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Copyright © 1995-2003 
Linda Coffman


Cruise Diva's CRUISE DIARY
~ Grand Princess Caribbean ~

by Linda & Mel Coffman

From Skywalker's Disco... the wake

Back in Port Everglades, we shared a final breakfast with our friends and it was time to vacate our very comfortable mini-suite and say goodbye to the cabin steward who saw to our every need.

Not nearly as quick as our check-in just one week prior, debarkation always brings with it a sense of finality... and there is the waiting. Ruled by Immigration and Customs officials, Princess, like other cruise lines, has little control over timing. We were cleared at 8:30 am and passengers with early flights and Fort Lauderdale excursions were called. Our deck color was announced about an hour later. 

Once our passports were checked, a porter assisted with the luggage, we handed in our Customs declaration, and were outside looking for a taxi just before 10:00am. Uh, where are the taxis? A line began to form in the hot sun, but the dispatcher called about eight of them and we got one. The driver wasn't happy that we were a cheap fare—Embassy Suites is close and only $5 on the meter. However, he regained some good humor and put all the suitcases in the trunk of our car when Mel gave him the equivalent of the fare he'd have gotten for a trip to the airport, plus a nice tip. Those suitcases were somewhat heavier than a week ago. Has anyone else noticed that dirty clothes seem to weigh more than clean ones?

Finally, I'm happy to report that I didn't get the slightest bit dizzy while watching Grand Princess' wake from Skywalker's Disco.

If you go...

What You WILL Find:

  • Pleasant, soothing interior spaces

  • Tropical swimming pool environments

  • Personal Choice—tailor your cruise to suit your lifestyle

  • Activities and entertainment for all ages that appeal to a wide range of interests

  • Five freshwater pools, two for adults only and one with retractable magrodome

  • Delicious meals, creatively presented

  • Service by a professional, attentive staff

  • Numerous triple and quad staterooms suitable for families

  • Attention to accessibility for the physically challenged (28 wheelchair staterooms and a wheelchair lift for the Calypso Pool)

  • Duty free shops with a broad assortment of merchandise

  • Internet availability in the Business Center

  • A chapel for weddings at sea, renewal of vows, and religious celebrations

  • Large, well-equipped areas for children and teenagers and age-appropriate youth programs

  • Virtual reality and gaming center

  • Self-service passenger laundry rooms with ironing facilities

  • Family two-way radio rentals ($4 per unit, per day)

  • Coca-Cola Unlimited Soda Fountain Package for children and adults, which provide unlimited soft drinks throughout the 7-night cruise for a one-time, flat fee (currently $22.50)

  • Gratuities are automatically added to all accounts, but can be adjusted as deemed appropriate

  • A Future Cruise Consultant who will book your next cruise (pay only a $100 per person deposit and receive a shipboard credit)

  • Film processing service

  • PADI Certified Scuba Diving program (get your certification during your cruise)

  • Fresh flowers for any occasion

  • Lotus Spa and Salon operated by Steiner Leisure

What You WON'T Find:

  • Butlers for suite accommodations

  • Wine stewards

  • Excessive PA announcements, particularly in staterooms

Fast Stats

  • 108,806 gross registered tons

  • 951 feet long

  • 118.8 feet wide

  • 185 feet above water line

  • 28 feet draft

  • Cruising speed 22.5 knots

  • Top speed 24 knots

  • 1,296 passenger cabins

  • 2,600 guests, double occupancy

  • 3,100 total guest capacity (all berths)

The "411" on Personal Choice

We couldn't have been more pleased with the option to dine when, where, and with whom we pleased. The non-structured open seating suited us ideally.

Life is GRAND!

Back to -> Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four

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