grand Princess entertainment staff kept up a roster of games for all ages and a barbeque buffet was served al fresco. All-in-all, it was a gorgeous day. Did I mention there were FIVE shots of rum in those Rum Runners... ?

Back on board, showers and naps were in order. When early 'showtime' began in the Vista Lounge right below us, it was time to leave for dinner anyway. We discovered it wasn't necessary for us to actually go to the lounge to hear the music... yes, it was loud in our mini-suite (but not on the balcony). Fortunately, it didn't bother us because we were generally just leaving for dinner when the first show began and the second show was finished by the time we returned.

Once again, Mel and I dined in the Horizon Court, as did Deb and Mike. Rox and Ron went to the dining room and were very pleased with the food and service. We gathered for coffee at the Horizon Terrace overlooking the adults-only Horizon Pool where passengers enjoyed late swimming in one of Grand Princess' five freshwater pools.

At Sea—Tuesday
An entire day to really enjoy the ship's facilities get into the serious business of relaxing.

She said: The best coffee on board is at the Promenade Bar. While they serve chic lattes and other specialty coffees for $1.50 to $2.50, there is always a pot of complimentary freshly brewed coffee available.

He said: Bring your own thermal 'commuter' mug as Linda did, otherwise you'll have to use paper cups.

She said: The spa on Grand Princess is huge and they did makeovers today for everyone who attended their Make Up Party! I really like the steam room and sauna, but not necessarily the location. The entrances are outside, forward of the lap pool, which means you can't use them attired in just a towel (unless you are an exhibitionist).

He said: Walking around the ship, my impression was that it is cut up into small spaces.

She said: That's why there aren't any "crowds" to speak of, despite the fact every stateroom on board is occupied. Those intimate spaces absorb passengers nicely. 

He said: Look, there's a couple having wedding photos taken out on the Promenade Deck.

She said: The Captain of Grand Princess has the authority to perform marriages on board during sea days. There's even a lovely chapel spacious enough for guests (34 seated, 50-60 standing).

Wheelhouse Bar

After a lazy day, it was time to prepare for our first formal night and meet our friends for pre-dinner cocktails in the Wheelhouse Bar. In our opinion it's the nicest lounge on the ship and is one of the few areas that has a section set aside for smokers, although, unfortunately, not cigar smokers. With its nautical theme and warm wood paneling, leather chairs, ship models, artifacts, and paintings of P&O liners of the past, it has the ambiance of a perfect gentleman's 'club' room. Far nicer for a cigar lounge than Snookers.

He said: The Wheelhouse is a great spot to gather before dinner, but the musicians are too loud.

She said: At least they take frequent breaks and it's time to eat.

Our first test of Personal Choice "anytime dining" at about 8:15 pm was a pleasant experience. There was a line outside the Da Vinci Dining Room on Deck Six so we went down to the Michelangelo Dining Room on Deck Five where we were told a table for six would be available in about 15 minutes. However, our 'beeper' captured our attention in less than five minutes and we were seated almost immediately. Try that in a restaurant ashore during peak dining hours!

Great food, wine, service, and companions... the perfect ingredients for a formal evening.  

Grand Princess Cruise Diary -> Part Three

Back to -> Part One

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