Grand Princess Review
Launched in 1998 as the world’s largest cruise ship and Princess Cruises’ first Grand-class ship, Grand Princess expanded on many of the line’s most successful features, such as the atrium as a gathering spot, and introduced others, including the line’s signature
Italian specialty restaurant. A major renovation in 2011 added even more of the line’s newer elements that include Movies Under the Stars and The Sanctuary.
When Grand Princess was introduced as the world's largest cruise ship in 1998, futuristic Skywalker's Disco hovered approximately 150 feet above the waterline, but in a dramatic—and fuel saving—transformation, it was removed from Grand Princess in 2011 and replaced with a more conventional nightclub in the heart of the ship. Subsequent ships did not have the same design problem, so there are no plans on the drawing board to remove Skywalker’s.
All Grand-class vessels have more than 700 staterooms that included private balconies. Like their predecessors, the interiors of Grand-class ships have splashy glamour in the sweeping staircases and marble-floor atriums. Surprisingly intimate for such large ships, human scale in public lounges is achieved by judicious placement of furniture as unobtrusive room dividers. The 300-square-foot Times Square–style LED screens that hover over the pools show up to seven movies or events daily.
Princess Cruises may be best known for introducing cruise travel to millions of viewers, when its flagship became the setting for The Love Boat television series in 1977. Since that heady time of small-screen stardom, the Princess fleet has grown both in the number and size of ships. Although most are large in scale, Princess vessels manage to create the illusion of intimacy through the use of color and decor in understated yet lovely public rooms graced by multimillion-dollar art collections.
Princess has also become more flexible; Personal Choice Cruising offers alternatives for open seating dining (when you wish and with whom you please) and entertainment options as diverse as those found in resorts ashore.
Lovely chapels or the wide-open decks are equally romantic settings for weddings at sea with the captain officiating.
What You Should Know
- Skywalker's Disco on Golden Princess and Star Princess is virtually deserted during the day, when it's the ideal quiet spot to watch the sea
- Self-service passenger laundry rooms have ironing stations
- The nautical Wheelhouse Bar is a Princess tradition for cocktails and dancing
- Sports bars get jam-packed—and stuffy—when big games are on
- Accommodations aft and above the Vista lounge are noisy when bands crank up the volume
- Minisuites don’t include the perks offered to full suites
- Crew Members 1,100
- Entered Service 1998
- Gross Tons 109,000
- Length 951 feet
- Number of Cabins 1,300
- Passenger Capacity 2,600
- Width 118 feet